Wichita Opens City Manager Talks with Iowa Man

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Wichita says it is one step closer to closing the deal on a new city manager.

Robert Layton told the city on Monday that he's ready to continue his career as a public servant in Wichita. Layton is currently the city manager of Urbandale, Iowa. He has held that post since 1984, after starting his public administration career in Kansas City, Mo., and Des Moines.

Contract negotiations now begin.

Layton says he's excited about the opportunity in Wichita. He says he's eager to move forward with the mayor and the council's agenda.

The Wichita city manager oversees 3,100 employees and a $500 million annual budget.

Topeka city manager Norton Bonaparte was among five finalists for the position.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)