Jim Colson and Margie Rose
TOPEKA -- Nearly a year after the negotiated departure of Norton Bonaparte, the Topeka City Council will take a giant step Saturday to placing someone permanently at the helm as City Manager.
An impressive list of community leaders joined a few other local voters who wanted to meet Jim Colson and Margie Rose. They're the two finalists chosen by the Bob Murray and Associates search firm to interview today for the city manager's position.
Colson, the assistant city manager in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona said they were both driven around the capital city Friday and were impressed with what they saw. In the session at the Holliday Building, Colson said "people are focused on the future of this city."
Margie Rose brings more than 25 years experience with previous duty as a city manager in Inkster, Michigan, and currently serves as the assistant city manager of Corpus Christi, Texas. What were most people telling her?
"Lots of Topekans are concerned about their neighborhoods, asked what I knew about neighborhoods and how I could help them. I have that experience and know that it requires engagement of the city and its staffers, and engagement of the neighborhoods."
"After meeting here tonight, I am more invested and excited about the opportunity to be part of the Topeka family."
Colson also said he would give serious consideration to the city manager's position if it's offered to him, "or else I wouldn't be here."
Speaking of his arrival for his previous job, Colson said, " Glendale was a city with lots of good resources, but hadn't had much economic development success. Working with the city and other groups we became a success in economic development, hosted a Super Bowl, and are getting another one."
Colson said he'd be interviewed in the early afternoon, but no official timetable was released by the City of Topeka on the schedule for council members to talk with pair of candidates today.