By: Ernie Wren

The big news from last week is the hiring of a new city administrator for Ashland, Kyle Michel. Kyle is the current city administrator for Van Meter, Iowa (a suburb of Des Moines). Van Meter has a population of approximately 1,500-ish, and Kyle has been the city administrator for three years. Before Van Meter, Kyle was previously the city clerk for Elkhart, Iowa. He received his master’s degree in public administration from Drake University, which is also in Iowa. His employment will begin Feb. 21 with an annual salary of $90,000, contingent upon city council approval. The salary offered for the position is a bit of “sticker shock” for some folks, but upon doing some research, it’s within the normal range for this type of position, and needed to attract and retain good talent. This is a very important position for Ashland, especially given its current rate of residential and commercial growth. The candidate review committee was made up of some exceptional local leaders, and I’m sure that they are looking towards this being a long-term investment. As Kyle and his family make their move to Ashland, let’s all show them what a welcoming community we are! Speaking of future leadership, it was great to see nine candidates file for two school board seats up for election in April: Emily Salter, Brad Bartow, Jamie Walker, Micheal Roach, Barrett Glascock, Jason Ludwig, Leah Botkin, Crystal Branch, and Kristie Hilgedick. Having such a large pool of candidates could be at least partially attributed to recent controversies related to COVID-19. I say KUDOS to those willing to put their names and opinions out there for consideration. Our school district has risen above and beyond all others in mid-Missouri, with Southern Boone’s strong schools becoming one of the main reasons for our rapid residential growth. We can be proud of the accomplishments of our district, and hopefully this will continue with whatever the new school board makeup may be.

See more in this weeks Boone County Journal