Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dennis Hays to retire in March


KANSAS CITY, KAN. --- The only man to serve as County Administrator of Wyandotte County since the Unified Government was created in 1997 will be retiring in March 2014.

Dennis Hays announced his retirement Thursday night after the 2014 budget was unanimously adopted by the UG Board of Commissioners.

Hays, who began his career in Kansas City, Kan., as the Assistant Director of Department of Community Development in 1976, worked for either the county or city government for nearly 40 years.

"It has been an honor to serve as County Administrator for the Unified Government since its inception in 1997," Hays said. "After careful thought, consideration and discussion with my family, I submit to you this announcement of my retirement next spring in March of 2014."

In his announcement, Hays said he considered retiring multiple times.

However, he said he decided to stay on as county administrator because of the recession and after former UG Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon announced he wasn't running again.

"It seems appropriate to make this announcement as we conclude the 2014 budget which represents now 30 years of annual budgets which I have actively participated in through the Administrator's Office," Hays said. "I have also selected this time to make this announcement because I wanted to provide Mayor Holland ample time to recruit and select the best candidate for the position."

Holland, who was elected mayor in April 2013, outlined the process following Hays' announcement.

The UG will select a search firm to assist in the search by September. In September and October, the selected search firm will interview commissioners and members of the community in an effort to develop a "candidate profile."

Holland said the goal is to have Hays' successor hired by March. He added that the search will be both local and national.

“The renaissance of our city and county has made us the envy of metropolitan communities throughout the country and I believe this position will be sought after by many highly qualified candidates – both internal and external,” Holland said. “Finding an administrator as dedicated and talented as Dennis will take time but we’re committed to conducting a thorough search; our citizens and the future of our county depend on it.”

Hays said he and his family will remain in Wyandotte County even after retirement. 

Below is Hays' biography, courtesy of the UG:
Dennis Hays was named County Administrator for the new Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas in October 1997. Hays were responsible for managing the transition of merging City and County to a Unified Government. Prior to his appointment Hays had served Kansas City, Kansas as City Administrator since 1996; Interim City Administrator 1995-1996; Deputy County Administrator from 1985-1995; Assistant City Administrator from 1983-1985; and Assistant Director of the Department of Community Development 1976-1985.

Hays received his undergraduate and MPA from the University of Kansas.  Among Hays' personal achievements are: L.P. Cookingham Award for Lifetime Achievement in Public Administration-2001; Edwin O. Steene Managerial Excellence Award-1993, Kansas City ASPA Chapter; and Public Administrator of the Year Award-1991.

In addition, Hays has been active in the KCK community, is a graduate of Kansas City Tomorrow Leadership Class XXI, and has served as an adjunct instructor of senior level course in management theory and public administration at the University of Kansas and St. Mary College, Leavenworth. He currently serves on the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System Board of Directors, and is active in the KCK Rotary Club. Hays is professionally affiliated as a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the Kansas Association of City/County Management (KACM), and the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA).