Looking forward to Mr. Barkley starting as city manager of Belgrade.
City finds new manager – The Belgrade News: Local News
by Michael Tucker
All that’s left is a signature now that the Belgrade City Council has an acceptance from a Washington city official to take over as city manager.
Ken Barkley of Ellensburg, Wash. accepted the post Monday, according to city officials. Barkley has been the city manager of Ellensberg since March 2000. He has served similar capacities in Colorado and Kansas as well as a police officer in Colorado Springs.
He was among three finalists out of a pool of 49 candidates, Mayor Russ Nelson said.
The city hired Prothman Company to conduct the search. The company was also used by Central Valley Fire District to find Chief Ron Lindroth.The council and area business leaders have said the city needs someone with an economic development background who also would be a good fit in the community. Barkley was their man, councilors said.
“On the whole, we could have picked any of the three, but we kind of felt this guy fit our community well,” Councilor John Youngberg said.
The municipal set-up of Ellensberg is similar to Belgrade with a council setting up policy for the city manager to follow.
Barkley has an extensive background in municipal experience, which gave him an edge over the other two, Councilor Brad Cooper said.“People can tell you a lot of things that makes you think they know what they’re doing, but when you sit down and personally ask questions, the knowledge comes out quick,” Councilor Brad Cooper said.
While it didn’t “officially” come into play, councilors said Barkley’s spouse may have added a shine their choice. Deborah Barkley accepted a position at Montana State University last year. She has been living in Bozeman since last November. Even so, Cooper said the city might not have a shot at a candidate like Barkely.“He would never come to work here for the money we had to pay the guy if it weren’t for his wife having a job here,” he said.
“We were just pure lucky and there is no doubt about it. Sometimes things work out in our favor.”