Prairie Village administration staffer Engel starts new position in Merriam

Chris Engel has started a new position as Assistant City Administrator in Merriam.

Public Works Director isn’t the only position the city of Prairie Village is looking to fill.

Chris Engel, who served as Assistant to the City Administrator for nearly six years, started a job last week as the Assistant City Administrator in Merriam, a role in which he’ll take on increased responsibilities.

“I’m definitely leaving Prairie Village with a heavy heart,” Engel said. “It is sad to leave the relationships you build with the mayor and the council and the residents. But this was a great opportunity for me and my family and a chance to pursue my career goals.”

In Merriam, Engel will oversee the city’s human resources, IT, economic development and clerk’s office. He’ll also be closely involved in plans to bring IKEA to the city.

Quinn Bennion, who served as City Administrator in Merriam prior to being hired in Prairie Village, said Engel will be missed.

“After 10 years of working in Merriam myself, I’m excited for Chris and Merriam,” Bennion said. “We are excited for Chris, his new position with Merriam and his career advancement.”

Engel started his career in city administrator as an intern in Mission Hills before being hired as a staffer in Prairie Village by former city administrator Barbara Vernon. In Prairie Village, he oversaw the city’s Parks and Recreation operations and helped keep the council apprised of state government actions that could affect the city.

Bennion said he anticipates hiring someone to fill the opening in Prairie Village by the end of March.