Keith Moody, the current city administrator in Harrisonville, Mo., was hired as the new city administrator in Roeland Park Wednesday.
The Roeland Park City Council affirmed Mayor Joel Marquardt’s appointment of Moody in a voice vote with no dissenting votes and then followed by approving an employment contract in the same manner.
Moody has been the city manager in Harrisonville, a town of approximately 10,000 for nearly eight years. Harrisonville also operates its own utilities. Prior to that he was the city administrator in Platte City, Mo., with a population of 4,500 for more than a decade. He started his public service career in Knoxville, Iowa, as the finance officer, assistant zoning administrator and assistant to the city manager.
Moody said Wednesday that he has family living in the area and that his wife at one time lived in Mission. She works as a pediatric nurse at Children’s Mercy. He said they like smaller communities but also appreciate being close to the attractions of the city. “It’s a good fit for me,” he said.
The opportunities for economic development in Roeland Park also were an attraction for the job, Moody said. “It’s a great time to steer the development,” he said. Moody will start his new role on Oct. 12. Moody’s contract calls for a base salary of $96,000 with a $450 per month car allowance and a $100 per month phone allowance.
He takes the place of Aaron Otto, who had been city administrator since 2011. Otto left in June to become assistant to Johnson County administrator Hannes Zacharias. Mark Pentz has been filling in as administrator on a temporary basis.
The city council has had multiple executive sessions in its effort to decide on a new administrator. Wednesday’s agenda for the special council meeting had two items: an executive session to consider the hiring of an administrator and then approving the contract in open session. However, the executive session had several extensions and lasted for more than 90 minutes while three or four Roeland Park residents waited for the public session to begin. Moody, who was not in the closed meeting, then appeared in the council chambers for the vote.