Deputy City Manager Vicki Charlesworth, who has been a fixture at Shawnee City Hall for three decades, is set to wrap up a long and respected career for the city this week.
Charlesworth will officially retire on Friday, Dec. 14.
Charlesworth’s service to Shawnee started in November 1988 when she joined the staff as a personnel technician. She steadily rose through the ranks of the city’s administration, serving as personnel analyst, deputy city clerk, city clerk, and assistant city manager before become deputy city manager in 2012. Charlesworth took over as interim city manager in November 2017 after the departure of Carol Gonzalez for a position with MARC.
Nolan Sunderman, who was named new Shawnee City Manager this summer, praised Charlesworth for her work ethic and deliberative manner.
“Vicki was always the first one in City Hall every day and the last one to leave. She worked tirelessly to make thoughtful, fair decisions for our community for more than 30 years,” Sunderman said.
Mayor Michelle Distler echoed those sentiments, noting that Charlesworth’s “hands have been in nearly every single project at the City for the past three decades.”
For her part, Charlesworth said she has mixed emotions about her coming departure, noting that there are a number of exciting projects in progress that she’s enjoyed getting to work on, from Nieman Now to the construction of the new fire station. But, she said, she’s also happy to hand over the reigns.
“There’s a lot of really great things going on,” she said, “but it’s time. There’s a lot of really great people coming up behind me.”
Stephen Powell, who has worked with Charlesworth for several years, is taking over as Deputy City Manager.
Charlesworth said she’ll miss all the people she’s gotten to work with over the years, and said she thinks her experience in a number of different departments was key to her longevity with the city.
“I worked with a lot of interesting people over the years, and that’s probably why I was able to stay so long,” she said. “It always felt fresh.”
She and her husband Jim plan to continue to reside in the city and stay actively involved in the community.
The city will be hosting a reception for Charlesworth from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14. City leaders will make presentations honoring Charlesworth around 12:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.