The Cassville City Council has hired a new city administrator, and Monday, marked Michael Hayslip's first day on the job.
The city has been without a city administrator since Kati Rose resigned the post four months ago.
Mayor Jim Craig said the council has conducted extensive interviews with a number of quality candidates over the past few months and voted to offer the city's top job to Hayslip last Tuesday night.
"It was gratifying that the city attracted so many top quality applicants," said Craig. "We waited until we got an individual that we felt had the right mix. We consider Mike to have very excellent related experience and an absolutely shining educational background.
"On top of that," Craig continued, "Mike has strong budget skills and we were impressed with his managerial, diplomatic and people skills."
The mayor also believes that Hayslip is passionate about his new job.
"He is excited about the job and brings to it a desire to serve the citizens," said Craig. "He feels he has a calling, and he has the full, unanimous support of the board and the mayor."
Hayslip comes to Cassville after earning three degrees in three years from Missouri State University. He holds a bachelor's degree in social work, a master's degree in social work and a master of science degree in public administration. These degrees were earned in 2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively.
Hayslip said his degrees in social work will be very beneficial in his new role as city administrator.
"Social work at its core is about interpersonal relationships and understanding people," said Hayslip.
Hayslip has also been active in Rogersville city government. As a member of the Rogersville community, Hayslip has served on the Rogersville Board of Adjustments and the Rogersville Planning and Zoning Board. He was elected chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board and held that position for two years. He was also a member of the Rogersville Child Safety Task Force.
"I was asked by the mayor (of Rogersville) to serve on the Board of Adjustments," said Hayslip. "I enjoyed it and enjoyed the idea of a problem being presented to me and the board and being able to resolve it.
"I realized after working with the city that it really clicked for me, and I knew this was what I wanted to do for a living," Hayslip said.
Although this will be Hayslip's first job as city administrator, he believes his work experience and education is transferrable to his new position.
As manager for the Route 66 Music Festival from 1999 to 2000, Hayslip handled all aspects of managing the event.
"My tasks in managing the music festival were all encom-passing," said Hayslip. "I was in charge of the advertising and marketing, managing the office employees and overseeing payroll and the budget. I also had to mobilize a volunteer work force of 150 to 200 people."
Hayslip also served as accounts payable and credit manager for Watts Radiant, Inc., of Springfield from 1998 to 2003 and accounts receivable-accounts payable primary for Central States Industrial of Springfield from 1996 to 1998.
Prior to entering the private sector, Hayslip served for five years in the United States Air Force from 1990 to 1995.
"As I told the employees this morning (Monday), I don't have all the answers and I don't know anyone who does," said Hayslip. "No matter if you have zero or 25 years of experience, you're not going to know how Cassville does things. I have the core skills you need to run any organization. Now, I have to learn how Cassville does business."
Hayslip and his wife, Melissa, have a daughter, Kendall, 14, and a son, Kyle, 11. Melissa is a first grade teacher at Nixa and will fulfill her teaching contract there next year. The Hayslips are in the process of selling their home in Rogersville and buying a home in Cassville. In the mean time, Hayslip will commute to work.
Hayslip's first impressions of the Cassville community are very positive.
"My wife and I rode down here on our motorcycle," said Hayslip. "We came in on Business 37 and saw what a beautiful area this was. We've driven through a lot of towns and we get a feel about them. My impression and my wife's impression was that this is a nice town, we could live here."
Hayslip said he has also been impressed by the city council, the mayor and the city employees.
"I'm ready to hit the ground running and I have a lot of ideas for the city," said Hayslip. "My goal is to first assimilate myself to the position and understand Cassville. I plan to meet with each of the employees and learn their job responsibilities as well as their names."
Hayslip said he plans to be in Cassville for as long as the city council wants him to stay.
"My goal is not be here, get experience and then leave," Hayslip said. "My family and I are small town people. I have a passion to help the city of Cassville and I'm pleased to see that it's a progressive city.
"If anyone has an issue or a problem or just wants to meet me, they can call and we'll set up an appointment to get together," Hayslip added. "I want to be open to the community because I work for the community."