On Dec. 7, after an executive session, the Cassville City Council hired Eugene Dilbeck as Cassville's new city administrator. Dilbeck has served as the city's economic development director since April of 2008.
"I appointed and the council unanimously approved hiring Eugene as a full-time city administrator," said Mayor Tracy Holle. "The council feels that Eugene's professionalism, knowledge and understanding of our community and citizens will be a perfect fit for what we are looking for in a city administrator.
"We believe he will be able to hit the ground running, because he knows our community and its layout," said Holle.
Dilbeck, who has been very involved in Cassville's recent master planning process, will assume the city administrator post on Jan. 1, 2010. The city has been without a city administrator since Mike Hayslip resigned in March.
"With all the planning and input we have received from the community, Eugene has a clear understanding of what the community would like to see happen," said Holle. "He is energized and ready to move forward."
Dilbeck will bring decades of experience in the fields of tourism, marketing, public relations, economic development and destination management to the city administrator position.
Prior to returning to Cassville, Dilbeck served as executive director of the University of Denver's Center for Travel and Tourism in Colorado. He has also served as president and chief executive officer of the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, director of the New Jersey Department of Commerce's Travel and Tourism Division, director of the Texas Department of Commerce's Tourism Division and director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's Marketing Services Division.
Dilbeck, who is a graduate of Purdy High School, has bachelor's and master's degrees from Central State College in Edmond, Okla. He began his career as a high school teacher and basketball coach.
"I am honored that the mayor and council are giving me the opportunity to contribute to my hometown," said Dilbeck. "I feel that I have a lot to give, and I am thankful for the opportunity to give back to a community that has done so much for my family.
"Working through the master planning process, I found that it is clear that the citizens of Cassville want to see Cassville move forward," said Dilbeck. "With encouragement and support at city hall I think we can make that happen.
"The city needs someone who can involve the community in the process as it moves forward and begins to implement the master plan," said Dilbeck. "I believe the city is ready to move, and I am ready to lead."
Dilbeck's wife, Lynette, who has served as deputy economic development director for over a year, will assume Dilbeck's leadership position in the city's economic development department. Her duties will be expanded to include marketing, research and communications.
The City of Cassville conducted a thorough search for its new city administrator. In August, Holle formed a search committee to assist with the selection process. Search committee members included: Holle; Aldermen Mark Pry and Dennis Baker; and community members Bill Shiveley and Charli Jo Ledgerwood.
The committee was responsible for developing a request for resumes, reviewing resumes and selecting individuals for interviews, which were conducted in October and November.