After nearly a year without a full-time city administrator, the City of Vandalia’s Board of Alderman officially filled the position when they met last Tuesday.
Chase Waggoner, current fire chief for the city of Gerard, Kansas was offered the vacant position.
Waggoner brings to Vandalia a unique background in public service.
Growing up in Lebanon, Mo., he went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree in history with a minor in management at the then Southwest Missouri State University.
He followed that experience by serving as a city councilman for two terms in Lebanon, Mo. Later he worked full-time for two House of Representatives in Rep. Jason Holsman and Rep. John McCaherty.
For the last 3 1/2 years he’s served as fire chief for Gerard, a town located near Pittsburg, Kansas with about 2,800 residents.
Waggoner said he likes serving in small towns.
“You can plug yourself into a community and for a short period of time you know a lot of people on a first name basis,” he noted. “As a small city, there are so many things you can do because you’re not dealing with a large, bloated government…If I can do something and can create some jobs and improve the quality of life then I have made a difference and made an impact on people.”
Though Waggoner has not served previously as a city administrator, he said that as fire chief he worked with all departments and had to be a “jack of all trades” knowing a little bit of everything.
Waggoner, who was awaiting his final contract to sign at the time of the interview, said he expects to settle into his new spot in mid-July.
“I’m excited to get up there and start the next chapter of our lives,” he added.
The move will help Waggoner’s wife Sara be closer to hometown of Marshall, Mo.