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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • City of Leavenworth transitioning finance directors

  • After 23 years as the city of Leavenworth's finance director, Dan Williamson is retiring. Still, he won't be leaving behind a vacancy at Leavenworth City Hall.
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  • After 23 years as the city of Leavenworth's finance director, Dan Williamson is retiring. Still, he won't be leaving behind a vacancy at Leavenworth City Hall.
    New finance director Ron Hale, 54, is already at work. The transition began Dec. 5.
    "I'm very impressed with the people," Hale said of Leavenworth residents and municipal employees.
    As finance director, Hale will prepare what typically is a $25 million city budget. The finance department also is responsible for the safekeeping of funds, payroll, payment of bills, maintaining financial records and purchasing of goods and services for the city.
    Hale comes to Leavenworth after working in both the public and private sectors.
    He spent the last six years in northern Georgia working first in county government and then for a school district.
    "What I like doing the most is the budgeting process," he said.
    While working for the Whitfield County school system in Georgia, Hale said he wanted to be involved in a more dynamic budgeting process with more interaction with department heads.
    He saw an advertisement for the position in Leavenworth and applied in late September or early October.
    He interviewed for the job, and learned he was hired in early November.
    A California native, Hale said he was raised an Army brat.
    He attended college in Tennessee and also served eight years in the Army Finance Corps, leaving the military with the rank of captain. He is a certified public account.
    Leavenworth City Manager Scott Miller said he was impressed by Hale's portfolio as well as his interview.
    Miller said Hale has a well-rounded background working in local government finance.
    Hale said Williamson has spent the last couple of weeks prepping him for the new job.
    Williamson's last day is today. But, Hale said the retiring finance director will be available to offer assistance in the future, if needed.
    Williamson said he came to Leavenworth 23 years ago after working in Johnson County government, which he described as a huge bureaucracy with staff politics and infighting.
    "I came up here and there was none of that," he said.
    In his retirement, Williamson says he plans to "not work."
    Williamson said he's a flatwater kayaker.
    "I plan to do as much of that as I can," he said.
    Williamson said he also hopes to get into better shape. He said he no longer will have the excuse that he doesn't have time to exercise.
    Williamson said he will miss the people he has worked with at City Hall, but he can still visit them in his retirement.
    Miller said he and Williamson have had a professional and productive relationship.
    Page 2 of 2 - "Dan, at times, has made my job very easy," he said.

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