City Commissioners Appoint City Manager
The Mayor and City Commissioners are proud to announce the appointment of Kelly Passauer to the position of City Manager effective immediately. Over the last several months, the Commission discussed the specific needs of Independence, realizing there is a need to develop a long-term direction for the community. In doing that, they interviewed various candidates for the position and discussed the new direction with all finalists. The Commission felt that it would be necessary for the City to move in a new direction, breaking the traditional model that has been a guide in the past. The new model would develop a strong team between the Commission and the City Manager that would look beyond the typical relationships and consider Independence as a regional community.
The interview process became more detailed than originally planned, but it is felt that the Commission has been successful in achieving its goal. The Commission’s ideals were discussed in detail with each finalist, and it was determined that the best-suited candidate to achieve these goals is Kelly Passauer.
Kelly has served as Acting City Manager since July of 2019, prior to that, she also served as Acting City Manager in 2017 and 2010. Kelly has been employed by the City of Independence for over thirty years and has worked in the City Manager’s office for over 26 years, serving as Assistant City Manager for over 12 years. Kelly is a Certified Public Manager and a member of the International City/County Management Association, the Kansas Association of City/County Management, and the American Planning Association. Kelly is also a Montgomery County native, having been born in Independence and raised in Cherryvale, Kansas.
Mayor Leonhard Caflisch stated, “During the last fourteen months that Kelly has served as Acting City Manager, Kelly has shown her ability to fill the position as City Manager. She has strived to keep the Commission informed of various concerns that have affected the City and shared her vision for new directions that will benefit the City’s operations. I look forward to seeing the relationship between the Commission and Kelly work for the betterment of Independence.”
Vice Mayor Dean Hayse stated, “Kelly’s steady and consistent leadership while acting as City Manager represents well the need of the community during our current situation and beyond. Her skill at getting others around the table and working effectively together has helped keep us going. Things just seem to go better with Kelly in that role. We will lean heavily upon her experience and knowledge as we begin to craft a future for the City and community of Independence, which will leverage our strengths and keep us moving forward.”
Commissioner Louis Ysusi stated, “Kelly’s performance as Acting City Manager has been exceptional. She has the skillset, is highly motivated, and has put in long hours of research and documentation to provide the Commission with critical information needed in the decision-making process. She is thorough, organized, and detailed and has elevated those qualities to another level. Kelly understands that City government must continue to evolve and be responsive to the new challenges we face. I am looking forward to working with Kelly and seeing her vision of what Independence can be.”
Kelly Passauer stated, “I am beyond excited and thankful to the City Commission for entrusting me with this critical leadership role with the City of Independence. Mike and I are looking forward to relocating to Independence, and Mike is especially eager about his forthcoming retirement. I am thankful for the citizens, community partners, and business leaders who have been very supportive during this transition period. I also wish to express my appreciation to the amazing City employees on every level and within every department, who make our successes possible. I am confident that we can continue to work together to move Independence forward as we look at innovative ways of doing business as a City.”