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Retirement card shower for former Charles City city administrator

Retirement card shower for former Charles City city administrator
Former Charles City City Administrator Jay Wieland will be retiring after 50 years of municipal government service this month. Photo courtesy Miami County Republic, Paola, Kansas.
To The Press

In 1995, when Charles City was looking for its first official city administrator, it found Jay Wieland.

Wieland, a native of Emporia, Kansas, had grown up in city government, from part-time jobs as a school kid mowing the City Hall lawn and doing other maintenance work, to working in various city departments including becoming director of human resources.

He became friends with then-Emporia City Manager Virgil Basgall, who became his mentor. On many nights, Basgall would be working late, and Wieland said it would be just the two of them at City Hall.

“He told me, ‘Jay, I think you would make a good city manager,’” Wieland recalled. “‘I want you to go to KU and get your master’s in public administration, and I’ll write you a letter of recommendation.’”

Wieland followed his advice, and he got his first opportunity to be a city manager in 1987 when he was hired to the leadership position in Hesston, Kansas.

Then, in 1995, he became the first city administrator in Charles City, a position he held until 1998. While here his wife, Peg, was actively involved in the Community Revitalization program.

Wieland next became city manager in Sterling, Illinois, at that time a city about twice the size of Charles City, and was there until 2007 when he became city administrator in Paola, Kansas, the position he continues to hold, and from which he will retire this month.

He began to choke up when he stood before the Paola City Council on Nov. 12, and officially submitted his retirement notice. His last actual day in the office is expected to be Dec. 18.

“I know I should be celebrating, but it’s really hard to say goodbye,” Wieland said.

After 50 years of municipal government service, a retirement party and card shower will be held for Wieland on Thursday, Dec., 12, at the Town Square Events Center in Paola.

Cards or well wishes may be sent to: Jay Wieland, PO Box 409, Paola, KS, 66071.

— Parts of this story were taken from an article by Brian McCauley in the Miami County Republic, Paola, Kansas, used with permission.