Archive for Thursday, June 9, 2005

Beatty immerses self in public service

June 9, 2005

When the dedication ceremony ended on Memorial Day 2004 in Kingman, Cheryl Beatty -- Eudora's newly hired city administrator -- saw her proudest service work finally offered to the public.

With the help of the local Lions Club, Beatty raised $50,000 to refurbish a dilapidated model of the Statue of Liberty donated by the local high school in the south central Kansas town of 3,400. The money restored the statue and placed it in a marble walled and brick floored veterans' memorial. It reshaped an entire corner of Kingman's main road. The walls and bricks bore the names of fallen veterans. Without the money the statue would have been lost.

For Beatty, it was another project done.

"It takes a certain type of personality to be a city administrator or city manager," said Beatty, who will be replacing interim city administrator Rich Caplan. "You get the bug bite for service."

From building airports and golf courses to transitioning entire cities to new forms of government, Beatty has led two cities to award-winning standards of progress.

"The reason I feel so dedicated is that I'm feeling I'm leaving something behind for my children," Beatty said. "Some people think I'm crazy, but it's a different world."

An Ottumwa, Iowa, native, Beatty has spent almost her entire career in public service. Although she didn't see herself in politics as a child, she said she always saw herself as a manager.

"Even in high school, I enjoyed leadership roles and being involved in community activities," Beatty said.

Beatty said she first went into public service after feeling unfulfilled with a job in retail.

She began her official work as a community development agent in Anaconda, in Iowa's Deer Lodge County. As she moved up within the city and county government, she found a way to help out her community on a larger scale.

"In the city of Anaconda we built a Jack Nicklaus golf course as an EPA protective site and secured the water rights for the city for the future," Beatty said.

After working in Anaconda she moved to Kingman six years ago with her husband, Tim, and daughter, Kendra. Beatty said her daughter will be attending Kansas State University to study architecture in the fall.

"The entire Beatty family liked to volunteer," said Darla Harbert, director of the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce. "They stepped up to the plate and did what needed to be done."

At Kingman, Beatty's drive for service didn't flag. She became the president of the Lions Club, and was elected to the board of directors for the Kansas Municipal Trust -- a statewide commission that, among other things, supports worker's compensation for city employees.

Officially she helped Kingman build an airport from the ground up and shepherded the town through a governmental transition. She helped the city change from a straight commissioner-led format, to a more dynamic city manager and commissioner arrangement.

"The challenge was just in getting down the rules and regulations and getting everyone used to the changes," Beatty said.

This galvanized Beatty's philosophy on teamwork, which she holds is the secret to progress in city government. She said when she reached Kingman, that sense of teamwork really came together.

"Everyone did their own thing and worked as a team, and we built a great team there," Beatty said.

After her time and work in Kingman, she said Eudora would be a perfect fit.

"Eudora was exciting to me, because I have been involved in all types of communities," Beatty said. "I've been a part of slow growths but never a fast-growth community, especially one that has been growing like Eudora has."

Eudora seemed to be a further good fit, Beatty said, because it would take her closer to where her daughter would be going to school and make it easier for her husband, who is disabled, to get treatment if necessary.

Eudora mayor Tom Pyle said he is also looking forward to having Beatty aboard with the city, having been impressed with her work in Kingman.

"She succeeded in moving that city right along," Pyle said. "This is a step up for her."

Beatty said she is also ready to take on the role of city administrator in Eudora and continue her service to the people.

"I find that to be exciting," she said. "Eudora will be a new challenge. I love a new challenge."

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