SPRINGFIELD, MO – Springfield City Clerk Anita Cotter swore in Jason Gage as Springfield’s 13th City Manager at 8:15 a.m. this past Wednesday morning, according to a media release.
“Jason emerged from a very strong pool of candidates,” said Mayor Ken McClure. “He was the best fit for Springfield with his experience in public safety and economic development, which are two of City Council’s main priorities. In addition, he has experience working in a community that has a strong educational background, Stillwater, Oklahoma. Like Springfield, there is a strong town-gown relationship there. We are pleased to welcome him to our community.”
Gage served as Salina, Kansas City Manager for 13 years, having previously served as the City Manager of Stillwater, Oklahoma. He graduated from Missouri Southern State College in Joplin with a B.A. in political science and completed a masters’ degree in Public Administration at the University of Missouri – Columbia. He served as City Manager of De Soto, Missouri from 1994 to 1999 and was Salina’s Assistant City Manager from 1999 to 2003.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve in my home state as Springfield’s City Manager. I have always considered Springfield to be the finest community in the state. It is full of wonderful people and has a distinctive, progressive quality. In addition, this area of the state is absolutely beautiful! I truly look forward to meeting the people of Springfield and working with the City Council, fellow employees and community leaders,” Gage said.
As Salina City Manager, Gage provided leadership for a $155 million redevelopment project to renew Salina’s downtown. The project includes a partnership with key members of Salina’s business community to develop a downtown athletic tournament fieldhouse, a premier hotel and conference facility, a vintage automotive museum, a family entertainment venue, downtown loft and apartment housing, an enhanced streetscape, and niche retail/restaurant development. He is currently providing direct management support for design of a $30 million “Smoky Hill River” renewal project, including; full stream-bed restoration, ecosystem upgrades, downtown river walk improvements, complementary hiking/biking, sidewalk and trail network, related bridge replacements, and recreational opportunities.
In 2012, Gage established a Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) Program. This program implements Lean Six Sigma (LSS) tools throughout the organization to reduce non-value operational time and improve organizational efficiency. Over the last four years, this approach to efficiency has resulted in approximately 900 total improvements and $2.9 million in net efficiency/cost reductions (which is projected to be $5.3 million through 2018).
The search for a new Salina City Manager is currently underway. City Commissioners say they are currently in the process of identifying candidates for the vacant position.