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Ellis experiences big changes at the top





ELLIS -- David McDaniel hasn't seen anything like it in his 15 years as mayor.

In June, Ellis City Clerk Philip Martin informed the Ellis City Council of his intention to resign, once his replacement was found. Martin is running as the Democratic candidate for the 110th District in the Kansas House and also will work as an independent oilfield contractor.

In July, Ellis Police Chief Randy Taylor announced his resignation to become chief of police in Clarkdale, Ariz.

Ellis Fire Chief Les Weber's retirement plans were announced at Monday's council meeting. Assistant Fire Chief Denis Vine will be in charge until a replacement is found.

"There's no controversy or anything like that, so that makes it less stressful," McDaniel said Wednesday of three key personnel changes this summer. "It's just interesting that they all decided to go at one time.

"We can cope with it; it's not a problem."

Amy Burton was approved by the council Monday to take over Martin's position as city clerk at the pay rate of $20.27 per hour, starting Sept. 10.

"We consider her to be an excellent fit for what we need in the city," McDaniel said. "She comes in with vast accounting experience. She is a CPA, and she has both municipal and government accounting experience."

The committee to find a new police chief met for the first time Tuesday. McDaniel said it's early in the hiring process.

"We're just getting started on that one," he said. "We just had applications that we're going to go through, see who fits the job description."

McDaniel said the council was caught off guard by Weber's decision to retire.

"It was unexpected," McDaniel said. "He has been with the department 43 years; he's been chief for 25 years.

"Some health issues came up, and he decided it was time to give it up. He's been an excellent and dedicated asset to the community."