County hires new county administrator

Ellis County Press Release
Hays Daily News

The Ellis County Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce the appointment of J. D. Cox as the new county administrator.

Cox brings 23 years of local government experience, including 16 years of day to day management.

Cox was first City Administrator of Neodesha (in rural Southeast Kansas), followed then by City Manager of Alliance, Nebr. (rural western Nebraska); Bethany, Okla. (in the Oklahoma City metro); and most recently, Longwood, Fla., which is part of the Orlando metropolitan area.

Cox and his wife Tonya have three children: Kierstyn of Tallahassee, Fla.; Cali of Phoenix; and son Collin who is attending the KUCIMAT public administration master’s program at the University of Kansas.

“Tonya and I are very excited to join the Ellis County community,” Cox said in a statement. “It’s a beautiful area and Tonya’s parents are from nearby Lucas and Silvan Grove — and we love the area. In addition, we enjoy being involved and look forward to meeting many folks and doing so.”

Cox, who speaks German, also expressed excitement about the German heritage of Ellis County and looks forward to getting involved with those in that community as well.

“I truly enjoyed visiting with the County Commission recently and know we’ll make great strides together,” Cox said. “I look forward to working with folks in the county, in the cities, and rural population toward its betterment.”

Cox starts the new job July 1.

“I also understand that Phil Smith-Haynes did a great job as the last County Administrator, as well as did Fire/Emergency Manager Darin Myers in the interim,” he said. “I appreciate their fine work and look forward to continuing the positive path both of these gentlemen have taken.”

Regarding the hiring of Cox, Commission Chair Butch Schlyer said: “We are very excited to get JD on board as our new administrator, as well as into our community. He is a true professional, very community oriented, and brings an impressive resume. We hope everyone welcomes JD and his family to Ellis County.”

To read a 2010 Kansas Profile of JD Cox by Ron Wilson, go to