Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for March 17, 2010
Kanab City Council bids adieu to City Manager Keith McAllister
Keith McAllister has been the city manager of Kanab the past 35 years, serving seven mayors, all of whom he characterized as “interested and concerned about the City of Kanab.”
He, along with his wife Diane, celebrated his retirement from his post with Mayor Nina Laycook, the city council and a packed room of Kanab residents at the March 9 Kanab City Council meeting.
“When I started the job, we sent out 400 water bills each month and now it’s 2000,” said McAllister, “and we used a copy machine where you had to drape the paper with a plastic sheet to send it through the copier, which took five long minutes to copy. Now, thanks to technology and guys like Councilman Jim Sorenson, whose contributions to the city’s website and internal computer operations have been invaluable, we are up to par. A city manager is only as good as those employees and volunteers he works with, and I have had outstanding people supporting me. My right hand through nearly all of those years has been RaeLene Johnson and I’ve been charged with spending as much time with her as I have with my wife - so much so that the comment has been made that ‘you act like an old married couple’ and perhaps it’s true.”
McAllister continued, “My wife, Diane, is here for her first and only city council meeting since I took the job as city manager. It’s not because she didn’t want to come to some of them, but I wouldn’t let her. There is a lot of stress in this job and some of the effects of that stress goes home with you, and Diane has been my greatest supporter and I wanted to keep her out of the fray.”
Mayor Laycook said that McAllister refused any special gift, pleading “no Wonderstone plaque, please. The city can spend the money in better ways.”
She noted McAllister started his job with no specialized training, but “dug in and cowboyed up and did the job well.”
Despite his protest against gifts, Tressa Clark presented McAllister with several items generated from his staff, including a wristwatch with a Boston Red Sox logo and a Speedo swimsuit, which he promised to wear to his water aerobics class this summer - seemingly undaunted by likely pool closures.
The council voted to appoint Teresa Trujillo to the planning commission. Trujillo is manager at Mountain America Credit Union and has long been a regular attendee of city council meetings.
Jeanette McKenzie, a Vermont transplant, was appointed to the City Library Board to fill the vacancy left by Ann Welchko, who is moving to Moab.
The council also voted to amend Ordinance 3-1-10-0 pertaining to the requirements for appointment of a city manager.
Councilman Ed Meyer encouraged Kanab’s residents to visit the Kanab City Library’s meeting room during library hours to see the display of Navajo baskets presented by the Utah Arts Council.
Councilman Tony Chatterley announced security cameras have been installed and are working at the Heritage Museum and Juniper Fine Arts building downtown.
Kanab’s water received the red ribbon (second place) from the State Water Board for Best Tasting Water recently. The City of Morgan beat out front-running Kanab on the last taste test.
Witnessing and participating in the council meeting were Boy Scout Troops 361, 362 and 363. A total of 16 uniformed scouts, led by Scoutmaster Don Taylor, were there earning credits to gain their Citizen in Community and Communication merit badges. Taylor noted, “there have been 21 Eagle Scouts volunteering 2500 hours of public service from Kane County in recent years.”