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Springfield city manager finalists chosen

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Springfield City Council yesterday announced two finalists have emerged to succeed Greg Burris.

Jason Gage, city manager of Salina, Kansas, and Wayne Pyle, city manager of West Valley City, Utah, are scheduled to visit Springfield May 20-21. They’ll participate in a series of meetings with city leadership and resident stakeholder groups, as well as a final interview round with council members, according to a news release.

The winning candidate would replace Burris, Springfield’s city manager since September 2008. Burris announced in November he would resign June 30 and become executive director of the city’s new Give 5 Program, which encourages retirees to become community volunteers.

The city plans to livestream town hall meetings with Gage and Pyle on May 20. On May 21, community and media members are invited to meet the candidates, according to the release.

Gage has worked as Salina’s city manager for 13 years, and he also has past experience as city manager for De Soto in Missouri. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin and his master’s at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The release cited Gage’s work overseeing a $155 million redevelopment project for Salina’s downtown.

The city of Salina has an annual budget of $137 million and 480 employees, according to the release.

Pyle has been city manager of West Valley City since 2002.

He is credited with leading a $59 million building initiative and creating an economic development master plan that results in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new development, redevelopment, business attraction and retention, according to the release.

West Valley City has 800 employees and a $100 million annual budget.

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