jeff Parsons goes from human resources director to economic develpoment director By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Daily Leader
With economic development such a high priority in Liberal, it was imperative the city found the right person for the position of Economic Development Director. City Manager Mark Hall announced Monday, the right man has been located – and he is already occupying an office at city hall.
Human Recourses Director Jeff Parsons will take over the position of Economic Development Director on Oct. 1. According to Parsons, the decision was made very recently, and although he had been serving as interim director for the economic development department since March, he said, he hadn’t considered taking on the role fulltime until he was recently approached by the city.
“I just have been doing it on an interim basis and kind of got to enjoy it, I have learned a lot,” Parsons said. “Mark Hall and some of the city commissioners thought maybe they ought to let me do it full time.”
Many applicants passed through city hall for the position, however none seemed to quite fit the bill, Parsons said.
“We just weren’t 100 percent satisfied when we talked to those several that we brought in,” he said. “We just weren’t 100 percent satisfied, we just didn’t feel comfortable. So we decided to keep looking.”
Parsons has many plans for his new position that he will take over on Thursday, however, the industrial park is on the top of his list.
“We are going to take a look at a lot of things,” Parsons said. “But first, I have got a lot to learn, no doubt about that. We work close with the state, I have a pretty good working relationship with them.
There are a lot of things we are going to be looking at coming up.
“We are going to be looking at some things in the industrial park, to get it more as a viable option for companies looking at Liberal,” he continued. “We will continue to look at some of the incentives, we do offer a lot of incentives. Basically, I will be going out and talking to companies, working with the Joint Economic Development Council, I have a lot of contacts. I will just keep talking about Liberal with a lot of different companies.”
The search will now begin for a new Human Recourses director for the City of Liberal. According to Parsons, that position will be filled on an interim basis by Lynn Khemraj, payroll and benefits supervisor.
“She will be filling in on an interim basis until we make a selection there,” he said. “She has been here for 10 plus years, she will do a terrific job.”
Due to Parsons roots in Liberal, he feels confident he will have the best interest at heart for the city. He is looking forward to serving his community in a new capacity.
“I am a Liberal native and you always want to make a difference in your home town and do something that can be good for your home town,”
he said. “I am excited about this.”