John Prescott hired as Vermillion city manager

John Prescott hired as Vermillion city manager Prescott By David Lias First, their were 50.

The number of candidates for the Vermillion city manager's position were eventually narrowed to three.

The Vermillion City Council, after conducting lengthy interviews and hosting a open session Feb. 1 that allowed citizens to question the three finalists, has offered the city manager's job to John C. Prescott.

He completed paperwork Thursday morning to formally accept the job.

Prescott will begin his duties in Vermillion March 7.

He is currently serving as assistant city manager in Kearney, NE. His wife Karen, and children Joshua, 5, and Sarah, 2, will join him in Vermillion later this spring.

Prescott is a native of Sioux City, IA. He received his bachelor of arts in management from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA, and he also holds a master of public administration with a local government emphasis from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

He is a member of the International City/County Management Association and is an ICMA credentialed manager.

Some of Prescott's current duties in Kearney include: coordination of the human resource functions including hiring, benefits, discipline, and training programs; development of the city's long range goals, writing and administrating Community Development Block Grants for public infrastructure installation, housing and economic development; and serving as the acting city manager.

He currently serves as the staff liaison for the Advisory Board of Cable Commissioners, Downtown Improvement Board and the Civil Service Commission.

The Prescott family has been very active in the Kearney community, where Karen is employed by Good Samaritan Hospital. The family is active in their church and various civic organizations.

"We, as a city council are extremely pleased with the city manager search process, and we are absolutely thrilled that the end result is the hiring of John Prescott," Mayor Dan Christopherson said. "He holds the values, skills and talents that our community finds important and desirable for Vermillion's next chief executive officer to possess.

"We had an outstanding pool of qualified and capable candidates, and the other finalists who visited us for interviews were each uniquely qualified in their own right," the mayor said. "Members of the public, city employees and representatives of other local governments all gave us valuable input in this important process. In the end, elected officials are charged with making the tough decisions, and we as a city council are very confident that hiring John Prescott is the best choice for Vermillion."

The public learned a bit about Prescott's background at the Feb. 1 public meeting. He believes that an effective manager should serve as a catalyst for community development by discovering why the city is attempting to achieve certain goals, what it hopes to accomplish and who should be involved.

He noted that if was hired as city manager, he will strive first to obtain a good understanding of the city organization, seek out partners in the community to assist in enhancing the overall quality of life, emphasize unbiased listening, and encourage sharing and accessing of information to provide excellent service delivery.

Craig J. Mattson, who has served as city administrator of East Grand Forks, MN, for the past four years, and Joseph P. Pepplitsch, city manager of Lexington, NE, for the past five years, were the other finalists for the Vermillion city manager's job.

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