City leaders from across the state of Kansas are meeting in Pittsburg this week. The goal of the conference is making your community a better place to work and live.
It would be safe to say Hannes Zacharias is experienced when it comes to city leadership.
“I was city manager in Booneville, MO for seven years, city manager in Hayes, KS for about ten, and have been operating the last seventeen, eighteen years in Johnson County,” says Hannes Zacharias.
This week, he’s part of the annual Kansas Association of City-County Management conference. The conference offers several lectures, like this one, focusing on communication.
“Communication is the key, that’s how we get work done, by communicating effectively with each other,” says Dr. Rona Vrooman with The College of William and Mary.
And the importance of communication is something zacharias says makes these conferences so important.
“The lectures are important, but like any learning experience, talking to your colleagues and folks who have similar situations and getting more in-depth learning is critical. That’s how we learn in environments today. It happens in the classroom, it happens on college campuses, it happens here as well,” says Hannes Zacharias.
And while they may seem separate, the presentations and conversations that take place in between are really part of the same thing.
“You’re talking about sharing experience, you’re talking about networking. Many of the people have been through similar experiences, so they can give helpful information,” says Dr. Rona Vrooman.
And when you add the two together, Zacharias says it means the residents of the city’s these people represent should rest easy knowing they’re learning what they need to know to build a brighter future.
“Would you expect any other corporation to not send their chief executive officer to get training? The answer is no. Would you invest in that kind of corporation? You would not. So I would feel very good that indeed the city manager that’s really taking care of the community is trying to get as much information as possible,” says Zacharias.
The conference is also offering sessions on cyber security and a legislative update.