Gaa will be new city administrator
Joseph Gaa has signed a contract to become Dickinson's new city administrator. Gaa, who starts the job on Nov. 26, said he is excited to be coming to Dickinson. "Dickinson's a bigger city than what I've been in, and it's a big move. The excitemen...
Joseph Gaa has signed a contract to become Dickinson's new city administrator.
Gaa, who starts the job on Nov. 26, said he is excited to be coming to Dickinson.
"Dickinson's a bigger city than what I've been in, and it's a big move. The excitement's good, and I'm nervous at the same time," he said. "I'm really excited for the challenges. Dickinson appears to be just a great city to live and work in."
Since March 2014, Gaa has been city manager for Chariton City, Iowa, which has a population of roughly 4,300.
Before, Gaa served as city administrator in Woodbine, Iowa, and as parks administrator for Sebastian County, Arkansas.
Most appealing about Dickinson, Gaa said, is its community and how it is growing.
"There's been a lot of investment made in public buildings and infrastructure, and plans to continue to do that," he said. "Dickinson's done a real job to keep pace.
Gaa said he is excited to be a part of Dickinson's growth.
"There's opportunities to continue to build the community, the quality-of-life amenities that we know the current generation wants, and make it a real appealing city," he said. "It has a lot of great things going on."
When Gaa visited in early September for interviews and a public reception, Dickinson made a good impression on him.
"The community was clean and growing. That was evident," he said. "All the people I met just loved living in Dickinson and they were very open, like the people here in Iowa. We're midwesterners and we're friendly and hard working, and we care about communities. And that really came off there."
Gaa has already had conversations with city staff and commissioners about the city's goals and priorities.
"A lot of it was just goal-setting to keep the community moving forward," he said, "like making sure financial responsibility is maintained, and balancing the budget and continuing to make improvements."
Gaa's first week is already being planned, with meetings set up with commissioners, heads of city departments, and staff members.
"I'm really excited to work with them and continue to lay out some comprehensive plans and implement them," he said. "I think it's going to be great."
Mayor Scott Decker said Gaa will be a welcome addition to the city.
"I'm very excited to have Mr. Gaa coming aboard," he said. "The past administrator did a great job, but it's always good to have somebody come in from a different region and see how we operate and have some new, fresh ideas."