Two weeks ago Hazelwood Patch broke news the City of Hazelwood had a new city manager. See: Hazelwood Has A New City Manager: Meet Matt Zimmerman
Zimmerman said he has more than 30 years of municipal government experience. Zimmerman currently manages the City of Emporia, Kan., and has done so for the past seven years. The city's population is 24,900, slightly lower than Hazelwood. Zimmerman's last day there is Oct. 24.
He said he is looking forward to working closely with Hazelwood’s elected officials and staff to "maintain and improve local services for our citizens.”
"Hazelwood has tremendous potential to increase its economic development assets and I believe my past experience will help the city realize the benefits of Hazelwood’s great location and economic base," Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said his wife and he are "very excited" about joining the Hazelwood community.
"It’s already clear to us that Hazelwood is a great place to live and work," he said.
Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson said he is confident in Zimmerman's ability to continue to move the city forward.“The city council has done a terrific job throughout this search process and has chosen a candidate who has the right qualifications and experience to be our next city manager,” he said. “I am confident that working with Mr. Zimmerman and our city staff, we will continue to find new ways to serve our residents and businesses and ensure the high quality of service they expect from our city government.”
Zimmerman said as city manager in Emporia, he was responsible for 200 full-time employees and managing a budget of approximately $44 million. What may have been a big draw for the Hazelwood City Council during the interview process is the fact that Zimmerman said he helped improve Emporia's financial outlook, after major manufacturers closed local locations. He said he helped create strategies that attracted new business and jobs.
Before Kansas, Zimmerman was city administrator in Prospect Heights, Ill., for four years. He has also served in municipal staff positions in various Illinois cities including Manhattan, Elburn, Roselle and Glen Ellyn.
He has a Master's master's degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University and a bachelor's degree from Quincy College.
Zimmerman's salary will be $115,000.