Mike Gilliland Retiring After 40 Years

Gilliland Photo 2


Mike Gilliland, Osage City’s Director of Utilities is retiring after 40 years of service.   While Mike will be entering a new chapter of his life, the rest of us are left with that feeling that all good things must come to an end.  Mike’s retirement reverberates well beyond the confines of Osage City with the many friendships and relationships he has forged over the years as well as his leadership and countless contributions.  With the timing of his retirement, it is particularly befitting that Mike was selected by past winners as KMEA’s 2014 Gil Hanson Award winner.  The award, named in honor of KMEA’s first General Manager, Gil Hanson, recognizes those who have made significant contributions to municipal joint action, their communities, the electric utility industry and public power.

Mike will be dearly missed by his KMEA/KMGA family as he has been involved with KMGA from the very beginning of the Agency and an Executive Committee Member since its inception, including terms as President and Vice President.  Mike truly exemplifies the adage “if you want something done, ask a busy person.”  Mike’s finger prints can be found all over the good work he has done in Osage city, including management and oversight of the municipal swimming pool, two city owned and operated cemeteries, and many of the city’s buildings and facilities. As Director of Utilities for the past 14 years, Mike always had a full plate of regulatory, compliance, and technical projects as well as contractual agreements and energy purchasing.   Even still, Mike was always actively engaged with municipal, state and national trade organizations.  Mike especially enjoyed his involvement with various Kanas utility organizations including KMEA, KMGA, KMU, KWEA and KSWWA.  Mike officially retired on June 30th.  Please join us as we extend our gratitude and best wishes to Mike in his retirement.


Ottawa Receives National Recognition

Ottawa Playground

When good things are happening in one of our member cities, we don’t like to keep it a secret.  That’s why we want to brag on the City of Ottawa for being honored with a 2015 Playful City USA designation for the sixth time.  Kaboom!, a national non-profit, recognizes cities across the country for making their communities more playable.  Ottawa has fully embraced Kaboom!’s mission of fostering healthy productive lives by creating opportunities to bring play near to their residents, especially kids. Ottawa is certainly a worthy recipient.  Their Play Task force has done truly inspiring work.  Among the many initiatives they have completed is building and strategically locating several play structures in neighborhoods that do not have parks or playgrounds within walking distance.  In addition, Ottawa has held annual Play Day events and painted 40 hopscotch courses around the community to promote fun and active play through their “Hoppin’ Ottawa” campaign.  Ottawa’s Play Task Force has ambitious plans to add more pods and undertake a project to develop a teen park to provide a healthy outlet to encourage teens to stay active outdoors and reduce detrimental activities such as drug and alcohol use.  Congratulations to Ottawa for investing in the quality of life of their residents and earning this most distinguished national designation.

KMEA Welcomes Pomona to EMP1

Tom Onboarding Pomona 1Earlier this week KMEA Staff arrived in Pomona to provide “onboarding” to acquaint the city with invoicing, the dashboard, and a host of other details to prepare Pomona to receive power from KMEA. Mayor, Marie Seneca, City Clerk, Seth Mettling, Public Works Director, Dean Wineinger, and Treasurer, Linda Grob were are all on hand for the meeting. On July 1st, Pomona will officially start receiving power from KMEA and at the same time become the newest member of the EMP1 group.

Pomona is located in northwestern Franklin County, about 50 minutes from the Kansas City metro area, with a population of 952. Pomona has long been a valued KMEA member and just last year KMEA had the privilege of honoring the city with a centennial award to celebrate their 100 years of public power.   The city is excited about their future with KMEA, joining EMP1 and what it will mean for their electric costs. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Pomona to EMP1.

Paul Mahlberg selected as the next General Manager for KMEA/KMGA

Overland Park, Kansas – June 24, 2015 – The KMEA/KMGA Search Committee, comprised of ten municipal member utilities, selected Paul Mahlberg to be the next leader of the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency and Kansas Municipal Gas Agency (KMEA/KMGA).  Paul will take over for Bob Poehling, who served as KMEA’s/KMGA’s General Manager for five years. Paul will assume his new role on August 10, 2015.

Currently, Paul is Deputy Director at Independence Power & Light (IPL). In that role, Paul reports to the Utility Director and co-manages the utility’s staff of over 230 people. This includes responsibility for all support services, generation, transmission and distribution activities, and IPL’s market participation in the SPP Integrated Marketplace. IPL is a 300 MW peaking utility.

Paul obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University in 1988. His early career was spent as a consultant in power supply planning and rates. During his 19-year tenure at IPL, Paul was instrumental in efforts to replace 80% of the utility’s energy supply and also helped IPL to transition to the SPP Integrated Marketplace.

“I’m excited by the idea of a new challenge and to continue my career in the public power sector,” said Mahlberg.  I’m looking forward to working with all the member cities and KMEA staff to continue the successes of the organization.”

Leveraging Meeting Technology

liEarlier this week, Matt Rehder, City Administrator for the City of Seneca and Chairman of the EMP3 group, conducted an EMP3 meeting via WebEx.  Several cities were represented.  KMEA Staff also participated in the meeting and hosted the WebEx from our office in Overland Park.  KMEA staff conducts WebEx meetings throughout the year. The WebEx online meeting platform has been used for EMP meetings, informational webinars and other opportunities that allow us to leverage technology to make the best use of our members’ time and resources.


Introducing a New Leader in Gardner

Gonzalo Garcia

Gonzalo Garcia

We want to extend our hearty congratulations to Gonzalo Garcia on his recent appointment as Director of Utilities for the City of Gardner.  In this role, Gonzalo will lead the Utilities Department, which includes water, waste water, and electric divisions.Gonzalo joins Gardner with an impressive utility career that spans over 25 years, working in both the United States and abroad.  Gonzalo began his career at Florida Power and Light, rising through the ranks of electrical supervisor, power source specialist, operations manager and operations assistant superintendent.  Prior to taking the helm in Gardner, Gonzalo served in several leadership roles around the world with Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States.  Gonzalo had worked for Duke Energy since 1997. In his most recent position, Gonzalo served as the Operations Regional Director in Lima, Peru.

This is a new position for the City of Gardner and Gonzalo is excited to bring his diverse range of utility experience and skills to the Gardner community.   In addition to Gonzalo’s utility industry experience, he holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with an emphasis in control design and energy conservation from Clemson University, S.C.  He also has a master’s degree in business administration from Tulane University in New Orleans, La.

Please join us in congratulating and extending our best wishes to Gonzalo as he embarks on this next exciting chapter.

APPA Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award Winner

gdCongratulations to former KMEA President Greg DuMars for receiving a Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award at the American Public Power Association National Conference in Minneapolis this week. Greg is one of eight people to win the award this year. This award is given to managers of small utilities which have fewer than 2500 electric meters. Managers of systems of this size must wear a number of hats which include not only managing but planning, designing, supervising, and the list goes on. All the while the other duties of a City Administrator need his attention as well.

Greg has served as the City Administrator for the City of Lindsborg for 17 years. He has demonstrated his exemplary leadership not only in his role as city manager but also while giving his time to serving as the President of KMEA as well as President of Kansas Municipal Utilities.

Thanks to Greg from everyone at KMEA and congratulations on receiving this award.

Meeting with the EMPs

EMP Meetings May 2015

EMP3 meeting in Burlingame














In recent weeks all three EMPs conducted their monthly meetings. These meetings are always a great venue for sharing information and great conversation. Not to mention good food. Everyone appreciates the work that the cities do in preparation for hosting these meetings. Finding time to travel to another meeting is not always easy so thanks to everyone for your contribution.




Kim Everley – City Clerk of the Year!

Kim Everley Plaque cropped

Kim Everley













We are excited to congratulate Kim Everley, City Administrator and City Clerk for KMEA member, McLouth, Kansas. Kim was recently recognized and awarded City Clerk of the Year by the Kansas Rural Water Association at their Annual Conference. Kim was selected from hundreds of city candidates and if you are familiar with what Kim has accomplished, it is easy to see why she is such a worthy recipient.

Kim has long been a dedicated servant of her community. Before starting as City Clerk for McLouth in 2009, she served as a City Council Member.   Her record of service doesn’t stop there, however. Kim was also the President of the Jefferson County Area Chamber of Commerce as well as the Courtesy Chair for the KACM, Kansas Association of Court Management, court clerks association.

Kim embodies everything you would envision in a go-getter.   She quickly made her mark after becoming City Clerk, reconciling important records and an accounting system that was in need of rescue. She earned her designation of Certified Municipal Clerk within three short years on the job and quickly proved herself ready to handle the responsibilities of McLouth City Administrator when the position became open.

Please join us in congratulating Kim on receiving this distinguished award. Congratulations Kim! Well deserved!















KMGA Travels and City Visits

City of Lyons

City of Lyons



On Tuesday, May 12th, KMGA staff departed Overland Park and headed to Little River, Kansas.  We met with City Clerk, Sue Peters, and visited about KMGA supplying and managing the natural gas needs for the city.  KMGA will provide a natural gas cost comparison to the City of Little River for their review.


City of Abbyville

City of Abbyville

Our journey continued as we visited KMGA member cites of Lyons, Sterling, Abbyville, and Sylvia.  We visited with city personnel about the services KMGA provides and answered questions they had regarding their natural gas system, calculating rates, reporting data to state & federal commissions as required and other items of interest.


City of Sterling

City of Sterling

Wednesday morning’s destination was Burrton.  At Burrton we met with Jon Roberts, City Superintendent. We discussed their natural gas system and provided information about KMGA providing natural gas to the city and Burrton becoming a KMGA member.  A cost comparison will be prepared by KMGA staff for Jon to review.

From Burrton we traveled to member cities Moundridge and Walton, where we reviewed with city employees the services KMGA provides.


City of Moundridge

City of Moundridge

Thanks to Rebecca Schechter, Brian Vagts, David Fankhauser, Ryan Ochs, Rick Sims, Randy Frazer, and Stephanie Ashby for taking time to meet with us.  We thoroughly enjoyed our on-site visit to member cities as well as prospective cities.