When I traveled to Urbandale, Iowa to look into Robert Layton’s background and what folks there think of him I was shocked. Everybody seemed to love him — from City Hall to neighborhood groups to retired employees to people kicking back suds at the bar to my waiter at TGI Fridays. Even the off-record chatter and documents backed it up. Such strong reviews are rare for city managers — they usually take a lot of heat whether they deserve it or not. (When I traveled to Sunrise, Fla., I certainly had no shortage of complaints about Pat Salerno, who was then the Wichita’s only candidate.)
Layton will likely be criticized here with the slate of controversial projects the city is involved in. But people back in Iowa are still bragging about him. The Des Moines Register, which we often link to here to keep up with what’s happening in Urbandale, is reporting that the city is basically looking for a clone of Layton to replace him.
“During Monday’s discussion, nearly every committee member said something along the lines of: “Bob was great at” or “That’s something Bob had” or “Bob always …” the story says.It will be interesting to see if he can produce such impressions in Wichita.