Family life is most important to Gering mayor

Mayor Tony Kaufman has been on the job in Gering for more than five years. He says family support is key for someone in his position.

Four finalists have accepted interview invitations for the position of Gering City Administrator. A fifth finalist had accepted another opportunity and declined an interview.

Gering Mayor Tony Kaufman said nine candidates applied for the position.

“Council carefully considered each one before narrowing to five finalists,” he said. “We are looking forward to interviewing the candidates and hope to extend an offer by the end of July.”

The four candidates scheduled for an interview include Pamela Caskie from Sevierville, Tennessee. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Caskie currently has her own business. A Bright Idea is a tourism and economic development consulting firm.

Her previous experience includes serving as Alliance City Manager from 2005-2010, Development Director for the City of Sevierville, and Executive Director of the Northwest Colorado Council of Government in Silverthorne, Colorado.

Tammy Cooley of Morrill, Nebraska has also submitted her credentials for the position. Since 2015, she’s been the Human Resources Director for the City of Gering.

Cooley has extensive experience in administering all employee benefit programs, conducting new hire orientation and background checks, along with exit interviews.

Cooley had previously served as Village Clerk and Treasurer for the Village of Morrill, Nebraska. There she used her management and organizations skills in various roles to manage up to 50 employees in all the village departments.

From 1987 to 1997, she was a Loan Officer Vice President for First National Bank/Platte Valley National Bank, interacting and assisting customers on a daily basis.

Patrick Heath of Gering, Nebraska currently serves as the city’s Director of Public Works. He manages and supervises the city’s water, wastewater and stormwater systems, as well as administers budget review plans and ordinances and regulations, and coordinates projects with state and federal agencies.

Heath’s previous experience with the City of Gering includes Interim Planning and Zoning Director and Water/Wastewater Superintendent, He was appointed by Gov. Dave Heineman to serve on the Nebraska Water Policy Task Force.

Army veteran Dustin Stambaugh submitted an application from his home in Littleton, Colorado. He’s finishing up his MSA degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.

Stambaugh most recently lived in Livonia, Michigan where he was the Metrology Lead for MovaStar Solutions. He was responsible for administering lab operations for radio frequency and electronic equipment.

In the military, he was a Team Chief in Fort Riley, Kansas and earlier as the maintenance shop foreman at Camp Casey, South Korea.

Throughout the search process, Gering was assisted by Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist for Entrepreneurship/Business Development with the University of Nebraska.

“Cheryl was a valuable component to our administrator search,” Mayor Kaufman said. “She helped our organization focus and define our desired administrator characteristics.”

Kaufman added one of the prime qualifications they’re looking for is someone who understands the city government’s culture, the Gering community and knows how to help the city grow into the future.

Interviews are scheduled for July 8, 16, 20 and 22 with council members and the mayor. Following will be a community tour hosted by Twin Cities Development and a meet and greet with city officials and county board members.

Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at

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