Mike Klein, superintendent of public works for the City of Dodge City, will be retiring as of Monday, Sept. 16.
Klein has worked for the city for 32 and a half years. A Dodge City native, he graduated from Dodge City High School. From 1974 to 1977, he served in the United States Marine Corps, earning the rank of corporal. Following his tour, he returned to Dodge City and completed his associates degree at Dodge City Community College. He then worked as a professional photographer with Studio de Lari.
On April 2, 1981, Klein began working with the City of Dodge City as a maintenance worker in the utilities department. In 1987 he was promoted to assistant utilities superintendent. In 1992 he took on the role of director of administration and in 1994 became airport manager. It was in 2007 that Klein was promoted to superintendent of public works, a role that includes airport, water, wastewater collection and treatment, fleet maintenance, signs, streets, electric, sanitation, CREW recycling and capital purchasing.
“We will definitely miss Mike,” Ken Strobel, city manager, said in a news release. “He has been a dedicated and loyal employee who has provided thirty-two years of excellent service to the citizens of this community in several different capacities. He will be hard to replace, but under his leadership, he has trained a strong public works team which will follow in his footsteps.”
Klein said that the reason behind his decision to retire is that he and his wife decided that they would retire at the same time. Since his wife recently retired after 29 years of teaching, he decided it was time for him to follow. He said they plan on moving to Table Rock Lake, Missouri, where they have vacationed in the past.
Klein said that Dodge City has seen a lot of improvements over the past six years.
“I’m very proud that I was part of the history of Dodge City doing those projects,” Klein said.
Among Klein’s accomplishments was that he was the first to initiate the safety program for Dodge City, which was implemented to keep employees safe. He ranks the current state of Dodge City’s infrastructure as good, despite its age.
In retirement, Klein plans to travel with his wife, including to sites along the east coast. He hopes to visit Civil War sites, given he and his wife’s interest in history. He also plans to work on house remodeling projects for his daughter and son-in-law. He said he is looking forward to retirement but will miss the job.
“I’m going to miss all of the employees I’ve worked with over the years,” Klein said. “… I’m proud of what they’ve done and what they’re going to accomplish into the future.”
He also said he will miss the projects he’s had the opportunity to work on and the time he has spent developing new leadership.
Page 2 of 2 - Klein’s replacement will be Corey Keller, who has worked with Klein for the past five years.
“Corey’s going to do an excellent job,” Klein said.
Like Klein, Keller started off in the sanitation department for Dodge City. He has worked for the city for 18 and a half years and said he is looking forward to the new opportunity.
“It’s going to be challenging,” Keller said. “It’s good to challenge yourself and hope that you can make things better.”
He said he will be focused on keeping the current projects going. Meanwhile, Klein is looking forward to what the future holds.
“I’m going to miss it but am looking forward to the new opportunities and new chapter in our lives,” Klein said.