Nick Hernandez will officially begin his tenure as Dodge City’s new city manager, effectively replacing current city manager Cherise Tieben on June 1.

Tieben will retire on June 16, but between then, will introduce Hernandez to Dodge City community partners and the operational procedures.

Hernandez served nine years as city manager for Arkansas City, Kan., but is a Ford County native, having grown up in Spearville for 16 years before moving to and graduating from high school in Ashland.

"This is really my home, this is where I grew up, where my friends and family are and where I was raised, and hopefully give back to the county and community that helped raise me," said Hernandez.

Upon taking his position, Hernandez’s initiatives include finishing STAR Bonds projects, maintaining the progress of various planned capital projects for the city, but he also plans to re-engage himself with community and business leaders and the people of Dodge City, citing his reasons that he has been away for many years.

In conjunction with Tieben, the other department heads and commission members, Hernandez has been going over the responses for the COVID-19 presence in Ford County.

"I think as long as the citizens are being mindful and being careful of the situation, it will get better with time, but we just have to be cautious not to put ourselves in situations that causes the disease to spread," Hernandez said.

Hernandez, a husband and father of three, said he means to stay in Dodge City and retire from his position as city manager, when the time comes.