Wellington City Manager Gus Collins resigns; tenure ends June 1

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Gus Collins, Wellington City Manager, has submitted his resignation to pursue another career opportunity.

Collins will complete his tenure here on June 1. The Wellington City Council has called a special meeting Thursday at 5:45 p.m. It will be there where the council will officially accept his resignation and start the process of finding his successor.

Gus Collins

Gus Collins

He said he spoke to the mayor 10 to 12 days ago and told city staff officially on Monday.

“I have had the opportunity to spend eight wonderful years serving Wellington as City Manager,” Collins said. “I spent 23 years in El Dorado. The past eight years in Wellington has most certainly been the most rewarding.” 

Collins would not state what his next job will be only that it will be in the public sector.

“I just can’t say at the moment, but expect to be able to do so within the next 48 hours,” he said.

Collins replaced Carl Myers as city manager on May 1, 2006. During his tenure, Collins was involved with several projects including the fight to land a casino in Wellington, various highway projects, the renovation of Memorial Auditorium, airport expansion, etc.

“I can look back and say I have zero regrets,” Collins said. “The community of Wellington has embraced me, I have worked with a wonderful staff, and worked with great elected officials.”

Collins said the biggest concern he has leaving the position is with SRMC. The half-cent sales tax sunsetted in April.

“It is of utmost importance to keep the hospital open for the vitality of Wellington,” Collins said.

In decades past, the city manager position across the nation was considered such a difficult job that the average manager would last three to five years. Now, typically a city manager will last eight to 10 years, Collins said.

Collins may have resided over one of the most tumultuous controversies to ever engulf Wellington and Sumner County: the location of the casino.

“Wow, what a fun and interesting ride that was,” Collins said. “Unfortunately, in the end it was very frustrating.”

Collins said he has no recommendations for a new city manager.

“I always considered this to be a job much like CEO of a corporation,” said Collins. “I’m residing over a $28 million annual budget. The big difference though the stockholders were the taxpayers.”

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