June 12, 2024

Public Works Director Sam Curran to Retire

City of Garden City

GARDEN CITY – After a 28-year career, Garden City Public Works Director Sam Curran has announced his retirement effective July 3, 2020.

“Garden City is where the story of our family with our three children begins. The five of us
built wonderful relationships with so many people, enjoying the traditions, culture, and roots Garden City has to offer. Our children are now grown and as my wife and I reflect on our time here the following quote from an unknown author rings very true for us, ‘Family, like branches on a tree, all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one.’ Garden City will forever be considered part of our family roots,” said Curran. “It has been an honor and privilege to have worked with this organization for so many years and I value the relationships I have made during my tenure,” remarked Curran.

Curran began his career with City of Garden City in 1992 as the Street Superintendent
before becoming the Director of Public Works in 1997, which he would hold for the next 23 years. As Public Works Director, Curran was responsible for the City Street, Parks, Traffic, Solid Waste, and Fleet divisions.

“Sam has had a very successful career with the City of Garden City. In addition to leading
the Public Works staff and projects, he helped bring into existence a Citizen-Based Capital
Improvement Planning Process and led inter-departmental efforts to dramatically improve the way the City managed its facilities, vehicles, and equipment,” remarked City Manager Matt Allen. “Sam was always willing to take on a new project, try new ideas, and encouraged his employees to do the same. I really appreciated how enthusiastically Sam was involved in the University of Kansas Certified Public Manager program. He was one of the first people in our organization to go through the program and became a strong advocate for how the program can help public sector managers improve their ability to lead people and serve the public. As an active alumnus of the program, he not only encouraged other City employees to consider the year-long program but also department heads of cities and counties throughout southwest Kansas.”

Allen continued, “I know Sam and Laila have been looking forward to retirement and I am
grateful that Sam set that aside for several months to help with the transition between Neighborhood & Development Services directors. I’m even more grateful that he will stay on- board for a few more months to help oversee the important preliminary stages of some key projects that are on the horizon, especially Jennie Barker Road, the Eighth Street reconstruction and landscape project south of Walnut, the East Side Drainage Project, and the Indoor Gun Range.”

Assistant Public Works Director Andy Liebelt will assume the title of Interim Public Works
Director on January 27th. “Sam will work out of the City Manager’s Office structure for the
remainder of his tenure. Moving Andy into the Interim role early allows Sam to be freed up to make as much progress as possible on the major projects that are in the queue,” Allen said.

A search for a permanent Public Works Director will occur later in 2020.