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Posted on: April 25, 2018

CITY OF BROOKINGS NAMES PAUL BRISENO AS NEW CITY MANAGER

The Brookings Mayor & City Council are pleased to announce the selection of Paul Briseno, from Kearney, NE as its next City Manager. Mr. Briseno was hired to replace Jeffrey Weldon, current City Manager, who is retiring effective June 30. 

Mr. Briseno will begin his duties as Brookings City Manager the first part of June. To facilitate a smooth transition, Briseno will overlap with the current City Manager Jeffrey Weldon for a few weeks in June. Briseno will also participate in the City Council’s Strategic Planning Session next month.

Paul has over 14 years of experience in local government. His most recent position was as Assistant City Manager for Kearney, NE (population 33,520) from 2015-present; Assistant City Manager for the City of Hays, KS (population 21,000) from 2009-2015; and Assistant to the City Administrator of Grand Island, NE (population 51,200) from 2004-2009. 

The City Council carefully narrowed the field to three excellent candidates from a pool of 64 applicants from across the continent. “The City Council was extremely impressed with Mr. Briseno’s professional background, experience, financial acumen and innovative vision,” said Mayor Keith Corbett. “Mr. Briseno is a skilled and respected professional city manager who will bring a tremendous amount of value, vision and innovation to the City of Brookings.”

Briseno has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Chadron State College, Chadron, NE, and a Master’s in Liberal Studies–Public Administration at Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS. Briseno also has a Certificate in Labor Relations from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI and is a member of the International City/County Management Association and Nebraska City/County Management Association.

Briseno experienced strong job development, low unemployment and extensive growth in the communities he served. In Kearney, as Assistant City Manager and Development Services Director, he oversees Building, Planning and Code Enforcement divisions, manages six Department Directors through the Development Review Team (DRT) and Traffic Safety Team. The DRT consists of Public Works, Fire, Water/Sewer Utilities, Development Services, Parks and works with the semi-autonomous Nebraska Public Power who manages the electric system. Briseno serves as the city’s representative on many citizen groups, community boards, and is the state legislative liaison for the City of Kearney and Greater Nebraska Cities, which includes Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings, Lexington, Minden, Holdrege, and Aurora. Briseno assists the City Manager and Finance Director in Kearney, NE in solidifying the $90 million budget including the Capital Improvement Plan. For six years, Briseno served as the City of Hays Chief Union Negotiations Officer with governance through the Kansas Public Relations Employer-Employee Act. This position included all aspects of labor-management relations including negotiations, grievances, mediation and fact-finding. 

Briseno indicates Kearney, NE faces similar issues that Brookings does, which include an impending growth in expenditures that is never matched by an equal increase in revenues.  Therefore, the City of Kearney has had to proactively prioritize programs, diversify revenues and work toward community collaborations while engaging residents.

Briseno’s predominant management method is an open democratic approach that fosters empowerment and a positive work environment. As a leader, he takes decisive action based on credible information provided by staff and input is always requested. However, his philosophy is that “once a decision is made, we speak as one voice.” Briseno feels that work should be fun and family values are important. 

Briseno has followed the City of Brookings for a numbers of years through research as a peer college community while serving in two previous university communities. He indicated early in the City of Brookings hiring process that, “Brookings is my desired community because of its progressive nature, professional management, Council’s trust and possibilities.” 

Paul, and his wife, Heidi, and have four children and will relocate to Brookings this summer. 


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