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After 22 Years, Jody Gates to Retire from City of Ottumwa

By Nick Davis, November 17, 2017

A familiar face to many at Ottumwa’s City Hall will retire in the near future, according to City Administrator Andy Morris.

Jody Gates started working for the City of Ottumwa in May of 1996. She was hired to lead the city’s Health, Inspections and Solid Waste Department. Over the years, she picked up other roles including becoming the city’s Planning Director.

The transition to the first new director for the departments in 22 years will be a smooth one, according to City Administrator Andy Morris.

Senior City Planner Kevin Flanagan is expected to step into Gate’s role. His appointment to be Director of Health, Inspections, Solid Waste & Planning for the City of Ottumwa will be presented to the Ottumwa City Council during the Consent Agenda portion of next Tuesday’s regular city council meeting.

The appointment, if approved, would be effective December 11th, 2017.

Consent Agenda items generally bring little discussion amongst the City Council Members and are mostly items that are routine or expected to pass without objection.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with the staff here. It’s a great group. I look forward to a long and productive relationship with the City of Ottumwa,” Flanagan told Ottumwa Radio News. “We have great elected officials and city staff and I have a lot of high hopes moving forward. It’s really a pleasure to serve the citizens of Ottumwa.”

Flanagan echoed Morris’s remarks about a smooth transition, saying he already works under Gates as the Senior City Planner and works closely with the staff in those departments.

“I’ve already been in the department for a while and I’m already familiar with the processes,” Flanagan said. “We’ve got a great staff and continuity will not be a problem.”

Morris adds that Gates will still be seen at City Hall. “She’ll be stepping into somewhat of a contract employee role beginning in 2018,” He said. “She’ll offer advice and guidance on various projects.”

Gates was unavailable Friday to comment.

In other business, the council is expected to approve and adopt the Ottumwa Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, rezone a property from commercial to industrial at the intersection of West Second Street and Arrison, further discuss the feasibility of solar panels at Bridge View Center and approve the demolition of properties at 435 N Jefferson and 1922 E Main Street.

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