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The voters of the City of Bowling Green decided in the 1968 to move to a City Manager form of government. There are 19 other municipal governments in Kentucky that use the City Manager form of government, out of 418 cities.  Since 1968, most Boards of Commissions have endeavored to manage the functions of the city in the most professional and non-political nature as possible. Bowling Green, is by far the shining example of professionally managed municipalities in Kentucky. We have had great success in advancing our community, and that is in large part to our employees, who have been guided by the lead city employee, the city manager.

If you will allow me to take just one more moment to acknowledge the hard work of recently retired City Manager Kevin DeFebbo, who is taking a much deserved vacation. His insight into selecting departmental leadership was outstanding. He prepared our senior leadership team to continue on task during his absence as we selected the new city manager.

There were 40 some applicants, both internal and external.  The Board of Commissioners took the time to review the information from each one. Although 8 were invited to participate in the initial round of interviews, a few of those were provided new opportunities with their current positions or a found a new employer and chose not to participate further with ours.


The difficulty in our interviews was that all of the applicants were highly qualified and regarding the internal candidates, very well thought of, both in the community and among the Board of Commissioners. I would like to thank each applicant for their interest.

Also, thanks to the Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Katie Schaller-Ward for her stepping up to the role in the interim period. Like I said earlier, we didn’t miss a beat. I would also like to thank each member of the Board for their insight and viewpoints as we made this selection. As previous Mayor Charlie Hardcastle has told me, the most important decision we will make as a Board is the selection of a City Manager.

Jeff Meisel has been an employee of the City of Bowling Green since 2002. He has served as City Treasurer prior to his appointment as Chief Financial Officer in 2006. He maintains certification as a Public Accountant. Some of his notable work products includes:  he was the principle behind the discovery and prosecution of the Davis Cooper embezzlement; he has produced 11 years of balanced income projections and spending; he has lead the city to reduction of debt load from a high of about $150 million in 2009 to less than $85 million currently; through his leadership, the Finance Department has won the Government Finance Officers Association Excellence in Financial Reporting award for 11 consecutive years. His most significant achievement, of course, is his family – his wife LouAnn and his twin children, Landon and Macy.

Please join me in welcoming Bowling Green’s new City Manager, Jeff Meisel.

~Mayor Bruce Wilkerson