BROKEN BOW—After a 19-month vacancy, the position of a city administrator was appointed to the City of Broken Bow during the June 9 city council meeting. On June 23, the contract for Dan Knoell was approved with a base salary of $68,000 with a potential $5,000 increase following a six month performance review as well as moving expenses, insurance as per the Broken Bow Handbook, and a cell phone plan.
Mayor Rod Sonnichsen stated the city’s governing body narrowed down the 10 applications, the mayor appointed Knoell, and the city council approved.
Dan Knoell is scheduled to begin in Broken Bow on August 3 and will bring with him experience in a variety of areas including agriculture, factory, city, state, and non-profit organizations. He worked three and a half years as a water/wastewater foreman in Holdrege and most recently served as the Executive Director with Sherman County Economic Development.
In Sherman County Knoell worked for under a year focusing on business transition and economic growth. The coronavirus put some of the economic growth on hold at which point he turned his attention to grant writing, the CARES Act, and helping businesses and community members.
“With my previous work and college experiences it does give me that unique skill and knowledge to relate to every day working people. It creates opportunities for relationship building. Other than that, prior to that was my military service,” Knoell said.
From 2001 to 2008 Knoell served in the United States Navy and was honorably discharged as an E-5. He has earned three degrees including an Associate’s degree of Applied Sciences and General Studies, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Knoell thanked the mayor, council, and Broken Bow for the opportunity to represent the community.
“I’ve been up here to Broken Bow quite a few times already. I’ve gotten the ordinance books and a couple other manuals just so that way I can hit the ground running or at least walking fast when I get here fulltime coming August 3,” Knoell told KCNI/KBBN.
Knoell also told KCNI/KBBN he hopes to take the lessons learned from past failures and to move forward as best as possible.
“One of the things that’s very important is because of past events that have happened in Broken Bow is to assist in the healing process. Fix the bridges that were burnt and just start in the beginning with building relationships and rebuilding those and trying to broaden relationships. I think that is going to be the first thing out of the gate and then after that once we get those fixed, we’ll keep moving and then we’ll grow what’s expected of Broken Bow and my position,” Knoell added.
Married with five kids ages 9 to 17 Knoell said he and the family stay busy with sports and school. He said one of the “halfway good parts” about coronavirus has been getting to slow down a little bit and build on family quality time.
The family has put an offer down on a home in Broken Bow and following the sale of their Holdrege home and hiring of a new executive director for Sherman County, the Knoell family will move to Broken Bow.
“The kids are extremely excited to be a part of BB School District, they’re excited,” he added.