City Manager's Office
301 N. 8th St.
Garden City, KS 6784
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
The city manager is responsible for administration of the City's affairs and day-to-day operations. The city manager is guided by the policies set by the City Commission, and works at their pleasure in accordance with the terms of an employment agreement. The city manager is responsible for the hiring and oversight of all other City employees, organized in a structure of departments and divisions designed to efficiently deliver high quality projects, programs and services to the public.
Matt Allen - City Manager
Matt Allen has been the City Manager for the City of Garden City since June 1, 2008. Prior to that, Matt served the City of Garden City for six years as the Assistant City Manager.
He leads a municipal government team that is receiving state and national attention for innovation in the areas of public participation, local government social media, fiscal transparency, economic development, embracing diversity and healthy community design for rural communities.
Matt was raised in Garden City. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas. His local government calling began with a part-time internship with Saline County, Kansas in 1994 and subsequently provided him with career advancement opportunities with the City of Lenexa, KS, the City of Salina, KS, the City of Joplin, MO, and the City of Oakley, KS before returning to Garden City in 2002.
Jennifer Cunningham - Assistant City Manager
Jennifer has been with the City since 2012 and has been the Assistant City Manager since 2015. In that capacity, Jennifer leads a team of departments which feature some of the most recognizable facilities and services offered by the City: Lee Richardson Zoo, Buffalo Dunes Golf Course, Garden City Regional Airport and The Big Pool. The team also includes Municipal Court, Prosecution and Information Technologies & Communications, which are all departments she was responsible for in her previous role as City Prosecutor/Court Administrator. Prior to joining the City of Garden City team she worked for the Finney County Attorney as an Assistant County Attorney.
Jennifer is a native of Lamar, Colorado. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Real Estate and her Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. Jennifer is an innovative leader who has an established record of taking on complicated projects and delivering outstanding results.
Steve Cottrell - Assistant to the City Manager
Steve has served the City of Garden City for 35 years over three different stretches. Most of Steve’s career was spent as the City Engineer. In 2015, he was appointed Assistant to the City Manager and is responsible for special projects, particularly those dealing with economic development, transportation grants and related legislative tracking.
Steve is a licensed P.E., holding an Engineering Degree from the University of Nebraska. In between stints with the City of Garden City, he worked for the cities of Snohomish, WA and Golden, CO, and consulting firms in Boulder and Loveland CO.
Steve’s career work over parts of the last five decades is a visual history of Garden City’s physical and economic emergence as the regional center of Western Kansas.