Jason Gage was chosen to take over the position of Springfield city manager from Greg Burris who retired.
Wednesday morning, a crowd gathered in the lobby of the Busch Municipal Building for his swearing in ceremony.
Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said Gage rose to the top of a very strong pool of applicants.
"We were so impressed as we went through the discussion process and the interview process with his grasp of the issues, the focus that he would have on the priorities set by city council," McClure said.
Those priorities, according to McClure, include public safety, economic vitality, fiscal sustainability and legislative engagement.
McClure said they were also impressed by Gage's focus on economic development, education and consitutuent service.
Gage, a graduate of Missouri Southern State University and the University of Missouri, said he hopes to bring good judgment and good decision-making skills to the position. He expects some of the top priorities for Springfield will be the economy and job growth, stable neighborhoods and traffic. He said his job will be to help city leaders take on the challenges Springfield faces.
"I'm excited to get started, work with people and see what we can do," he said.
Gage's hiring puts him closer to where he grew up. He was born in Lamar and grew up in the Vernon County area, and his brother lives in Springfield. He's happy to be back in Missouri after being away for several years.
"I just want to be able to get in here and make a difference, make Springfield better to the degree that I can, for everybody that lives here," he said.
He said one of the biggest challenges he anticipates facing will be meeting the needs of the city with limited resources.
"We're always expected to take on all the needs and help everyone, and we're not always able to do that, but we strive to," he said. "And, so, that's what we'll do is keep striving to do that, but it's a stretch of resources, so we need to be smart about how we use our resources."
Gage acknowledged retired city manager, Greg Burris, for “creating an upward slope of progress.”
The new city manager invites the public to a meet and greet August 22 at 4 p.m. at Mediacom Ice Park, 635 E. Trafficway.