By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Monday, Sept. 28 was a big day for Ryan Smykil and the city of Newkirk, as he walked into his new office at City Hall that morning to begin his new position as city manager. It is a role he has served in for many years with the Kaw Nation, and he is now ready to apply his skills to help move Newkirk forward.
“The first day went very well. I started looking over the budget, and there was a city meeting that night, so the biggest part of the day was preparing for that,” he said. “I also got to meet the fire chief, so that was the majority of the day.”
Although native to Denver, Colo., he and his wife, Shannon, moved to Newkirk in 2005 to be closer to family members on both sides of the family, and they still have several children in Newkirk Public Schools.
This is his first position for civic government, although he did run for the city commission in the spring. He applied for the position out of a passion for the community.
“I love Newkirk, and I wanted to serve Newkirk in any way I can,” he said. “When I saw the position open, I saw it as an opportunity to serve the community, so I threw my hat in the ring.”
Smykil gained the management skillset for the position from the Kaw Nation, where he served in several positions, including Wellness Center director, Injury Prevention coordinator and Health Clinic director.
“I have a lot of management background working for the Kaw Nation, working with Tribal government and federal government, the same thing with grant writing and management,” he said.
Smykil will likewise perform similar duties for the city of Newkirk, from writing grants and managing the budget, overseeing community project such street repairs and the water well rehabilitation projects and coordinating with other city employees to keep the community moving.
He will also preside over the city council meetings, held the second and fourth Tuesday Monday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Newkirk Public Library meeting room.
As for his first meeting, it went well, although he had been to pervious meetings, which gave him needed experience.
“I think the meeting went very well. The water well rehabilitation was discussed, and the other major item that was discussed was the completion of a grant,” he said.