Archive for Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Tonganoxie man to take county job

March 17, 2004

By the end of next month, Leavenworth County should have a new public works director.

"Verbally, I've accepted the position," said Gary Ditty, a Tonganoxie native who currently is employed by LandPlan Engineering in Lawrence.

Ditty, who will earn $68,000 annually, will fill the job left vacant in January when Leavenworth County commissioners refused to renew Dave Mahoney's contract. Mahoney had been public works director for more than 10 years. David Lutgen, assistant county engineer, had agreed to serve as interim director of the department until a replacement for Mahoney was found.

Ditty, who's worked as a senior project engineer for LandPlan since 1999, also was employed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Bureau of Reclamation for about 25 years. He has extensive experience with development projects in Leavenworth County.

The 52-year-old Ditty is a 1969 graduate of Tonganoxie High School who five years later earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Kansas.

He said he will begin work April 28.

Ditty, who lives south of Tonganoxie, said he won't make wholesale changes in the office.

"You can't go up there and turn everything around," he said. "It's not going to happen. ... I'll work within the system and bring dignity and respect to the public works director/county engineer position. That's what I want to do."

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