K-State alum returns to Manhattan as assistant city manager

Dennis Marstall, a K-State alumnus, is Manhattan's new assistant city manager. (Courtesy photo)

A Manhattan native and Kansas State graduate is set to return to the city, after Dennis Marstall recently accepted a position as the city’s newest assistant manager.

Prior to this position, Marstall spent his career in other city and county government roles.

“I graduated from K-State with a BA in political science,” Marstall said. “Then I went to the work world for a bit then returned to graduate school and attended the University of Louisville to obtain my masters in public administration.

“I’ve spent my career in local government with a county in Michigan and then doing a couple city jobs in Charlotte, North Carolina,” Marstall added.

Marstall also had experience working for nonprofit organizations, working five years for United Way of Central Carolina, also in Charlotte.

As the city’s assistant manager, Marstall will work with city manager Ron Fehr to help deputy city manager Jason Hilgers conduct day-to-day operations of the city workforce and work with other elected officials on new policy updates and developments.

“One of my other duties is actually working as a liaison with Kansas State,” Marstall said.

In that role, Marstall said one of his main goals will be to build on the great partnership between the city and the university.

“We actually work with the [K-State] president’s office and are going to work with the city commissioners and other elected officials to help improve and build upon our relationships,” Marstall said.

In May, K-State and city officials will travel to Pennsylvania State University for an annual conference working on the relationships between universities and cities.

“At these conferences you’ll go and have colleges and communities paired up from around the country,” Marstall said. “We go and are able to see what some of the new and best practices are for bringing cities and universities together.”

As a part of community development in connection to K-State, Marstall hopes to increase improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“Part of that program is working on joint projects together with some city sales tax funding,” Marstall said. “[You’ll] notice some pedestrian improvements for this and safety improvements such as creating more crosswalks along Denison Avenue and North Manhattan Avenue.”

Marstall plans to look at rental housing issues and help ensure good housing situations for K-State students.

“I’m really hoping to help connect the K-State community to the larger Manhattan community,” Marstall said.

Another goal that Marstall hopes to achieve is improving the economic development of Manhattan. He said he wants to continue to build jobs in the city, keeping more K-State students and helping them build careers in Manhattan.