As someone who has lived in Iowa off and on since 1994, new Van Meter City Administrator, Kyle Michel, comes from a strong combination of Iowa roots and service to his country. After graduating from Mid-Prairie High School in Wellman, Iowa, Michel went on to attend the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, as well as Central College in Pella, where he would later receive a bachelors degree in social science.
While today, Michel continues to serve with the 103rd ESC out of Fort Des Moines, it wasn’t until he attended grad school that Michel became interested in pursuing a career in municipal government.
“In terms of my personal process to becoming a city administrator, it would have started in grad school at Drake,” Michel said, “I was not familiar with municipal government, (but) I was fortunate enough to secure an internship within city hall with the City of Windsor Heights.”
Michel not only worked directly with the Windsor Heights City Administrator, but also obtained an additional internship working directly under the former Van Meter City Administrator, Jake Anderson. These past positions not only supplemented his completion of a Masters of Public Administration degree from Drake University, but also provided Michel the opportunity to learn first hand what the profession of municipal management entails, a foundation that would ultimately lead Michel into the role of city clerk at Elkhart, Iowa.
“The experience gained in my internship as well as the experience gained in my position in Elkhart set me up for success when applying for the city administrator vacancy in Van Meter,” Michel said, “I credit my education from Drake, my internships and the continued mentorship from the administrators I worked under in Van Meter and Windsor Heights for securing this position.”
Coming up, these past experiences will prove to be an asset for Michel as he prepares to face many upcoming projects and challenges throughout the city of Van Meter.
“Van Meter is a huge step up for me and provided me with an excellent opportunity to pick up where my internship left off and move to a great town where I could establish some roots,” Michel said, “This position will also provide me with developmental challenges that will keep me on my toes as I look to address new tasks and manage a broader range of staff and city functions.”
Some of these projects include updating the City Code of Ordinances, as well as beginning the necessary steps to move towards the completion of a water treatment capital improvement project.
While others involve the process of developing and designing a new public safety and library building, which will be located on the intersection of R16 and F90.
“This location will give the city the opportunity to expand both facilities and develop a building that will meet the future needs of the city and our residents,” Michel said, “We also intend to use this structure as a catalyst for new and additional interest from developers to locate their residential and commercial projects in Van Meter.”
In addition, Michel also indicated that the city of Van Meter not only plans to invest resources into the expansion of parks and recreational opportunities throughout the town, but will also be working with the Van Meter School District over this upcoming year as the school board looks to develop long range capital plans for the expansion of school facilities.
“We have several things we are working on in the community, and he has jumped right in. So, we are very appreciative of his enthusiasm. (Kyle) has done a fantastic job of getting settled in and getting everything organized. We are thankful to have him. He is a great asset for our community and I have no doubt he will do a great job for us,” Van Meter Mayor Allan Adams said.