By Susan Redden

Globe Staff Writer

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — A new city administrator started work Wednesday in Carl Junction.

Jim Whisenant was the unanimous choice of a City Council selection committee that reviewed 16 applications and interviewed four finalists, said Mayor Mike Moss.

“He’s real open and down to earth, and that impressed me,” Moss said. “He also has ties to the area, and I think that will give him a better understanding of the community and the people here.”

Whisenant grew up near Vinita, Okla., and obtained undergraduate and master’s degrees in political science from Oklahoma State University. He worked as city administrator in Yale, near Oklahoma City, for nearly three years. Until several years ago, he was employed for 18 years with the Oklahoma Legislature, working in budget and policy analysis and special projects.

Whisenant, 48, said he is happy to be “returning to the type of job where you have a lot more interaction with people.”

“Carl Junction is a really nice community, and this is a beautiful area of the country,” he said.

Whisenant said he expects his early duties will include projects involved in Carl Junction’s rapid residential growth.

He replaces Joe Barfield, who retired.

Selection panel

Four City Council members composed the city administrator selection committee: Walter Hayes, chairman, and Wayne Smith, Dee Lynn Davey and Richard Zaccardelli.

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