The Shawnee community learned Thursday that Shawnee City Manager Justin Erickson will soon be leaving his role for a new position in Washington State.

Erickson served many years as Shawnee's community development director before taking the helm as city manager in 2015.

And in the past three years, Shawnee has seen tremendous change and growth, from completed projects and ongoing new construction out in the Shawnee Marketplace area and along Kickapoo Street, to a big project beginning on North Harrison, not to mention the completed widening of Shawnee's Kickapoo Street and the downtown Streetscape project.

His experience as community development director over they years and his love for this community only enhanced what he did in his role as city manager, and for that, the city and its residents should be thankful.

And while Erickson's work and vision just led the city through a successful, major sales tax election that will result in $30 million in improvements coming to the city's roads, infrastructure as well as police and fire departments, Erickson is definitely leaving the city on a positive note with good momentum to move forward.

Erickson said he appreciates the strong support he's received from the Mayor and City Commission, but he has especially enjoyed working with citizens, elected and appointed officials, community partners and city staff to improve the quality of life for Shawnee residents.

Mayor Richard Finley said he's been especially proud of all the strategic planning work that has been done under Erickson’s tenure as well as the strengthening of community relationships and partnerships.

As a newspaper, we've worked well with Erickson over the years and very much appreciate his partnership and service, but most of all, his dedication to the city and the people who work and live here.

The search for Erickson's replacement will begin right away with a search committee and national recruitment effort to find a new city manager.

The Shawnee city commission will be tasked with appointing an interim city manager and then finding the best person to lead this amazing city.

Erickson came to the city from Washington State in August 2008 and we wish him all the best as he returns home.