Former Finance Director-turned Assistant City Manager Chance Allison will soon be taking on a new role again as Shawnee City Commissioners unanimously voted Monday to hire him as the city manager.

Former Finance Director-turned Assistant City Manager Chance Allison will soon be taking on a new role again as Shawnee City Commissioners unanimously voted Monday to hire him as the city manager.

Allison officially is set to take the position at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 2 — on the weekend before the next Board of Commissioners meeting.

Allison is stepping into the hot seat — replacing Interim City Manager Eric Benson who, for months, has been faced with repeated allegations that Shawnee's leadership has not been forthcoming about past handling of the city budget — including accusations of money spent inappropriately or missing altogether.

In his farewell remarks, Benson chose to offer comment regarding some of those allegations.

City leadership was supportive in making some hard choices involving getting the budget back from a 96 percent deficit of personnel — as in dollars-to-person ratio down to now under 78 percent, he said.

“There are those who argue erroneously there was some unfair indulgence or coercion of some of those employees,” he said. “I will take any and all of them's statement now in the way we offered them the opportunity to graciously end their long and stellar city career — and in so doing we enabled them five years of medical care … .”

He said as it has been shown by staff, the city's financial picture has been turned around.

“There were some looks though, and highly contested, though driven by a lack of factual basis on some decisions,” he said, “most critically that of the senior center.”

Of the budget, he said every penny has been accounted for, every decision was right and proper.

“And those who wish to criticize that — even those who should know better by their own experience — are misguided,” he said. “And it does not reflect well on the hard work of this staff or commission.”

Mayor Richard Finley and Ward 1 City Commissioner Ed Bolt were not at the meeting.

Shawnee Forward is hosting a reception for Benson and Allison from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. July 23.