Eric Benson makes return as Shawnee's interim city manager

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
Interim City Manager Eric Benson attends a farewell reception July 22, 2019, as Chance Allison, former finance director-turned assistant city manager, steps up to take on the role of city manager.

Eric Benson has returned to fill the post of interim city manager for Shawnee while leaders seek a permanent replacement. Benson, Enid city manager for eight years before retiring in 2014, filled the gap for Shawnee for about a year — when former city manager Justin Erickson resigned in the fall of 2018. He then handed the reins over once the Shawnee City Commission made the move to hire current City Manager Chance Allison in 2019.

Now, two years later, this month Allison announced he would not be seeking renewal of his contract, which was due to come up for review in August. Allison, a certified public accountant, has been offered a position in the private sector.

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At Monday's Shawnee City Commission meeting, Allison said Benson, who was in attendance at the meeting, was agreeable to the contract proposed by the city.

“It's at the rate he was previously compensated (when Benson served in 2018-19), which is $75 per hour, plus reimbursable cost,” Allison said.

The term began Monday and is set to end Oct. 20, he said.

Also, at a previous special call meeting, a search committee was chosen to seek applicants for the post; members are Mayor Ed Bolt, Ward 1 Shawnee City Commissioner Daniel Matthews, Ward 4 Shawnee City Commissioner Darren Rutherford, Shawnee Human Resources Director Jennifer Greenland, Allison and Benson.

Watch for updates.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.