Mary Wyatt, 37, is the new Fort Scott Community Development Director, with an office located at City Hall.
City Manager Brad Matkin said that the city had a community development director four years ago and believes the position is important.
In her job, she will involved in projects for community venues such as the golf course, airport, Memorial Hall, Buck Run Community Center, Lake Fort Scott, LaRoche Stadium, and the Heathly Bourbon County Actions Team’s Downtown Arch Project.
Additionally, she will be working with Bourbon County Regional Economic Development and representing Fort Scott in Topeka, City Manager Matkin said.
“I sit on some event planning committee boards and volunteer for community events like the Gordon Parks Festival, and will be the facilitator for the city meetings of several advisory boards,” she said. “I research and apply for grant funding to make improvements to our community, I also assist our City Manager and Tourism Department on projects.”
“Her personality will be a great fit for not only our staff but with the citizens of Fort Scott,” Matkin said. “She is from Fort Scott and knows what the citizens want and need. She has goals set for herself and is a self-starter and that is very important in a position like this.”
She graduated from Fort Scott High School and Missouri State University with a bachelor’s in Health and Human Services
“I worked over a decade of my career at Medplans/Firstsource here in Fort Scott as a Claims Analyst, then promoted to Quality Analyst, four years of my career at Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott and Olathe Health as an Insurance Specialist, then promoted to Patient Access Supervisor,” she said. “Most recently my husband and I started our own business in June of 2022, Wyatt’s HVAC & Home Solutions, LLC.”
“Going back to school to get my college degree was where I found my passion and niche in public health and safety,” she said.
“My husband David and I have two children, ” she said. “Our son Daxton just turned 15 and is a freshman at Fort Scott High School, he plays soccer for the Fort Scott Tigers. Our daughter Alayna is 12 years old and is in 7th grade at Fort Scott Middle School and plays volleyball there.”
“My birthday is on Halloween, so I’m into all things spooky… Halloween, fall candles, scary movies, fall festivals, pumpkin patches, and Halloween costumes of course!” she said. “I’m also signing up to volunteer to help the Chamber of Commerce out with our Fall Festival here in town. I love to cook and bake, and I love crafting as well.”
Matkin said Wyatt stood out from the other candidates because she has dealt with the public, has been in management, and has experience working on saving time, money, and resources.
“I have a very strong and innate sense of empathy and compassion for all people of all backgrounds who are struggling, misunderstood, marginalized, and underrepresented,” she said.
She has lived in Fort Scott most of her life.
“That helps me to connect to and understand the needs of many different groups of people here,” she said. “This job entails a lot of meetings, research, number crunching, data, financial analysis, etc. that’s necessary to get the job done, but what gets me out of bed every day is my love and empathy for our community.”
“I also bring determination and perseverance to this position with the city and I’m not afraid of digging into hard work to get things accomplished. I come from a long line of blue-collar, salt of the earth, came up from nothing, earn-every-penny-we’ve-ever-had type of a family.”
“I have been on my own and working full-time since I was 17 years old, she said. “I haven’t had an easy life, I’ve had to work hard, fail, try again, fail, get up, and keep trying to accomplish my goals, but one thing about me, I never give up. I will never stop working towards making the City of Fort Scott a better place to live for our citizens. I will never throw in the towel, I will always get up every time I’m knocked down, and I will contribute everything I have in me in my time here with the city, to work towards a healthier and happier future for our community.”
Matkin decided not to fill the FS Human Resource Director position, instead spreading that out throughout the staff, “so the money from that position will fund the Community Development Director position. I will continue doing some of the delicate HR functions as well as my City Manager functions.”
The salary for the Fort Scott Community Development position is $52,500 – $70,000 range, he said.