By Blake Spurney
NEWTON – New Harvey County Finance Director Shannon Kingsley returned to her old stomping grounds.
The Newton resident said she left her job as an internal financial auditor for Sedgwick County because she loved the community where she lives. She last worked for Harvey County in 2005 as the planning and zoning director.
“I had some good experiences in the past and I am excited about the opportunity to come back here,” she said.
Kingsley said she left in 2005 because the planning and zoning director position was part-time and she wanted to pursue a job that was more in alignment with her education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Wichita State University. She said her job for Sedgwick County was more finance-centric, based on Sedgwick’s sheer size.
“I feel like my role here will be a little bit broader involving all areas of the county and more in the realm of budgeting,” she said.
Kingsley said the challenge awaiting her was learning more about each individual department in the county. Budget season is around the corner and she said the coming months would be a good way to learn what makes every department function and thrive.
“I think that will probably be the biggest thing, getting to know the place and getting to know the county as a whole,” she said.
Kingsley previously worked for five years as a manager of financial reporting for a construction company in Wichita. She said salaries for city or county jobs might not be as competitive as the private sector, but she noted that government jobs also had a lot of benefits that some people might not think about.
“Being a public servant can be awarding in and of itself,” she said.
Kingsley and her husband, John, have two sons and a daughter who all live in Newton. They’re also experiencing the joys of being grandparents. Their granddaughter is 1-1/2 years old.
“I get all those things now about grandparents, what people mean by that,” she said. “It’s really fun, except it’s harder to keep up with them.”