Morgantown Summer 2021 Edition

THIS MATTERS

a really good staff here. Also, with a larger community base comes more expertise— we can tap into resources at the university, and there’s the broader base of community nonprofit organizations and efforts in Morgantown. So I see Morgantown’s larger size as a great opportunity. What do you see as Morgantown’s potential? KH Morgantown’s at the foot of the Appalachian mountains, where there are unending recreational opportunities. It’s the center of Rails-to-Trails efforts that link this whole region together. I’m aware of a huge effort to try to bring back the waterway as an economic tool. You throw into that the university, development of the airport, and the area being a retail hub for the entire region, and I think the potential is limitless from a development standpoint. The key is, how do we manage that growth so we don’t lose sight of the quality of life we expect? I think if we can keep our emphasis on pedestrian walkways and rail-trails and biking and keep our eyes on green space while there’s growth going on around it, there’s such great potential. Tell us about your family. KH My wife, Toni, and I knew each other in high school. She’s an RN who has chosen most of that time to stay home with family and kids. We were foster parents, and we adopted three of our foster children, so we have 10 children altogether and 30 grandchildren. When we get together, we’d probably fill the Event Center at the Marriott—it’s a joyous occasion, and loud. What do you do for fun? KH I’ve been registered with the Boy Scouts of America for probably 45 years. I was a scoutmaster for each one of my boys, so five times, and I have served on executive boards of the different councils, so I’ve spent a lot of time outdoors with young men, and teaching them. I like woodworking. I’m a violinist—I played in the Arizona State University symphony when I was getting my undergraduate degree there and have kept it up over time. And I still play basketball, for fun and exercise. This interview was edited for length. interviewed by pam kasey

WHO’S THIS

Meet Kim Haws Morgantown’s new city manager brings experience, enthusiasm, and readiness for a pick-up game.

What municipal issues are closest to your heart?

➼ AS OF DECEMBER, Morgantown has a new city manager. Kim Haws comes to us after 20 years as city manager of Bridgeport, a West Virginia community that is admired statewide for its economic development and the state- of-the-art Bridgeport Recreation Complex. We caught up with Haws to learn his views on city management, family, and fun. What is your greatest strength as a city manager? KH City manager is not a position you can dabble in—you have to immerse yourself in it. So I think one of my strengths is that I get very involved. I integrate well. And I would say that I’m a very good communicator.

KH I encourage our staff to be part of the solution—that really does make us more effective public servants. I’ve also spent a lot of my career fostering public–private relationships that have to exist in order for economic development to occur. Morgantown is four times the size of Bridgeport. How do you expect the dynamic to be different, from your office’s perspective? KH I have to rely more upon other people to make things happen, but I’m blessed with

12 MORGANTOWN SUMMER 2021

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