Jeff Fisher

city of Grain Valley's director of public works

1 How did you become interested in public service?
Living it, actually – I lived in the community, and the city of Grain Valley was looking for their first city engineer. I thought that sounded interesting for many reasons, and I came in and talked with the former director of public works. He hired me, and it didn't take long to figure out that public service was a very rewarding arena. I just kind of fell in love with it.

2 Where did you grow up? What interests you about Eastern Jackson County?
I grew up in the Fort Osage area. I just feel some ownership in the community. My grandmother has lived in Grain Valley since 1977, so I'm familiar with this area and comfortable. It's a good area to raise a family.

3 I understand that there is a salt shortage nationwide. How is Grain Valley's salt supply?
I'm not sure if there's a salt shortage anymore. I'm not sure what the real story was. We put in a pre-order earlier this year. In September, we got a notice that it was canceled and come to find out that Blue Springs' was, as well. So, we were scrambling, trying to find alternative sources. A couple of weeks later, we get a couple of trucks in, all of a sudden, from the place that canceled us. Since then, we've been pretty fortunate to get the supplies that we needed. From my understanding, they've been out there working in the salt mines, and they've continued to work. So, I'm not sure where this phantom salt shortage came from. We're doing very well with our supplies right now.

4 What does a routine day at work consist of for you? How does inclement weather affect your work day?
A routine day consists of coordinating, assigning tasks, measuring progress – inclement weather really doesn't affect my day. I live five minutes away – it's just making sure that maintenance has everything they need to do their job well.

5 What do you see as the top priorities in Grain Valley?
The interchange, retail and industrial development – they're all three interconnected. Also, providing the long-term benefits that the community needs. The other top priority would be adding and replacing personnel with the right people – staff development, increasing professionalism, cultural change, adding expertise to staff where we need it. That's a big deal. Without the expertise and the right people, the rest of it doesn't mean anything.