There’s a new face over at City Hall greeting citizens as they come in to visit or attend meetings; Nathan Vander Plaats has taken over the reins as the new Lennox City Administrator.
Before coming to Lennox, Vander Plaats, who was originally from Orange City, IA, had a career that took him through a variety of pathways that led up to his opportunity to become a City Administrator. Vander Plaats attended Dort College for his undergrad in Political Science and got his first hands-on taste and experience with politics and policy when he interned for Democratic Senator Tom Harken his Senior year. According to Vander Plaats, one thing led to another, and after graduation he landed a job at Harken’s Sioux City office and later at Davenport, where he stayed for five years. He started off as a Caseworker for Harken and later was promoted to the Western Iowa Regional Director in 2009.
Vander Plaats explained how valuable his experience and time with Harken was, “I kinda got my feet wet in that part of the world but I was really more into the policy side than I was the politics. That’s really when I figured out that I wasn’t so interested in running for office as I was in making sure that government worked well. And that was basically my role with Senator Harken, making sure and having those checks and balances on federal agencies and their processes and making sure that they’re working well for their constituents.”
Vander Plaats then moved back to Sioux City after the regional director for Senator Harken, who just so happened to be the official that had hired him back when he was a college grad, was retiring. He put his application in, and long story short, ended up in Sioux City. Later in the same year that he moved to Sioux City he started his graduate school experience at Iowa State’s Master of Public Administration Program with a focus on city or county management in the future, which he completed in 2012.
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