Doug Leslie

Doug Leslie, Cape Girardeau's city manager for the past five-plus years, probably wouldn't be recognized on the street by most of the residents of the city he manages. That's fine with Leslie, whose career in city administration has focused on providing good municipal services with the most value for every tax dollar that was spent. Leslie is not flamboyant, nor has he ever sought the limelight in his capacity as city manager. The result: efficient, up-to-date, financially responsible city government. For that, Cape Girardeans owe Leslie an enormous debt of gratitude.

Come March 1, Leslie is retiring as city manager. This milestone caps a professional career that has spanned 35 years and just three cities, something of a rarity for city administrators who are often buffeted by the whims of elected officials and who move from city to city plying their trade.

Leslie's 19 years with Cape Girardeau's city government -- as public works director, interim city manager and city manager -- have been marked by careful attention to the details that result in the level of services expected by city taxpayers. The city has seen significant improvements during Leslie's tenure, including the successful passage of tax plans that fund such vital operations as street construction, storm-water improvements, public safety and parks.

City officials are starting the process of finding a new city manager. They face a big task -- one that will require meeting the high standards set by Doug Leslie.