Manager's Profile

Now in her eleventh year as city manager of Derby, Kansas (population 23,633), Kathleen B. Sexton has led successful efforts to design and gain approval of a curbside single-stream recycling and trash franchise that reduced rates and enhanced service for more than 95% of residents, an indoor smoking ordinance, and a partnership with the Derby Chamber of Commerce to develop and manage the Derby Welcome Center.

About Derby

The City of Derby has a $38 million annual budget, 242 employees, and a steady mill levy. It is a full-service city providing water, sewer, police, fire, and other municipal services in the metropolitan Wichita area of south-central Kansas. Derby is the 18th largest city in the state.

Key Decisions

During her tenure, Sexton has made key hires for police chief, city attorney and human resources director. The organizational structure has adapted to meet the needs of the growing city, and employee benefits have been modified to adjust to market conditions and changing financial realities. Business hours for most city offices have expanded to meet customer needs (Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) in a budget-neutral manner while also providing additional flexibility to many employees.

Capital Projects

Significant capital projects accomplished during her tenure include:
  • New Public Works Facility and Public Library
  • Addition of several miles of bike path to the city's current 25-mile system
  • Expansion of arterial streets Rock Road, Meadowlark Boulevard, Madison Avenue, and Buckner Street
  • Extension of a major sewer interceptor to serve new developments
  • Design and development of three new parks (under construction)
During this same time period, commercial development has been prolific including retail, medical, and multi-family housing. Construction of single-family homes has occurred at a pace of 45-100 new homes per year. Proactive communications and strong partnerships have been keys to Derby's success.

Governing Body

Of the nine members of the original governing body that hired Sexton in March 2006, two remain. The political climate is stable, the relationship with the at-large mayor and city council (four wards) is healthy. The mayor and city council provide annual performance feedback to Sexton.

Education & Service

Ms. Sexton earned the Master of Public Administration in 1992 and a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1989 from Wichita State University. She serves as Treasurer of the Kansas Association of City/County Management (KACM) and is a Credentialed Manager with the International City/County Management Association.

Kathy is active in service to the community through the Rotary Club of Derby, St. Mary Catholic Church, and the Derby Community Foundation.

In 2015, she completed a three-year term on the Governor's Council on Fitness, service on the Board of Directors and Governance Committee Chairmanship of the Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care, and a four-year term as a sustaining member of the Junior League of Wichita's Personnel Committee. In 2011, she completed a three-year term on the American Red Cross Central Plains Blood Services Division Board of Directors. In 2008, the WSU Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs recognized Ms. Sexton with the Alumni Award for Outstanding Public Service.


Ms. Sexton was assistant county manager of Sedgwick County Government from 2001 to 2006. As such, she led and managed an urban/rural county organization with a $345 million budget and 2,700 FTE positions.

When Kathy worked in the governor's budget office in Topeka, she founded the Capital-Area Chapter of the Wichita State University Alumni Association to provide alumni living in Topeka and Lawrence with an opportunity to connect with each other and support the Shockers.


Kathy is a lifelong Kansan, having been raised on a farm in southeast Kansas near the City of Walnut and having attended Girard High School. She is married to Eric Sexton. They reside in Derby.

Updated July 2017.