One of the city's newest hires was honored recently in Kansas for his contributions there.

Community development/grant coordinator Larry Eller won the Kansas Chapter National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials Nadine Burch Award for his “outstanding contribution to improve the quality of life for Kansans through his leadership, advocacy, commitment, and volunteerism in the field of affordable housing and community development.”

Eller worked for the City of Parsons for 27 years as the community development director and was able to obtain grants from “every available resource,” according to a statement realeased by the City of Miami last week.

Officials say Eller's work directly benefited the low-income, elderly, and handicapped citizens.

Friend and co-worker Deena Hallacy said, “Larry is the most positive person to be around, even in the most adverse situations he found the ray of sunshine in every event. It was very special for me to be able to present the award to Larry.”

Hallacy went on to say that she and Eller “survived over the years” as they have been colleagues for more than 20 years.

“The City of Miami is very fortunate to have Larry as your cheerleader. He will do a wonderful job and I wish him the best of luck,” Hallacy said. “ Never territorial, he wanted everyone to be successful. He will be missed by the State of Kansas and especially by the many friends he has made over the years.”

Eller joined the City of Miami in 2006 and has since began the processes here that brought him success in Kansas, having already obtained funding to help improve low-income housing conditions and boost opportunities for first-time home buyers.

“We are very fortunate to have Larry on our team. I knew a year before he started he was the right guy for the job. In his short tenure with us, he has already proven to be a real asset to our organization and community,” City Manager Michael L. Spurgeon said.

For more information about Eller, log onto the city's Web site at miamiok.org.