DSS Commissioner Bremby a finalist for Kansas post

This is a photo of Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby

Arielle Levin Becker / The CT Mirror

Roderick L. Bremby

State Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby is one of three finalists to become city manager of Lawrence, Kansas, where he once served as assistant city manager.

Bremby said in a statement Wednesday morning that he was recruited to be a candidate, and noted that he completed his degrees and spent most of his adult life in Lawrence.

“I’m honored to be considered because that’s where my roots are,” Bremby said. But he added that while the process runs its course, he is focused on continuing his work at the Department of Social Services, including implementing changes in the department’s technology and work processes.

“If this does not represent an appropriate fit, I intend to continue our service transformation agenda at DSS,” he said.

Bremby, 55, has led DSS since 2011 after spending more than 20 years in government and university posts in Kansas, including eight years as secretary of the state’s Department of Health and Environment and nine years as Lawrence’s assistant city manager. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kansas at Lawrence.

Lawrence Mayor Mike Amyx named Bremby as one of three finalists for the city manager job during a city commission meeting Tuesday night. The other candidates are Cheryl Harrison-Lee, the city administrator of Gardner, Kansas, and Thomas Markus, city manager of Iowa City, Iowa.

At DSS, Bremby oversees a $7 billion state agency that serves close to 1 million people. The agency is responsible for the state’s Medicaid program, which covered 716,833 people as of last month, as well as a range of other social service programs.

In May 2014, Bremby was named a finalist for the city manager post in Fort Worth, Texas, but later withdrew his name from consideration. He said at the time that he had not been looking for another job but had been recruited for the position by an executive search firm.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy picked Bremby to lead the social services department at the recommendation of then-U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, the former governor of Kansas and Bremby’s former boss when he led that state’s health and environment agency.