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Former Lincoln mayoral aide to serve as Ralston city administrator
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Former Lincoln mayoral aide to serve as Ralston city administrator

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The man who spent 12 years helping Mayor Chris Beutler run the city of Lincoln will start 2020 helping run Ralston.

Ralston Mayor Don Groesser picked Rick Hoppe to be the city administrator of the Omaha suburb.

The chief attraction for Hoppe, who was Beutler's chief of staff, is the $200 million project to revitalize the downtown area around Ralston Arena, he said.

He believes the so-called Hinge Project there will have a huge economic impact and represents a rare opportunity for him.

"A $200 million project in Lincoln is a big deal," Hoppe said in an interview last week. "It’s a really big deal in a town of 8,000 people."

Groesser and Ralston's City Council members impressed him with their cohesiveness and shared vision for the city, Hoppe said.

He'll continue to live in Lincoln and will miss the people he worked with during his time in city government here, he said.

After Leirion Gaylor Baird became mayor and her staff moved in, Hoppe said he looked at a number of jobs in the public and private sectors.

He applied to be Lancaster County's chief administrative officer, the replacement to Kerry Eagan who is retiring.

County officials are still interviewing for that position.

But in Ralston, Hoppe found a good fit, he said.

In his new job, Hoppe will be paid an annual salary of $115,000, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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