Tom Hadden, who brought a conservation ethic as executive director of the Metro Waste Authority, will be the next West Des Moines city manager, Mayor Steve Gaer said this afternoon.

Hadden was offered the job today and accepted today. He was Gaer's first choice to replace outgoing City Manager Greg Sparks, who did not ask to have his contract renewed.

West Des Moines City Council members have interviewed Hadden individually since December, when Gaer advanced his name as someone who would be a perfect fit for the city.

"He has accomplished a lot in Central Iowa," Gaer said. Hadden has been been city administrator of Altoona and president of the Southeast Polk School Board. "My feeling was we knew what we were looking for."

Hadden, who has been executive director of the Metro Waste Authority since 1996, currently serves as chairman of the Solid Waste Regional Planning Committee and has served leadership roles with the Watershed Planning Advisory Committee, the Governor's Water Quality Task Force, Wastewater Reclamation Authority and Iowa Environmental Council.

He has master's degrees in environmental engineering (Iowa State University) and business administration (University of Iowa). His bachelor's degree in biology was from Iowa State. His first ambition was to be a crime scene technician with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also has worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Hadden has triggered conservation efforts across the metro area, influencing a unique residential standard adopted by Hubbell Realty Co. and turning a landfill in eastern Polk County into a virtual nature preserve.

West Des Moines City Council members have interviewed Hadden since December, when Gaer went to the council and advanced Hadden's name for city manager.

"It would take someone from outside the area 15 years to develop the relationships that Tom has," Gaer said. "He can hit the ground running on day one."

Hadden will be paid $177,000. He is tentatively scheduled to begin work June 1.