"The people have been really helpful and friendly. I feel that this is a good fit for me," Shanahan said.
He added, "I'm really fortunate and the county is fortunate in how dedicated and knowledgeable the people in the engineer's office are."
Larry Clark, the county engineer since Jan. 1, 1995, will officially retire at the end of June. It was decided to have the new engineer start a month earlier to make the transition smoother.
When Clark originally announced his retirement last year, he had been concerned that there might be difficulty in finding candidates for the position since the availability of engineers is tight, but Cherokee County has a reputation as a good place for an engineer to work so there turned out to be a good selection of applicants for the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors to choose from.
Besides the supervisors, Shanahan has contacted each of the county department heads since he began his duties.
Shanahan last served as county engineer in Page County Iowa. He has also worked in Texas and in Minnesota since graduating from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Shanahan is a Nebraska native, having graduated from high school in 1974 at Wahoo, Neb.
He sees the major challenge facing him as county engineer is the rising cost of projects. Not only fuel, but all construction material is increasing dramatically in price.
Shanahan says that he will do the best job he can with the resources he has available.