Pursuing the Higher Good

OUTdrive episode 120 with Andrew Dawson

OUTdrive Episode 120 with Andrew Dawson

Local governments address issues that have an impact on nearly everyone who lives, works or plays within city limits. If you look around rural communities, you’ll see that many public servants are our neighbors, co-workers, and local business owners. Unlike federal lawmakers, these individuals actually have skin in the game. For today’s episode, I had the privilege of sitting down with Andrew Dawson, mayor of Sedalia, to discuss the opportunities, challenges, and projects that lie ahead for Sedalia and communities like it.

Andrew was elected mayor in April of 2022. He gained several years of experience in local government as a Sedalia second ward city councilman and serving a stint as mayor pro tem. Andrew is passionate about community engagement and redevelopment, and sees Sedalia’s growth as secondary to serving citizens, which he considers the city’s primary stakeholders. Andrew is a life-long Sedalian and proud Smith-Cotton alumni. A true servant leader, he also serves on Board of Trustees for Bothwell Regional Health Center.

Local governments address and balance the needs of both the city and its citizens. Tune into this episode to hear from Sedalia Mayor Andrew Dawson on public servanthood and why you can’t approach a public entity with a private sector mindset.


  • 1:50 – Andrew’s background and growing up in Sedalia, Missouri
  • 3:45 – The types of communications and messages that Andrew fields daily as mayor
  • 4:45 – What led Andrew into local government and how being a council member helped prepare him for his current role
  • 7:45 – Cliff and Andrew discuss what the opportunities are for the Sedalia community
  • 10:00 – Andrew outlines his activities as a council member for the Second Ward and where he found success in connecting with the public
  • 11:30 – Cliff and Andrew discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of the city in the coming years, including addressing housing and a new sewer plant
  • 14:00 – Andrew shares the ways community members can stay informed and be involved in local government
  • 15:00 – Cliff and Andrew talk about some of the challenges that come with the role as mayor, from delegating to balancing the needs of the many to the needs of the few
  • 16:30 – Opportunities for improved technology or automation in city departments
  • 17:45 – Andrew breaks down the differences in the business approach between the public and private sector
  • 21:30 – Andrew and Cliff talk about what they enjoy about traveling and about living in rural America
  • 24:00 – Andrew talks about the City’s partnership with the Missouri State Fair, the tourism impact and what it means to our community
  • 27:00 – Andrew shares his closing thoughts on finding the “why” behind any situation