By Sarah Chacko
Killeen Daily Herald
As outgoing City Manager David Blackburn enters his last week at City Hall, the City Council moved forward on the appointment of an interim.
Assistant City Manager of Administrative Services Connie Green was chosen to be acting city manager during a special council meeting Monday morning.
The council met in closed session for about an hour and 15 minutes most of which was spent with Green before reconvening to vote on the action.
All of the six council members present voted in favor of Green. Mayor Maureen Jouett said absent councilman Eddie Vale Jr. indicated earlier that if he was present, he would have approved.
Green expressed his gratitude to the council for their confidence in him.
Im going to make you proud of me and the city staff, Green said.
Jouett said she was happy the council arrived at a united decision.
She said Blackburn agreed to facilitate a smooth transition.
We are good to go, Jouett said.
Blackburn, who is leaving Killeen to fill the Temple city manager position, said he has complete confidence in Green as an interim or for whatever period of time the council decides on.
He (Green) has done a very good job and I expect that to continue, Blackburn said.
Since tendering his resignation last week, Blackburn said he has met with Assistant City Manager of Community Services Don Christian and Green to hammer out some of the issues with the transition.
Green, 43, came to Killeen in 1990 as the finance director. He added assistant city manager to his title in 2001.
As acting city manager, Green will receive the same package as Blackburn $130,000 in annual salary, plus benefits which is customary because of the added responsibilities, Jouett said.
Councilman Fred Latham said Green has proven to be capable of filling the interim position through his 15-year employment with the city.
He has a confidence about him today that is remarkable, Latham said.
Mayor Pro Tem Tim Hancock said he preferred to have someone from the current city staff who has knowledge of the city to fill the acting city manager position.
I think Green will do a real good job if the council will work with him and give him the opportunity to do what we all know he can do, Hancock said.
Councilman Dick Young said he was glad to choose a person to fill the interim position from within the city because it sends a good message to the community and staff.
Police Chief Dennis Baldwin said he thinks city staff across the board will be pleased with the councils decision.
I think hes the best person for the job, Baldwin said. The council couldnt have done any better.
Young said Greens financial background will provide insight into project funding as they enter the budget process.
Green said the budget will be one of the first challenges he will undertake but that he is looking forward to getting started.
Im ready to go to work, he said.
Green said he will also focus on the success of the citys state and federal legislative agendas, and maintain a partnership with the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce and the Killeen Economic Development Corporation.
The council did not discuss what process it will take in finding a permanent city manager.
Hancock said he thinks the council will decide what the next step will be probably by next week but that the council should take its time and be thorough.
To ensure a broad, professional search and have as many qualified candidate choices as possible, Hancock said he preferred hiring a search agency.
You dont just get them by putting an ad in the paper, Hancock said.
Young said with the interim spot filled, he feels comfortable taking time to decide on a search path for the position.
Latham said if Green as acting city manager shows that he is worthy of consideration for the permanent position, that is an option the council will weigh.
However, that discussion will have to wait for a time when all the council members can discuss the issue, Latham said.
Green said if the opportunity to become city manager arose, he would be interested in applying, but in the meantime hopes he can prove that he can do the job as the interim.
It will kind of be an evaluation period, Green said. I just want to show the council I can do a good and effective job.
Contact Sarah Chacko at email@example.com