By Judy Pack
Killeen Daily Herald
The Village of Salado, and at least two additional area communities yet to be named, are one step closer to having access to the assistance of a professional city manager after the Central Texas Council of Governments executive board approved creating a full-time governmental services director position recently.
We presented the plan as an informational report, and got the green light from the board to go forward with our plan, said Jim Reed, executive director of CTCOG.
The COGs goal is to locate and hire a qualified candidate to look after the small communitys day-to-day governmental operations by August, Reed said, which will give the newly hired director time to become familiar with the job tasks before the fall budget begins.
The newly created position will serve as a city manager for smaller communities with limited budgets and fewer job tasks, and funded primarily through CTCOG.
We are planning on something around $100,000 [for the budget] right now, Reed said. It depends on the person we hire. If we find someone whos a retired city manager, he may want to do the work per job, or we may be funding a full-time employee with benefits, expenditures, travel expenses.
A formal invitation form to participate in the program to share a city manager will be sent by the end of this week to area towns that have no city manager and are under a certain population, Reed said. Cities will have two weeks to reply to the invitation to participate in the program, whether it is on a half-time basis, quarter-time, or at an hourly rate.
We have had one community, the Village of Salado, that has come forward and wants to participate, Reed said. If we can get at least 75 percent of the persons position budgeted, we will go ahead with it, and do it for a year.
Reed said when the COG gets 75 percent of the position paid, it can begin to advertise for the position.
If we give the cities two weeks to respond, list the position in June for two weeks and interview in July, we can possibly bring someone on board in August, he said. That wont be too early before the start of the budget.
Reed is enthusiastic about starting the program, but is realistic about the costs involved for small-city budgets.
Representatives from the cities of Lometa and Nolanville have also expressed an interest in participating, he said, but the group has had only one informal meeting about the process.
Once they see the numbers, the cities will be able to decide if they can afford to participate in it or not, he added.
Salado Mayor Rick Ashe said the Village of Salado definitely wants to participate in the program, but hasnt discussed the exact costs involved yet.
Sharing a city manager will be a way to help us, Ashe said. It will help us cut down on expenditures such as our legal representatives and engineering.
Having access to an expert in such matters as city ordinances and street repairs will eliminate the need for legal fees and the engineer, he said.
Nolanville Mayor Mike Carter did not immediately return phone calls to the Killeen Daily Herald.
Contact Judy Pack at firstname.lastname@example.org