By Sarah Chacko

Killeen Daily Herald

As the citys chain of command settles into place, an open department head position is coming close to being filled.

A new aviation director is being sought and could be named within two weeks.

Assistant City Manager Don Christian, who was the former aviation director for about 11 years, said he is moving forward with the process.

Christian received 22 applications for the position, and after conducting some initial interviews, is in the process of narrowing down the list.

Christian said the position requires a person with varying assets to offer the city.

Were looking for a person with many skills because there are a lot of issues as aviation director that you have to work with, he said.

Experience in financial management, grant applications, day-to-day airport operations, knowledge of the political process that the city works through, as well as military or joint-use experience are some of the main criteria Christian said he is looking for.

Though both airports are running smoothly right now, Christian said, the growth at the regional airport will produce some challenges. Several ongoing projects at both the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport and Skylark Field will require the new director to come in quickly and start working.

Acting City Manager Connie Green said the incoming director should have experience with similar clientele that the citys airports service and be successful with the programs that have already helped the airport facilities.

Christian said there are several good applicants, which makes the decision a hard and time-consuming one, but he plans on making a final decision within two weeks.

The department still falls under Christians oversight, and he said he will work with the new director as much as necessary but plans on utilizing Acting Director Jim Liv-ingston as much as possible.

Livingston was formerly assistant aviation director a position that was created last year and before that was operations manager for nine years.

As far as filling in, Livingston said its not anything new.

When Christian moved up to assistant city manager, Livingston said he expected to undertake the position as interim.

As assistant director, Livingston was making an annual salary of $52,140, which was increased to $56,436 for the promotion to acting director. While he was acting director, the council approved a 2.3 percent pay increase for all city employees, bumping Livingstons salary up to $57,734.

While still fulfilling his duties as second-in-command, Livingston said he did take on additional responsibility things the director would normally do, like attending executive meetings and having the final say on budget decisions.

I delegate as much as I can, Livingston said. But theres nobody new to backfield me.

Though he will be working closely with the future director, Livingston said he did not apply for the position.

Im very happy doing the work Ive been doing, he said.

Green said he expects the new director will be as prosperous as the last.

Were hoping to find someone who can continue to build on the success Don Christian has brought as aviation director, he said.

Contact Sarah Chacko at

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