By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

He is a family man, a father of three and husband for 14 years, a man who likes the outdoors, a man who enjoys rolling up his sleeves to work with Harker Heights residents.

David Mitchell, the former management sssistant for Harker Heights, will fulfill the city's open position as Planning and Development director.

Mitchell has worked for the past four years in Harker Heights as the city planner and the management assistant and will come up on his fifth-year anniversary of employment in January.

"I am closing on my five-year pin, which will be something I will be proud to get," Mitchell said.

As the city planner, Mitchell worked with the city's Geographic Information System and helped contribute to the long term planning of the city under the guidance of Ray Shanaa, the former Planning and Development director who left to work for Killeen early this month.

Holding the position of management assistant, Mitchell got a chance to work with other cities and with residents to accomplish goals and projects for Harker Heights, and it allowed him to work directly with city manager Steve Carpenter.

Mitchell believes holding both the positions in Harker Heights will lead to a better understanding of the position he was recently promoted to, but he still has a lot to learn.

"I have some big shoes to fill," Mitchell said. "Doctor Ray was a great leader. He was my mentor in many ways. ... We are going to continue that tradition that Ray established in Harker Heights."

Mitchell received a master's degree in Public administration from the University of Texas Arlington and a bachelor's degree in Forestry from Auburn.

Prior to coming to Harker Heights he served in the private sector of forestry in Georgia for nine years.

"I saw the need to change careers paths and took the risk," Mitchell said. "Again, I found my passion when I started working with the city."

Mitchell enjoys working with the residents of Harker Heights and well as other local governments, the state government and other entities to better the city.

"There is a lot of things that I could look back on, but probably the thing that I have enjoyed the most is meeting the need of the citizens and exceeding their expectation," Mitchell said.

In his spare time, Mitchell is devoted to his family. He has been married for 14 years to his wife, Angela, and they have three boys: Jacob, 9, and Austin and Jared, 5-year-old identical twins.

While Mitchell was never a big athlete growing up, his children are. Mitchell's boys play everything from soccer to baseball to basketball, he said. Mitchell as been so involved with their learning of the sports that he has been a coach many times, and is currently the assistant coach of Jacob's baseball team.

"It is a blast," Mitchell said. "One of the most rewarding parts is you see them mature. They are at a great age. It is like being a first grade teacher – you know how you love your first-grade teacher, they love their coach too."

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7554.

Monday Profile Glance

Name: David Mitchell

Place of Birth: Dothan, Ala.

Occupation: Harker Heights Planning and Development Director

Family: Married 14 years to wife, Angela; father of Jacob, 9, and Austin and Jared, 5 year-old twins.

Favorite Movie: We just don't see a whole lot of movies.

Favorite Book: Historical war novels by Steven Pressfield.

Favorite Quote: I can't think of one that is my favorite over others.

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