COVER PHOTO: In Kilgore, Scott Sellers oversaw privately funded restoration of historical buildings and implemented capital improvements like a citywide index of street conditions. PHOTO by JAMES DRAPER FOR THE KILGORE NEWS-HERALD
by BRAD ROLLINS
KYLE — Assuming the parties can agree on contract terms, the top municipal administrator in the East Texas oil patch town of Kilgore has been named as the next city manager here.
On Tuesday, council members voted 7-0 to offer the position to Scott Sellers, who has been city manager in Kilgore since October 2011.
In that job, Sellers, 35, led efforts to designate a downtown entertainment district and restore two Art Deco-style movie theaters in the central business district. He also implemented cost-cutting measures that include putting firefighters to work surveying street pavement conditions and, for a few months at least, maintaining a golf course bought from a financially distressed country club. Detailing first responders to other city business saved taxpayers about $200,000, Sellers said.
Kyle Mayor Todd Webster said Sellers’ downtown redevelopment experience helped his résumé stand out among 46 applications.
“The consensus was that Scott was the person that will take the city to the next level. He brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm; that’s what we believe he will bring to city,” Webster said.
At a rare weekend meeting on Nov. 15, council members interviewed Sellers and four other finalists for the position: Copperas Cove City Manager Andrea Gardner; Lawton, Okla. City Manager Bryan Long; Wichita Falls Assistant City Manager Kevin Hugman; and former Round Rock City Manager Steve Norwood.
Previously, Sellers worked as an assistant city manager in Montrose, Colo. between August 2008 and October 2011, and in Centralia, Ill. between June 2006 and August 2008.
With an estimated 14,518 residents in 2013, Kilgore is considerably smaller than Kyle, the population of which swelled from 5,314 in 2000 to an estimated 31,760 last year.
Sellers will be only the third full-time manager in the city’s 119-year history, succeeding Lanny Lambert, who held the position between December 2010 and August 2014, and Tom Mattis, who held the position between January 2002 and April 2010. Founded by the International-Great Northern Railroad in the late 19th century, Kyle residents voted to incorporate in 1895 before reversing themselves two years later; the current municipal government was formed in 1906.
This story includes reporting from Hays Free Press reporter MOSES LEO III originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.
PHOTO by ALISON MASIS. SAN MARCOS MERCURY GRAPHIC by BRAD ROLLINS.Email | Print