San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 21st, 2010
Decision likely right after three city manager finalists meet public

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Jim Nuse, left, and Scott Moore, right, are two of the three finalists for the city manager position in San Marcos.

By ANDY SEVILLA
Associate Editor

The three finalists for city manager in San Marcos all have Texas ties. But the candidate with the most local ties has only a year of city manager experience in Peoria, IL.

Scott Moore, the Peoria city manager, graduated from Texas State with a bachelor’s in business administration before receiving a master’s in public administration from Wichita State.

The other candidates are Round Rock City Manager Jim Nuse, who has submitted his resignation for retirement effective in January, and Kilgore City Manager Jeffrey Howell.

The three finalists will be made public for a “meet and greet” session at the City of San Marcos Conference Center Wednesday from 5-6:30 p.m. The city council has called a special meeting for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the city manager vacancy in executive session. The city’s original timeline called for a decision on the city manager this week.

Moore became Peoria’s city manager in 2009 after four years as an assistant city manager in Wichita, KS. Moore served as city administrator for Ellsworth, KS, from June 1997-August 2005.

“I enjoy the challenges that we are working through in the City of Peoria, and it is also humbling to be approached by other communities who believe you possess the qualities that could be an asset to their organization,” Moore said in a statement issued by the City of Peoria.

Howell has more than 20 years of city government experience, according to San Marcos city documents. He also is credentialed with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and is a certified public manager.

Howell holds a bachelor’s of business administration from West Texas State and a master’s of business administration from Texas-Arlington.

Howell has served as Kilgore city manager since June 2005, and previously was city administrator of Bridgeport, TX, from June 1999-June 2005. Howell also has been an administrative services manager, fiscal services coordinator, fiscal officer, administrative assistant, municipal services specialist, and parkway inspector for the city of Fort Worth.

Nuse has served as Round Rock’s city manger since January 2003. In June, Nuse presented the city with his resignation for retirement, effective Jan. 15, 2011.

Nuse has worked for Round Rock in different capacities since 1983, serving first as an engineer and assistant director of public works, followed by service as public works director for 17 years, before being promoted to chief of operations/assistant city manager.

Nuse also worked for Tudor Engineering from 1981-1983, as well as for the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory from 1979-1981, and for the City of Austin from 1978-1979.

Nuse holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming, and he’s also completed graduate course work in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at University of Texas.

“There is never a perfect time to leave a place you love but some times are better than others,” Nuse said in his resignation letter. “Things are going very well in Round Rock. In spite of a down economy, Round Rock is in a very strong fiscal position, all major long and short term plans are up to date, we are nationally ranked for public safety and other important services, our utility is secure for the future, and I have confidence that the staff knows how to keep moving in the right direction.”

Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw said Nuse has had a successful career in the city and the city’s next city manager will follow an impressive legacy.

“He’s done an incredible job developing the critical infrastructure of one of the fastest-growing cities in the country,” McGraw said in a city statement. “As a public servant, he’s always been accessible and responsive to citizens and the business community, and has cultivated an open and transparent approach to addressing the challenges facing Round Rock.”

The new city manager will replace Rick Menchaca, who the city council fired by a 4-3 vote on June 24. Menchaca was the city manager in San Marcos for two years. The city paid Menchaca $170,000 per year.

Peoria is paying Moore $165,000, hiring him as the city’s third city manager in three years. According to the Peoria Journal-Star, Peoria faces a potential budget deficit of $10-14 million.

Round Rock is paying Nuse $180,939. Last month, Nuse presented a budget to the Round Rock City Council calling for a property tax rate of 41 cents for an $81.1 million general fund budget.

Kilgore is paying Howell $103,429, with a car allowance of $7,200, according to the Kilgore News Herald. Howell oversees an operating budget of $20.056 million.

Below are some of the demographics of San Marcos in comparison with the city where the three finalists presently are working, with all figures from the U.S. Census Bureau:

San Marcos: Estimated 2009 population, 53,205. 2000 population, 34,733, including 72.6 percent white, 5.5 percent African-American and 36.5 percent Hispanic or Latino. As of 2000, 79.5 percent of persons 25 or older had a high school diploma or higher, and 29 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. As of 2000, the owner-occupied home ownership rate was 30.2 percent, and the median home value was $83,400. The 1999 median household income was $25,199, the per capita income was $13,468 and 28.5 percent of all persons lived below the poverty level.

Round Rock: Estimated 2009 population, 105,424. 2000 population, 61,136, including 76.8 percent white, 7.7 percent African-American and 22.1 percent Hispanic or Latino. As of 2000, 89.6 percent of persons 25 and older had a high school diploma or higher, and 32.9 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. As of 2000, the owner-occupied homeownership rate was 65.3 percent, and the median home value was $119,600. As of 1999, the median household income was $60,354, the per capita income was $24,911 and four percent of all persons lived below the poverty level.

Kilgore: Estimated 2009 population, 12,176. 2000 population, 11,301, including 78.2 percent white, 12.3 percent African-American and 11.1 percent Hispanic or Latino. As of 2000, 76.5 percent of persons 25 or older had at least a high school diploma, and 17.1 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. As of 2000, the owner-occupied homeownership rate was 67.8 percent, and the median home value was $57,700. As of 1999, the median household income was $33,910 and the per capita income was $16,314. As of 2000, 13.8 percent of all persons lived below the poverty level.

Peoria: Estimated 2009 population, 115,520. 2000 population, 112,936, including 69.3 percent white, 24.8 percent African-American and 2.5 percent Hispanic or Latino. As of 2000, 82.8 percent of persons 25 and older had at least a high school diploma, and 28 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. As of 2000, the owner-occupied homeownership rate was 59.7 percent, and the median home value was $85,400. As of 1999, the median household income was $36,397, the per capita income was $20,512 and 18.8 percent of all persons lived below poverty level.

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0 thoughts on “Decision likely right after three city manager finalists meet public

  1. Wow. Council isn’t even pretending to give a damn what the public thinks anymore. Is there anything that screams “token” any more than having an executive session to make a decision IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE FIRST PUBLIC EVENT where the candidates are revealed?

    Is there a way to get rid of the whole council in November – not just the ones up for re-election? Or maybe sooner?

  2. Before we get rid of the whole council let us see how it votes. I suspect some, possible a minority but some, are as disgusted by this as we are. Everyone running for the council or mayor should be required to say if they agree with this ridiculous rush to hire a city manager.

  3. Dano, there are in theory provisions for a recall election, but since 4 seats are up in November, and two more are up in a little more than a year, only one seat could reasonably have a recall petition passed around. Not to mention the workload and difficulty involved.

  4. Is there no stopping this ‘runaway train’….. it is going to crash!…and we become the victims! How can the council get away with such total disregard for its citizens! The town folks speak to a council that has deaf ears. This council keeps making decisions that could possibly tie the hands of the new council (at this point, we definitely hope it is a NEW council!)Isn’t there some way to stop this hiring process or at least slow it down so that the new members can have a voice in this major decision…. and Paso Robles…and form base code…and…… what happened to the ‘lame duck’ syndrome…. something every government body experiences before a large general election….. or is that everywhere except San Marcos?

  5. Larry,

    I think anyone will answer “Well, no! Of course I am not in support of a ‘ridiculous rush!'”

    Be careful how you phrase your questions, surveys, and evaluations, or your data can get real skewed real quick with bias wording.

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