Once again, Killeen finds itself at a crossroads.
With Abettor Burghal Ambassador Dennis Baldwin’s accepting aftermost anniversary that he affairs to retire in January, the burghal will accept to adjudge what aisle to booty with his successor.
It’s not an bush hire.
With his 35 years of acquaintance with the burghal — 12 of those as badge arch — Baldwin takes with him a abundance of institutional knowledge, and that can’t be discounted.
After confined as acting burghal ambassador for four months above-mentioned to Burghal Ambassador Ron Olson’s hiring in February 2017, Olson asked Baldwin to break on in adjustment to accommodate ambience and continuity.
And while Olson brought added than 38 years of acquaintance as a burghal ambassador to the position, he was new to Killeen and the administration anatomy at Burghal Hall.
That’s breadth Baldwin accepted abnormally valuable, and Olson accustomed that, to his credit.
However, by the time Baldwin retires aing year, Olson will accept spent about two years in the city’s top authoritative post. During that time, he has crafted two counterbalanced budgets and reworked abounding of the city’s administration practices and spending protocols. He has rectified best problems articular in an alien administration ysis performed in the summer of 2017 and has taken accomplish to advance cooperation and advice amid burghal departments.
In short, Olson is absolutely up to speed.
However, that doesn’t beggarly he doesn’t charge addition to ample Baldwin’s post. In a growing burghal of added than 140,000 people, the charge for an abettor burghal ambassador is appealing abundant a given.
The catechism is, what affectionate of being should the burghal attending for to ample the role?
It comes bottomward to allotment addition with ties to the bounded association or attractive alfresco the area.
While board associates may be added adequate bringing in addition who is already affiliated to the bounded area, that may not be the best action for the burghal — abnormally in the connected term.
When the Burghal Board agreed to appoint Olson in aboriginal 2017, the burghal handed the authoritative reins to an alien for the aboriginal time in 24 years. That dates aback to 1993, back Tal Buie was assassin afterwards confined as Sherman’s burghal manager.
The aftermost three abiding burghal managers — David Blackburn, Connie Green and Glenn Morrison — were all assassin from aural the burghal staff. Likewise, Baldwin and Ann Farris — both of whom served as acting burghal managers afterwards Morrison retired in April 2016, were confused into the top atom from aural the burghal ranks.
While all of Killeen’s contempo burghal managers above-mentioned to Olson had able institutional ability and acquaintance with the city, their abridgement of an outsider’s angle and above-mentioned burghal administration acquaintance bedfast their capability to some degree.
The alfresco administration auditors acicular to some of those areas in their 2017 address — weakness in centralized banking controls, bizarre recordkeeping, abundant use of action funds to abutment the accepted fund, and a accepted history of absurdity that impacted approaching budgets.
While Olson has done abundant to adjust these problems, the charge for connected acuity is crucial.
Olson is to be commended for implementing stronger controls and stricter guidelines in the city’s banking affairs — as able-bodied as reviewing and alteration the administration anatomy at Burghal Hall.
However, it charge be acclaimed that Olson was 67 back he was hired, and he can’t be accepted to break on forever.
That’s why it’s acute that the new abettor burghal ambassador be addition with burghal ambassador acceptance and acquaintance active a municipality.
In added words, the being the board hires should be addition who can footfall in and do Olson’s job appropriate away, should Olson adjudge to leave or retire. Ideally, the applicant called for the abettor burghal ambassador position should be addition in Olson’s cast — a able ambassador with acquaintance and a beginning set of eyes.
No doubt, board associates will feel some burden to “hire local,” to accompany in addition with ties to the community.
And while that makes faculty on some level, it would be counterproductive to appoint addition with links to the business, development or absolute acreage association — no amount how aerial those links ability be.
It’s additionally important that the being assassin be able to abide the all-too-common burden from “the acceptable ol’ boy network” that “we’ve consistently done it this way” or “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
For too long, consistently accomplishing it the way it had been done put Killeen’s affairs in a bind. And for too long, burghal assembly couldn’t or wouldn’t accede that some of their methods were burst and bare fixing.
It took an alien like Ron Olson to cull the burghal out of its rut — and it’s in the city’s best absorption to attending to addition accomplished alien to assignment beneath Olson and abide to move the burghal forward.
The abettor burghal manager’s job was acquaint this anniversary — at a starting bacon of $140,000 additional car allowance.
Hopefully, the board will accept resumes from several able candidates. And hopefully they will accept wisely.
Indeed, Killeen is at a capital — and the city’s abiding approaching may be at stake.
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