City Manager McDaniel to stay in ETexas

Published on Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00 - Written by Kelly Gooch

City Manager Mark McDaniel will stay in East Texas for the time being.

McDaniel was among four finalists for the Fort Worth city manager’s position.

After going through interviews, the Fort Worth City Council decided to have a search firm seek more candidates, according to a news release.

“All of the candidates were strong, but I don’t believe we’ve found the best fit,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said in the news release. “We appreciate all the candidates who were gracious enough to spend time with us. All of them are outstanding professionals, and I know they will continue to do great things in their respective communities. Our expectations are high, but we’re not going to settle for anything less than the best fit for Fort Worth. On Tuesday, the city council will discuss how we move forward. This is one of the biggest decisions we will make as a city council, and I’m confident that we’ll find the right person.”

Jason Lamers, chief of staff for the Fort Worth mayor and City Council, said the goal is to interview more candidates in the next two months.

The search for the Fort Worth city manager position started in October after the current city manager - Tom Higgins, who has held the position for three years - announced his retirement, according to a news release.

Higgins is serving until his replacement is found.

McDaniel said it was a good experience overall to be one of the four finalists.

“I think it speaks highly of Tyler, and I was honored to be in the process,” he said.

“It helps me to appreciate Tyler even more,” he added.

He said Fort Worth is the only other city he was looking at, primarily because it is his hometown, and he is happy to remain in Tyler, where he has a great relationship with the City Council and a great team of employees around him.

“I don’t really want to leave Texas, so I’m not looking. I’m very happy here,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel has been Tyler’s city manager since January 2009 and has worked for five cities during his 27-year career.

“Mark has been a phenomenal city manager. Under his leadership the organization has flourished - so it is not surprising that he is being recruited by a larger city. Our success through the recent recession is directly attributed to his unique combination of municipal leadership experience, financial background and people skills,” Mayor Barbara Bass said in a news release from earlier this month.

In December, the Tyler City Council approved a 5.44 percent increase for McDaniel, raising his total compensation package from its current $202,000 per year to $213,000 per year.

Among McDaniel’s successes are “leading Tyler to becoming one of the first cities to implement a Lean Six Sigma program throughout the organization, maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in the state, attaining a AAA bond rating, developing an award-winning internal training department, implementing a 20-year comprehensive community plan, and keeping the city free of any general obligation (tax-supported) debt,” according to a news release.

Other finalists for the Fort Worth job were:

Milton Dohoney, former city manager of Cincinnati.

Craig Malin, city administrator of Davenport, Iowa, since 2001.

Joyce Wilson, who has 25 years of government experience at senior and executive levels, and was appointed El Paso’s first city manager in 2004.

Managing Editor Brian Pearson contributed to this report.