ODESSA, Texas — As the Odessa City Council continues the search process for a new city manager, they have taken another step forward.
The council is the representative for the T2 Professional Consulting Firm’s city manager benchmark committee, and that committee met for the first time on Tuesday.
The discussions went well among the city council members as they met for about an hour and half while completing the first stage of the benchmark.
That first stage consisted of talking through what specific characteristics they believe need to be present within whoever takes over as the next city manager.
“Integrity, communication, education, experience," said Odessa Mayor Javier Joven.
The council collaborated in identifying what the themes surrounding the job description for the position will entail.
“When it comes to integrity, do the right thing when no one’s watching, when you’re in the room alone," said Mayor Joven. "And then communication, being able to dispense unbiased information to the entire city council, to your management, mid-management and also your city employees to be able to create a positive economic and social environment through the organization and the city.”
Also discussed was how broad they want the search to be when the time comes for the job to be posted.
“Do we want to do a nationwide search or do we want to search in Texas?," said Mayor Joven. "We want to hone it in and find someone from Texas because we want them to know where and who Odessa, Texas is. We don’t want to have to fly somebody in overnight.”
On March 7th, the firm presented a city employee survey that, in part, revealed a lack of training and direction among the 30 city departments.
Mayor Joven believes it is important to use that information to help fix the issues in the city that will allow the new city manager to be successful.
“Basically, what this thing is, is to help us come up with a job description that will help us best identify the best candidate for a CM [city manager], and what type of candidate that’s going to be," said Mayor Joven. "A team builder, someone that will turn around the city, someone with municipal experience or someone with ad valorem or sales tax experience. At this point we don’t know, but this is what the benchmarking is and we’ll hone that in next week.”
Mayor Joven said that they will finalize the city manager job description during their second benchmark committee meeting next week.
Once that stage of the benchmarking process is completed, they will look to go through the process of posting the job and then beginning the search for candidates, with their timeline still intact as they aim to have a new city manager later this summer.