Copperas Cove city council selects Haverlah as new city manager
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove City Council has selected Ryan Haverlah to be the city manager for the city of Copperas Cove.
The city council met in executive session Tuesday morning beginning at 8:31 for nearly three hours to evaluate applications and discuss potential city manager candidates, interviewing three candidates including Haverlah. The names of other two finalists/candidates have not yet been released.
Following the unanimous vote and subsequent adjournment of the meeting, Haverlah received a round of applause and cheers from fellow city staff members present in the council chambers.
On Tuesday, councilman Kirby Lack said that the decision was wholeheartedly unanimous on the part of all seven councilmembers when discussing the candidates.
“We started the process with more than 30 candidates, whittled it down, and Ryan rose to the top right away.”
It’s not known where all the candidates were from, but not all of t hem were from Texas, with a few applying from outside the Lone Star state, confirmed councilman and mayor pro tem Dan Yancey.
Yancey elaborated on what stood out to him about Haverlah and also the process the council undertook when determining who would be city manager.
“(Haverlah) has a grasp of what the city’s opportunities and issues are, and is ready to go forward with implementing everything necessary to do what’s best for the city of Copperas Cove. I’ve seen his leadership grow as well over this interim period, and that stood out to me as a defining moment, the growth of Ryan Haverlah and I’m very proud of him.”
The entire process, from selecting a recruitment firm, Strategic Government Resources, was one that Yancey called thorough.
“Although we knew we had a good candidate, the process helped us to realize he was in fact an exceptional candidate, and although it took a little bit longer than some people thought it should have, it was very important to be very thorough, not only for the city of
Copperas Cove but for Ryan as well.”
Yancey pointed to what he called the respect that Haverlah earned through a number of issues the city faced, particularly the recent tornado.
“(It) pointed out the leadership abilities that he has always had, but has really blossomed and shown in the last few months.”
Mayor Bradi Diaz came in on the selection process after winning a special election for her office at the end of April.
“Ryan not only brings continuity to the City, he also brings fresh ideas and enthusiasm to our future,” Diaz said.
“I am very humbled that council would select me as the city manager,” Haverlah said. “Surprised is not necessarily the word I would call it. I’m just very grateful.”
Haverlah described the application process as similar to other jobs, from submitting an application to answering questionnaires and doing interviews.
Haverlah shared what the next steps for the city are now that it has a city manager.
“First is we’ve got to wrap up the budget in city council- it’s going to be introduced next month- and get through that process,” Haverlah said. “Evaluate what our internal and external services are, and then continue and develop long range planning for infrastructure and services.”
The next steps are for the Copperas Cove city council to set an official start date for Haverlah, who has been interim city manager after the council appointed him to the position more than one year ago.
The amount of Haverlah’s salary has not yet been released. The cost to the city for the recruitment firm was $26,500, as approved by the council in November 2018.
Lynette Sowell contributed to this article.