Council appoints Haverlah interim city manager
By LYNETTE SOWELL
After a Tuesday afternoon executive session that lasted just over one hour, the Copperas Cove city council emerged and unanimously voted to appoint Ryan Haverlah as the interim city manager.
Haverlah is presently the city’s budget director/deputy city manager, and will step into the interim role on February 17, the day after current city manager Andrea Gardner intends to leave the position.
Place 2 councilman James Pierce Jr. made the motion to appoint Haverlah and talked about the reasoning behind Haverlah’s appointment to the position. Pierce likened it to a change of command in the Army, when there are times there is not a commander or first sergeant ready.
“You take a lieutenant or a sergeant first class and raise them to the occasion where they are acting for a time until the permanent comes in,” Pierce said. “We were going over the possibility for him to be an interim, so we asked him if he would be interested.”
Pierce said from his perspective, there is no “timetable” for hiring a new city manager, but it would be “until we get the right person for Copperas Cove.”
Although Haverlah was appointed by the council, the council is still looking for an interim city manager to serve longer term. Jeff Davis, the city’s director of human resources, confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the council has also instructed the department to continue to review resumes for an interim city manager.
“Resumes for this request are due back to council by close of business on Feb. 16, 2018,” Davis said. “A final decision should be made sometime after that.”
There was also a sense of urgency behind the appointment, where the city’s bank account is concerned. On Tuesday, Haverlah was also appointed by the council to be the new administrator of the city’s bank account after February 16. The reason for both appointments at this time is city charter requires that all checks from the city’s depository must be countersigned by the city manager, and making that change on the bank accounts is about a two-week process.
According to Pierce, the search for a city manager would begin Monday and would be a “nationwide” endeavor.
In the meanwhile, he said he is positive Haverlah will rise to the occasion and that there is always the possibility to hire someone to help him, in the meantime, with city departments preparing to enter budget planning season for fiscal year 2019.
During the January 16 city council meeting, Gardner gave the council a letter of her intent to resign, giving February 16 as her last day of employment. She has been city manager since being appointed by the city council in 2007. In November 2016, the council amended her contract to include an ending date of Jan. 31, 2022.