Leander City Council

Galveston Assistant City Manager Rick Beverlin named new Leander City Manager finalist

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The Leander City Council voted unanimously Thursday night to select Galveston Assistant City Manager Rick Beverlin III as the finalist in their search for a new Leander City Manager.

The council also appointed a committee Monday to review and negotiation an employment agreement with Beverlin.

The committee's appointed membership consists of Leander Mayor Troy Hill, City Attorney Paige Saenz, Human Resources Director Cindy Hignite and Powell Municipal principal Matt Powell, whose company has a consulting agreement with the City of Leander.

Beverlin previously served less than a year as Director of Economic Development for the City of League City and four years as City Administrator for the City of Kema. He also previously worked for the Houston-Galveston Area Council from 1996 to 2002.

He earned a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of St. Thomas in 1993 and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Houston in 1996.

The council interviewed three candidates Monday before finalizing their selection during executive session during Thursday's meeting. The candidates were narrowed down out of a pool of 95 applicants by the City Manager Task Force the council appointed on June 6. That task force included Hill, Mayor Pro Tem Chris Czernek and Council member Jason Shaw. The Task Force worked in coordination with Powell Municipal. 

No specific timeline was set for the committee to negotiate the agreement. The agreement will come back before the council at a future point.

The search for a new city manager follows the sudden firing of former City Manager Kent Cagle on May 20. The cause of Cagle's termination remains unclear and neither the city nor the city council has given an explanation, though Hill posted on social media that the "Council felt we needed a new direction."

That post has since been deleted.

Cagle later filed a lawsuit in August seeking more than  $1 million and citing breach of contract for the city's failure to pay his severance after the council terminated his employment and claimed unlawful retaliation under the Texas Whistleblower Act for reporting a senior city official to law enforcement. 

The council voted Sept. 5 to settle the lawsuit with Cagle.  

Gordon Pierce is serving as Interim City Manager during the transition period.

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