West Lake Hills begins thorough search to fill open city administrator position

West Lake Hills City Council is making progress towards filling open staff positions.

West Lake Hills City Council is making progress towards filling open staff positions.

Image description
West Lake Hills has begun the search for a new city administrator following the termination of Robert Wood’s contract. Wood filled the position for 12 years, and Mayor Linda Anthony expressed her appreciation for his work prior to the council’s decision Aug. 28.

City information indicates council was obligated to make a public vote to either extend or discontinue Wood’s contract by Aug. 30. If no vote was taken then his contract would automatically extend for another year.

“It wasn’t something out of the blue,” Anthony said, adding the council had previously expressed some frustration and felt it was ultimately time for the city to go in a new direction.

Council ratified a contract with Strategic Government Resources on Sept. 11 to aid in the recruitment process for a new city administrator. Per the contract, service costs will not exceed $26,500—$18,500 will be allocated to professional services, and $8,000 will go to unspecified expenses.

Anthony said SGR is one of the top firms in the country and noted the search for a new administrator was going to be very thorough.

“This is not something we want to rush into,” she said.

Council Members Brian Plunkett and Darin Walker will serve on a subcommittee to aid the recruitment process, which Anthony said could take anywhere between two and five months. A similar process was used to hire Police Chief Scott Gerdes March 2015, she said.

“Honestly, personality is key. We’re a small city with a very shy and retiring population,” Anthony said. “We have residents who are accustomed to a high level of customer service.”

Anthony said it is important to create a user-friendly local government in West Lake Hills, as that is a component the city has been falling short on lately.

West Lake Hills also contracted with SGR to help recruit a new city secretary following the resignation of Lacie Hale on May 9. Council hired Stephanie Mills during its Oct. 7 regular meeting to replace Hale.

Information from the city states Mills will take over the position from the interim secretary in November.


A graphic reading "Today's coronavirus updates)
Travis County cases are plateauing around 500 daily, Austin's top doctor says

Stage 5 risk is still likely to come, Dr. Mark Escott said, due to strained ICU capacity.

In Hays County, Carrie Isaac and Kent “Bud” Wymore square off in a runoff election for the District 45 Republican nomination. (Travis Baker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Results show Isaac and Berry leading in local Texas House Republican runoff elections

Results are coming in for the two Texas House Republican runoff elections that appeared on the July 14 ballot for Central Texas residents.

Texas Senate District 14 special election
Senate District 14 election results: Sarah Eckhardt in the lead; runoff with Eddie Rodriguez possible

The winner of the special election for Texas Senate District 14 will serve out the term of former state Sen. Kirk Watson through 2022.

2020 primary runoff
UPDATE: Margaret Moore concedes race to José Garza in Democrat primary runoff contest for Travis County district attorney

Read here to see the returns on the 2020 Democratic primary runoff contest for Travis County district attorney.

2020 primary runoff election
Ann Howard apparent victor in Travis County Precinct 3 Democratic primary race

Early voting results for the July 14 Democratic runoff election for Travis County Commissioner Precinct 3 have Ann Howard in the lead against Valinda Bolton at 15,131 votes to 7,739.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. July 14 in Texas' primary runoff election. Delia Garza and Laurie Eiserloh are running in the Democratic race for Travis County Attorney. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County attorney election results: Delia Garza on her way to victory over Laurie Eiserloh

Laurie Eiserloh and Delia Garza are running to replace retiring Travis County Attorney David Escamilla, who has held the position for the previous 17 years.

A photo of the property Tesla is considering
BREAKING: Travis County approves 20-year incentives deal with Tesla for potential gigafactory

Travis County County commissioners voted July 14 to approve millions of dollars in possible tax rebates for the electric carmaker.

Eanes ISD officials have called upon Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas policymakers to suspend in-person learning until Travis County sees a decrease in coronavirus hospitalizations. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD calls for 100% virtual learning, goes against Texas Education Agency plan

Eanes ISD officials have called upon Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas policymakers to suspend in-person learning until Travis County sees a decrease in coronavirus hospitalizations.

Homes at the Signal Hill development in Bee Cave are selling faster as interest in residential real estate throughout the Lake Travis-Westlake area begins to pick up momentum. (Courtesy Evan Loomis)
Despite pandemic, Lake Travis-area residential developments seeing record sales

Developers in Western Travis County have said they are now seeing an uptick in interest from builders and buyers.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, giving claimants $600 per week, will end July 25. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Federal unemployment payments of $600 per week end July 25

While the added $600 federal unemployment benefits will end, Texans are still eligible for other forms of relief.

The Woods of Westlake homeowners association has reported public intoxication and other safety hazards at its Barton Creek Greenbelt trailhead. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact)
Public access maintained at the Woods of Westlake greenbelt; paid parking could be enacted

Visitors utilizing the Barton Creek Greenbelt entry point on Scottish Woods Trail will soon notice several policy changes following reports of hazardous behavior by surrounding Woods of Westlake residents.