Lakeway to create new positions for emergency management, grants program

Lakeway City Council
Lakeway City Council voted June 1 to create two new positions for the city. (Screenshot courtesy city of Lakeway)

Lakeway City Council voted June 1 to create two new positions for the city. (Screenshot courtesy city of Lakeway)

Lakeway City Council voted during a June 1 special meeting to create positions for an emergency management coordinator and a grants program manager.

City information states the emergency management coordinator position would have a pay range of $62,368-$93,552 and share the payroll cost with the Village of the Hills and the city of Bee Cave as part of an interlocal agreement.

The grants program manager position pay range, according to city information, would be from $51,310-$76,965.

"Costs from this employee can be reimbursed through certain grant applications," a city document states. "The grants awarded by adding this position will likely more than pay for the allocated salary."

Because the positions were approved by council, a budget amendment for fiscal year 2020 will come before officials at an upcoming meeting, according to city information, which also states the current occupant of the emergency management coordinator position, Lakeway Police Captain David Crowder, has a larger role that requires his attention.

City Manager Julie Oakley said during discussion of the item that one possibility for division of payroll from each municipality is to base each share on population.

Oakley explained to council the emergency management coordinator would serve in both an executive and an advisory capacity.

"The mayor should be able to take advice from this person who is a professional," Oakley said.

A job description of the emergency management coordinator includes coordinating emergency preparedness, response and recovery operations as well as developing city and regional management standard operating procedures.

"There's been a lot of lessons learned during this pandemic," Mayor Sandy Cox said. "We've been trying to rewrite portions of our emergency manual for about the last 18 months, and the bandwidth has not been there."

Oakley said staff would have to look at the budget carefully to determine funding for the position, and Cox said another possibility to fund the position for the first year could be through federal funding through the CARES Act.

"To get a person with the experience we're looking for, we may need to hire at midpoint [of the suggested pay range]," Oakley said.

Council voted to create the emergency management coordinator position and will then work on an interlocal agreement with the Village of the Hills and the city of Bee Cave before crafting a budget amendment to fund the position, according to Cox.

Regarding the grants program coordinator position, Oakley said the city has employed several different people to write grants for previous city needs, and Lakeway is in desperate need of such a position.

"I believe this position would pay for itself many times over," Oakley said, adding the city has likely missed out on many grant opportunities as a result of not having such a position.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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