Fulshear City Council moved forward with three issues Tuesday evening during its regular March meeting. Among the governing body’s top priorities for the night were the hiring of a new city manager, dealing with the resignation of Council Member Jim Fatheree and acceptance of the City Council Strategic Plan and Report. Here’s what you missed:
1. A new city manager was selected during the closed executive session after the public meeting.
The city has hired Jack Harper to fill the city manager’s position, according to Angela Fritz, the city’s economic development director and acting communications manager. Harper will begin April 9 and will replace interim City Manager Kenny Seymour. Seymour will remain in his position as chief of police and had been acting as city manager since being appointed by the City Council on Feb. 17.
2. The city accepted the resignation of Jim Fatheree from the at large Position 1 City Council seat.
The council unanimously accepted the resignation of Jim Fatheree, who had been elected in May. Fatheree submitted a letter of resignation Feb. 26. At Council Member Kaye Kahlich’s suggestion and approval by the council, the city will move forward with accepting applications for a replacement through its website. The posting for the position is expected to be online this Wednesday. The council will review the applications and select a new council member by appointment from the applicant pool at its first meeting in April.
3. The city’s building regulations were amended to make it easier for construction projects to obtain building permits.
The city amended its ordinance in regard to building permits. City staff had communicated with developers working in the area regarding the difficulties developers were seeing in getting building permits. Prior to the vote, the City Council had to approve building permits after receiving a recommendation from the city engineer, receiving a surety bond of 120 percent of the project’s cost or the developer had to purchase a 120 percent value surety bond.
The new process, unanimously approved by the council, would allow a building permit to be issued after the city engineer approves the project. However, subsequent final inspections and certificates of occupancy would be withheld until after the council approves the project.
4. The council formally adopted the city’s strategic plan.
Ron Cox of Ron Cox Consulting delivered a short summary of the City Council Strategic Plan and Report. Cox’s firm had met with the council multiple times to develop the plan that council members hope will help the city make smooth transitions and develop consistently between administrations.
The document lays out a plan for city development that focuses on five priorities, he said. Those priorities are reputation and level of service, infrastructure, economic development, recreational opportunities and community development. The plan also emphasizes transparency in government, members of the council said.