The Bellaire City Council unanimously approved a motion Dec. 6 to name Fire Chief Deacon Tittle as interim city manager following the recent departure of former Interim City Manager Brant Gary.

The council approved Tittle to the role after an executive session, and the approval came with the agreement that Tittle would receive an additional stipend of $1,000 per pay period.

Following the approval, the council directed city staff to solicit proposals and qualifications for interim city manager services and to come back to the council at its Jan. 3 meeting with options.

"I do support this because it gives us flexibility," Mayor Andrew Friedberg said at the meeting. "It’s in good faith that we’re asking ... but we don’t necessarily have to act on them if we are dissatisfied with the responses we receive, or we decide not to proceed with it, or we are not ready to. We have that option."

Gary served as interim city manager since July 2020 before turning in his resignation in November. His last day with the city was Dec. 3, Friedberg announced in a blog post.

"While at first his leaving may seem a major disruption to the organization, it really doesn’t change things all that much considering we’re about to begin the hiring process for our next permanent city manager anyway," Friedberg wrote. "With a new council set to take office in January, this is already at the top of our to-do list."

The city's process of finding its next city manager has been underway since late June 2020. In February, the city hired Ron Cox Consulting to take council members through interviews and exercises designed to better identify what they were looking for in the next city manager.

Friedberg previously told Community Impact Newspaper residents can expect a decision to be made in early 2022.