Rollingwood city administrator
Bee Cave City Council voted unanimously April 17 to hire Charles Winfield as the city's administrator, the first to hold the position since Vicky Rudy left in September 2009. Council agreed to a two-year contract with Winfield at an annual salary of $94,000 plus a $6,000 annual expense account. Winfield, who started April 22, will work a flexible schedule, working three or four days a week to reach 40 hours.
Before being hired by the City of Rollingwood, Winfield worked for the City of Polacios, Texas, where he started as the city treasurer in 1988. After a few years, the mayor of Polacios had Winfield help him with projects and eventually the budget. Before too long, the mayor had department heads answering to him, Winfield said.
After the mayor retired, the council decided they needed continuity, Winfield said. The council wanted someone to keep projects running between mayors.
Winfield served as both city administrator and city manager for Polacios and has experience in both general law and home rule city management, he said.
Winfield sat down with Community Impact Newspaper to answer a few questions about his experience and what he can bring to the City of Rollingwood.
What attracted you to Rollingwood?
"I didn't even know Rollingwood existed. The closest I came [to Rollingwood] was Sixth Street, and I have a brother-in-law that lives in Cedar Park, so I have been around Austin, but I always wondered what was on the other side of the river.
"When the Rollingwood job came available, I applied, and when I got to the city, I just could not believe it. It's just so pretty, everyone seems happy, everyone keeps their yard up I thought to myself, 'If I could come work and live here, that would be ideal.' I met with the [Rollingwood] mayor, and here I am.
"It's nice to be at a place where I can use my experience to help people."
What kind of experience are you bringing from your previous job?
"There were so many things we didn't have at my previous job—the accounting system was archaic, they would hand-write deposits in a ledger. It would work, but there was a more efficient way, a better use of their time. Things like that, where I got that account system together, is what I bring."
Winfield also helped organize the Polacios Police Department, helping it purchase new vehicles regularly, equipping officers with automatic ticket writers and upgrading their equipment, he said.
"In other aspects—with accounts payable, stuff in the office—I was able to build it up. I've been experienced with the many different aspects of the [municipal] court. I got that tied in with the general ledger, with the operations of the city, with the Police Department. I think that I have the ability to analyze. I'm not saying that the way I was doing it is the best way, but I can assure that all these operations can be coordinated in the most efficient manner."
How does it feel to be the first one in this position since 2009?
"I think the council is on board with it, and I hope the citizens are as well. Because [City of Rollingwood] employees have done such a good job that citizens could ask if we really need this position. My answer to that is the mayor and council need to set their sights on short- and long-term goals and not get bogged down with the day-to-day operations.
"Having a city administrator allows the department heads to have someone here that they can go to, to work out details. I think that and the freedom Council and the mayor would have would really help the city."
What has impressed you so far?
"I've been so impressed with everything they do here. Really, I can't say enough. The fact that they have gone this long [without an administrator] and done so well is amazing, and they have done it by putting in some long hours.
"I'm very interested to see the full financial picture. I want to make sure I know where we are at with the budget at all times; I am very particular about that.
"As far as looking at things and thinking, 'Oh, I could fix that,' it is too early to know. There are some things I think we could do a little different, just because that is my experience, and if it can be more efficient, then definitely I think I can help."
Rollingwood City Administrator Charles Winfield, a graduate of Sam Houston State University, decided to move back to his hometown of Polacios, Texas, and apply for the city treasurer job.
"I thought, 'I'll just apply for this job and do it until I figure out what I want to do,'" Winfield said.
Winfield said that the job proved interesting to him, and he was able to use his general business administration degree to help people in his hometown.
"I got to help with things I used to gripe about," Winfield said. "Streets not being paved, poor water quality, the quality of life was poor, and I got to make a difference. [The City Council and I] did a whole bunch of good things for the community. It was very rewarding to do that."