Missouri City City Manager Anthony Snipes has seen every level of local government up close. After working as Austin’s assistant city manager for two years, he was hired to replace Ed Broussard in Missouri City last year. Broussard left to become city manager in Tyler, which launched an eight-month recruiting process for Missouri City.
Snipes started with Missouri City on Dec. 1. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Mercer University and a master’s degree in public administration from Florida State University. Originally from Americus, Georgia, he worked in several Texas communities for 15 years before moving to Fort Bend County.
Describe the mood of the city when you started here.
[Last year] for Missouri City was a banner year. We were recognized as one of the top 50 places to live [by Nerdwallet.com], we received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Scenic City Certification Program of Scenic Texas recognized us.
How have you spent your first two months as city manager?
I talked with [city] council members about their priorities. We ended up driving around individually in their districts so that they could tell me from their vantage point what are the opportunities, what are the challenges. I asked them each to provide me with a list of people in the community I should meet. I met every city department in the first 60 days and asked them what they would like to see for the community.
What are your priorities for 2016?
We’re in the midst of crafting a 2016-17 budget, and examining that over the next six months will be important. We’re updating our comprehensive plan, and that is the community’s vision. We have business plans and metrics to say, “Here’s how we’ve done.” It’s going to require everyone rolling their sleeves up and working collectively.
What are the biggest challenges for the city this year?
We need to make sure we can increase business investment in the city and increase the local tax base. The areas around Hwy. 6 and the Fort Bend Toll Road are the biggest opportunities for development, but we’re not trying to dismiss redevelopment. Ensuring that we have quality development going forward around Sienna Parkway will be important. Maintaining local infrastructure, securing public safety and crafting [a] fiscally stable budget are the things that sometimes keep me up at night.
What is different about being city manager in Missouri City vs. an assistant city manager in Austin?
In Austin, I oversaw 17 city departments and managed a portfolio of nearly $230 million. Now, I oversee 13 departments with a budget of $90.2 million. You still have citizens to serve, you still have a budget, and you still have populations that want solutions to problems that they’re dealing with. The buck stops with me, and it is my responsibility to work with the council to make sure that we do our due diligence.