Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 6¢ per day.

Subscribe Now


MARBLE FALLS — One more candidate is in the mix for the Marble Falls city manager as the council will begin face-to-face interviews May 12.

David Harris, the Schertz assistant city manager, initially requested Marble Falls pull his name off the list after he apparently landed another city manager job. But since that option fell through, he has asked to be considered for the Marble Falls spot.

Harris is one of seven candidates the council will interview. Officials hope to have a finalist in time for the May 20 regular council meeting, but that’s not guaranteed.

Acting city manager Margie Cardenias said the plan is for the council to conduct the first round of interviews May 12-13 and possibly bring back three candidates May 16 for second interviews.

On May 1, the city released the list of six candidates being considered for position. Harris’ addition brings it to seven.

Each of the candidates brings many years, even decades, of city government experience. Cardenias said all have some city management experience. Most also have experience with a city about the size of Marble Falls.

Along with experience, Cardenias said she believed the council also was looking for another attribute in the next city manager.

“I think someone with a progressive mind,” she said.

Another common characteristic the candidates appear to share is staying in one place for several years and not necessarily bouncing from one city to the next.

Plus, the next city manager must have the community’s needs in mind, Cardenias added.

The search for a new city manager became a necessity after former city manager Ralph Hendricks was severely injured in a bicycle accident in October 2013.

Hendricks remained on the staff until April though he was unable to work because of his injuries and rehabilitation. The council voted to terminate Hendricks and his contract April 22.

Cardenias, who is the city finance director, has been the acting city manager since Hendricks absence.

Cardenias said the new city manager could be on staff early this summer, but it all depends on the person selected. Ideally, it would be nice for the new city manager to be involved in the entire budget process, which really gets going June 10 during the city council’s budget retreat, but that might not be the case.

The council also will hold a budget workshop in July during which city staff and council will sit down and hammer out the 2014-2015 fiscal year budget before holding public hearings later in the summer.

“I believe (the new city manager joining the staff) is going to be in the midst of it,” Cardenias said in reference to the budget process.

Along with helping in the budget process, Cardenias said a new city manager would be able to shoulder many of the projects that have since been dealt out to other staff members since Hendrick’s accident. Cardenias has been balancing her finance director and acting city manager responsibilities during the same timeframe.

The list of candidates are:

  • Shawna Burkhart, who, in 2011, became the city manager in Converse, where she also served as the first president of Cibolo Valley Local Government Corp.;
  • Jason Gray, who is currently the president and CEO of the local government consulting practice of JDGray Group, LLC., but has more than 15 years of experience serving as a city manager or an assistant city manager;
  • Mike Hodge, who has served as the assistant city manager of Pearland since 2005;
  • Frank Johnson, who has a 35-year career that includes 13 years as Marshall city manager;
  • Lanny Lambert, who is the city manager in Kyle, where he took the reins in 2011 but has a 35-year career in city management;
  • Michael Morrison, who is currently the interim deputy city manager for Irving but has 19 years of experience in local government;
  • David Harris, who has served as the city of Schertz assistant city manager for the past 7½ years and has 17 years of experience in local government.

Staff writer Connie Swinney contributed to this report.