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JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

GRANITE SHOALS — Granite Shoals City Council members interviewed municipal judge applicants during a special meeting June 17 but took no action.

Instead, City Manager Ken Nickel advised members to take the next seven days to study and think carefully about which candidate will best serve the city. The council is seeking a new municipal judge after the retirement of the previous one, Ed Cutchin.

Council members reviewed résumès and chose three to interview for one hour each:

• Dick Owens, an attorney who served two terms as the Llano County Precinct 1 justice of the peace;

• Judge Don Adams, who currently serves as the municipal judge for Meadowlakes, Cottonwood Shores, Highland Haven and Sunrise Beach;

• Frank Riley, an attorney and Granite Shoals’ former mayor who currently serves on the city’s planning and zoning commission and volunteers for other city-related projects such as serving on the committees that created the Roddick Tennis Center and the Manzano’s Hike, Bike & Run Trail.   

“There’s no leader,” Nickel said. “I asked them to review the résumès and review their notes.”

The city charter states that the municipal judge must be an attorney.

In addition, council members also wanted an attorney who had roots in the Highland Lakes because that individual is familiar with how local city governments operate, understand the importance of building bridges with other city governments and values the qualify of life here as much as the residents, Nickel said.

“All three candidates are very capable,” he said. “That was a checkmark early. We want someone who understands our community, that our community is unique in the Highland Lakes area. It’s important to know how this community works. We are unique city. We want people to understand our way of life.”

He believes the council will be ready to approve a hire during the regular meeting June 23.

The city manager declined to say how many people applied for the position, only that it was more than three.

“They were all very qualified,” he said. “All the candidates we had were good attorneys, had good experience, all within the Highland Lakes area. It was one of the things we thought was important.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com