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Horseshoe Bay city officials

Stan Farmer (second from left) resigned as Horseshoe Bay city manager Oct. 13. The City Council appointed Utilities Director Jeff Koska (second from right) as interim city manager. Horseshoe Bay Water Conservation Inspector Bill Teeter and Technical Administrator Sheri Pollard are seated with them. Courtesy photo

Stan Farmer resigned as Horseshoe Bay city manager Wednesday, Oct. 13, a day after the City Council held its regular meeting. The council appointed Utilities Director Jeff Koska as interim city manager the same day. 

“Can’t really speak to a personnel matter,” Mayor Cynthia Clinesmith said regarding Farmer’s departure. “We wish Stan all the best in his next chapter and choice.”

Farmer was city manager for about 13 years. He confirmed his exit via text with a simple “moving on to new exciting challenges.” 

Koska credited Farmer for developing a strong group of leaders at City Hall as evidenced by the “Scorecard” presentation at the council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12. Each department head gave a short presentation on the areas in which their department improved and where they still see challenges. 

“Stan had some other things,” Koska said. “He had some other things in his life he was looking at. It was a mutual choice by him and the City Council to move on. It was a mutual separation. He’s going on to bigger and better things for his career.” 

This isn’t the first time Koska has served Horseshoe Bay as an interim official. More than a decade ago, before Horseshoe Bay was a city, Koska served as interim director of the LBJ Municipal Utility District for six months after Director Doyle White died in 2005.

Ironically, Koska celebrated his 13th year with Horseshoe Bay on Oct. 13.

“It was definitely not something I expected,” he said of his appointment. “I definitely appreciate the council having faith in me. I’m blessed they had that type of faith in me. The city will continue; there won’t be a missed beat.” 

Koska noted two vital parts are in place until the City Council meets again in November to begin a formal search for a new city manager. 

The first are the department heads themselves.

“I think we have an extremely strong leadership team,” he said. “I expect we’ll continue to do the same or better in the future. We have a good leadership team that knows what it needs to do. It’s easier when you have that type of backing. There’s a lot of experience, and we work really well together.” 

The other is having Rick Williams in the utilities department. He is now serving as the interim utilities director. Koska has been mentoring him to take over as director for several months.

“We had backups in place,” Koska said. “I have somebody behind me without missing a beat.”

Mayor Clinesmith noted that Koska’s knowledge of Horseshoe Bay is one reason he was the ideal choice to serve as interim city manager. He also has a good rapport with the other department heads and city councilors.

“For over a decade, he has led the water and utility needs for the city itself once it was incorporated,” she said. “He is well respected by all departments and staff  — as well as the community — having shown his leadership and his dedication to quality service for residents. He also has built a strong team with a competent assistant who can step up in the director of utility role for the short term as we conduct a thorough search for a new city manager for the city.”  

jfierro@thepicayune.com