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Granite Shoals extends interim job to former Flatonia city manager

Granite Shoals City Council, Jan. 23, 2024

Granite Shoals City Councilor Mike Pfister (left), Mayor Ron Munos, and councilors Judy Salvaggio, Steve Hougen, Michael Berg, and Phil Ort voted to offer the job of interim city manager to Sarah Novo on Jan. 23. Novo is the former city manager of Flatonia. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Granite Shoals City Council voted to offer former Flatonia City Manager Sarah Novo the position as interim city manager on Tuesday, Jan. 23. City Attorney Joshua Katz will draft a contract and enter into negotiations with Novo on behalf of the city.

If she takes the job, she will temporarily replace Peggy Smith, who resigned on Jan. 8. Granite Shoals Fire Chief Tim Campbell has been serving in the interim spot since his appointment on Jan. 9.

Novo was selected from a list of applicants for the Granite Shoals assistant city manager position, which has been empty since Smith was promoted from that role to interim city manager in June 2022. Smith was hired as city manager in March 2023.

The council unanimously voted to offer the job to Novo after an executive session during Tuesday night’s regular meeting. According to Mayor Ron Munos, the council and city department heads all met with her and examined her credentials before the decision.

“She interviewed very well, and all of the department heads loved her,” Munos told after the meeting.

Novo was most recently the city manager of Flatonia, a town of 1,300 in Fayette County on the Interstate 10 corridor between San Antonio and Houston. She also worked for the city of Rocklin, California, for several years in code compliance and parks and recreation.

Munos said Chief Campbell’s time as interim city manager was always meant to be brief and the council is still seeking a permanent city manager. However, if Novo takes the interim job, she could be considered based on her performance.

Campbell will remain interim city manager until Novo officially accepts the position or another candidate is found. Interim city managers have all of the powers of a city manager, meaning they can fully manage city departments, hire and fire staff, and oversee the functions of the city.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, Campbell briefed the council on what he had done since he was appointed interim city manager on Jan. 9:

Initiated the move of the city’s code compliance department from the police station to City Hall to make code compliance resolution easier for residents.

Saved the city roughly $22,750 a year by canceling unnecessary software subscriptions, adjusting contracts, and cutting several unused phone lines.

Pitched the idea of an in-house building inspector to cut back on the estimated $112,000 spent on contractual inspection services with Bureau Veritas.

Gained 90 percent participation of Granite Shoals businesses on the city’s tourism website,

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