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Sarah Novo accepted the city of Granite Shoals’ offer to serve as interim city manager for $145,000 a year on Wednesday, Feb. 21. The City Council is expected to make a final approval during its Feb. 27 meeting, and Novo should report to work on Feb. 28. 

The council offered Novo the job after hashing out negotiations during a special meeting on Tuesday. 

“We think she’s the crackerjack person,” said Mayor Ron Munos, using an informal term meaning exceptionally good. “She was interviewed by all seven councilors and all the (city) department heads, and everyone had a favorable impression.”

The council had been in negotiations with Novo since late January. She accepted the $145,000 contract at around noon on Wednesday.

She was pulled from a list of applicants for the assistant city manager position submitted before the resignation of former City Manager Peggy Smith on Jan. 9. Granite Shoals Fire Chief Tim Campbell has been acting as the interim city manager since Smith left the post.

According to Munos, Novo impressed city leadership in a series of interviews. He also explained that the nature of the interim position meant that nothing was set in stone if things don’t work out.

“It’s seldom that you have all of the council and the department heads agree on something, so we took that as a win,” he said. “We discussed (using an executive recruitment firm) during our session, but we think we found the person that we want.”

Novo is the former city manager of Flatonia, a city of about 1,300 people between San Antonio and Houston. She brings experience from managing the parks and recreation department of Rocklin, California, a city of roughly 70,000, and working in the Economic Development Department of South Africa. 

dakota@thepicayune.com