New beginnings for the city of Sealy

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I, for one, am pretty excited about the hire of a new Sealy city manager.

Interim City Manager Warren Escovy did a great job, and I think there were many who would have been happy to see him slide into the permanent role, but I also think the council made a good choice in selecting Lloyd Merrell to lead the community into the future.

Strategic Government Resources (SGR) was tapped once again to find a head honcho, and they came back with 33 applications from men and women in nine states. I think there were some reservations from city employees and the public because SGR is the same firm that found Larry Kuciemba, Sealy’s previous city manager, who … let’s just say wasn’t a good fit.

My time at The Sealy News overlapped with Kuciemba’s tenure by about a month and I was not covering city council at the time. I will say that I did not personally ever have a bad experience with him, but I think many others in the community did. It left a bad taste in the mouths of some residents, a few of whom I spoke to at last week’s council meeting. They’ve been watching closely to ensure that the new city manager will ingratiate himself into the community and do what’s best for Sealy.

I think the council did their due diligence and I think they picked the right guy.

Merrell spent 26 years as city manager of Madisonville, Ky., and recently relocated to The Woodlands to be closer to family. As mandated by his contract, however, he’ll soon be moving to Sealy. He has some good ideas and seems impressed with the direction the city is going. I think he’ll be quick to make friends and will let the current city employees thrive and do their jobs.

The city needs a strong leader willing to take on some challenges. My only concern is that the council members, school board and local business leaders are going to bombard him the second he gets to town, but I’m pretty sure he can handle it.

Congratulations, Mr. Merrell, on your new job. Welcome to Sealy.

April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at editor@sealynews.com.

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