The Sealy City Council unanimously voted following a closed session Jan. 23 to hire Lloyd Merrell as the new city manager.
Merrell will earn an annual salary of $118,000. His first day is scheduled Thursday, Feb. 1.
Mayor Janice Whitehead was unable to attend last week’s meeting but said she supports the hire and believes Merrell will serve the city well.
Merrell was city manager for 26 years in Madisonville, Ky., and will be moving to Sealy from The Woodlands. He recently relocated to Texas to be closer to family.
He said in a recent interview with The Sealy News that he believes Sealy residents take a lot of pride in their community.
“The people here have done a lot of things right,” he said. “It’s a clean, well-kept community and there are things that need to be done to move Sealy forward. We are going to be inundated with growth. It’s coming from the Katy area and moving this way at a rapid pace.”
Economic development is the catalyst that “makes a community go,” Merrell added.
“You have to take care of what you have,” he said. “The companies that already are in Sealy have to know that we appreciate them.”
That can be done through an industry appreciation program, he explained, which helps with retaining companies and creating new jobs.
Warren Escovy, the city’s planning and community development director, served as interim city manager for several months after Larry Kuciemba’s contract was terminated in late May. Escovy did not apply for the permanent post.
The Sealy City Council selected Strategic Government Resources (SGR) to conduct and manage the nationwide search that resulted in an outstanding pool of candidates. The City received 33 applications from individuals in nine states, with 20 of the applicants having city manager or assistant city manager experience.
Candidate vetting included a comprehensive questionnaire, online interviews, a psychometric assessment, a thorough media search and a rigorous background investigation.