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Fort Worth City Manager finalists named

🕐 3 min read

Scott Nishimura snishimura@bizpress.net

The three finalists for the Fort Worth city manager’s job include the Connecticutt social services manager, a former North Carolina county manager, the deputy city manager for Johnson County, Kan., the city said Monday.

Roderick Bremby, the Connecticutt commissioner since 2011, is also ex-Kansas health and environment cabinet secretary appointed by then-Gov. Kathleen Sebellius. Bremby was an assistant to the Fort Worth city manager in the late 1980s, according to a copy of his resume released by Fort Worth.

David Cooke, who retired last year as county manager for Wake County, N.C., and is now business development director for an engineering firm in Raleigh, was a finalist for the open Dallas city manager’s job earlier this year. The Dallas City Council hired an internal candidate, the interim city manager, A.C. Gonzalez.

Penny Postoak Ferguson, deputy county manager for Johnson County, Kan. since 2012, also is a former San Antonio assistant city manager.

Mayor Betsy Price and City Council members interviewed those three and two others in executive session last week. They will bring them for another – perhaps final – round of interviews in May and oral and written exercises, Price said last week.

“We’ll give them a chance to come look at our city and hopefully pick a new city manager,” she said.

The mayor and council reset its search for a new manager to replace Tom Higgins, who is retiring, after interviewing four finalists and eliminating all four. Price and the council had asked those candidates to review the city’s operations and recommend different ways they could be structured and run.

The new finalists didn’t surface as candidates in the original search, Price said last week. One factor: several major cities were conducting manager searches and were farther ahead than Fort Worth, she said.

“Some of the candidates we have been talking to were involved in one or two of those searches,” she said.

She said last week the city didn’t change its criteria.

“We just put a little more focus on prior city manager or assistant city manager experience,” she said.

On his resume, Bremby touts 20 years “budgeting and financial forecasting responsibility,” 10 years “lead management for labor meet and confer process,” and “expertise in implementing management and financial information systems.”

As head of the Connecticutt social services department, he leads a $5.7 billion, 1,900-member agency. As Kansas health and environment secretary from 2003 to 2011, headed an agency with a budget of more than $230 million and more than 1,000 fulltime employees.

Bremby was an assistant to the Fort Worth city manager between 1986 and 1990.

Bremby has a bachelor of arts in communications studies and psychology from the University of Kansas and a master of public administration from Kansas.

Cooke has been business development director for Mulkey Engineers and Consultants since February.

He was Wake County manager between August 2000 and November 2013 and deputy county manager for four years beginning in 1996. Wake is the state’s 48th largest county at 966,000 population. The county has 3,600 employees and a $1.2 billion operating budget in 2014.

Cooke’s resume says he led 13 successful bond referenda since 2000 for schools, community colleges, libraries, and open space. He also helped recruit several major employers, including Fidelity Investments, to Wake County.

Cooke also worked for the city of Charlotte for more than 10 years.

Cooke holds a bachelor of arts in public policy analysis and a master of public administration, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ferguson has been Johnson County, Kan.’s deputy county manager since August 2012, and assistant county manager from 2010 to 2012.

As deputy, she oversees public works, transit, planning and development, and wastewater.

She was San Antonio’s assistant city manager from 2006 to 2010, and assistant city manager and deputy city manager for Overland Park, Kan. from 2002 to 2006.

She has a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Kansas and a master of public administration from the university.

 

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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