City seeks to fill top management spots

Assistant City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt, the second highest ranking city administrator, will leave his post later this month for a job in Utah, a departure that will leave all three of Odessa’s top management positions unfilled with a permanent hire.

Only Interim City Manager Michael Marrero remains, but the Odessa City Council has yet to appoint him permanently to the post. Marrero, who has worked for the city for two decades, says he wants the job. And the City Council has not considered any other candidates.

Now, Marrero said he plans to hire the firm Strategic Government Resources to recruit new assistant managers for the two vacant positions, one of which was posted for applicants about a month ago.

“The immediate plan obviously is to continue to operate as we have,” Marrero said. “I’m just going to have to work harder. I’m just going to have to take on more roles and more responsibilities.”

Marrero said he also planned to lean on other supervisors and department heads while he seeks candidates for the assistant city manager jobs.

Marrero began serving as the interim in September, after three members of the City Council formed a majority to fire former City Manager Richard Morton.

Marrero had previously served as Morton’s top deputy, managing departments of the city that deal directly with the public apart from fire and police services. Those included parks, public works, code enforcement and planning and zoning.

But after his appointment to the interim head of the city, Marrero’s previous post remained unfilled.

Hildebrandt’s duties in Odessa focused on overseeing internal city functions like finance and risk management. He began working for the city in March 2014, after serving as city manager in Cedar Hills, Utah, a smaller city.

He is leaving to accept a job as city manager of Riverton, Utah, a city of more than 40,000 people south of Salt Lake City. His last day working in Odessa is April 25.

“It was just an opportunity that I had,” Hildebrandt said. “It was fantastic here, and a great opportunity for me.”