GUEST VIEW: City Manager is a great pick — for Midland

By Kirk Edwards

Amazing how I am reading that the 26th biggest city in Texas just hired a seasoned, sharp, educated, and well-respected city manager with unanimous support from their city council. The only problem is I am talking about our next-door neighbor city of Midland not Odessa.

Odessa’s City Council feels like the 38th largest city in Texas does not need a city manager with any and I repeat any, zero, nada experience in being a city manager. No experience, ever. Just the luck of knowing a few of our council folks through Texas politics.

What a laughingstock this council continues to be. As they ran on waste of taxpayer money on downtown sculptures to get elected and then spend upwards of $300,000 for a search firm with direct orders to bring to them the most qualified candidate with drum roll, please — city manager experience and to name a finalist that has none. And now they will offer him a fat salary well over $250,000 per year with the perks included.

We as citizens of Odessa must ask ourselves why? Why are these folks making us the joke of Texas. We will now have over $500,000 dollars invested in a guy that has never passed a budget, never hired a police chief or fire marshal, or know what they even do. Never held a management leadership position with over 1,000 employees which Odessa now has. Never passed or knows how to write a resolution or ordinance.

Can you imagine Texas Tech Health Science Center hiring this guy to run their operation, or our hospital district. Or one of our colleges? He has the exact same qualifications to do those jobs as he has to be City Manager of our once great city — NONE!

Wake up voters of Odessa. The time will soon come to take back our reputation in Texas and get our city back to honest, smart, and cohesive governing. Not petty, good old boy hirings like this. Ridiculous this can even happen.

Kirk Edwards is a lifelong Odessan and businessman.