Killeen: City manager finalists named

The City of Killeen Wednesday identified the four finalists chosen from a field of 29 applicants to succeed City manager Ronald Olson, who retired effective Oct. 1. (File)
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) The City of Killeen Wednesday identified the four finalists chosen from a field of 29 applicants to succeed City manager Ronald Olson, who retired effective Oct. 1.

The finalists include Ken Cagle, who most recently served as city manager in Leander from November 2011 until May; Torry Edwards, who most recently was Terrell’s city manager from April 2002 until January; Aretha Ferrell-Benavides, who’s now the city manager of Petersburg, Va.; and Stephen Williams, who’s served as assistant city manager and chief financial officer since January 2014 in Conroe.

The four will be in Killeen on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 for interviews with both a citizen panel and the city council.

The citizen panel interviews, fat 5 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Killeen Civic & Conference Center, are open to the public.

A reception follows from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Olson announced his retirement in June in a letter to the city’s mayor and city council.

Assistant City Manager David Ellison is serving as interim city manager until a successor to Olson is chosen.

The Killeen City Council approved a contract with Olson in February 2017 after identifying him as the lone finalist for the job.

He came to Killeen from Corpus Christi where he also served as city manager to fill the position, which had been open since former City Manager Glenn Morrison, who was hired in 2012 after five city council members were recalled over a buyout paid to his predecessor, announced in March 2016 that he was retiring after 30 years in municipal service.

Olson resigned as Corpus Christi’s city manager in May 2016 after the city of about 300,000 spent about two weeks under a boil order because of low levels of disinfectant in the water system.

Similar advisories were issued twice in 2015.

He has served as city manager in four other cities and as a county administrator, as well.

He holds two degrees from Brigham Young University.

More about the finalists

Kent Cagle has more than 18 years of city management experience in a 32-year local government career. He most recently served in the top post for Leander from November 2011 to May of this year. He was city manager of Duncanville from 2001 to 2011 following four years as assistant city manager. Previous positions include director of budget and risk management for the City of Carrollton and senior budget analyst for the City of Plano. Cagle earned a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas Tech University.

Torry Edwards served more than 11 years as city manager for Terrell, Texas between April of 2002 and January of 2019. He previously worked in the City Manager’s Office for the City of Dallas from 1996 to 2002 as a management assistant and strategic manager. Edwards earned a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Government from the University of New Mexico. He is a Certified Public Manager and has attended professional development programs at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and Yale University School of Management.

Aretha Ferrell-Benavides has 24 years of experience in government and the private sector. She currently serves as city manager for Petersburg, Virginia. She was city manager of Glenn Heights, Texas from 2014 to 2017. Additional experience includes positions with the Government of the District of Columbia, the City of Chicago and Maryland State Government. Ferrell- Benavides holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Howard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Southern University. She has also attended the Executive Leadership Institute of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and the Intergovernmental Executive Development Program at Harold Washington College.

Stephen Williams has been in city government for more than 23 years. He has been the assistant city administrator and chief financial officer for the City of Conroe since January 2014. His tenure with Conroe also includes service as director of finance from 2005 to 2011 and director of finance and administration from 2011 to 2014. Prior experience includes posts as director of budget and research with the Town of Flower Mound and budget analyst with the City of Dallas. Williams holds a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Texas. He is an ICMA Credentialed Manager and a Certified Government Finance Officer.

(Source: City of Killeen)