HEALDTON — The city council has chosen to find stability within the office of city manager by selecting a resident with experience in city government.
Herb Collier, the Healdton Industrial Authority general manager, was chosen to serve as the city manager during a council meeting July 7. Collier, who has also served on the city council and is a current school board member, will officially begin his new job on July 28. In the meantime, he is sitting in on meetings as the city attempts to fill vacant positions.
“We have been interviewing police chiefs,” Collier said. “We are also trying to get the word out for openings in the water department and sewer department.”
Collier also said the city needs to find another police officer and would like to have a new chief in place by the time he moves into his new digs in City Hall.
Collier said he believes he can help make some changes for the better in the city, which has had its share of challenges in recent years.
“It’s (city manager) not necessarily something I have dreamed of, but I think I can make some changes,” he said. “There are some of the things we do with the HIA, and if we can get it and the city to work together, we can get quite a bit accomplished.
“At some point, we have to get some trust. I have been amazed at the amount of people that say they don’t trust the city. Talk to me, let us know what is going on. If we don’t know about it, we can’t fix it.”
Collier said one of the recent problems for citizens has been trying to find the city manager, and he wants to be accessible to the public.
Collier said the HIA board has yet to determine what it will do with his vacated position. He said he is trying to start a volunteer program and could continue as a volunteer, but it would take council approval. Collier’s last day for the organization will be July 18.
“The reason is we are going on a vacation if I can get everything accomplished that I want to get accomplished,” he said. “They are discussing whether or not to roll with what they have in place or find a replacement.”
Collier said he is hopeful his established relationships with city leadership will be a benefit as he attempts to move the city forward.
“They obviously know me, and I am determined when I put my mind to something,” Collier said. “It will be simpler in some regards in what I have seen that has worked. It is kind of nice with some of the people there knowing me. I am in hopes it will be a benefit all the way around.
“I am going to try and take positive steps and make some accomplishments.”