Could a New City Manager be Headed to the Hub City? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/18/04

Could a New City Manager be Headed to the Hub City?

It's been one month on Sunday since Interim City Manager Tommy Gonzalez stepped down, and now a new candidate is coming to town. Could Lubbock's City Manager search soon be over?

Well, they are definitely one step closer. Lou Fox, San Antonio's high profile former city manager, will soon be in Lubbock to interview for the position. He'll be the first candidate to interview since the slate was cleaned one month ago. We talked to Lubbock's mayor and the candidate himself about his interest in the Hub City.

"I have been invited to talk to the mayor and members of the city council about the city manager's position, and I'm really excited about it," says Lou Fox.

Fox was city manager of San Antonio from 1982 to 1990. He was deputy city manager of San Antonio from 1977 to 1982. Prior to that, Fox held the city manager position in Orange, Texas for five years. Currently, he's the owner of Urban Advisory Services Consulting Firm in San Antonio.

City Council Member Tom Martin is excited about Fox's possibility of coming to Lubbock.

"In my opinion, if we are able to hire Lou Fox as city manager, it would be the equivalent of the Houston Astros signing Roger Clements to pitch, the Texas Rangers signing Nolan Ryan, or Texas Tech signing Bob Knight. It is that significant," says Martin.

Mayor Marc McDougal feels the same.

"He has a lot of experience. Certainly, he's experienced in San Antonio, very successfully. He has some electric experience and some water experience, and so he has a lot of experience and brings a lot to the table, and he's one of the most respected city managers in the state," says McDougal.

Fox will meet with the mayor and council on Tuesday, but he says he's already familiar with Lubbock and with the challenges our city faces. He's interested in the chance.

"I'm very interested. I think Lubbock's a great city. It has a lot of potential, and I think I can add a lot," says Fox.

Mayor McDougal is ready to show him the town.

"I just want to show him what's going on in Lubbock. What kind of growth we have and what some of the issues we have here like water, and Lubbock Power and Light, as well as growth and making sure the infrastructure is in place. And then, working with the different entities that are involved there," says McDougal.

"He almost single handedly started the River Walk project. (Fox) understands economic development and what a city has to do to grow and prosper. He knows how to treat his employees with respect. I can't think of a single negative to be honest with you, other than he didn't go to Texas Tech, he went to the University of Kansas, but I think we can forgive him for that," says Councilman Martin.

Mayor McDougal says there are other candidates on the list, but Fox is the only one scheduled for an interview at this time. As for how soon things could happen, with a majority vote by the council, we could be just a few days away from a new city manager.

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