CLEVELAND - City leaders are excited for things to come following the official close to their search for a new city manager with the hiring of Scott Swigert.
That search came on the heels of the dismissal of former City Manager Stacy Williams last May and the turmoil that ensued during his short tenure in Cleveland. Those issues included disagreements over how he was appointed to that job and since that time council has looked at around 50 applicants to fill the position.
Swigert comes to Cleveland from Mont Belvieu, where he has served as assistant city manager for over five years.
“I think we’ve done our due diligence, but I think Scott’s great. You don’t ever know until you get somebody on board, but he looks good and everything we’ve found from Mont Belvieu looked good, so I’m just anxious to get him on board,” said Mayor Richard Boyett.
Boyett, who did not want to reopen old wounds, was happy over the process and believed this decision was made right and that Swigert was someone the council could get behind.
“I’m happy. I just wanted to get it to where we’ve got someone where we can say we’ve got a city manager and we can get behind him. I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’s going to do a great job,” said Boyett.
Swigert’s contract was approved by a vote of four in favor and one abstention by Councilwoman Marilyn Clay, while Councilwoman Desiree David was not in attendance.
Clay, who was a big supporter of doing a search for the next city manager, addressed council.
“I just want to say congratulations to Mr. Swigert. I think he would do a great job and he was one of the candidates that we did select on the higher note. I worked very hard to fight for a hiring process because of the last situation that we had, and we had a process this time. I did not totally agree with everything that we did, but I still think that we picked a good candidate, and I am willing to work with you as well,” said Clay.
Swigert is expected to start his new role with the city on Monday, Oct. 10, and he is excited about all of the opportunities coming to Cleveland and the chance to be a part of it all.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to come here. There are a lot of great opportunities here in Cleveland, with the expansion of US59 and I69 coming this way, with 99 just opening. Houston is obviously coming direction. A lot of growth, a lot of opportunity,” Swigert said, “the school district is growing, families are moving into this area, so there is a lot of great opportunities.”
Swigert also hopes to work hard to embrace the growth and the great things that already makeup Cleveland.
“There is also a need to focus on what we already have. You know what’s been here and the history that’s here, so we have to make sure that we keep that,” Swigert said, “make sure we don’t lose sight of it and what made Cleveland what it is today.”
He hopes to accomplish that by getting to know all of the stakeholders in the community and building those relationships throughout the community.
“It’s a team. It starts from the council, administration, the whole city staff. We’ve all got to work as a team and build those relationships. But it’s also community, getting to build those relationships with the school district, the county, the chamber of commerce, economic development, all those you’ve got to work with everybody to start building those relationships. I think that’s going to be one of the first priorities,” said Swigert.
Swigert brings over 23 years of municipal government experience, beginning in parks in recreation in Brenham. He has had tenures in Midland and Deer Park as well.
He has been married to his wife Jennifer for 22 years and they have three children.
Things seem to be looking up for Cleveland as they move forward to do the work of the community.