Kyle city manager takes Converse top job

by ANDY SEVILLA

Kyle City Manager Lanny Lambert has not officially tendered his resignation, yet, but plans are underway for his next leading position just outside of San Antonio.

“I’ve been offered the city manager position for the city of Converse, Texas. This is close to my wife and family, and it’s a good opportunity for me to move back home,” Lambert said Wednesday.

When Lambert was hired on with the city of Kyle in December 2010, his family stayed behind in Helotes, about an hour south of his new employment.

With the high office in Converse, Lambert would be just minutes east on Loop 1604 from his wife and kids.

“It would be a good opportunity and a good job for me,” he said.

Lambert began looking for new employers after the Kyle council failed to renegotiate his contract in January, and showed no signs of moving forward. Then-Kyle Mayor Lucy Johnson was in her last six months in office.

Johnson said before leaving office in June that she had not received enough performance evaluations from council members to consider Lambert’s contract.

Todd Webster, who was elected Kyle mayor in June, has not yet taken the matter up.

“Lanny (Lambert) has been very instrumental in the City of Kyle during a time of economic vulnerability,” said Kyle council member Diane Hervol. “I believe he has worked his heart and soul for the best interest of Kyle’s citizens and it’s employees. He will be missed by many.”

Lambert said Kyle has been a great place to live and work, and being the city’s manager for almost four years has been a real honor.

“I’ve never had this kind of growth; I’ve never had this kind of challenge as a city manager; I’ve never had all of the issues that Kyle faces, both for water and roads and development services,” he said. “I’ve been here almost four years, this has been a lot of fun, and it’s been a great place. This is a good city to live and raise your kids.

Lambert, who is in the midst of presenting a budget for the upcoming Kyle fiscal year, said he would take his new position in Converse sometime in September, likely between Sept. 9 and 15.

Lambert had previously served as city manager for Abilene, Balcones Heights, Big Springs, Brownsville and Leon Valley, before taking the top job in Kyle.

The Converse council interviewed five city manager candidates Saturday before deciding on Lambert, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The newspaper quoted Converse Mayor Al Suarez as saying, “Mr. Lambert is well qualified and brings a variety of experience to Converse.”

Council member Deborah James was quoted by the paper as saying, “(Lambert) has an excellent résumé, and made an excellent presentation. He sat down and talked about things he would like to see in Converse. I was impressed with what he brought to the table.”

Kyle council members will have to name an interim city manager to replace Lambert until a permanent administrator is named.

Assistant City Manager James Earp previously filled the interim city manager position before Lambert joined Kyle in January 2011.

Other top contenders for the interim post could include Finance Director Perwez Moheet, who has helped take Kyle out of budget deficit and into a position where the city maintains reserves. Before joining Kyle, Moheet served in various capacities for the city of Austin for 30 years, according to the city’s website.

And the newly hired planning director, Manny De La Rosa, has 27 years of municipal government experience, including serving as planning director, judge, fire chief, economic development director, assistant city manager and city manager, according to his résumé.

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