Groves leaders outline next step in search for next city manager

Published 12:34 am Saturday, January 21, 2023

GROVES — Members of City Council will meet in a workshop Feb. 9 to hear proposals from executive recruitment companies as they continue the process to find a city manager for Groves.

Council members voted this week to host the workshop in order to hear from as many as six companies.

Mayor Chris Borne suggested council meet in executive session one day prior to “discuss requirements, potential pay” and other things specific to the position that came open Jan. 3 following the approval of a separation agreement with D.E. Sosa.

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Sosa had served as city manager in Groves for nearly 20 years.

Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator Lance Billeaud was appointed interim city manager in late December, and began serving in the role on Jan. 4.

During this week’s meeting, Director of Human Resources Stephanie Gaspard suggested councilmembers utilize the second week of February in order to give recruiters time to travel in order to pitch proposals in person.

Last month Gaspard said she had called Beaumont, Port Neches and Nederland regarding recruitment companies in order to determine an estimated cost. The three cities are or had utilized a similar company as Nederland searches for a finance director, Port Neches searched for a public works director and Beaumont recently hired a city manager.

Cost estimations ranged from $17,000 to $30,000.

After a company is hired, Gaspard said it could take four or five months to fill the position.

Borne said by having the workshop Feb. 9, council members could have an agenda item added to the Feb. 13 meeting that would allow them to approve the hiring of an executive recruitment company.

Sosa worked for the cities of Port Arthur and Nederland prior to Groves.

At the Jan. 23 council meeting, the City of Nederland plans to approve a proclamation recognizing him.