Killeen City Council has named four finalists in its search for a new city manager. Kent Cagle, Torry Edwards, Aretha Ferrell-Benavides and Stephen Williams have been invited to Killeen November 1 and 2 for interviews.
A nationwide search produced 29 applicants. Each was vetted through a comprehensive questionnaire, online interviews, psychometric assessment, background checks and media searches. City Council utilized this information in selecting four finalists.
Kent Cagle has more than 18 years of city management experience in a 32-year local government career. He most recently served in the top post for Leander from November 2011 to May of this year. He was city manager of Duncanville from 2001 to 2011 following four years as assistant city manager. Previous positions include director of budget and risk management for the City of Carrollton and senior budget analyst for the City of Plano. Cagle earned a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas Tech University.
Torry Edwards served more than 11 years as city manager for Terrell, Texas between April of 2002 and January of 2019. He previously worked in the City Manager’s Office for the City of Dallas from 1996 to 2002 as a management assistant and strategic manager. Edwards earned a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Government from the University of New Mexico. He is a Certified Public Manager and has attended professional development programs at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and Yale University School of Management.
Aretha Ferrell-Benavides has 24 years of experience in government and the private sector. She currently serves as city manager for Petersburg, Virginia. She was city manager of Glenn Heights, Texas from 2014 to 2017. Additional experience includes positions with the Government of the District of Columbia, the City of Chicago and Maryland State Government. Ferrell- Benavides holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Howard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Southern University. She has also attended the Executive Leadership Institute of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and the Intergovernmental Executive Development Program at Harold Washington College.
Stephen Williams has been in city government for more than 23 years. He has been the assistant city administrator and chief financial officer for the City of Conroe since January 2014. His tenure with Conroe also includes service as director of finance from 2005 to 2011 and director of finance and administration from 2011 to 2014. Prior experience includes posts as director of budget and research with the Town of Flower Mound and budget analyst with the City of Dallas. Williams holds a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Texas. He is an ICMA Credentialed Manager and a Certified Government Finance Officer.
Finalists will be in Killeen November 1 and 2 for interviews with a citizen panel and City Council. They will also tour the city and meet with city staff during this time.
The public is invited to observe the panel interviews November 1 at 5 p.m. at Killeen Civic & Conference Center. A reception will follow from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. to meet the candidates.
Killeen City Council engaged Strategic Government Resources (SGR) to conduct and manage the city manager search when Ron Olson announced his retirement effective October 1. Assistant City Manager David Ellison is serving as interim city manager until City Council selects a permanent replacement.