City manager announces organizational & department changes

NEWS RELEASE from the City of Waco

City Manager Bradley Ford announced Tuesday during the City Council work session several upcoming changes to his administration and city department changes. These changes are being made to align the organization to achieve the City Council’s newly identified strategic goals, which are:
·       Build a High Performing City Government
·        Create a Culture of Equity
·        Enhance Quality of Life
·        Facilitate Economic Development
·        Improve Infrastructure
·        Provide a Safe and Vibrant City
·        Support Sustainability and Resiliency

A summary of the organizational changes includes:

— Deidra Emerson, who currently serves as an assistant city manager, will be promoted to deputy city manager. Deidra brings more than 25 years of experience in city government, including the last five years in Waco. She is a trusted adviser to City Manager Ford and will lead several key areas, including the city’s work on equitable practices, process improvement, and economic development.  

— Melett Harrison, who currently leads economic development efforts for the city, will assume the newly created role of director of neighborhood engagement. Ford made re-energizing of the neighborhood program a key element of the upcoming budget, and Melett’s knowledge of various city departments will allow the city to move ahead quickly and strategically on this priority. Melett has served the City of Waco for more than 20 years in a variety of roles including housing, economic development, and neighborhoods.

— Ashley Nystrom, who is currently executive coordinator, will assume the newly created role of chief of staff to the city manager. Ashley has served the city for seven years. The chief of staff role will support the city manager by leading governmental relations functions, as well as serving as a key communicator to link the City Manager’s Office to
the broader city organization.  

— Galen Price, who is currently director of housing and code enforcement, will temporarily assume the role of interim assistant city manager to support the re-alignment of various city departments until the city completes the recruitment for a third assistant city manager later in 2020.

Ford is quoted as saying, “The updated organizational structure at
City Hall will better align staff to meet the needs of our citizens and to achieve the strategic goals of the City Council.”

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