Marsac Building official tapped as Texas town’s city manager |

Marsac Building official tapped as Texas town’s city manager

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Leaders in Galveston, Texas, this week selected Michael Kovacs, the assistant city manager in Park City, as the person they want to hold the top staff position in the island resort city.

Kovacs said the City Council in Galveston authorized staffers there to negotiate a contract with him. He hoped to finalize the terms of the contract by the end of the week. Kovacs said his starting date could be toward the end of January.

"So far, it’s been fairly cordial," Kovacs said. "We’re working through some of the details at this point."

It was not clear when he would leave his City Hall position in Park City.

The City Council in Galveston cast five votes in favor of his appointment. Two City Councilors abstained. There were no ‘Nay’ votes.

Kovacs started his duties at City Hall in late 2009, becoming the first assistant city manager in Park City since the era surrounding the 2002 Winter Olympics. He is the second-in-command behind City Manager Tom Bakaly although he does not hold supervisory duties over the other staffers.

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He had been the city manager in Port Aransas, a resort community on the Gulf Coast of Texas, before his hiring in Park City. Kovacs also held an executive position in the South Carolina resort community of Surfside Beach.

Kovacs has been assigned a wide variety of duties during his tenure at City Hall, including monitoring the state Legislature.

Bakaly credited Kovacs with performing well on behalf of City Hall at the Statehouse. He also said Kovacs was an important figure during a transitional time at the Marsac Building with newcomers in high-level positions like the planning director, the city engineer and the chief building official.

Bakaly said he will appoint someone to fill the assistant city manager position on an interim basis from within the municipal ranks, likely prior to Kovacs leaving or at about the same time. A nationwide recruitment will then be undertaken to fill the position permanently. Bakaly said he anticipates the recruitment will last up to six months.

The person filling the position on an interim basis will be a key figure in City Hall’s efforts at the Statehouse during next year’s legislative session.