Following the return from executive session on Monday, Dec. 14, Wharton City Council members unanimously approved the appointment of city secretary Paula Favors to assistant city manager.
“She betters herself and our community is better because of that.”
“The discussion was pretty straight-forward,” Wharton Councilman Russell Machann told The County Gin. “We all agreed that the city needed someone with thorough knowledge of all ongoing city projects. I know Paula is well known, highly thought of and well respected. It just seemed like the natural decision.”
Machann’s confidence in Favors was shared with fellow council member Clifford Jackson, who told The Gin, “Favors possesses all the knowledge and dedication that an assistant city manager should possess.”
Both men agreed that the decision to create the position serves as reassurance while council continues the search for Andres Garza Jr.’s predecessor.
“Paula will be able to properly assist the new city manager when we find him or her,” Machann said. “With her background and being hands-on with each project, she will be able to guide the city if Mr. Garza was unavailable as well.”
Favors joined the City of Wharton as a telecommunications officer in May of 2006.
After her time at the Wharton Police Department, she joined city hall as a utility clerk and in January of 2011, was appointed as city secretary.
Garza made the following comments in reference to Favors’ dedication to the city in an interview, shortly following his retirement announcement:
“I’m proud of Paula. She obtained her city secretary designation certification; she served as president of the Salt Grass Chapter. She betters herself and our community is better because of that.”
Modest in her response, Favors told The Gin that she considers it an honor to be recognized for her work and dedication, noting, “We have such a supportive team of council members and mayor that recognize the hard work that goes into serving the community.”
She said her motivation behind her accomplishments stem from encouragement by Garza.
“Mr. Garza has always encouraged us to gain all the knowledge that we can and always encouraged education and learning to help us better serve the community,” Favors said.
Favors sees the appointment as a way to assist Garza in enjoying his retirement.
“This position will allow Mr. Garza to begin to enjoy some of his much earned retirement,” she said. “He will still be able to continue to work for the city, just at a reduced pace.
“My current job duties as city secretary and human resource director will remain and the new position will be added. I will be able to assist with the day-to-day duties as the council continues to carefully review candidates to fill the city manager position.”
While this transition time is critical for Wharton, Favors also views each step taken towards Garza’s retirement, as a bittersweet end to his leadership.
“I am grateful that Mr. Garza is willing to continue to help in finding and training his replacement,” she said. “When Mr. Garza leaves the city, he will take with him 27 years of City of Wharton experience and knowledge; that is irreplaceable.”
Although the effective date has not been set, City of Wharton Mayor Tim Barker said, “As far as I am concerned, she is already doing what we were looking for in an assistant city manager. Now, we can have her title and compensation match what she has been doing for quite some time.”
To stay up-to-date with the search for Wharton’s next city manager, ongoing city projects and more, visit www.cityofwharton.com.