DeSoto To Reveal City Manager Finalists Next Month

desoto interim city manager
M. Reneé Johnson, the City of DeSoto’s new Interim City Manager.

DeSoto Seeks Community Input On New City Manager

The DeSoto City Council’s search for a permanent replacement for longtime City Manager Tarron Richardson, who departed in May of 2019 to become the City Manager of Charlottesville, Virginia, will soon come to a successful close. In February the City of DeSoto will hold a public meeting to announce the City Manager finalists and introduce them to our residents. The meeting date will be finalized in the near future, but until then the Council and City Officials are seeking the public’s help in coming up with potential questions to ask the finalists at the meeting.

“We have faced many challenges during this year of transition, but perhaps none are more important to the long term success of our city as selecting the new leader who will guide DeSoto through this new decade and beyond,” observed Mayor Curtistene S. McCowan, who along with her City Council colleagues has been working closely with the executive search firm SGR (Strategic Government Resources) to conduct a thorough nationwide search. “We reviewed multiple candidates and even extended the search until we found the finalists that we are confident are ready to lead us to an era of pride and prosperity.”

Praise From The Mayor

The Mayor was also full of praise for the new team that was able to step in and lead DeSoto City Government through a year of transition following the departure of Richardson and his two top deputies. Deputy City Manager Tracie Hlavinka left days after Richardson to accept a post as Village Manager of Clarkdale, Arizona, and Deputy City Manager Letitia Shelton eventually followed Richardson to Charlottesville to serve as his financial deputy.

“We asked three of our Senior Managers to step in and assume these responsibilities without any transition or grace period, and they are a major reason why DeSoto has kept moving forward,” observed Mayor McCowan. “Renee Johnson has done an excellent job with the very demanding position of Interim City Manager, Isom Cameron has been exceptional as Deputy City Manager while continuing to manage our public utilities, and Tracy Cormier, Managing Director of Financial Services, guided us through a flawless budget process. We expected no less and offer our heartfelt thanks to all of our managers who helped guide this transition for their hard work and long hours in order to move DeSoto forward!”

Residents who would like to offer their suggested questions for the upcoming City Manager Finalists rollout should email them along with their name, address, and contact information should we need to follow-up to no later than February 5, 2020.