By Tera Bryant
The Midwest City Council Tuesday night determined how it will fill an important vacancy.
The city will begin looking for a new City Manager to replace J. Guy Henson, who is set to retire June 12, after almost 40 years with the City of Midwest City.
“It is imperative to move forward and create continuity for the over 469 employees after Henson announced his resignation,” said Mayor Matt Dukes.
The city will accept applications for the city manager position until noon on April 9.The city council will meet in executive session at the April 9 meeting and narrow the list of candidates. They will interview the finalists on April 23.
“We can go with our recommendation at that point,” said Dukes.
The city intends to create as seamless of a transition as possible in order to alleviate any issues with the changeover and keep all of the departments running smoothly.
Henson has been with the city since 1979 and was elected to the City Manager position in December 2005. Henson faced several difficult moments during his time with the City of Midwest City including the Tornado in May 1999 that devastated the hospitality area of the city. With Henson’s expertise in economic development and an eye towards a bustling city that houses locations such as The Reed Conference Center, the city rebounded and recovered gracefully from the tragedy. His devotion to investing in the city’s economic future helped build faith within the community leaders and businesses who in turn began to invest in the city again as it forged new relationships and development.
Dukes emphasized the focus on looking inward at prospective candidates from within the employees of the City as a viable option for a replacement. Council members agreed it would be a smart move to look within for a suitable candidate and will be reviewing the prospective candidates on April 23, which may lead to a viable option for City Manager. They will announce the new City Manager after the selection process comes to a close, at the next City Council meeting.