Fort Worth

May 5, 2014

Fort Worth picks city manager finalists from 3 states

The finalists, who are from Connecticut, North Carolina and Kansas, will come to Fort Worth for more interviews.

The City Council has selected three finalists for city manager, all from out of state, and expects to do more interviews in mid-May.

Roderick L. Bremby, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Social Services, was appointed to that role in 2011, the city said in news release.

David Cooke, the director of business development for Mulkey Engineers and Consultants in Raleigh, N.C., has worked in county and city government.

Penny Postoak Ferguson, deputy county manager of Johnson County, Kan., was previously an assistant city manager in San Antonio.

The council tossed out all four of the original finalists in February and started over, re-advertising for the job and bringing in new candidates.

The search began after City Manager Tom Higgins, who has been with the city for nearly 30 years, announced his retirement in October. Higgins, who makes $233,400 a year, agreed to stay on until a successor is chosen.

Mayor Betsy Price has said the council is searching nationwide for someone who is fiscally responsible, has industry and city government experience, is a visionary and is an innovator who is tech-savvy.

Roderick L. Bremby

Bremby oversees a budget of $5.7 billion for the health and human services agency in Connecticut. He has led initiatives in healthcare program restructuring, technology advancements, and implementing budgets and program changes, according to a city news release.

Bremby was the cabinet secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in 2003-11, was assistant city manager of Lawrence, Kan., from 1990 to 2000, was an administrative analyst for Fort Worth in 1984-86, and was assistant to the city manager in Fort Worth in 1986-90. He also worked as a professor at the University of Kansas.

Bremby got his Bachelor of Arts in communication studies and psychology from the University of Kansas at Lawrence in 1982 and received a master’s in public administration from the Edwin O. Stene Graduate Program there in 1984. He also received training from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.

David Cooke

Cooke started his current position, which includes consulting for municipal and private-sector clients, in February. He was county manager of Wake County, N.C., from 2000 to 2013, deputy county manager of Wake County from 1996 to 2000 and held several roles at Charlotte, N.C., in 1985-96 including budget and management analyst and internal consulting manager.

Wake County has nearly 1 million residents and the county employs 3,600 people with a budget of $1.2 billion. Cooke led 13 bond elections, helped recruit companies such as Fidelity Investments and Metlife to Wake County and helped plan and implement a new convention center in Raleigh, according to the release.

He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned a master’s in public administration there. The years were not available.

Penny Postoak Ferguson

Ferguson has served as deputy county manager of Johnson County, Kan., since August 2012, after two years as the assistant county manager. Johnson County has 3,800 employees, an annual budget of $810 million and a population of 565,000.

Previously, she was an assistant city manager for San Antonio from 2006 to 2010, deputy city manager of Overland Park, Kan., from 2005 to 2006, assistant city manager of operations for Overland Park from 2002 to 2005, core manager and executive director of budget and research for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., from 2000 to 2002, and assistant city manager of Hays, Kan., from 1997 to 2000.

She received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Kansas in 1992 and a master’s degree there in 1994. She also attended the Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan.

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