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Hot Springs board selects new city manager | News

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Hot Springs board selects new city manager

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- According to officials with the City of Hot Springs, the board has selected a new city manager.

Officials say David Watkins, 58, will serve as Hot Springs' new city manager, effective June 18.

Today's THV recieved the following release from the City of Hot Springs:

Watkins has 38 years' experience in local government, with expertise in areas including e-government, New Urbanism, Smart Growth, capital improvement planning, strategic planning, financial management, Homeland Security, transportation planning and intergovernmental relations. He most recently served as city manager for the City of Bryan, TX from 2006 until 2010, overseeing a $329 million budget with a workforce of 800 in a college community of 75,000. Previous positions held include city manager of the cities of Auburn, AL and Ottawa, KS; and city administrator of the City of Lenexa, KS.

"I'm extremely excited about taking this job," stated Watkins. "First and foremost, it's a wonderful opportunity to use my experience to work with the Board of Directors on tackling some issues that personally challenge me: downtown redevelopment, water supply issues, fiscal constraints -- all challenges that I've had in the past. I'm impressed with the enthusiasm of the members of the Board. I think they are determined to move forward on some issues, and I'm quite frankly looking to be a part of that effort.

"I've had a chance to meet key city staff members and employees, and I was impressed with the pride, dedication and loyalty they have for the city. I think that's very critical to an organization being able to move forward. I'm ready to go to work."

Regarding the Hot Springs area as his new home, Watkins commented, "The area is extremely beautiful, and I've been told that repeatedly by friends and relatives. Kay and I were certainly not disappointed." Watkins and his wife Kay have worked as a team in the real estate business. Kay Watkins' training and experience is in speech pathology and in teaching art to children. The Watkins have 2 grown daughters, Laura, a social media/marketing technician based in Kansas City, MO; and Leslie, an actress and comedienne residing in Los Angeles.