Houston City Hall

The Houston City Council announced Friday that a Kansas man will become Houston’s next city administrator.

The employment of Mark Campbell, 50, was finalized last week by the council, which approved the recommendation of Mayor Willy Walker. The vote was 5-0 (Councilman Kevin Stilley was unable to attend the meeting, but said he supported the hiring). Campbell was earlier interviewed by the council and later was introduced to the community in subsequent visits, which included a tour of one of the city’s major employers, Texas County Memorial Hospital.

Campbell, immigrated to America from Northern Ireland in the 1990s, and has a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University.

He has managed communities for the last 15 years in Missouri, Colorado and most recently in Chapman, Kan. He held an economic development role in Montana when he graduated from college. His job in Missouri was city administrator at LaGrange, Mo., which is north of Hannibal in Lewis County.

On Monday, Campbell was in the process of moving, and he spent some time at city hall this week as he begins the task of acquainting himself with the community and city government. Campbell said he was a candidate for city administrator in other towns, but ultimately chose Houston. One of the deciding factors was the town’s strong balance sheet that is driven primarily from its electrical sales and sales taxes. Houston owns the electrical system.

On the top of Campbell’s to-do list is to begin formulation of the town’s annual budget for 2023. The fiscal year begins Jan. 1. The job traditionally begins in the fall with final adoption coming in early December.

“I’ll be looking under the hood to learn,” Campbell said.

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