Two Finalists Remove Themselves From City Manager Search – UPDATE

Filed under: City |

A response was received from both Matt Mueller and Wes Pierson. Go to the bottom of the article for’s e-mail to both of the candidates along with the response from Matt Mueller  and Wes Pierson.

Only a few days after the candidates for the City Manager position that became vacant when Kent Cagle left for Leander, two of them asked for their names to be withdrawn for consideration.

Strategic Government Resources (SGR), the consultant firm hired to conduct the search, presented five potential candidates and they were scheduled to come to Duncanville to meet with the council, city staff, and attend a community “meet and greet” on April 14.

Matt Mueller

According to the consultant firm, these candidates stood out amongst a very strong pool of 34 applicants from 17 states.

Prior to the April 13 meet and greet one of the candidates, Kent Myers from Port Angeles, Washington, withdrew from the proceedings. On April 3, Myers gave his notice to the City Council at Port Angeles that he would be resigning as he had accepted the City Manager position with the City of Fredericksburg, Texas.

On Wednesday evening, the Duncanville City Council was notified that Matt Mueller, City Manager at Guthrie, Oklahoma, and Wesley Pierson, Assistant City Manager for the City of Allen, Texas, had requested that their names be withdrawn for consideration.

Wesley Pierson

Interim City Manager Jeanne Fralicks-Heard was asked if either had taken a position with another city, and she stated, “There has been no indication that they received positions elsewhere.” Both Mueller and Pierson were contacted by for statements and we have not as of yet received a return email.

The remaining two candidates are Isaac Turner and Daniel O’Leary. Neither of these candidates currently holds a city manager position.

Turner is currently serving as a financial management consultant for the First Baptist Church Venice in North Venice, Florida. He served as the city manager for North Venice for nearly three years, and had a three-year stint as the city manager for McKinney, Texas.

Isaac Turner

According to a February 9, 2011 article in the Sarasota Florida Herald Tribune, Turner resigned following a 4-3 vote by the Venice City Council calling for his resignation. The article stated that one of the council members stated that Turner “had some serious leadership issues,” and had asked Turner to resign two weeks prior and pushed the issue on the agenda. Three of the members praised Turner for being a good man and accused their colleagues of a witch-hunt. Council members said he was slow to react to problems in the police department and had not done enough to reduce the budget. Turner left with an $110,000 severance package, according to the article.

While conducting a web search it was found that Turner is listed as a finalist for other Texas cities.

Daniel O’Leary was most recently the City Manager in Keller, Texas. A web search shows that he most recently received national attention by laying himself off. An article in the Huffington Post stated that O’Leary resigned at a March 20 city council meeting, saying that the city should look to trim costs wherever possible, starting with eliminating his own administrative position.

Daniel O'Leary

O’Leary started in Keller in 2008. While at Keller, they came in seventh in the CNN/Money Magazine “Top 100 Best Places to Live”. Prior to Keller he was employed by the City of San Marcos for nearly thirty years and held positions that ranged from fire chief, interim director of planning, and then city manager.

This may all be a moot point, as the Duncanville City Council in their last meeting began discussing the possibility of making a selection after the elections in May.

It is known that Turner is on other lists, and it is better than good possibility that O’Leary is as well. This could mean that all five candidates either could have jobs elsewhere, or removed themselves from the proceedings and Duncanville would be left to start over. According to conversations at the April 17 Duncanville City Council meeting, the search firm would not cost additional funds and would continue the search if all of these candidates were no longer available.

According to the SGR website, the finalists have been selected for the City Manger position. Click here to see the city manager position profile listed on their site. SGR is also involved in searches for a city manager for Little Elm (TX), Miami (OK), Jacksboro (TX), Fate (TX), La Porte (TX), Norman (OK), Texarkana (TX), Elk City (OK), Bainbridge Island (WA), and San Angelo (TX). They are also assisting with the search for an Economic Development Director in League City (TX).

From to Matt Mueller and Wesley Pierson

It was a pleasure to meet you the other night a the community “meet and greet”. I was saddened when I learned last night that you have withdrawn from consideration.

I was wondering if you could share some insight into the reason for your withdrawal.

Matt Mueller’s response

Hey Keith, it was a pleasure to meet you as well. Yeah, it was a tough decision to withdraw.  The community is great, all of the people I spoke with at the meet and greet were kind and hospitable, and the organization seems to be a model of efficiency with an extraordinary staff.  I had a lot of time to think about the opportunity and the issues faced by the community when I was traveling home from the interview. I think that Duncanville has some great things waiting for it in the future, but I just don’t feel that it is the right fit for me at this time.

Thank you for your kindness, I really appreciated getting to meet you and the other members of the community.  I think that there are some strong candidates left and feel that either one of them will be a great manager for the City.

Wes Pierson’s response

It was a pleasure to meet you as well. I really have no comment at this time and I wish the community the best of luck in the future. Thank you for your kindness and I was impressed with the members of the Duncanville community that I met during this process.