Kevin Carruth and his family are moving to Paris.
Carruth was the unanimous choice Wednesday of the Paris City Council as the Northeast Texas city’s new city manager there, and he accepted the job. The city offered him a three-year contract worth $110,000 a year plus benefits, the Paris News reported in its online edition Thursday.
His contract includes a guarantee of nine months severance pay, the newspaper reported.
Carruth said he tentatively plans to start his new job Aug. 27. He said he is encouraged that the council came to a quick, unanimous decision to hire him.
Carruth, 41, has been working as interim town manager in Prosper, a job that ends Aug. 17. He had been a finalist for the Prosper job, but it was offered to someone else, and he was a finalist for city manager in Hobbs, N.M. when the Paris council offered him the job.
“We’re excited at the new prospect, and of course we hate to leave Brownwood,” Carruth, 41, said by phone from Prosper. “We’re glad to know where we’re going to go.
“ … During this entire time of the last eight to nine months, the support from the community, (city) employees and our (church) congregation has been sustaining.”
Carruth, his wife, Shawn, and their two children — Spencer, 7, and Caitlin, 3 — are members of First United Methodist Church in Brownwood.
Carruth said he has vivid memories of the November day when Brownwood City Council members, facing a packed council chambers, acted on his resignation after telling him he was no longer welcome and and approved a severance package.
He said he knew then he was in for a long job search because city manager jobs are cyclical, and there typically aren’t many job openings that time of the year.
He worked as a substitute teacher in Brownwood schools, and landed several interviews for city manager jobs. “I felt confident I was marketable,” he said.
Paris, a city of about 26,000, has some similarities to Brownwood, including a good industrial base and, like Brownwood, is a regional hub, Carruth said. The seven-member City Council selects the city’s mayor, he said.
Wednesday afternoon, the council interviewed two other finalists before interviewing Carruth. He said he left the council chambers expecting that he wouldn’t learn until Thursday if he had the job. He said he stopped to talk with City Hall reporter Charles Richards and was asked to return to the council chambers.
An hour later, the council reconvened in open session and voted to hire him, the Paris News reported.
It took less than 15 minutes for the council to decide it wanted Carruth, according to the newspaper.
The News quoted the city’s mayor, Jesse Freelen, as saying, "He was the selection from start to finish (Wednesday). I would never have dreamed it, I assure you.
"You can't imagine how it came together. In the interview, his answers were exactly the direction the council had decided they'd like to go, and I think that's what made the decision so easy."
The city council had been working since early June to hire a new city manager, the newspaper reported.