Brownwood City Council members unanimously voted Tuesday to hire 58-year-old Goldthwaite native Bobby Rountree, a 35-year veteran of city government, as Brownwood’s new city manager.

Rountree has worked as Goldthwaite’s city manager since 2000. He previously worked as city manager in Baytown, a city with 65,000 residents, a $50 million budget and 550 employees.

Rountree will be paid $125,000 a year plus heath and retirement benefits, and a car allowance.

“I look forward to working with the residents and employees and city council in Brownwood,” Rountree said by phone from Goldthwaite. “I think there’s an opportunity there for an experienced city manager to come in and be helpful. I feel like there’s a challenge there for a new city manager.”

Rountree said he hopes to be on the job in Brownwood by Sept. 17 but will attend the City Council’s budget sessions, which begin Thursday.

He said he and his wife, Jana, were high school sweethearts in Goldthwaite. They have a son who lives in Austin and a daughter who lives in Mansfield, and one grandson.

Brownwood City Council members selected Rountree after a single round of interviews with him and four other candidates last week.

The council discussed their selection in an executive session, then reconvened into open session and acted on councilman Carl McMillan’s motion to hire Rountree.

Mayor Bert Massey said the council was impressed with Rountree’s success in Goldthwaite, where “he appears to have done an excellent job on a limited budget and very few employees,” and in Baytown, a city with a budget nearly twice the size as Brownwood’s.

Massey also said the council was impressed that “a man of his experience and background and qualifications was enthusiastic and interested in doing the job in Brownwood.”

“I think the councilmen believe he will be able to hit the ground running and continue the momentum already present in our community,” Massey said.

Rountree graduated from Texas Tech University in 1971 with a degree in recreation and parks administration. In 1972 he went to work in Baytown as the superintendent of parks and recreation, then became assistant city manager there in 1986.

In 1989, Rountree was named Baytown's city manager. He retired in 1999, and he and his wife decided to move back to Goldthwaite to be near their families, Rountree said.

He was named city manager in Goldthwaite, a city of 1,800, in April 2000.

(Photo of Bobby Rountree courtesy of the Goldthwaite Eagle.)