Brownwood council OKs contract with Crawford as new city manager

Steve Nash
Emily Crawford stands in the Brownwood City Council chambers Tuesday morning, a few minutes after city council members unanimously approved a contract to hire her as city manager. Also pictured are Crawford's husband, Scotty, and outgoing City Manager Bobby Rountree, who retires on June 23.

Brownwood City Council members made it official Tuesday: Emily Crawford will be the new city manager after Bobby Rountree retires from the job on June 23.

Council members unanimously approved a contract with Crawford that pays her $125,000 a year and includes a $750 monthly vehicle allowance.

Council members deliberated Crawford’s contract in executive session, then reconvened into open session and quickly voted to approve.

For the past four years, Crawford, 38, has worked as executive director of the Brownwood Economic Development Corp. and has held the title of assistant city manager for just over a year.

“It’s a great honor,” Crawford said of her selection. “The role of city manager is an incredibly large position. It’s very weighty. It carries a lot of responsibility and so I take it very seriously. I am looking forward to it, but I realize it will be a great responsibility.

“I am honored to have been selected.”

She said her earliest priorities will include filling key positions that have been vacated by retirement including public works director and health department administrator — as well as the job of director of the economic development corporation, the job she's she’s vacating.

“So that will be the first project that we need to work on, and then of course the budget is coming up soon, and that will be the second thing that we get to right away,” Crawford said.

She said the city’s future is bright. “We have so many intelligent staff and council and community members who involved and work at the city,” Crawford said. “What I would love to do is hear their ideas and see how we can work together, to see we can accomplish moving our city forward.”   

Mayor Stephen Haynes announced last month that the city would first look internally to fill the city manager’s job, and would look externally only if no qualified applicants were found among city employees.

Council members unanimously chose Crawford on March 31 as Rountree’s successor subject to the completion of contract negotiations.

Crawford and her husband, Scotty, are the parents of two sons. 

Before becoming the BEDC’s director, Crawford worked as the community relations coordinator for the Brownwood school district. Before that, she had served as the Conventional and Visitors Bureau director and marketing manager for the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce.

Before coming to Brownwood, Crawford planned, budgeted, negotiated bids and managed two of the largest trade shows in Texas with the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association in Austin.