By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
TheFlashToday.com NEWS & SPORTS – FREE & LOCAL
The city of Stephenville’s new interim Director of Planning and Building Services, Lee Elliott, has probably never met a stranger. And if you would like to meet him and introduce yourself he will be rolling up his sleeves Wednesday at his first day of work.
Elliott’s hiring came after a five-hour executive session by the Stephenville city council where his new job, a director of the new economic development foundation and an evaluation of city administrator were on the agenda.
Elliott, 40, has roots in Texas from his birth in Texarkana, to his work experiences in Mount Vernon and Newberg. Elliott’s college education (University Central Arkansas) and work has also carried him out of state where he has worked in Arkansas and Oregon.
Those roots in Texas run deep and going into the construction business was a serious consideration for Elliott with his father working in that field as he grew up.
“My father worked in the construction business and I leaned toward taking over the family business,” Elliott said. “Then I also leaned toward college football and coaching at that level.”
College football remains a major passion for Elliott, and then so does city planning.
“I did an internship with the city of Conway (Ark.) and they had a very good planning department,” Elliott said. “I had taken some courses in urban planning as part of my degree and simply just fell in love with city planning.”
He may be in love with city planning, but that hasn’t kept Elliott from gaining experience in a number of areas to include work as a community and economic director, and economic planning.
Elliot’s other experience includes eight months as an assistant city manager in Newberg, where he oversaw public works, human resources, and emergency operations. He the spent the next year as the interim city manager when the manager left there.
Elliott likes the “interim business” because it gives him plenty of challenges at work. which you might expect from someone who considered a coaching career. One of his longer stints was four and a half years as the city manager in Mount Vernon.
“I hope people will feel I take a pragmatic approach to my work and that I am result oriented. Sometimes planners are too philosophical. Some challenges for planners are pragmatic. I like to think I have no problem looking at things either way.”
He’s ready to hit the ground running and his dachshunds Oscar and Miyah will be right on his heels.
“They are my 10-year old children,” he laughs.