The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

August 25, 2013

Too many positions left open

— The Greenville City Council’s decision to hire Massoud Ebrahim as the full-time city manager was a good decision. Ebrahim has been with the city since 1990 as the Director of Public Works, and has gained a reputation as a dedicated and hardworking employee.

However, that fact that Ebrahim will continue to serve as Director of Public Works puts him in a difficult situation. Both are full-time jobs that are extremely important in the day-to-day operations of the city.

While waiting until the next fiscal year to consider filling the Director of Public Works position makes sense from a monetary perspective, it seems like a lot of work for just one man, no matter how dedicated.

Also, while the city council voted to conduct a search for a new city manager last month, they never actually hired a firm to conduct the search. Hiring for the most important position in the city without even reviewing other applications has the feel of a rushed decision.

The council selection of Ebrahim as the city manager continues a concerning trend of leaving important city positions open. Greenville still does not have a city planner or a Director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

We recognize that a fall in property tax revenue due to the loss of the Newell-Rubbermaid plant has placed the city in a difficult position concerning the budget. But the loss of key personnel begs the question: can Greenville continue to operate efficiently with these losses? If so, why have we paid individuals to fill these positions up to this point?

There are quite a few significant projects in Greenville’s future that will require a tremendous amount of hard work and careful planning, including the upcoming budget, the street improvement projects and the new YMCA facility.

Our city will need to operate on an efficient and effective level. Can it do so with so many open positions and individuals doing the work of two people?

These questions will have to be answered in the coming months, and our city council has undoubtedly considered them. But they are also questions that Greenville citizens need to remain aware of.

The opinion expressed here is that of the Herald-Banner editorial board. The board can be reached at