Amarillo city leaders weigh in on Bob Cowell's departure

Amarillo city leaders weigh in on Bob Cowell's departure

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A key member of Amarillo's city management staff is saying goodbye to the city, and leaving big shoes to fill.

Bob Cowell will only be the Deputy City Manager for a few more weeks before he takes on his new role as the city manager for Roanoke, VA.

The Roanoke City Council announced its decision Monday afternoon to select Cowell as the new city manager, following a nationwide search.

Cowell had been trying to take the next step in his field to become a city manager for several months.

He was a finalist for the spot in Amarillo, San Marcos, and Tacoma, WA.

Amarillo city staff and the city council said they're very excited for Cowell, and that our city's loss is Roanoke's gain.

"Bob has been that steadying force for us that kept his eye on the finish line," said Mayor Ginger Nelson. "There are many projects here in the city that we would not be having the benefit of seeing them come to a close had it not been for Bob and his ability to carry us."

"The projects that Bob was responsible for or led have shaped our downtown, have shaped our transportation infrastructure, and our water and waste water infrastructure," said City Manager Jared Miller. "So he's had a hand in all the things that cost a lot of money in the City of Amarillo and we're absolutely going to want to fill that position with the very best person we can."

Cowell, who is in Roanoke for the announcement, starts his new job in September, and will be transferring his current projects to other city staff members to oversee until his replacement is hired in a few months.

"It's pretty amazing what's been accomplished over the last few years," said Cowell. "Especially when you consider it was a pretty tumultuous time. I'm going to miss the people definitely the most, and I'm going to miss...the excitement, the momentum that's really building in Amarillo."

Cowell was a big player in getting the minor league baseball team and stadium to Amarillo, and said he'll be back to visit in April 2019 for the first home game.

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