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Following an executive session held during a special Council meeting on Monday night, Newark City Council unanimously voted to appoint Public Works and Water Resources department director Tom Coleman as acting city manager. He will assume the role beginning May 20. Coleman's appointment comes following the retirement of Carol Houck, whose last day as city manager will be May 19.
"Tom has been a tremendous asset to the City for the past six years and will ensure continuity of customer service excellence during this period of transition," said Mayor Polly Sierer. "Council is grateful he has accepted the challenging task, yet confident he will be an effective, engaged leader as we seek a permanent City Manager."
Coleman first joined the City of Newark in May 2011 as assistant director of water and wastewater. In 2012, the Public Works and Water Resources Department was formed and he served as deputy director for two years before being promoted to department director in March 2014. Prior to his time with the City, he served as an associate at Karins and Associates in Pike Creek, where he worked for eight years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2004, and has been a Licensed Professional Engineer since 2009. In 2011, Coleman was selected by Delaware Engineering Society as "Young Engineer of the Year."
"I appreciate the vote of confidence by City Council to serve as acting City Manager upon Carol Houck's retirement next month and will continue to serve the residents and businesses of Newark to the best of my ability," said Coleman. "While I am honored to lead the City as they search for a permanent City Manager, I have made it clear to Council I do not wish to be considered among the pool of potential candidates at this time. As Council takes on the important task of selecting the next City Manager, the full leadership team of the City of Newark is committed to moving forward on the various initiatives underway."
Decisions regarding Houck's permanent replacement will occur in the coming weeks. All discussions will be noticed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.