Belgrade has its new town manager.

Anthony Wilson will start work in the role on July 15.

A lifelong Texan, Wilson has 12 years of experience in municipal government, having worked for the city of San Angelo, Texas. That city, with a population of slightly more than 100,000 people, is about a two-hour drive southeast of Midland.

“I want to be a town manager because of the impact that position can have on a community,” Wilson said during a phone interview Saturday.

For the past seven years, he was the communications director and public information officer for San Angelo, supervising the city’s internal and external communications. He also oversaw a public access channel and website.

Before that, he was the city’s civic events manager for five years, overseeing municipally owned facilities, such as its coliseum and convention center.

In May 2020, he’ll graduate from the University of Texas at Tyler with a master’s degree in public administration.

Wilson, who is 51, also has 20 years of experience as a reporter and an editor, including as managing editor of the San Angelo Standard-Times.

Michael Barrett, Belgrade’s Board of Selectpersons chairman, said Wilson stood out for his straightforwardness and honesty.

“He had the qualities (the board is) seeking — high integrity, works hard and relates well to the people,” Barrett said.

Wilson oversee operations for the town with a population of roughly 3,000 people and a municipal budget of $3.36 million for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

His salary, Barrett said, will be slightly more than $72,000, with a six-month probation period, at which time he will be eligible for a 5% raise. The length of his contract has yet to be negotiated.

“One of the things that has impressed me about this opportunity is that everyone I’ve talked to has unabashedly sang the praises of Belgrade,” Wilson said. “That’s a dream of any town manager to have a citizenry that’s that committed to the community.”

He said he intends to become a resident of the town, stating that it’s vitally important that he and his family becomes members of the Belgrade community.

“In order to do the best job as town manager, I feel like I’d be doing the citizens a disservice if I parachute in each day,” Wilson said. “To enjoy the community, you’ve got to be in the community.”

He said the opportunity to lead Belgrade is a dream realized. He and his family had set their sights on living in New England after getting to know the region through vacations.

Wilson and his wife have three children. Two are in college, and the youngest will be a senior in high school in 2019-2020.

“The citizens here are in love with the community,” he said. “That’s the sort of place we want to be; that speaks to the quality of life that it offers.”

Immediately, Wilson plans to get to know the town and its residents.

“People who work in newspapers are naturally curious, and I am, so I’m going to spend at least the next year just learning intensely the needs and desires of the community,” he said. “As someone who’s tried to spur civic engagement, I want to have a lot of communication with residents.”

Barrett said town staff members felt enthusiastic to have Wilson as town manager.

“He came across well (when meeting the staff),” Barrett said. “He’s a likable guy.”

Dennis Keschl gave his resignation in April, citing a need to put family ahead of his career. Barrett said Keschl, who is also a state representative, will act as town manager until Wilson begins in July.

Barrett said the town also appointed Mary Vogel to fill the position of treasurer.

 


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