Bellaire’s well-liked fire chief, Deacon Tittel, was appointed unanimously by City Council Monday night (Dec. 6) to serve as interim city manager and will receive an extra $1,000 biweekly authorized by councilmembers for assuming the added duties.
The votes came after a closed session to discuss short-term strategy for replacing Brant Gary, the 20-month interim city manager whose last day was Friday. Wearing civilian clothes instead of his uniform, Tittel moved from the audience in council chambers to the city manager’s seat.
Council also directed city staff to solicit proposals and qualifications for a potential interim city manager to fill the position under a contract until a permanent replacement can be chosen — something that is expected to be a high priority when three new members take their seats next month.
Mayor Andrew Friedberg said those interim options could be presented at the Jan. 3 meeting, but said council would not have to commit to a choice — that the move was “for flexibility purposes.”