By Jessica Mathews /

The new Howell City Manager is expected to be on board on or around July 1st.

Paul Debuff comes to Howell from Celina, Texas where he served as the Director of Administrative Services. DeBuff will take over from Interim City Manager Erv Suida, who has been holding down the position since former City Manager Shea Charles resigned in May of 2019. Council had originally selected a different manager candidate who backed out of consideration last December, forcing Council to begin the search process again.

The Howell City Council met virtually Monday night, which was the last meeting for Suida in the interim role. He’ll return to his role of Director of Public Services when DeBuff takes over. Mayor Nick Proctor commended Suida for his stewardship over the last 13-months during some difficult months. He said there was a lot of uncertainly on where they were going and what they were doing and Suida was the man for the job - adding staff has performed exceptionally well. Proctor added that Suida did a remarkable job throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and crafted a plan to move the City forward based on data and different executive orders.

Suida said he couldn’t take all the credit and couldn’t have done it without staff and great people. He learned a lot over this past year and it has been a wonderful and very interesting year.

DeBuff was in attendance at the virtual meeting. He’s been in the community and getting settled it, telling Council he recently met with both Proctor and Suida. DeBuff commented he’s looking forward to getting to know Council and staff as it is all built on relationship and nothing works without relationships, adding he’s glad to be here and moved in to his new apartment. He expects to be able to start around July 1st, maybe a little earlier.

Suida reported that the ability to conduct virtual municipal meetings has been extended through July 31st. While they have the option to start meeting in person, Suida said it’s their recommendation they continue to hold the virtual Zoom meetings and formulate a policy that gets them ready for August to resume normal operations based on capacity and social distancing. Suida said he’ll start working on that when DeBuff comes on board and get a plan in place.