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Amarillo City Council approves contract with Grayson Path: New city manager to make $285,000

During their regular meeting on Tuesday, the Amarillo City Council approved an employment contract with new city manager Grayson Path. According to the contract, Path will receive a starting salary of $285,000 per year.

Read the full contract:

During a special meeting on June 3, the Amarillo City Council decided to pursue Path as the next city manager. Path is currently the city manager of Paris, Texas.

Amarillo City Council members cited Path’s success in moving Paris forward with the renovation of the wastewater treatment plant, initiating private trash collection and implementing the move to end the fire department’s underfunded pension plan along with other initiatives. 

Mayor Cole Stanley said it was Path’s candidness and problem-solving approach that ultimately stood out.

““Who’s the guy who’s most eager to get in this fight that we have for a wastewater treatment plant? You’re talking a $300 million problem that’s been 20 years in the making and we’re asking you to literally show up here and help us clean up this mess.”

Stanley also noted Path’s track record in problem-solving.

“If you look at some of the problems even in Paris, they had problems with trash, we have problems with trash,” Stanley said. “You know, they have problems with an underfunded pension plan with their fire department and he was able to solve that problem and get the community to buy into it."

The position for city manager has been vacant for almost a year. 

“When you don’t have a permanent leader in place, it’s kind of hard to think longer term,” said Les Simpson, city council place 4. “And so I think what this will help us to do is not only the budgeting and other things that we’re looking at, problems that we’re trying to solve, it’s being able to take a longer term approach with the leader that’s going to be here permanently for the long haul.”

Simpson also praised Path’s track record in problem-solving, particularly in his previous role in Paris, Texas.

“If you look at some of the problems even in Paris, they had problems with trash, we have problems with trash. You know, they have problems with a underfunded pension plan with their fire department and he was able to solve that problem and get the community to buy into it,” said Simpson.

Path, the Paris City Council and staff are responsible for implementing the $130 million renovation of the city’s wastewater treatment plant, a $1.3 million renovation of Love Civic Center, the demolition of the Belford Building, implementation of phase 1 of the historic Grand Theater and the outsourcing of the city’s solid waste service. Path also was instrumental in the move to end the fire department’s underfunded pension plan with a $12 million pension bond utilizing a retiring property tax debt levy, the first of its kind in Texas. Along with staff, Path also implemented a 5-In-5 In-Fill Housing Development Program.

Along with other organizations, Path led Paris in the construction of a 60-plus unit senior citizen affordable housing complex and saw the groundbreaking of a phase 1 buildout of 290 plus single and multifamily housing units in the new Forestbrook Estates subdivision, among other accomplishments.

Along with the Paris Economic Development Corp., the Path has been instrumental in negotiations with Huhtamaki for it $85 million expansion bringing 80 new jobs and Lionshead Specialty Tire & Wheel’s investment in a $20 million facility bringing 40 new jobs.

In addition, PEDC, the City of Paris and the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce have implemented both a unified branding message and a housing study and market analysis along with other projects to include roadway and water utility infrastructure in the Northwest Industrial Park using a PEDC-acquired $1.3 million grant.

Path credited his colleagues with the city’s achievements.

“Since April 2020, I have had the pleasure of working alongside an impressive team here at the City of Paris as we accomplish incredible work together,” Path said.

“From the city council, to the city staff, to our partners with the Paris Economic Development Corp. and the Paris & Lamar County Chamber of Commerce, and many more, there is much that we in Paris can be proud of. No one person can claim responsibility for these great accomplishments, they are truly a team effort, and I am so fortunate and blessed to be working with such a unit.”

Bio provided by the City of Amarillo:

Since April of 2020, Grayson Path has served as Paris, TX City Manager. Prior to this position, Grayson was the City Administrator of Nebraska City, NE. He received a Master of Public Administration degree from Arkansas State University and has worked for three great communities as Chief Executive Officer.

His career includes working on hundreds of millions of dollars in capital improvement projects, including roadways, facilities, treatment plants and utilities. Additionally, he has been responsible for the development and implementation of significantly sized budgets, tackled important community plans such as Comprehensive Development Plans, Revitalization Plans, Housing assessments, Economic Development Programs and City Council Strategic Plans and has led a wide array of departments such as emergency-based Police, Fire, and EMS, to infrastructure-based Public Works, Utilities, and Engineering, to operation and community-based Finance, Library, Parks and Community Development. His proudest accomplishments are the partnerships formed among many entities within the communities served and the outstanding teams of city workers that he has had the privilege to develop and supervise. Grayson understands the importance of empowering staff, thorough communication at all levels, and giving his employer (the city council) the information they need to make informed decisions as they lead the community.

Grayson enjoys building coalitions and working with caring and industrious people within the communities he serves. According to Path, those individuals, and the mentors in his life, have helped mold him into the honest, hardworking, open-minded, quick learning, determined, experienced, and strong-willed man he has become. “I would like nothing more than to have the opportunity to continue working with such people in Amarillo and to serve them with the skills I have learned and experience I have gained.”

Grayson, and his wife, Katie, have two young children. 

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