, Muskogee, OK

January 10, 2014

City manager should bring fresh ideas

— Let us offer congratulations to Howard Brown Jr., who accepted the Muskogee city manager position earlier this week.

It took the city council a little more than five months to select our new leader.

It is an important decision — one that shouldn’t have been rushed.

Councilors tapped Brown, 42, the planning and community development director for the city of Opa-locka, Fla., in the Miami-Dade metropolitan area. He starts Jan. 27.

Brown succeeds Greg Buckley, who resigned July 30 after about 5 1/2 years working as Muskogee’s city manager.

It appears city councilors did their part and due diligence throughout the hiring process. Brown’s approval was a unanimous vote.

While Brown’s work experience is in smaller cities, he is quite familiar with metropolitan areas.  Brown served three years as planning and development services director in Albany, Ga., and five years as neighborhood improvement manager for the city of Lilburn, Ga., within the Atlanta metropolitan area.

However, there likely will be a learning curve as Brown settles in, and as he finds out what can and can’t work here in Muskogee.

We expect him to bring fresh ideas. Fresh ideas are what’s needed if Muskogee is to separate itself from other cities. The Action in Muskogee’s 60-month plan is a great start, but it will take everyone working together to make that vision a reality.

Brown said he sees “great opportunities” with regard to the city’s prospects as an economic competitor on a global scale.

We are excited to see what Brown brings to the table as Muskogee is on the cusp of great things.