By James Beaty
McAlester City Manager Pete Stasiak has hired a new Community and Economic Development director for the city of McAlester.
Stasiak has hired Leroy Alsup, who told the News-Capital he has already accepted the position. He is set to begin work in McAlester on Oct. 21.
Since the McAlester City Council just approved Tuesday night combining the office of Community Planning and Community Development with the office of Economic Development director, Alsup will be the first to hold the new joint position.
Alsup, who is 58, said he currently lives Verdigris, in Rogers County between Claremore and Tulsa.
Stasiak said he’s hired Alsup at an annual base salary of $85,000. He cited Alsup’s academic accomplishments and work experience in saying why he chose him for the post.
“I’m extremely pleased to have man of this caliber coming to the city,” Stasiak said, citing Alsup’s academic achievements and his work experience.
“I think he will be able to add a lot here,” Stasiak said. “I think he’s going to do an outstanding job for our community.”
Meanwhile, the News-Capital has learned that Alsup resigned his previous position as city manager for the city of Catoosa in June.
Alsup had previously been suspended with pay, according to media accounts at the time.
In resigning the Catoosa job, Alsup had submitted a letter saying he was resigning to allow a majority of the Catoosa City Council to move forward since they desired a new direction with the city, effective June 5. He had been hired in 2011.
Asked about the matter, Alsup said his stay in Catoosa did not go as smooth as anticipated.
“They had just made a transition from a strong mayor form of government, to a strong city manager type, Alsup said.
As a result, Alsup said he inherited a city “in upheaval.”
“I think there was a backlash from people who wanted the old form instead of the new,” he said.
With the municipal elections that followed, “There was quite a swing in the election,” Alsup said
“They wanted their own person,” he said. “It wasn’t going too well. We worked out a mutually beneficial agreement where I resigned.”
Stasiak said he’s aware of the fact that Alsup resigned his city manager’s job in Catoosa and it does not pose a problem for him.
Stasiak also said Catoosa had changed from a strong mayor municipal government, to a strong city manager type of government.
“He was their first city manager,” Stasiak said.
“My understanding is it’s been a difficult transition.”
The News-Capital contacted Catoosa City Hall and asked to speak to Mayor Red Statum, but phone calls were not immediately returned as this article was being prepared for publication.
Stasiak said he had from approximately 38-to-40 applicants for the jobs of Planning and Community Development director and for Economic Development director.
He also wants to create a new position of Economic Development manager, who would answer to Alsup as the Economic Development director.
City councilors balked at approving the Economic Development manager position during their Tuesday night meeting, saying they preferred that the position be created through the council by the passage of an ordinance to comply with city requirements.
Meanwhile, in relating Alsup’s academic qualifications Thursday, Stasiak said Alsup has a bachelor of science degree from West Texas State University with a double major in geography and political science, a master’s degree from Miami University in geography, with a concentration in urban and regional planning, a master of public administration degree from the University of Kansas and a master of business administration degree from Southwestern College.
Stasiak also said that Alsup has earned economic development certification from the International Economic Development Council. In addition, he’s a credentialed city manager through the International City Manager Association, and also has certifications from the Economic Development Institute, Stasiak said.
“Mr. Alsup has extensive experience and knowledge in the development and administration of zoning codes, subdivision regulations and community master plans,” Stasiak said.
He added that Alsup has a “a long of experience in business and industry retention and expansion, recruitment of new commercial and industrial prospects and has experience working hands-on with entrepreneurs to stimulate the start-up of new business ventures.”
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.