FORNEY, Texas — Following a lengthy Wednesday afternoon executive session, the Forney City Council voted 6-1 to appoint a new city manager.
The search for a new city manager began earlier this year after long-time City Manager Brian Brooks announced his immediate resignation on January 19, 2016, for which the city council approved a severance package.
Interim City Manager Charles Daniels has been serving as city manager since February 12, 2016.
Following a more than two-hour executive session on Wednesday, which began just after 2 p.m., the Forney City Council voted 6-1 to appoint former Murphy, Texas, City Manager James Fisher as the new city manager of Forney.
Council member Robbie Powers cited allegations made against Fisher in 2013 for her reason to vote against the appointment.
In 2013, Fisher was placed on leave while an independent, third-party attorney was hired to investigate the allegations. After an approximate three-week investigation, it was determined the allegations could not be substantiated, according to the Dallas Morning News. Fisher was reinstated by the city council following the investigation.
In an interview with inForney.com, Fisher says there were no findings or fault and he was immediately asked to return to work.
Fisher’s appointment will take effect September 6, 2016, as approved by the council’s vote. Specific salary information was not yet available but sources say the base salary will be in the $160,000-range with a one-year severance package.
Fisher served as the city manager for Murphy from 2008 until his resignation in March 2016. During his eight-year tenure, Fisher saw the city’s population explode from approximately 11,000 to 20,000.
Murphy and Forney have very similar demographics and are both situated less than 25 miles from Dallas, Texas. Murphy, just north of Sachse, Texas, is located between several other major cities including Wylie and Plano. Forney, however, has collected just over two-and-a-half times more in sales tax allocations the past couple of years.
In the coming weeks, Fisher says he will begin the process of moving his family to Forney.
“We are doing everything we can to become a part of the community,” he said.
“Fisher previously worked for the cities of Port Aransas, Castroville, Muleshoe, and Bee Cave, Texas,” according to a bio released by the City of Forney last month.
“He is a Texas Certified Public Manager and is a member of the Texas City Management Association where he has served as the Ethics Chairman and as President for Regions 4 and 7, according to the bio. “He is also a member of the International City/County Management Association. Fisher holds a master of public affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas and a bachelor of business administration in management from West Texas A&M University.”