Watkins Columbia's Next City Manager
Mayor Hindman announced the unanimous city council decision earlier this morning. Watkins has been the assistant city manager since 1995. He'll replace 20-year City Manager Ray Beck on January sixth next year.
Watkins underwent weeks of city council interviews, individual news conferences, and participated in community forums. He beat out four other candidates for the promotion. He says he's pleased with the results.
"Columbia is a great town because of the people, people make it great. I think what we can do is continue to plan and communicate better. Columbia is growing and it's challenging some of our communication opportunities we have now. Maybe we need to do something differently and step outside the box," Watkins said.
For the next six weeks, Watkins will work closely with Beck to make the transition as smooth as possible. Watkins said he knows he's got big shoes to fill, but he'll be ready for his new job comes next January.