At its Jan. 25 meeting, the Humble City Council authorized a general election to be held on May 5 for the purpose of electing three city council positions that are up for election in 2018. Position No. 3 is currently held by Norman Funderburk, Position 4 is held by Allan Steagall, and Place 5 is held by David Pierce. Together they represent a majority of the council as there are a total of five positions. All three incumbents have officially filed to run for re-election. No other candidates had filed as of Jan. 26. The closing deadline for any qualified resident of Humble to run in this election is Feb. 16.

Following a brief executive session to discuss personnel matters relating to the positions of fire chief, the city manager and city secretary, Mayor Merle Aaron reconvened the public meeting. He said, “We are going to lose our fire chief [Gary Outlaw] as he is retiring in just a few days and so what we are doing is to cover some areas with the three fire department heads, Jimmy [Nykaza], Mike [Legoudes] and Al [Taska] to fill in until we get a handle on the situation.”

Regarding the city manager position, Aaron explained that a formal contract to employ Jason Stuebe, who had been selected by the city council on Jan. 15, was now negotiated and completed. He said, “We have a new city manager. We offered him [Stuebe] a contract that we feel is fair to him and to the city.” The council immediately approved it.

Aaron explained that as a result of promoting Stuebe from secretary to city manager, the position of secretary was now open. He asked if Stuebe had a recommendation and Stuebe said, “What I would ask council to do is to approve our law firm providing a contract for an interim secretary for us to approve and also to approve Sherry Mashburn to fill the position.”

The council unanimously approved. Stuebe explained that he thought it would take at least a couple of months to recruit and hire a qualified city secretary. In the meantime, Mashburn will bring needed immediate experience, having recently retired from the city secretary position for the City of College Station.

In other business, the council approved:
- A variance request for the Rhodes School to permit temporary use of two modular classroom buildings for up to five years. Stuebe explained that the buildings would be behind the main building which is the original Humble Elementary School located on Charles Street.
- A contract renewal between the City of Humble and the law firm of Haley, Mathews, Winick and Kroll, LCC to provide legislative counsel in the amount of $5,000 per month. Stuebe briefly explained the ongoing services provided through this contract. Aaron emphasized its importance when he said, “I might add that whenever we go over to Austin, he [John Kroll] is really a support for us who don’t understand how to get around Austin. Without Darrell (Humble’s recently retired city manager), he is going to really be essential.”

Bruce Olson
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I have been married since 1970 to Kerry, my best friend and a great Australian woman. I served and survived Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force. I fought forest fires in the summer while in college, where I earned a B.A. in economics from Oklahoma State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. I retired from Continental Airlines. I have a son and two granddaughters in Kingwood, and a daughter and two grandsons on a farm near Mazabuka, Zambia. I am now enjoying life as a grandfather, Tribune correspondent and Humble ISD guest teacher when not traveling to Zambia or Australia.