Austin official to become San Marcos’ next city manager

Bert Lumbreras is returning to his San Marcos roots.

Lumbreras, who has served as an assistant city manager in Austin since 2006, is the lone finalist to become San Marcos city manager, the city announced Monday morning. The move will be a homecoming of sorts for Lumbreras, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from what is now Texas State University.

“I have strong ties to San Marcos,” Lumbreras said in a statement, noting he started his government career as an intern at San Marcos City Hall. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to come full circle in my public service career in this leadership role and work with an active and vibrant community, a passionate City Council and a talented staff.”

Lumbreras was one of five finalists announced last month as possible successors to Jared Miller, who stepped down in January to become city manager of Amarillo. Charles Daniels has been serving as San Marcos’ interim city manager.

Details have not been announced on the timing of Lumbreras’ departure from Austin City Hall, but his move creates another high-level vacancy in a city that is also searching for its own city manager, police chief and numerous other department heads.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler called Lumbreras’ departure a loss for the city, but said “I’m excited for San Marcos and I think he’ll be a great leader.”

Adler said he wasn’t worried about a brain drain at Austin City Hall, calling it a potential benefit as an opportunity to build a new team. He praised the work of employees working interim positions at the city.

“I’m not concerned about where we are now, because it’s partly by design,” Adler said of the numerous high-level vacancies. “We wanted the new city manager to be able to come in and be able to fill out that manager’s executive team. We’re told, actually, that that’s going to help make this a more attractive position.”

Lumbreras’ portfolio at Austin City Hall includes overseeing the aviation, housing, development services, planning and zoning, and watershed protection departments. He earns $232,170 a year.

Miller, the previous San Marcos city manager, earned about $190,000 at that post. The city conducted a national search for Miller’s successor, drawing 55 applications from candidates in 21 states.

The San Marcos City Council has scheduled an executive session for Tuesday evening to discuss Lumbreras’ contract details. Once contract terms are in place, the council will confirm his appointment.

Lumbreras’ 35 years of local government experience include serving as assistant city manager for Waco and city manager for the Texas cities of Uvalde, Alamo, Floresville and Dilley.

“Lumbreras is a seasoned professional who understands the unique challenges and opportunities in San Marcos and has proven experience leading a dynamic team,” San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides said in a statement. “The council agrees that he will bring both stability and innovation, and we are looking forward to working with him.”

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