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Lusk tackles busy start at City Hall

Pilot Point City Manager Britt Lusk started Monday in the midst of the countywide stay-at-home order.

Lusk, who came to the role from Tucumcari, New Mexico, along Route 66, described his first day as a whirlwind.

“It’s been a great first day but really busy,” Lusk said. “I feel like I’ve been able to come in here and hit the ground running because [Interim City Manager Terry] Roberts had helped a lot.”

He also said that “nothing’s typical business today” on his first day.

“Not to mention that most people are working from home, and we’re in this pandemic right now, and so it just kind of adds that extra layer of everything to it,” he said.

Lusk, his wife Evon and their two teenage sons Ayden and Britt moved to Pilot Point on April 8, which makes getting to know people in town challenging, but he and his family enjoyed the city on their previous visits.

“We love the area; we love the town,” Lusk said. “Everybody’s been very welcoming.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Lusk said his boys are still enrolled in their school in Tucumcari, completing their work online, and will switch over to Pilot Point next school year.

Lusk spoke highly of his impression of the city staff members, saying he found them “highly professional.”

Lusk was preceded by Roberts, who was selected by the City Council on Oct. 14 to succeed former City Manager Alan Guard.

Guard had been placed on administrative leave Oct. 7 and submitted his resignation Oct. 11.

“Terry and I have been in contact quite a bit, though, in this transition, and he’s been very, very helpful,” Lusk said.

All of the department heads, Police Chief Tim Conner, Fire Chief Heath Hudson and Assistant Chief Bryan Cox and human resources consultant Kathryn Usrey have also been helpful as Lusk learns about his new city, he said.

“The whole City Hall and city departments really came together and really kind of helped welcome us to town the other day, and it was amazing,” he said. “I’m just real thankful to be here.”

The pandemic has affected more than education and interactions at City Hall. It has also shifted Lusk’s immediate focus from growth management to helping the city navigate its way through the current situation.

“Some manage growth options are kind of going to be put on the backburner right now, with public health and public safety kind of at the forefront,” Lusk said. “I look forward to doing some of that stuff. I really look forward to having the opportunity to grow with the city and take it in the direction the council would like for it to go.”

After getting to catch his breath a bit, Lusk said Wednesday that he has a lot to learn about the city and its ongoing projects so he can plan to meet the city’s priorities.

“What I wanted to do when I came here for the at least 30 days, 60 days, is to evaluate before I’m able to make any changes or see where we’re at,” Lusk said. “There’s a lot to take in.”

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