New assistant city manager sees challenges in growth

On Monday, the city of Wolfforth will begin making a transition to a new city manager.

Darrell Newsom will start as the assistant city manager, learning from current City Manager Frankie Pittman. Wolfforth’s City Council approved Newsom’s hire in May after an executive session. He is expected to take the reins from Pittman when she retires.

“I’m going to have to learn a lot from her. She’s done a great job,” he said. But he said the city already has great employees with “a whole lot of experience and expertise.”

“I’m hoping that will leave me free to help work with businesses and land developers,” said Newsom.

One challenge Newsom said he foresees is controlling growth in the Frenship area.

“I think we need to have some control in the developments to make it a nicer place to be,” he said.

Finding money to meet infrastructure needs for a growing town will also be challenging, said Newsom. He said he will have to look for grants and funding to stay ahead of the curve in Wolfforth.

Newsom, who is moving into Wolfforth as a condition of taking the job, has lived in Frenship for many years. Both of his children, Nathan, 27, and Whitney, 23, are Frenship High School graduates, and his wife, Karan, is assistant principal at FHS. Newsom has been known as the Voice of the Tigers at home football games and the Tiger Relays when he announces the play-by-play action.

Newsom has worked extensively with the city of Wolfforth as a member of its Economic Development Board and the chairman of the Commercial Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone on 82 Street. He said the city approached him about possibly taking the position at the city because of his relationships with city workers.

Originally from Brownfield, Newsom first came to Lubbock as a college student at Texas Tech. He met his wife through a Brownfield classmate who was her roommate at Tech; they will celebrate their 30th anniversary in December.

Newsom graduated from Tech with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He’s worked for several Lubbock companies, and most recently has worked for Wilkerson Properties. He describes his earlier career as mostly sales and sales management positions for technology companies.

In his free time, Newsom is interested in motorcycles, gadgets and ham radio, but does not want to be known as a Harley rider.

“I ride a BMW. It’s definitely a different style,” he said, noting that Harley riders are more known for wearing black leather. “The BMW guys kinda tend to go to the more high visibility safety stuff.”

BMW cyclists tend to take very long road trips and get to their destinations in a hurry, Newsom said. Last week, he said he and his wife went on a 650-mile trip to Colorado within a day.

“That’d be really hard to do on a cruiser-type bike,” he said.

Newsom also describes himself as one of a tight-knit group of Brownfield graduates who use Facebook and Web sites to stay in touch. He said he organizes class reunions for the group.

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