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The City of Heath welcomed new City Manager, Aretha Adams, during a community reception held prior to the City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 14, at Heath City Hall.

The Heath City Council hired Adams following an extensive national search facilitated by Kathryn Usrey of Usrey and Associates, Inc., a human resources consulting firm specializing in the public sector. Adams officially joined the city staff on May 6.

“I’m honored to have been selected City Manager of this amazing community,” Adams said. “The opportunity to work alongside a Mayor and Council with a cohesive, dynamic vision for the community while leading and partnering with a talented and dedicated team of employees is a dream. So many great things are on the horizon, and my overriding goal is to make sure we deliver with professionalism, reliable processes and unparalleled customer service to contribute to a high quality of life.” 

Adams brings more than 12 years of municipal management experience, including most recently serving as Town Manager of the Town of Sykesville, Maryland. Prior to her tenure in Sykesville, she served in city administration with the cities of Corinth, Lancaster and McKinney. 

Adams’ education includes a master's degree in public administration from American University, Washington, D.C., and a bachelor's degree in political science from Florida A&M University.

Some of Adams key accomplishments while serving as Town Manager of Sykesville, named the Coolest Small Town in America in 2016 by BudgetTravel.com, include leading the city’s council in a successful strategic planning process, resulting in the first strategic plan in over a decade. She revamped numerous internal policies and procedures, developed the first-ever work plans for all departments, and modernized performance management.

 “With the recent passage of our updated Comprehensive Plan,Heath is poised to usher in thoughtful community development that will maintain the integrity of our small town, while expanding on our unique sense of place,” Adams said of her intentions going forward. “Great things are happening here, and our future is sure to be exciting.”

Adams explained that while she has a knack for the particulars of city politics, it’s really the people in her community that motivate her to work hard.

“Serving people through local government is truly my passion, and I have learned that behind every good community are wonderful citizens,” she said. “I cannot wait to serve the great people of Heath, and want to meet as many as possible.  Every citizen, visitor and business owner in the City can trust that I am always available and willing to discuss their interests. Stop by or give me a call anytime!”

Adams is an active member of the International City County Management Association (ICMA) and an ICMA Local Government Management Fellow. She has served as Commissioner for the McKinney Arts Commission, a board member of Volunteer McKinney and a teen parent mentor for Alley's House. Adams and her husband, Damien, have been married for 6 years and have four children.

Adams can be reached concerning Heath business at 972-771-6228 or aadams@heathtx.com.

Other staff developments at Heath City Hall include the promotion of Community Development Director Kevin Lasher, AICP, to Assistant City Manager.  Kevin Lasher has over 35 years of experience as an architect and city planner, and holds both a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture, and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Arlington.  

He has achieved and maintained his certification as a city planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) since 1992. Lasher has also served as a city planner in several Texas cities of various sizes such as Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Burleson, and Midlothian, and has been with the City of Heath since August 2017.