Sara Hensley has been appointed interim city manager after Denton City Council members on Tuesday approved a resolution naming her successor to Todd Hileman.

On Tuesday night, Hensley’s appointment came without discussion because it was part of the consent agenda.

She has been deputy city manager since August, having joined the city in May 2019 as assistant city manager. The resolution shows that Hensley will be paid $245,000 as interim city manager, and that her first day will be Feb. 20. Hileman’s salary is $267,800.

“Hensley brings with her more than 25 years of public service and municipal leadership experience to the position,” a city news release states.

Denton officials officially announced Friday that Hileman has accepted the city manager position in Palm Desert, California.

“Four years ago, I came to Denton because I found a challenging opportunity with an organization that I simply could not pass up,” Hileman said in the release. “I saw an organization that had been through some very difficult times and believed that I could provide some stability and leadership to move things forward.”

The Palm Desert City Council unanimously approved his hire Thursday night.

Hileman has declined to respond to multiple requests by the Denton Record-Chronicle for comment after news organizations in the Palm Desert area reported on Jan. 26 that the Palm Springs council selected him from a field of 70 candidates following a national search.

In the Denton news release, Hensley said she is “excited.”

“During Todd’s tenure, he created a team of department heads and leaders that are the best in their field,” she said. “I look forward to working with them in continuing the efforts of the city.”

Hensley was promoted to deputy city manager when Mario Canizares left for Nacogdoches in August. Prior to Denton, she served as the parks and recreation director for Austin and as interim assistant city manager for two years.

She has also been the director of parks and recreation in Phoenix; director of neighborhood services, animal services and parks and recreation in San Jose, California; and director of parks and recreation in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

“The council knows the city is in good hands during this transition period with Sara at the helm,” Mayor Gerard Hudspeth said in the release. “She and the entire leadership team have our full support and trust to carry forward the city’s significant initiatives and continue taking care of our community.”

According to the release, council members have told staff they do not plan to begin the hiring process for a city manager until after the municipal elections in May.

PAUL BRYANT can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @paulbryant_DRC.

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