Richwood City hall file photo

RICHWOOD — Lindsay Koskiniemi, Richwood’s finance director, will fill the role of interim city manager upon Michael Coon’s departure later this month.

“We have faith in her,” Mayor Steve Boykin said.

Koskiniemi has served as Richwood’s finance director for the last seven months. Before working for Richwood, she worked in finance and project management roles for multiple governmental entities, according to a news release from the mayor.

Koskiniemi’s $71,400 annual salary will increase by 20 percent, so she will have the equivalent of an $85,680 annual salary while filling the role, Coon said.

City Council chose Koskiniemi after interviewing her and one other candidate in closed session Monday, Coon said. Coon reached out to Texas First Group and Strategic Government Resources to provide candidates for the interim position, which resulted in the other candidate, he said.

Koskiniemi applied for the position because she is completing a master of public administration degree and wants to become a city manager at some point, she said.

“I thought this would be a great opportunity to put my skills to the test,” Koskiniemi said.

She will finish her University of Texas at Arlington master’s program this summer, she said, adding that she just has one class left. She is interested in looking at the position permanently, she said.

The other candidate had great credentials and she was really impressed, Koskiniemi said. But council might be interested in finding someone who is committed to being here long term, Koskiniemi said. They probably saw that if deserving, she may be interested in filling the role permanently, she said.

The council will work on getting an interim finance director for the time being, Boykin said. Council felt that even though she’s been in Richwood for a short period of time, she knows the city and employees, he said.

Council was interested in Koskiniemi’s emergency management skills, she said. As a U.S. Coast Guard’s Alpha Team during Deepwater Horizon who has gone through FEMA’s National Incident Management System training, she has relevant experience in that area, she said.

Koskiniemi has had her staff who report to her complete multiple National Incident Management System certifications, she said.

“Public servants are subject to being recalled 24 hours a day,” Koskiniemi said. “Given the nature of where we live, it’s really important.”

Council has a focus on handling emergency situations, especially with flooding, she said.

Coon accepted the position of finance and technology director for the City of Ventura, California, he said. He will be much closer to his extended family in California, Coon said.

His last day in Richwood will be May 23.

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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