Newark City Manager Carol Houck To Retire After 25+ Year Career
Houck to succeed Dick Cathcart as City Manager for Delaware City
Newark, DE - Following a career in public service spanning nearly four decades, Newark City Manager Carol Houck announced her retirement today to take on a new role as City Manager for Delaware City. Her final day as City Manager for Newark will be May 19th, and she will assume the role in Delaware City effective May 31st.
"After a great deal of consideration, I decided to leave the organization and staff, who are very much like a family to me, to take on a new opportunity and challenge," said Houck. "Ultimately, my decision hinged on my ability to leave Newark knowing I've addressed long-standing issues, introduced necessary and cost-effective changes, while creating positive partnerships for our community."
The decision was also made, in part, knowing the exciting and challenging opportunity historic Delaware City is embarking on and my desire to play a role in its success. I'm a problem-solver and experience a great deal of satisfaction from making change happen. This new position will provide opportunities for both."
The announcement was made nearly a week after City Council unanimously voted to approve an Early Retirement Incentive Plan for Houck during a special Council Meeting on March 15. The plan allowed for Houck to consider accepting an early retirement option between March 15 and April 15.
"Carol has been a constant in most of Newark's progression and innovation over the years and has remained engaged in problem solving at every level of our community's needs," said Mayor Polly Sierer. "I regularly hear from citizens and agencies who have had positive interactions with Carol over the years and I will miss working with her and witnessing her level of commitment. Delaware City is very fortunate to have selected someone with Carol's experience and drive to lead its city."
Houck first joined the City of Newark as a Recreation Supervisor in 1990. After seven successful years, and three children later, she accepted an Assistant Administrator position within the City Manager's office handling customer service, communications and contracting, only to be promoted again to Assistant City Manager a few years later, accepting greater responsibility. Houck served as Assistant City Manager for 15 years before assuming the role of City Manager in 2012. Prior to joining the City, she held the position of Community Services Manager at the Philadelphia Naval Station, and worked for the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia YMCA's Roxborough Branch.
Highlights of Houck's accomplishments during her twenty-seven year Newark career include:
- Being instrumental in Newark's efforts to address water quality and quantity improvements, including the construction of the Newark reservoir and pipeline and the South Wellfield treatment plant.
- Obtained and administered grants, reimbursements and funding support for community projects and initiatives in excess of $10 million, in areas of work including arts and cultural grants, stimulus funding, the construction of trails, infrastructure improvements and brownfield project funding.
- Led the outreach and implementation of Newark's successful co-mingled curbside recycling program and co-chaired the environmentally focused "UDon't Need It?" student move out program, which spared Delaware's landfills over 600 Tons of materials after 10 years.
- Led and successfully negotiated a successor 15-year Electric Service Agreement with the University of Delaware, maintaining UD as Newark's largest electric customer.
- Recognized as a strong leader of change who sought to professionally develop Newark's staff, brought necessary service delivery efficiency opportunities to light, reduced costs associated with pension and health benefits and pushed technology, increased communications and innovation.