New Ballinger City Manager settling in
Brian Frieda was hired as the city manager for Ballinger, taking the helm on July 1st. Frieda comes from Sweetwater, having served as the police chief there for the last 8 years. He started his law enforcement career over 30 years ago. Frieda is from the Panhandle town of Muleshoe and is the former police chief out there as well.
Frieda was asked what the positives are that he sees in Ballinger, “I interviewed with the city council, Mayor Seymore, Rick Morrish, Jeff Smith, Ryan Lange, Mike Riley and city attorney Pat Chesser. From everyone’s questions on infrastructure and business, it was obvious that they (city council) are all in it for the right reasons. They all genuinely care about their town.” Frieda said that’s he been allowed freedom to make changes and address concerns, “The city council doesn’t micromanage what we do at city hall. They’ve allowed me to come in and get to work right away.”
Frieda’s experience extends outside law enforcement. He’s attended Certified Public Manager courses and numerous other nationally recognized leadership courses. Frieda describes his style of management as, Management by Moving, “Once we get caught up here with everything, I’ll be out and about, looking things over, talking to people, checking on the progress of projects and more.” Part of his style is also being available to citizens, “I don’t use the citymanager@Ballinger.tx.us email. That’s not a personal touch, that doesn’t tell people my name and who I am. It’s too generic. I had them create one for me with my name, firstname.lastname@example.org because I want people to know who I am.”
Frieda sees more than just the town, he sees the potential, “Ballinger is sitting in a beautiful spot and has such great potential. We’re continuing to work on grants to help us build our town.”
Perhaps the greatest strength for Frieda is his objectivity, “I want to come in here and form my own opinions and perspectives. I’m not perfect and I don’t always make decisions that sit well with others, but come in and see me, let’s have an adult conversation. It’s not my budget, it’s the community’s budget. When it comes to feedback, let’s remember the Golden Rule, ’Treat others the way that you want to be treated yourself.’ We have internal customers, who are our departments and them working together to solve issues and we have external customers who are the people who reside in Ballinger and the people who travel through Ballinger.” Frieda continued discussing customer service, “People who deal with other people’s problems can sometimes become desensitized to something. Something that might be mundane to someone here can be very important to our customers. Great customer service is very important.”
Frieda has been married to his wife, Tammy, for 34 years. Together they have 3 sons; Ethan, 28; Brody, 18; and Tucker, 13. Tucker will be moving here and will attend Ballinger Junior High next year. Brody will finish out his senior year in Sweetwater. The Friedas also have a grandson, Coulter, who is 18 months.