The Woodlands Township will keep a steady hand on their rudder during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic as General Manager and President Don Norrell has unofficially agreed to delay his retirement two months.

The long-time leader of the township’s governmental and administrative staff was slated to retire April 30, followed by a one-year period of consulting his replacement.

Norrell said in a press release statement that he was happy to stay on the job and help the community through the crisis.

“The Township Board of Directors requested that I extend my retirement date for 60 days due to the current health emergency. After discussing with my wife, I indicated to the board that I am willing to change my retirement date to June 30, 2020,” Norrell said in the release. “I have been blessed to be part of The Woodlands community and The Township organization and want to do everything in my ability to assist the community in the months ahead.”

Related: Woodlands Township president and general manager Norrell to retire in 2020

Township board Chairman Gordy Bunch confirmed Friday afternoon that Norrell and his wife had jointly agreed he delay his departure and continue to lead staff and assist the board through the end of June. The move requires approval from the board for an extension of his work arrangement with the township, which is expected to be an item on the agenda for a possible virtual board meeting tentatively slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“I did ask Don if he would extend the date of his employment, (the Norrells) have agreed to (have Don) stay on until the end of June. That does not get (made official) until we actually amend his employment agreement, which was an agenda item (March 19) but we will move to next week,” Bunch said. “We will have an online meeting next week. It is pretty awesome for a person who has already committed so many years to this community, to, in the middle of an unforeseen and for our generation, never seen type of environment, to agree to stay on in a high-stress leadership position…(I have) A lot of respect for Don Norrell.”

The board of directors has been in the process of finding candidates to replace Norrell, who began his work with the township more than a decade ago in 2006. He has been leading the township through a busy time the past two years as incorporation studies that began in early 2018 with extra lengthy meetings covering complex reports and data. A municipal government hiring firm from the Sacramento, Calif. region was hired in late 2019 to manage the process.

Norrell, who manages all aspects of the township in his role as general manager and president,was scheduled to on April 30, 2020, at the end of his current contract. He had agreed in May 2019 to continue to work as a consultant to the township in an undisclosed agreement for an additional year, from May 1, 2020, through April 20, 2021.

“My decision to retire as president and general manager in 2020 will allow me to spend more time with my wife, children and grandchildren,” Norrell said in a May 2019 press release.

jeff.forward@chron.com

Original Article from: https://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/woodlands/news/article/Woodlands-general-manager-Norrell-delays-15146824.php