EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog assembles the many comments we received this week about our late city manager, Frank Simpson. While some of these folks knew Frank for many years and others for a relatively short time, it’s obvious that he had a positive impact on a lot of people in his 49 years. These tributes offer authentic insight into who Frank was and why he will be missed by so many. At the end of the blog, you’ll find links to some of the media stories that looked at Frank’s life and legacy. We’ll add other comments are we receive them.
David Neeley, Former College Station City Manager
“I had the privilege of working with Frank in the Houston area were we both served as city managers for area suburbs. As a colleague, I learned that Frank would do anything for you and was never too busy to take a phone call. I could always reach him when I needed to run an idea or a problem by someone, and he was never shy about giving me his opinion. After coming to College Station as deputy city manager in 2008, I thought I would finish out my career in that position. Glenn Brown and I seemed to be on the same retirement tract, but he surprised me by retiring early. Frank and I were both candidates to fill the vacant position. As I was here working in College Station and Frank was an out-of-town candidate, he called me periodically to see what I knew about the interview process, timing, etc. One day while we were talking, he told me that coming back to College Station was his dream, and if I got the job, he would be proud to work for me as my replacement in the deputy city manager position. I told him the same — if he got the job, I would be happy working for him as deputy city manager. We had developed mutual respect and admiration for each other and were each comfortable working for the other.
“I was fortunate to get the job, and my first call was to Frank to see if he was still interested in the deputy position. Of course, he was excited about coming back to College Station and the rest is history. I sometimes wonder how different it may have been if Frank had been selected city manager instead of me. Frank was just as qualified for the job as me, but I had the advantage of already being in the organization. I was proud to serve as city manager and to have two very qualified assistants in Frank and Kathy Merrill. My wish would have been that Frank could have served in his dream job a little longer. We will all miss his smile, laughter and friendship. I surely will.”