Alamo Heights Names Two New Senior Execs
Alamo Heights City Manager Buddy Kuhn recently filled two top jobs with the city.
Kuhn appointed Phil Laney Assistant City Manager and Lety Hernandez Director of Community Development Services.
As the new Assistant City Manager, Laney oversees the Public Works, Community Development, and Human Resources departments. He is 36-years old.
Before joining the City of Alamo Heights, Laney served the City of San Antonio for over ten years. Most recently, he served as a senior projects manager with Development Services – Code Enforcement section. He oversaw program development & execution for citywide inspection programs for mobile living parks, boarding homes, emergency declaration enforcement related to COVID-19 mitigation measures, and graffiti abatement.
He earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Central Arkansas.
Laney and his wife Amy, a kindergarten teacher, have two young daughters, Caroline and Hazel. He spends his free time hiking, running, being outdoors, and sharing those passions with his family.
When asked why he chose public service as a career, Laney explained, “Public service is the ability to make a positive impact on individual people’s lives. My parents are both retired teachers, and my wife is a teacher. I saw and see the difference that they could make on people directly and indirectly. The experience I had as a summer camp counselor in college helping kids with disabilities see a world where they can do just as much as their peers influenced me significantly. The local government felt like the most direct and effective way to share that public service value while also seeing and feeling the difference it can make in a community, a neighborhood, and an individual.
“He added, “The move to Alamo Heights offered me an opportunity to expand how I can contribute to a professional organization and serve the community.”
In her role as director of community development services, Lety Hernandez is primarily responsible for managing the building process for projects from the beginning (preliminary plan review meetings, plats, re-zoning, variances, ARB and City Council review), through development (plan review and permitting), and completion (all inspections, including finals and certificates of occupancy). In addition, her department is responsible for code compliance and enforcement of building and related codes.
Hernandez, 46, attended San Antonio and St. Phillip’s Colleges. She started her career in public service with the city of San Antonio in 2003. She has been with the City of Alamo Heights for 17 years.
Hernandez told 78209 Magazine, “I feel as if I was meant to be here. It is where I belong.”
She wasn’t sure she was qualified to oversee community development services when the director position opened up. The city manager Buddy Kuhn asked her about the job opening. She said, “If Buddy had not approached me, I’m not sure I would have applied for the position. But his thinking I was capable is what probably put me here. Once Buddy talked to me about it, I figured I could learn what I didn’t know.”
Hernandez has that can-do attitude and is one of those people who is not afraid to tackle new responsibilities. She knows she can learn whatever it is she needs to know to do the job right.
She is also committed to delivering excellent customer service. Hernandez says, “I’ve always enjoyed working with the public. When you come here, I want it to be a positive experience.”
When not at work, she enjoys singing. She also likes to embroider. “During the summers, that’s what I would do with my mom.” She enjoys drawing.
Hernandez has two daughters, Aimeé (18) and Celeste (12). She also has two sons and, she’s a grandmother. Her sons are Oswaldo (27), father to Noah, and Omar (25), father to twin girls Marley & Malory.
Local Communities and Neighborhood Association Host July 4th Celebrations
Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, and Olmos Park all hosted July 4th parades and celebrations to mark the nation’s birthday. The Terrell Hills and Alamo Heights parades took place on Saturday, July 3. Olmos Park’s community parade was held on Sunday, July 4.
Terrell Hills police chief Roger Mangum told 78209 Magazine, “Despite a five-minute rain delay, the 2021 Terrell Hills 4th of July parade got off to a great start, marking the first time since the pandemic that the festivities were held. The crowd was estimated to be 700-800 people. It appeared that everyone was glad to have some normalcy. Added to the festivities this year were live music performances.”
The popular Oak Park Northwood Neighborhood Association July 4th parade returned this year after a COVID-19 pandemic hiatus last year. As always, the parade began at the Northwood Presbyterian Church on Pike. It wound its way through the adjoining neighborhood and then back to the church. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and his Mounted Deputies joined in this year’s parade, as did Bexar County Precinct 3 Commissioner Trish DeBerry, State Representative Steve Allison, San Antonio City Councilman Clayton Perry, and Pct. 3 Constable Mark Vojvodich. An estimated 700 people turned out for the parade.
Similarly, the 51st annual Alamo Heights July 4th parade was well attended, with an estimated 900 people spread along the parade route. The parade kicked off at 10:00 a.m. and began at Estes & Patterson. It ended at the Cathedral Park, 111 Torcido Drive, 78209, a nineteen-acre property which was the former estate of San Antonio businessman Godchaeux Halff, who died in 1950. The park is currently the home of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas.
By: Ron Aaron Eisenberg