A St. Louis area-man was hired Friday as city administrator for the City of Houston.

Scott Avery, who most recently was the fire chief of the City of Olivette, will tentatively begin duties Monday as he oversees the day-to-day operation of city government, the city’s workforce and develop and manage the annual budget.

Avery, 52, has about 30 years of experience in management and labor roles involving public safety. He is an O’Fallon resident, where he once served as the chief administrative officer for the O’Fallon Fire Department.

He had been fire chief at Olivette, a town of about 7,800, since November 2013. He oversaw a staff of 23 in fire and EMS services.

Avery left at Olivette in May and has been involved with online instruction in fire science. Avery said his new job wasn’t challenging enough and he was looking for a new opportunity.

Other public safety positions include with the cities of Gladstone, Des Peres; U.S. Border Patrol and the O’Fallon Fire Protection District.

While an O’Fallon resident, Avery served as a parks board member for three years, as planning and zoning commissioner for more than nine years and the vice chairman of the City of O’Fallon Comprehensive Plan in 2008.

He has instructed for the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md., in the areas of resource planning, data analysis and training. He has lectured at multiple fire and EMS conferences on resource deployment and data use. He is a subject matter expert for the U.S. Fire Administration and is on the faculty at the National Fire Academy as a course developer.

Avery is wrapping up a doctorate in public policy and administration from Walden University and has a masters of public administration degree from Southern Illinois University at Evansville and bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY Empire State College.

He and his wife, Jodie, have two grown children and a third who attends college at the University of Mississippi. Jodie Avery will join her husband in Houston after fulfilling her commitment at a nursing home, where she is employed. Avery said Monday he and his wife were impressed with the community after visiting. “Everyone has just been great,” Avery said.

Avery’s hiring came after two interviews with the six-member council that included an appearance last Tuesday. There were four candidates for the job. The decision was unanimous.

Avery arrives at a busy time for the city. Development of a city budget document will begin soon. Voters earlier this year approved a one-cent sales tax that will begin collection soon; half of the revenue will be used for parks and recreation, including construction of a new municipal pool at West Side Park. The city’s economic department has studies underway looking at the labor force, housing and a municipal fiber system. A hiring process is under way for a new parks and recreation director after the resignation of Kayla Sloan. The council also is looking at the possible adoption of building codes for new and remodeled structures.

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