If Camilla Viator had it her way, this story would be two sentences long.
She doesn’t like to talk about herself or have her picture taken; she simply wants to go about the business of championing the city of Madisonville.
She’ll have plenty of opportunities to do just that, as the former convention and tourism director began her new job this week as city manager.
Viator was selected from a pool of five finalists to replace Danny Singletary, who retired at the end of the year. She met with Singletary last week and said she plans to continue to draw upon his expertise.
“I think I can pick up where he left off,” she said. “I think I can make a difference.”
Singletary noted that never before in recent history has there been a transition between Madisonville city managers in which the outgoing employee is available to work alongside the incoming employee.
Viator said she and Singletary “both care about the community,” and she does not anticipate any sweeping changes. She’ll be overseeing the city’s 39 employees and will ultimately be responsible for things like the city budget, water and sewer, power and roads.
“I want this to be a great place,” she said.
In fact, she has made quite an investment in the community, serving as president of the Madisonville Noon Lions Club and Texas Mushroom Festival, board member of Central East Texas Alliance and event coordinator for the Madison County Fair Association.
While Viator plans to remain involved in community organizations and events, she intends to hire a new convention and tourism director to replace her.
“I have a passion for the town and I want it to continue to be a great place for people to raise families and operate businesses.”
She noted the fact that streets and infrastructure are a priority, a sentiment echoed by Singletary.
“The city is going to grow whether we want it to or not,” she said. “We can just let it happen or we can try to get ahead of it.”
Singletary, who was not involved in the City Council’s decision to hire Viator, said he supports their choice because of Viator’s “zeal, enthusiasm, willingness to work and dedication to the community.”