Meet Granite Shoals staff at the 50th Year celebration

Granite Shoals Finance Director has taken the lead as liaison to the 50th Anniversary Committee. See the whole administrative staff in the Friday, April 22, edition of The Highlander and on our Facebook Page: The-Highlander.

The entire staff of the City of Granite Shoals has worked toward the 50th Year Bash that takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and April 24, but Finance Director Wendy Gholson has been the staff lisison to the 50th Anniversary Committee, and responsible particularly for coordinating more than 40 booths of crafts and food for the event.

She is part of a seven-member administrative staff you will meet at the weekend festivities.


The chief operating officer of the city is City Manager Ken Nickel. A Pittsburgh, Pa., native, he graduated from Robert Morris College. He became a certified public accountant in 1986 and worked for KPMG Public Accounting Firm, spent 18 years with Texas Instruments (18 years) and another eight with Harland Clarke. He turned later work in financial and tax consulting to the work of finance director for  the City of Granite Shoals in December, 2010, assistant city manager in 2011 and city manager in 2013.
He and his wife Cara have two children and two grand children.
Gholson followed Nickel into the position of city finance director in 2013. After eight years in municipal government finance, she took a break to pursue career in elementary education and be a mom to three sons and a daughter. She graduated in  1995 from University of Central Texas with a degree in accounting. She  served briefly in the City of Cottonwood Shores before accepting the Granite Shoals position. She has been City of Killeen general services director, City of Copperas Cove Assistant Finance director and was for five years City of Woodway director of finance.
City Secretary Elaine Simpson had been city secretary in Seagoville and Seymour before coming to Granite Shoals in 2013. She holds a masters degree in public administration from the University of North Texas in Denton and first earned exas Registered Municipal Clerk certification in 2001. Simpson is certified as a Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and has local certification with the Burnet County Community Emergency Response Training (CERT).
Assistant City Manager Peggy Allen Smith wears two hats with the city. She also is Granite Shoals Utility Director, responsible for the city's water system. She holds masters degrees in life science and management  and finance, and she holds A Water, A Wastewater and A Laboratory Analyst certifications. She joined the city in 2008 from work with the City of Odessa.  She and her husband Terry have two sons and a daughter.
Public safety in the city is directed by Police Chief J.P. Wilson and Fire Chief Austin Stanphill.
Wilson began service in Granite Shoals in July 2002. He and his wife Angela have one son.
Stanphill came to Granite Shoals more than nine years ago. He and his wife Shannon have a son and two daughters.

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