Changes coming to the management of Houston trash services

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Thursday, December 3, 2020
Houston mayor announces changes to his staff
During his daily briefing, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced changes in his staff including the director of solid waste.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Changes are coming to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's staff.

During a Thursday briefing, Turner announced Ronald Lewis is leaving his role as city attorney for a unique opportunity, which he said will be announced soon.

"Ron has been a very good friend, a fraternity brother of mine, counselor, advisor, and more importantly, a very moral and ethical and legal compass for me and the city of Houston," Turner said of Lewis. "Our loss will be the next organization's gain."

With Lewis' departure, Turner said he asked previous city attorney Arturo Michel to fill in the role.

"Arturo Michel's no stranger to the city of Houston," Turner said. "Arturo's a leader in the areas of governance, ethics, open government and contracting and repairment."

Previously, Michel served as city attorney from 2004 to 2010.

Another employee who is leaving Turner's staff is the director of Houston's Solid Waste Management Department, Harry Hayes.

"Harry has been a go-to person for me. A strong, pillar, rock foundation, institutional knowledge, and someone who loves this city. I have admired Harry," Turner said.

In an emotional announcement, Turner said Hayes had talked with him about retirement about a year and a half ago. "I refused to accept it," Turner said.

Despite his retirement, Turner said he believes Hayes will be around. Hayes' position will be filled by Carolyn Wright as interim director, who has been with the city of Houston for 37 years.

"I know the department will be under very capable hands under Carolyn's leadership as the interim director of Solid Waste," Turner said.

In his briefing, Turner also announced the retirement of Victor Ayres, the director of the city's Fleet Management Department. Aryes has served the city for 27 years.

"Our fleet is in much better shape in both police and fire in large part to the leadership of Victor Aryes," Turner said. "I want to acknowledge Victor for his leadership and what he's brought to the city of Houston."

Additional changes include Kenneth Allen, who was named the interim Parks and Recreation Director.

"He has managed greenspace inventory, crew assignments and projects," Turner said. "He has a wide range of skills and experience that I know will continue to make Houston's park department one of the best in the nation."

Allen will take his position as interim director after former director Steve Wright resigned for a similar position in another city.