From the Desk of Mayor David Rutledge
Last updated 1/3/2023 at 7:18pm
Can you believe it’s already 2023!? It seems like we just got started with 2022, and now it’s gone in the blink of an eye. Before we write it off altogether, maybe we ought to look back on it one last time and see what has transpired in the previous twelve months. There is not enough room to tell about everything that went on, but here are some of what I consider highlights for the City.
This past year began with the retirement of two long-time employees. Jerry Jones, our City Manager, retired after 20+ years of service. Karen Morgan, our Finance Director, retired after 25+ years of service. We can’t say thank you enough for all they did for the city. In their places we were fortunate to hire Brent Walker as our new City Manager, and Shelley Fields took over as Finance Director.
In early summer we started planning for the new water well project with our engineering partners. The work got underway and we completed the pilot well, well proving, and drilling and completion of the main well and casing late in the year. Still ahead for that project in 2023 is installing the well pump, motor, controls, and other equipment. We are all looking forward to having that additional “cushion” online to provide increased capability and reliability to our system.
In mid-summer, City Council and Staff began the annual process of developing the budget for the coming fiscal year. After a number of working sessions and late-night discussions, we came up with a budget that allowed us to reduce our property tax rate by almost 8% and still provide our citizens with the services they expect.
All year long, your city employees have been working hard to maintain and improve the levels of service that they provide to Bridge City. They work diligently every day to keep the water flowing and the streets safe and drivable, and the water bills to get sent out and the city bills paid. Day-in and day-out, through hot summers, blowing storms, and freezing temperatures, the crews in the field do what it takes to keep the city functioning. Our police force is there in these same conditions, working to keep the citizens and traveling public safe. In the offices, our staff likewise is there to help our citizens with their needs. Next time you see a City employee, please tell them how much you appreciate what they do for all of us.
Another highlight for the year was our Christmas Lights festival held during the first weekend of December. This was our second year to hold this, and this time we made it a two-day event, enabling more people to enjoy it. If you have any suggestions for improving our Christmas Lights festival, please send them to us at [email protected] We hope in the coming years we are able to have more events to help us celebrate and gather and enjoy those things that make us glad we live in Bridge City. If you have suggestions for other festivals we can bring to town or events you’d like to see, please send those ideas to that email address as well.
That’s enough looking back; let’s start looking forward to the coming year and all that it may hold for us. On behalf of the City Council and Staff at the City of Bridge City, I wish you and your families all the best for the coming year. Let’s continue to move Bridge City forward in 2023.
That’s about it for now. See you around town. Take good care of “Bridge City, the Gateway to Lake Sabine.”