Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

BC is close to getting new city manager

Bridge City Mayor David Rutledge has a holiday wish. He wants the city to have a new city manager on the job by the beginning of the new year.

He said the city council is negotiating a contract with a candidate after personal interviews and visits with three finalists for the position.

"I'd sure like to get the person in place to start the new year," the mayor said.

He did not reveal the candidate's name, but according to the Texas Open Meetings Act, the council must make the final vote on the new manager hire during a public meeting.

Bridge City has been without a city manager since February, when Brent Walker resigned for a job in a bigger city. He had been the Bridge City city manager for what Mayor Rutledge described as "one year and six days."

The previous city manager before Walker, Jerry Jones, had held the position 14 years before retiring in 2022.

After Walker's resignation, city Public Works Director Mike Lund has been serving as the interim city manager.

The city council advertised the job with the Texas Municipal League and other professional search methods. Mayor Rutledge said they received 23 or 24 applicants. The council went through the applications to select the ones meeting the criteria they were seeking in a city manager.

Mayor Rutledge said the council worked down to five finalists, and then invited three to meet with them. The meetings were held in closed-door sessions as the open meetings law allows individual personnel to be discussed in private.

He said one candidate stood out. "It was a unanimous choice to enter into a contract" with the candidate, he said.

The mayor and council can call a special meeting to approved the new manager with 72 hours notice before the open meeting.

Bridge City is seeing a number of changes as construction has geared up for the new $8.5 billion ChevronPhillips chemical plant, Golden Triangle Polymers. Mayor Rutledge said the city is getting inquiries about new businesses looking to locate in the area.

But the main thing Bridge City residents are facing is "fighting traffic," he said. He said the Texas Department of Transportation has been working with city officials to soothe the problems.


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