Organization: Bridge City, Texas
Salary: The beginning salary for the position is negotiable based on qualifications and experience.
Close Date: The first review of applications is scheduled for Monday, September 25, 2023.
Incorporated in 1970, Bridge City (pop. Approximately 9,500 and 6.5 square miles) is located in Southeast Texas and aptly named due to primary access to the community via several bridges. According to the Texas State Historical Society, the community was originally named Prairie View for its location on the coastal prairie but, after construction of the Rainbow Bridge over the Neches River linking Orange County to Jefferson County, the name was changed to Bridge City. Access to Bridge City is over several bridges that cross Cow Bayou, connecting to Orange on the north, and the Neches River connecting to Port Arthur to the south. The Rainbow Bridge was constructed to satisfy not only the area’s traffic needs but the large ships built by the Bethlehem Steel Beaumont Shipyard. The Bridge is 233 feet tall and has a clearance of 176 feet. The Bridge’s height was necessary to accommodate the large ships but also offshore drill platforms for the oil industry. Because of this height, it is called the tallest bridge in Texas.
Despite its population being slightly less than 10,000, it is within a trade area of about 400,000. Bridge City is part of the larger Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) which encompasses multiple counties in southeast Texas. The City is located approximately 25 miles from the more urban Beaumont, 100 miles from Houston and only five miles from the Louisiana state line. The community is relatively affluent with a median household income of $93,867, approximately 30% higher than the median County household income level. Within the region, Bridge City’s housing opportunities are affordable with a 2023 median price of approximately $240,000. Due to a strong diversity of employment opportunities, the community provides many neighborhood options including first home communities to executive housing. Located within a region comprised of a substantial employment sector including oil, gas, and general petrochemical industries, Bridge City is home to many of the area’s principal employers. The current construction of an $8.5 billion Golden Triangle Polymers plant, a joint venture between Chevron-Phillips Chemical Company and an indirect subsidiary of QatarEnergy with several thousand new jobs anticipated, is an example of the regional economic impacts facing the community. Other notable employment sectors include a robust healthcare sector and numerous supply chain manufacturers to the petrochemical industry.
Education is a strong pillar within the community where the Bridge City Independent School District routinely ranks as a top school district within the region. In May 2022 taxpayers approved two bond proposals to build a new middle school and a new career and technical education building at the high school. There are 27 colleges within 100 miles. The nearest community college is Lamar State College Orange within approximately 7 miles of Bridge City. Others in very close proximity include Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar University Beaumont, and Lamar State College Port Arthur.
The community is surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty. Outdoor recreation is popular among residents who enjoy the proximity to coastal living, allowing for boating, fishing, hiking, and exploring wildlife preserves. The Cow Bayou, Lower Neches natural wildlife management areas and Sabine Lake are popular attractions for local residents and visitors alike.
According to the City Charter, Bridge City has a Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is comprised of seven members including the Mayor. The Council appoints the City Manager, City Secretary, the City Attorney, and the Municipal Judge. All Council members are elected at large on a non-partisan basis. They are limited to five consecutive two-year terms. The Mayor presides over Council meetings and is ceremonial head of the government but otherwise has the same responsibilities, privileges, and authority as a Council member. The City Manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization and is the Chief Administrative Officer and policy advisor to the City Council.
Bridge City is fiscally strong and has seen several years of credit rating increases with an A3 rating on its most recent bond review. The annual budget for Fiscal Year 2022/23 is $11.4 million, with the General Fund comprising slightly more than 50%, and the Utilities Fund approximately 40% and Special Revenue funds at approximately 10%.
The City Charter provides the City Manager with full authority over all departments except the City Secretary, the City Attorney, and the Municipal Judge. Bridge City has enjoyed extraordinary stability in City Managers. Except for the most recent manager, who voluntarily resigned after a brief one-year term, the City has had only 4 city managers within the last 28 years. Municipal services include public works, streets, drainage maintenance, utilities, human resources, building, zoning, library, and police. The City also operates community and senior citizen centers. Fire service is provided through an Emergency Services District with a station located within the City. The City employs a talented and dedicated staff of 59 FTEs (with 5 part-timers) who together provide services through ten departments. Police has a recognized bargaining unit. The organization also prides itself on a very low turnover rate, with many junior and senior staff members serving extended years of service.
Requirements include a combination of education and experience equivalent to an MPA or MBA in municipal finance, emergency management and excellent verbal and written communication skills combined with at least 5 years of increasingly responsible local government management experience. Experience in Texas is not a prerequisite. Recent experience as a department head, assistant or deputy city manager may also be considered with responsibilities that have included budgeting, finance, regional partnerships/collaboration, and/or emergency services. The successful candidate must clearly possess and apply the superior management and leadership knowledge, skill, and ability, along with the commitment and energy needed to achieve the Council’s goals.
Pursuant to the City Charter, residency by the City Manager is required.
Compensation for the position will be highly competitive. Beginning compensation is negotiable based on qualifications and experience. The City provides excellent employee benefits which include paid time off, medical, dental, prescription drug, life/AD&D, retirement benefits and professional development. The City also offers employee paid supplemental plans such as vision, long term disability, and more. Relocation expenses are negotiable.
Visit Bridge City on the web at http://bridgecitytex.com
APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS: The recruitment will remain open until the position is filled. The first review of applications is scheduled for Monday, September 25, 2023. Resumes are considered confidential unless the applicant indicates otherwise. To apply, please email a letter of interest, a detailed résumé, and current salary to:
Robert E. Slavin, President or John Kross, Southwest Regional Manager
SLAVIN MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS
3040 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite A-1
Norcross, Georgia 30071
Phone: (770) 449-4656
Fax: (770) 416-0848
John Kross: (480) 797-4487
THE CITY OF BRIDGE CITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
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