Justin’s new city manager steps down

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The Justin City Council will consider appointing a new interim city manager tonight in a called special meeting after Mike Evans announced plans to retire.

The city manager’s last day is Friday, and the council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. at the Justin Municipal Complex, 415 N. College St.

Evans decided to call it quits last week after 15 years of service and one month after being appointed city manager in December.

Mayor Greg Scott said it’s a little surprising to see Evans retire so suddenly after he was appointed to the position in mid-December.

“I don’t like it,” Scott said with a laugh. “When someone has done a great job for your city for so long, you hate to see them leave.”

The council will consider appointing a temporary city manager or delegating the position’s responsibilities to various city staff members, Scott said.

Scott said he’s known Evans for about seven years. He said it’ll be difficult to see Evans leave, but officials will make sure the city moves forward without any problems.

“There’s a lot of work involved in being the city manager,” Scott said. “We want to make sure the next person who comes in is prepared and knows what the job involves. This is our moment to plan on what we want to accomplish.”

Evans worked for the city for 15 years in public works, administration and other departments.

He’s resigning after working in his current position for a little over two months. Evans served as Justin’s first city manager as an interim after residents voted for the creation of the position during the Nov. 6 election.

Many residents opposed the creation of the position because they felt it would only add to the cost of government.However, Justin residents approved converting the city to a council-manager form of government by a vote of 734 to 469.

Because Justin’s 2012-13 budget was already in place at the time the city manager position was approved, city officials agreed to pull from its reserves to pay for any unbudgeted items, including the city manager’s salary.

Scott said his personal goal is to have a new manager hired within the next 60 days, but he said council members would determine the timeline.

Evans could not be reached for comment, but in a recent interview earlier this month he gave no indication that he would retire anytime soon.

“His retirement puts a little kink in our water hose, but we’ll straighten it out and keep moving forward,” Scott said. “Mike did a lot for us, and he did a good job.”

Evans retirement is the city’s second in a month. Kim Strange was appointed city secretary after Virginia Blevins stepped down because of health reasons.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is jharden@dentonrc.com .


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