BULLARD – A familiar face will greet local residents as the new Bullard city manager: David Hortman was hired to the position Thursday following a special meeting of the Bullard City Council.
A Bullard city employee since 2006, Hortman – a Lindale native who currently is the city's director of utilities – said he is looking forward to starting his new position on Oct. 1, and feels that his experience with the city places him in the perfect position for the job.
“I'm very familiar with the inner workings of the city, and know what the city's future needs are,” he said, adding, “I look forward to taking office on Oct. 1 and getting things in motion."
Hortman succeeds Jay Abercrombie, who left the position this past spring to accept the city manager job in his native Henderson.
Bullard city leaders appointed a seven-member search committee to work with recruiter Bob Turner of Strategic Government in finding a new city manager. Approximately 50 applications were received for the position.
Mayor Pam Frederick said as the committee narrowed down the field, “we kept leaning back toward familiarity with the city, the people and the knowledge of the city's workings, and how easily that would fit in with this management position.
As a candidate, “what stood out (about Hortman) was his knowledge of the workings of the city, and the relationships he has built here, with both staff and residents,” Frederick said. “He brings so much to the table.”
The City of Bullard has operated as a council-manager form of government since 2005, and “according to the International City Management Association, the council-manager 'combines the strong political leadership of elected official with the strong managerial experience of an appointed manager or administrator. All power and authority to set policy rests with an elected governmental body, which includes a mayor or chairperson and members of the council, commission or board. The governing body in turn hires a non-partisan manager who has very broad authority to run the organization,' ” according to www.bullardtexas.net.
As city manager, Hortman will oversee day-to-day operations of the city, “function as the chief executive of the government organization” and “serve as the chief adviser to the city council … as the council’s chief policy adviser, the city manager recommends city policy for consideration by the council,” the site noted.
Hortman began as a wastewater supervisor in 2006, then, “between 2009 and 2010, I stepped into the Director of Public Works position,” he said.
She and the council have “utmost confidence in the job he's going to do,” Frederick said.
“He's been with our city 13 years, working his way through ranks – that's where good leaders come from. He knows our city inside and out, has great relationships with people in the city and will be able to step right in and get going and do a great job. It will be a seamless transition,” she said.
“Employees like David don't come along at every turn. His loyalty to the city, the drive to do what's best for city – it's appreciated,” she said, adding, “our residents are so excited about David getting this opportunity. They know what kind of person he is, and they're thrilled.”
Hortman said he would “like to get started on both long term and short term goals as soon as I take office. Some of those long term goals would include construction of a new sewer plant, focusing on drainage issues and street repair needs.”
He and his wife, Jeannie, are the parents of a son, Jordan, 22, and a daughter, Chloe, 19.