EDC Director in Hutchins to step into interim CA position after Lewis unexpectedly resigns
HUTCHINS – Hutchins Economic Development Commission Director Guy Brown will take the reins in Hutchins as interim City Administrator when the current administrator Trudy Lewis leaves on December 6.
Mayor Mario Vasquez said he and other council members were caught “off guard” when Lewis suddenly resigned last week.
Lewis did not respond by press time with a statement regarding her decision to leave her position. She informed the mayor of her decision in a meeting last week.
Vasquez said, “As for as why she resigned, she told me it was time for her to move on.”
Lewis was the Hutchins City Administrator for five years. However, Brown knows the City of Hutchins well, as he has worked there in various capacities for the past 11 years.
“Trudy has done a great job leading the city in her time here,” Brown said. “During the past five years, the City of Hutchins has advanced further than any other time in the City’s history.”
Vasquez agreed Lewis was a part of creating structure in Hutchins as well as direction for the city’s growth.
As for what the city is looking for in regard to the next City Administrator it will begin with a candidate with a strong financial background along with strong administration skills.
“Hutchins is a unique city,” Vasquez said. “We manage a $28 million budget, we also split the Inland Port with our sister city Wilmer.”
Vasquez added Hutchins will not be in a hurry to rush to make a replacement decision.
“I am just going to care take the role for a couple of months until a new City Administrator is hired by the Council,” Brown concluded. “After a new administrator is selected, I will go back to Economic Development.”
There will be a Town Hall meeting this evening, Tuesday, November 9th from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Hutchins Community Center (500 W Hickman Street). Mayor Vasquez will be providing updates on several City initiatives.
UPDATE: Late yesterday after the article was published Ms. Lewis sent us the following statement.
“It has been my distinct honor since October of 2016 to serve the citizens, employees, and city council of Hutchins first as Budget & Human Resources Director and currently as City Administrator. I am proud of the work we have accomplished together, most notably:
- Obtaining the city’s first clean audit
- Increasing the total assessed value of the city by 85% ($675,999,790 in 2016 vs $1,249,060,480 in 2021)
- Adoption of new water, sewer, and roadway impact fee plans including associated capital improvement plans
- Initiating the first Comprehensive Plan update since 2000
- Enacting Mission, Vision, Values, and 10-year goals for the organization
- Gaining regional infrastructure support for Lancaster-Hutchins Rd, MLK Park renovations, and senior center renovations
- Approving the first large scale residential home planned development in the city
- Idea conception, debt issuance management, design planning, and ultimately the completion of a 19,000 square foot public safety building
- Proposing a park master plan, facility master plan, water master plan, and sewer master plan
- Implementing technological improvements including a voice-over-IP phone system, updated website with full council meeting packets, Code Red emergency notification system, IWorks building permit system, Office 365 platform, online payments and auto drafts for utility bills, and cyber security/anti-ransomware program implementation
- Successful management of the city’s highest debt issuance in history including completion of the credit re-rating process
- Completion of several street reconstruction projects including Willowgrove, Timberview, Glenhaven, Kanady, Franklin, Odell, Cleveland Rd, Finn, Goode, and Hickman
- Park improvements at MLK, Sunrise, and Valleyview
- Enhancing employee benefits including dependent insurance coverage, increase in TMRS matching rates, adding a 457-retirement plan, expanding worker’s compensation coverage to include full wages for an entire year, and adding a health flexible spending card program
- Adoption of financial, debt, and investment policies for the first time in the city’s history
Updating personnel policies for the first time since 1996
- Enhancing the city’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating from a 4 to 3 by increasing staff and purchasing a ladder truck, 2 new ambulances, and a new fire engine
- Creation of a Citizen’s Police Academy
- Updating the city’s water, sewer, and sanitation rates
- Increasing the water and sewer fund balance from an adopted negative balance of -$807,340 in 2016 to currently having an adopted fund balance of $2,307,561 for 2022
We did all of these amazing things together while maintaining the same property tax rate! I thank the city council for the opportunity to bring my experience, skills, talent, and sincere love of public administration to the Hutchins community. The work we have done together is incredible. We have set a path that ensures Hutchins will continue to grow and do so in a healthy way.
It is with a heart full of excitement for the great things Hutchins will continue to do that I have decided now is the time for me to exit the organization. My last day with the organization will be on December 6, 2021. I am grateful for the 5 years I spent here and wish the organization many successes in the years to come.”