Longview City Manager David Willard announced during Thursday’s City Council meeting that he plans to retire at the end of 2017. Willard has served as Longview’s City Manager since June 2007.
“I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to be the City Manager. After 15 years in the private sector and 28 years in the public sector, it is time for my wife Cindy and me to move on to our next adventure,” said David Willard. “There are so many people who have helped me lead this organization, and in the next few months I hope to be able to thank them personally for their contributions to my career in Longview. I would like to thank Mayor Mack and Mayor Dean and all the council members who have supported me and entrusted me with this privilege.
“I am humbled to have served alongside wonderful city employees, and I am proud of the work that has been accomplished even in the midst of significant economic recession,” continued Willard. “Thanks to the leadership of City Council and the dedicated work of our employees, we were able to provide financial stability while also working on important community goals such as the Longview Comprehensive Plan, Animal Care and Adoption Center, capital improvement projects, and the 2011 Street Bond package. I am probably most proud of the staff development and the stability of the organization during that time.”
A native of Borger, Texas, David Willard began his professional career in the private sector. From 1975 until 1990, he was the Executive Vice Presidents of Willard Oil & Gas, a family owned independent oil company. He was elected as County Judge in Hutchinson County from 1990 and served through 1995. He resigned as County Judge to become Borger City Manager in 1995, where he worked through 2002. From 2002 – 2007, he worked as Assistant City Manager of Odessa, Texas. David holds a B.S. in Political Science from West Texas A&M University and a Masters in Political Science and Public Administration from Sul Ross State University.
The City of Longview operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The City Manager is hired by the City Council to implement policy, hire and fire city personnel, prepare the budget, and handle the daily administrative functions of the City.
According to Mayor Andy Mack, “I can’t say enough wonderful things about David Willard and his leadership here for the City of Longview. He worked very closely with myself and the council members to accomplish the goals of the City. I have worked with several city managers during my time on council and as mayor, and David is the epitome of an excellent city manager. David doesn’t see problems, he sees solutions, and that is one of the most important aspects of a city manager. Without a doubt, our city is much better off thanks to his ten years with the City of Longview. I wish him well as he enters retirement.”
The City Council has named Keith Bonds to serve as Acting City Manager following Mr. Willard’s retirement.
David Willard’s retirement reception is 4 to 6 pm on Tuesday, December 12 at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center in Longview. The reception is open to the public.