By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
STEPHENVILLE (September 12, 2016) – Is Stephenville about to get a new city administrator?
The Flash Today has confirmed current City Administrator Pat Bridges has been offered a job in Arlington and that the former Stephenville Police Chief has approached the Stephenville City Council about a potential exit.
Bridges, when contacted by The Flash Today, did not deny the rumor, which surfaced last week. He was sent the following question, “Are you leaving your position to take a policing job in Arlington?”
Bridges’ response was, “Still a rumor at this point.”
A second message to Bridges read, “The natives are solidly pounding their drums out here about such.”
Bridges’ second response read much like the first, with a little hint, “It is still rumor until receipt of official notice. If that happens, I would be happy to discuss with you.”
Bridges has been city administrator in Stephenville for 18 months.
Bridges served as interim administrator after the dismissal of Mark Kaiser and rose to the top of a 31-applicant field. Switching from being the top law enforcement officer in town to its chief administrator, Bridges was quick to grab the confidence of several council members. In January 2015, Bridges was hired by an 8-1 vote of the Stephenville City Council.
Not long after, Bridges weathered a major political storm when he let the city’s Director of Planning and Building Services, Judy Miller, go and didn’t follow existing city protocol. The move upset several council members who felt Miller was the “shot in the arm” the city needed to get building and development on the fast track.
The only problem was the track was too fast and corners were being cut to include problems with personnel discipline, building permits, certificates of occupancy and more in building and planning services. The problems led to a pair of reviews of the city’s documentation and eventually a complete “cleaning of house” in that department.
While Bridges weathered political storms, he also battled against real weather, and the response teams involved in last March’s tornado were a testament to his management skills and those of the directors who serve under him.
Mayor Kenny Weldon did not return a message left concerning Bridges. Councilman Jerry Warren who runs a regular “informative” ad in a local newspaper alluded to Bridges possibly leaving his job in his latest ad.
The council will meet in special session Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall training room. While Bridges is not listed on the agenda, he would not need to be if there is discussion of a resignation.