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University Park is known for safe neighborhoods, high quality fire and emergency medical service and beautiful parks and green space. Very few people have valued these assets more, or have worked harder to advance them, than City Manager Bob Livingston. At the end of the month, after nearly 23 years of service to the community, he is retiring.

Mayor Dick Davis says although Bob is quick to credit others, his lasting accomplishments are numerous. The remodel and expansion of City Hall, the development of a private/public partnership that resulted in the construction of a permanent home for the University Park Public Library, and various park improvements top the list. Looking back, Bob says working with the City Council and moving projects to completion are key sources of satisfaction.

He points to replacement of the city’s water towers, and implementation of a “mile-per-year plan” to improve aging infrastructure and reduce water main breaks by replacing one mile of City water, sewer lines and paved road annually as other highlights. In the 1990s the decision to pay off the City’s debt made it possible to use money previously allocated for debt service as a funding source for a capital projects fund. The City now accomplishes all capital projects on a pay-as- you go basis with no debt.

When asked to name the biggest challenge he faced, Bob says in a community built-out since World War II, it’s difficult to find space for needed improvements. With HPISD’s outstanding reputation, families with school- age children continue to move here. These demographic changes have placed more demands on parks, recreational facilities and basic city services. With HPISD in discussions on what to include in an updated facilities master plan, residents can expect theses issues to remain a hot topic.

Now that he’s just about out the door, Bob says he’s grateful that he’s had the opportunity to serve such a great community. “I love coming to work everyday. I tell each new employee, this is the best job you will ever have.” And about that retirement, Bob says he’ll spend more time with his five grandchildren, travel, and volunteer more for his favorite charities.

Reflecting on Bob’s tenure with the city, Mayor Davis said, “The community was fortunate to have his keen insight, steady counsel and congeniality. His service has been in the best interest of all of the people, and we are better for that.”

As noted in a previous Arbor, the City Council has selected Assistant City Manager Robbie Corder to succeed Bob. Robbie has headed the City’s Community Development Department for the past several years.

Information provided by The Arbor.

 

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