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Kent Austin, University Park’s Director of Finance since 1997, is leaving the City to become Finance Director in Prosper, Texas. Located in Collin and Denton Counties in the Dallas North Tollway corridor, Prosper has a population of 13,500 but is expected to climb beyond 70,000.

“The challenge of working in a fast-growing community appealed to me,” he said. “I am looking forward to taking what I’ve learned in University Park and applying it in a new setting.”

Austin said he thoroughly appreciates his time in University Park, where he began as an intern from the University of Kansas MPA program in 1987. He noted, “University Park is a special place. The combination of available resources, high quality staff and elected officials, and supportive community is a recipe for excellence and continued success.”

Austin said he was proud of his staff and the many things they’ve accomplished over the years.  Examples include a successful ongoing capital improvements program, over ten consecutive years of Excellence in Financial Reporting Awards and Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Awards, and a streamlined budget preparation process.  

City Manager Bob Livingston said, “I will miss Kent more than anyone. During my 22 years with the City, he has been both an advisor and friend. He tackles tough tasks and provides solutions that work.  The City of University Park and the Finance Department, in particular, are much better for his labors. I know he will do well in his new position, and I will continue to seek his advice.”

Austin’s last day with University Park will be Sept. 24. City Manager Bob Livingston said City Controller Tom Tvardzik will serve as interim Director of Finance. Tvardzik joined the City in 2002 and is both a CPA and an attorney. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and a law degree from Quinnipiac College School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut.

Story and photo courtesy of Steve Mace, City of University Park

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