The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

June 13, 2013

Palestine city manager Ohrt resigns post

Accepts similar job in Wills Point

PALESTINE — It was a bittersweet moment for Palestine City Manager Mike Ohrt when he turned in his resignation to council members on Wednesday.

Ohrt said he’s accepted the city manager’s position for the city of Wills Point.

“It’s certainly sad, but this move puts us closer to family,” Ohrt said Thursday.

Ohrt has served the City of Palestine since June of 2003. He was named interim city manager in 2010 and became city manager in March of 2011. He will remain in that position through July 12.

“I’m very disappointed for the city,” District 5 Council member Mark Price said. “Mike is a very positive, thoughtful, consistent person and a joy to work with. We’re going to miss him, no doubt about it.”

Palestine Parks and Recreation Director Roy Crouch added, “We wish him well.”

The 33-year-old, who holds both bachelor’s and masters degrees in public administration, said he’s learned much in the decade he’s worked for the Palestine community and is especially grateful for the chance to hone his leadership skills within the job. He said the knowledge he’ll take with him will serve him well in his new position too.

“I’ve especially learned most municipalities face the same issues and have many of the same concerns — it’s just on a different scale,” he said. “Obviously the larger the city, the bigger the scale.”

Some of the projects Ohrt said he’s most proud to have accomplished during his time at Palestine include attracting the Sanderson Farm chicken processing facility to Palestine and the increased attention to the city’s capital improvement schedule.

“Palestine is about to experience a very exciting growth period in the next two years,” he said. “It’s kind of frustrating to be leaving at this moment — to know I won’t be around to see it come to fruition.

Ohrt is also proud of the city’s improved development codes and processes.

“We’ve really worked hard to make it easier and more streamlined, for the public to use,” he said. “It’s much more effective and efficient and really helped to get things moving in the right direction.”

He said he hopes the city’s staff and his successor will build on the city’s current achievements and work together to continue making progress in growing the city’s economy and infrastructure.

“The city is experiencing a tremendous period of growth and development right now,” he said. “I want them to stay ahead of that and anticipate and plan for more — continue being proactive instead of reactive.”

Ohrt said he and his family have cultivated many friendships within Palestine and promised they wouldn’t be strangers.

“The city of Palestine and the community as a whole have blessed me and my family in so many ways,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough. It’s truly been an honor to work with the terrific staff. Palestine and everyone here will hold a special place in my heart.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Palestine ISD welcomes new CATE director

    With sights set on preparing students to enter a competitive workforce, Palestine Independent School District has extended open arms to newcomer Chris Kiser, who will serve as the Director of Career and College Readiness with the Career and Technical Education Department (CTE).

    July 22, 2014

  • Palestine man arrested for sexual assault of a child

    A 39-year-old Palestine man remains in the Anderson County Jail after his arrest last week for a sexual assault of a child warrant stemming from an outcry made by a teen-aged girl on July 7.

    July 22, 2014

  • State politicos back Perry's move to send troops to the border

    Gov. Rick Perry's decision Monday to activate and deploy up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure the Texas-Mexico border has been met by much applause from Texas's political leadership, including current Agriculture Commissioner and Palestine native Todd Staples, U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling and others.

    July 22, 2014

  • 7-19-SAT-Shrek.jpg Doug Smith discusses role as reluctant hero in 'Shrek: The Musical'

    Palestine's Doug Smith has come full circle with the Palestine Community Theatre.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nichols appointed to Texas Senate Finance Committee

    This week, Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) was appointed to serve on the Texas State Senate Finance Committee, which is charged with writing the biennial budget for the state of Texas.

    July 19, 2014

  • Historical marker dedication to honor William Freeman today

    The Anderson County Historical Commission will dedicate a Texas Historical Marker to former Douglass School principal William Freeman during a dedication service today.

    July 19, 2014

  • 14th PJSL Back to School Fair slated for Aug. 2

    With the start of the school year pulling back into focus, the Palestine Junior Service League will once again be offering free haircuts and backpacks to children this fall during the 14th annual Back to School Fair.

    July 19, 2014

  • Our Town: PRCIL hosting resource services fair

    Palestine Resource Center for Independent Living will host a Community Resource Fair this month to connect, strengthen and support individuals living in Anderson and surrounding counties by providing necessary information about many services available in the community.

    July 18, 2014

  • 7-18-walden-pond-view.jpg Palestine High School teacher presents paper at Thoreau Society Gathering

    Palestine High School teacher Karen Buckland recently returned from a trip to “Walden Pond,” the home of American author Henry David Thoreau in Concord, Massachusetts, and was able to make a presentation there.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Texas' annual Sales Tax Holiday set Aug. 8 to 10

    Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reminds shoppers they can save money on certain items priced under $100 during the state's annual sales tax holiday. This year, the sales tax holiday is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8 to Aug. 10.

    July 17, 2014