By CRISTIN REECE
Palestine officials and residents wished former City Manager Mike Ohrt happy trails and good luck during a reception held in his honor last week.
Palestine Economic Director and Interim City Manager Wendy Ellis presented Ohrt with the key to the city for his leadership and accomplishments as Palestine’s city manager.
Ohrt announced his resignation on June 13, after serving the city since June 2003. He was named interim city manager in 2010 and became city manager in March 2011. His last official day was Friday.
The reception was hosted by the Palestine Chamber of Commerce, Ben E. Keith and the City of Palestine.
“When I came on board 10 years ago, you would not have seen the Palestine Chamber of Commerce and the city come together and organize an event to recognize someone,” Ohrt said. “Now, it’s a frequent occurrence and just a testament of the positive direction our community is heading towards.”
Ohrt told city council members Monday, during the last Palestine City Council meeting he’d attend, “It’s been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve this city for the last 10 years. Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of this.”
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 in an earlier interview. “It’s kind of frustrating to be leaving at this moment — to know I won’t be around to see it come to fruition.”
Palestine Economic Development Corporation Marketing Manager Breezy Lake-Wolfe contributed to this article.