orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

February 24, 2013

Vidor set to seal the deal for next city manager

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

VIDOR — A new city manager could be hired at the next council meeting on Thursday.

The City of Vidor has been without an official city manager since March 2012, but that could all change at the next council meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28, as councilmembers will meet and discuss the possible hiring of Mike Kunst as the next city manager.

“We interviewed Mike at our last meeting and he impressed the council,” said Mayor Ken Crawford. “His enthusiasm and his attitude really impressed us.”

Crawford said council interviewed Kunst behind closed doors, and then discussed the matter for about 10 minutes before calling Kunst back into the meeting and officially offering him the job.

Kunst is expected to officially accept the job and sign his contract at Thursday’s meeting and begin work as the new city manager on Monday, March 4.

Kunst is no stranger to the workings of city government having previously served as a Vidor city councilman in Ward 6 from May 1997 to September 2000.

Ricky Jorgensen, who has served as the Vidor City Manager for approximately seven years, announced he was resigning in February 2012 to take the position of city manager in Giddings, Texas, so he could be closer to family. His last day on the job was March 8.

Lorrie Taylor, the Finance Director for the City of Vidor, has served as interim city manager for most of that time since Jorgensen’s departure.

The city manager listing has been available twice since Jorgensen’s departure nearly one year ago. The first round of applications and interviews did not meet council’s approval, so a second round of applications were accepted.

Crawford said the list was narrowed down to three candidates, where Kunst set himself apart from the rest of the field.

Kunst reportedly served two tours in Iraq as part of the U.S. military where he was in charge of multi-million dollars of equipment. It was this experience and his detail to organization that helped seal the deal, according to Crawford.

“He’s well organized, as we found out at the council meeting,” Crawford explained. “He’s a go-getter and has an excellent work ethic. Plus, he’s a Vidor graduate and knows the community. I think he’s going to do a great job for Vidor and will help the community.”