RED OAK – One of the newest faces around City Hall is in the city manager’s office.
Tim Kelty joined the staff after working as the town manager in Yorktown, Ind., for the past eight years. He’s been on the job in Red Oak for the past month.
“One of the things that surprised me is how polite and friendly people are here. That was a culture shock that I did not realize was here. It will wonderful to raise four boys in this type of culture,” Kelty said.
“One of my goals is to build partnerships with the schools, businesses, other cities, clubs and the chamber of commerce,” he said. “They are really going to be key partners in the success of our community. But I also want to get involved in the community apart from my role as city manager.”
Kelty began his career in municipal government in 1991. During the time he spent in Yorktown he reorganized the public works, town court, police, fire and building and zoning departments, making them more efficient and accountable. He also took part in the creation of the town’s first and second tax increment finance districts and was able to secure five major grants for capital improvement projects, receiving $9 million from state and federal sources. He also oversaw a $5.2 million revitalization project that spanned more than eight blocks of the downtown.
“I think I can bring some continuity to this position,” he said. “When I started as manager of Yorktown, I was the fifth town manager in seven years and I was there for eight years.
“I was the longest serving manager that they had ever had. I think that I will be able to do the same thing here as well,” he said. “Continuity, professionalism and leadership are going to be the key elements in the next five to 10 years here in Red Oak. My intention is to stay here long term so long as the council is happy with my performance and the city continues to thrive.”
The position of city manager is similar to that of chief executive officer in a corporation, with Kelty’s job to ensure every department runs smoothly. Ultimately he is responsible for everything that happens in the city.
One of the goals he has set up is to make the city more efficient by building relationships. As an example, he cited the fire department’s partnership in the Ellis Dallas Unified Cooperative Team, which shares equipment and skills through a cross-departmental agreement.
He also cited sustainable development as another goal to achieve while he is manager.
“I want to help the community grow in a careful and planned manner and preserve the atmosphere. You have to be careful when you grow so that you don’t grow too fast or out of control,” he said.
“Development is great, but you want to have standards that are rigid and you want to see more of a sustainable growth that sustains property values and preserves the quality of life that residents have come to enjoy,” he said. “Also, maintaining adequate staffing for the police and fire departments is very important as the community continues to grow.”
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