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Updated: Aug. 3, 2020
As authorized by City Council, MCTX Mayor Yolanda Ford, in collaboration with the Legal and Human Resources Departments, has finalized an employment agreement to hire Mr. Odis Jones as the municipality’s 8th Chief Administrative Officer, effective today (Monday, July 20, 2020).
City Manager Jones is a collaborative and seasoned executive with more than two decades of expertise in managing complex governmental operations and economic development organizations. He has managed a budget of more than $250 million and 1,500 employees during his career. Mr. Jones is nationally regarded as a leader in restoring solvency to local governments as he worked on the team in Detroit during its 2013 National Bankruptcy filing where he led the restructuring of Detroit’s Street Lighting and Electric Grid system. His efforts were applauded by President Barack Obama and he was featured in The New York Times: https://bit.ly/2OBiFC4, https://bit.ly/2ZDVX2A; TIME magazine, FORBES and FORTUNE and was also a central participant in an international television commercial with Citibank Global: https://bit.ly/3eB3BPj.
Mayor Ford said “Mr. Jones is bringing those change agent skills to Missouri City to help firm up the City’s financial apparatus as well as to encourage the City’s local economy to grow. He is an excellent fit for the CEO position and we are looking forward to his leadership, vision and demonstrated ability to obtain outstanding results.”
City Manager Jones has accepted his appointment; he will earn $250,000 and his contract is indefinite.
City Manager Jones comes highly recommended from previous managers, including Dr. Lorna Thomas, Chairwoman of the Public Lighting Authority in Detroit. She commended the City’s decision and said: “I worked with Mr. Jones as the Board Chair during the time he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Public Lighting Authority (PLA) for the City of Detroit. During his tenure in that position, Mr. Jones’ performance can only be described as exemplary with unquestionable ethics. He demonstrated a collaborative and results-driven approach to solving very complex problems along with the wit of communicating solutions in a diligent, politically-savvy and non-complicated manner. Additionally, because of his outstanding efforts, he received national recognition for the success of the organization, including, being a central figure in a National Television Commercial with Citibank as well as being recognized by President Barack Obama.”
Thomas added: “Furthermore, as a person who has served as Chair of multiple local and national Boards, Mr. Jones is one of the best executives I’ve had the pleasure of working with and you would be beyond pleased to have him as your new CEO.”
Doug Gaul, Mayor of the City of Hutto, Texas, also shared his commendation, saying: “Mr. Jones’ efforts in Hutto were exemplary; he restored solvency to the City, developed an outstanding workforce and achieved every challenge the City Council set out for him including leading the City through an explosion of economic growth. We wish him well in Missouri City.”
Regarding his Council appointment, Jones said: “After serving as a change agent in Hutto, I was looking for a community that has a better appreciation for diversity and economic growth. I am truly humbled and thankful to the Mayor and Council for offering me the opportunity to serve in Missouri City. Additionally, I’m excited about the future of our City and the opportunity to get to know the residents and for them to truly get to know me.”
Jones explained that “over the next 90 to 120 days, I will be engaging citizens on a listening tour and working with staff to perform a SWOT [Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats] analysis of the local government. That will enable me to better understand the needs and wants of the community and begin to implement an operational strategy to enhance City operations.”
Mr. Jones has led signature economic development projects throughout his career including, but not limited to: The Banks Project in Cincinnati, Ohio, a mixed-use waterfront redevelopment within the Sports and Entertainment District; and the redevelopment of Gowdy Field and the 315 Tech Corridor in Columbus, Ohio. He also helped to structure the public financing of the Journal Square project in Jersey City, N.J. while serving as Director of Real Estate & Development for the State of New Jersey Economic Development Authority, a project that changed the skyline with 30-, 40- and 50-story towers as part of that development and he led Gov. Jon Corzine’s Urban Fund, a successful initiative to finance startup and expanding women- and minority-owned businesses throughout New Jersey.
Furthermore, during his tenure as City Manager in Hutto, not only did Mr. Jones restore fiscal stability, he also left the municipality with a healthy reserve fund, acquired and developed a water system that will supply citizens with water for the next 100 years, and built a new waste water facility and system. Mr. Jones also worked with the community to restructure and improve the City’s Police Department after inheriting an agency that had lost the confidence and faith of its residents. He hired a new Chief, reorganized the department and implemented the 21st Century Community Policing Modality which included establishing citizen advisory boards as well as new use-of-force guidelines within the department. Hutto was recently ranked the Safest City in Texas after a three-year turnaround effort led by Mr. Jones according to FBI statistics. Former Police Chief Byron Frankland and current Police Chief Paul Hall credit Jones’ leadership for the turnaround.
Additionally, Mr. Jones led an explosion of economic growth in Central Texas while successfully recruiting national corporate headquarters to Hutto and leading an initiative that produced more than $4 billion of private sector investment increasing City revenues significantly as evidenced by the State Comptroller announcing recently that Hutto sales taxes increased this year alone by 37 percent. All the new retail development that has and is taking shape, including the Co-Op Entertainment District that is home to the new City Hall and Library, is part of Jones efforts in negotiating the deal.
Mr. Jones also recruited Perfect Game world headquarters to Hutto—a billion-dollar deal—after competing against 50 communities throughout the United States for the agreement. He also successfully lobbied the Texas Legislature to change the Hotel Bid tax law to allow State Hotel taxes to be used for the construction of Hutto’s planned Convention Center and Convention Hotel. And, Mr. Jones led the project to develop a 10k seat state-of-the-art Amphitheater and Music Venue in Hutto and signed a deal with Ryan Sander’s Entertainment to host 30 annual top performing artists and concerts at the Brushy Creek Amphitheater along with establishing a public-private partnership with KOKE FM to host the annual KOKEFEST, one of the largest Red Dirt music festivals in the country.
Other former managers, employees and colleagues describe Mr. Jones as a collaborative, data-focused, results-oriented mentor and coach and several of his former team members have obtained executive level positions with governmental entities and in the private sector with global organizations.
“We are looking forward to City Manager Jones carrying on the legacy of leadership in the community,” Mayor Ford said. “He has acquired an expansive portfolio of experiences that will benefit Missouri City and we are confident that he will apply his versatile management skills and vast expertise to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response, and to programs and projects, enabling us to build on the brand, grow our local economy, enhance our public safety apparatus and improve fiscal stewardship as we expand public-private partnership opportunities.”
As part of his oversight of operations, City Manager Jones will be focused on addressing citizen focus areas outlined in the 2020 Missouri City Community Survey. The top five services are: overall maintenance of City streets, sidewalks & infrastructure (49%), overall efforts by City government to ensure the community is prepared for emergencies (34%), quality of police & fire services (30%), overall effectiveness of communication by City government (29%) and overall flow of traffic & congestion management on streets (26%). View the full report on the City website: https://bit.ly/2Wq6RHt.
To address the challenges outlined in the resident survey and to identify solutions for other priorities, City Manager Jones will rely on his MCTX executive team and staff as well as his 20-plus years of education and experience in successfully addressing state and local governmental challenges within complex organizations and political environments.
National colleagues and advocates of Mr. Jones say he is a creative thinker and a problem-solver who fosters a pro-business culture, has helped to redefine municipal policies and procedures through the implementation of innovative solutions and is constantly identifying new ideas and concepts to help improve business processes and the quality-of-life for residents.
City Manager Jones earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Central Michigan University and completed the Capital Markets Forum program at Harvard University.
Along with his other professional distinctions, City Manager Jones also acquired the following honors: the Y Texas All In Award for leading economic development efforts in Texas, the “Michigan Chronicles Man of Excellence Award”, the “Public Sector Developer of the Year” by the Mid-Ohio Development Exchange, the State of Michigan Achievement Award for implementing a model workforce development program called “Breaking through the Barriers”; and recognition as a “Leading Executive” in Columbus by Business First and as a “40 and Under Executive of the Year” in the Columbus metropolitan area.
For more information about Missouri City, please watch the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX and Nextdoor, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) or download the MCTX Mobile app (available for free in Google Play and the Apple app store).