Strasburg town manager resigns

Strasburg Town Manager Judson Rex plans to step down next month to take a similar job in Texas.

Rex submitted his letter of resignation to Town Council during a closed session Monday night. Rex’s resignation takes effect Jan. 2. Rex informed council that he had accepted the position of assistant city manager of Denison, Texas. He starts in Denison on Jan. 20 and will move his wife and three children to the city of about 23,000 people north of Dallas.

“I really hate to leave a community like Strasburg that has such close ties and it’s been an intimate experience to work here and you can’t always replicate that, so when we went to Denison that was one of the things that I had to compare it to was Strasburg and the intimacy of the environment,” Rex said outside the meeting. “They’re a larger community but they’ve done a great job of preserving that culture and heritage and making it a point to emphasize those things in their community values, so I was impressed by that and said you know what, this is good. Hate to leave Strasburg but this looks like a great opportunity for me and my family.”

Rex, 35, noted that the career move also comes with more responsibility. Rex will earn $114,500 at his new job – a position recently created for the city that oversees portions of several city departments. He currently makes $91,160.

Mayor Timothy Taylor said Monday after the council meeting that Rex “set the bar high” in the town position.

“He’s a young man and … we knew there would be other people interested in him in a leadership role,” Taylor said. “We were hoping obviously that we could keep him as long as possible but obviously an opportunity came his way and he had to make a decision on what’s best for him and his family. It was a difficult decision as I talked to him about that but he felt it was an opportunity that he just couldn’t give up.”

Taylor noted that council and the town need to move forward to fill the position — one of its most important jobs. Council will discuss the matter at its next meeting. But Taylor noted that the town “will be in good hands” as they move forward, citing the staff already on board.

Rex cited the community values of Denison and their efforts to preserve the culture and heritage as reasons that attracted him to the job. Rex said he saw this in the job description, the interviews and in his meetings with staff members.

Denison also shows “tremendous growth potential,” Rex said.

Rex worked as Strasburg’s town planner from February 2009 until July 2010 when council appointed him as acting town manager to replace Kevin Fauber. Council appointed Rex as permanent town manager in January 2010.

How council goes about finding a new town manager remains uncertain. As Rex recalled, council has in the past appointed an acting manager to serve in that capacity while the town searched for a permanent administrator.

“I am forever grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve as Town Manager of the Town of Strasburg for the last four years,” Rex states in the letter. “It has been a time of great personal and community growth. Working as a team of community leaders we have completed many essential infrastructure projects, balanced budgets during difficult economic times, and laid a foundation for strong growth into the future.”

Rex goes on to state that he values the people of Strasburg.

“The wonderful citizens, Town Council, and staff have made my experience here a positive and memorable one,” Rex states. “The people and the relationships I have developed make leaving this position difficult.”

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com