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CITY MANAGER: Oil will fuel city growth
by Gary Kent
Jul 19, 2012 | 1067 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gary Kent photo
Deborah Ballí, formerly the interim city manager, was promoted to the position during a city council meeting on July 10. She is replacing Tom Ginter, who left earlier this year.
Gary Kent photo Deborah Ballí, formerly the interim city manager, was promoted to the position during a city council meeting on July 10. She is replacing Tom Ginter, who left earlier this year.
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BEEVILLE — “I’m excited,” Deborah Ballí said last Friday from behind the Beeville city manager’s desk.

She had been voted into the position just days earlier during a July 10 meeting by a 3-0 vote of the City Council.

“I feel honored for the opportunity,” Ballí said, being able to service the citizens of Beeville.

“I think it’s an exciting time for Beeville,” the certified public accountant commented, with increased construction, more jobs becoming available and sales tax rebates soaring.

Most of the recent business activity is a result of the oil field activity in the Eagle Ford Shale formation north of Bee County.

Ballí first came to Beeville in 2010 to work as finance director. She replaced Beeville native Robert Aguilar in that position.

City Council members who voted to place her in the top management position at City Hall got a solid look at the direction Ballí intends to take the city during their first budget workshop last Thursday evening.

At the meeting, the new city manager unveiled a six-goal plan, each of which has a number of suggestions to improve the quality of life here.

Goal one calls for making the city a livable, attractive and sustainable place to live.

Goal two is to promote economic development in the community by hiring an economic development director for the city and establishing an economic development advisory committee.

Goal three would be to make Beeville a safe and prepared community.

Goal four would be to maintain excellent, conservative finances while maintaining the efficient delivery of services.

Goal five would be to maintain the city’s infrastructure to the highest quality.

Goal six is to implement a strategic business plan.

“We’ve got growth and business moving into Beeville,” Ballí said. “We want to make sure we’ve attracted businesses that will be here after the Eagle Ford.”

That would include companies like Ranch Hand, the truck accessory manufacturing company that is expanding its welding and fabrication operation here.

“Not that we aren’t grateful and thankful about what the Eagle Ford has brought to the city,” Ballí said. But the community needs to take the initiative to see that the local economy diversifies while times are good.

With increased income from sales taxes, hotel and motel occupancy taxes and business expansions, Ballí believes this is the time to take advantage of the situation.

“We hope to take care of some of the things that people have had on their wish lists for some time,” the city manager said.

Ballí was born in Corpus Christi but spent most of her school years in Michigan. She moved back to Corpus Christi, where she attended classes at Del Mar College and Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.

She has worked at several jobs over the years and was an employee in the finance office for the City of Corpus Christi. She is a certified public accountant.

Ballí and her husband, George, are looking for a home to buy in Beeville.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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