Hutto names Odis Jones as new city manager

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Odis Jones talks about Hutto with residents after Monday’s council meeting. (via Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)

Hutto’s new city manager will move here from Michigan. He said he won’t miss the winters there.

Odis Jones, with more than 20 years experience in local government and economic development in urban and suburban communities, was named city manager by the Hutto City Council with a 6-1 vote. Place 6 councilmember Bettina Jordan dissented.

Jones served as CEO of the public lighting authority in Detroit, leading the restructuring, financing and reconstruction of the city’s power and street lighting grid.

Jones replaces Karen Daly, who resigned at a council meeting June 2, following a council vote of no confidence in Daly at a Jan. 7 meeting by a vote of 4-3.

After a nationwide, five-month search, the council found its next manager.

“I’m truly humbled and I’m truly excited about Hutto,” Jones said at Monday’s council meeting. “There are just great people here. You feel it. It’s a loving community. As a Christian man, it feels good to be here.

“And it’s the fastest growing market in the county. I’m truly impressed with how you’re moving the community forward.”

Jones served as city administrator in Obetz, Ohio, where he helped attract major industry to the community, including Continental Tire and Rodenstock USA. He also served as executive director of development for Cincinnati, Ohio, and CEO of Columbus Urban Growth.

Prior to his service in Cincinnati, Jones was director of real estate and development for the state of New Jersey, overseeing public infrastructure investment activity and statewide debt transactions, tax credit investment activity and real estate development negotiations.

In his most recent role as CEO of the public lighting authority, Jones led the reconstruction of Detroit’s street lighting program. As a result of the project’s success, he was featured in Time Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the New York Times and a national television campaign with Citi Bank.

“Mr. Jones has a reputation as an expert in expanding local economies and helping communities manage growth,” said Mayor Doug Gaul in a release. “Hutto will benefit greatly from his leadership and knowledge of development, finance and infrastructure.”

Jones has a master’s degree in public administration and was recently honored with the Michigan Chronicles Man of Excellence award. He is also a past recipient of the Public Sector Developer of the Year award by the Mid-Ohio Development Exchange.

He is married with four children.

“I look forward to being here,” Jones said. “This seems like a great city with great people.”

Jones’ 4-year-old daughter had a badge sticker on her dress from the police chief and her first hippo, the mascot of the city.

“Welcome to Hutto,” Gaul said to Jones. “Now you can call yourself a hippo.”

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COMMENT
  1. One wonders what reasons Bettina Jordan had for her dissent. The new city manager seems like a great guy, and one who will continue leading Hutto to greatness, so I’m curious as to why the lone dissent. Not criticizing or judging in any way, just…curious.

Joe Warner
Joe Warner is managing editor of the nine Austin-Central Texas editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.
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