Welcome to Gun Barrel City, Texas, situated along the eastern shore of Cedar Creek Lake. Gun Barrel City is a lakeside recreation destination that draws hundreds of thousands of lake lovers, weekenders and festival-goers each year and serves as the commercial hub for the area surrounding the fourth largest lake in Texas. Home to about 6,000 year-round citizens, Gun Barrel City is just under an hour drive from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolitan area, making it an easy weekend destination for those looking for water sports or lakeside relaxation. In fact, the Cedar Creek Lake area has been named the number one “Worth the Commute” neighborhood by D Magazine due to the natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and the fact that it is one of the few Texas lakes that allows private boat docks and boat houses.
Gun Barrel City is more than just a weekender’s paradise. It is also the business and retail center of the Cedar Creek Lake trade area of more than 75,000 people. The City claims a large contingent of both national and hometown retailers, hotels and restaurants to serve the community and its many visitors. A handful of corporate and service industry businesses help to round out the local economy.
Services and Organization
Gun Barrel City operates most traditional municipal functions with the exception of library and utility services. Forty-eight authorized positions provide police, fire (combination paid and volunteer), parks, street maintenance, municipal court, animal control, building inspections, planning and development, financial services, administrative services, and code enforcement functions. The City is served by the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District for both water and sanitary sewer services.
The City is funded primarily by sales tax revenue and does not currently levy any property tax. A recent effort to institute a property tax failed to carry a local election. The city operates on a $3.3 million general fund budget and $4.5 million total annual budget. The City is financially sound and carries very little debt. The Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation is a Texas Type B economic development corporation that is funded by a 1/4¢ sales tax and focuses its resources on economic and community development.
Gun Barrel City is located about fifty miles southeast of Dallas. It is situated midway between Interstate 45 and Interstate 20, and lies at the intersection of State Highways 198 and 334. Canton’s world famous First Monday Trade Days is a half hour to the north, Tyler’s beautiful rose gardens are just an hour to the east, and Galveston’s cruise terminal is a short four hour drive to the south.
On the edge of Texas’ population triangle, Gun Barrel City’s idyllic lakeshore is far enough away from urban areas to be truly relaxing, yet is within 300 miles of some 20 million people, seven major commercial airports, and five significant metropolitan areas.
Quality of Life
While Gun Barrel City is near several world-class attractions, the quality of life within the city itself is also hard to beat. Cedar Creek Lake is clearly the main attraction with year-round boating, fishing, kayaking and just about every other water sport you can imagine. Ongoing projects such as the Big Chief Landing redevelopment are working to provide enhanced public access to the lake and all it has to offer.
The city takes having fun seriously with several family oriented annual events and outlets. Each Independence Day weekend, the City hosts thousands at the popular July Fest featuring household name headline concerts, a Battle of the Bands competition, a car show featuring hundreds of classic automobiles and is topped off by a stunning fireworks show over the lake.
The Gun Barrel City Park offers recreational sports fields, top-notch horseshoe pits, playgrounds, crushed granite walking trails, a large pavilion and a fishing pier. The annual Christmas Festival features a lighted parade with floats that range from the beautifully elegant to the refreshingly quirky. Many area residents count themselves among members of the Cedar Creek Lake Parrot Head Club - the 5th largest club in the nation.
Several doctors, specialists, clinics and a free-standing 24 hour emergency room provide for the medical needs of the City. The ETMC Olympic Center at Cedar Creek Lake in Gun Barrel City is a state of the art health and wellness center that offers both traditional fitness club amenities as well as a variety of clinically integrated personal training options.
While the name Gun Barrel City may evoke images of the old west and the wild frontier, it actually relatively new city that has grown rapidly over the last five decades.
Incorporated in 1969 shortly after the construction of the dam and reservoir now known as Cedar Creek Lake, the population in 1970 was just 327 people and grew to 5,145 by 2000. After the first three decades of consistent double-digit annual growth, the City’s population has been increasing steadily at a couple of percent per year.
Gun Barrel City is demographically diverse. According to the 2014 US Census estimates, the City’s median age is 49 years old with about 31% of the population being over 60 years old. The median household income is $35,615 due to its service-based economy and relatively high percentage of retirees. Still, 21% of families earned incomes higher than $75,000 and there is a considerable population of high-disposable income retirees with homes on or near the lake. The City is a Certified Retirement Community by the State of Texas.
The City operates as a Texas home rule city and operates with a Council/City Manager form of government. A Mayor and one City Council member are elected at large and there are two districts that each elect two City Council members. The Mayor and City Council members are elected to staggered two-year terms and are term-limited to four consecutive terms of service. There is currently one vacant City Council seat.
The City Manager maintains day-to-day responsibilities for the operations of the City, and appoints and directs the departments heads of the City with a super-majority approval of the City Council. The City Secretary, Treasurer, Municipal Judge and City Attorney are appointed directly by the City Council with the consultation of the City Manager. The City is an “at-will” employer and does not have any collective bargaining units or labor agreements with any employee group.
Key stakeholders include the Mayor and members of the City Council, City Secretary, Treasurer, department heads, volunteer board and commission members, the Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation, and business leaders from both the city and the greater region.
The City Manager is the chief administrative and executive officer of the City, is appointed by and serves at the will of the City Council and is responsible for administering the business of the City in the best interest of the City. The next City Manager will be an action-oriented strong leader who will partner with the Mayor, City Council, and key stakeholders to advance Gun Barrel City to the next level of municipal services.
The ability to garner trust, high personal and professional integrity, and absolute transparency are keys to succeeding in this community. The best candidates will be effective communicators, maintain a professional presence and have a proven track record of continually pushing towards enhancing the quality of life for the communities in which they have served. The City Manager should be a visible leader and active participant in the community.
The City expects that the next City Manager will have obtained at least a bachelors degree in public administration, business administration or a field reasonably related to local government management. A masters degree in public administration is preferred. Gun Barrel City needs someone with demonstrated success within all aspects of public administration. If you have at least five years of municipal government experience with a minimum of three years in a manager role, have demonstrated past successes and are open to relocating to the lakeside retreat of Gun Barrel City, you are a candidate that we want to meet.
Compensation & Benefits
The starting salary range of $100,000 to $115,000 is dependent upon the qualifications of the successful candidate. The City Council prefers to start in the lower half of that range, but appreciates that experience and talent are worth an investment. The City expects to negotiate an employment agreement and a reasonable relocation assistance package for the selected City Manager.
The City offers a comprehensive benefits package consisting of generous health, dental and life insurance plans, vacation leave, sick leave, paid holidays, and participates in the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) retirement plan with 2:1 employer matching of 5% of salary and a five year vesting period. Residency within the City will be required within a reasonable timeframe after the appointment is made.