The First Interview with New Beaumont Assistant City Manager, Mr. June Ellis
Get to know Mr. June Ellis, an interview with the new Beaumont Assistant City Manager of Operations. We sat down with Mr. Ellis to learn about his background and what brought him to Beaumont. Hear his vision for the city and what he loves about working in local government.
Tell us about yourself – Where are you from? What roles have you had that led you to this position?
I was born and raised in a small community in East Texas, called Lovelady. It’s about 2.5 hours from Beaumont in Houston County. My immediate past role as City Administrator (City Manager) of Haskell, Texas, led me to the position in Beaumont. As City Administrator of Haskell, I was responsible for all day-to-day operations of the City and maintained responsibility for the supervision of all departments and staff. Before Haskell, I was the Finance Director for the City of Buda. In that role, I was a member of the Administrative Leadership Team, which allowed me to play a key role in impacting the operations of the City and the crucial decisions that were made to advance the City by making recommendations and suggestions to City Management about the direction of the City. It also gave me the invaluable opportunity to see the full range of operations of the City, as I was also able to do in all my prior municipal government roles.
How did you get involved in this line of work?
I got involved in this line of work 26 years ago when I began working for the City of Detroit, Michigan. During my ten years there, I worked in the Budget Department and quickly advanced from a Junior Governmental Analyst to a Budget Manager. As a Budget Manager, I worked directly with leadership in various city departments on critical programs, policies, and capital projects. At the City of Detroit, I gained my initial vision of becoming a leader in municipal government. It taught me the basics of being a civil servant and how important we are in the functioning of municipal government.
What do you love most about working in local government?
I have always had a passion for public service. And in local government, one is able to directly impact the lives of the citizens because we are closer to them than at the state or federal levels of government. Citizens can come to see us at City Hall, stop by a department, speak at a City Council meeting, or they can call us directly, and we will do our best to address their issues, ideas, and concerns. I like improving the quality of life for citizens and businesses in the City.
What are some of your standout achievements or projects you’re proud of?
While working for the City of Pearland, I played an important role in helping the City secure a developer for the hugely popular and successful Pearland Town Center. As Budget Officer, I worked alongside the Finance Director to provide valuable financial data of the City to the Executive Director of the Pearland Economic Development Corporation, which in turn was key in effectuating an agreement to build the Town Center.
While at the City of Haskell, I’m proud of my collaboration with key stakeholders in the early stages of developing a bond financing package to take to the voters of the City to build a state-of-the-art regional hospital. A new hospital will spur economic development along a key corridor within the City, produce temporary and permanent jobs, provide future revenue to the City for operations, and help reduce taxes for the citizens.
What do you think you can bring to Beaumont?
I feel that I can bring my experience from my work at various cities to help the City grow, develop, and become more prosperous. I want to have an immediate impact on the City of Beaumont. I am a collaborator and want to forge strong relationships with stakeholders within the community, including elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels, county officials, the school district, community organizations, and others to help move Beaumont forward.
What excites you about this job?
The opportunity to positively impact the City of Beaumont excites me more than anything else. I’ve worked with the City Manager, Mr. Kenneth R. Williams, before, and he is a visionary. I want to be part of his desire to elevate the community, and I want to look back years from now and say that I was part of Beaumont’s growth and development, which I know are things desired by the City Council and other leaders in the community.
What makes you the right person for the job?
Before accepting the position, I did my research on Beaumont. Like every city, some challenges have to be overcome, and long-standing issues need to be addressed. Because of my experience at the various other cities that I’ve worked for, I bring the right skill set to move Beaumont forward and help this City become the shining light in Southeast Texas that we all desire it to be.
What do you hope to accomplish as Assistant City Manager?
In the first month, I want to focus on building relationships and team building among staff. It’s important to have a strong team that communicates and collaborates. I want to focus on getting to know the players and develop plans to advance staff, which will ultimately move the City forward.
Within 90 days, I want to have established the type of relationships that create better opportunities for Beaumont. These relationships will be with local officials, state and federal officials, county officials, local businesses, community organizations, and others who seek to collaborate on the mission to improve and grow Beaumont and make this a better city for everyone. There will be key projects from City Management that will allow me the opportunity to accomplish those initiatives over the coming year and beyond.
What is your vision for the City? How do we make Beaumont the best City in the country?
One of my visions for the City is boosting economic development. All cities desire to be a destination city or a city where their residents can live, work, and play. One of the goals here is to continue to build the type of community where you have sustained economic development, a solid employment base and opportunities, easy access to shopping and other services, great quality of life, and lifestyle programs. Downtown is the heart of any city. By boosting development downtown and creating opportunities for businesses to grow and flourish, we will help make Beaumont a city everyone desires to visit and relocate to.
Anything else you want people to know?
That I’m a native Texan. I have relatives in Crosby, Baytown, and Houston. I’m the proud father of one son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, who live in Houston. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, traveling, exercising, genealogy, and visiting family in East Texas.