Commerce City Manager Derrek Ferrell predicts strong economic growth for the Northeast Texas city in 2017.
Hired last September, Ferrell has hit the ground running, becoming involved in many city initiatives. One was ensuring the city had effective leaders in place. During 2016, a new mayor was elected, additional changes were made in the animal shelter administration, and with the passing the Commerce fire chief, there have been other significant changes in city government.
"I got here in September and already there are a lot of fresh faces around here," Ferrell said. "[Police Chief] Kerry Crews is one of a few department directors who predates me."
Even with all the changes, Ferrell admits the city employees have a willingness to serve the Commerce community. By implementing an open door policy, Ferrell hopes citizens will be active participants in giving construction feedback to city leaders.
After listening to the citizens of Commerce, Ferrell sees potential for growth in the city's business sector.
To jump start this initiative, the city manager's office has established a collaborative partnership with the Paris Small Business Development Center. The center has agreed to send a representative every other Wednesday to Commerce City Hall. The representative will provide business consultation that day from 1-5 p.m.
"There is an overwhelming feeling of positivity in this town, and I think we can continue to grow this year.," Ferrell said.