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City Manager Alan Sims retires
Alan E. Sims retired in December, after nearly 15 years as City Manager of Cedar Hill.
Alan brought to our City staff a focus on customer service, professionalism and transparency, with accountability to our residents.
The City Council has already endorsed Deputy City Manager Greg Porter to fill the City Manager spot. He assumed the City Manager spot on Jan. 1, 2015. City staffers are expecting a smooth transition.
Sims was appointed Cedar Hill's City Manager in March 2000, after serving 14 years in municipal management up to Deputy City Manager of Overland Park, Kansas.
He has helped manage Cedar Hill’s growth from a population of about 32,000 to over 46,000 residents. And there have been substantial changes during his time here.
During his service in Cedar Hill, the city has added over 3 million sq. ft. of retail space, 1 million sq. ft. of industrial business and over 150,000 sq. ft. of office space.
Sims’ legacy is woven into the fabric of our community. He oversaw most of the business boom that has made Cedar Hill the retail mecca for southwest Dallas County, with Uptown Village at Cedar Hill serving as the anchor.
The qualities that make Cedar Hill special have not been lost during the growth. Sims has strived to maintain the small-town charm and protect the natural beauty that makes our community unique.
He has worked with over a dozen City Council members and one Mayor, Rob Franke. The relationship between Sims and Franke reflects our City’s focus on a culture of positive partnerships to provide the highest quality services and facilities for residents and businesses. Their shared vision has set the course for planning and development of the city.
Speaking of his close friend, Mayor Franke said, “The quality of development and spirit of partnership in our city is no accident. Alan Sims is the driving force behind our premier status and culture of community.
“I consider our friendship and the opportunity to work with Alan some of the great blessings of my life and critical to our success as a city. Our focus on being a safe city, delivering customer service and developing the spirit of partnerships are all core values that Alan advanced in Cedar Hill.”
Partnerships formed during Sims’ term include building a shared Government Center with the Cedar Hill Independent School District, developing a Regional Dispatch Center for residents of Cedar Hill and DeSoto, construction of a shared Fire Station serving parts of Cedar Hill and Grand Prairie, and a relationship with Dallas County that has brought millions of dollars of roadway improvements and shared resources to Cedar Hill.
The City’s unique relationship with CHISD includes bringing to reality the Cedar Hill Government Center, the only combined municipal/school district administration building in Texas. By combining facilities, millions of taxpayers’ dollars have been saved in construction and operation costs.
Partnerships with Dallas County have helped fund and develop improved transportation arteries with roadways and hike/bike trail construction. Premier roads serve as a catalyst for new business development and neighborhoods. Trail development forms the lifelines of the city’s long-range Parks and Open Space Plan, developed under Alan’s tenure, that will guide Cedar Hill’s destiny as a city within a park. A remarkable and unique aspect of that plan is the City Council’s goal to maintain 20% of the city as greenspace.
Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is one of several unique public/private partnerships supporting greenspace protection with local, regional and national entities.
Under Sims’ leadership, the Cedar Hill Police Department achieved state-wide recognition for best practices and innovative community policing activity, and the Cedar Hill Fire Department earned the insurance industry’s ISO 2 rating, for superior fire protection.
Sims supported technology advances for citizens, increasing municipal government transparency and making many City services available online so residents can do business with the city on their own schedule.
Sims has long been active in the community as a charter member of the Rotary Club, the Lions Club and serving on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Trinity Church and Christian School.
He serves on the board of Texas City Management Assoc. and is a member of the International City/County Management Assoc.
Included among Sims’ many honors are: Honorary Doctor of Laws from Northwood University in 2008; Chamber of Commerce, Man of the Year in 2012; Lifetime Achievement Award from TCMA in 2013; and 2013 Country Day on the Hill, King & Queen, Alan and Gayle Sims.
Sims has said he and his wife Gayle plan to enjoy life at a slower pace and continue to experience all the blessings of Cedar Hill.
One of Sims' earliest successes as City Manager was to help the City Council engage in a strategic planning retreat. The product was the Vision Statement that still guides the City Council and City staff: We envision Cedar Hill as a premier city that retains its distinctive character; where families and businesses flourish in a safe and clean environment.