DAYTON – A packed house of Kimberly Judge’s family, friends, and coworkers filled the City Council chambers as she was selected as the new City Manager.
Just a few short months since former City Manager Steve Floyd and the council mutually parted ways, Judge, who has most recently worked as Dayton’s Director of Development Services, was unanimously selected to fill the top administrative role in the city during a special called meeting Thursday, Jan. 12.
“I do want to thank council, Mayor. I really appreciate you guys, your support. I have to thank all my fellow coworkers back there. Man, you guys are awesome to show up,” Judge said to everyone in attendance.
Judge, who has a strong working relationship with her coworkers after serving in numerous roles with the city, was clearly excited about the outpouring of support.
“We are going to do things that brighten Dayton, as bright as the stars that are sitting around town,” said Judge to everyone on hand.
She has previously held the positions of Director of Planning, Assistant City Manager, and Interim Public Works Director, building strong bonds throughout the city.
Judge brings 38 years of municipal government experience and has spent the last eight years serving Dayton.
Mayor Caroline Wadzeck was very excited to have Judge step into her new role and believes she has the entire council’s support.
“As Mayor, I couldn’t be prouder to welcome Kimberly Judge as the new City Manager of Dayton, and she has the unanimous support of City Council,” said Wadzeck.
Wadzeck speaks highly of Judge and the relationship the pair have built over her two terms as mayor.
“Kimberly has proven herself to be a loyal, hard-working, creative leader, and we have complete confidence in her to lead our City and wish her great success in that endeavor,” said Wadzeck.
The motion to hire Judge was made by Councilman Dwight Pruitt, who was excited to see Dayton was in a place where they were not only hiring the first woman to serve as city manager, but the first person of color to serve in that role as well.
“We should be proud here in Dayton. We should be very proud. Having the first female mayor, we thought that when this history was made, it would probably stop there, but I can stand and honestly say and be very proud that this is a great town to live in. I’ve watched Dayton over the years, and we’ve come so far, but it has always been a great town to live in. It gives me great pleasure this afternoon to say we are going to make history once again,” said Pruitt.
The motion was seconded by Councilman John Hendricks and approved unanimously.
Judge holds a bachelor's degree from Prairie View University and numerous hours in municipal management training in leadership development and planning.
Judge has lived in Liberty County for 22 years, just down the road from her hometown of Beaumont. She is married to Rayfield Guidry and has one son, Marcus James, and three grandchildren.
“I’m here to tell you that we are so proud to be here, number one, but our focus is going to be on the core of our community. We are going to let the citizens of Dayton know that we are going to be here for them and we are their servants. We’re here to serve this community. I want everyone to understand that me and the staff are willing to get out there and do great things,” concluded Judge.