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New Willow Park councilman eager to get to work

Hogue
Hogue

For years Norman Hogue worked with city officials in his job. Soon, he will start a job as a city official.

Hogue, 38, will be sworn in as the newest city council member in Willow Park at the July 12 meeting. He will finish the term of Brian Thornburg in Place 1 through next May.

Thornburg resigned recently to spend more time with his family and to focus on a family business.

Hogue has a background in civil engineering and worked in transportation in Waco from 2003-13. He currently works for Dunaway Associates in Fort Worth.

During his time in Waco he supervised up to 24 employees, earning promotions to traffic engineer and traffic administrator. His duties included working with an annual budget of around $3 million.

A professional engineer, Hogue has bachelors and masters degrees from Texas A&M University. He also served of city of Willow Park bond advisory committee from December 2015 to February 2016.

In addition, Hogue has designed and/or overseen the construction/reconstruction of nearly 150 traffic signals, along with many flashing displays and roundabouts in a variety of cities.

"I always thought I'd enjoy working in the public agency," said Hogue. "I'm kind of a people person."

However, Hogue was not able to make the move because his job in Waco required him to work WITH public officials, not AS a public official. But the interaction kept him intrigued about the possibility, as did working with small town government.

"Whenever we were doing a project we were often interacting with one of those sister cities," he said.

Hogue was approved by a unanimous 4-0 vote of the council.

"I met Norman at a men’s Bible retreat a bit over a year ago," said mayor pro-tem Gene Martin, who holds down the Place 2 seat. "Seems like a very good man, quite bright and interested in making the community a better place. I truly look forward to working with him."

Hogue said the unanimous approval was "confirmation that I'll be a good fit."

Hogue said working on the bond committee was also an influence in his decision to seek public office. He played a role in road improvement and a new public safety building that will replace the existing fire safety building on Stage Coach Trail.

"To me, it was kind of a no-brainer that this needed to be done," he said of the new building. "The community had a good run with this building."

He said construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2017, with completion about nine to 12 months later.

"My main goal is to provide expertise," he said of his upcoming role. "The city is going through a growing process, and I want to make sure we're building what we need to as we grow.

"We have some challenges infrastructure-wise. The citizens and the city are looking at that as a priority. You look at other successful communities, and they have a healthy mix of residential and business. Long-term you need to have that healthy mix if you're going to grow."

Hogue said that even though it’s nearly a year away, he will likely run to keep the seat when the time comes.

“I have to talk to my wife, but I’d already thought about running, obviously,” he said. “I feel being on the council I can make the most impact in the community.”

Hogue has been married to wife Brooke for 12 years. They have a son, Aiden, a second-grader at Aledo's Coder Elementary, and daughter Addison, a kindergartner at Coder. They have lived in Willow Park for two and a half years.

"My neighbors are all asking if they can complain to me now," he said with a laugh. "I tell them, let me get sworn in first."

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