By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
For 20 years, local politicians have turned to David Blackburn to manage two of Bell County’s largest cities. Now, he is hoping to be the next Bell County Judge. Having been the former city manager for cities such as Killeen and Temple, he has the means to ensure that our community goes in the right direction.
“The key to our prosperity is allowing residents and businesses the freedom to succeed. I want to be an enabler for that freedom,” Blackburn said in his Sept. 5, campaign announcement.
Born in Abilene, his father was a career military man and his mother a nurse. He has lived all over the county, but has resided in Central Texas for the past 22 years. Anne Blackburn, his wife, is a registered nurse for the Temple Independent School District. David has four daughters, all grown and living in places from Texas to New York to China.
He served as the City Manager of Temple from April 2005 to August of 2014. Prior to his service to Temple, he was the City Manager of Killeen. All totaled, David’s career in local government service spans almost 30 years.
“As Temple City Manager, David Blackburn was always responsive to our needs and requests, as he has continued to be in his role at TEDC,” said Randy Pittenger, BISD President. “He was consistently well informed and had great vision for managing growth and development. Whenever there was an issue facing Belton ISD, we knew David would be willing to work with us toward a good resolution. As we worked together on school related issues, I found David to be committed to doing what was best for our citizens and community, and especially effective at planning for future needs. I always appreciated his view that we have a responsibility to work together for the interests of our mutual taxpayers and citizens. As a school district, it is critical that we maintain strong working relationships with the county and cities where our school district is; therefore I am very thankful that David is willing to take on this new role. I expect continued great coordination and planning to serve our citizens.”
Locally, he has served on the Temple Economic Development Board of Directors, as well as being an ex officio member of the Temple Chamber of Commerce. His regional board and commission service include serving on the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization (a regional transportation planning body), the Brazos G Water Planning Group (a regional water planning body), and the Brazos River & Bay Basin Area Stakeholder Committee ( a regional water planning group).
“Having worked with David on the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Transportation Board, and watching him as city manager in Killeen and Temple, I have seen someone that is very well rounded and knowledgeable about our region,” said Belton Mayor Marion Grayson.
He has worked with various other Belton figures on previous boards and programs. Precinct 2 County Commissioner Tim Brown being one of them.
“I’m actually excited. I’ve had the opportunity to work with David on a couple of boards,” said Brown. “We served on the MPO together and for a brief time at the Brazos G Waters Planning board. He rotated off shortly there after, but then going back to the time when he was the city manager of Kileen, I’ve had the occasion to work with David and i like what he brings to the table. He is a smart guy and has a good work ethic and is running for the right reasons. I think that he will be a business oriented, get the job done kind of guy, which fits in with what we have always tried to be. I like the fact that he’s not a political animal. This is his first race for elected office. Sometimes we get people who are so involved with politics that they forget what the job is all about and I don’t see that with David. I think that he is going to be job oriented which has always been my approach to the office, so I’m looking forward to working with him, assuming i have the chance to get reelected myself.”
For information and updates about the campaign, go to www.BlackburnforBellCounty.com.