BONHAM — Bonham City Manager Sean Pate may be new to the community but he is no stranger to the job. One week into his new position, Pate outlined his past accomplishments and plans for the future.

BONHAM — Bonham City Manager Sean Pate may be new to the community but he is no stranger to the job. One week into his new position, Pate outlined his past accomplishments and plans for the future.


The city of Bonham began searching for a new city manager several months ago when the previous city manager Bill Shipp announced his retirement. The person ultimately chosen to fill Shipp’s shoes was Pate who has worked as a city manager for about 14 years. He said it is a profession he thoroughly enjoys.


"Like anything, (the job has) got a lot of its challenges, but that’s what makes it fun," he said.


The city manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a municipality. They ensure that the police, fire, streets, parks and other aspects of the city are running smoothly.


Pate is originally from the panhandle town of Canadian. He excelled in government and history classes while a student at West Texas A&M University, and was encouraged by his professors to enroll in the school’s public administration program. He first became a city manager at the age of 23, which Pate said is virtually "unheard of."


"At the time, I was the youngest (city manager) in the state," he said. "I might still be the youngest-ever appointed city manager."


Since his start, Pate has worked as city manager for several small cities. His most recent city of employment was Gladewater, a city near Longview that is slightly smaller than Bonham. Pate said that during Bonham’s search for a new city manager several people spoke highly of Bonham to him and encouraged him to apply. He did, of course, and said he said he feels fortunate to have been appointed to the position. He began as Bonham’s city manager on July 13.


Pate said he believes that Bonham’s location and layout give the city a great opportunity for "moderate growth," and that "the opportunities are endless." He plans to spend the next few months analyzing the city and conducting a needs assessment.


"My focus is going to be on helping us get through this budget year but also strongly planning for the next fiscal year, so that we can start putting more tools in our toolbox," he said.


Summing up his work philosophy, Pate said, "I want to maintain that small-town quality of life as best as possible, but at the same time, I want to really strive for bigger, larger things."