Duncanville, TX – The City of Duncanville is pleased to welcome Juanita “Janie” Willman as the new City Secretary.
Ms. Willman comes to the City of Duncanville with knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired during a career in Texas local government that dates back to January 1988. Her service to the citizens of Texas has spanned a number of municipalities over the past 34 years.
One of Ms. Willman’s several accomplishments in local government was serving as part of a neighborhood group that acquired a $1.2 million Community Model Blocks Grant using the City of Fort Worth’s competitive model blocks grant program. At the City of Fort Worth, she played an important role in the city’s Action Center, advocating for Fort Worth’s citizens to collaborate with the city’s traditional service structure. She coordinated the Fort Worth Commission on the Status of Women’s annual banquet honoring the most prominent women in Fort Worth and Texas. She also wrote a bracket bill that became part of the State of Texas legislative program extending taxation funding for street reconstruction. As a volunteer member of a consortium of cities, Ms. Willman also represented Texas utility ratepayers in Texas utility rate-setting cases.
Ms. Willman will be taking over the position of City Secretary from Kristin Downs, who served the City of Duncanville in that position for the last four years. Ms. Downs will be moving to the Duncanville Police Department to serve as the new Chief Operations Officer.
“I am incredibly happy to pass the torch to her,” said Ms. Downs. “I believe she will be a tremendous asset to the City of Champions. I consider it an honor and a privilege to have worked in the City Manager’s and City Secretary’s offices for the past eight years. I cannot wait for our citizens and leadership to see our accomplishments in the Duncanville Police Department.”
In her new role, Ms. Downs will serve as the executive assistant to the Chief of Police, supervise the Police Records division, assist in the execution of internal and external department communications, help organize department events, and oversee community engagement.
She brings to the Department a unique understanding of governance and its role in creating a vibrant community. Her knowledge of records management, budget preparation, and agenda preparation will prove to be valuable resources for Police Administration. The Department will also benefit from Ms. Downs’ eight combined years of experience with the City as it continues to develop its professional administrative standards.
Chief Mark LiVigni, who has worked closely with Ms. Downs over the last several years, stated, “We have talented employees throughout our department. I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to add Kristin’s gifts to the Police Department. She brings an incredible skillset and cognizance of municipal government that will advance the Department.”
“The transition to the Police Department is an incredible opportunity for Ms. Downs, and it reflects the City’s efforts to develop an organization that attends to the needs of our community,” said City Manager Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides. “We are recognizing people with talent, skills, and knowledge and putting them in the best locations within our organization to have the most immediate and positive impact. We are also recruiting talented people. As Ms. Downs begins to positively impact our Police Department with her knowledge and enthusiasm, we are excited to have someone as accomplished as Ms. Willman assume the City Secretary role.”
Janie Willman and Kristin Downs will officially assume their new roles on Monday, October 3, 2022.