Williston’s city administrator reflects on time in town

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 3:36 PM CST
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WILLISTON, N.D. (KUMV) - The city of Williston hired its first-ever city administrator six years ago to help the town grow. This week, he announced that he is stepping down from that position.

Following the height of the oil boom, Williston officials decided a city administrator was needed to better handle population growth. In 2016, the city commission appointed then-Public Works Director David Tuan to that position.

“The excitement for coming in every day never faded. Even from day one to this last week that I’m spending here, I’m still as excited every day as I was when I started,” said Tuan.

As administrator, Tuan managed several big projects including the Williston Basin International Airport and the designing of Williston Square. He also dealt with challenges stemming from the economy and COVID-19. Mayor Howard Klug calls Tuan the best administrator in the state.

“He was in the right position at the right time because he knew a lot more than any of us, any of the commissioners. He was a great choice,” said Klug.

Besides infrastructure, Tuan says his biggest achievement during his time on the job was building up and leading the various departments throughout the city.

“They are very ready for it. Looking back, that’s my biggest accomplishment to know that I helped prepare them for that and I helped get us to the point where we are today where those leaders are truly running the city,” said Tuan.

The goal for Tuan was to make Williston the best small city in America. He says they aren’t there yet, but the mission will continue even when he is gone.

“That’s what makes it a goal. I think the culture here has continued to embrace that. That will live on long after any of us are here. We’ll always keep punching above our weight and try to be the best city in the country,” said Tuan.

Tuan will officially step down on December 1, planning to head to Montana. While he is leaving, he says Williston will always be home to him.

WILLISTON, N.D. (KUMV) - The city of Williston hired their first-ever City Administrator six years ago to help the town grow. This week, he announced that he is stepping down from that position.