Sugar Land, TX – Longtime City Secretary Glenda Gundermann recently died after a prolonged illness.
Gundermann was hired by the city in October 1983. She had previously worked for City of Cities Municipal Utility District, a governmental agency that provided water and wastewater services for Sugar Creek prior to its annexation by the city in 1985. She retired on May 31, 2019.
“Words can’t describe the loss we all feel,” said City Manager Michael W. Goodrum. “Glenda was among our longest-serving employees. She was part of our family and touched the lives of countless employees and residents for decades. She will be deeply missed.”
During her 35-year city career, she was part of a leadership team that managed numerous annexations, including Sugar Creek, First Colony, Avalon, Greatwood and New Territory. As one of the state’s fastest-growing cities, she helped transform the city from a small bedroom community of about 8,800 to a full-service city of more than 118,000 that’s routinely recognized for transparency, innovation and responsive governance.
Gundermann has been instrumental in technological innovations that made government more accessible to citizens. In fact, her efforts contributed to Sugar Land being one of the first cities to live stream its Council meetings on the Internet and repost videos on the city’s website.
Gundermann directly managed every city election and worked with two city managers and numerous mayors. Her expertise ensured legal compliance with election laws that resulted in bond projects that provided quality-of-life amenities such as parks, roads, trails, a recreation center and much more. She also managed requirements for open meetings and Freedom of Information Act requests.
She led the launch of Sugar Land’s first automated agenda management process, which resulted in the transformation from a time- and labor-intensive paper system to a more efficient electronic format.
While serving on the city’s leadership team, Sugar Land achieved many other accomplishments.
• The city completed many important mobility projects, including U.S. Highway 59, U.S. Highway 90A and S.H. 6. The 10-year, half billion re-construction of those three highways added 100 new lane miles of highway and frontage roads inside the city limits.
• Through legislative and financial efforts, the University of Houston at Sugar Land was created in 2002, though the partnership goes back to 1997. The Texas Legislature subsequently deeded more than 660 acres for a university and park development -- the first time a Texas Legislature ever deeded land to a municipality.
• A new minor league baseball stadium was opened.
• The city opened the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land.
• The Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land was opened.
• First Colony Mall opened in 1996, the city’s first major public-private partnership that created a blueprint for future partnerships.
• Planning for Sugar Land Town Square took off in 1999. The city opened Fort Bend’s first full-service, four-star hotel and conference center in 2003. It was followed by a new City Hall and the complete development of Sugar Land Town Square.
“Glenda was passionate about public service, and her impact on our community will be felt for generations to come,” said Goodrum. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and the many employees whose lives she touched. The quality of life our citizens enjoy is a direct result of the years of leadership Glenda provided.”
The city is planning to formally recognize and honor Gundermann’s legacy at the appropriate time in the future. Details on such a recognition will be announced and shared publicly at that time.