Texas Government Insider
Volume 13, Issue 29 - Friday, July 31, 2015

TxDOT funds 17 projects; competition keen for TIGER grants

 

Congress goes on recess after voting one more short-term highway fund fix

Highway Projects
Voter approved funding is keeping transportation construction crews busy in Texas.

Here we go again...and just under the wire.


With one day left before authorization of funding for the federal Highway Trust Fund was set to expire, the U.S. Senate Thursday passed a House bill representing yet another stop-gap, short-term extension. Money for the nation's road and transit projects at the federal, state and local levels now will be extended through Oct. 29. 


Rewind the clock. We're starting over.


But, just as Congress was walking away from a more permanent funding of the highway fund, Texas transportation officials were announcing $400 million in funding for 17 more of 200 planned projects in the state that will be funding by voter-approved Proposition 1. That referendum item from last November provides for a portion of the state's oil and gas tax revenue to be dedicated to the State Highway Fund. Officials say those 200 projects will mean the rehabilitation of some 800 miles of highway, the addition of nearly 500 miles of new highway lanes, addition of nearly 160 miles of passing lanes on rural highways and replacement, widening or rehabilitation of nearly 120 bridges in the state.


Joe Weber, executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, said the 200 projects "will greatly benefit Texas drivers and the state's economy" and the agency will address them "in a manner that is both efficient and effective."


Among the projects are intersection improvements on IH-40 in Amarillo and new road construction on US 83 in Hidalgo County. 


Texas voters will have yet another chance to add to the state's transportation coffers in November. During the last legislative session, Texas lawmakers approved a joint resolution that will once again put a transportation-related constitutional amendment before Texas voters. This time, voters will decide an amendment that would allocate up to $2.5 billion in state sales and use tax and vehicle sales tax each year to the State Highway Fund. If the amendment passes, the additional funding would begin in 2017. Then, in 2018, the amendment would send 35 percent of vehicle sales tax above $5 billion each year to the fund. 

 

[more]

 

Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas' Lone Stars

 

Mike Koprowski Mike Koprowski, Chief of Transformation and Innovation, Dallas Independent School District

 

Career highlights and education: I have loved every minute of my non-traditional career path. The highlight of my military time was serving in Afghanistan with some of the bravest people I've ever met. The highlight of my time in public education is launching the Office of Transformation and Innovation at Dallas ISD. I have a B.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in political science from Duke University and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.

What I like best about my job is: The opportunity to think creatively to solve old problems in new ways. I believe that education is one of the foremost economic and civil rights issues of our time.

The best advice I've received for my current job is: "Do the right thing for kids and let the chips fall where they may."

Advice you would give a new hire in your office: Have a thick skin. Public education sparks many passions from many people with very different views. That's usually a good thing, but it takes a thick skin every day.

If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found: either hanging out with my wife and kid or on the golf course (hopefully in the fairway and not in the trees).

People would be surprised to know that I: survived cancer at age 22. Worst experience ever, but it gave me a lasting perspective about what's important in life.

One thing I wish more people knew about my school district: There are so many good folks that work in public education and many work hard and long hours because they are committed to children. Twelve- to 16-hour days are relatively frequent, which certainly comes at the expense of family time. They deserve credit for their dedication and sacrifice.

Friedkin appointed as chair of Parks, Wildlife Commission

Dan Friedkin After having served as a member of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission since 2005, T. Dan Friedkin (pictured) of Houston this week was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott as chair of the Commission.


Friedkin, chair and chief executive officer of Friedkin Companies Inc., a holding company with investments principally in the automotive industry, was appointed to the Commission in May 2005. He was reappointed to a six-year term that is set to expire on Feb. 1, 2017. He previously served as chair from September 2011 to December 2013. In January of last year, Friedkin was named chairman emeritus. 


Friedkin is involved in the leadership of several wildlife and conservation initiatives worldwide through the Friedkin Conservation Fund and as a trustee of the Wildlife Conservancy Society. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration from Rice University.
 

A&M's student housing P3 will mean millions for university
Aggie Housing Texas A&M University System officials are expecting a public-private partnership (P3) at its flagship university in College Station to provide hundreds of millions of dollars that can be directed toward academics and research. A student housing project on a 48-acre site (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering) will be developed through Texas nonprofit NCCD-College Station Properties LLC's ground lease with the university. NCCD-College Station will make an $18.5 million up-front payment to Texas A&M, with an expected $20 million in revenues each year for 30 years. Once the ground lease expires, the facilities will become the property of the TAMU System.

NCCD-College Station will work with developer Servitas on the project, to be called Park West, and the developer's management firm will manage the development. This public-private partnership is the largest of five P3s in the TAMU System that together are expected to generate more than $900 million for the System over the life of their contracts. This new development will account for about two-thirds of that total.

"Every extra dollar we can generate or save is one less dollar from the students, their parents or Texas taxpayers," said TAMU System Chancellor John Sharp. "Besides the revenue it generates, the Park West project also puts the debt and the risk on the books of the private sector, not with the A&M System." TAMU President Michael Young also hailed the project as being a way the System can generate funds that can be invested in "high-performing faculty, research and teaching" that will allow students there "an elite education at an affordable price."

The development is set to open in August 2017, providing 3,402 beds in the community for students in facilities ranging from studio apartments to three-bedroom garden-style units.

 

TxDOT awards more than $66 million for public transit programs
The Texas Transportation Commission has awarded more than $66 million in federal and state funds for rural and urban mobility programs. The programs provide services to veterans, seniors and people with disabilities who need assistance getting to intended destinations.

"These services enhance independence and quality of life for our state's public transit users," said Joe Weber, executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation. "There is an increasing demand for these mobility programs, and we are proud to work with our partners to meet this demand and offer meaningful transportation solutions for Texans." 

The transit agencies supported by these mobility programs reported more than 34 million trips in 2014. In addition to work, school and health care facilities, the new funding will help Texans get to church, community programs and other events. The programs are also designed to reduce traffic congestion in urban areas by providing park-and-ride commuter services, vanpools and other transportation options.

 

Austin attorney Hughs appointed to Texas Workforce Commission

Austin attorney Ruth Ruggero Hughs, who is also owner and managing partner of a film production company, has been chosen by Gov. Greg Abbott to serve on the Texas Workforce Commission. 


Hughs is also the former Director of Defense Litigation in the Texas Attorney General's Office, where she was responsible for managing six civil litigation divisions - Financial Litigation, General Litigation, Law Enforcement Defense, Taxation, Tort Litigation and Transportation. She also assisted with the overall management of the other five civil litigation divisions at the agency. Before managing civil defense divisions, Hughs defended state agencies and employees in civil rights and employment litigation in state and federal courts, as well as advised employers on employment matters. 


Hughs is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Rutgers School of Law. Her term on the Workforce Commission will expire on Feb. 1, 2021.  

 

Grow your business

Algoe selected as vice president at Texas State University
Eric Algoe Eric Algoe (pictured) recently won selection as the vice president for finance and support services at Texas State University. Algoe currently serves as associate vice president for administration at Florida State University.

When he begins his new duties as chief financial officer for the university on Sept. 8, Algoe will be responsible for advising the president and the Cabinet on finance, business operations, facilities management construction and human resources at the university. He replaces William Nance, who is retiring after 22 years in that job.

Algoe previously was a vice president at Ohio Wesleyan University, the chief operating and fiscal officer at Ohio School for the Deaf and the Ohio State School for the Blind. He also held administrative posts at the Ohio Office of Information Technology, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services and served as an officer in the U.S. Army. He has a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University and a master's degree from Franklin University.
Hidalgo County officials see designs for new $149M courthouse
The design for a new Hidalgo County courthouse has finally been pared down to below the county's $150 million budget for the project. Originally, the design was for a 10-story facility with a $200 million price tag. The new design, even though only six stories, is three times the size of the current courthouse.

The new facility will house the two-dozen county courts. Each courtroom will have an identical 1,900 square feet and will seat 80 people. The jury room is larger and can be used as an oversized courtroom. The new design also includes additional security features such as holding areas for inmates on each floor and a main holding area on the ground floor that will hold nearly 250 inmates.

Once the final design is approved, it will be between 10 and 12 months for construction to begin. The construction itself will take around 21 months. The design also calls for a similar number of parking spots as the current courthouse.
University of North Texas taps Graves as chief academic officer
Finley Graves University of North Texas (UNT) officials recently appointed Finlely Graves (pictured) to a two-year term as the provost and vice president of academic affairs. He has served as the interim provost since early March.

A certified public accountant, Graves has served as dean of the College of Business, as a professor and department chairman since joining UNT in 2002. He also was a professor at Kansas State University, the University of Mississippi, the University of Newcastle in Australia and a faculty member at the University of Alabama.

Graves, who has advanced degrees in accounting and Germanic languages, has a bachelor's degree from the University of Mississippi and master's degrees from Rice University and from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa. He also has a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolilna at Chapel Hill.
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Waxahachie to begin design phase for new $3 million police station
Waxahachie City Council members recently agreed to hire an architect to perform design and engineering services for a new $3 million police station.

The design process is expected to begin in September and construction on the new police station to begin in about a year, noted City Manager Paul Stevens.

City officials are currently looking for a new location for the new police station to replace the current overcrowded facility on College Street and have identified several possible sites, Stevens said.
Anderson selected as finalist for provost at Texas A&M-Kingsville
Heidi Anderson Heidi M. Anderson (pictured) recently won selection as the finalist for provost and vice president of academic affairs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She currently is provost and vice president for academic affairs at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

During her 25-year career in higher education, Anderson also served as an administrator at the University of Kentucky, Auburn University and the University of Tennessee.

Anderson earned a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.
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Richardson to ask voters to approve $115 million in bonds
With a goal of paying for a new fire station and street upgrades, Richardson City Council members recently agreed to ask voters to approve $115 million in bonds on Nov. 3.

The bond proposal also contains funding to renovate the animal shelter and customer service improvements. Council members eliminated about $100 million in projects, including funding for parks, drainage and erosion control to bring costs down. Voters in Richardson last approved a $66 million bond proposal in 2010.

Council members expect to take a vote approving the ordinance calling the bond election on Aug. 17. The deadline for approving a bond election for the November election is Aug. 24.
Highland Park ISD making plans for bond election in May 2016
Dawson Orr Highland Park Independent School District officials recently began putting final touches on their plan to ask voters to approve bonds next year to build a new elementary school and rebuild two 90-year-old elementary schools to avoid overcrowding.

Pointing to the district's superior bond rating and low interest rates, Superintendent Dawson Orr (pictured) said the district can afford to issue bonds to ensure district facilities are adequate to provide a quality education.

District officials have not yet received a cost estimate on the proposals being considered for the bond ballot, Orr said. Voters last approved $75.4 million in bonds in 2008, a portion of which were used to pay for expanding and improving the two elementary schools the citizen's committee is recommending to be rebuilt.
Waco proposed budget includes bond issue for water, sewer needs
The recent presentation on the proposed 2015-16 budget for the city of Waco includes issuance of bonds totaling $71.5 million for upgrades to water and sewer infrastructure throughout the city. The proposed budget also includes funding for street improvements, with about $5 million budgeted.

The street system, too, is aging and having associated problems. Extreme weather has led to increasing numbers of potholes. The proposed bonded utility improvements include $51 million for wastewater improvements that include a $35 million lift station. Another $12.7 million is dedicated for upgrades to numerous city assets.

The $21.5 million in bond receipts for water improvements would include replacing a ground storage tank and building a new 24-inch water line from the storage tank to the Riverside Water Treatment Plant.
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Salado approves changes to proposed sewer project
The Salado Board of Aldermen recently approved revisions and updates to a proposed $8.2 million sewer system to promote economic development in the village's business district. Building a new 300,000-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant is estimated to cost about $3 million.

Village officials also discussed negotiations with the Central Texas Council of Governments (CTCOG) on the administration of a $1 million grant to help pay for building the new sewer system. Cost estimates ranged from $10,000 to $50,000 to administer the grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Board members also questioned whether the Economic Development Administration would allow the city to hire a subcontractor to administer the grant or require CTCOG to administer it. The board revised the plan to restore a proposed $666,000 sewer line that was previously removed to save costs. Voters in November approved $10.55 million in bonds to pay for the new sewer system.
Glenn Heights to appoint panel to study bond election in November
Leon Tate Glenn Heights City Council members recently began discussion on appointing a citizen's committee to help determine whether to schedule a bond election in November. The bond panel also will study and recommend which capital projects to include in the bond proposal.

Members of the 2015 General Obligation Bond Campaign Committee will serve from July until late August to further study projects and help educate the public about the bond election, noted Mayor Leon Tate (pictured).

Committee members will then recommend projects for the bond election to council members, who will make a final decision on whether to schedule the bond election and to determine the projects to be placed on the ballot, Tate said.
California's LiveOps to relocate headquarters to Texas
LiveOps, a San Francisco Bay-area cloud-based customer service provider, will join the droves of other West Coast transplants that have pulled up stakes and moved to Texas. The California tech company will relocate its headquarters location from Redwood City to Cedar Park, where it will build a new, 25,000- square-foot facility in the Austin suburb.

It has offered positions to all of its 80 Redwood City-based employees at the new Texas location or another United States LiveOps office, but this relocation will result in 155 new jobs and $5 million in capital investment in the Lone Star State. A Texas Enterprise Fund grant offer of $1.2 million was extended to the company to assist in sealing the deal.

"LiveOps is entering the next phase of its growth - one that depends on ready access to a rich and diverse talent pool," said Vasili Triant, CEO of LiveOps. "We believe that this new location not only supports our organizational plans, but that it also affords our valued staff a family-oriented environment with a greatly reduced cost of living."
Collaboration Nation

Whitney ISD moving forward with $11 million athletic complex
Whitney Independent School District trustees recently agreed to move forward with a new $11 million athletic complex using the construction manager-at-risk method to design and build the new complex.

The project features a multi-purpose stadium with turf, a new press box and a field house at the current high school track, according to Superintendent Gene Solis. The new athletic complex also includes a new baseball and softball complex, four new tennis courts and expanded concessions, restrooms, seating and parking area, he said.

Board members plan for the project, which was included in a recent bond proposal, to begin construction in January 2016 with a fall 2016 completion date.
Brownwood cancels $12M loan application from state water board
Emil Crawford Brownwood City Council members recently voted to cancel an application for a $12 million loan from the Texas Water Development Board to pay for projects to improve the city's existing wastewater treatment plant and build a new supplemental treatment plant.

City Manager Emily Crawford (pictured) cited recent rains that filled area lakes as the reason for withdrawing the application for loans to pay for water treatment plant projects authorized by council members in 2012.

Council members said they saw no immediate need to increase the city's debt at this time to pay for the costly project, but did not rule out the possibility of building a new wastewater treatment plant in the future. Council can then decide whether to seek financing for the project, Crawford said.

McAllen land for university office will be offered to hospital facility

Land that the city of McAllen had set aside if it had been chosen to be home of the central administration offices of the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) will now be offered for sale to Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR). 

 

Late last month, city officials were told by UTRGV President Guy Bailey that the university would not be using the land. The property, valued at $3.5 million, will be offered to DHR. DHR held the right of first refusal on the property if the university did not want it. 

 

City of McAllen officials have not given up on being the anchor city for the administrative building and expect to take up the effort again in the future.

 

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Harris County Auditor's Office - Assistant ERP Implementation Project Manager; Comptroller of Public Accounts - Assistant Director of Internal Audit; Ector County - County Judge; Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs - Research Specialist III; Public Utility Commission - Legal Secretary. Click here to view jobs. Free job postings for state and local governments, nonprofits and other public-sector entities. Send your posting to editor@spartnerships.com 

 

Jobs with closing dates listed will be removed from the listings on the expiration date. If your job does not have a closing date, please remember to contact us once it is filled so we can remove it from the Job Board. 

 

College Station eyeing options to pay for transportation projects
College Station City Council members recently began discussing options to pay for projects to upgrade transportation in order to handle new growth.

A 23-member citizen advisory committee recommended the projects that include widening city streets, upgrading intersections and improving railroad crossings. Another project on the list recommended by the bond committee is a new community center

While one council member urged using certificates of obligation to pay for critical projects, other council members supported asking voters to approve bonds to fund the projects. Council members are expected to continue the discussions on the proposed capital upgrades at their next meeting on Aug. 13.
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Pearland, Brazoria County to build walking trails at center
Officials of Pearland and Brazoria County recently approved an agreement calling for building walking trails at the John Hargrove Environmental Complex using a portion of a grant awarded to the county. The Coastal Impact Assistance Program awarded the grant to the county.

City officials expect to request bids for the trail project that will use decomposed granite to build loop trails at the complex, which also houses a water treatment plant and recycling center. The city also has long-term plans to establish the Delores Fenwick Nature Center at the site using funding approved in a 2007 bond election.

Current plans for the nature center include building a 7,000-square-foot facility, an open air pavilion, educational displays, classrooms, restrooms, office space and a demonstration garden. The new walking trails are located around two large detention ponds at the environmental complex.
Rio Hondo looks to raise rates to repair city's aging water plant
With an aging water plant in the city, Rio Hondo officials are considering hiking water and sewer service rates. They say that an increase in the rates will not only help ensure the integrity of the systems and allow for community growth, but also extend the life of the plant by 10 years.

The systems often have problems with their motors, according to city officials, and the electric system is outdated on the water plant that was built in 1985 and last renovated nearly 10 years later. 

The city is hoping for a $1.7 million state grant to help defray the cost of construction of the plant and a $290,000 loan from the Texas Water Development Board. The water rate increase would help repay the loan.

AACOG to host Aug. 7 workshop for newly elected officials

The Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) will host a workshop targeted for newly elected officials, particularly mayors and city council members or aldermen. It is also beneficial for appointed staff and to citizen board, commission, and committee members.The workshop will be held Aug. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the AACOG/Al J. Notzon III Board Room, 8700 Tesoro Drive, Suite 100, San Antonio, 78217. The workshop offers an overview of the structure of city government, council procedures and actions, roles of elected and appointed staff, duties and responsibilities of boards and commissions, municipal annexation and boundary changes, open meetings, open records and ethics. Registration is now open.

 

19th Annual Procurement Conference set for Arlington on Aug. 7

Cross Timbers Procurement Center, The University of Texas at Arlington and TMAC are hosting the 19th annual Government Procurement Conference on Friday, Aug. 7, at the Arlington Convention Center, 1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington, 76011. Billed as North Texas' leading conference on government procurement, the conference includes concurrent workshops sessions dedicated to the advancement and understanding of working with local, state and federal government agencies and their prime contractors. The workshops include hot topics and best practices that help to promote and advance small business' impact on the economy. It also connects speakers, procurement specialists, nonprofit resource agencies, academia and small businesses from a variety of sectors for education, networking and business development. The event will also feature a Virtual Match Maker (VMM) that allows small business subcontractors and a prime contractor buyer to have a capability briefing via video conferencing. Among the topics for workshops are Government Contracting 101, Doing Business with the Federal Government and Accelerating Profitable Growth through Government Contracting. Registration and other information is available here.

 

TASSCC announces annual conference for Aug. 2-5 in San Antonio
The Texas Association of State Systems for Computing and Communication (TASSCC) 2015 Annual Conference will be held Aug. 2-5 in San Antonio at the La Cantera Resort. This year's theme is "The Marvel of IT." The event will be highlighted by an opening session keynote address from inspirational speaker Carey Lohrenz, an author and the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy. Because of her challenging work aboard an aircraft carrier, she can speak to such issues as winning under pressure, reducing errors and overcoming obstacles - problems that are also found in day-to-day business. The keynote address for the Monday session will be former Olympic track and field medalist Marian Jones. Among the breakout sessions for the event are applications and modernization, data management and analytics, leadership and human capital and managing enterprise services. Each will include a discussion of subjects from "How to make your agency a social media super hero" to "User experience design: methodology, artifacts, acumen." Registration information and the agenda are now available. More information about the conference is available here.
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International trend reaches
cities in United States

 

Mary Scott NabersBy Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.


A growing national and international trend has landed on the shores of New York City. Watch this trend as it sweeps through major cities throughout the country in the coming months.


American cities, especially large ones, began repurposing urban areas some time ago. The results were exceptionally positive. Revitalized areas generated new tax revenue, crime rates fell and new jobs were created as retail establishments moved into upgraded space. Everything was "coming up roses," but then the cities began running out of space to repurpose and revitalize.
 

That's what ushered in the concept of reclaiming space under elevated transportation infrastructure. New York City found 700 miles of underutilized public land that could be repurposed even though it was situated beneath subways, rail lines and highways. This type of space had been neglected for decades, but that is changing quickly now.
 

An interesting report titled "Under the Elevated" was created through a joint effort that involved the New York Department of Transportation and the Design Trust for Public Space. The report examines various types of space located under elevated infrastructure and it offers interesting suggestions for repurposing these areas. The suggestions included ideas for all five New York boroughs...but, the advice could be used by any city.
 

The report points to health benefits to residents in a city when safe park areas are created. Washington Heights, along the Harlem River, repurposed a stretch of land that had become a homeless encampment and transformed it into an attractive park. A rock climbing wall and other amenities were created. Hiking trails are now being planned for the area.  

  
  
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TPWD to seek funds to replace $5 million dam at Bastrop State Park

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials recently began discussions on seeking flood assistance funds to replace a $5 million dam at Bastrop State Park that failed during heavy rains on Memorial Day.

 

Replacing the dam that created a seven-acre fishing lake is a top priority for TPWD, noted a spokesman for the agency. TWPD officials are studying the possibility of using emergency watershed protection funds from the Natural Resource Conservation Service and from the Federal Emergency Management agency, he said.

 

If securing emergency funding to pay for the new dam fails, however, TPWD officials will most likely use funding from the 2016-2017 capital construction budget, the spokesman said. Once funding is in place, TPWD will announce plans for rebuilding the dam and repairing the damage caused when the water rushed out of the lake, damaging portions of a road and some trails in the lake area.

Missouri City considering 
two finalists for city manager
Mike Castro Council members in Missouri City recently began reviewing the qualifications of two finalists for city manager to replace former City Manager Edward Broussard, who resigned to be city manager in Tyler.

The two finalists are Mike Castro (left), city manager in Jersey Village, and Leonardo Olivares (right), a former city manager in Leonardo Olivares Weslaco. A third finalist for the job, City Manager Michael Ross of West University Place, withdrew his name from consideration after being named as a finalist.

Castro is a former officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a graduate of West Point. He began work as city manager in Jersey Village in 2005. Olivares previously served as city manager in Weslaco and for Rio Grande City in addition to serving as chief of staff for a state senator.
Vega ISD to begin work on high school expansion in January
Vega Independent School District officials recently began planning for construction of a new wing to expand the current high school and make other renovations at district campuses. Voters approved $18.1 million in bonds to pay for upgrades at district facilities.

District officials also plan to renovate the auditorium, band hall and locker rooms, noted Superintendent Paul Uttley. Current plans call for beginning construction on the new high school addition in January and completing the project in about one year, Uttley said.
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McEachern hired as city administrator in Bridgeport
Jesica McEachern Jesica McEachern (pictured) recently agreed to serve as the new city administrator in Bridgeport after winning selection over other applicants for the job.

Previously serving as city secretary and assistant city administrator in Bridgeport, McEachern will replace Brandon Emmons, the previous city administrator who retired earlier this year. Before joining the city, she served as a title officer for two private companies. McEachern, who begins her new duties on Aug. 1, has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas and a master's degree from The University of Texas at Arlington.
Northrop Grumman

Giles retires as suerintendent 
for Sheldon school district
Vickey Giles Superintendent Vickey Giles (pictured) of Sheldon Independent School District recently announce she is retiring on Aug. 31 after serving eight years in that post.

A 17-year employee of the school district, Giles also served as the dean of instruction at a high school and assistant superintendent of instructional services for the Sheldon district. Giles has accepted a new position as an assistant professor in the College of Education at Houston Baptist University beginning this fall.

Trustees appointed John Kirchner, the assistant superintendent for administrative services, as the interim superintendent while trustees search for a new superintendent.
LeFleur Transportation

Irving ISD selects Micinski 
as chief financial officer
Gary Micinski Irving Independent School District board members recently selected Gary Micinski (pictured) as the chief financial officer for that district. 

A deputy superintendent at Decatur ISD, Micinski will replace Debbie Cabrera, the associate superintendent of business services, when he begins his new duties at the Irving school district. Micinski worked for the Decatur school district for 15 years.
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Waelder ISD selects Fuller 
as finalist for superintendent
Trustees for Waelder Independent School District recently selected Daniel Fuller, a middle school principal in that district, as the lone finalist for superintendent. When he begins his new duties as superintendent in late August, Fuller will replace Mark Weisner, who left that job in April. Fuller joined the Waelder district in August 2014 as a middle school principal and previously was an assistant principal at a high school in Ector County ISD.
Conroe eyeing $73 million in capital projects in next two years
Conroe city officials recently began considering a proposed $73.1 million budget for capital improvements during the next two years. 

The proposed capital improvement budget includes $33 million in facilities projects, including a new fire station to be completed in mid-2017. It also includes $27.8 million for street projects, $4.7 million in transportation grants, $4.3 million for upgrading traffic signals and $3.2 million for parks projects.


Also included in the capital improvement budget proposal are 12 water and sewer projects estimated to cost about $18.4 million.
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Young named as lone finalist for superintendent for Abilene ISD
David Young David Young (pictured) recently won selection as the lone finalist for superintendent at Abilene Independent School District. He succeeds Heath Burns, who resigned as superintendent in February.

Previously the superintendent at Pampa ISD, Young also was an assistant superintendent at Midway ISD, and held various administrative and teaching positions at Bryan ISD, Navasota ISD and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. Young earned a bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. He holds a master's degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Brown named as lone finalist 
for superintendent for Alvord ISD
Randy Brown Randy Brown (pictured), currently superintendent at Snyder Independent School District, recently won selection as the lone finalist for superintendent at Alvord Independent School District.

Prior to joining Snyder ISD in 2011, Brown was superintendent at Coahoma ISD and a principal at Levelland ISD. He also worked for Motley County ISD.

Brown has a bachelor's degree from Eastern New Mexico University, a master's degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

Kilgore hires engineer to help develop plan to replace pipes
Kilgore City Council members recently approved a contract with an engineering company to perform an analysis of the city's water and wastewater plants to prioritize projects to replace aging pipes and upgrade the city's water and sewer systems. 

A prioritized plan for replacing aging pipes is needed as many of the current water and sewer lines are old and a few leaks already have occurred, noted Seth Sorensen (pictured), the public works director.


The upgrades at the water and wastewater plants will begin once the priorities are set and funding for the projects is available, Sorensen said.
San Benito ISD selects Leo
as interim superintendent
Maria Leo Trustees for San Benito Independent School District recently selected Maria Filomena Leo (pictured) to serve as interim superintendent, effective this week.

The board also agreed to use the services of a search firm to find a new superintendent to replace Marc Puig, who resigned from that district after serving less than two years on the job. The search firm agreed to charge the district no fee for conducting the search as the consultants in their search two years ago guaranteed that Puig would remain in that post two years.

Manuel Cruz served as acting superintendent after Puig left his post. Leo, who is a former superintendent at La Joya ISD, recently was interim superintendent at Sharyland ISD.
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Greenville taps Kuykendall
as interim city secretary
Greenville City Council members recently named Carole Kuykendall, the deputy city secretary, as the interim city secretary.
Kuykendall will replace former City Secretary Debra Newell, who signed a separation agreement with the city in mid-July after serving in that post for 15 years.
Recent Reports

Fulshear looking at possible construction of new city hall

The Fulshear City Council has taken a step toward what could lead to construction of a new city hall. The council recently approved the hiring of a firm to conduct a feasibility study relating to creation of such a facility. The city administrator said the firm will define the process and estimate expected costs of constructing a new city hall as part of the study.

 

Texas Government Insider Archives  

Governor's appointments
Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the following appointments:
  • Jay Steven Herrington, D.D.S., Palestine, Upper Neches River Municipal Water Authority Board of Directors;
  • Steve Gilman, Houston, Texas Credit Union Commission; 
  • Beckie Stockstill Cobb, Deer Park, Texas Credit Union Commission; 
  • Yusuf Farran, El Paso, Texas Credit Union Commission;
  • Kyle Sheets, MD, Ovalo, Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease;
  • Sherron Meeks, Midland, Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease;
  • Shilpa Shamapant, Austin, Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease;
  • Melbert "Bob" Hillert, Jr., MD, Dallas, Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease;
  • Marcie Gonzalez Wilson, Lakeway, Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease.  
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