News And People

Volume 13, Issue 34 - Friday, September 4, 2015
New center will assist state, local entities interested in forming P3s
TFC to house new Alternative Finance and Procurement Center 

A new law took effect on Sept. 1 that will soon offer significant resources to public entities interested in outside assistance in launching public-private partnerships (P3s) in Texas. And, Texas Facilities Commission (TFC) Executive Director Harvey Hilderbran (pictured) says he plans to "champion" the program. A new Center for Alternative Finance and Procurement was created by HB 2475. The center will be housed at the TFC and will be available to government entities throughout the state.

"We want to be a resource for local governments, many of which have not had any experience with P3s," said Hilderbran. "Some have project needs, but are not necessarily a good fit for a P3. Some have no experience in P3s, but have good projects that would benefit from a P3." The new center, he said, will be a resource for those entities, providing screening of proposed projects and advising local entities on whether they should incorporate a P3 for financing, whether the project is too small for a P3 or if it just is not a good fit.

But, Hilderbran also points out that even if a proposed project is not deemed a good fit for a P3, the center will continue to be a resource to the local entity.

SPI expands roster of government affairs experts 
Consultants, Communications and Research staff added 

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI) has added a number of new employees and external consultants to its growing list of professionals that make up the various divisions of the SPI team. The company has also created partnerships with other consultants to facilitate procurement consulting services in states other than Texas. The team has been providing research and training services in other states for many years.

Peter Partheymuller is communications manager and the new editor of the firm's two weekly newsletters - Texas Government Insider and Government Contracting Pipeline. A writer and researcher for the last 20 years, Partheymuller also contributes to the company's blog and handles press releases and other communication-related responsibilities. He has worked for national magazines and business and higher education publications. J. Lyn Carl, editor of the newsletters and director of communications for SPI for the past decade, is now a consultant to the team and will continue to work in the area of communications for the company.

New to Business Operations at SPI is longtime former public-sector executive Paula Morelock. Morelock spent 25 years in state government and was actively involved in the government contracting process, from creating requests for proposals to awarding contracts. She also designed and provided training for both the state and national levels of government. In Communications, Aisa Showery now handles marketing and communications responsibilities for SPI. She also is involved in client initiatives, outreach campaigns and external affairs. Showery, whose background is in governmental affairs, media relations and strategic communication, has experience in both the public and private sectors. 

Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas' Lone Stars
Jeffrey C. Arndt, President and CEO, VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority

Career highlights and education: I have a civil engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master's in public administration from the University of Houston (where I later served as an adjunct professor in the MPA program). I have 35 years of experience in transportation, 25 years of which I spent at Houston METRO. I was in charge of the operation of the first light rail line in Houston, which opened January 1, 2004. I was also a research scientist at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the nation's largest university-based transportation research organization. Today, I have my dream job as president and CEO of VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio.

What I like best about my job is: I know that nearly every hour of every day, VIA is providing linkages to opportunity for our customers. We are their connection to jobs, to educational opportunities and training, to medical services and to family and social events - all vital aspects of our customers' lives. In short, VIA changes lives. And our entire workforce is dedicated to serving our community.

The best advice I've received for my current job is: Begin with the end in mind. Work collaboratively as part of a larger group of organizations and individuals to ensure the continued vitality of our region. Ensure maximum opportunities for public involvement and engagement.

Advice you would give a new hire in your office: Working with the community is essential because no one entity can meet the region's challenges alone. Partnerships are not an option, they are a requirement. (So, I agree with the best advice.)

If I ever snuck out of work early, I could probably be found: Very, very sick. And checking my email.

People would be surprised to know that I: In my past, I taught piano for about five years in the evenings after work, and I loved to participate in community theater.

One thing I wish more people knew about my agency: VIA receives only half the funding per capita compared to our other three peer Metro Transit Authorities (MTAs) in Texas, we offer the lowest fare and we still manage to be the only one with a AAA bond rating.
Grow your business

Transportation Commission approves Proposition 1 projects
The Texas Transportation Commission has approved 22 projects that will use funding from Proposition 1 totaling more than $300 million worth of construction throughout Texas. This latest round of contract awards brings the total to 115 of the 200 planned Proposition 1 projects across the state.

"The message from community leaders and local planning organizations, as well as the message sent by voters when they approved Proposition 1 last November, is that transportation concerns must be addressed in a manner that is both efficient and effective," said TxDOT Executive Director Joe Weber. "Our efforts continue to prove we hear and understand that message."

Projects awarded in August include roadwork along SH 285 in Brooks County, the widening of SH 21 in Madison County and the resurfacing of US 67 in Tom Green County.

Proposition 1 dedicates a portion of oil and gas tax revenue to the state highway fund and was approved in November 2014 by Texas voters. The 200 planned Proposition 1 projects will result in more than 800 miles of highway improvements, almost 500 miles of new highway lanes, 114 bridges replaced or rehabilitated and an additional 159 miles of passing lanes on rural highways.

The full list of Proposition 1 projects that were approved in August can be found here.
November 2024 Texas Bond Results

Texas State to expand health professions unit in Round Rock
Texas State University has begun planning for a new health professions building on its Round Rock campus. The Legislature passed tuition revenue bonds in the 84th legislative session that will provide $48.6 million in funding for the new building, which will cost $67.5 million in total.
The university will receive $5 million from the St. David's Foundation and an additional $5 million from the Texas Research Incentive Program, a donation-matching initiative of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The departments of communication disorders, respiratory care and physical therapy in the College of Health Professions will share the new building and move to the Round Rock campus. Texas State Provost Eugene Bourgeois (pictured) said space constraints on the San Marcos campus affected the College of Health Professions. "I think it represents an exciting opportunity for us at Texas State University, and especially our Round Rock campus, to be able to expand offerings for students in those three disciplines that will be moved from San Marcos to Round Rock," Bourgeois said.

The programs will have about 500 students at the Round Rock campus. The new building will give the college space to expand laboratories and provide more research space for faculty members. It will also house physical therapy and speech-language-hearing clinics that will be open to the community.
Victoria to install new artificial turf at Riverside Stadium
Victoria City Council members recently approved a $350,000 project to install artificial turf on the infield of Riverside Stadium.

To be paid for by the hotel occupancy tax, installation of the artificial turf should begin soon and be in place for the upcoming baseball season, noted Colby VanGundy, director of parks and recreation. The baseball team for the University of Houston-Victoria has joined a new conference and expects more visitors from out of town to attend games, he said.

VanGundy said he has recommended the same company that installed the artificial turf at another field in Victoria to replace the turf at Riverside Stadium, however, no decision has been made. If approval is delayed, the installation will begin once the Victoria Generals complete their season in August 2016.
SPI Training Services

Blinn College gets $1.35 million to expand job training center
The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1.35 million grant to the Brenham Economic Development Foundation and Blinn College. The funds will be used to increase the size of the college's Hodde Technical Education Center and allow Blinn to introduce new training programs for local job seekers.

In addition to the federal grant money, Blinn pledged $100,000 in funding and equipment; the school also committed to operate the center. Another $400,000 will be contributed by another local development group and Washington County.

"The Brenham Economic Development Foundation has provided terrific leadership during this time of economic crisis in Washington County and Brenham," said David Sommer (pictured), Blinn board president. "We're proud to partner with everyone who has helped bring this new job training facility to Washington County and look forward to working together to make Brenham strong again."

Grant funds will go toward the design, engineering and construction of a new training center, which Blinn will operate as an extension of the Hodde Center, doubling the training capacity of the current 12,000-square foot center. The new building will include multi-purpose classrooms and workforce labs and is expected to be completed by summer 2016.
Texas Parks and Wildlife awards $7.6 million to community parks
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials recently approved $7.6 million in grants to 25 community parks throughout the state. The funding included Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants for cities with populations of more than 500,000, Non-Urban Outdoor Recreation Grants for municipalities with fewer than 500,000 in population and Small Community Recreation Grants for municipalities smaller than 20,000.

Houston received $1 million to improve the Squatty Lyons Park, north of the city, to renovate a T-ball field and adult baseball field and build a new concession stand with restrooms. Los Fresnos received $400,000 to acquire land and develop a nature park with trails, a fishing pier, boat ramp, amphitheater, butterfly garden and exercise stations.

In the Panhandle, Wheeler won $400,000 to develop an aquatic center by renovating the city pool and a pump house and adding picnic facilities, fencing and a concrete driveway. Austin received an $849,518 grant to improve Waterloo Park with the addition of a wetland terrace, lighting, sidewalks, trails and bridges.
Contracting Opportunities

City to rebuild terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International
Over the objections of three large airlines, Austin City Council members recently approved a plan to rebuild the south terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Current plans call for the south terminal to feature three gates served by up to three low-cost airlines. Representatives for the larger airlines objected to the plan for rebuilding the south terminal, claiming that it would lead to the loss of routes and increased ticket prices.
McKinney ISD eyeing bond election for new football stadium
McKinney Independent School District trustees recently requested a citizens committee to study a possible bond proposal for next year to pay for a new football stadium. 

While the district has purchased land for the new stadium, trustees plan to wait for the outcome of the committee's report before deciding to call a bond election. That wouldn't happen until the spring of 2016, said Cody Cunningham (pictured), a spokesman for the district. Trustees have discussed building a 12,000-seat stadium at an estimated cost of about $50 million, he said.

The existing 7,000-seat stadium opened in 1962 and is home field for three high schools, Cunningham said. The facility also has insufficient parking and electrical problems at one high school have shut down the air conditioning in one locker room. The district spent $20,000 last year to rent temporary seating to accommodate fans for high-interest games.
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Mart approves sale of land to attract housing development
Mart city officials recently agreed to sell 21-acres of city-owned land with the goal of attracting new housing development. 

Developers have expressed interest in new construction with an affordable housing aspect, though not with subsidies such as Section 8, noted Henry Witt (pictured), a council member. Multifamily housing such as an apartment complex also is a possibility, he added. News that the city won $22.5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the form of loans and a grant to improve the water system and city streets has prompted developers to express more interest in Mart, Witt said.

Money from the sale of the city-owned property also could be used to remove housing vacated by homeowners in an effort to improve the area, Witt said. The city also could use the funding to buy new police patrol vehicles and a new fire truck, he added.
Collaboration Nation

Two West Texas colleges get $52.5 million for expansion
West Texas A&M University and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo recently won approval by legislators to issue a total of $52.5 million in tuition revenue bonds (TRBs) to pay for upgrading campus facilities.

West Texas A&M received $45.3 million in funding, with more than $38 million allotted to build a new agriculture sciences complex on its campus in Canyon, noted Patrick O'Brien (pictured), president of the university. Because the new facility is estimated to cost between $48 million and $50 million, university officials plan to seek private donations to pay the additional costs of the new complex. The remaining $7.2 million in TRBs will pay for renovation of the West Texas A&M campus in downtown Amarillo, he said. 

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center officials plan to use the tuition revenue bonds to upgrade a facility in Amarillo that includes simulated learning facilities for medical students who will work in high-tech areas with mannequins or live actors as patients.
Subscribe to the Government Contracting Pipeline

Corpus Christi funds new building projects for $6 million
The Corpus Christi development services department has approved new building projects expected to be valued at more than $6.3 million, and several more large projects are on the horizon.

A $3.3 million agriculture complex being built by the Tuloso-Midway School District is the most costly of the new developments approved by the city.

Projects still pending approval include a proposed $28 million addition to the Texas State Aquarium, a $950,000 office building on Omaha Drive and a shell building on Saratoga Boulevard estimated to cost about $800,000.
Roadmap to upcoming opportunities
Interested in staying ahead of the competition? Then ... take note! Government entities throughout Texas have called November bond elections.

The bond vote represents contracting work valued at $8.7 billion dollars. New construction, renovation and maintenance projects, road work, new bridges, street improvements, new public safety buildings, parks renovations and water and wastewater projects - this is what the bond funding will cover.

The Strategic Partnerships Team will deliver all the details and subscribers will be able to get information that is not available anywhere else. Order now and be among the first to receive the information!
Houston ISD signs off on $68.4M Austin High School renovation
Houston Independent School District trustees recently began reviewing preliminary plans for a $68.4 million project to renovate Austin High School.
The proposed renovation will preserve the 1936 building, but a large portion of its back section will need to be replaced with a new addition that will provide more natural light and open up corridors, the project architect said. The plan also calls for removing multiple entrances and rebuilding one entrance on the Jefferson Street side of building to enhance security, he said.

District officials also plan to build a new gymnasium, laboratories and a new kitchen and dining commons area of the high school, which is located on the east side of Houston. Construction on the project is expected to begin in late 2017 and be completed in about two years.
San Antonio transit group weighs request for Lone Star Rail
VIA Metropolitan Transit officials are considering a request from the Lone Star Rail project to include $500,000 when adopting their budget for the coming fiscal year to pay for planning for a proposed commuter rail.

San Antonio city officials have much to gain in supporting the proposed service for passengers traveling from San Antonio through Austin to Georgetown, a council member said. 

The council is expected to vote Sept. 10 on whether to approve the investment in the commuter rail project. VIA officials are holding a public meeting on Sept. 14 to gather citizen input on their proposed budget according to Jeffrey Arndt, president and chief executive officer of VIA Metropolitan Transit.
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Greater Texoma Utility Authority rejects only bid for water project
The Greater Texoma Utility Authority (GTUA) recently rejected the only bid submitted to build 7,000 feet of pipe that would enable the GTUA to retire an aging lift station in Sherman.

The authority received only one bid of $1.3 million for the project, much more than the $750,000 budgeted for the project, said Drew Satterwhite (pictured), general manager of the GTUA.

Sherman city officials and the GTUA said they plan to rebid the project in January with the goal of attracting more than one bidder for the project, Satterwhite said. The new well is designed to provide more flexibility and redundancy to the water system if one of the two wells in the city were to fail, he added.
Deep East Texas COG sets sights on new disaster response center
Deep East Texas Council of Government (DETCOG) officials expect to know by the end of September if they will win final approval of $1 million in federal funding for a new facility to serve as an annex office and disaster response center.

The new budget for the U.S. Economic Development Administration should be finalized at the end of September, and remaining money from the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief funds will become available, noted Walter Diggles, executive director of DETCOG. 

The new building will be located in a business park on SH 103 in Lufkin. There is not yet a timetable for the opening of the new space. The plan is for DETCOG personnel to use the facility during emergency evacuations.

Glenn Heights City Council calls $15 million bond election
Glenn Heights City Council members recently agreed to schedule a $15 million bond election with three propositions in November. The first proposition asks for approval of $3.5 million to pay for a new public safety building, said Mayor Leon Tate (pictured), while the second calls for $3.5 million to pay for a community center.

The third proposition, for $8 million, proposes to fund the replacement and upgrade of streets and sidewalks. A bond advisory committee studied capital improvement needs and recommended that council members schedule the election.
Calendar of Events

Infocast's 4th Lone Star State Water Summit set for Austin
Sept. 9, 2015
The fourth Lone Star State Water Summit will be hosted by Infocast in Austin Wednesday, Sept. 9, and Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Hilton Austin. The conference will give attendees the opportunity to meet municipal officials, developers, investors, financiers, regulators, water technology companies and other stakeholders in Texas water. Discussions will revolve around existing public and private funding opportunities, Texas' water and development needs and regulations essential to developing critically-needed water infrastructure in Texas. Don't miss your chance to take your place at the table as Texas' water conversation continues this fall. Readers of Texas Government Insider are eligible for a 15 percent discount off the registration fee, just use the discount code: 1566MEDIA15. Registration is open and an agenda is available.
TxPPA's annual conference to be held in San Marcos in November
Nov. 11, 2015
The 7th annual Texas Public Purchasing Association Annual Meeting & Fall Conference will be held Nov. 11-13, 2015 at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel, Spa and Conference Center. The TxPPA is a multi-agency organization for purchasing professionals across the state of Texas. The educational offerings will include public procurement basics, current topics of interest and concern, along with opportunities for networking with purchasing professionals. Continuing education hours will be earned by attendees for use in re-certification.
CATEE to host annual energy efficiency conference in Galveston
Dec. 1, 2015
The Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) Conference is an educational conference and business exhibition connecting public and private decision makers. Its purpose is to help communities improve decisions regarding energy and water, learn from examples and seek alternative energy sources - and reduce related emissions. The CATEE Conference will be held at the Hotel Galvez & Spa in Galveston, Texas. 
The conference provides a valuable forum to share information on state and local energy efficiency policies, raise awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, develop and move toward new policy goals and highlight successful policies and practices. CATEE 2015 is hosted by the Energy Systems Laboratory of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. Registration is open.
Rebirth after storm: private sector playing major role 

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

The city of New Orleans has certainly suffered through its share of heartache - and heartbreak - since being decimated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Parts of the city became a virtual wasteland as homes, businesses, public health and safety facilities, parks and infrastructure suffered billions of dollars in damages, some irreparable. The economy tanked. But, 10 years later, the city is continuing to fight its way back.

One casualty of the storm that was the costliest and one of the deadliest in American history was the city's historic Charity Hospital. Charity was one of two teaching hospitals that were part of the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans. The facility was so heavily damaged that the governor ordered it shuttered, saying it would not reopen as a hospital.

Now, like the city, Charity is trying to make a comeback, although not as a medical facility. And, officials are turning to the private sector for help. Collaboration: one of the best options for solving large problems. In April, the Louisiana Division of Administration issued a request for information (RFI) from developers who might either purchase the more-than-80-year-old facility or work with the state through a public-private partnership (P3). The RFI also included a number of other ancillary properties owned by the state. If there is enough interest, a request for proposals (RFP) could be issued soon.

Fort Worth taps two internal candidates among six chief finalists
Fort Worth city officials this week selected two internal candidates, Kenneth Dean (pictured, top) and Abdul Pridgen (pictured, bottom), as two of the six finalists for police chief.

Dean currently serves as assistant police chief for patrol, and Pridgen is assistant police chief for finance and personnel at the Fort Worth Police Department.

Also selected as finalists for the job are Jose Banales, an assistant police chief in San Antonio; Joel Fitzgerald, police chief in Allentown, Pa., and a former police chief in Missouri City; Anne Kirkpatrick, a chief deputy in King County, Wash., and a senior instructor for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Kirk Munden, who retired as executive assistant police chief in Houston in 2014. City officials plan to select a lone finalist for the job within two weeks.

Charles Addington named chief of the year
Charles Addington II (pictured), chief of the Wolfforth Volunteer Fire Department, recently won selection as Fire Chief of the Year by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).

A physician, teacher, mayor and medical director, Addington joined Wolfforth Fire and Emergency Management Services in 1996 and has served as chief for the volunteer fire department for 15 years. He also heads the Wolfforth Fire Academy, which trains more than 60 firefighters a year using the curriculum of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.

A member of the Texas Association of Fire Chiefs and the Texas State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association-EMS Advisory Board, Addington is certified by the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer program. He also completed the Texas A&M Fire Service Chief Executive Officer course.EXT
HDI Solutions

West Rusk County CISD names superintendent
Lawrence Coleman (pictured) recently won selection as the lone finalist for superintendent at West Rusk County Consolidated Independent School District. Coleman will not take office until July 1, 2016.

Coleman will replace Superintendent Tommy Alexander, who will retire after seven years with the district at the conclusion of the just-started school term.

Coleman joined the district in 2010 and has served as an assistant principal of the junior high school and high school. He became assistant superintendent in 2012. Coleman previously worked for Center ISD, Pine Tree ISD, Sabine ISD and Hallsville ISD.

John Scott resigns from post as COO at HHSC
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced this week that John Scott is resigning as chief operating officer. Scott joined the commission in January and served as the chief architect of the agency's efforts to reform its internal ethics and contracting policies. An attorney, Scott will return to private practice.

"The impact of John's sound assistance, advice and counsel cannot be overstated," said Commissioner Chris Traylor, who praised Scott for his assistance, advice and counsel as well as the legal acumen and commitment to excellence that he brought to the agency.

Scott is a former deputy attorney general for civil litigation. He received a BA from The University of Texas at Austin and graduated from the South Texas College of Law.
Northrop Grumman

Sealy names Kuciemba its new city manager
Sealy City Council members recently selected Larry Kuciemba as the new city manager. He replaces former City Manager Chris Coffman, who resigned to take the equivalent position in Granbury.

A businessman who is active in community affairs, Kuciemba currently serves as chairman of the city's newly created sports commission, which is charged with attracting sporting events and tournaments to the city. 

Interim City Manager Krisha Langton, also has resigned to accept a new post with the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District.
LeFleur Transportation

Mesquite names two deputies as finalists
Mesquite City Council members recently named Assistant City Managers Jerry Dittman and Cliff Keheley as finalists for the open city manager position. They are vying to replace City Manager Ted Barron, who is retiring at the end of September.

Officials posted the job for four weeks on the city's website and elsewhere to attract 19 applicants for the job. Following interviews, Dittman and Keheley won selection to interview again with council members, who plan to make a decision soon.
Port authority plans for new office building
Port Authority of Corpus Christi commissioners recently began discussions on options to replace the commission's existing administrative building complex.

The aging two-building complex does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, does not meet city code and is prone to chronic moisture, said Judy Hawley (pictured), chairwoman of the port commission. As its number of employees grows, the already-crowded port facility will need more space, Hawley said.

Among options being discussed are re-purposing land already owned by the port commission and building a facility on either side of the Solomon F. Ortiz International Center. Commissioners also discussed buying or leasing property in the downtown area, which would cost between $22 million and $26 million, according to a report by an architect.

An architectural firm from McAllen also suggested port commissioners explore using a public-private partnership to free tax dollars for other purposes.
Plano allots $1.1 million to renovate Plano Centre
Plano City Council members recently agreed to allot $1.1 million to renovate Plano Centre once the new city budget is approved.

Current plans are to upgrade landscaping, exterior lighting and the parking lot beginning in early 2016, said Amy Fortenberry, director of the parks and recreation department. 

Council members in 2012 approved $2.5 million to renovate the interior of the 122,000-square-foot facility after agreeing to rename it the Plano Event Center to make its purpose more clear, she said. Parks and Recreation officials have requested nearly $4 million to renovate the grounds of the center in the project, which will be conducted in phases over a three year period in order to remain open for business.

LSC's Laughter to retire as vice chancellor
Lone Star College has announced that its vice chancellor of external affairs, Ray Laughter, will retire Feb. 28, 2016. 

"Ray Laughter plays such an important role at Lone Star College," said Steve Head, LSC chancellor. "His efforts really helped grow the community's trust in our college and was instrumental in getting our 2014 bond election approved."

Laughter began his career as director of the Small Business Development Center in 1987 and was named vice chancellor of external affairs in 2001.
"I have been privileged to be part of a phenomenal organization that has handled unprecedented growth to become one of the finest community colleges in the nation," said Laughter. "I am proud of the work we have been able to accomplish and know that Lone Star College will continue to be a leader in higher education for many years to come."

The office of external affairs is Lone Star College's primary point of contact with elected and appointed government officials. In his role, Laughter also oversees the North Houston Regional Center for Economic Development, the Small Business Development Center and the Community Leadership and Engagement programs.
Gun Barrel City EDC elects Schiff president
The board of directors for the Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation recently elected Steven Schiff as the new board president. Schiff replaces David Skains.

They also swore in Schiff and Megan Lindaman as new members on the board of directors.

Karnes County Airport wins $2.1M TxDOT grant
The Aviation Facilities Grant Program has awarded Karnes County Airport in Kenedy a $2.1 million grant to improve pavement and fencing at the airport.

Kenedy city officials expect to seek bids for the airport project this fall.
Bridgeport EDC chooses Holzbog as exec. director
Kevin Holzbog (pictured) recently won selection as the executive director of the Bridgeport Economic Development Corp.

Holzbog had worked for REI Oklahoma, a statewide nonprofit economic development organization. He will replace Sterling Flynn, the former director, who resigned in June to return to the private sector.

On Our Website 
Van ISD voters to decide on $13.2 million bond
Van Independent School District trustees have agreed to allow voters to decide in November whether to issue $13.2 million in bonds to expand and improve facilities.

Expanded facilities are needed to provide adequate educational space and accommodate future students, according to a spokesperson for a citizen's committee, which recommended the bond proposition.
Police chief Art Acevedo to remain in Austin
Austin police Chief Art Acevedo has decided to keep his current job and stay in Austin. Acevedo had been named a finalist for San Antonio's top police job last month. This week, however, he agreed to a new contract that will give him a four percent pay raise.

 "It is no secret how much I love the city of Austin and looking at this opportunity was never a reflection about my commitment to Austin," Acevedo said. "The nature of this business is that you owe it to yourself and your family to look at these opportunities, and quite frankly, going through the process and the community groups has really energized me."

Acevedo came to Austin in 2007 from the California Highway Patrol. The position is his first municipal law enforcement job.
Health Information Designs
Galveston City Attorney Palumbo resigns
Galveston City Attorney Dorothy Palumbo recently resigned her position with the city to return to the private sector. She had been in that position since being named interim city attorney in February 2012. She dropped the interim label in April 2012.

Palumbo will move to Austin and be of counsel with a private firm for which she has worked previously. "I've always done work of counsel with the firm," she said. "I had that in my contract with the city, even though I had my hands full with work as city attorney." 

Palumbo cited her desire to return to the private sector after two decades as a municipal lawyer as the reason for her resignation.
A Report on On-site Financial Audits of Selected Residential Foster Care Contractors

An Audit Report on Capital Budgets at Health and Human Services Agencies

2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard, Texas A&M Transportation Institute 
Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the following appointments:
  • Ed Robertson, Pflugerville, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles;
  • David Gutierrez, Belton, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles;
  • Heather Griffith Peterson, Austin, Health and Human Services Transition Legislative Oversight Committee;
  • Billy Hamilton, Austin, Health and Human Services Transition Legislative Oversight Committee;
  • John Colyandro, Austin, Health and Human Services Transition Legislative Oversight Committee;
  • Laura Ryan, Houston, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board;
  • Guillermo "Memo" Trevino, Laredo, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board;
  • Gary M. Swindle, Tyler, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board.
Texas Government Insider Archives

Texas Government Insider is a free weekly e-newsletter detailing important happenings throughout the state and summarizing current political issues relevant to individuals interested in government.   
Publisher: Mary Scott Nabers
Editor: Peter Partheymuller  
TGI is published by Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), a research and consulting firm. Founded in Texas in 1994 by former government executives and public sector experts, SPI has developed a national reputation as the premier marketing partner dedicated to helping companies secure contracts in the $1.5 trillion state and local government marketplace.   
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