Texas Government Insider
Volume 10, Issue 14 - Thursday, April 5, 2012

Congress will return to unfinished transportation business


Stop-gap extension ensures funding continues for state, local government projects

Funding continues
Local transportation funding for projects like this will continue after Congress passed a 90-day transportation act extension.

When the U.S. Congress returns from its Easter break, there is some unfinished business waiting for the members.


Before they packed up last week, members of Congress used a barbed wire and baling twine approach to at least temporarily keep federal transportation dollars flowing to state and local governments. Both houses of Congress approved a last-minute, last-ditch, 90-day extension of the surface transportation act. The program was due to expire on March 31 had they not acted.


Two days before the deadline, the House approved the highway spending extension, with the Senate following suit later that day. The extension was necessary because neither the House nor the Senate could get a consensus from the other on the transportation bill that originated in their own chamber.


Although only a stop-gap measure, the extension ensures that the federal government can continue to collect gasoline taxes that help fund projects at the state and local levels...until June 30. Without that extension, some $110 million per day in tax revenues would have been lost.


What both chambers want is a multi-year fix. The Senate version, a $109 billion bill passed in March, would have provided funding for two years. The House version was a $260 billion bill that would have provided five years of transportation funding. While the Senate version had bipartisan support, that was not enough to steer it to passage in the House, where there have been attempts to include the controversial expansion of oil drilling that backers say would generate money for road projects.


It has been estimated that with the current methods of funding, the Highway Trust Fund will go broke by 2014. Many members of Congress argue that continued extensions without additional revenue sources, is quickly moving toward insolvency of the fund, leading them to say they will not support additional extensions.


When Congress returns from its break, the transportation issue will still be on the table. However, many have predicted that action in earnest on a bill will not take place until after the upcoming elections. 




DIR being proactive in ensuring system, data security throughout state government

Just how big is the increase in cybersecurity threats in Texas and how secure is non-public information held by the State of Texas?


Karen RobinsonAccording to Karen Robinson (pictured), executive director of the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) and Chief Information Officer for the State of Texas, DIR thwarts as many as 110 million cyber incidents every month. And, DIR is working quickly and thoroughly to ensure data security throughout state government.


It's no small wonder that the state is concerned about cybersecurity, given the number of news reports from throughout the country in recent years regarding data breaches involving both the public and private sectors. And, Texas state government has not been immune to the problem.


As a result, DIR, a state agency that lists part of its mission as being to provide leadership to secure the state's technology assets and promote the appropriate use of citizen information, is being proactive in addressing those cybersecurity threats. In recent testimony before a House legislative committee, Robinsons explained that those incidents represent attacks on the state's information technology infrastructure and present a "serious problem to all state data systems."


Robinson noted that SB 988 from the 82nd Legislature created the Cybersecurity Education and Economic Development Council, whose purpose is to leverage public-private partnerships (P3s) as the state seeks to become a leader in cybersecurity. The state's CIO said the Council will use those P3s to improve the state's cybersecurity infrastructure and encourage the growth of the industry in Texas while protecting the information of Texas citizens.




May 2012 Tx Bond Elections

Dallas ISD announces Miles as lone finalist for superintendent

Mike MilesMike Miles, superintendent of Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this week was named lone finalist for the superintendent job at the Dallas Independent School District. He will replace Michael Hinojosa, who served six years at DISD before announcing his departure.


Miles' education career followed a military career that began as a student at West Point. Upon his graduation in 1978, he served in the Army's elite Ranger Battalion and commanded an Infantry Rifle Company. He later attended the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Leningrad in Russia, followed by advanced study of Soviet affairs and public policy at Columbia University. After graduating from Columbia in 1989, Miles joined the U.S. State Department as a Presidential Management Intern. While there, he became a Foreign Service Officer in Warsaw, Poland. A charge as Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to Russia followed.


When he returned to the United States, Miles began his education career. Miles also served as an educational consultant and motivational speaker for school districts and other public organizations. He is also the former Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction of the Fountain-Ft. Carson School District.


Huntsville approves $20.4 million for bonds for water treatment plant

Huntsville City Council members recently approved $20.4 million in bonds to pay for expanding and upgrading a regional water treatment plant operated by the Trinity River Authority. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has ruled the existing treatment facility is too small to meet peak demand.


Plans call for adding a new pump and replacing an existing 2,000 feet of 30-inch pipe with 36-inch pipe as well as improving nitrate removal. Officials of the river authority plan to award bids to begin construction on the treatment plant expansion later this month.


Gary Grief

Mega Millions ticket sales reap records for Texas Lottery

No Texan won the recent record-setting Mega Millions payout, but the Texas Lottery was a winner. Lottery Executive Director Gary Grief (pictured) said last week's drawing "resulted in millions of dollars in winnings for our players, huge commissions for our retailers and a very significant contribution to the Foundation School Fund, which supports public education in our state."


Grief said the drawing netted the sales of more than 1.3 million winning tickets in Texas, including 14 winners of $250,000 each and more than 1 million other payouts totaling nearly $10.6 million and ranging from $2 to $10,000. Additionally, Texas Lottery retailers earned $4.7 million.


The lottery director said nearly 40 percent of Texas Mega Millions proceeds are transferred to the state's Foundation School Fund, with $37.5 million headed to that fund as a result of the drawing.


Among the sales records from the Mega Millions drawing with a record for highest total sales day of $56.01 million, highest total sales week at $149.76 million last week and highest total sales month at $462.78 million for March. 


Texas A&M picks Hallmark as vice chancellor for academic affairs

Texas A&M University System officials recently chose Dr. James Hallmark as the new vice chancellor for academic affairs for the system. Hallmark previously was provost at West Texas A&M University. He has served as acting vice chancellor for the system since March.


Three finalists named for Richland College presidency

Stuart SavinRodney EllisKay EgglestonThree finalists have been chosen for the position of president of Richland College of the Dallas County Community College District. They include Dr. Kathryn (Kay) Eggleston (left), Dr. Rodney Ellis (center) and Dr. Stuart Savin (right).


Eggleston has served as Richland's interim president, executive vice president and chief operating officer, vice president for institutional effectiveness and economic development and vice president for community development. She also has held the positions of dean, executive dean and health and legal studies instructor at El Centro College. She holds a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Dallas.


Ellis has served as executive vice president, vice president of information technology, planning and development and director of institutional development at Atlanta (Ga.) Technical College. He also held the position of institutional effectiveness specialist for the Technical College System of Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.


Savin is a former campus vice president at Harrisburg Area Community Colleges (Penn.), president of Cuyamaca College (Calif.), dean at Portland Community College (Ore.), dean at South Seattle Community College (Wash.) and faculty/department head at Rockland Community College (N.Y.). He earned his Ph.D. from Oregon State University.


Contracting Opportunities

Arlington eyeing development of Division St. to attract businesses

Arlington city officials recently began looking at ways to increase redevelopment efforts along Division Street, the historic dividing line between Fort Worth and Arlington that has developed into a long string of used car lots.


City officials are using a $75,000 grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments to pay for a $93,745 initiative to upgrade the area in an effort to create more jobs, raise property values and increase tax revenues. Council members are expected to review and decide whether to proceed with the redevelopment plan in late 2012.


Current plans focus on a one-mile, 124-acre stretch between Cooper and Collins streets currently cluttered with rundown buildings, too many utility poles and many asphalt parking lots. Officials want to add food truck courts, widen sidewalks, bury utility poles and provide landscaping to attract more housing, shopping, dining and office projects to that stretch of Division Street.


TPWD Wildland Firefighting Team wins Governor's Award

Governor's Award
Representatives of the TPWD Wildland Firefighting Team accept the Governor's Award.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Wildland Firefighting Team was recently honored with the Governor's Award for Historic Preservation. The team was honored by Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Historical Commission for saving both lives and part of the state's history during wildfires that ravaged Texas last year, including three state parks - Possum Kingdom, Bastrop and the Davis Mountains. These parks were developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression in the 1930s. TPWD firefighters from three regions of the state who make up the Wildland Firefighting Team were able to save most of the historic CCC buildings in these parks.


Six representatives of those different regions that make up the team were on hand for the presentation of the award. In the accompanying photo, Gov. Perry (left) and Krause (center) present the award to the fire team representatives.


"On behalf of all of those who were determined to save our people, parks and our heritage I want to say thank you for this award," said TPWD State Parks Division Director Brent Leisure. "Although it will go down in the history books as one of the most catastrophic wildfire seasons in state history, it would have been far worse if not for the heroic actions of the people we are honoring here today."


Leisure noted that each of the state parks affected by the wildfires have since reopened and the CCC buildings were saved by this team made up mainly of state employees who are trained for the situations they encountered during the fires. "All the people of Texas are indebted to these firefighters, who were determined to bring last summer's fires under control and save the lives, homes and history that stood in their path," said THC Chairman Sheri Krause, who joined the governor in presenting the award.


Dallas approves spending $25.5 million on Cotton Bowl upgrades

Dwain CarawayDallas City Council members have approved an additional $25.5 million in debt for help defray the costs of major upgrades and improvements to the Cotton Bowl. However, that spending is contingent on both The University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma signing an extension of the football series that has been part of the Cotton Bowl lore since 1929.


If the upgrades take place, they will include new historically appropriate facades in each end zone, press box renovations, new club seating levels below the current press box, upgrades to concession areas and concourse repairs. Construction could begin in January 2013 if the extension is approved, with completion expected by September. While the city benefits with direct payments of approximately $500,000 each year the longstanding football game is played in the Cotton Bowl, the economic impact on the region is estimated at $34 million.


While there was little opposition to the pledging of the funds, Council member Dwaine Caraway (pictured) said even that much was not enough, saying, "We're patching it up once again."

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Rio Hondo facing loss of grants and loans for new water plant

At a time when Rio Hondo officials are discussing whether to apply to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a loan to build a new water plant, USDA officials are looking at withdrawing a previous loan and grant to the city for a new sewer plant because city officials have not used the funding within the required time period.


Rio Hondo city officials borrowed $580,000 in 1993 for a sewer plant with the stipulation that it be used within a five-year period, or returned, said Roel Gomez, acting director of the USDA office in Edinburg. The city still owes $435,000 on the loan and appears to have no plan in place for the facility, Gomez said. As a result, USDA officials have sent a letter to Rio Hondo officials asking for a meeting to discuss the loan.


Officials in Rio Hondo have discussed borrowing more money from USDA to build a water plant, and using the previous loan as part of that project, but a council member pointed out that the $2.3 million loan would cost $4.7 million in principal and interest for the 40-year loan by the time it is repaid in 2052. The city could face a similar situation by borrowing so much from USDA. The councilman instead proposed borrowing $1 million to renovate the water plant built in 1985 because the city has many low-income residents who could not pay higher water rates for a new water plant. City staff estimated the city would need to spend from $1.2 million to $1.5 million to renovate the sewer plant built in 1985 by making electrical repairs and installing new pumps and motors.


HISD among four finalists nationwide for 2012 Broad Prize

Terry GrierThe Houston Independent School District has the chance to repeat its performance of 10 years ago in winning the Broad Prize for Urban Education, after being named one of four finalists for the annual prize. HISD was the winner of the inaugural award a decade ago and is competing this year with other finalists that include Corona-Norco Unified School District in Riverside County, Calif., Miami-Dade County Public Schools and The School District of Palm Beach County, Fla.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in New York City.


The Broad Prize includes a $1 million award to honor urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among poor and minority students. If HISD wins, high school seniors in the district who graduate in 2013 will receive $550,000 in college scholarships. By being a finalist, the district is guaranteed at least $150,000.


"HISD won the first Broad Prize in 2002 because this district was led by visionary people who truly believed that every child has the ability to excel in the classroom if we give our teachers and principals the tools they need," said HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier (pictured). "I'm proud to say that this children-first philosophy still guides every decision we make in HISD today and that it is producing results."


Port of Corpus Christi gets offer for most of Naval Station Ingleside

Port of Corpus Christi commissioners recently received a letter of intent from Oxy Ingleside Property Holdings, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp., to purchase part of Naval Station Ingleside for $82 million. Acceptance of the letter prevents port commissioners from considering other offers for the property while details of the purchase are being ironed out, port officials said.


The sale involves 815 acres, all of the former base except for the campus portion and includes 435 acres of port-owned land that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined to be wetlands, port officials said. The buyer has five days to pay $1 million in earnest money to a title company. The sale could be finalized by late June, port officials said.


Commissioners also postponed asking for bids the 101 acres of the campus section of the naval station until negotiations with Oxy Ingleside are finalized. Previous attempts to sell the property the port gained possession of in 2012 to a Houston-based offshore facility failed when the company missed payment deadlines. Officials of Oxy Midstream Projects said the company plans to seek permits to build a facility to separate components in natural gas and take advantage of the docks to ship out those products.


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Dallas to hire consultant to update master plan for downtown parks

The Dallas Park and Recreation Department recently hired a consultant, Hargreaves and Associates, to update the master plan for downtown parks created in 2004, said Michael Hellmann, manager of park planning and acquisition.


The possibility that a philanthropist may purchase the building and donate it to the city spurred the update of the master plan for downtown parks that also will study whether to demolish or possibly transform the 211 North Ervey Building, which has been vacant since 2005. The building is considered a blight to the downtown area and current plans are to transform the site into a park, Hellman said. The master plan for downtown parks update also is necessary as many changes took place since its adoption and must be addressed, he said.


The current master plan foresees the vacant building demolished and transformed into a downtown park, but obstacles such as the cost of the land and demolishing the building and abatement could be a roadblock, Hellman said. Some in the area support retaining the first two floors of the building to house retail businesses. Due to its proximity to the Thanksgiving Tower, the building must be razed floor-by-floor, much more expensive than an implosion that could damage nearby structures, he said. The head of the Office of Economic Development for the city, however, said demolishing the building is critical to the park plan, to the downtown area and economic development because it will open up views to landmark structures in the downtown area.


Liberty to seek sealed proposals for contract for new police station

Gary BrozAfter discussions on whether to use a construction manager at-risk or accepting sealed direct bids to build a new police station, Liberty City Council members recently agreed to accept sealed proposals from construction companies for the project. Because the new police station will replace the station destroyed in 2008 by Hurricane Ike, the city received $1 million in federal disaster aid to help replace the police station.


City Manager Gary Broz advised council that accepting sealed bids rather than sealed proposals would have required council members to follow state law and select the lowest bidder no matter of that company's reputation or track record. With a sealed proposal, city officials have the flexibility to talk with the next lowest bidder and even other bidders who may be more qualified, Broz said. City staff will work with the architect through the summer to develop plans on which contractors will be selected to submit proposals, he said.


Abilene Christian cites two academic leadership changes

Dr. Donnie Snider has been named interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Abilene Christian University, and Dr. Nancy Shankle has been chosen as assistant provost for general education.

Snider, who came to ACU in 2003, has served as chair of the Department of Graduate Studies in Education and also was associate dean for the College of Education and Human Services.


Shankle came to ACU in 1990 and is a professor of English. She currently serves as interim assistant provost for general education. She has been English Department Chair, associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the first Scholar-in-Residence in the Adams Center.


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Longview group to revive development in the western area of city

A group of residents of the west side of Longview recently began looking at ways to increase economic development to the city's west side to benefit the area in the future, said Kimberly Fisher, who chairs the grassroots organization of about 20 residents.


With voters of Pine Tree Independent School District approving $29.9 million in bonds to build a $20.3 million sports complex on Loop 281, west side residents became more aware that a new football stadium also may be located in the area and want to make sure that the new development is smart and benefits the area, Fisher said. Members of the informal group have met with representatives from the city, the chamber of commerce and the city's economic development corporation to examine ways to increase development and redevelopment of the west side to match economic development activity north of the city, she added. The group will continue to meet with city and economic development officials to ensure that development efforts on the west side are vigorous and are supported by residents.


Victoria College welcomes 10-acre land transfer from city

City council members in Victoria recently approved transferring a 10-acre tract of land from a business park development project to Victoria College to develop at least a $15 million center for emerging technology.


The agreement requires college officials to begin construction on the emerging technology center within 18 months. Victoria College officials are asking voters to approve a bond issue to help pay for the project. If the bond issue fails, the college will be required to transfer the property back to the city.


LBJ School program on leadership, strategy, decision-making

In serious decision situations, the pressure is on leaders to move quickly to action, often without fully identifying and understanding the background and context that affect the situation. "Leadership, Strategy, and Decision-Making," part of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs Executive Education revitalizes leadership skills with practical wisdom drawn from the issues faced by great leaders of our time. This two-day program (May 3 and 4) led by Dr. Jeremi Suri takes leadership training beyond the necessary skills and tactics to a higher and more dynamic level. "Leadership, Strategy, and Decision-Making" offers new insights based on the innovative approach to leadership education in a changing world that is at the core of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. This program immerses participants in an experiential process of redefining your decision-making as a leader. To view the brochure with registration details, click here. For more information on the program, click here.


UT to host 19th annual HUB/SB Vendor Fair in April

The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas System will host their 19th Annual HUB/SB Vendor Fair, Tuesday, April 17. The event will be held at the Frank Erwin Special Events Center, 1701 Red River St., Austin, TX 78701 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The HUB/SB vendor fair is designed to give Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) owners an opportunity to market their products and/or services to UT departmental purchasing representatives, as well as to the many other State of Texas agencies located in the capital city. The vendor fair is FREE for exhibiting vendors and open to the public. Online registration and a list of participating vendors is available here.


Institutes on Evidence-Based Quality Improvement set in July

The 2012 Summer Institutes on Evidence-Based Quality Improvement will be held July 17-21 at the Grand Hyatt Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio. The event is being offered by The Academic Center for Evidence-Based Practice (ACE), Improvement Science Research Network (ISRN) and The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. Pre-Conferences are planned for July 18. For more information, click here or contact Kandice Hall at HallKM@uthscsa.edu.


2012 North American Workforce Symposium scheduled in April

The 2012 North American Workforce Symposium, hosted by North America's Corridor Coalition, is slated for Thursday, April 26, at the Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway. The event will bring together business leaders, educational partners and community organizations to help ensure trained and certified personnel for the manufacturing, supply chain and logistics industries. The symposium will also emphasize the necessity of partnerships between regional business, economic and education organizations. Among the keynote speakers is Jennifer McNelly, senior vice president of The Manufacturing Institute. The symposium is being presented in cooperation with Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council. Sponsorships are available. For more information and to view the tentative agenda, click here. To register, click here.


DIR to host 12th Annual Information Security Forum

The 12th Annual Information Security Forum, hosted for government personnel only by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), is slated for Tuesday, May 15. The free, one-day event is co-sponsored by the Texas Association of State Systems for Computing and Communications (TASSCC). Conference focus this year is "Security Program Maturity," with possible topics to include security assessment process, threat landscape/risks, legal and privacy landscape, why it's important to improve security program maturity, implementing enterprise solutions and governance. Interested vendors are invited to exhibit and/or provide speakers. Sessions should be purely educational and not promote products or services. The event is targeted to Information Resource Managers and other IT and security decision-makers. For more information, contact Joy Hall Bryant at joy.bryant@dir.texas.gov or Sue Atkinson at sue.atkinson@dir.texas.gov.


E-Learning Symposium 2012 planned for June 13 in Austin

Professionals who manage and design E-Learning programs in health care, government, higher education, energy and corporate settings will not want to miss this year's E-Learning Symposium 2012 Austin. The symposium is an interactive conference designed to help professionals and key decision-makers learn how to execute E-Learning programs within their organizations. The event is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, at the Omni Southpark Hotel, 4410 Governors Row in Austin. The event features leading industry experts who share their knowledge on of-the-moment topics, processes and technology within E-Learning. For more information, click here.


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Collaborations in state, nation driven by economy


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


Driven by the realities of a harsh economy, innovation and creativity have become an important part of the mix when it comes to budget and spending decisions made by local government officials. As budget gaps continue to widen, those decision-makers are now adding "collaboration" to their financial tool kits.


Local governments are collaborating to increase their purchasing power, prevent duplication of services and lower the costs of government - thus reducing the necessity for increased taxes or cuts in services.


In Texas, one of the most successful of such collaborations is the joint information technology program established by El Paso County and the city of El Paso. The consolidation of the two IT programs has saved taxpayers more than $1 million since it was implemented. A savings of another $250,000 per month is also expected. The two entities have also talked about consolidating law enforcement agencies. This is truly the trend of the future for governmental entities.


Combined municipal court operations are close to being finalized between the cities of Colleyville and Keller. Colleyville's City Council approved the collaboration just this week and Keller is expected to follow suit at a meeting next month. If approved, residents of both cities will begin sharing the municipal court at the Colleyville Justice Center as early as Oct. 1. Cost savings are estimated at $52,000 per year for Colleyville and $146,000 annually for Keller.



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Abilene group urges $1.7 million in capital improvement projects

Abilene Planning and Zoning Commissioners recently approved a five-year capital improvement plan calling for 10 projects costing about $1.7 million this year.


Capital projects recommended are road reconstruction projects in northeast areas of the city, upgrades at Rose Park and building a new concession stand at the municipal golf course. City council members are expected to vote on the capital improvement plan in late spring.


TGI resumes Friday schedule April 13; 'Lone Star' column

will return then as well

The Texas Government Insider will resume its Friday publication schedule next Friday, April 13, and our popular "Lone Star" column will return then as well.


The Strategic Partnerships Inc. offices will be closed tomorrow, Friday, in observance of Good Friday and will open again at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 9.


Have a safe and happy holiday!

Slaton ISD tags Becker as

its new superintendent

Julee BeckerTrustees for Slaton Independent School District recently selected Julee Becker (pictured) as the new superintendent. Becker, who is an assistant superintendent for the district, will replace Superintendent James Taliaferro, who is retiring on June 12 after seven years in that post.


$45 million in bonds approved

for ACC Kyle campus

The Austin Community College Board of Trustees has approved the issuance of $45 million in bonds to help finance its proposed new campus in Kyle. Officials say $10 million of that will go toward purchase of a 96-acre tract of land for the facility. The college will announce a date for groundbreaking after a contract is negotiated with the college's construction manager. The college will have to create a corporation controlled by the entity to use the bond proceeds as the funds cannot be pledged to a bond issue. The entity will own the campus and lease it to the college for 25 years. Lease payments will retire the debt service on the bonds. After the 25-year term, the college will assume ownership.


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Barnett to serve as new director of Midlothian development group

Midlothian City Council members recently approved the appointment of Larry Barnett as the executive director of the Corporation for the Economic Development of Midlothian (CEDM). A resident of Biloxi, Mississippi, Barnett begins his new duties on April 9.


Lindale ISD names Tate

for new director of finance

Michelle TateThe board of Lindale Independent School District recently named Michelle Tate (pictured) as the new director of finance to replace Liz Stewart, who resigned to join Argyle ISD. Trustees also appointed Elaine Hall to serve as interim director of finance until Tate assumes the job.


Tate currently is director of business operations for Sabine ISD and previously worked at Troup and Tyler ISDs in finance and accounting positions.


Houston ISD selects Gross

as new procurement manager

Responding to a recent audit critical of its business practices, Houston Independent School District officials selected Christopher Gross as the new procurement manager for the district. Gross is a former contract manager for The University of Texas System Supply Chain Alliance.


The audit also urged the district to expand annual board training on conflicts of interest and procurement policies, simplify internal policies for staff, require procurement department involvement in all purchases and require trustees to communicate benefits received from existing vendors to the superintendent.



Marshall ISD selects Langley

as new director of curriculum

Trustees for the Marshall Independent School District recently selected Richele Langley as the new director of curriculum.


Langley currently is a middle school principal at the district and has worked for the district many years in administrative roles in elementary, secondary and special education. She begins her new duties on July 1.


Mayfield promoted to new position with City of Victoria

Jared Mayfield, former deputy director of development services with the city of Victoria, has been promoted to director of development services. He replaces John Kaminski, who was named assistant city manager on March 17.


Mayfield began his career with the city in 1996 as a planner II, and was promoted to various positions in the department. He was named deputy director of development services in 2010. He also held planning positions with the cities of Galveston and Abilene.


Mayfield holds both bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas A&M University.


San Angelo hires search firm

to help find new city manager

San Angelo City Council members recently selected a search firm, Strategic Government Resources of Atlanta, Georgia, to help find a new city manager. A search firm representative told council the organization plans to present them with 10 to 12 semifinalists to review and perform background checks that include criminal, civil, credit, education and Internet searches.


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Thompson tapped as lone finalist for superintendent at Pettus ISD

Pettus Independent School District trustees recently tapped Brian Thompson as the lone finalist for superintendent. Thompson has served as the high school principal for the district since 2009.


Fredericksburg picks Myers

as its new city manager

Kent MyersKent Myers (pictured), city manager in Port Angeles, Washington, will be returning to Texas to serve as city manager for the city of Fredericksburg. He is a former city manager for the city of Converse. Myers was chosen from more than 100 applicants for the position. Myers will replace Gary Neffendorf, who retired in December. Neffendorf is still on the Fredericksburg payroll, having continued to serve in a consulting role, which he will continue through the Myers transition. Myers is expected to begin his new charge in early May.


Whitesboro ISD selects

Slaughter as superintendent

Whitesboro Independent School District trustees recently selected Pete Slaughter as superintendent to replace former Superintendent Steve Kolb, who is retiring. Slaughter currently is an assistant superintendent at Anna ISD.


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Lampasas selects Brack

as new interim city manager

Following the resignation of Kim Wilde as interim city manager, Lampasas City Council members recently selected Stacy Brack, the city secretary and assistant city manager, as the new interim city manager.


Wilde, who had served about six months as interim city manager and applied for the permanent post, withdrew his application after accepting a post with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Council members also canceled the contract with the consultant who had hired Wilde, and authorized city staff to negotiate a contract with a new search firm. That firm will help find a new city manager to replace former City Manager Michael Stoldt, whose contract was terminated in August 2011.


Beaumont ISD selects Chargois

as lone finalist for superintendent

Timothy ChargoisBeaumont Independent School District board members recently selected Timothy B. Chargois (pictured) as the lone finalist for superintendent. Chargois currently is an assistant superintendent for research, planning and evaluation for the district and will replace Superintendent Carrol Thomas, who is retiring.


Recent Reports

Wichita Falls approves $4.42M

to help pay for energy projects

The Wichita Falls City Council recently approved a $4.42 million loan to help pay for a $5.1 million project to improve energy efficiency at an events center, water park and the coliseum.


Under terms of the agreement, the contractor, NORESCO, will oversee installation of the energy saving devices and systems and train staff how to properly operate them, the city's chief financial officer said. The contractor also said that during the 15-year term of the contract, the city should be able to repay the loan and realize energy savings of about $1.6 million from the savings products that include using a system to hibernate computers automatically when not in use, installing low-flow plumbing, new air conditioners, a dehumidifier and energy management systems.


Bandera looking for designer

for new animal control facility

Bandera County officials recently agreed to seek an architect or engineer to create a plan for a new animal control facility to be located behind the Jail and Justice Center to replace a cramped facility on SH16.


County officials have set aside $215,000 to pay for production of the center. The new animal control facility will feature 40 kennels in addition to 10 kennels for quarantined dogs.


Texas Government Insider Archives
Volume 1-10 Archives - 11/7/03 - 3/30/12 

De La Garza to join SAWS

as human resources VP

Sharon De La Garza, former assistant city manager/chief human resources officer for the city of San Antonio, has been picked to fill the role of vice president of human resources at the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), where she will help lead the integration of former BexarMet employees into the SAWS workforce. She replaces Jerry Bailey, who is retiring.


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Tyler ISD selects Tunnell as new director of strategic planning

Trustees for the Tyler Independent School District recently selected Kim Tunnell as the new director of strategic planning and continuous improvement. Tunnell previously served as executive director of curriculum and instruction for the district.


Tunnell, who also was a principal and staff development coordinator during her 11 years with the district, will take charge of long-range planning, implementation and accountability in her new post, district officials said.


Spring ISD taps Allen-Crowder to be community relations director

Christina Allen-CrowderTrustees for the Spring Independent School District recently selected Christina Allen-Crowder (pictured) as the community relations director who will act as the liaison to the Spring ISD Education Foundation.


Allen-Crowder previously was on the board of directors of the La Marque ISD Education Foundation. She has a bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a law degree from the UT School of Law.


The 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
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