News And People

Volume 14, Issue 3 - Friday, January 22, 2016
Interstate designation could mean big things for I-14 corridor
Congressional roads bill paves way for 'Forts to Ports' interstate 

Lost amid the celebration and analysis following last fall's passage of a Congressional transportation bill was the fact that Texas will soon be home to another interstate highway. Thanks to a few Texas congressmen and a senator, what's being called the Central Texas Corridor will one day become Interstate 14.

The path of the eventual interstate will roughly follow US Highway 190 from I-10 in West Texas through to the state border with Louisiana at the Sabine River. That path is important because one of the selling points for the interstate designation was that it would be a true "forts to ports" highway. That is, it would connect the U.S. Army posts Fort Bliss (near El Paso), Fort Hood (in Central Texas) and Fort Polk (on the Louisiana side of the Sabine, just north of US 190) to each other and to the Gulf ports of Texas.

The Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition has been lobbying for this move for years. Or, in the words of the group's chairman, John Thompson, " I've been chasing this rainbow for 20-plus years."

Thompson retired as Polk County judge in 2015 after almost 25 years in office. He also was involved in the push to expand Interstate 69 in Texas. It was an experience that taught him a lot. "The learning curve is steep," he says. The process was lengthy and difficult. For the I-14 designation, "All of the planets lined up in the transportation bill." He credits the state's Congressional delegation for placing the amendment in the highway bill and arguing for the highway's designation on the Transportation Committee.

The next steps will include a study by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) of the one section of US 190 that already is built at interstate standards. The 22-mile section of the highway between Copperas Cove and Belton passes by Fort Hood and meets up with I-35 in Belton. That stretch of road is the nearest to interstate status of the entire highway.

Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas' Lone Stars
Steve Clouse, Chief Operating Officer, San Antonio Water System

Career highlights and education: I've spent 31 years with the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and its predecessor agencies. Throughout my career, I have gained extensive experience in water and wastewater programs. I earned a Bachelor of Science in aquatic biology from Texas State University and a Master of Public Administration from Webster University.

What I like best about my job is: As chief operating officer, I am allowed to witness how things are accomplished across SAWS, from frontline employees such as the operator in the field to the president/chief executive officer. I have extensive working relationships with other governmental agencies, industry organizations, the business community and the general public. What I like best about my job is the people I get to work with.

The best advice I've received for my current job is: Pay attention to details, but don't sweat the small stuff. While we like to think of water as a product, we are a service company.

Advice you would give a new hire in your office: I would rather have smart, inexperienced people who are open-minded and enthusiastic than a group of experts who are not willing to try new things.

If I ever decided to leave work early, I could probably be found: Catching up on work emails and reading assignments at home.

People would be surprised to know that: I like to get antique vehicles and equipment that people gave up on a long time ago running again.

One thing I wish more people knew about my agency: How incredibly dedicated the people of SAWS are to providing affordable and dependable water and wastewater services. Behind the scenes, it's humbling to see how committed our staff is to making water service something the public can take for granted.

Waco considering private operator for convention center
Waco City Council members recently began meetings with a consultant on the feasibility of turning over at least part of the operations of the city's convention center and tourism efforts to a private company.

The effort is part of a $75,000 study of Waco's convention and tourism business that is designed to make the convention center more competitive.
The convention center and visitors bureau is now managed by a city department that reports to the office of the city manager. A voluntary advisory board also oversees both the Convention and Visitors Bureau and convention center but has no authority over operations.

Among the options presented is to create a business model that keeps a publicly managed Convention and Visitors Bureau but moves to a privately managed convention center overseen by a board, similar to the arrangement in Irving. The consultant also pointed out that Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth city officials oversee convention center operations, while private, nonprofit groups accountable to the city manage the visitors bureaus in those cities.

The study is expected to continue for several months. Until then, the city has appointed an interim convention director to replace the retired convention director. City council members will wait to appoint a permanent director until after they decide on a new business model for both entities.
Dallas names Trinity Parkway advisory group board members
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings recently announced six members to serve on the Trinity Parkway citizens advisory committee. The new members will join Sandy Greyson, a city council member, and Jere Thompson, a former chairman of the North Texas Tollway Authority agency, on the eight-member board.

The six new members are Ron Kirk, a former U.S. Commerce Secretary and mayor of Dallas; Lee Jackson, a former Dallas County judge; Mary Ceverha, a board member of the Trinity Commons Foundation; State Rep. Rafael Anchia; Angela Hunt, a former city council member; and Robert Meckfessel, also a member of the board of Trinity Commons Foundation.

Members of the citizens advisory committee are tasked with providing feedback to a panel of government employees and urban planners designing the first phase of construction on the proposed Trinity Parkway. In light of opposition to a previously announced larger vision for the parkway, advisory panel members will help develop a smaller version of the highway that will balance its roles as a park access road and as a traffic congestion reliever, in addition to fitting the framework of the plan already approved by federal officials.
Lakeway approves TxDOT plan to expand RM 620 west of Austin
Lakeway City Council members recently approved a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) proposal to expand a stretch of Ranch-to-Market Road 620 into a six-lane divided highway and another stretch into a four-lane divided highway. The current estimate for the expansion project is about $73 million.

Before the plan for RM 620 is finalized, however, TxDOT officials must present the plan to and win the approval of city council members in Bee Cave and Cedar Park. That process should take at least another six months to complete, said Bruce Byron of TxDOT. Following that, an environmental impact study of the project would take about two years to complete, after which construction on the road project could begin.

Expanding the highway is necessary for public safety, as nearly 1,000 crashes have occurred on RM 620 between State Highway 71 and Mansfield Dam in the past five years. In the short term, TxDOT is planning to add more turn lanes and traffic light signalization projects when funding is available, he added.

Austin group urges 2016 bond vote for high-capacity transit plan
Austin's Urban Transportation Commission members recently urged city council members to instruct staff to develop a high-capacity transit plan, including rail, in time to be included in a November bond election.

The city's mayor has spoken of the need to place a transportation-related bond measure on the November ballot and has designated this year as the "year of mobility" for the city. But Mayor Steve Adler has said it's unlikely that rail will be included in any bond package this year.

While voters in 2014 defeated a bond measure that contained a light-rail proposal, Commissioner J.D. Gins (pictured) said he saw the failure as more of a statement on the proposed route than general opposition to a light-rail system, and he urged city leaders to develop another transit proposal that could be placed before voters in November. The commission's recommendation, however, included  expanded bus service and high-capacity transit lanes on the city's primary thoroughfares, not just rail.
TWDB approves funding for water projects, flood gauges 
Board members of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) this week approved funding for three water projects, one water supply project in Strawn and two wastewater system improvement projects. 

The largest funding amount approved this week was $46 million to the Upper Trinity Regional Water District. The money will go toward the financing of the design and construction costs for the expansion of the Riverbend Water Reclamation Plant. The project will double the facility's treatment capacity to 4 million gallons per day.

Additionally, TWDB staff this week updated the board on progress they've made regarding $6.8 million in flood prevention funds that Gov. Greg Abbott released last fall following devastating flooding in the Hill Country. The U.S. Geological Survey is currently installing two new streamflow gauges near Wimberley in the Blanco River, and TWDB staffers are formulating plans to install 30 more, as recommended by the National Weather Service and other stakeholders. The new measuring devices will aid local and state authorities in anticipating and predicting rising water levels in the future.
Dallas to host public meetings on new aquatic facilities design
Planners for Dallas Park and Recreation are in the middle of the design phase for a project that will build six new aquatic centers. Over the next month, they will host public meetings to share the early-phase design plans and to gather community input.

"We're excited that our communities will assist us in enhancing these facilities," said Willis C. Winters (pictured), director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. "Their design insight and feedback will give visitors and families exciting recreational experiences."

The new facilities will bring regional aquatic centers to Crawford, Samuell-Grand and Fretz parks, mid-sized community facilities to Lake Highlands North and Kidd Springs parks and a neighborhood center to Tietze Park. The meetings will be held between Jan. 25 and Feb. 18 and feature parks department staff, as well as members of the design team.

Parks officials have said they will bid out the projects once the design phase is completed and that construction for the regional facilities should begin by the fall of 2017.

Harlingen to use tax zone funds to help pay for convention center
Harlingen city commissioners recently signed an agreement with the Tax Increment Financing Reinvestment Zone board to allow tax revenue aimed at economic development projects to pay for construction of a new convention center.

The agreement also calls for the city to fund construction of the 43,000-square-foot convention center and for developers based in San Antonio and Weslaco to build a 150-room hotel adjacent to the convention center.
Victoria backs plan for $5 million street project for UH-Victoria
Victoria City Council members recently endorsed a plan backed by the University of Houston-Victoria to reconstruct Ben Wilson Street in front of the university to provide safer crossing for students.

The plan calls for reducing the street from five lanes to two lanes between East Airline Road and Houston Highway, as well as providing center turn lanes and a landscaped median. The project is expected to cost about $5 million and could begin construction by 2017 to coordinate with plans to build three new dormitories east of the road, said the school's president, Vic Morgan.

Council members still must approve the timeline and budget for the project before construction can begin.
Notice to Interested Parties
The Lone Star Rail District (LSRD) proposes to develop a passenger rail line in the Austin-San Antonio Central Texas Corridor and a separate freight rail line. The District is currently conducting an environmental impact review of the project. Information on the proposed project can be found on the District's website. District staff's current recommendation is to proceed with a public-private partnership (P3) to deliver the project, most likely under a Design-Build-Operate-Maintain-Finance (DBOMF) agreement. LSRD is willing to entertain discussions with interested parties, but discussions are preliminary and any statements made by LSRD are not commitments and are subject to change. Any information provided by the third parties and the notes of any discussions may be released to proposers as part of any possible future procurement process.

The District requests that parties interested in a future proposal for a P3 agreement contact Joseph Black, Rail Director, at 512-375-1405 or jblack@lonestarrail.com, or Ross Milloy, Executive Director, at 512-558-7362 or rmilloy@lonestarrail.com for information. The District is not yet ready to accept proposals to enter into a P3 agreement.
Carroll ISD group to prioritize proposals for bond election
The Capital Needs Planning Committee, a group of parents, residents and employees of Carroll Independent School District, recently began a facilities study that will provide a list of priorities to district trustees.

Once the results of the study are presented, board members will decide whether to schedule a bond election and which projects to include in that proposal, noted Julie Thannum, assistant superintendent for board and community relations. The district could ask for approval of up to $137 million with no increase in the current tax rate, Thannum said.

Among the areas being studied are elementary school capacity, technology and instructional programming, transportation and facilities for extracurricular and co-curricular activities.
Lubbock mayor urges bond election for snow removal tools
Citing a blizzard last year that almost shut the city down, Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson (pictured) has proposed a bond election to allow citizens to decide whether the city should purchase equipment to handle heavy snow and ice.

A bond proposal would allow the city to present the public with the cost of preparing for blizzards and other winter weather events that typically occur every 25 to 50 years, the mayor said. This would allow them to decide if they want to raise the tax rate to pay for such emergencies, he said.
Richardson ISD considering options for May bond election
In an attempt to accommodate an expected 6 percent growth in enrollment, Richardson Independent School District trustees recently requested more demographic information from staff to help prioritize projects for a proposed $417 million bond election in May.

District administrators are focusing on adding new classrooms to three elementary schools in the White Rock Area and one more elementary school in far north Dallas. Trustees also said they want to allot some bond funding to pay for additional classrooms at other schools that may need more space.

Board members also are exploring the relocation of some special programs such as pre-kindergarten, bilingual education and special services to a central location to serve a wider area. The deadline for calling a May bond election is mid-February.

Waco looking at $510,000 in upgrades at two city parks
Waco City Council members recently began discussions on using $510,000 in unspent federal block grant funding to pay for upgrades at two parks.

Council members are considering using up to $375,000 in remaining Community Block Grant funds to replace a splash pad at Kendrick Park, along with adding a new water fountain and shaded play structure. City officials also plan to spend about $135,000 for renovations to Seley Park, including adding more outdoor exercise equipment, paving the walking trail and replacing some older play structures. A later phase at Seley Park will include the addition of more lighting, irrigation landscaping, renovating a gazebo and improving a sports court.

Staff members told council members that the grants originally earmarked for housing rehabilitation and reconstruction must be spent early this year or be returned. And, since the park projects were ready to move forward, the funds were directed toward them.
Marshall ISD begins projects included in 2015 bond package
Board members for Marshall Independent School District recently approved the design for a new junior high school. Trustees also awarded a $113,000 contract to clear 31.6 acres of land for the new school.

Voters approved $109 million in bonds in May 2015 to fund the construction of three new elementary schools, a new junior high school and renovations to the Sam Houston STEM Academy.

Plans for the new junior high include 12 classrooms for each grade level, science and computer labs, a competition gym, practice gym and a band hall. Also included are a practice field, 318 parking spaces, a parent pick-up and drop-off loop and a separate bus loop. Trustees agreed on a timetable to have the new and renovated facilities completed in time for the 2017-2018 school year.

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Smithville ISD considering $24 million bond vote in November
Board members for Smithville Independent School District recently began considering the qualifications of three architectural firms to develop plans for projects to be included in a possible bond election in November.

Projects being considered for the bond package are a new football stadium, a junior high school and a performing arts center, all to be built on the campus of Smithville High School.

Trustees also plan to meet with a construction company specializing in sports facilities in late January and will make decisions on contractors later this spring, district officials said.
After flooding, Coppell to update storm water management plan
The engineering director in Coppell, Ken Griffin (pictured), recently informed city council members he plans to update and revise the city's storm water management plan, which has not been updated since 1991.

The study - which would investigate Denton, Grapevine and Cottonwood creeks, as well as other smaller waterways - is needed in view of record rains in May and June that flooded a lift station serving 40 percent of the city, said Griffin.

The first phase of the plan is expected to cost between $280,000 and $300,000, he said. Griffin expects to present a draft of the storm water management plan to council members for approval later this year.
Lake Houston development group plans to upgrade Northpark Drive
Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority (LHRA) officials recently met with planners from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on strategies to move forward with the widening of Northpark Drive.

The recently completed Kingwood Mobility Study named six priorities identified by residents, which included widening and adding a grade separation to Northpark Drive. Also included as priorities were widening Kingwood Drive, extending Woodland Hills Drive and widening Hamblen Road. The LHRA also met with a consultant about an agreement for program management and civil engineering services for the Northpark Drive project.

The Authority, however, must still win approval from TxDOT officials to move forward with the project and may seek a partnership with the state transportation agency to widen the road.

  
Prosper and Celina to partner to develop traffic management plan
City officials in Prosper and Celina recently agreed to work together to address transportation needs in the two neighboring communities. Officials in the town of Prosper agreed to earmark $3.65 million for road projects, while Celina city officials committed $3.97 million to projects that will improve traffic flow along Preston Road, which serves both communities.

Prosper and Celina city leaders said that another $4.35 million would come from regional toll revenue and that the Regional Transportation Council and Collin County would contribute $4 million to projects included in the proposed traffic management plan.

Among the recommendations are to add southbound lanes along the Dallas North Tollway, to build an overpass on US 380 over the tollway and to rebuild FM 1461, also known as Frontier Parkway, increasing it from two lanes to six lanes from Preston Road to the tollway. Officials expect to begin design work on the Frontier Parkway project after right-of-way is acquired and a bid is awarded.
Conroe ISD selects construction manager for bond projects
Conroe Independent School District trustees recently selected a construction manager at risk to oversee several projects that were included in a recently passed bond package. Those include construction of a new robotics lab and renovation of several facilities for career and technical education projects.

Last November, voters approved $487 million in bonds to pay for those projects, as well as a new high school, a new junior high school and two new elementary schools. The firm will oversee those projects as they move toward construction.

Calendar of Events

EWTG to host former NASA engineer Shayla Rivera in Austin 
Jan. 27, 2016
Executive Women in Texas Government (EWTG) will host Shayla Rivera at a luncheon in Austin Jan. 27. Rivera currently is a humorist, comedian, actor and writer. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she previously was employed as an engineer for McDonnell Douglas Space Systems at NASA's Johnson Space Center, for which she worked on Shuttle and Space Station programs for eight years. Her talks include subjects such as motivation, leadership, diversity, STEM education and the importance of humor. The luncheon will be held at the Austin Woman's Club and begins at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be served at 11:45, and the program starts at noon and concludes at 1:00 p.m. Registration is open.

March P3 Conference will bring together public, private sectors 
March 7-9, 2016
The annual Public-Private Conference and Expo, one of the largest gatherings of development professionals in the country, will be held March 7-9 at the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas. The annual event attracts more than 1,000 development professionals and government leaders for an educational conference to discuss public-private partnerships (P3s). The three-day conference will feature discussions on the state of the P3 industry in the United States and will highlight the various types of P3s under way. Speakers will discuss the many elements of P3 structures currently in use and how to evaluate their merits and risks. More than 125 leading public agency officials and industry practitioners will share their firsthand experiences and observations regarding P3 projects throughout the country. Billed as one of the premier conferences for collaboration between public officials and private industry that are considering, developing and operating P3s, the conference will emphasize both the challenges and advantages of the P3 concept. More information is available here.

LBJ School offers Construction Purchasing Certificate Program
March 7, 2016
Buyers, contract administrators and project managers interested in earning a construction purchasing certificate can do so through The University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs. The program aids in understanding and using new terms, remaining compliant with unfamiliar laws, developing control plans and schedules and staying on budget. The LBJ School's Construction Purchasing Certificate Program consists of four core courses and one elective to be completed over a period of two years. The goal of this certificate program is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge to ensure that their organization's construction projects are well managed and secure the intended results and value. The courses are complementary in nature, and each course repeats annually. The next available course is Project and Construction Management and will be held March 7-8, 2016. Registration is open.
Will Texas implement an Alternative Fuel Vehicle fee? 

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

At the moment, there is funding readily available for Texas roads. That's a very good thing ... but future funding could be a different story.

Money has been transferred from the state's oil and gas revenues to a fund for highway infrastructure. Even more funding will be transferred from vehicle sales tax revenue beginning in 2017 as a result of the passage of Proposition 7 last November. And even more will be available for Texas highways now that the legislature has ended the practice of diverting money from the highway fund to other areas of the state budget.




Dallas CFO to oversee ethics and compliance
Jeanne Chipperfield, who has served as chief financial officer in Dallas for nearly six years, recently requested to leave that post to oversee a new office of ethics and compliance.

The impetus to create a comprehensive ethics and compliance office originally came from Chipperfield (pictured), City Manager A.C. Gonzalez said. In this new position, she will work with city departments in order to strengthen controls on city policies and ensure all departments adhere to federal and state regulations.

The current plan is for Chipperfield to remain as CFO and begin organizing the new office while city officials identify a company to assist their search for her replacement, Gonzalez said. Chipperfield has worked for the city for 12 years and became CFO in February 2010.

UT buys land in Houston, defends expansion plans
The University of Texas System last week closed on the purchase of about 100 acres of land in Houston. That's the first concrete step system officials have made toward expansion into the state's largest city.

This week, Chancellor William McRaven appeared before both the Texas House Higher Education Committee and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to explain the system's long-term plans.

McRaven and the system have faced criticism from members of the legislature and higher education officials in Houston for what has been characterized as the system making decisions without obtaining clearance from state authorities. He apologized for not consulting the Coordinating Board beforehand but also defended the moves and gave a few more details of those plans this week.

The UT System will spend about $15 million a year for the next 30 years on the expansion into Houston, McRaven told legislators. The system's plans are to purchase a total of about 300 acres near the Texas Medical Center. McRaven reiterated that the UT presence in Houston will be a multidisciplinary campus but not another university.

Locke named Harris County commissioner
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett this morning appointed Gene Locke (pictured), a former Houston city attorney, to complete El Franco Lee's term on the Commissioners Court. Lee died Jan. 3.

A senior partner with a private law firm in Houston, Locke served as city attorney in the 1990s and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2009. He will serve in the interim position through Dec. 31. Voters will elect a permanent commissioner in the November election.

Locke said that though he does not plan to make himself a candidate for the permanent position, he will not be just a placeholder. "I plan to be a hands-on, on the ground, let's get with the program commissioner," he said.

Bridge City ISD selects Lintzen as lone finalist for superintendent
Bridge City Independent School District trustees recently selected Todd Lintzen (pictured) as the lone finalist for superintendent.

When Lintzen begins his new duties March 1, he will replace Mike King, who resigned in January to accept a job in the private sector. Lintzen currently is superintendent at Blue Ridge ISD.

Carrollton-Farmers Branch  ISD CFO named associate superintendent
Tonya Tillman recently won selection as the new associate superintendent for business services at Carrollton-Farmers Independent School District.

A certified public accountant, Tillman (pictured) joined the district as chief financial officer in 2012. Tillman will replace Mark Hyatt, who is retiring after 31 years with the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district.

Willacy County moves forward with $25 million sports complex
Willacy County commissioners recently adopted a master plan calling for the redevelopment of the Willacy County Natural Resource and Heritage Center to serve as a sports and entertainment complex.

To be located on 100 acres of county-owned land located near Interstate 69, the new complex will be paid for using grant funds, a consultant for the county said.
Port of Corpus Christi selects Zahn as chairman
Port of Corpus Christi Authority commissioners recently selected Charles Zahn (pictured) as the new board chairman.

Commissioners also welcomed Wes Hoskins of San Patricio County to the board. Hoskins replaced former Commissioner Judy Hawley, who retired in 2015.

Zahn is a partner in his own law firm and resident of Port Aransas. The port commission board is comprised of three commissioners appointed by the city of Corpus Christi, three appointed by Nueces County and one commissioner appointed by San Patricio County. All commissioners serve three-year, staggered terms.
McKinstry

Pharr to build new fire substation near international bridge
Pharr city officials recently began planning for a new fire substation to be located on Cage Boulevard, about a mile north of the Pharr International Bridge.

City officials also expect to expand Cage Boulevard in that area, said City Manager Juan Guerra (pictured).

While the city has equipment and crew in place for the new substation, city officials are still in the planning stages for the new building, Guerra said. The goal is to complete construction within about 18 months.

Carrollton council names Krystle Nelinson development manager
Carrollton City Council members recently selected Krystle Nelinson (pictured), formerly the city secretary, as development program manager. In the new position, she will coordinate development and redevelopment projects for the city.

Nelinson earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from the University of North Texas. She has more than five years of project management and economic development experience.

Council members also appointed Laurie Garber, a former marketing coordinator, to replace Nelinson as city secretary and administrative services manager.

Rock to take helm of Elgin development corp.
Owen Rock, who has worked in economic development for 18 years, recently agreed to take the helm as director of the Elgin Economic Development Corporation. Most recently the director of economic development in League City, Rock also has held similar positions in Indiana, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

Rock replaced Joe Newman, who is retiring after five years with the Elgin EDC.

Perrin-Whitt schedules $2.5 million bond vote
Trustees for the Perrin-Whitt Consolidated Independent School District have agreed to ask voters to approve a $2.5 million bond package this May.

Projects discussed by trustees include adding security measures at the high school and elementary schools that entail moving offices at the high school to the front of the building, installing a check-in-system for visitors and adding perimeter fencing, said Superintendent John Kuhn (pictured).

Other projects include the addition of covered sidewalks between buildings to provide protection from inclement weather and installing grandstands, a press box, a field house and a scoreboard at a newly improved track facility, said Kuhn.
Cisco

Hoyer to step down as superintendent after seven years in Lampasas
Superintendent Randal Hoyer (pictured) of Lampasas Independent School District recently announced his retirement, effective at the end of this academic year.

Hoyer has served as superintendent for the Lampasas district since 2009 and worked in the education field for 35 years. Board members plan to meet in the coming weeks to discuss their search for a new superintendent.
KONY

Susan Cates to take helm of Mexia EDC
Susan Cates, who has 12 years' experience in economic development, sales and marketing, recently agreed to serve as director of the Mexia Economic Development Corporation.

Currently the director of the Oak Ridge North EDC, Cates will replace Tommy Tucker, the former EDC director who resigned in late 2015.
Cates plans to begin her new duties in Mexia at the end of this month.

Stoldt to retire as city manager in Angleton
City Manager Michael Stoldt recently notified Angleton City Council members that he plans to retire Jan. 1, 2017.

Stoldt has served four years in Angleton and plans to relocate near Copperas Cove.

Nickerson named finance director in Baytown
Baytown City Council members recently selected Wade Nickerson as the city's new finance director. 

Nickerson most recently served as finance director in Lafayette, Colo. He had worked for the city of Lafayette since 2000 and is a graduate of Chadron State College
LeFleur Transportation

Manor ISD selects Knight as acting superintendent
Manor Independent School District trustees recently named Roy Knight (pictured), currently the interim deputy superintendent, as acting superintendent.

Retired in 2013 as superintendent for Lufkin ISD, Knight will serve as acting superintendent while Superintendent Kevin Brackmeyer is on medical leave.

Knight first joined the district as interim deputy superintendent in early December.

Sherman seeks bids on $2.54M road expansion
Sherman City Council members recently authorized city staff to seek bids for a $2.54 million project to improve and expand Loy Lake Road. Construction on the project should begin only after a private company has completed moving utility lines, said Clay Barnett, director of public works and engineering.

Current plans are to replace asphalt on the road between Taylor Street and US Highway 75. The plans also call for increasing the roadway to four lanes with a landscaped median, improving a traffic signal at the intersection with Gallagher Road and installing a new traffic signal at Pecan Grove Road.

On Our Website 
McKinney to select search firm to identify next city manager
McKinney City Council members recently began reviewing proposals from companies to help find a new city manager to replace Tom Muehlenbeck, who has been interim city manager since May 2014. 

Muehlenbeck originally signed a one-year contract to serve as interim city manager and agreed in January 2015 to extend his tenure through June 1, 2016.

The city has had three city managers in the past dozen years, and city officials plan to ask community stakeholders to help develop an ideal profile and set of qualifications for a city manager who will remain in the position for a longer period of time, council members said.
GOVERNOR'S APPOINTMENTS
Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the following appointments:
  • Linda Shaunessy, Austin, Governing Board of the Department of Information Resources;
  • Stuart Bernstein, Austin, Governing Board of the Department of Information Resources;
  • John Scott, Fort Worth, Governing Board of the Department of Information Resources;
  • Rigo Villarreal, Mission, Governing Board of the Department of Information Resources;
  • Adriana Cruz, San Marcos, Economic Incentive Oversight Board;
  • Trevor Pearlman, Dallas, Economic Incentive Oversight Board;
  • Massey Villarreal, Sugar Land, Economic Incentive Oversight Board;
  • Debra Dockery, San Antonio, presiding officer of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners;
  • Jennifer Walker, Lampasas, Texas Board of Architectural Examiners;
  • Bob Wetmore, Austin, Texas Board of Architectural Examiners;
  • Chase Bearden, Austin, Texas Board of Architectural Examiners. 
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Texas Government Insider is a free weekly 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   
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