News And People

Volume 14, Issue 13 - Friday, April 8, 2016
Judge formally approves $20B Deepwater Horizon settlement
 Texas to get more than $800 million; next grant deadline April 15 

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig disaster occurred six years ago this month. Eleven people died, and 4.2 million barrels of oil spilled into the ocean over the course of 87 days. The five states along the Gulf Coast will be dealing with the disaster's ramifications for years to come. This week, though, a federal district judge in New Orleans approved the $20.8 billion settlement between the federal government and British energy company BP. This civil settlement is in addition to the $4 billion penalty the company was ordered to pay in 2013 when it pleaded guilty to criminal misconduct, and billions more paid by other companies associated with the well, the drilling rig and the explosion.

Texas's share of the Restoration Trust fund, into which the BP settlement will be deposited, already includes almost $1 billion from the previous settlements. The state got $800 million from Transocean Ltd., the operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig, and $125 million from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, an energy company that owned a share of the oil well. Funds from the BP settlement directed to Texas will amount to another $800 million.

Toby Baker is a member of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the governor's appointee to oversee the implementation of the RESTORE Act in Texas. (The RESTORE Act was passed by Congress in 2012 in response to the well explosion and oil spill.) He points to the irony of the fact that "a devastating environmental tragedy has resulted in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something special on our coast." Similarly, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in response to the judge's move this week, "The approval of this agreement will open a final, hopeful chapter in the six-year story of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy."

Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas' Lone Stars
Chris Hillman, City Manager, Irving

Career highlights and education: 
  • BA in public relations, Brigham Young University;
  • MPA in city and financial management, Brigham Young University;
  • City Administrator, Eagle Mountain City, Utah, 2002-2006;
  • City Manager, Clearfield City, Utah, 2006-2011;
  • City Manager, Surprise, Ariz., 2011-2014; and
  • City Manager, Irving, Texas, 2014-present.
What I like best about my job is: A different challenge every day, and an opportunity every day to have a positive and meaningful impact on our residents and customers.

The best advice I've received for my current job is: Always listen and ensure people feel heard, understood and appreciated.

Advice you would give a new hire in your office: Take every opportunity that presents itself to expand your knowledge and horizons, whether you think you can do it ... or not.

If I ever decided to leave work early, I could probably be found: Climbing a mountain, if there were any around here!

People would be surprised to know that: I am horrible at math but very good with numbers, especially when there is a dollar sign in front of the number.

One thing I wish more people knew about my city: The amazing mosaic of people, businesses, cultures and opportunities within the city of Irving.

TWDB to announce priority list for SWIFT funding next week
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) recently scheduled a meeting in Austin for April 11 to decide on the priority list for the next round of projects eligible for the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program.

The board will choose from short applications submitted by local governments and water districts from around the state. Those selected will be eligible to submit full applications for financial assistance through two funds, the SWIFT program and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT), which will issue revenue bonds, TWDB officials said.
New Caney school district to seek bids for aquatic center by May
Rendering from New Caney ISD
New Caney Independent School District board members recently agreed to seek bids in April or May to build a new aquatic center.

The plans, which are now available to contractors to study, call for a 25-yard competition-size pool, seating for 400, a hospitality area, locker rooms and administrative offices. Estimated costs for the facility's construction are about $13.8 million.

"The projected costs presented at the meeting are estimates," Scott Powers, New Caney ISD director of communications and community relations, said. "There will be a better understanding of the costs when the bid process is completed. Design of the facility is subject to modifications, depending on the outcome of the bid process."

District officials estimate the aquatic center will take about 13 months to complete and be open in late summer 2017.

El Paso wins $2 million grant to develop new desalination plant
El Paso recently won a $2 million grant to convert waste generated from the desalination process into potable water. City officials signed an agreement in October of last year with a private company to develop the water production and chemical manufacturing facility at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Desalination Plant in El Paso.

The Texas Military Preparedness Commission provided the $2 million Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAGG) to build the first plant in the region.
State sales tax allocations rise again, finally; comptroller distributes $591 million in April
The Office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has announced that it will distribute to cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts a total of $591.4 million, which represents the state's local sales tax allocations for April. The amount is an increase of 2.6 percent compared to the same month of the year prior.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar also said that state sales tax revenue in March was $2.17 billion, up 2.1 percent compared to March 2015. "The modest growth in sales tax collections for March was in line with expectations and comes after five consecutive months of declining sales tax revenues," he said. "Stronger growth in receipts from the retail trade, restaurant and construction sectors was offset by continued weakness in net collections from oil and gas-related sectors."

Hegar had explained previously that the strength of the economy in 2014 into early 2015 made year-to-year comparisons appear particularly rough and that, as 2016 advanced, those appearances would improve. For some perspective, though, while sales, motor vehicle and motor fuel taxes were up slightly, oil and natural gas production taxes were still down more than 50 percent from March 2015.

In terms of sales tax allocations, Texas cities will receive $387 million, up 3.4 percent from April 2015. The state's transit systems will receive the next highest amount, $134.2 million, which is a 2.6 percent increase from April of last year. Texas counties will receive $35.1 million and special purpose taxing districts $35 million. Those figures represent a 5.5 percent decrease and a 2 percent increase from April last year. View the amounts allocated by city and by county.
Denison agrees to buy former bank to serve as new city hall
Denison City Council members recently agreed to pay $400,000 to buy a former bank building on Main Street to convert into a new city hall facility.

Current plans are to renovate the 30,000-square-foot bank building as the central office for all city departments, officials said. While earlier phases of the negotiations included buying a separate motor bank facility on the property, the current agreement calls for the city to purchase only the bank building, pay for demolition of the motor bank and sell the existing city hall building, with a net cost to the city of about $300,000, said City Manager Jud Rex.

Renovating the building to meet the needs of the city, however, could cost as much as $3.4 million if the city is required to replace components such as the HVAC system or the roof, Rex said. He earlier estimated the city would need to spend between $5 million and $10 million to build a new city hall facility. City officials have adopted no timetable to renovate the building. Council is expected to sign the final contract following a 45-day period during which the city can still withdraw from the contract, Rex said.
Temple leaders begin talks, take public input on new outer loop
Temple city officials recently began discussions about developing a new outer loop to provide an alternate route to move traffic around the city.

While construction on the Old Waco Road project is funded, no funding is available for the remaining portion of the proposed outer loop, which is planned as a major arterial road with two lanes in each direction and a median, noted Nicole Torralva, director of public works.

Current plans call for connecting the proposed loop to Interstate 35 in the north, with another connection proposed for the south, but city planners must look closely at the spacing of city roads and which type of roads are needed before final plans are adopted, Torralva said. City officials have scheduled community meetings in May to continue educating residents on the transportation capital improvement plan.

South Texas College to build public safety training center
South Texas College (STC) officials recently partnered with the city of Pharr and the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Consolidated Independent School District to develop a new $6.5 million public safety training center.

The proposed 21,800-square-foot training center will offer state-certified peace officer training, as well as law enforcement and public safety academic programs, which will provide certificates and degrees. The training facility also will provide continuing education courses and specialized training for law enforcement officers, STC President Shirley Reed (pictured) said. The center will have four to five classrooms for about 110 dual-enrollment PSJA students each year.

The first phase of the training center would include classroom space, fitness rooms, administrative offices, a driving track, a shooting range and firearms simulator, a driving simulator and an obstacle course. Work on the new facility is set to begin in March 2017 and be completed by December of that year.

To pay for the new training center, STC allotted $4.2 million in bond funds along with $1.5 million from the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the school district contributed $1 million and 10 acres of land to the project. Pharr city officials provided 57 acres of land valued at $2.5 million for the training facility.
Bastrop City Council considers projects for November bond vote
Bastrop city officials recently began discussing major projects that might be included in a bond election that could be scheduled as early as November.

While council members have discussed projects with a total estimated cost of more than $35 million, City Manager Mike Talbot urged council to stay within the $10 million range for the bond ballot. Projects being discussed include street reconstruction, new public safety facilities and upgrades to the water system, Talbot said.

Voters last approved a bond package, totaling $10.8 million, in 2003. That money went toward expansion of the public library, a new city hall building and improvements to streets and drainage. Council members plan to further discuss the proposed bond election at a workshop April 19.
Belton superintendent proposes plan to build two new schools
Belton Independent School District Superintendent Susan Kincannon recently urged trustees to approve a plan to build a new elementary school and a new high school. The new schools are needed, Kincannon said, to meet the needs of the district's growing enrollment.

The plan, called "Roadmap to BISD 2025," calls for repurposing a portion of the current high school campus, which originally had been a middle school, back into a middle school. 

Board members are reviewing the proposed plan and are expected to vote soon on whether to call a bond election in 2017.

Round Rock prepares project to build new public works complex
Round Rock City Council members recently selected an engineering firm for the first phase of a three-phase project to build a new public works complex that will house departments such as utilities, construction, facility maintenance and vehicle maintenance.

The first phase of the project calls for adding several buildings with about 15,000 square feet of new space, large parking areas and equipment storage space, at an estimated cost of about $14.3 million.

Construction on the first phase is expected to begin by the end of this year and be completed by the end of 2017. Completing all three phases of the public works complex will take 10 years, city officials said. The project is part of the city's long-range master plan approved at the end of 2015.
Eagle Pass seeking contractors for new public safety complex
Eagle Pass city officials recently held a meeting to attract local contractors and subcontractors to submit bids for a new public safety complex. Plans for the proposed complex are available to those interested in submitting bids online or at the office of the city's purchasing agent, said Suzanne Shea (pictured), the purchasing agent.

The deadline for submitting bids for the project is April 19, and city officials plan to open the bids the following day.

Austin, UT officials apply to federal transportation program
Austin city officials recently applied to be accepted into the MetroLab Network, a group of 20 cities and local universities that receive federal funding to partner in research on how to improve infrastructure, public policy, city management and city services.

The MetroLab Network is a federal initiative to provide $160 million in federal research grants to local governments and universities to partner in programs that entail university researchers working with city employees to test technology. The research areas can include energy, housing affordability or transportation issues, according to Ben Levine, the interim director of MetroLab Network.

Two other Texas cities, Dallas and Houston, previously won acceptance in the network of 20 cities. In Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh city officials partnered with a local university to implement a smart traffic signal project and the use of electric vehicles to reduce congestion, Levine said.
Bellaire forms panel to oversee development of new city facilities
Bellaire City Council members recently reactivated a committee that will assist architects designing a new municipal complex with a city hall, as well as facilities for police, courts and a civic center. City officials are using $11 million in bonds approved in 2013 and $1.56 million in unissued bonds approved in 2005 to pay for the new city hall complex, which has been estimated to cost about $16.9 million.

Committee members will work with the architect regarding the style of architecture, exterior finishes, the orientation and layout of buildings and parking before reporting to council in mid-May. Council members then will decide whether to call a bond election or build some components of the civic complex with available money and phase in other buildings as funding becomes available, according to the construction manager for the project.

If a November bond proposal is approved, the city could begin construction in February 2017 and complete the civic complex in September 2018, he said. By phasing in the project, the city could use available bond funds to begin construction in December and complete the first phase in January 2018. Funding the second phase would require a November 2017 bond election, with the city beginning construction in February 2018 and completing the project in July 2019.

Canyon to transition to more efficient automated water meters
Canyon city commissioners recently authorized Public Works Director Dan Reese to begin work on a system to automate all water meters in the city. Commissioners also requested more information on whether the automation project would be done at a lower cost than the $1.26 million estimate previously provided by Reese (pictured).

The new water meters would increase efficiency for the city by freeing up six public works employees who must spend three days each month reading individual water meters, Reese said. That time could be spent better repairing leaks, and the new meters would provide a more accurate measure of the amount of water being consumed.

Many of the 5,000 water meters now in use are aging and tend to register fewer gallons of water than are actually being used, he said.
Waco commences project to repair a dam on Brazos River
Waco City Council members recently approved an engineering contract to begin preliminary work to develop a plan to clear a logjam of debris at a dam on the Brazos River and to develop a method to prevent future logjams.

While no cost estimate is available for clearing the debris and solving the problem, Deputy City Manager Wiley Stemm III said the dam project could cost several million dollars. One solution being considered is building a new bypass gate that could be opened to allow brush to pass through another channel.

The dam has become clogged several times with logs and brush that must be removed with cranes, boats or a helicopter. The firm will first develop a plan to remove the debris and then develop a long-term solution to divert the debris to prevent clogging the area in the future, Stemm said.
Marshall commissioners study move of CVB to downtown area
Sarah O'Brien, the tourism and promotions director of the Marshall Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), recently urged city commissioners to consider relocating the bureau to another building in the downtown area.

While the owners of the building now occupied by the CVB have offered a new lease on that building, O'Brien asked commissioners to consider renovating the Perkins Building and transforming it into a new visitors center as part of the Main Street program. The CVB has paid higher rent at its current facility because it needed about $90,000 in renovations to occupy, but that obligation has been met and the new lease would be lower than the current rent, O'Brien said.

Renovating the Perkins building, which is owned by the Downtown Development Corporation, would cost about $250,000 and take six months. Commissioners took no action on the proposal.
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Round Rock joins school district, YMCA to explore aquatics center
Round Rock city officials recently agreed to join discussions with officials of Round Rock Independent School District and the YMCA to explore the feasibility of building a new indoor aquatics center near a planned new high school.

The proposed indoor aquatics facility would cost an estimated $25 million to build and entail about $650,000 in annual operating costs, said Superintendent Steve Flores of Round Rock ISD.

Currently, each of the district's high schools sends its swim team to a different city-owned or YMCA pool, he said. Only the YMCA pool, built in 2010 in a partnership between the city and the YMCA, is an indoor pool.
Wichita Falls considering private management of events center
Struggling with a drop in attendance, concession sales and overall revenue at the Wichita Falls Multi-Purpose Event Center, city officials recently began discussions on whether to hire a private company to manage the city-owned facility.

City officials expect to request proposals from management firms in the next several months and then decide whether to hire a management company to operate the event center, the mayor said.

The current budget calls for revenue from the center paying 60 percent of the costs of operation and the hotel-motel tax providing another 30 percent. However, event center revenue has fallen to the point that the city must use money from the general fund to maintain operations, he said.
Calendar of Events

LBJ School offers Construction Purchasing Certificate Program
April 27-28, 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 Developing a Construction Purchasing Manual and will be held April 27-28. Registration is open.

TxPPA's Summer Momentum Conference to be held in Kerrville
June 8-10, 2016
The Texas Public Purchasing Association (TxPPA) will host its Summer Momentum Conference in Kerrville this June. Seminars and speakers from throughout the state will offer valuable information and lessons for public-sector procurement professionals. In addition, the TxPPA's annual vendor showcase will take place Thursday, June 9. It is a one-day-only opportunity to meet with public-sector buyers and managers, and an opportunity for vendors to showcase their products and services, make new contacts and develop new leads. The conference will be held at the YO Ranch Hotel and Conference Center in Kerrville. An agenda is available online and registration is open.

AACOG to play host to Aging in Texas Conference in mid-July
July 12-15, 2016
The Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) will host the Aging in Texas Conference (AiTC), an annual gathering of individuals who work within the aging community. Designed for professionals from a range of settings, the AiTC supports professionals in the field of aging with the most current research, training and innovative tools and resources.  With educational programming covering a variety of areas, this conference will be beneficial to everyone involved with caring for the state's senior citizens, from administrators to service providers. It will take place at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk hotel in San Antonio beginning July 12. A schedule is available and registration is open.

Lots of banks in Texas - but, this one is special! 

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

Texas has lots of banks and one of the most interesting is the State Infrastructure Bank (SIB).

Texas was one of 10 states chosen to participate in the first pilot SIB program following passage of the 1995 National Highway Designation Act. That legislation authorized SIBs as financial options that local governments could take advantage of through state transportation departments. A lot has happened since then. For many years, SIB activity was greatest in just five states - South Carolina, Arizona, Florida, Texas and Ohio. Now, there is lots of activity in many states.

Research by the National League of Cities predicts that by 2020, 40 states will likely have infrastructure banks. Citing proper financial planning as necessary for keeping up with current and future infrastructure needs, SIBs are becoming an increasingly popular financial tool for local government entities because by leveraging federal resources, local public officials can move forward on critical projects rather than waiting and hoping for funding of some sort.

In Texas, the Department of Transportation (TxDOT) oversees the revolving loan fund in the state's infrastructure bank. It was initially capitalized with a little more than $170 million. The money came from federal funds and from the State Highway Fund.

Harlingen adopts 10-year comprehensive plan
Harlingen city commissioners recently approved a 10-year comprehensive plan, called "One Vision, One Harlingen," to help guide future development in the city.

City staff worked with a consulting firm to develop the 150-page plan, using input from residents at four community workshops. The plan focuses on future development of major elements in the city, such as transportation, housing, parks and open spaces, public services and facilities, the downtown area and neighborhood and community identity, noted Assistant City Manager Gabriel Gonzalez (pictured).

The "One Vision, One Harlingen" plan calls for the city to be a transportation hub with a thriving retail district and medical complex, he said.
Northrop Grumman

Huntsville to develop new parks master plan
Huntsville City Council members recently authorized the city manager to sign a contract with a consulting firm to develop a parks master plan. The plan is a requirement to secure state and federal grants.

To reduce the original cost estimate of the master plan by half, city staff members held 15 public meetings and conducted an online survey to gather information regarding public preferences, said Joseph Wiggs, director of parks and leisure.

The master plan, which will include conceptual drawings of projects identified as priorities, an analysis that includes possible locations and a cost estimate, should be completed within four months, Wiggs said. The document presented to council will include narrative summaries, images and drawings along with data gathered to include with grant applications.

Weslaco ISD names Leo interim superintendent
Trustees for Weslaco Independent School District recently appointed Filomena Leo as interim superintendent, effective immediately. Leo previously was a superintendent at La Joya ISD and also served as an interim superintendent at Sharyland and San Benito ISDs.

She replaces Superintendent Ruben Alejandro, who was placed on temporary administrative leave. Alejandro began his duties as superintendent at the Weslaco district in 2012.

Azle selects economic
development director

Azle City Council members recently selected Karen Dickson (pictured) as the new director of economic development.

Most recently involved in the redevelopment of a former military base in San Antonio, Dickson also has been a vice president of economic development for the Denton Chamber of Commerce and a manager of business retention in Pearland.

Dickson has a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and a master's degree from the University of North Texas.

Sara Goolsby resigns as superintendent of Anderson-Shiro CISD
Superintendent Sara Goolsby of Anderson-Shiro Independent School District recently resigned from that post.

District officials have set a goal to hire a new superintendent by June.

Richard David to retire as head of Amarillo EDC
Richard "Buzz" David recently announced he plans to retire at the end of this month as president and chief executive officer of the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

Having joined the Amarillo EDC in July 2004, David (pictured) is credited with working with 40 expansion projects and attracting seven corporations to the Amarillo area.

Board members of the EDC plan to discuss finding a replacement for David at their next meeting in mid-April.

Sweetwater ISD sets $13M May bond election
Sweetwater Independent School District board members recently agreed to ask voters to approve $13 million in bonds to upgrade facilities. The election will be held May 7.

Projects to be included on the proposed bond ballot are a new vocational agriculture center, renovations at several campuses, building more classrooms at the intermediate school and construction of a new competition gymnasium to seat about 1,200, Superintendent Terry Pittman (pictured) said.

Lewis appointed as new city attorney in Houston
Ronald Lewis recently was named by the mayor of Houston as the new city attorney. Mayor Sylvester Turner selected Lewis (pictured) from an original field of 35 candidates, which was narrowed down to three finalists.

Lewis currently is a partner in Marshall & Lewis, a law firm he founded in Houston, and previously spent 23 years with Baker Botts.

Once confirmed by city council, Lewis will replace Donna Edmundson, who is planning to retire at the end of May.
White named president of Houston Parks Board
Beth White, who developed major urban green space projects in the Chicago area, recently won selection as the new president and chief operating officer of the Houston Parks Board, effective in June. The board oversees development of green spaces in Houston.

When she begins her new duties, White (pictured) will continue work on a seven-year project, Bayou Greenways 2020, to connect all the green spaces along the bayous in the city. The board recently received an additional $7.1 million for the project. She will replace Mike Nichols, the interim executive director, who took over for Roksan Okan-Vick in June 2015.

Currently the director of the Chicago region for the Trust For Public Land, White has taken the lead in several large public-private partnership projects in three states, including a new $95 million elevated trail system on a 3-mile section of unused rail line in Chicago. She also was a managing director of the Chicago Housing Authority and chief of staff for the Chicago Transit Board.

Brownsville to buy four acres of land for new park
Brownsville city commissioners recently authorized city staff to buy two tracts of land totaling about 4 acres for a new park in the southern area of the city.

The land includes the last remaining stands of Montezuma Cypress trees and a historic bridge, noted Ramiro Gonzalez, redevelopment manager for the city. City officials have developed no firm timetable for developing the park, he said.

Port Arthur selects assistant city manager
Jimmie Johnson, the director of utilities in Port Arthur, recently won selection by the city council to serve as the first of two new assistant managers to work with City Manager Brian McDougal.

Council members approved creating two assistant city manager positions, with one of the jobs to be permanent and the other temporary, ending after two years. The second position has not yet been filled.

Johnson, who has 26 years in municipal government, joined the city of Port Arthur about 18 months ago. He began his career in government as a dogcatcher in a summer program at age 14, served in the U.S. Army and earned a bachelor's degree from Lamar University.

Deweyville ISD sees $12 million in flood damage
Floods that swamped an elementary school in Deweyville Independent School District with five feet of water caused an estimated $12 million in damages to the facility.

The school district has no flood insurance to cover the losses, said Superintendent Kevin Clark. Students are expected to return to class April 11, and the elementary students will share the undamaged junior-senior high school until other plans are made, he said.

The floods were a result of heavy rainfall in March and releases from the nearby Toledo Bend Reservoir.

On Our Website 

U.S. Department of Agriculture will award $68 million in grants
The Office of Rural Development of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently began accepting applications for $68 million in grants and low-interest loans available this year to develop community facilities in rural areas of Texas.

Rural cities, towns and federally recognized tribes with no more than 20,000 residents and community-based nonprofit corporations are eligible for the grants, according to USDA officials. Agency officials are accepting applications throughout this year.
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Sunset Staff Report on the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy ExaminersSunset Advisory Commission

Sunset Staff Report on the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy ExaminersSunset Advisory Commission

Sunset Staff Report on the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners
Sunset Advisory Commission

Sunset Advisory Commission
Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the following appointments:
  • Catherine Susser, Corpus Christi, Chari of the Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Alejandra De la Vega-Foster, El Paso, Vice Chair of the Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Estela Avery, Fredericksburg, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Tina Yturria Buford, Harlingen, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Jennifer Chiang, Sugar Land, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Starr Corbin, Georgetown, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Debbie Gustafson, Wichita Falls, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Karen Harris, Lakehills, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Amy Henderson, Amarillo, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Nancy Ann Hunt, Dallas, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Karen Manning, Houston, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Imelda Navarro, Laredo, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Rienke Radler, Fort Worth, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Jinous Rouhani, Austin, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Laura Koenig Young, Tyler, Governor's Commission for Women;
  • Steve Austin, Amarillo, Chair of the State Board of Dental Examiners;
  • Diane Garza, Brownsville, State Board of Dental Examiners;
  • Bryan Henderson, Dallas, State Board of Dental Examiners;
  • Jorge Quirch, Missouri City, State Board of Dental Examiners;
  • Rich Villa, Austin, State Board of Dental Examiners;
  • Renee Cornett, Austin, State Board of Dental Examiners;
  • David Tillman, Aledo, State Board of Dental Examiners;
  • Deeia Beck, Austin, Public Counsel for the Office of Public Insurance Counsel;
  • Jessica Corna, Austin, Injured Employee Public Counsel;
  • Jim Jeffers, Nacogdoches, Texas Municipal Retirement System Board of Trustees;
  • David Landis, Perryton, Texas Municipal Retirement System Board of Trustees;
  • Patty Maginnis, Conroe, 435th Judicial District Court;
  • Wes Tidwell, Paris, 6th Judicial District Court. 
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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.   
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Editor: Peter Partheymuller   
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