Volume 17, Issue 17- Friday, May 3, 2019 Optional Link
Austin City Council resets land development code
The City of Austin's controversial land development code update that saw the demise of CodeNext last year moved forward with City Council's approval late Thursday to redo the planning policy.

After 19 hours of discussion, council members voted 8-3 to move forward on a new version of the land development code.

City Manager Spencer Cronk's policy questions were part of a high level outline that included housing capacity, rewrite scope, affordable housing and parking and will form the basis for the guidance document.

Council also directed staff to create the new land development code in tandem with a new zoning map, plan to increase the city's housing capacity by 400,000 units in 10 years, support more construction of smaller multifamily housing developments and reduce minimum parking requirements.

Mayor Steve Adler asked staff members to develop a draft of the new code and zoning map for City Council in five months with the target of 2019 for adoption.
Riverbend water projects to flow after securing $200M in state loans
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) authorized $200 million in loans for Riverbend Water Resources District's regional water infrastructure projects.

Officials said the district plans to submit a full application by May after receiving initial approval from TWDB which made the funds available through the State Water Infrastructure Fund for Texas (SWIFT).

The district's regional water project calls for several infrastructure upgrades. A study commissioned by Riverbend recommended a new water treatment plant and raw water line at TexAmericas Center and a new Wright Patman Lake intake. TexAmericas Center, which is becoming one of the largest industrial centers in the Americas, is on the Interstate 30 corridor just west of Texarkana.

New Riverbend CEO Kyle Dooley will oversee the project after taking over for Liz Fazio Hale who resigned in March after joining the district in January 2016. Dooley served as deputy city manager and public works director for the City of Texarkana, Texas.
TCEQ rolls out VW settlement funding for bus replacements

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is set to embark on its first round of funding under the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program (TxVEMP) to replace or repower school, transit and shuttle buses. 

More than $58 million in grants is available to anyone or any entity whose operations fleet includes a minimum of 51 percent of its mileage recorded in one of the following priority areas of Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Bell County, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso County, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria or San Antonio.

Eligible vehicles are required to have diesel engines that are to be replaced or repowered with new all-electric, diesel or alternative fuel engines. 

School buses must have a minimum vehicle weight rating of 14,001 pounds and be used to transport students to and from school and school-related events. Shuttle and transit buses must have a vehicle weight rating of at least 14,001 pounds and be used to take passengers on routes in a city or specific regional area. 

TCEQ will offer a webinar and multiple workshops for interested applicants.
$11.3B in local bond issues on tap around the state for May 4 elections
Voters across Texas will head to the polls on May 4 to decide the fate of more than $11.3 billion in bond propositions that, if approved, will provide funding for a variety of capital improvement items. A total of 75 local entities -  56 school districts, 14 cities, two hospital districts; one county, and two community college districts - are holding bond elections.

Vendors who can provide services for these bond proposals will have millions of dollars' worth of projects on which to bid once the bond issues are held. Strategic Partnerships, Inc. has available now its 2019 Texas Bond Elections Report that includes a listing of each entity holding a bond election, the total amount of each proposal and a detailed description of each bond package. The report also includes an after-election report of the bond issues that passed. The 2019 Texas Bond Elections Report is available for purchase now.

The Dallas County Community College District is set to hold a bond election of $1.1 billion for master plan related projects. One of the plans is to spend $535 million for a complete redesign of El Centro College and the addition of Innovation, Administration and Business Training Centers in downtown Dallas. About $332 million could be distributed to student-related needs, including keeping up with the increasing Early College High School program demands. The remaining money, $235 million, would be used to fund industry-aligned workforce projects that allow colleges to effectively prepare students for careers in allied health, advance manufacturing, early childhood development and more.

The Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District has proposed a $1.7 billion bond package to meet the following needs of the district through 2025: instructional and support facilities for $258 million; safety and security enhancements at $207 million; transportation at $88.1 million; technology at $238 million; and facilities renovations and additions at $968 million.

Prosper Independent School District trustees put a $1.3 billion bond proposal on the May 4 ballot. The proposed 2019 bond package funds construction of 16 new schools at a total cost of $1.1 billion. Other items in the proposal include buses, a performing arts center, a second natatorium and an administrative building at $90 million; improvements including security, technology, communications and replacement playgrounds and HVAC units at $68.5 million; and land for future schools at $50 million.

To purchase the 2019 Texas Bond Elections Report or request more information, contact Kirk Yoshida at kyoshida@spartnerships.com or call 512-531-3927. 
Gov. Abbott signs off on University of Houston medical school
Addressing fears of a shortage of physicians in the state, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation Wednesday creating a medical school at the University of Houston.

The University of Houston's College of Medicine, which will be the state's 13th medical school, will be located at the university's main campus in Houston. The school expects to enroll an inaugural class of 30 students in fall 2020.

State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, authored House Bill 826 that drew unanimous approval from the Texas Senate last week.

Last October, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the creation of a medical school at the University of Houston and a medical school at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board signed off on creating a medical school at the University of Houston in October, along with a medical school at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
Strategic Partnerships salutes Texas' Lone Stars
Daniel Valenzuela, City Manager, City of San Angelo
Daniel Valenzuela

Career highlights and education: San Angelo City Manager Daniel Valenzuela has his roots firmly planted in West Texas, having grown up in Fort Stockton and having served as City Manager there. After graduating high school in Fort Stockton, Valenzuela served a tour in the U.S. Army, and was honorably discharged in 1993. He then spent time attending to family matters before enrolling at Texas Tech University and earning a Master of Business Administration in 2000. He was subsequently employed as a business and accounting instructor at Midland College Regional Technical Training Center while also working as the Chief Financial Officer and, later, Unit Health Administrator for Pecos County Memorial Health System. 

From 2003-07, Valenzuela served as City Manager in Fort Stockton and then moved to the City of Eagle Pass, where he served as City Manager from 2008 until he was chosen as San Angelo's City Manager in 2012.  

Valenzuela's accomplishments in Eagle Pass included facilitating a fund balance increase of $2.8 million despite having lost $800,000 in revenues via the bridge enterprise fund, and planning and implementing a new waste collection system that eliminated a $500,000 per year budget shortfall and ultimately netted a profit of $1.3 million annually. Valenzuela was also instrumental in streamlining many of the City's processes to help make the city run more efficiently. For his efforts, Valenzuela was named Public Manager of the Year for 2011 by the Eagle Pass Business Journal. 

Valenzuela celebrated his sixth anniversary as San Angelo's City Manager this past October. Since joining the City, he has been at the forefront of efforts to secure more water, improve streets and other infrastructure, streamline development processes, make pay more competitive for City employees, and increase the number of first-responders. His administration has secured water rights to the Hickory Aquifer and pursued an expansion of its well field. That has positioned San Angelo to eventually have the capacity to pump, transport and treat up to 12 million gallons per day from the groundwater source. Valenzuela was also the architect for an eight-year cycle to maintain every City street. At the same time, his team has guided the rebuilding and repaving of San Angelo's worst streets under an $80 million, 10-year commitment made by the City Council. These accomplishments have been made while maintaining a constant property tax rate throughout his tenure. 

What I like best about my public service: It is quite humbling to be in a position to help people and to be involved in decision-making that will determine the future of our community. It's a tremendous responsibility, which calls for clear focus and a relentless drive to ensure the successful implementation and completion of the City's plans.  

The best advice I have received for my current job: "You'll always have those who will criticize your efforts; don't let these individuals sour your view of public service. Do the best work you possibly can as doing it unto the Lord."

Advice you would give a new hire in your office: "There's never anyone more important to you than the person in front of you asking for your assistance. Treat everyone with the utmost respect, kindness and professionalism."
 
If I ever had the opportunity to leave work early, I could probably be found: spending valuable time with my family - either barbecuing at Lake Nasworthy, enjoying a movie, taking a stroll along the Concho River or eating at one of our many favorite and unique local restaurants.

People would be surprised to know that I: love to ride motorcycles, preferably my Indian Chief Vintage. It has a very calming effect on me, and there are numerous scenic areas to visit in San Angelo.

One thing I wish more people knew about the City of San Angelo: It's truly an oasis in a region typically known for its dry and arid setting - West Texas. San Angelo is a beautiful community with a flourishing downtown, exceedingly warm and welcoming citizens, and wonderful natural resources (lakes and rivers) that embrace and engage visitors and locals alike.
College district, DFW Airport apprenticeship takes flight
The Dallas County Community College District (DCCD) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport have partnered on Texas' first airport apprenticeship registered with the Department of Labor.

The program will focus on developing airport employees and strengthening the construction and maintenance industry workforce.

College faculty members will teach a one-year facility manager/facilities services supervisor training program that enables class members to earn certification and convert it to college credit. The initial cohort will comprise current full-time employees and newly hired staff who will complete 300 classroom hours.

The courses, which will be given at DFW Airport's corporate headquarters, will be free to airport employees.

"Nationally, apprenticeship programs are growing, and our partnership with DFW Airport reflects that trend as well as the need to have a skilled workforce in this field," said Dr. Joe May, DCCCD's chancellor.
Coastal counties to receive $46M in grants for hurricane restoration 
The Texas General Land Office will receive $46.31 million in federal grant funding from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) to distribute to restoration efforts along the Texas shoreline.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said the funding is vital to the counties' recovery efforts from hurricanes Ike and Harvey.

Among the counties receiving funds are: Aransas, Brazoria, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Galveston, Harris and Jackson. Other counties are: Kenedy, Kleberg, Matagorda, Nueces, Orange, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Willacy.

GOMESA grant funding will go toward projects and activities that protect the coast such as conservation, coastal restoration, hurricane protection and infrastructure. Assistance also will go toward mitigating harmful effects on fish, wildlife or natural resources, implementing marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plans.
Texas transforming U.S. 59 section to meet interstate standards
Projects are underway to update U.S. Highway 59 and the Lufkin District is responsible for 150 miles of the roadway's redevelopment to meet interstate standards.

The U.S. 59 transformation is a statewide and national collaboration that stretches from Mexico to Michigan. Texas' portion spans five of the nine counties in the Lufkin District.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has completed eight miles of U.S. 59, but has 20 additional miles to finish. It will cost up to $3.3 billion to finish the project, which has been broken down into smaller, fundable projects. The Diboll Relief Route, the Redland Project and the upgrade on Moffett Road to state Highway 103 are the current parts of the interstate project in Angelina County. The Diboll Relief Route, also known as the Diboll Loop Project, provides an alternative route around the city. The Diboll City Council plans to seek financial assistance for the relief route from the TxDOT Infrastructure Bank.

TxDOT will begin implementing more of the project in September and expects construction to begin close to the start of 2020. The Redland Project construction should begin in 2022. The Moffett Road and State Highway 103 Project will begin in 2020.
3 governments unite to form Rose City Municipal Utility District
A new utility district is in the works after the City of Tyler and Smith County commissioners agreed to a joint resolution supporting a bill for what will become the Rose City Municipal Utility District (MUD). 

The proposed district would provide sewer service to households in southern Tyler, part of the city of Bullard, and an unincorporated area of Smith County.

County commissioners and city council members signed the draft resolution at their specific meetings last week for a utility to be located on 21 acres outside Tyler that primarily is served by private utilities.

State Rep. Matt Schaefer, who introduced the bill in the 86th legislative session, said it would break up a for-profit corporate monopoly and allow for accountability and quality sewer service.

"The City of Tyler continues to plan for the next century of growth and future development ... . Such growth requires the assurance that adequate wastewater service can be provided to meet the needs of the future residential and commercial development in the area," wrote City Manager Edward Broussard in a memo to City Council.
Marshall mulls surplus property sale including art center, annex
Marshall Visual Art Center
Commissioners at the City of Marshall have identified about 19 surplus properties for possible sale. Among the sites are the Marshall Visual Art Center and City Annex.

Potential buyers must preserve the art section of the art center and permit the city to retain its right to rent the annex' communications tower.

Marshall's city manager said city departments such as Parks and Recreation, Information Technology, and Support Services that currently operate in the annex will move to an alternate site to be determined. He also would like to preserve space in the art center for artists in residence to continue to create.

Benefits to selling the surplus properties are the elimination of maintenance costs, infusion of one-time revenue and potential addition of those properties on the city's tax rolls, he said. 
TxDOT taking comments on proposed Brazos County RMA
A public hearing and open house are set for May 7 at the TxDOT Bryan District Office, 2591 N. Earl Rudder Freeway, to receive comments on the proposed formation of the Brazos County Regional Mobility Authority (RMA).
 
Local officials and staff members will be available before and after the public hearing from 5-7 p.m. to informally discuss the Brazos County RMA formation as well as a road project that could include P3 opportunities.

The RMA is forming with a proposed initial project for safety and mobility improvements on a 1.2-mile stretch of University Drive (FM 60) next to Texas A&M University's main campus between Wellborn Road and Texas Avenue. The proposal is expected to include construction of a .6-mile section overlaid with a surface suited for bicycles, pedestrians, and development constructed through public-private partnerships, according to TxDOT's website.

As proposed, the Brazos County RMA and a five-member board would serve Brazos County. The Brazos County Commissioners Court would appoint four board members with at least one being a Bryan resident and one a College Station resident. The Texas governor would appoint the fifth board member. 
Comments must be received by May 17 to be included in the official public hearing record.
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EVENTS CALENDAR
June 12 & 13 / Georgetown, Texas
Plan to join the Texas K-12 Chief Technology Officers (CTO) Council in Georgetown for their Summer Clinic 2019! The event will be held at the Georgetown Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, 1101 Woodlawn Ave. on June 12 and 13. This annual event is the premier professional training conference for technology education leaders in Texas, bringing together leaders from around the state and the region to discuss pressing issues in education technology. 

This year the clinic will focus on building a "trusted learning environment," which includes physical, network and data security. Register for the event here.


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

The effects of climate change have escalated so significantly that floods and increasing environmental concerns are now being referred to as climate catastrophes.

What were once called 500-year storms are occurring every few years. Record heat is causing a growing number of deadly wildfires and the intensity of storms regularly drops record rainfall resulting in massive flooding. Climate change is creating a new normal and government officials throughout the U.S. are trying to deal with weather-related events while exploring ways to limit, prevent or prepare for them. 

Mitigating the effects of climate change requires innovative thinking, visionary leadership and the incorporation of emerging technologies. Because mitigation projects are large and costly, many of these initiatives are the result of collaborative efforts. Private-sector capital and industry expertise are welcomed by government leaders.

Cities are leading the way in efforts to combat climate change. That's fitting, however, because according to the Global Covenant of Mayors, 50 percent of the world's population lives in cities, 70 percent of the CO2 emissions are created in cities and 66 percent of the world's energy is consumed by cities.    

Check out this article from our Pipeline newsletter!



Deputy Solicitor General earns Senate nod for Eastern District of Texas
"Cam" Barker
Texas Deputy Solicitor General J. "Cam" Campbell Barker earned confirmation from the U.S. Senate to be the United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, which is made up of 43 Texas counties.

Barker joined the Texas attorney general's office in 2015 after spending four years as an attorney for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a stint as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor of science in computer engineering and earned his law degree from the University of Texas-Austin.

His legal career also included clerking with Judge John Walker on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and Judge William Bryson on the of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He rose from an associate to a partner at a Texas civil litigation law firm prior to advancing to deputy solicitor general.
Gov. Abbott appoints Boatright to TABC seat 
Jason Boatright
Jason Boatright of Dallas is the latest gubernatorial appointment to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

The partner at a DFW-based law firm previously served as a judge on the Texas Fifth Court of Appeals and on the Texas Department of Information Resources board.

Boatright also is on the board of trustees for an Episcopal school in Dallas. He earned a bachelor of arts from Middlebury College in Vermont, a degree in Latin and Roman History from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland and a juris doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
New superintendent joins Alvin district
Carol Nelson
Alvin ISD's board of trustees unanimously approved Carol Nelson as the district's new superintendent April 30.

Nelson is a familiar face in AISD who has served in several positions during her 23 years with the district, most recently as associate superintendent of human resources.

She is targeting quality education for individual students as the district's enrollment booms. The district is scheduled to open two new elementary schools this fall and expand another elementary school by spring 2021 as well as constructing a fourth high school and eighth junior high in summer 2022.

Nelson takes over for Buck Gilcrease who announced his retirement in November 2018 after serving as superintendent since 2014.


LaBorde named 
Taylor city manager
Brian LaBorde
Brian LaBorde has been selected as the new city manager of Taylor.

LaBorde formerly served as the city manager for the City of Keene for just over three years. Prior to his time in Keene, LaBorde served as the assistant city manager for the City of Buda.

LaBorde will replace Interim City Manager Jeffery Jenkins who first served as the assistant city manager of Taylor beginning in November 2017 and then stepped into the interim position in January 2019.

LaBorde will begin his new duties on May 27.
Harlin new VP-CEO of UTMB Health System
Timothy Harlin
Timothy Harlin has been chosen as the executive vice president and chief executive officer of the Health System at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Harlin will work with the health system's current leader, Donna Sollenberger, beginning July 15 until her retirement Aug. 31. Harlin currently serves as the chief operating and acceleration officer at the Denver Health and Hospital Authority in Colorado.

Prior to Denver Health, Harlin served as the chief operating officer at Hennepin Health System in Minneapolis, Minn. 


Shelton retires as Port of Beaumont commissioner
C.A. Shelton
C.A. "Pete" Shelton has retired after nearly three decades of sitting on the Port of Beaumont Board of Commissioners.

Shelton, who served as Beaumont's fire chief for 20 years, was first appointed to the Port of Beaumont Board in 1989 as one of two at-large commissioners.

A couple of major projects completed under Shelton's leadership were the completion of a $70 million Capital Improvement Project funded from port revenues and federal grants and the development of the Orange County Terminal.
Travis County moves on Manchaca Road project
Gabriel C. Perez / KUT
The $11 million Manchaca Road improvement project is moving ahead after Travis County reached a funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

County commissioners voted to approve the project that will require the county to cover $1.9 million initially and also remaining costs of about $1.5 million. Federal funding will amount to $7.6 on this project that will improve the southern section of Manchaca Road from Ravenscroft Drive to FM 1626 with a second lane in both directions and a center turn lane. Sidewalks and bike amenities are included.

Last year, Travis County requested the funding from TxDOT whose officials have said bidding for the project could begin summer 2019 with construction starting fall 2019 and finishing by summer 2021. 
Fort Worth nets state's first EnVision Center
EnVision Center
A new EnVision Center is set to open May 6 as the result of a partnership with the city and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

A grand opening is scheduled from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the MLK Community Center, and an open house is set for 5-7 p.m. May 9 for the first center in Texas and one of just 17 in the country.

EnVision Centers provide HUD-assisted families with services that support them in gaining self-sufficiency and improve household access to government resources. The center's opening ties into a $2.65 million city project to fund the Cavile neighborhood's revitalization in Stop Six to add sidewalks, clear brush, raze dilapidated structures and install security cameras. EnVision Centers are situated on or close to public housing to serve as a catalyst in supporting economic empowerment, educational advancement, health and wellness, and character and leadership. Via partnerships with organizations such as Fort Worth Housing Solutions, these Envision Centers capitalize on public-private partnerships to connect clients with services that enhance their self-sufficiency. 

Fort Worth District 5 Councilmember Gyna Bivens will host the grand opening that Mayor Betsy Price, HUD Regional Administrator Beth Van Duyne and Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary Tim Smyth are scheduled to attend. 
GOVERNOR'S APPOINTMENTS
Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the following appointments/reappointments from April 26 - May 2

Keith Brainard
- Georgetown, State Pension Review Board (reappointed)  
Gloria Milian Matt- Tomball, Gulf Coast Authority Board of Directors


RECENT REPORTS & DATA
City of Fort Worth- 2018 State of Downtown Report
Health and Human Services- Texas Women's Health Programs Report Fiscal Year 2018
Health and Human Services- Summary of Activities and Value-Added Services State Fiscal Year 2018: Quality, Timeliness and Access to Health Care for Texas Medicaid and CHIP Recipients
Legislative Budget Board- Summary and Differences House and Senate House Bill 1
Legislative Budget Board- Initial Issue Dockets and Rider Comparisons
JOB BOARD
Dozens of public-sector jobs are available. Click here to view all job openings and guidelines for job submissions to SPI. New jobs added this week:  
  • Texas Department of Insurance- Director III of Internal Audit
  • Employee Retirement System of Texas- Contracts Paralegal
  • Texas Department of Information Resources- Contract Specialist V/Contract Manager
  • Texas Higher Education Board- Accountant III
  • Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts- Accountant I
  • Texas Department of Public Safety- Management Analyst IV
  • Texas Water Development Board- Information Specialist IV/Media and Public Relations Specialist
  • Texas Department of Agriculture-Financial Analyst
  • Texas Credit Union Department- Administrative Assistant III
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality- Administrative Assistant IV in Houston
  • Texas Education Agency- Programmer IV
  • City of Houston- Senior Project Manager TDO
  • City of Austin- Procurement Specialist IV Capital Contracting Office
  • Alamo Area Council of Governments- IDD Services Health and Wellness Navigator
View our Texas Government Insider and Government Contracting Pipeline newsletter archives

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: Kristin Gordon 
TGI is published by Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), a research and consulting firm. Founded in Texas in 1995 by former government executives and public sector experts, SPI has developed a national reputation as the premier marketing partner dedicated to helping companies secure contracts in the $1.5 trillion state and local government marketplace.   
To learn more about SPI services, click here or contact our sales department at 512-531-3900. 
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