By A.C. Hall
At their meeting last week, the Benbrook City Council heard the results of the 2013 citizen satisfaction survey. The city scored well above national benchmarks and was in line with previous year results which have scored Benbrook seven Voice of the People awards. The survey is handled by an outside company and sees a random sampling of Benbrook citizens receiving a mailed survey. Once completed, they are returned to the company and at no time are handled by city employees.
Some of the survey highlights presented included 97 percent of citizens who said they are likely to recommend living in Benbrook, 95 percent saying it’s an excellent place to live, and 94 percent saying it has good or excellent quality of life.
As for city employees, the overall citizen impression ranked number 1 nationally out of 358 jurisdictions. City employee courtesy ranked number 1 nationally out of 315 jurisdictions and their responsiveness ranked number 1 nationally out of 315 jurisdictions.
The Benbrook Police Department received an overall service rating that ranked number 1 nationally out of 399 jurisdictions. The BPD crime prevention rating put them at number 10 of 328 jurisdictions. Benbrook Fire Department received overall service ratings that ranked them number 11 out of 326 jurisdictions.
One city staff member referred to the survey as the city’s report card, and Mayor Jerry Dittrich said that it looked as if the city got an A plus.
“It’s a very good report,” Dittrich said.
The Mayor thanked the city staff for all the hard work they do to help the city earn such high ratings.
TEACHERS OF THE YEAR RECOGNIZED
The teachers of the year for schools serving Benbrook were recognized. The six teachers honored were Pat Ball from Benbrook Elementary, Jessica Bobo from Westpark Elementary, Angela Brown from Waverly Park Elementary, Dave Franklin from Leonard Middle School, Doug Height from Benbrook Middle School, and Laura Frost from Western Hills High School. Jessica Bobo was also recognized as the district teacher of the year.
Council members spoke glowingly of the teachers and all teachers. Dittrich called teaching a noble profession and spoke of the great teachers and principals that serve in Benbrook schools. Council member Ron Sauma also shared words for the teachers.
“You pave the way for the future of our country,” Sauma said.
Council member Rickie Allison had high praise for teachers everywhere in his comments.
“I’m just overwhelmed with joy for you guys,” Allison said. “I don’t know what this country would do without you.”
ZONING CHANGES DISCUSSED
Another item before the council was a proposed zoning amendment regarding alternative energy system regulations. This item has been discussed by the Planning and Zoning board since 2013, and the amendment was based on their recommendations.
The amendment looked at bringing about regulation changes to keep up with changing technology. The types of alternative energy that would see changes included wind energy systems and solar energy systems both roof and ground mounted.
A public hearing was held on the matter, but with no one present wishing to speak it was closed. A motion was made for continuance, which would carry over this item to a later date. That motion passed unanimously.
TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM TO CONTINUE
The council voted unanimously to approve continued participation in the Tarrant County Transportation Services Program for elderly and disabled residents. This allows eligible citizens to call and schedule trips, and over the past year there was an average of 85 trips taken per month by Benbrook residents. The annual cost of continuing the program was $7,529.