New members sworn in with Oath of Office

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Newly elected city council member Evelyn Spurlock is sworn in by City Secretary Amy Arnold.

Oaths of office were administered Tuesday night at the White Settlement City Council meeting to newly elected council members Evelyn Spurlock and Danny Anderson. City Secretary Amy Arnold  governed the ceremony and became somewhat emotional during the reading of the oath due to the fact that her father-in-law, who recently passed, served in a council position. Council members unanimously voted newly elected member Danny Anderson as Mayor Pro Tem. Continue reading

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Super Tuesday, Voters in long lines as polls close

Russ McKee welcomes Donald Trump to Cowtown as and his wife Kathy get close to the billionaire candidate as he exits the stage in Fort Worth.

Russ McKee welcomes Donald Trump to Cowtown as and his wife Kathy get close to the billionaire candidate as he exits the stage in Fort Worth.

By Cheryl Posey

Lines grew longer and longer as Super Tuesday voting neared its closing hour yesterday.  Most polling locations noticed a notable difference in the amount of Republicans coming out on Tuesday compared to much smaller numbers of Democrats. Continue reading

WSISD posts board positions for May election

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The White Settlement ISD Board of Trustees will have a school board election on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Incumbents are Randy Armstrong, Place 4, and Ben Davis, Place 5.
Application period for a place on the ballot is Jan. 20 through Feb. 19. Applications will be available at the WSISD Administration Building, 401 S. Cherry Lane, during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19.
Drawing for places on the ballot will be in the Human Resources Office at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 22.

Most incumbents re-elected, all propositions pass

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by A.C. Hall

Voter turnout was way down this year compared to 2014 as there were no major federal positions on the ballot.  In White Settlement, City Council place 4 incumbent Danny Anderson was defeated by opponent David Mann.  Mann had a 47 vote lead in early voting, and held steady on election day en route to a 397 votes to 331 votes victory over Anderson.  One thing Mann did extensively in recent weeks was campaign on the internet, utilizing local Facebook groups to get his campaign message out and answer questions from potential voters.    Continue reading

Election 2015: 2015 White Settlement Candidate Spotlight

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2015 White Settlement Candidate Spotlight

Informing the voters is among the most important duties a newspaper holds.  As an official newspaper of the City of White Settlement, we believe it is our responsibility to help local voters go into the upcoming election as informed as possible.  Here at The Grizzly Detail, we’re proud to present this year’s candidate spotlight so the voters of White Settlement can learn more about the men who are running for local office.  We endeavored to ask questions that will give you a deeper understanding of the candidates, where they stand on the issues, and what they’ll do if elected/re-elected to office.  Candidates are listed in the order in which they’ll appear on the ballot.   Continue reading

Council candidates set

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by A.C. Hall

The deadline to file for the upcoming White Settlement City Council election has passed, and the candidates are now locked in.  Up first is place 4.  Currently held by Danny Anderson, this place will be up for grabs between two men.  Incumbent Danny Anderson has filed to run for re-election, and he will be opposed by David Mann.  Mann currently holds a position on the White Settlement Crime Board.
Also being decided in this election is place 5.  This place is currently held by Steve Ott, and like place 4, there are two candidates running for this seat.  Incumbent Steve Ott has filed to run for re-election, and he will be opposed by George Klecan.
The election will be held in early November, but stay tuned to The Grizzly Detail over the coming months as we give you in depth insight into the election, the candidates, and the issues that matter to them.

School board filings begin for White Settlement

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Individuals interested in serving on the White Settlement Board of Education have until Feb. 27 to file their paperwork. The joint election is scheduled for May 9.

Places 1, 2, and 3 are up for election this year and Trustees currently holding those positions are Raymond Patterson, Danny Knowles and Amanda Sanchez.

Applications are available at the White Settlement ISD administration building located at 401 S. Cherry Ln. in White Settlement.

Upcoming elections for Lake Worth City

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The next General Election for the City of Lake Worth will be held on Saturday, May 9. The following positions will be open: Mayor, Council Member Place 2, Council Member Place 4, and Council Member Place 6. These are two year terms from 2015-2017. Qualified and eligible persons interested in signing up may do so beginning Wednesday, Jan. 28. For more information, click on the City of Lake Worth logo at http://www.grizzlydetail.com

Upcoming election information

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Informing the voters is among the most important duties a newspaper holds.  As an official newspaper of the City of White Settlement, we believe it is our responsibility to help local voters go into the upcoming election as informed as possible. Here at The Grizzly Detail, we’re proud to present this year’s candidate spotlight so the voters of White Settlement can learn more about the men who are running for local office. Continue reading

Incumbents keep seats in city election

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by A.C. Hall

Voters trickled in and out of the White Settlement Public Library yesterday to cast their ballots for places 2 and 3 on the White Settlement City Council, among other regional issues.  Rain persisted throughout the day, but voters still turned up to decide that the current council members are the ones they want to keep.   Continue reading

Citizens want change as Anderson is elected to office

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By A.C. Hall

White Settlement citizens voted for a change in leadership in November and they continued that trend on Tuesday as White Settlement voted Danny Anderson into office over incumbent Paul Moore.  The runoff election saw Anderson get 439 votes while Moore received 311.

The votes will have to be canvassed by the council and Anderson will be sworn in at an upcoming council meeting.

New council member sworn in on night of change

Councilman Steve Ott is sworn in at last nights White Settlement City Council meeting.

Councilman Steve Ott is sworn in at last nights White Settlement City Council meeting.

By A.C. Hall

After winning the November election, incoming council member Steve Ott was sworn in Tuesday night at the White Settlement City Council meeting.  Ott thanked everyone for voting and spoke of the importance of local elections.  He also encouraged anyone with questions or suggestions to contact him.  A brief reception was held, then Ott took his place with the rest of the council members.   Continue reading

WS voters show desire for change in leadership

A historic number of ballots were cast as local council members running for office were on the same ballot as the presidential candidates of the United States of America. Over fifty percent of the 7,833 registered voters took part in this years election. Voters in White Settlement elected one new council member while a runoff will be scheduled for the other city council seat. (See more info below)

By A.C. Hall

The results are in and one incumbent on the White Settlement City Council has been unseated while another is heading to a run-off election.  In Place 5, two term incumbent Garry Wilson was defeated by challenger Steve Ott.  The final tally was 1,409 for Ott and 1,195 for Wilson.  That breaks down to 54.11% for Ott and 45.89% for Wilson.   Continue reading

Historic number of early votes cast for November election

By A.C. Hall

It was easy to reason that tying in the local city election with the presidential election was bound to increase the number of ballots cast.  What was less easy to figure out was just how big of a jump the numbers would take.  One week into early voting, it’s now clear that White Settlement is setting a historic pace that will likely lead to the biggest election in the City’s history. Continue reading

White Settlement City Council Candidates

White Settlement City Council Candidates

Two seats on the White Settlement City Council are up for grabs in this election, places 4 and 5.  Below you’ll find the questions that we sent to each candidate and the responses we received, presented in the order the men will appear on the ballot.  Identify which candidates best represent your ideals, then head to the polls starting Monday, Oct. 22 as early voting begins at the White Settlement Public Library.  Continue reading

A look at the Railroad Commission of Texas

By A.C. Hall

What is the Railroad Commission of Texas?

Noticeable on this year’s ballot, no matter what city you are from, are two spots for Railroad Commission.  These candidates aren’t looking to regulate our railroads, as the name of the commission would suggest, but instead this three person group regulates the energy industry, such as oil and gas, gas utilities, drilling and operating gas wells, and pipeline safety. Continue reading

The Benbrook Library District

By A.C. Hall

What is the Benbrook Library District?

 

Benbrook voters won’t just be choosing City Council members for their city, they will also be voting in two Board of Directors for the Benbrook Library District.

The Benbrook Library District is a five person board of trustees that governs the Benbrook Public Library.  Many cities have an appointed library board that is picked by City Council members, but Benbrook voters elect Directors to govern the Benbrook Library.   Continue reading

Understanding the White Settlement Charter Amendments

By A.C. Hall

Beyond the many candidates vying for votes, White Settlement voters will also have five propositions to consider when filling out their ballots.  These represent five proposed amendments to the White Settlement Charter.  The amendments were brought forth by a charter amendment committee that was made up of the current city council, as well as department heads and members of the city administration. Continue reading

Settler’s Day Festival returning in October

After skipping a year in 2011, the council voted unanimously last week to direct staff to begin work on a 2012 Settler’s Day festival targeted at Oct. 13.  This event was held in 2009 and 2010, but not last year.  Mayor Jerry Burns requested the event to be put on the meeting agenda, and he discussed how every city has something it’s known for.

“In the past we’ve had the distinction of being the town that tried to change its name,” Mayor Burns said.  “I’d like to have something a little better to know us by.”

He went on to say he feels the festival would be a good thing to be known for, and asked the council for their opinions on the matter.

“I think it’d be good for the city to have Settler’s Day back,” council member Paul Moore said.

A motion was made to instruct the staff to move forward on this matter.  That motion passed unanimously.

 

AMENDMENT BALLOT LANGUAGE APPROVED

Also before the council last week was the proposed ballot language for the possible charter amendments that will go before voters later this year.  The amendments range from providing a list of qualifications for running for city council, a change from requiring two council meetings a month to one, clearer rules for how to handle forfeiture of office by a council member, as well as several other matters.

City Secretary Amy Arnold said that the ballot language had been studied and approved by the City Attorney.  There was no discussion on this matter and the council unanimously approved a motion to approve the ballot language as well as to direct staff to prepare an ordinance that will call for the special election on Nov. 6 so the amendments can be on the ballot.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

A proclamation was read in honor of Jodie Conyers, a purchasing department employee of the city who is retiring after 19 years of service.  The proclamation Mayor Burns read spoke glowingly about Conyers’ service and uplifting presence in City Hall.  It also named the second Friday in every July as “Jodie Conyers Time to Fish Day.”

Parks and Recreation Director Rich Tharp revealed the winners of the All American Yard of the Month awards.  The city was divided into four areas for the contest, with each area getting a first, second, and third place award.  Retail gift cards are given to each yard that placed in the contest.

The four winners were 8837 Kate Street, 820 Ala, 408 Grant Circle and 7825 Colton.  The next contest will be for the best Halloween decorations and will be held on Oct. 30.

“Thank you to the pride commission, we appreciate everything y’all do for us,” Mayor Burns said.

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

One citizen who spoke to the council offered some ideas that they believed could help the city.  The possibility of turning White Settlement into a “golf cart community” was discussed by this citizen.  This could include things like golf cart shuttle service to Ridgmar retail areas for senior citizens.  The citizen also spoke of a need for there to be an entrance to the base from the White Settlement side of that facility.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

After conducting a closed door executive session on the possible sale, lease or acquisition of real estate, the council reconvened where a motion was made to direct staff to proceed with negotiations.  That motion passed 3 – 1 with council member Elzie Clements voting against.  Like all executive session motions, there was no further information available about this item.

 

Council member Mike Arnold was not present at the meeting.

Charter amendments to be on fall ballot, Council discusses ‘common sense’ approach to code enforcement

by A.C. Hall

The White Settlement City Council has not made any final decisions on the charter amendments that may be a part of this November’s election, as they stated on Tuesday that they will wait for the final ballot language for the amendments before taking action.  At the Charter Review committee meeting that took place before the council meeting, it seemed clear that everyone including the present council members are in favor of all of the proposed amendments.

As reported in this newspaper last week, there are five charter amendments that are likely to end up on the November ballot.  First is regarding City Council candidate application verification process as well as inserting a list of qualifications needed to run for office into the charter.

Next is in regard to vacancies and forfeiture of office.  This amendment seeks to place into the charter procedure for filling a vacancy as well as defining what a vacancy and forfeiture of office is.

The third proposed amendment is to set up a hierarchy for emergency management that will include procedures for managing an emergency situation as well as having a quorum during that time. The next proposed amendment will seek to add a requirement of one year prior service as a White Settlement city council member before being eligible to be Mayor Pro Tem.

The final proposed amendment will look to change the required number of meetings of the council per month from two to one.

One thing made clear at the charter committee meeting was that all of these amendments would come at no additional cost to the citizens or the city if passed.  Most of these amendments were brought forward because there is concern that the charter isn’t fully in compliance with State law on some of these matters.

At the council meeting, these proposed amendments were read by City Secretary Amy Arnold in a presentation to the council, who will wait to take action on them until the final language is ready.  The wordings that will appear on the ballot in November is currently being reviewed by Tarrant County as well as the City Attorney, but Arnold said she expects to have it back in time for the council to make a final decision on the amendments at their meeting on July 10.

CONTRACT FOR SEWER DRAIN RENOVATION AWARDED

Project Manager Jack Bell presented the next item to the council as they considered approving the contract for sewer drain renovation on Comal Street.This is the 37th year Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project that was previously approved by council.

The low bid came in at a total of $150,225, and $70,000 will be paid for through the CDBG grant.  The council unanimously approved a motion to award the contract to Humphrey and Morton, the company that had the low bid.

ELECTRIC COSTS FOR CITY AND CITIZENS ADDRESSED

Two items on the agenda addressed electricity costs, with the first relating to how much the City pays for its electricity.  Finance Director Philip Bray presented this item to the council as they discussed the advantages of lower rates thanks to being a part of the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP).  TCAP represents more than 160 cities and other political subdivisions and uses that clout to negotiate lower rates.

“We have more bargaining power in obtaining lower rates,” Bray told the council.

The council unanimously passed a motion to approve a resolution that will allow TCAP to solicit proposals and negotiate for the City’s electricity needs and to agree to an extension of the current supply agreement through the end of 2017.

Also on the subject of electricity, the council unanimously voted to continue their participation in the Oncor steering committee.  This group of 150 cities works together to negotiate lower energy rates for their citizens and businesses.  The annual cost is ten cents per capita, which works out to $1,611.60 for the city of White Settlement.

DEPARTMENT PRESENTATION

Building Official Kyle Reeves gave a presentation at the meeting as he spoke about the work being done in the Code and Permits department.  Reeves highlighted some success stories of the department, showing before and after photos of properties that have been cleaned up and renovated.

He also gave an update on the residential certificate of occupancy situation, which is a new requirement that sees rental property owners required to get their property inspected between tenants.  Reeves indicated that while early inspections were failed, once rental property owners walked their property with code officials they understood what was expected, and most have passed their re-inspections.

One thing Reeves referred to several times during his presentation was the idea of putting “common sense into our codes.”  He spoke of lessening the masonry requirements on new buildings built in the city as well as giving a pass to a new home owner when it came to building a “sidewalk to nowhere” in front of his new home.

Mayor Jerry Burns spoke highly of this common sense approach to the codes.

“I think that is the best thing to do,” Reeves responded.  “A lot of people are happy.”

Council member Elzie Clements also spoke about this.

“We’ve got common sense people enforcing the codes, that helps more than anything,” Clements said.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

One citizen spoke and voiced concern over a rash of break ins happening on Pemberton.  The citizen voiced disappointment that the Pemberton bridge is no longer going to be demolished as was previously set to happen in the original Farmer’s Branch Flood Control project plan.  They felt the bridge is currently unsafe and that it is a conduit that allows some of the bad element to make their way into the neighborhood.

Early voting for school trustee elections begins April 30, 2012

The White Settlement Public Library as well as other locations around the area will serve as early voting polling places for the upcoming White Settlement ISD school trustee election for places 1, 2, and 3. Polling hours of operation will be 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. April 30 through May 4. May 5 will be 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and May 6 will be 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 7-8. On May 12, election day, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.  Look in next week’s Grizzly Detail  for candidate information and election questions.