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What happens if you run for city council – and win?

By Tanya McNutt, Deputy City Secretary

In my years as a deputy city secretary, I can’t count the times I’ve heard a newly-elected city council member ask these questions:

  • “What do you mean I can’t (fill in the blank)?”
  • “I have to do WHAT?”

In College Station, city council members devote many long hours to fulfill their responsibilities — and aren’t paid a dime. Before they can serve, they also endure campaigns that take a lot of time, energy, and money.

But what happens after they’re elected?

City Council Places 1, 3 and 5 will be at stake in the Nov. 7 election. If you are considering running, we invite you to attend a free City Council 101 seminar at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27 at the City Hall Council Chambers.

The program is designed to help candidates better understand the requirements, duties, and limitations of the office, as well as open meetings laws and conflicts of interest. We’ll cover our form of government, the role of city staff, and discuss the critical issues facing our community.

Our goal is to help potential candidates make informed decisions about running and to gain an accurate understanding of what’s expected if they are elected.

The filing period to run for council is July 24-Aug. 24. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, U.S. citizens, qualified Texas voters, and College Station residents for at least one year before Election Day.  Candidate information packets are available at the City Secretary’s Office at College Station City Hall.

For more details, contact me at 979-764-3580 or tmcnutt@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

A certified Texas municipal clerk, Tanya McNutt is in her 10th year as College Station’s deputy city secretary. She served as city secretary in Madisonville from 1998-2008.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (June 8)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, June 8. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD) and online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:18 p.m.

The workshop has started. 

6:19 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers didn’t pull any consent items for workshop discussion.

6:49 p.m.

Thoroughfare Planning Update

The council heard an update on the proposed Bryan/College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) 2050 Major Thoroughfare Concept Map and the College Station Thoroughfare Plan.

In 2016, the MPO began seeking public feedback regarding a draft of the 2050 Major Thoroughfare Concept Map, which covers Brazos County and includes major thoroughfare classifications of minor arterial, major arterial, super arterial, and freeway. The concept does not depict minor collectors or major collectors, which are smaller thoroughfares on municipal thoroughfare plans.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:14 p.m.

Capital Project Funding

The council discussed the funding of capital projects that address the city’s infrastructure needs.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:16 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. 

7:16 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:21 p.m.

Girl Scout Gold Award

Mayor Karl Mooney recognized Whitney Browning for receiving the Girl Scout Gold Award, the organization’s highest achievement. The mayor proclaimed today as Whitney Browning Day in College Station. Browning is pictured below with the mayor and her mother, Nancy.

7:32 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Three people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Ben Roper recognized Army Pfc. Clayton W. Henson as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 20-year-old Stanton native died April 17, 2004, when his convoy was ambushed in Dwaniyan, Iraq.
  • George Dresser asked the council to find solutions to help preserve neighborhoods.
  • Emily Jane Cowen, representing the Southside Neighborhood Advocacy Group, asked to partner with city staff and council to preserve the neighborhood.

7:32 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda:

  • An $816,000 consultant contract with Kimley-Horn for design and construction phase services for the Woodson Village Utility Rehabilitation Project.

7:36 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:36 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Thursday, June 22.

 


About the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also been a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.



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3 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (6 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. The council has a short agenda this week, so here are three items to watch:

  1. Thoroughfare Plan: In the workshop, the council will hear an update on the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s proposed 2050 Major Thoroughfare Concept Map and the College Station Thoroughfare Plan.
  2. Capital Projects Funding: The council will have a workshop discussion about funding capital projects.
  3. Woodson Village Utility Rehabilitation: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider an $816,000 consultant contract for design and construction phase services for the replacement of water and sewer lines near Haines Drive, Glade Street, Dexter Drive, and Timm Drive.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD), or online. The website includes an archive of previous council meetings. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Podcast: Heart of local aquatics moves on after 30 years

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

This edition of the podcast is one where our guest is being interviewed for the very first time — but we’re actually saying goodbye.

Vera Solis served as College Station’s pools supervisor for 30 years. In this interview — recorded on her next to last day with the city — Vera talked about how she approached the profession, her legacy, where College Station could use another pool, and what her next adventure is all about.

Run time: 23:00

  • 00:00 – Opening comments.
  • 00:40 – Her start with College Station and in the aquatics industry.
  • 02:26 – Water activities were part of her own childhood.
  • 03:40 – What College Station Aquatics looked like in the mid-1980s.
  • 05:40 – How did you set out to change things?
  • 08:20 – Any changes in how you do what you do?
  • 09:50 – Will we always have public pools?
  • 12:20 – About the safety of College Station pools.
  • 14:00 – Proudest moments from the past 30 years.
  • 16:00 – Other highlights.
  • 16:50 – What did you NOT accomplish that you hope the next person does? (spoiler: establish another pool…)
  • 17:50 – What else would be nice? (yet another spoiler: water park)
  • 19:35 – What’s your legacy?
  • 20:15 – You’re now going to do what?
  • 21:30 – Final thoughts.

Click below to listen. If Soundcloud doesn’t play in your older version of Internet Explorer, click here to hear to the audio file from your system.

 

Podcast Archive


Jay Socol (@jaysocol) is in his eighth year as College Station’s public communications director. A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M. Jay has also been communications director for the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, public information officer for the City of Bryan, and news director at several Bryan-College Station area radio stations. A native of Breckenridge, he also serves as president of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.


 

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Six terrific reasons to attend a free sprinkler workshop

By Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator

If learning to program your sprinkler controller, spot irrigation leaks, and trim your water bills rank high among your summer goals, you’ll want to attend one of three free workshops hosted by College Station Water Services as part of Smart Irrigation Month.

Each participating household will receive a rain gauge, soil moisture meter, and $25 gift card to a home improvement store to get you on the way to saving water.

The first seminar is scheduled for this Saturday, followed by additional workshops on June 17 and July 22:

  • June 10 — 10 a.m.-noon, CSU Meeting & Training Facility (1603 Graham Rd.).
  • June 17 — 10 a.m.-noon, Event Center at Castlegate II (4205 Norwich Dr.).
  • July 22 — 10 a.m.-noon, CSU Meeting & Training Facility (1603 Graham Rd.).

Here are six terrific reasons to attend a Sprinkler Spruce Up seminar:

  1. You have a small lot and have had a summer water bill greater than $30.
  2. You’ve had high summer water bills in the past and want to avoid sticker shock again.
  3. You’re curious about how slight adjustments to your watering schedule could save you money.
  4. You have a sprinkler system but are afraid that scaling back your watering schedule will kill your lawn.
  5. You don’t know how much water your sprinkler system uses or how much water your lawn needs.
  6. Your neighborhood or homeowner association collectively wants to reduce the amount of water consumption and runoff – and clear up those algae-ridden sidewalks!

You’ll discover valuable sprinkler system maintenance tips, see the latest in water-saving sprinkler technology, get pro tips from a licensed irrigator, and learn how to receive weekly watering advice from the Brazos Valley Water Smart Network.

For more information or to register, contact me at 979-764-6223 or jnations@cstx.gov.

 


About the Author

Jennifer Nations has been the City of College Station’s water resource coordinator since 1999 after two years as BVSWMA’s environmental compliance officer. She’s also chair of the Water Conservation and Reuse Division for the Texas Section of the American Water Works Association. A native of Fremont, Calif., Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental & resource science from UC-Davis in 1995 and a master’s degree in water management & hydrologic science from Texas A&M in 2016.


 

Image Copyright: fotokostic / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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New Olympic sport has popular local venue

By Hallie Kutch, Marketing Staff Assistant

Skateboarding has been among the world’s fastest-growing recreational sports for much of the last decade. In fact, skateboarding has become so prominent that it will become an Olympic sport in 2020.

Live video feeds and instant upload technology have helped fuel the increased interest in skateboarding and other extreme sports. The thrilling action provides recreation, entertainment, and exercise and appeals to a melting pot of ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

Consequently, College Station’s challenging G. Hysmith Skate Park has become a popular venue for local skateboarders of all skill levels. Located on the eastern edge of Brian Bachmann Community Park, the lighted skate facility features a covered spectator area, a large pro-style flow bowl, a pool-type bowl, and a long, linear street course that includes hundreds of feet of varying terrain and scalable elements.

Garrett Hysmith was an energetic, ambitious, College Station middle schooler who was passionate about skateboarding. In 2005, the 13-year-old passed away after a courageous nine-year battle with cancer.

Garrett’s closest friends responded with Operation Garrett to convince the College Station City Council to include a skate park as part of the 2008 bond election. Voters overwhelming approved the $920,000 park, which opened in 2011. Local skaters even provided input on the layout and design.

The park was designed by Bleyl & Associates of Bryan in conjunction with Grindline, Inc., a specialty design firm in Seattle, Wash. Construction was performed by JaCody, Inc. of College Station in association with SPA Skateparks of Austin.

Hysmith Skate Park is an ideal venue for skateboarders to hone their skills and enjoy their sport safely. Share your skills on wheels with us on social media (#CSTXparks).

College Station may even be the starting point for a future Olympian.


312d2ecAbout the Author

Hallie Kutch is in her second year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management and a minor in tourism research management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


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