Engage D2: City Council Agenda, Road Work, Homelessness, Tax Freeze Info, Library, Sustainability, May Elections & More

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 2:00PM – City Council Work Session
We have a relatively short agenda [linked here] on Tuesday but there are a few items I would like to highlight:

  1. A New City Attorney – Madam City Attorney Anita Burgess has announced that she will be retiring in February of this year.  Council will begin discussions and give direction to staff regarding the recruitment of candidates to fill this position.  Council has four direct reports in our city’s chain of command: City Manager, City Attorney, City Auditor, and Municipal Judge.  This will be the third of those four positions that I will be involved in hiring during my nearly two years on council.  We have turned a page and begun a new chapter here in Denton.  I would like to thank Madam City Attorney Burgess for her time in service to the leadership of of our city and wish her well.  We now move forward to the process of placing Denton’s next City Attorney.
  2. Filling the Role of City Auditor – Our city charter calls for the position of a City Auditor who reports directly to the City Council.  For reasons that I am unable to rationalize, Denton has been without a City Auditor since 2010.  Filling this vacancy is an issue that this current council has thankfully worked together on to remedy in this budget cycle.  On Tuesday we will approve an employment contract that Mayor Watts will be able to execute with our selected candidate.  Some of the important responsibilities of our City Auditor include:  auditing for internal control and compliance with policy and procedures; reviews of operations performance across the organization;  risk assessment; review and analysis of quarterly financial statements; review of third party contracts to ensure that the City’s financial interests are adequately addressed.
  3. Our New City Manager – This week we will be welcoming our new City Manager Todd Hileman as he takes his seat and begins working in service of our city.  I look forward to working with City Manager Hileman and wish he and his family well as they join our community.
Road Work Ahead:  These are the construction projects underway of the next few weeks.  This includes information about road closures, estimated dates of completion, the scope of work, and the department or entity overseeing the work.

Denton County Homeless Coalition
On January 26 the Denton County Homeless Coalition (DCHC) will be conducting its Point in Time (PIT) count of the homeless population across Denton County.  I will be one of the nearly 70 volunteers who will be putting boots on the ground to get out and collect this important baseline information on our homeless population.  The PIT greatly affects funding, both private and public, for homeless services and affects the methodology of those services. A thorough count is crucial in identifying and understanding both the progress we’ve made and the gaps within our services. By continuing to assess who our homeless are, where they are, their needs, and how they are interacting with services across Denton County, community leadership will be able to continually improve coordinated efforts to compassionately end homelessness within our community.  I am passionate about this effort and am honored to represent our City along with other community leaders and officials who have dedicated their time to this cause.  I am currently at work serving as chair on the strategic committee for the DCHC. Learn more about the DCHC and how you cna help at endhomelessnessdenton.com
It Has Been an Honor to Serve You District 2
Local election season is upon us once again here in the City of Denton.  In May, we the citizens of Denton will cast district level votes on who will serve on our City Council.  This coming election will continue to bring change to our city leadership. Councilmembers Roden, Hawkins, and Wazny will be vacating their seats meaning that at least three of the seven seats on council will be filled with new leadership for our community.  I would like to volunteer myself to serve you and the rest of District 2 for another two years.  I will be officially filing for the upcoming election next week.
Future Agenda Items:  These are City Council discussion and action items tentatively on the calendar between now and early April.  If you see something that you would like to provide input on or have questions about just let me know.
Are You Reading These City Newsletters?
Keep up with our Libraries and Sustainable Denton. The links below will take you to recent newsletters from each.  Subscribe and stay informed.  I applaud the ongoing effort of these departments to better engage, inform, and serve our citizens.

Tax Limitation Proposition (Tax Freeze) Information
There will be an item on the ballot of the May 6, 2017 election to consider authorizing a ceiling or limitation on the City of Denton ad valorem tax levy for persons who are disabled and persons sixty-five years of age or older who receive a homestead exemption.

The documents below were presented to the City Council in a January 10 work session to provide information on estimated fiscal impacts of the proposed tax freeze:

As a collective body, Council has had ample opportunity to discuss, debate, and take possible action for or against this proposed tax freeze. As a collective body, Council opted to put the decision directly in the hands of our voting population.  As such, you should not see or hear Councilmembers advocating for or against (electioneering) this proposed tax freeze on May’s ballot.  All I can do is recommend that you get informed, get engaged, and show up on election day to cast a vote for what you think is the right thing for our community.

That’s All for Now
Please let me know if you have any ideas, comments, questions, or concerns regarding our community.  I am here to listen and discuss.

Your humble representative,

Keely G. Briggs
District 2, City of Denton, Texas