Engage D2: Are we really cutting back recycling programs?; The future of City Hall West; Apply for a city board position; Industrial Street Park

Engage D2: June 24, 2018

On Tuesday, June 26 at 11:00 AM the City Council will be having an open work session followed by a special called meeting.  The agenda for this work session and special called meeting is linked here:  http://legistar2.granicus.com/denton-tx/meetings/2018/6/1530_A_City_Council_18-06-26_Meeting_Agenda.pdf

If you have any questions, concerns, or points for clarification please let me know.   My comments on a few agenda items of note for the week are offered below.

PLEASE NOTE:  I will not be present at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.  I will be in Little Rock, AR serving on the National Legue of Cities (NLC) committee for Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources (EENR).  The agenda for this meeting is linked here: https://www.nlc.org/sites/default/files/users/user167/Energy-Environment-and-Natural-Resources-Committee-Book-SBLM-.pdf

The EENR is one of seven NLC policy and advocacy committees and is comprised of Mayors and Council Members from across the country.  The EENR is responsible for developing policy positions on issues involving air quality, water quality, energy policy, national wetlands policy, noise control, and solid hazardous waste management.


Swearing in our Newest Council Member
With the runoff election for the at-large place 5 council seat now over, we will be canvassing the election the election returns (making it official) and swearing in our newest member of City Council.   This is always a special time for incoming Council Members and their families. I look forward to working with Council Member Armintor and would like to congratulate her.  I would also like to thank outgoing Council Member Dalton Gregory for his many years of service and leadership on our City Council and within our community.

Review of Solid Waste and Recycling Department’s Landfill Collections Operations: 
Backup Materials and Presentation linked HERE
A consultant (Blue Ridge Services) was hired to evaluate Denton’s Solid Waste and Recycling programs, policies, operating procedures, and organizational structure.  The results of their evaluation include recommendations to eliminate underperforming programs, increase efficiency in core operations, and to reorganize the departments reporting structure.  Blue Ridge Services will be presenting their findings to Council on Tuesday.  I have immediate concerns with some of the recommendations that Blue Ridge is making:

  • Recycling collection moved to every other week instead of weekly
  • Eliminating the household chemical collection service
  • Scrap plans for multi-family residential recycling 

I have asked for any recommendations that have to do with recycling, sustainability, or hazardous materials to first be reviewed and vetted by the Council Committee on the Environment before being brought back to council for full consideration.   It is my hope that this request is seen as logical and agreeable to my fellow council members.  I am all for operational efficiency and cost savings in city operations – all for it.  But we need to make sure that we are keeping the services that we provide congruent with our community’s values.  If you would like to email council to express your opinion on this item please contact us before Tuesday using the form at the bottom of this linked page:  https://www.cityofdenton.com/en-us/government/city-officials/city-council

City Hall West Discussion
Backup materials and presentations linked HERE
The City Hall West Steering Committee is making a recommendation that City Hall West (CHW) become a functional multipurpose arts center. I am encouraged by this direction and think that this use will help to preserve CHW and make it a great asset and compliment to our community.

Boards and Commissions
Backup material linked HERE
We have eighteen standing boards and commissions in the City of Denton.  City Council Members are responsible for making nominations and/or confirming appointees to these boards.  Council will be submitting their remaining board nominations to the City Secretary by July 27th and will be working to complete and confirm nominations by August 21st.  If you are interested in serving on a board I urge you to review our Boards, Commissions, and Committees page and fill out an application:  https://www.cityofdenton.com/en-us/government/boards-commissions-committees

Council Committee Assignments
Backup material linked HERE
With new faces on City Council, we find ourselves with several open seats on our twenty Council Committee positions.  These committee assignments are filled by council members and are not to be confused with board and commission assignments.  I currently serve on eleven committees and have asked to continue with those assignments.

Industrial Street Park (Industrial Park)
Backup material and presentation linked HERE
We will be receiving a report from staff and giving direction on the design and construction of a small pocket park located near downtown on Industrial Street.  There are several design options to review (see link above to look at them yourself).  Ultimately, if we are to move forward, we are working toward some dates to receive input from the public as well as the Main Street Association.   I think we need to discuss this project and what it has the potential to add to this mixed-use (residential and businesses) are of our downtown.  I am partial to designs 3 and 4.  Design 4 was put together by our staff and included a small stage area, trees, and green space (the less concrete the better in my mind).

That is all for now.  Please let me know your questions, comments, concerns, and ideas.

Your humble representative,

Keely G. Briggs