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Links for Thursday, August 15, 2013:

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Mayor's Minutes

by Ricky White

I would like to begin this months minutes by discussing the difference between a “City” and a “Community”. I am reading a book, “The Gift of a Community”. (author Gary D. McCaleb) . Gary was the Mayor of Abilene, TX.. for 9 years. He looked at the “City” and the “Community” through two separate lenses. The “City” represented the tangible and the measurable: streets, concrete, asphalt and the “Community” represented the intangibles that was more difficult to measure: respect, compassion and trust. Both “City” and “Community” are important. Both must be given attention by the concerned citizens, elected officials and the non-elected leaders.

It seems we pay more attention to the “City” issues than the issues of the “Community”. It’s easier to measure the progress of the “seen” than the “unseen”. It’s easier to make rules and ordinates related to the “City” than the “Community”. You can purchase a “City” but no one can purchase a “Community”. It’s up to every citizen to build the trust, compassion and respect from each other. Let’s all work on making our “City” a better “Community”.

The rain has been fantastic!!!!!!!!!! But, with the rain, we have had lots of weeds and the weeds need to be addressed. We all need to keep our weeds down and under control. Please take the time and effort to keep the weeds mowed down on your property. Your neighbors will gain more trust, compassion and respect for you. In the month of July, the city has mailed out over 100 letters to citizens asking them to get the weeds mowed down. (alleys are a big concern)

1) Housing: The Whaley lots are cleaned and ready to build on. We are still in the talking stage with a contractor to convince him to come to Friona and build the much needed homes. We are closer, but no final agreements at this time.

2) Police department: Chief Officer Mooney and policeman were extremely busy in July. There were 254 calls for service, 16 arrests, 64 citations and 124 warnings handed out. Chief Officer Mooney has applied for a grant that will hopefully bring us an officer that will be dedicated to the school system. If the grant is approved and everything works out as planned, we will have an officer available sometime in September or October.

3) Court: Judge Campbell continues to stay very busy. There were 86 new cases in July, 39 cases trialed by Judge. The court collected $14,858.24 in total fines.

4) Volunteer fire department: We had only one fire call in the month of July-meter gas leak.

5) EMS: The ambulance was called out 25 times in July. We had 8 total 911 calls and 13 transfers. EMS collected $14,066.78, which is good due to this money is difficult to collect at times.

6) Library: There were 1805 patrons visiting the library in July. Two new members added to the Friona Public Library Advisory Board-Ann Kelley and Kathy Sandoval. We would like to thank them for volunteering their time and effort to serve on this board. There was a generous donation made to the Library in July by Ben McCain and his wife from Hollywood CA. (formally from Bovina). Ben’s former teacher (Rita Mast) spoke very highly of the Friona Public Library and loved to read books and encouraged others to read. The McCain’s made the generous donation to the Friends of the Library in memory of Rita Mast (Chris Alexander’s mother who recently passed away).

7) American Red Cross: Will be back in Friona on August 20th to survey some buildings to be designated as approved shelters. We met with the Red Cross officials in July and are making progress in getting some approved shelters identified and also getting the volunteers trained. The training aspect will be coming in the near future.

8) The FEDC and city officials met with the Texas Department of Transportation to discuss the possibility of constructing a merging lane that feeds onto highway 60 off of main street. The lot just north of the Post Office (recently purchased by the FEDC) will be the area where the merging lane will be added. The discussions with the Texas Department of Transportation concerning this addition was very positive. The Texas Department of Transportation will be working on highway 60 (inside city limits) beginning sometime around July 2014. If the agreement can be made to add the merging lane, then it would be added at that time. We would like to thank the FEDC for their efforts in getting this much need project completed.

9) Water: Usage was down a little compared to the month of June. Due to the needed rainfall, yards were not watered as much as the month of June. The city pumped 21,267,900 gallons, sold 20,456,000 gallons and billed $84,366.41. (down approximately $3,000.00 from June.)

Lastly the city will be out spraying this month to keep the mosquito population down to a minimum. We would like to thank everyone in advance for their efforts in keeping the weeds mowed down.