Danieldale Weekly Update 4/30/2021

Last week, installation of the 60-inch storm pipes and 8-inch sanitary sewer was paused due to utility conflicts which are being resolved.

Next, the contractor will install a portion of the water main to fix one of the conflicts and then move east of Sunset Blvd. to install the storm sewer at that location.

The City will work with AT&T to deconflict their cable which is currently conflicting with the sewer main.

City of Duncanville City Secretary’s Office Awarded Achievement of Excellence Award

texas municipal clerks office award of excellence

On Monday, April 12, 2021 the Texas Municipal Clerks Association announced via their social media the names of Texas City Secretary Offices that had been awarded the organization’s Achievement of Excellence Award. Duncanville was one of 25 Texas cities that was given this recognition.

The Achievement of Excellence Award recognizes the statutory requirements and demands for the effective management of resources for proper governance by the municipal clerk’s office. The award itself recognizes municipal clerk offices throughout the state for compliance with federal, state, and local statutes that govern standards necessary to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the office. A municipal clerk’s office must have met and demonstrated 9 of 12 standards to be eligible to receive the award. The 12 standards considered by a committee include:

  • Records Management
  • Open Meetings Act
  • Professional Development / Certifications
  • Boards/Commissions
  • Government Transparency
  • Municipal Clerk Office Policies/Procedures
  • Elections
  • Other Areas of Responsibility
  • Awards/Recognitions
  • Innovation/Streamline Projects
  • Public Information Act
  • Departmental Training

The City Secretary’s office is responsible for conducting city elections, maintaining records, certification of legal documents, public notice of City Council meetings, keeping the minutes of those meetings, and many other crucial tasks. The Duncanville City Secretary’s office is headed by Kristin Downs who has served the city for over five years.

“The Council and I wish to congratulate Ms. Downs for this recognition of her always exceptional management of the City Secretary’s Office,” said Duncanville Mayor Barry L. Gordon.

The recipients of this distinguished award will be recognized in the June issue of the TMCA, Inc., newsletter and be officially acknowledged in October at the TMCA Awards Banquet.

Danieldale Road Weekly Update for 4/23/2021

Last week, the majority of the 8-inch sanitary sewer and parallel 60-inch storm pipes were installed at Bob Lee Blvd.

This week, the contractor will continue to install the 8-inch sanitary sewer and parallel 60-inch storm pipes. The installation will extend into the first two lanes of E. Danieldale Rd. before construction will move to Sunset Blvd. Residents of Sunset Village should anticipate a detour in the coming weeks.

City of Duncanville Names Robert D. Brown, Jr. Assistant City Manager

Robert D. Brown, Jr. - Duncanville Assistant City ManagerDuncanville, Texas – The City of Duncanville is pleased to announce the naming of Robert D. Brown, Jr. as the new Assistant City Manager. Duncanville’s former Police Chief for the past 14 years comes to this new role with a deep understanding of the community, the city, and its operations.

“Given the extended period of challenges our organization has endured – from a pandemic to the most recent ice storm, transitions at the city manager level to the untimely passing of Assistant City Manager Paul Frederiksen – I felt it was imperative to bring in a stabilizing presence,” said City Manager Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides. “Robert is a well-respected leader with a wealth of knowledge that he’ll use as he continues to serve our community.”

Robert D. Brown, Jr. began his career in law enforcement in 1983 as a Waco, Texas Patrol Officer. The Waco Police Academy graduate would later join the University Park Police Department where he served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Field Training Coordinator, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Officer, and Court Bailiff. He quickly advanced through the ranks and was recognized as the first African American sergeant, lieutenant, and captain in the University Park Police Department’s history.

Mr. Brown is a graduate of the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration in Plano, Texas, and the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He holds a Master of Peace Officer Certification, a Bachelor of Business Administration from Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Texas, and a Master of Business Administration Degree in Management from Amberton University in Garland, Texas.

He was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Duncanville, Texas on February 5, 2007.

“Tapping Robert Brown to serve as our Assistant City Manager is the right choice for our city at the right time,” said Duncanville Mayor Barry L. Gordon. “As our city emerges from so many successive challenges, we need the leadership that the combination of Ms. Ferrell-Benavides and Mr. Brown will provide.”

Mr. Brown’s resignation from his position as Police Chief became effective on Saturday, April 25, 2021. His official start as Assistant City Manager is Sunday, April 26th. He previously served as the Interim Assistant City Manager since March 20, 2021. Mark LiVigni will continue to serve as the City’s Interim Police Chief.

Duncanville Receives Prestigious Governor’s Community Achievement Award

Duncanville is One of Ten Winning Communities to Receive the State Environmental Award and a Share of $2 Million in Prize Money

Duncanville, Texas – Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) has recognized Duncanville as one of ten winners of the 2021 Governor’s Community Achievement Awards (GCAA) for outstanding community improvement. KTB, in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), has awarded the GCAA to Texas communities for more than 50 years. This year, the ten winning communities will share $2 million in landscape funding from TxDOT; Duncanville will receive $210,000 for a landscaping project.

The award is one of the most coveted annual environmental and community improvement honors in Texas. A community’s environmental program is judged by a group of diverse, multi-sector judges on achievements in seven environmental and community improvement areas: public awareness and outreach, environmental education, beautification and community improvement, litter prevention and cleanup, solid waste management, litter law, and illegal dumping enforcement.

Duncanville is proud to receive this award. The City of Duncanville and Keep Duncanville Beautiful, a Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful affiliate, have partnered on environmental and beautification programs which include, but are not limited to:

  • a Household Hazardous Waste event in the spring;
  • two city-wide Operation: Clean Duncanville events in the spring and fall;
  • a Property Improvement Program that assists property owners who are unable to make home repairs due to life circumstances;
  • an Annual Garden Workshop in the spring; and
  • proactive efforts to enforce codes and combat illegal dumping.

The City of Duncanville received 2nd place in 2019 and made a dedicated effort in 2020 to do more, be better, and get more individuals involved in keeping Duncanville beautiful.

“The Governor’s Community Achievement Award is a positive recognition of the Keep Duncanville Beautiful board’s hard work, commitment, and success in the beautification of our community,” said Duncanville Mayor Barry L. Gordon.

The GCAA program has recognized outstanding communities since 1969, with TxDOT providing landscaping award funding since 1985. Duncanville will be honored during KTB’s Annual Conference, which will take place virtually from June 29 through July 1. Other winning communities include Athens, Denton, Friendswood, Gatesville, Cuero, Mansfield, McKinney, Muenster, and San Saba.

To learn more about GCAA and this year’s winners, visit ktb.org/gcaa.

DUNCANVILLE WELCOMES NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

City of Duncanville Logo

DUNCANVILLE WELCOMES NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

The City of Duncanville continues its focus on creating a healthy local economy with the enlistment of an experienced economic development leader

agustin gus garciaDuncanville, Texas – The City of Duncanville is pleased to announce and welcome Agustin “Gus” Garcia as the City’s Director of Economic Development. Mr. Garcia will be focused on community development and economic opportunity here in Duncanville.

Agustin Garcia, who attended Duncanville’s Acton Elementary and Byrd Middle School, returns to the city as an economic development and civic leader with over 17 years of experience. He will begin working with the City on April 15.

He is a dual certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the National Development Council (NDC) who also holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Mr. Garcia brings a wide array of experience working with local communities and state agencies. He has most recently served as an economic development consultant for numerous private and public agencies in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, and South Texas.

Agustin Garcia’s career began in the private sector working as a senior accountant for two Fortune 500 companies. In 2000 he transferred to Rio Grande Valley as an Administrator/Comptroller for a regional physician group where he eventually led the organization to build a Long-Term Acute Care Hospital for the Dallas-based Lifecare Hospital System. The position evolved into him becoming a regional real estate development Vice President where he developed mixed-use projects in the medical, commercial, and residential spaces. Mr. Garcia was also a Councilmember for the City of Edinburg, serving from 2005 to 2013.

His career in development and working with numerous local and state government entities led him to eventually serve in the public sector as the Executive Director of Economic Development for the City of Edinburg, Texas. He was instrumental in development projects that added over 4,000 jobs, increased sports tourism, and helped the city get its first New Market Tax Credit in the amount of $29 million dollars.

Agustin has lobbied in Austin and Washington D.C. and testified before several state legislative committees successfully lobbying for tax incentives, Hotel Occupancy Taxes, Airport Funding, and the South Texas Health System Enterprise Zones.

Agustin currently lives in Little Elm, Texas with his wife Tonya, a career and technical education instructor in forensic science, and criminal justice for the Denton Independent School District following a 10-year career as a federal law enforcement agent for Homeland security. Together they have four children: Soledad, Halle, Gus III, and Pilar.

Mad Times

So many things in this world seem wrong to many people in many different ways. There are so many different viewpoints on how things ought to be done and how life ought to be lived. Some believe their freedoms are being trampled on by others. Others view people different from themselves as dangerous, and not worthy. Some trust the government or at least some of the elected officials, others think the government should barely exist at all.

In the book 1984 by George Orwell, the government looms large and ominous. Big brother is everywhere you are. There is no freedom of movement or thought. Everywhere there are screens watching your every move, scrutinizing every facial tic and word uttered. People often disappear for unknown reasons. In this world, the government is constantly  changing written history so that only the narrative they want is available. There is no truth to things;  everyone is made to believe a lie. If you question anything, you  will get found out and tortured to believe nonsense like 2+2=5. This book gets you to think that when we have dishonest officials spreading a false narrative, the world can get very dangerous indeed. What is truth and what are we to believe?  Who is right and true and looking to serve you and the greater good? Reading this book, I was reminded to be careful of what I take in and what I believe to be true. Indeed, everyone should, so that we do not descend into a chaotic world, like what is portrayed in 1984.

This book was fascinating, but there was not a happy ending. The book was full of misery and the misery was never ending.  So, if you do not like unhappy endings and you would rather not think about how bad things could really get, don’t read this book. If you would like to expand your thinking and world view,  this book is definitely worth a read.

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As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.

A bit of light reading

Like many people trying to survive in this pandemic world, I’ve been dutifully staying at home. Like everyone else stuck at home, I  shamelessly indulge in way too much TV. One recent binge worthy day was spent engrossed in Bridgerton. Belatedly, I discovered that the show was based on a book series by Julia Quinn. Normally I have a strict ‘read the book first’ policy. The reason is that as I delighted in the sappy romance of Daphne and Simon in visual form, I was denied what my imagination could have cooked up.  Instead of seeing Daphne, her colorful family, and brooding Simon in my own way, I saw the characters as they were portrayed in the show. To me, discovering characters this way is backwards and plain wrong. Nevertheless, I will continue reading the Bridgerton series.

The cover of the book "The Duke & I"The first book in the series is The Duke & I. This is a quick read that is both fun and engaging. It is slightly different than the show,  and I won’t say what those differences are except they are among my favorites. My mind has been spoiled by the characters in the show, but I know I’ll still enjoy the books. Especially the tidbits that won’t make it in the show and are seen by my own imagination! As you can see even the newest cover of the book is spoiled by the show… but this is the copy the library has.

 

 

Dear reader, I  must warn you that this series includes a second epilogue at the end of each book that is full of spoilers. If you do not like spoilers do not read them. They are all put together in a separate book called The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After. I haven’t made up my mind whether I’ll continue to read the second epilogue. I love epilogues and don’t know if I can resist peeking.

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As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.

The Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The ALA has presented this award since 1922. The 2021 Newbery Medal winner is “When You Trap a Tiger” by Tae Keller.

book cover art of "When you trap a tiger"

When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her Halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal–return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health–Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice…and the courage to face a tiger.

Five Newbery Honor Books were also recognized in 2021.

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team” by Christina Soontornvat

BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom” by Carole Boston Weatherford

Fighting Words” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

We Dream of Space” by Erin Entrada Kelly

A Wish in the Dark” by Christina Soontornvat

We have all these titles at the library. Click the link to see if it’s currently available or checked out. No fear if it’s checked out; you can place it on hold!

The Newbery Medal winners are all shelved together in the Junior Fiction section so come take a look. If you need help, just ask at the Information Desk and we’ll take you there.

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As always, catch us on social media or comment below. If you have a library question, call 972-780-5052 or email librarians@duncanville.com.

Danieldale Road Update for 4/16/2021

Last week, the left and middle eastbound lanes were closed so the contractor could locate the existing utilities. The contractor also installed filter fabric fencing and inlet protection to keep the City’s storm sewer system free of dirt and debris.

This week, the right and middle eastbound lanes will be closed. The contractor will be replacing the existing storm sewer at Bob Lee Blvd with two 60-inch pipes. The contractor will also be installing the sanitary sewer system along Bob Lee Blvd..