Duncanville Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month!

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 because many significant anniversaries of Latin American independence fall on Sept. 15, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

The yearly observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to become a 30-day period. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

Reference: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/hispanic-heritage-month.html

Generations of Hispanic Americans have positively contributed to and enriched American society. On the website https://hispanicheritagemonth.gov, one can explore many documents, exhibits, films, blog posts and other things from the National Archives and Presidential Libraries highlighting Hispanic culture.

And a website entitled “How to Celebrate Hispanic Month in North Texas” features a listing of local events, such as the Mexican Rodeo Celebration at the State Fair, the art market and various exhibits and performances at the Latino Cultural Center, and other opportunities.

Reference: https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/how-to-celebrate-hispanic-heritage-month-in-north-texas/2742024/

Dia De Los Muertos

Duncanville, with a diverse population that includes many people of Hispanic heritage, boasts a number of Mexican restaurants and three Hispanic markets—Terry’s on Camp Wisdom, La Michoacana Meat Market on 67, and Supermercade Monterrey on Danieldale.

Our lives, in fact, would be impoverished without the presence of our many Hispanic citizens—so we might consider celebrating Hispanic Heritage the entire year, whatever our background.

Along with Halloween, the Day of the Dead is coming up (November 1–2), with more opportunities to learn about and enjoy a meaningful and colorful Hispanic tradition.

So, let’s celebrate and embrace Hispanic people and cultures!

Article Submitted by Anne Perry, Commissioner
Multicultural Social Engagement Partnership (MSEP)

Learn more about the Multicultural Social Engagement Partnership.

City of Duncanville Announces Police Chief Finalists

Duncanville, TX (October 4, 2021) – The City of Duncanville has narrowed the search for its next Police Chief for the Duncanville Police Department to three exceptionally qualified candidates.

The previous Police Chief, Robert D. Brown, Jr., was promoted earlier this year to Assistant City Manager for the City of Duncanville. By utilizing both websites and publications to promote the open position, the City garnered 26 applications and an impressive pool of candidates that have since been narrowed down to three finalists.

On Thursday, October 14, 2021, the City will hold a Community Meet & Greet from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM at the D.L. Hopkins Senior Center, 206 James Collins Blvd., Duncanville, TX 75116. This event will allow Duncanville residents and stakeholders the opportunity to interact with and ask questions of the finalists.

The finalists:

2021 - LiVigni, Mark

Mark LiVigni has more than 28 years of policing experience and most recently has served as the City of Duncanville’s Interim Police Chief since March 2021. His previous service experience includes:

  • Assistant Police Chief – City of Duncanville, Texas (2017-2021)
  • Police Lieutenant – City of Duncanville, Texas (2002-2017)
  • Police Sergeant – City of Duncanville, Texas (1998-2002)
  • Police Officer – City of Duncanville, Texas (1993-1998)
  • Detention Service Officer – Dallas County, Texas (1992-1993)

Mr. LiVigni attended the FBI National Academy graduating from the 233rd Session of the Executive Law Enforcement Management. He also holds a Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas and other professional certifications.

2021 - Steidle, Daniel 2

Daniel L. Steidle has 32 years of law enforcement experience and currently serves as the Pacifica, California Police Department’s Chief of Police since 2015. His previous public service experience includes:

  • Captain – Pacifica Police Department, California (2013-2015)
  • Detective Sergeant – Pacifica Police Department, California (2009-2012)
  • Administrative Sergeant – Pacifica Police Department, California (2008-2009)
  • Patrol Sergeant – Pacifica Police Department, California (2005-2008)
  • Corporal/Field Training Officer – Pacifica Police Department, California (1997-2005)

Mr. Steidle holds a Master of Science – Strategic Leadership from Mountain State University, a Bachelor of Science – Criminal Justice from Mountain State University, an Associate of Arts – Liberal Arts from Diablo Valley College, and additional certifications.

2021 - Turner, Derrick

Derrick D. Turner has 15 years of police experience and is currently serving as Lieutenant, Special Operations Division, for the Port of Portland Police Department in Portland, Oregon, since July 2019. His previous public service experience includes:

  • Lieutenant/Patrol Operations – Port of Portland Police Department, Oregon (2018-2019)
  • Sergeant – Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Michigan (2013-2018)
  • Investigator – Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Michigan (2010-2013)
  • Public Safety Officer – Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Michigan (2007-2010)
  • Police Officer – Ferris State University Department of Public Safety, Michigan (2004-2006, 2007-2007)

Mr. Turner holds a Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice from Ferris State University and other professional certifications.

The three finalists will go through a series of interviews conducted by different City department panels, a police chief panel, and be in attendance for the Meet & Greet with Duncanville residents and stakeholders on October 14. The new Duncanville Police Chief will be announced in October 2021.

City of Duncanville to Launch Redesigned Website in 2022

DUNCANVILLE, TX – The City of Duncanville is proud to announce that an agreement has been signed with Intrado Interactive Services for the redesign and hosting of the Duncanville.com and DuncanvilleFieldhouse.com websites. These redesigns will be done with a user-centered focus, enhancing the ease of access to important information, municipal services, resources, schedules, and departments for residents, businesses, developers, and visitors to the City of Duncanville. The new design will be responsive, built based on how users interact with the websites as determined by data analytics, better align with Americans with Disabilities (ADA) standards, and offer multiple language options.

“We are very excited that a new website is being developed,” City Manager Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides said. “It is important that Duncanville residents and businesses have an easy-to-use website for engaging with City Hall.”

The City’s current websites do not offer mobile-friendly or tablet-friendly designs, are not in line with the Brand Standards that were adopted by City Council in 2019, and no longer serve Duncanville residents who have come to expect better overall functionality from the sites they interact with. This redesign will address those and other concerns as well as implement changes based on the lessons learned while communicating crucial information to the public during both the pandemic and 2021 winter storm.

“Marketing our great city is also key to attracting the kinds of development residents have been asking for,” added Gus Garcia, Duncanville’s Director of Economic Development. “These days, a website is the way to make a positive first impression. Through this redesign process, Duncanville will get the web presence that truly represents the greatness of our city, which helps attract new economic development to our community.”

Although Duncanville.com is a governmental website, it will continue to offer useful information for Duncanville residents and those interested in tourism, relocation, and investment.

“This website redesign is in alignment with the City Council’s Capstone of the ‘Most Engaged Citizens in America,’” said Mayor Barry L. Gordon. “Advancements in web technologies have made it easier to have information and services at our fingertips. I’m extremely happy that this redesign will make those conveniences available for Duncanville residents.”

The redesign process will take from 4 to 6 months to complete and a website relaunch is anticipated for the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2022.

ERCOT unveils Roadmap to Improving Grid Reliability

Comprehensive operations changes already underway


AUSTIN, TX, July 13, 2021 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has delivered the “Roadmap to Improving Grid Reliability” to Governor Greg Abbott, members of the Texas Legislature and the Public Utility Commission (PUC). The Roadmap is a comprehensive plan that addresses operational improvements to the Texas power grid, including important legislative changes, objectives outlined in the Governor’s letter issued July 6 and other reforms.

“Change is required for ERCOT to continue to reliably serve the millions of customers and businesses that depend on us,” said ERCOT Interim President and CEO Brad Jones. “We have extensively reviewed our processes to better serve Texans and will continue to work very closely with the PUC to ensure we’re aligned in these efforts. These changes will benefit all Texans and support continued economic growth for the state of Texas.”

The 60-item Roadmap is available on ERCOT.com and will be updated regularly through the end of the year.

“ERCOT’s Roadmap puts a clear focus on protecting customers while also ensuring that Texas maintains free market incentives to bring new generation to the state,” said PUC Chairman and ERCOT Board Member Peter Lake. “Texans deserve a more reliable grid, and we’re aggressively moving to make that a reality.”

The roadmap includes both existing and new initiatives, including:

  • Taking a more aggressive operating approach. ERCOT is bringing more generation online sooner if it is needed to balance supply and demand. The grid operator is also purchasing more reserve power, especially on days when the weather forecast is uncertain.
  • Requiring CEO certifications. After a rule change, all market participants who own or operate generation resources and/or transmission/distribution power lines will be required to submit a letter signed by their CEO twice a year certifying their companies have completed their weatherization preparations to protect the electric grid for the summer and winter seasons.
  • Adding new requirements for generation owners. ERCOT is proposing a new market rule that requires generators to provide operational updates more frequently.
  • Assessing on-site fuel supplies. ERCOT is reviewing the need for on-site fuel supplies for some generators.
  • Performing unannounced testing of generation resources. This testing helps verify that generators have provided accurate information about their availability.
  • Addressing transmission constraints in Rio Grande Valley. ERCOT and the PUC are initiating a process to address RGV transmission limitations and provide increased market access for resources in the Valley. This will improve reliability for customers during normal conditions and high-risk weather events.

In developing the Roadmap, Jones and the ERCOT team worked with the PUC, customers, former regulators, retired industry executives, environmental advocates and market participants to ensure all areas for improvement were considered and included.

2021 Independence Day Parade & Celebration

The City of Duncanville hosts an incredible day of family-friendly fun to celebrate Independence Day! Guests can enjoy a parade in the morning, then come back in the evening for a night of great music, delicious food and fun for kids and adults of all ages.

Independence Day Parade

Saturday, July 3, 2021
9:00 am

The Independence Day Parade is facilitated by the Duncanville Lion’s Club and begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, July 3, 2021. The Parade route starts on Wheatland Road at Freeman Street, heads west and turns right on North Main Street then ends at North Main Street and Freeman Street.

Residents are welcome to set up blankets and chairs along the parade route to enjoy the fun and creative float entries.

Interested in being part of the Independence Day Parade? Fill out the parade application to participate!

Independence Day Celebration

Saturday, July 3, 2021
6:00 pm
Armstrong Park | 100 James Collins Blvd

Celebrate our country’s Independence at a family-friendly event featuring live music, delicious food, bounce houses, face painters & more! Guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Wristbands are required for entry – pick up wristbands at the Recreation Center starting June 14; limit 5 per person and must be 18 years old or older. Bags and coolers subject to inspection. No alcohol, glass containers, tents, canopies, large umbrellas, non-service animals, personal drones or fireworks allowed.

The fireworks show will begin around 9:30 pm.

Vendors & Sponsors

Interested in being part of the Independence Day Celebration as a vendor or sponsor? Fill out the vendor application to participate!

For more information, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 972-780-5070. The City of Duncanville recommends social distancing and masks.

2021 Memorial Day Ceremony

Memorial Day is a U.S. federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May to honor all Americans who died while serving in military. This year, Memorial Day will be observed on Monday, May 31, 2021.

“In Flanders Fields”

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The City of Duncanville, in partnership with American Legion Post 81 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7843, respectfully invites you to be a part of the Memorial Day Ceremony held Monday, May 31, 2021 beginning at 10 a.m. in Memorial Park. Click here to download a copy of the program.

Date:     May 31, 2021

Time:    10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Venue: Memorial Park – 101 North Main Street

Road closures on Santa Fe/Main Street slip will begin at 8:00 a.m. and Main Street will be closed at 9:00 a.m.

Due to COVID-19, no reception will be held after the event. The City of Duncanville recommends social distancing and face masks.

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.


City of Duncanville Logo


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.

Duncanville ISD to Host Spanish-Speaking Drive-Through COVID Vaccination Registration

Duncanville ISD


Duncanville ISD is offering an opportunity for Spanish-speaking members of our community to learn about the importance of being vaccinated against COVID-19.

The district is hosting a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination registration event on Saturday, April 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m at Hastings Elementary School (602 W. Center St, Duncanville). Volunteers will be there to help members of the Duncanville ISD community register to receive a vaccine.

The effort is intended to assist members of the Duncanville ISD family who have not registered to be vaccinated because of a lack of information or support.

Last week the district partnered with Parkland Hospital to host two webinars with doctors from Parkland Hospital. In those sessions, the doctors informed district parents and other members of the Hispanic community about COVID-19, the different types of vaccines and encouraged them to register for the vaccine.

The webinar and drive-through registration event are made possible by a partnership with The Concilio. The Fort Worth-based community group aims to increase opportunities for Hispanic families.

También se invita a los miembros hispanohablantes del ISD de Duncanville participar en un evento de inscripción para la vacunación contra COVID-19 con servicio a su automóvil el sábado, 17 de abril, de 9:00 a. m. a 12:00 p. m. en la Escuela Primaria Hastings (602 W. Center St, Duncanville).  Habrá voluntarios para ayudar a los miembros de la comunidad del ISD de Duncanville inscribirse para recibir la vacuna.

For additional information and updates from the City of Duncanville visit:

City of Duncanville Council and Staff Mourn the Passing of Assistant City Manager Paul Frederiksen

Paul Frederiksen

Duncanville, Texas – Duncanville Mayor Barry L. Gordon, the City Council, City Manager Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides, and staff are stunned and heartbroken after learning of Assistant City Manager Paul Frederiksen’s unexpected passing on Friday, March 12, 2021.

Mr. Frederiksen was hired as the Assistant City Manager by former Duncanville City Manager Kevin Hugman in 2017. He had most recently served as the Interim City Manager while the Duncanville City Council worked through the lengthy process of recruiting a new Manager. He’d accepted the interim position during a difficult time for the world and our city. As both Interim and Assistant City Manager he led city staff through the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, the winter storm that impacted Texas and neighboring states.

“When disaster was declared, Paul put his already exceptional leadership skills into action,” said Mayor Barry L. Gordon. “We were in crisis mode dealing with unprecedented critical issues around the clock. There were no days off. Not for a man who led by example. Not until our city and citizens were taken care of.”

Councilmember Joe Veracruz added, “Paul demonstrated true leadership by assembling the Department Directors, implementing an emergency plan, and continually communicating with the City Council.”

“Paul performed at an extraordinary level during his time serving as Interim City Manager for Duncanville,” said Councilmember Johnette Jameson. “His leadership through the snowstorm that caused the electrical power grid failure that left many without electricity for days was inspiring. He worked tirelessly to care for the citizens as we teetered acutely close to losing our water.”

Paul Frederiksen had dedicated his life to serving others, which is revealed through a long career in government that started with his work as a City of Dallas Planning Technician. His career path would eventually lead to his becoming the Town Manager of Argyle, Texas and ultimately bring him to the City of Duncanville where he served as the Assistant City Manager. Throughout his career he simultaneously focused on both the bigger picture and the individual citizen, always striving to create a better place for people to live, work and play. Mr. Frederiksen worked hard for the citizenry without a wish for credit or accolade.

“I am very proud to have worked with Paul in the cities of Dallas and Duncanville,” said Councilmember Patrick Harvey. “I respected him for his focus and dedication. He was kind, considerate, compassionate, and conducted himself with integrity.”

“Even prior to assuming the role of Interim City Manager, Paul consistently gave Duncanville his all,” Mayor Gordon said. “He was the dependable rock everyone looked to for wisdom, guidance, and discernment. He had the deep professional love and respect of the city council, the entire city staff, and his many peers and colleagues throughout the metroplex.”

“He was well liked, had a great sense of humor and worked with diligence to help move Duncanville forward,” Councilmember Don McBurnett said.

“Paul was an absolute joy to work with,” said Ms. Jameson. “As he conducted city business, he would reveal a dry sense of humor much like my father’s. He always made me laugh. When the Council was on the dais during meetings, he would sit on the front row of the auditorium. I always enjoyed watching his expression when something or someone provided unexpected entertainment.”

“Paul was the ultimate Municipal Government professional with knowledge in numerous areas, which made him a major resource for our councilmembers, staff, and citizens,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mark D. Cooks. “And his humor and laughter would leave me in tears during and after meetings. His untimely departure will leave a void in my heart.”

Councilmember Don McBurnett said, “The news of Paul Frederiksen passing came as heartfelt shock.  This is a tremendous loss for the City Council, his coworkers, friends and family. Prayers for his family and the countless people he touched.”

“I cannot begin to express my gratitude for his dedication, leadership, and selfless efforts. His loyalty will never be forgotten,” Councilmember Joe Veracruz said. “My thoughts and prayers are with the Frederiksen family.”

“My husband, Ted Benavides, and I have known Paul for many years, and I was very excited to finally work alongside him after being given the opportunity to serve as Duncanville’s City Manager,” said Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides. “Our city has lost a knowledgeable and dedicated public servant and I have lost a friend.”

“Our hearts are broken,” Councilmember Monte Anderson said. “Paul spent time with me talking about cities, how to be better collaborators and about life in general.  He always made me laugh at our problems. He used a lot of common sense to fix things and he showed me how cities, businesses and citizens could work together.  Paul was my friend.”

“His service to Duncanville will never be forgotten and will always be appreciated,” Councilmember Jameson added. “I will miss you, my friend, but I know that I will see you again.”

“There are no words that can sufficiently express the impact of his passing,” Mayor Gordon added. “We pray earnestly for his entire family for God’s strength.”

Paul Frederiksen will be remembered by Duncanville City Council and staff as a champion for our city and its residents.