BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
The Flash Today
STEPHENVILLE (June 7, 2016) – The Stephenville City Council hired John Hubbard as the executive director of the Stephenville Economic Development Authority in a unanimous vote Tuesday evening as part of their regular monthly business meeting.
Hubbard is ready to hit the ground running and expressed excitement about his move to the Stephenville community and praised the council’s ground work with SEDA.
“I’m excited and I see so much potential,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard has drawn praise himself as he rose above 20 other candidates to a final round of three before being offered the position. Most recently he has been an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas and before that he served as the executive director of the Balch Springs economic development corporation.
It was in Balch Springs where Hubbard was noted for not just developing new business, but also developing a business retention and expansion program for those “who got us where we are.”
Stephenville’s first hire for the position lasted about a week before some political tensions led to an abrupt and public end.
President of SEDA Matt Harpole explained the board’s head hunter went for the best and the best comes with a higher price based on experience and accomplishments. Hubbard’s salary will be in the range of $100,000 as opposed to the first anticipated cost of around $72,000.
UP FOR THE CHALLENGE OF MAYOR PRO TEM
With both Councilmen Rhett Harrison and Alan Nix receiving nominations for the vacant position of Mayor Pro Tem it appeared a contested vote would be in order. However, following a statement about time and experience from Councilman Brady Pendleton — Harrison declined Councilwoman Sherry Zachery’s nomination saying this wasn’t the right time.
That left Nix as the lone nominee and he stated he would accept the nomination and challenge of being Stephenville’s Mayor Pro Tem and was elected by a unanimous vote.
NEW TRAFFIC LIGHT COMING ON WASHINGTON
An agreement between the Texas Department of Transportation, Stephenville and Tarleton State University will be bringing a new traffic light to Washington and St Felix Streets. The advanced funding agreement basically amounts to Stephenville writing a check to TXDOT for the light and then being reimbursed by Tarleton who made a request for the light.
Traffic studies showed a need for the new light and Director of Public Works Nick Williams was able to assure the council the light will not cost a cent to Stephenville taxpayers.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT DISCUSSION
City Administrator Pat Bridges gave the council a break down on the much anticipated capital improvement program and the need for Stephenville to have one in place. The biggest benefit of having a plan in place is ability to apply for grants and federal funding for infrastructure items like sewers and streets.
Director of Community Service Jeremy Allen will be overseeing the first of two town hall meetings Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Stephenville Recreation Hall. A second meeting will be held June 16 at the same place and time.
Bridges will be unavailable for the first meeting but recently expressed his excitement at going to the second meeting as it represents a chance to meet with the public about their wants and needs.
A survey is expected to be available online at the city’s website at http://www.stephenvilletx.gov/
PENDLETON WILL SERVE ON NCTCOG
Councilman Pendleton will be serving as Stephenville’s voting representative at the North Texas Central Council of Governments after being “nominating” himself after discussion. Boyd Waggoner, who dropped his campaign, previously served in the position and like Waggoner – Pendleton’s work as an attorney will help cut through “red tape”.
RED TAPE AND YOUR 9-1-1 TAX DOLLARS
There’s plenty of red tape in Texas when it comes to tax dollars being collected and then the money actually reaching its intended destination. One example of tax dollars on hold is the 50 or so cents being deducted from phone bills for 9-1-1 needs and equipment.
Texas’ balanced budget has $150,000,000 Million in 9-1-1 money that has not been dispersed to places like Stephenville. That’s why the council passed by a unanimous vote to pass a resolution authorizing the creation of NCTCG’s “Regional 9-1-1 Emergency Communications District”
The area covers 13 counties and 35 cities are already part of the district roughly 15 percent of the outstanding tax dollars are due to the district.
Seven different committees were brought by Mayor Kenny Weldon for the council’s approval and Weldon said this time around was a breeze.
“I got lots of whatever you need,” Weldon said. “It was how can I help? That made the job pretty easy this time around.
BUDGET REQUESTS FROM SUNDOWN ON THE SQUARE
The highly successful Sundown on the Square is going to bigger and better this October and committee members Marion Cole, Metta Collier and Patricia Weldon were on hand to make a request to help with funding.
The group is donating funds toward the Stephenville Museum House and ground and would like to see a parking lot and street. Board member Diane Wilson pointed out that improved parking and a street will allow better access to the ground as well as the Bosque River Trail.
Wilson also suggested the possibility of using historical Thurber brick. A bid was attached to the proposal, but Wilson said it would need to be updated.