Monthly Archives: February 2016

BREAKING: Mayor Jack Pratt withdraws from race

Kerrville’s current mayor, Jack Pratt, announced today on REV-FM that he will withdraw from the 2016 mayoral campaign.

This leaves just two candidates for mayor: current city councilwoman in Place 2, Bonnie White, and challenger Glenn Andrew.

More information coming soon as it becomes available.

Council Watch: February 23, 2016

Here’s what to watch for in tonight’s City Council Meeting.

City Council Chambers at City Hall, Kerrville, Texas

City Council Chambers at City Hall, Kerrville, Texas

Peterson Farm Road Housing Development

The council will hear about a report from Freese & Nichols about how much it would cost to install utilities for the project. Read more about the development site here.

The full report can be found in the agenda packet for this meeting.

Playhouse 2000 Campus Support Facility Naming

The council will hear a request to name the facility “The Kit Werlein Annex.” Kit is the founding president of Playhouse 2000 and was instrumental in the remodeling of the current Cailloux Theater.

Video Gambling Machines

According to the council’s documentation, “The increasing temptation from the proliferation of video gambling machines in bars and restaurants can be alarming.”

The council will consider establishing a citizen’s advisory committee to study this topic.

Planning & Zoning Appointment

One alternate position is vacant and council will consider naming a replacement. The P&Z makes recommendations to council on things like zoning, sign ordinances, platting, and subdivision regulations. There are normally five regular members and two alternates. Current members include Robert Waller, Garrett Harmon, Don Barnett, Doyle Malone, William Morgan, and Rustin Zuber (alternate). Bonnie White is the council liaison.

380 agreements in other nearby cities

Kerrville doesn’t have much history with 380 agreements, but we have found lots of examples of their use in other nearby cities to help promote economic development. Here are our findings:

Boerne

The city of Boerne established a new economic development plan in 2013 that put a strong emphasis on 380 agreements. By that year, the city had already pursued seven such agreements for utility expansion, retail development, and business retention.

From their 2014 economic report:

Utility expansion 380 agreements included Mercedes Benz of Boerne, Toyota of Boerne, Woods of Boerne and Gehan Homes (Champion Heights). Another utility project that the City believes to be of great importance is the South sewer main extension with Du-Mar, Ltd. This particular project will expand our sewer utility customer base by enabling commercial development in the area, which previously did not have access to sewer service. The City also began a focused effort on business retention efforts, with Allcat Claims Service, L.P., being the first to receive incentives to not only keep, but potentially expand their business in Boerne. The seventh 380 Agreement approved by the City Council was for an apartment complex to serve the senior community of Boerne. The project would address both home inventory diversity and utility system expansion goals, but the project was not funded by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in 2013. The developer has stated they intend to seek funding again in 2014.

Boerne’s 2016 economic development plan includes a 380 agreement for a 72-unit apartment complex, and several other projects were being considered.

Fredericksburg

In 2011, Fredericksburg adopted a Chapter 380 Economic Development Program and immediately used the program to enter into a development agreement with the Former Texas Rangers Foundation for their building project on Highway 290 — a project that was originally planned for construction in Kerrville.

You know… a 380 agreement.

What is a 380 agreement? The KDT article about the Gulf Coast retail development potential mentions a 380 agreement in passing, as if all of the readership should already know what a 380 agreement is all about. I am someone who follows politics and local government pretty closely, but I was unfamiliar with that term. So here’s some more information…

Continue reading

Three’s company when it comes to council races

The race for city council keeps getting more and more crowded. As of today, we have three people running for mayor, three running for Place 3, and three running for Place 4.

If you’re keeping track at home, here are the players that have announced as of today:

Mayor Race: Jack Pratt (i), Glenn Andrew, Bonnie White

Place 3: Gary Stork (i), George Baroody, Vincent Voelkel

Place 4: Gene Allen (i), James Hart, Gene Smith

See our article: City Council Elections

KISD 2015 Academic Performance Report

As mentioned in today’s Kerrville Daily Times article, the 2014-2015 Texas Academic Performance Report for Kerrville ISD is available to view and download. We’ve added the document to our page at the link below to make it easier to find. The full report is very interesting, and I encourage all parents to download it and check it out.School

http://www.kerrvilleunited.com/wiki/uploads/kisd-report.pdf

Graduation Rates and Drop-Outs

Most surprising to me is that KISD has maintained a ZERO percent dropout rate for all grades 7-12, compared to the state average of 2-3% dropout rate. However, our district does show that 5.5% of the class of 2014 received a GED instead of regular diplomas, and only 89.5% actually graduated, compared to the state average of about 0.5% receiving GEDs, but higher than the state average for graduates (88.3%). So it appears on its face that instead of letting kids drop out, we’re moving them into GED programs, which is certainly better than dropping out!

Apparently, according to my interpretation of these stats, the last time we had ANYONE drop out of high school was back in 2011.

Advanced Courses and Dual Enrollment

One of the only areas where the district doesn’t meet with state averages is when it comes to the percentage of kids participating in advanced courses or dual enrollment courses. While the state average in 2013-2014 showed that 53.2% of students in grades 11-12 completed an advanced course in at least one subject, in KISD that number is only 47.5%. When broken down by subject, we have low completion in Language Arts and Science.

Average SAT/ACT Scores

The average SAT score for the Tivy Class of 2014 was 1501, while the state average was 1417. The average ACT score at Tivy was 22.3 while the state average was 20.6.

Going on to College

For 2012-2013, the state average for high school graduates that enroll in an institute of higher education was 56.9%, while Tivy’s average is just 41.8%. For years 2011-2012, the state average is 57.3% while Tivy’s average is just 37.8%. So we do have some work to do in this area to meet the state average.

What’s going on in Ingram?

Ingram isn’t technically a city we cover here at Kerrville United, but this series of events has us puzzled. Let’s look at this timeline…

  • April 7, 2015 – Ingram city manager Stan Neuse resigns due to health reasons
  • June 16, 2015 – Ingram hires interim city manager John Washburn
  • January 19, 2016 – City manager John Washburn resigns unexpectedly after only seven months of service
  • January 2016 – City of Ingram settles a lawsuit regarding political targeting and civil rights violations. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
  • January 2016 – City Marshal Rowan Zachry retires and one of his subordinates, Deputy Marshal Jimmy Furr, resigns
  • January 2016 – An accountant is fired from city hall
  • January 27, 2016 – Ingram Mayor James Salter resigns just a few months before the May election

Now, we’re not sure if any of these things are related or are just pure coincidence, but it smells like a story that the Kerrville Daily Times or West Kerr Current should be investigating.

Early Voting Starts Today!

Get ready to vote, Kerr County! Early voting begins today at the Cailloux Theater at 910 Main Street and the Kerr County West Annex Courthouse at 3350 Hwy 27 in Ingram.

What Precinct Am I in?

Check this map: http://www.co.kerr.tx.us/commcrt/electionprecinctsmap.pdf

What do I bring?

Don’t forget that you’ll need ID. A driver’s license will work, or CHL permit, or passport, among other things. Check this link for more options.

Ballots

Check the links below for sample ballots to avoid that “who the *** are these people?” feeling you might get in the ballot box.

Democratic – All Precincts
Republican – Precincts 101, 107, 109, 113, 118, 119
Republican – Precincts 202, 211, 215, 220
Republican – Precincts 303, 308, 312, 314
Republican – Precincts 404, 405, 406, 410, 416, 417

Where do I go?

Here’s a map to the Cailloux Theater.

EIC Projects Status as of January 31, 2016

The Economic Improvement Corporation funds projects in three categories (economic development, quality of life, and certain infrastructure) using funds from a 1/2 cent sales tax applied to sales in the city of Kerrville. Many projects are underway or committed at this time. Here is the status as reported to the EIC on February 15, 2016.

Read the full document here: http://www.kerrvilletx.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2088

eic-status-january-2016

Library Statistics

The Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, operated by the City of Kerrville, recently reported its annual statistics for fiscal year ending on September 1, 2015. This report is a little late, admittedly, but we just got our hands on the meeting minutes that reported this data. At any rate, here are the numbers:

2015 Annual Library Statistics

  • 105,359 checkouts
  • 8,365 reference questions answered
  • 88,772 visitors
  • 192 bags distributed via Born to Read program