EIC moves forward with Olympic Pool feasibility study

The EIC voted unanimously on Monday to move ahead with a funding agreement that would pay for a feasibility study on the Olympic Pool. The study would evaluate the condition of the pool, potential new features, competitive elements, staffing, and the use of the pool by Schreiner University and Kerrville ISD programs.

Staff will begin work on a funding agreement that will have to come back to the EIC for approval in March. If EIC approves that funding agreement, City Council would also have to add its blessing before the feasibility study can begin.

Director of Parks and Recreation Ashlea Boyle presented information to the EIC board about the pool’s current use and status, as well as items that would be included in the feasibility study. Her presentation can be viewed in the YouTube video below from 9:10 to 27:00.

Next Steps…

  1. City staff will draft a funding agreement for the study
  2. EIC will consider whether or not to approve that funding agreement in March
  3. If EIC approves, City Council also must approve, and that would probably be in late March or early April
  4. If Council approves, the City would put out an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) from companies that would like to provide the feasibility study
  5. The City would contract with one of those companies and the study would begin

EDITOR’S NOTE: Changed “request for proposals” to “request for qualifications” after it was brought to our attention that this was in error.

Election Season is Underway

With the close of business on Friday, February 16, the opportunity to file for a place on the citywide election ballot of 2018 came to an end. That begins the official campaign season for city council and mayoral candidates leading up to the May 5 election.

View our latest video that discusses who is running, explains how to make sure you’re registered to vote, and how to vote. There is also a special segment where we examine the voter turnout statistics from the most recent citywide election.

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Judy Eychner announces candidacy for Place 3

During the final week of applications for the election ballot, Mrs. Judy Eychner has announced her candidacy for a seat on the Kerrville City Council. Eychner will seek election to Place 3, which is currently occupied by Mary Ellen Summerlin, who has decided not to run for election this year. Eychner will compete against Gary Cooper, an EIC member who has also filed for Place 3.

Eychner is a long-time Kerrville resident, having moved here with her husband George in 1989. Judy was a teacher at Notre Dame School and in the Kerrville Independent School District, an executive director of the Mount Wesley Conference Center, and for the past 14 years, a full-time Realtor. Eychner is currently employed as a real estate agent with Century 21 The Hills of Kerrville.

Mrs. Eychner serves on the Kerr County Habitat for Humanity board, the Dietert Center board, the City of Kerrville Zoning Board of Adjustments, and the Kerr County Appraisal District (KCAD) board. In addition, she is a member of the noon Rotary Club of Kerrville, the Kerrville Board of Realtors, and a long-time member of First United Methodist Church of Kerrville.

“As a local and full-time realtor in the Kerrville area for 14 years, I see first hand on a daily basis the importance of the city’s oversight and decisions in both the business and residential side of Kerrville… This is a pivotal time in the life of our city.  There are decisions to be made that will affect not just our young people but the young people in years to come.  I would like to be a positive part of that process and I believe I have the experience, knowledge, and longevity of living here to make a significant impact.”

Judy and her husband George grew up in Nebraska before coming to Texas via George’s service in the US Air Force. Judy graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln with a degree in business education. The Eychners moved to Kerrville from San Angelo following George’s retirement from the military. They have three children (two of which graduated from Tivy High School), and seven grandchildren.

Early voting for City Council begins on April 23 and runs through May 1. Election Day is May 5, 2018. The last day to register to vote in this election is April 5. See our Voting page for more information on how to register and vote in this very important election!

KEDC Executive Director Resigns

In an email sent to his contacts today, Brian O’Connor announced his resignation as Executive Director of the Kerr Economic Development Corporation, or KEDC, the independent board charged with expanding business and economic opportunities in Kerrville and Kerr County.

In his statement, released Thursday morning, February 15, Mr. O’Connor assured a seamless transition, and announced that Chamber of Commerce President Walt Koenig would assume his duties in the interim.

O’Connor pointed to his family’s election not to move to Kerrville as the primary reason for his departure, and mentioned that he has secured a job in Austin so that he can move closer to those family members.

Mr. O’Connor had served as KEDC’s Executive Director since October 2016.

The resignation comes just a few months after a conflict between and among the KEDC, the EIC, and the City Council majority. George Baroody, City Councilmember in Place 2 and council liaison to the EIC, stated in a meeting last fall that he envisioned KEDC functions being brought into the City of Kerrville at staff level, and advocated for a cut in the KEDC’s budget, effectively stating that the KEDC might be shut down completely. According to our sources, this statement and these actions contributed to at least one staff member resigning from KEDC immediately afterward because of that person’s concerns about losing employment.

This fight went on for several weeks, with numerous community leaders speaking out in favor of the mission of the KEDC, which seemed to be threatened by the current council majority of White, Baroody, and Voelkel, who control the majority of the KEDC’s funding via their oversight of the EIC.

That budget battle eventually culminated in the termination of EIC member James Wilson and subsequent resignation of EIC member Paul Stafford. Control of the EIC was then placed firmly in the hands of the current council majority’s nominees to that board which controls the KEDC budget.

This is a developing story that will be updated as we gather additional information.