Tuesday, June 15, 2021

From Elections to Records, the CSO Makes It Happen

If you’ve ever attended a City Council meeting, requested City records, volunteered for a board or commission or voted, then you’ve utilized the City Secretary’s Office.

This office serves as administrative support to the Mayor and City Council.

They prepare agendas and packets for City Council meetings and post board and commission meeting agendas. The team also assists in promoting civic involvement through the recruitment, application and training of board and commission members.

Although the City Secretary’s Office is essential to the governmental process, they do not only serve the Council.

The office preserves the City’s legislative history and records, as well as handles requests for City documents under the Public Information Act.

The office also plays a major role in the election process. They manage all City elections and coordinate with Tarrant and Denton County throughout the process.

Our world class professionals in the City Secretary’s Office help us deliver world class services to the entire community.

For more information, visit the  City Secretary’s Office webpage.


Make a Christmas Connection with a Child in Need

Help make a child’s wish come true.

Come be an elf with us this holiday season. Southlake Cares is supporting Alliance For Children’s Christmas Connection, which provides holiday gifts for children victimized by child abuse.

Here are three easy ways to help.

  1. Provide new, unwrapped Christmas gifts appropriate for children from babies to age 17. For a list of suggestions, please click here. Then drop your gifts off at one of their center locations.
  2. Purchase a gift from Alliance’s Amazon Wish List and the item will be delivered directly to Alliance For Children. Please include your name and contact information in the gift message section at checkout so that your donation can be properly acknowledged.
  3. Make a monetary donation to Alliance For Children to be used for Christmas Connection.

Alliance For Children is the only Tarrant County non-profit organization directly involved in the protecting children from abuse. With local law enforcement agencies, Alliance coordinates teamed investigations. They also provide victims health and healing services to address the trauma of abuse. A third activity of Alliance For Children is community education, allowing children and adults to better understand the risks of abuse.

Give Tarrant County child abuse victims and their siblings a Merry Christmas!

Boy Scout Troop Partners with City of Southlake for Community Project

Timber Lake, a local subdivision in Southlake, is the first of its kind to have a 911 Emergency Trail Marker system thanks to Brett Belleville, a member of the Boy Scouts of America’s White Chapel Church Troop 928. These markers have been successfully installed throughout the walking trails in the Timber Lake and Monticello subdivisions.

When it comes to outdoor activities, leadership skills and helping others, the Boy Scouts of America is no stranger. The project began when Brett asked to install the markers along his neighborhood trails for his Eagle Scout project to provide residents with a point of reference for their location in case of emergencies.

An image of the 911 trail marker.

Brett reached out to Mayor Laura Hill, who put him in contact with Southlake Police Chief James Brandon, who assigned Captain Randy Thomas to serve as the City contact for the project. Thomas connected Brett with other City departments, to ensure that their project fell within guidelines.

After approval from the Timber Lake Homeowners Association, several City departments collaborated to make this project possible. Before any trail markers could be installed, Planning and Development Services checked to see if any permits were needed. Once the area was cleared for digging, the next step was to ensure that all utility lines were identified. Public Works provided locating services for gas and water lines and a contact for special utility lines.

Twenty-seven trail markers were installed throughout the shared trail of both subdivisions.

The markers are easy to read and are labeled with descriptions to help emergency services locate a person. The letters “TL” stand for Timber Lake and the 3-digit number is utilized to match the longitude and latitude of each marker.

Brett Belleville is presented with a certificate in recognition of his trail marker project. (Photo taken prior to social distancing guidelines.)

“Each trail marker will be registered with Southlake DPS,” stated Thomas. “If someone gets lost or hurt, they can simply call 9-1-1 and state the trail marker number and emergency services will arrive to their exact location.”

After the Boy Scouts from Troop 928 finished the installation, Thomas, Brett and Patrick Whitham, a GIS Analyst with the City of Southlake, walked the trails and plotted each trail marker using satellite coordinates for precise map locations. These mapped locations of the markers have been shared with the Police, Fire and Public Works Departments.

Partnerships with a philanthropic organization such as Boy Scouts of America’s White Chapel Church Troop 928 is an example of how the City utilizes partnerships to impact the community in a positive way. The Southlake Police Department presented a certificate to Brett on behalf of Mayor Hill and Councilmember Shawn McCaskill in recognition for this first of its kind project in Southlake.

The project provides an additional layer of security to our Southlake residents and will soon be utilized at other city parks soon in the near future.



Partnerships at Work – Tarrant and Denton Counties

When it comes to partnerships, Tarrant and Denton Counties have a long history of working with Southlake for the greater good, which is why collaborating on the election process is a win!

Our partnerships helps the City keep costs down by sharing expenses with other municipalities and allow better governance during the election process.

All elections are handled through their respective election administrators, who manage and coordinate the election process with election judges and clerks. They also hire, train and supervise election staff, supply voting equipment, provide office supplies and place state postings.

Another major benefit to the partnerships is that both the City and County staff members share expertise and knowledge about the laws, procedures, practices, documentation and equipment, which allows the policies to be clear and adaptable and priorities consistent across the board. These partnerships also provide an alternative method of service delivery to our citizens by streamlining an efficient election process, whether that be municipal, county, state, federal, school district, general or special elections.

By strategically partnering with agencies and organizations like these, our City can continue to move forward and elevate our community.

City of Southlake Adopts Action Plan to Keep Residents Safe

City Council adopted the 2020 Tarrant County Hazard Mitigation Action Plan during the January 21 City Council meeting.

The plan allows access to federal mitigation grants to minimize the risk of damage that would be caused by a man-made or natural disaster.

Although the HazMAP is designed for all of Tarrant County, it accounts for and addresses the unique needs of Southlake. The plan identifies and quantifies the risks Southlake faces and serves as a tool to identify goals, strategies and projects to mitigate these risks to ensure Southlake remains a resilient community.

The City determines the risk by looking at historical data and trends.

“The City utilized data in a risk assessment to determine what areas would be impacted in case of a natural disaster. This data helped us design a plan to be prepared for these issues if or when they occur,” Amanda Meneses, City of Southlake Emergency Manager said.

To build a multi-jurisdictional, county-level HazMAP, the plan was coordinated through a partnership with Tarrant County, the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and 33 participating jurisdictions.

The plan is a continuation for the previous HazMAP which was set to expire this year. The plan must be updated every five years and adopted by resolution.

“Our priority is to keep our community safe,” Meneses said. “If the HazMAP is not adopted, it would exclude Southlake from applying for federal mitigation grants.”

The plan meets the requirements of the Code of Federal Regulations, State of Texas Division of Emergency standards and the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, which allows access to federal mitigation grants that would otherwise be inaccessible without an approval from HazMAP.

Partnership the Key to SWAT Success

Monday afternoon, the call came in; there was a “threat of violence against students and staff at Byron Nelson High School (BNHS) in Trophy Club.”

According to information provided by Trophy Club Police, “An unknown subject contacted police advising he or she had placed bombs in multiple locations throughout the school and that (s)he was currently in an undisclosed location inside the building armed with a firearm.”

Students and staff were placed on lock down. At about 6:30pm, the evacuation of students began. Students were taken Trophy Club’s Medlin Middle School where they were released to parents or loaded on school buses.

It was then that the North Tarrant Regional SWAT (NTR SWAT) and the Town of Flower Mound SWAT entered the school and conducted a systematic search floor by floor. Ultimately nothing was found and the campus was designated as “all clear.”

“The opportunity to work alongside the NRT SWAT professionals is an honor,” said Southlake Police Lieutenant and Team Commander for NRT SWAT, Jose Luna. “The situation turned out very well, with no one hurt. There is also great satisfaction in putting our training to work.”

Southlake Police Chief James Brandon adds, “These types of law enforcement partnerships are so important to successful outcomes which is why the Southlake Police department is a part of, and trains with, the North Regional Tarrant SWAT. In addition, several of our patrol officers were on scene to assist The Trophy Club police department.”

Trophy Club police are continuing their investigation as detectives work to follow up on all leads to identify the suspect or suspects.



GRACE and Forest Park Medical Center Join Forces for the Holidays

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Employees of Forest Park Medical Center Southlake and members of its leadership team, including CEO Charles Nasem, gathered alongside Southlake Mayor John Terrell at a food drive supporting the Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange (GRACE), a non-profit relief agency that provides assistance and vital necessities to those in need.

For the second year in a row, GRACE (Grapevine Relief And Community Exchange) and Forest Park Medical Center have joined forces to help give back to the community.  The Forest Park Southlake family participated in a hospital-wide food drive, provided more than 400 lbs of food to GRACE.  On December 15th, Charles Nasem, CEO of Forest Park Southlake, was joined by the Forest Park Southlake employees who gathered around the hospital’s Christmas tree, and toasted GRACE with hot cider and cocoa.

Accepting the donation on behalf of the GRACE Board was Southlake Mayor, John Terrell.  Mayor Terrell also accepted a token crystal bell for GRACE engraved,  “GRACE, for Answering the Bell in Our Community.”

The City of Southlake supports GRACE’s efforts in Southlake, Keller, and Colleyville.  For more information about the City’s community service organizations, please visit CityofSouthlake.com/CommunityServiceOrganizations.

Keller Council approves partnership between Regional Animal Adoption Center, Humane Society of North Texas

When the renovated Regional Animal Adoption Center opens in Keller next spring, employees of the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) will be managing its pet adoptions.

The Keller City Council on Tuesday approved plans for a three-year partnership with the nonprofit, providing the organization with utilities, maintenance, supplies and 6,500 square feet of work space to include the public lobby, work areas and kenneling facilities.

Expansion of the adoption center follows the merger of  Colleyville, Keller, Southlake and Westlake’s Animal Services operations on Oct. 1, 2012. The planned improvements will offer about four times the current capacity for dogs and double the capacity for cats, a 1,700-square-foot dog courtyard, a medical area for minor surgical procedures, a larger adoption and socialization area, and room to expand the center’s volunteer program. With construction currently ahead of schedule, Keller expects the renovated facility to open April 1, 2014.

The HSNT will staff the adoption area of the Animal Adoption Center for a minimum of 40 hours per week, manage the entire adoption and records process, ensure compliance with county and state laws, and oversee the facility’s volunteers.

“The Humane Society of North Texas is excited and looking forward to partnering with the City of Keller in an effort to increase adoptions,” HSNT President Martha York said. “We expect this partnership to benefit many animals needing good homes.”

“This facility is already a shining example of what can be accomplished through regional cooperation; by partnering on this endeavor, our four communities are benefiting from improved animal services at a lower cost to taxpayers,” said Mark Hafner, Keller’s police chief and public safety director. “Bringing the Humane Society of North Texas into the fold ensures greater expertise in the care and adoption of our animals and further reduces our operational costs.”

The initial terms of the agreement are for three years and include two additional five-year options for extension. For more information about this agreement or the regional adoption center, please contact the Keller Police Department at 817-743-4500.

Get Into the Swing of Things this Spring at the Southlake Tennis Center

Although spring does not officially begin until March 20, the courts at Southlake Tennis Center start heating up in February with adult and junior classes, leagues and tournaments.

Kicking off the season is the Annual Valentine’s Day Mixed Doubles Tournament for adult players on February 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is followed by the Annual Southlake Junior Open February 23-24.  This USTA sanctioned tournament brings approximately 600 junior players from around the state of Texas.

As one of the leading facilities for junior instruction in the state, Southlake Tennis Center offers programs for both beginner and advanced players:

  • Future Starts: A new tournament format, Future Starts is for junior beginner players in the 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U divisions. These one day tournaments help transition junior players to tournament play.  Future Starts tournaments will be held monthly on February 16, March 30, April 28 and May 18. 
  • Junior Tennis Academy: Monthly after-school and Saturday classes for juniors starting at five years old.  Using the USTA 10 and Under Tennis program, players are grouped by age and ability and use racquets, balls, courts and nets that are scaled to the size and ability of the student. Classes will work on coordination, agility, footwork, court movement, ball skills and racquet technique. Low pro-student ratios help players develop a love for tennis right from the beginning. Session one begins  the week of January 28.
  • Junior Play Days/Junior Tournaments:  Monthly activities for junior players that include match play and an introduction to tournament play.
  • Tournament Academy: Our tournament level program offers instruction and drills.  We offer Travel Team, where we take players to local tournaments and provide match feedback.

Southlake Tennis Center offers a variety of adult programs based on the player’s current NTRP rating or the level they would play USTA matches/tournaments:

  • Pre-Season Boot Camp:  Intensive drills and coached match play to get both men and women ready for the spring league season. Saturday, February 16 from 12:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m.
  • Drop-In Drills for Adults:  Fast-paced weekly workouts for men and women organized by level. Limited to the first 8 players per court. Advance sign up available, but not required. Drop in for $15 per drill or $50 for a series of four.
  • Instructional Leagues for Adult Beginners:  Instruction and coached match play combination drill for adult players who are new to the game.
  • Adult Leagues: In-house weekly leagues organized by level. Spring leagues start mid-February and run for nine weeks. Sign up in the pro shop or online by February 15.