Update: Early Voting for Primary Runoff Election 2020

Election time is within a few weeks and with the City of Southlake serving as a poll location, we wanted to share information to make the as process easy and convenient as possible.

Early voting dates for the Primary Runoff Election are June 29 – July 10. Dates and times are as follows:

Early Voting for the Primary Runoff Election June 29 – July 2
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.July 5
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.July 6 – 10
7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Offices are CLOSED in observation of Independence Day July 3 & 4

 

Southlake Town Hall is located as 1400 Main St. Southlake, Texas 76092. Voting will take place on the third floor.

For more information, on voting in Southlake, please contact the City Secretary’s Office at 817-748-8183 or visit us online. To view a sample ballot, please click here.

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Celebrate Juneteenth with These Great Books

This week celebrates June 19, also known as Juneteenth, Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, representing true freedom for Black Americans across the nation.

Juneteenth is considered the most prominent Emancipation Day in the United States. It commemorates the day that Union soldiers liberated slaves in Galveston, Texas, putting an official end to slavery.

On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston and issued General Order No. 3.

The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.

The Proclamation referred to the Emancipation Proclamation that U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed almost two and a half years earlier. Until Juneteenth, the Proclamation had very little impact on Texans since there were very few Union soldiers present at the time to enforce it.

The reaction to the General Order was both shock and jubilation. Many former slaves immediately left plantations, possibly to travel north or to find family members that had been sent to other areas. Some stayed behind to learn more of the hired laborer option. Whatever their choice, it was now theirs to make as free men and women of the nation.

Today, Juneteenth symbolizes freedom to Black Americans and serves as a reminder of the triumph over the inhumanity of slavery. It is recognized by 47 of 50 states, including Texas, as an official holiday and it is celebrated with parades, performances, barbecues and more.

To learn more about the history and importance of Juneteenth, you can visit Juneteenth.com or connect with the Southlake Library for titles such as Juneteenth Texas: Essays in African American Folklore or Let’s Celebrate Emancipation Day & Juneteenth.

One of the greatest things freedom gives us is a voice. We celebrate the voice of Black authors and the contribution they have made to literary freedom. To discover many of our favorites, explore these reading lists: Kid Reads, Teen Faves, Adult Fiction, Nonfiction & Biography.

 

Sources: Juneteenth.com https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

Juneteenth Cometh LARK, DENVER REGINE. “Juneteenth Cometh.” New York Amsterdam News, vol. 109, no. 24, 14 June 2018, p. 11. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=130331015&site=ehost-live

 

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Southlake Public Library Employees Bring Southlake Together Through Online Content

In one of Mr. Rogers famous pieces of advice to his neighbors about scary situations, he says, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’

In mid-March, the City of Southlake closed facilities and asked office employees to work from home to protect residents and employees. Southlake Public Library employees began brainstorming ideas of how they could foster a sense of community and bring a light and positivity into people’s homes.

The dynamic duo of Amy Pearson and Abrianna Burton stepped up with a plan to increase the Library’s online presence with photos, videos and social media. What was once a small part of the Library’s daily tasks became the Library’s direct connection with Southlake readers.

“Overnight we went from librarians to content strategists,” Burton said. “We consulted our entire Library team so that we could breach the digital divide and fill a void with online content for everyone, from niche audiences to children.”

Burton’s background in marketing and communication gave her the skills to implement the Library’s online and social media projects. She became the Library’s film director, video editor and sound technician.

“We could not have implemented our social media initiative without her talent on staff,” City Librarian Cynthia Pfledderer said. “She’s my creative go-to person from signs to videos and she never lets me down with her level of care in design.”

A quick scroll of the Library’s Facebook page ranges in content from book reviews, cooking and art classes, as well as the popular Getty Museum Challenge.

“The pandemic brought the Library together as a team,” Pearson said. “We discovered that we’re philosophers, artists, chefs and creators who set out to help educate, be a voice of reassurance and an escape from what had become a scary time.”

Pearson started as the Library’s administrative secretary in February and barely had a chance to warm her office chair and understand her duties before she found herself telecommuting and helping to redefine Library services in this new social distancing world.

“What stands out most about Amy is her ability to generate great ideas and see them through with very little direction. She sees a situation, quickly identifies opportunities and offers to take on any challenge,” Pfledderer said. “I was amazed how quickly she became a vital part of the team, even in such unusual circumstances.

Both Pearson and Burton said they couldn’t have stepped up to the challenge without the creative freedom and inspiration from their fearless leader.

“Working for the City of Southlake is nothing like you’d expect,” Burton said. “This isn’t a boring government job, it’s a chance to innovate and bring your best every day to this world-class community.”

“We want to continue to grow and to provide creative services to Southlake. We take personal responsibility and are committed to delivering excellence to make an impact within the community we serve,” Pearson said. “We’re going to continue to do more.” To learn more about the Southlake Public Library, visit its website, or follow its Facebook page or Instagram page to keep up with all of the fun activities. For more information, call the Library at 817-748-8243.

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Zena Rucker Road Remains on Schedule

As with any construction project, there are always roadblocks and unforeseen delays that change timelines and schedules. Work on Zena Rucker Road has remained on schedule despite unpredictable weather conditions and changes in the work due to social distancing guidelines.

The project was approved by City Council in August 2019 with the purpose to improve mobility along Bryon Nelson Parkway and South Carroll Avenue.

Currently, contractors are drilling holes to insert light posts and work on irrigation is nearing completion.

The roundabout connector located at the intersection of Zena Rucker Road and Tower Boulevard is in the final stages. The City’s Community Services Department is working with contractors to begin installing the roundabout landscaping and artwork display, “Mockingbird Tree” by Michael Warrick.

The estimated project cost is $2.1 million and is estimated to be complete summer 2020, weather permitting.

To learn more about mobility in Southlake, follow the Southlake Mobility Facebook page or visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com

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This Fourth of July, Celebrate with Your Community and Neighborhood

In honor of our country’s birthday, the City of Southlake is proud to announce our traditional fireworks display to pair with your neighborhood celebration!

The City encourages residents to commemorate our history, culture and community from the comfort of their homes with friends and family.

For the safety of the community, the traditional Stars and Stripes event has been modified and the festival portion will not take place.

“Our conversation has always been about how we can keep Southlake safe and healthy and celebrate our nation’s independence,” Community Services Director Chris Tribble said. “As a City, we are held to a higher standard. We have to do things right. I know our fireworks show is something our residents, visitors and businesses look forward to as well. This year, we’re excited to be able to celebrate the Fourth of July as neighbors and a community, safely.”

The City of Southlake is continuing the tradition of its incredible fireworks display by doubling the height of the display for stronger visibility so that residents can watch from their homes.

This year’s 15-minute fireworks display will begin at 9:30 p.m., Friday, July 3 from centrally located Bicentennial Park. The park will be closed all day July 3, and not accessible for viewers. Champions Club will close at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 3.

Residents are encouraged to get to know their neighbors and celebrate the Fourth of July in their neighborhoods.

The display will be livestreamed on City of Southlake and Experience Southlake Facebook pages. Click here for more information about the fireworks show.

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Daniel Cortez Appointed Director of Economic Development and Tourism

Daniel Cortez, Deputy Director of Economic Development and Tourism, has been promoted to Director, effective July 1. After the departure of Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher, Cortez’s history of strong work performance, world-class professionalism and commitment to assist Southlake businesses and residents make him fit for the task to lead the Southlake economic development team.

“Daniel Cortez has many notable accomplishments under his belt,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski. “His energy, creativity, intelligence and strong people skills make him ideal for this role.”

Since 2017, Cortez has worked to implement key recommendations of the 2035 Economic Development Master Plan. He has also created and implemented a commercial site assessment project, resulting in valuable insights into Southlake’s commercial centers. He managed the City’s first Business Climate Survey to understand the local business community’s strengths and challenges, track trends and ensure the City has useful data for business support programs.

“I am humbled at the confidence the City’s leadership has in me. I look forward to continuing to serve our business community with the same tradition of excellence Southlake is known for, with new inspiration and determination to meet the challenges of the future,” Cortez said. “There is truly no place like Southlake. It is my privilege to be part of a great community and I’m excited to strengthen the City’s relationships with local businesses.”

Ortowski also highlights his business retention work, noting that “he has established strong relationships through one-on-one visits and programs he’s created to improve business engagement with the City.”

Southlake youth have also benefited from Cortez’s hard work. Through the Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership (SKIL) program, Cortez has worked with Mayor Hill and Carroll ISD to offer selected students access to local business leaders through educational seminars and internship experiences. Cortez guides the students through the program, which has been in place for three years.

Perhaps Cortez has demonstrated his strongest performance with his work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Untangling the complex and sometimes confusing information related to the various executive orders was a terrific service he was able to provide to our business customers,” noted Ortowski.  “He promoted businesses in unique and creative ways. He demonstrated a keen knowledge of the needs of our businesses and worked proactively to provide needed support.”

In his new role, Daniel will be responsible for economic development work, and will oversee the day-to-day activities of the City’s tourism and special events team.

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Carroll Jazz Orchestra Members Awarded During Virtual Essentially Ellington Festival

The Carroll Jazz Orchestra was one of the 18 high school jazz programs that were invited to participate in the 25th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, the largest group in the competition’s history. For 25 years, the Essentially Ellington program has been the cornerstone of Jazz at Lincoln’s Center’s arts education programming. The program has helped to foster the talent and love of jazz music of over 890,000 young musicians throughout its history. After originally qualifying in February, theband would have typically traveled to New York City in early May for the festival, but due to COVID-19 restrictions and closures, they were able to stream the festival’s masterclasses, experienced one-on-one lessons with professionals, watched Q&As and enjoyed solo performances from June 8 to 12. Congratulations to the below students for receiving an Essentially Ellington award at the end of the festival: 

Outstanding Trombone Section – Riley Silfies, Jack Kester, Chris Estridge, Nicole Krishna, Jake Bonanno

Outstanding Alto Saxophone – Taylor Thomas

Outstanding Baritone Saxophone – Diego Peña

Outstanding Trumpet – Chase Adams

Honorable Mention Rhythm Section – Gus Milhizer, Alec Schwartz, Carter Adams

Honorable Mention Clarinet – Victor He

 

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City of Southlake Honors Volunteers for Their Service

Volunteering is one of the most fulfilling ways you can serve your community. It is an opportunity to make an impact for those around you by using your energy and talents to benefit others. Volunteers help their neighbors, serve their communities and use their unique skills and experience.

In Southlake, volunteers serve in many different capacities and provide meaningful contributions across the organization.  You’ll often find volunteers helping shelve books in the library, assisting with programs at the Senior Activity Center, serving as teen attorneys for teen court, or checking on businesses in Town Square. They provide valuable assistance in public safety, at special events and even as interns.  Board and Commission members also serve as volunteers as do the Mayor and City Council.

Over the last 12 months, the City was fortunate to have more than 3,000 volunteers selflessly give nearly 30,000 hours of service to the Southlake community. According to the Independent Sector, these hours provide a value of more than $750,000.

“Our volunteers are the heart of Southlake,” Volunteer Coordinator Lindy Calzada said. “They are often our first point of contact to the public, and provide insight, feedback and information that helps us make this great community possible. We’re honored that our volunteers would team up with us and appreciate all of their hard work and dedication to Southlake.”

Each year, the City takes a moment to recognize those volunteers who regularly serve and reach service milestones. Awards are given in several categories, as shown below to show appreciation for their dedication to the City. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to celebrate in person this year.  However, their contributions are significant and deserve recognition.

Congratulations to each of the below recipients. We appreciate and are thankful for their contributions. 

Junior Service Award – This award honors the junior volunteer who served the most hours in the last 12 months.

Emily Jia

Adult Service Award – This award honors the adult volunteer who served the most hours in the last 12 months.

Ken Stewart

Milestone Service Awards – This award is presented to volunteers for their lifetime hours of service with the City of Southlake.

2,500 hours: Ken Stewart

                2,000 hours: Leroy McCall and Ken Stone

                1,500 hours: Patti Brayton, Reza Saffarian and Jim Shirey

1,000 hours: Joan Houle

500 hours: Ed Grondahl, Jeffrey Ng, Krystal Porter, Deep Rajani

Presidential Service Award Recipients – This award is presented to volunteers who reach annual service milestones within their age group as established by the Points of Light Foundation. Honorees receive a personal certificate and a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States.

Gold Level Recipients: Dhyan Patel, Deep Rajani and Ken Stewart

Silver Level Recipients: Wayne Berryman, Yoselin Lugo, Tom Moore, Jeffrey Ng, Reza Saffarian, Iris Schmeder and Yi Zhang

Bronze Level Recipients: Vance Amos, Sarah Armstrong, Samantha Blake, Patti   Brayton, Alaina Dang, Ed Grondahl, Lauren Olivia Hall, Benjamin Hargrave, Jacob Herman, Joan Houle, Emily Jia, Marge Kyle, Camila Larrazabal, Winema Martinez, Leroy McCall, Karen Mertz, Pamela Muller, Krystal Porter, Jim Shirey, Sydney Stellato, Ken Stone, Sofia Tangirala, Molly Trinh and Logan Woosley

 

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What is a CIP Project?

The City of Southlake often refers to the Capital Improvement Program when citing projects and infrastructure, such as mobility projects.

The program, often referred to as CIP, is a five-year plan the City has in place for construction of new or investing in the replacement of the City’s physical assets or infrastructure. The City utilizes cash and proceeds from bond sales to fund CIP projects.

With CIP, City staff can budget and identify projects that otherwise cannot be addressed due to funding limitations within the annual operating budget or limited, internal resources or manpower.

When it comes to mobility, this five-year program identifies construction projects identified and prioritized within the Southlake 2030 and Southlake 2035 master plans.

The Mobility 2030 Master Plan includes several citywide plans that prioritize the development of thoroughfares, sidewalks, trails and parks. The recommendations within the plan serve as a guide to the development of CIP projects as well as departmental business plans.

Two major mobility CIP projects currently in progress are the N. White Chapel Widening and Zena Rucker Connector.

Other projects such as the SH 114 Frontage Roads and FM 1938 improvements are managed by the Texas Department of Transportation. The City often partners with TxDOT, contributing to these projects financially, while TxDOT manages and oversees construction.

You can view active and upcoming projects on our interactive CIP map. Find more information about the Capital Improvement Program and the 2030 Mobility Master Plan on our website.

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The Role of the Retaining Wall on N. White Chapel

Over the last six months contractors have been working on constructing the retaining wall along the east side of the N. White Chapel widening project. Although this portion of the project is taking a considerable amount of time to complete, this relatively hidden structure plays a critical role in the design and construction of the new four-lane thoroughfare and contributes to driver safety and ultimately the preservation of privacy for adjacent residents.

A retaining wall is a structure designed to “retain” material, hence soil, on one side. The east side retaining wall for this project retains the soil that will be beneath the new northbound lanes and serves as the structural support for the neighborhood screening walls.  In this case, contractors are constructing the retaining walls using reinforced concrete, adhering strictly to the structurally engineered design details to ensure safety, stability, and longevity.

Soon contractors will begin constructing permanent masonry screening walls on top of the completed sections of retaining wall. These screening walls are designed to complement the community’s aesthetic by adding texture and style. Once the wall and roadway widening work is completed, landscaping will be added to the medians for a scenic drive.

As of now contractors are working on backfill and clean up tasks associated with the retaining walls. Construction of the retaining and screening walls is estimated to continue into Fall 2020.

The entire N. White Chapel widening project is estimated to be completed by Spring 2022 for an estimated total cost of $17 million.

For more on N. White Chapel, visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com, sign up for the mobility e-newsletter and follow the Southlake Mobility Facebook page.

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