Fort Worth Opera Presents Delightful: A Concert Featuring Grammy-Nominated Mezzo-Soprano Emily Fons & Fort Worth Opera Artistic Director Joe Illick

Join Fort Worth Opera, Apex Arts League and the City of Southlake for an afternoon of opera arias, Broadway favorites and celebrated classics from the Great American Songbook performed by internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Emily Fons.

Acclaimed by Opera News as one of opera’s rising stars and praised for her Grammy-nominated role in Jennifer Higdon’s world-premiere opera Cold Mountain, Fons will be accompanied by Fort Worth Opera Artistic Director Joe Illick at the piano.

“I am looking forward to being part of Fort Worth Opera’s first appearance in Southlake,” said Fons. “I enjoy putting together a recital full of ear-pleasing, diverse music that can transport an audience to a place of calm beauty. I also love the immediacy of presenting music and text to a smaller audience and inviting them to experience music up close and personal, in hopes that they leave feeling uplifted and refreshed!”

WHERE: The Marq Southlake (285 Shady Oaks Drive, Southlake, TX 76092)

WHEN: Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

TICKETS: $20 for adults; $15 for seniors and Apex members; $10 for students

Tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, please visit or call 682-651-5026.

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Kenneth Morgan named Fort Worth water director

Kenneth Morgan, who has experience in water and wastewater, including management roles at several utilities, is the new director of the Fort Worth Water Department.

While Morgan earned his civil engineering degree from University of Missouri-Rolla, he was a co-op student with Schlumberger and eventually worked full-time for the company after graduation. Early in his career, Morgan joined Denver Water and worked his way up the ranks, leading projects such as inspections of reservoirs, a rehabilitation program and design and relocation of water lines.

In 2002, he became managing director of community development at the City of O’Fallon, Mo. He was responsible for public works, planning, construction management, streets, contracts for wastewater and water, building, engineering and inspectors in the city of 75,000.

In 2004, he took an operations manager role with the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District, the sixth largest sewer district in the country at the time. There he developed teams and grew employee productivity. Next, he took an operations manager role at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities.

Morgan became deputy water services director at the City of Phoenix, responsible for the city’s water distribution system, which had a service area of 540 square miles and served 1.5 million people. In 2013, Morgan accepted the role of public works director in Gilbert, Ariz., population 240,000.

Morgan has been consulting for the past year with California and Nevada’s American Water Works Association branches. His consulting services focused on training and include operator certification training, workshops to help agencies better manage their assets, evaluation of crews and development of standard operating procedures.

Morgan starts work in Fort Worth on Dec. 11.

Fort Worth-based Mackenzie Eason & Associates executed the search that resulted in Morgan’s hiring.

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New Parks and Recreation Director Hired

Town Manager Tom Class has hired Tony Jaramillo as the Town’s new Parks and Recreation Director. Tony has been with the Town of Trophy Club for 12 years as part of the Parks and Recreation Department. He served as Parks Superintendent for the past several years and is excited to continue serving TC residents and cultivating relationships with citizens to ensure that Trophy Club remains “a great…

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CISD Names New Executive Director for Special Programs

Carroll ISD has named Tyisha Nelson as the new Executive Director for Special Programs. Nelson has been dedicated to the field of education for 16 years, and comes to Carroll from her most recent role as principal of Handley Elementary School in Garland ISD.

Nelson was approved by the Board of Trustees at the July 17 board meeting, during which she said she is “truly humbled for the opportunity to serve the Carroll community.”

“I am thrilled and thankful for the opportunity to be a contributing member of a student-centered educational organization that exemplifies excellence. I am passionate about education and how it transforms lives,” said Nelson. “All of my words, actions and decisions will always align with Carroll’s six core values.”

Her tenure includes: teaching elementary general education for two years and special education for six years, supporting teachers as an Elementary Support Specialist, and creating specialized intervention plans for students as an Educational Diagnostician.  Additionally, Nelson has served as the assistant principal and principal of two different gifted and talented magnet academies. At Kimberlin Academy for Excellence, she led the staff and students to their 2015 National Blue Ribbon recognition.

“I am extremely excited about the approval of Tyisha Nelson to the position of Executive Director for Special Programs,” said Janet McDade, CISD Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. “Mrs. Nelson brings with her a wealth of knowledge and a passion for motivating, educating and empowering students, parents and her colleagues.”

“I truly look forward to building and maintaining strong, positive relationships with our students, staff and Southlake families,” said Nelson. “It’s gratifying to hear every single employee express their happiness about working for such an exceptional district.”

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Finance Director answers commonly asked tax rate questions

A message from interim Finance Director Winston Duke:
Around this time of year residents begin receiving valuation notices from the Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) and they usually have questions for me and my staff. While we are more than happy to answer questions, Ive answered some of the most commonly asked questions here, which I hope provide you with more information about your tax dollars.

So why did my property value increase and who increased it?
Cities are not in charge of valuing propertyappraisal districts are. Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) assesses the value of all properties in the City of Colleyville. State law requires appraisal districts to value property at 100% of market value. State law also prohibits an appraisal district from increasing the appraised value of a homestead by more than 10% in a given tax year. Because of this limit, you may see that the market value on your notice from TAD is higher than the taxable value. Taxable value also takes into consideration any exemptions provided by the different taxing entities.

According to the TAD, people continue to move to North Texas and are looking for homes. Because of the high demand and the limited inventory, many property owners will see higher assessed values this year.

I thought the City Council lowered the tax rate, why has my tax bill increased?
In September 2016, the City Council voted to lower the tax rate to 0.339130 per 100 valuation. The rate is lower than the previous rate of 0.3559 per 100 valuation, which the city has had in place since 2008.

This rate reduction serves to provide relief to property owners receiving higher appraisal values from the TAD, while also providing the revenue necessary to continue funding city programs and services at a sustainable level. Despite lowering the rate, residents may see an increase in their bill due to higher property values and/or if other taxing entities adopt rate increases. Similarly, if other entities kept the same tax rate and your property value increased you will pay more in taxes. The City Council plans to evaluate the 2017 rate as part of the upcoming budget process.

Is 0.339130 per 100 valuation my total tax rate?
It is not. The City is only one of several taxing authorities with overlapping jurisdiction for Colleyville residents, including school districts, Tarrant County, the Tarrant County Hospital District, and Tarrant County College. The image below illustrates how each penny of tax is divided.

OK but what are my tax dollars paying for in the City of Colleyville?
Resident property tax dollars help fund a variety of services including parks, the library, public safety, infrastructure, and more.

Does the City of Colleyville bill me for my property taxes?
The City of Colleyville has contracted with the Grapevine-Colleyville School District Tax Office to collect property taxes on its behalf.

The contact information for the Tax Assessor-Collector is:
Grapevine-Colleyville Area Tax Office
3072 Mustang Drive
Grapevine, TX 76051

For information on your Tarrant County taxes contact:
Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector
100 E. Weatherford St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76196-0301

For information on tax values contact:
Tarrant Appraisal District
2500 Handley-Ederville Road
Fort Worth, Texas 76118-6982

What property tax exemptions does the city provide?
The City provides an exemption of 65,000 for residents over 65 and disabled residents. This exemption reduces the taxable value of a property but does not affect market value. The City also provides the freezing of taxes for residents over 65 and disabled residents, which freezes the dollar amount of taxes paid. It does not change taxable value. To receive this exemption, contact Tarrant Appraisal District.

You didnt answer my question.
If you would like more assistance feel free to call the Finance Department at 817.503.1010.

View full post on City of Colleyville News

New Parks and Recreation Director

haltom city parks recreation director christi pruittChristi Pruitt, just promoted to Di­rector of Parks & Recreation in November 2016, is a familiar face in Haltom City, serving as the Recreation Supervisor for the last 12 years. She joined Haltom City in December of 2004 and re-opened the Recreation Center after renovations, adding top-of-the-line fitness equipment, new classes, community events, and reviv­ing old classes and sports programs. Through the years, Christi has grown the Recreation Center and its pro­grams and has developed many relationships with residents and business owners in the process.

Christi got her Bachelor’s degree at Texas Christian University in Fitness Promotion (she is a die-hard Frog fan!). She has worked for the YMCA, the City of Grapevine as the Marketing Coordinator for their Parks and Recreation Department, and General Mo­tors as their onsite Fitness Center Manager. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in the gym and volunteering with the children’s pro­gram at her church on Wednesday nights. Above all else, she loves spending time with her family…husband Jeff and their two daughters, which you will see from time to time at many of the events here in Haltom City. She says that her “work” for the city has allowed her to follow her goals of doing something that she’s both passionate about and serves a great purpose. The Haltom City community is what has kept her around all these years and she is thrilled to step into this new role. She is looking forward to restoring our existing parks and being a part of exciting projects in the city, such as the Veterans Memorial at Haltom Road Park.

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Colleyville hires director to oversee economic development, communications

The City of Colleyville will welcome Mark Wood as Executive Director of Economic Development and Communications beginning Oct. 24.

Wood joins Colleyville after serving as Economic Development Director at the Town of Flower Mound. Wood replaces former Economic Development Director Marty Wieder, who left Colleyville for a position with the City of Grand Prairie.

Woods efforts at Flower Mound helped spur year-over-year double-digit sales tax growth, more than 3 million square feet of new commercial space, and the creation of 5,000 jobs. He led the development of Innovate Flower Mound, a center that serves as a place for entrepreneurs to start, grow and expand their business. His resume also includes municipal and corporate communications experience.

Wood will lead the City of Colleyvilles growing economic development efforts including increased support for businesses during TxDOTs State Highway 26 reconstruction project, which aligns with the City Councils priority of managing the projects impact. He will also oversee the Citys communications strategy to ensure transparency and engagement with the community.

View full post on City of Colleyville News

Economic development director set to leave Colleyville

Economic Development Director Marty Wieder has informed city officials and management of his intention to leave the city of Colleyville later this month. He has accepted a position with the city of Grand Prairie.

Recruited by City Manager Jennifer Fadden, Wieder spent almost seven years with the city and is credited with much of its economic development success during the past few years.

Marty has laid down a solid foundation for bringing attractive dining and retail options to Colleyville, as well as medical and office development. Well continue to build on that foundation as we move forward. We are grateful for the professionalism and expertise he brought to the job and the benefits it has provided to us. We wish him well, remarked Fadden.

Wieder was at the economic development helm when Colleyville landed Whole Foods Market in 2013. He parlayed that success into other initiatives that attracted retail and restaurants across the cityand he spearheaded efforts to redevelop some of the citys aging and often vacant legacy properties and shopping centers. He has also become a fixture in the Colleyville community and one of the most vocal boosters for Colleyville businesses.

The city is already working on plans to keep the economic development momentum going.

View full post on City of Colleyville News

Robert M. Cohen Named Director of Public Works for the City of Southlake

Cohen - Price MSN pictureRobert M. Cohen has been named Public Works Director for the City of Southlake. Shana Yelverton made the announcement following the Council’s confirmation of her appointment. Mr. Cohen will replace Bob Price, P.E., who announced he will retire at the end of February following a decade of service to the City.

“Replacing Bob Price as Director was a difficult task,” said Yelverton. “He has been an outstanding member of Southlake’s executive team,” She explained.

“Mr. Cohen came to us with exceptional experience,” she continued. “With more than 20-years’ service as an officer in the Navy, he has successfully managed infrastructure development, even in the harshest of conditions. We are looking forward to working with him as he leads the public works team forward, building on the success achieved by Price.”

Cohen will tasked with implementing key provisions of Southlake 2030, an assignment made easier by Price’s assembly of a strong team and effective methods for infrastructure development.

“Significant progress has been made since Bob Price joined the team in 2006. He has placed the new TW King 30-inch line water supply line into service, expanded roadway capacity and sewer availability. These are among his notable accomplishments,” said Yelverton. “Mr. Cohen’s experience will allow us to continue to advance our strategic public works goals.”

The City conducted a nationwide search for the Director of Public Works. Mr. Cohen is scheduled to begin his work with Southlake in mid-February.

About Robert M. Cohen
Mr. Cohen graduated with his Bachelors’ (civil engineering and construction management) and Master’s Degrees (civil engineering) from Texas A&M University. His Naval work includes service in public works, asset and facility management as well as capital improvements. He has served in Iraq in the Navy’s Multi-National Security Transition Command and also in Washington, DC, most recently in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. He is also affiliated with the American Public Works Association and the Boy Scouts of America.

View full post on MySouthlakeNews » City of Southlake