City names new director for Transportation & Public Works

A public works executive with more than 20 years of experience managing and improving organizations has been named the new director of Fort Worth’s Transportation & Public Works Department.

William M. Johnson will join the city in September.

Johnson has served in many executive roles across the country. Most recently, he was managing director of Witt O’Brien’s, a leading planning, response and resilience firm in Washington, D.C.

He has worked in many public works roles, including as deputy chief operating officer and public works commissioner for the City of Atlanta; transportation director for the City of Baltimore; streets commissioner for the City of Philadelphia; and key leadership roles for various firms involved with emergency management.

He holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in geological engineering from the University of Missouri.

“William Johnson comes to Fort Worth with an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience, and we expect he will be an outstanding leader,” said City Manager David Cooke. “Throughout his career, Johnson has been known for improving the quality of services, controlling expenses and developing new and innovative processes.”

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Martinez earns statewide honor for public works officials

Richard Martinez, assistant director in the Transportation & Public Works Department, was named Top Public Works Leaders of the Year during the recent convention of the American Public Works Association-Texas Chapter.

The Top Public Works Leaders of the Year program seeks to inspire excellence and dedication in public service by recognizing the outstanding career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials, from both the public and private sectors. The primary focus of the award is on career service to the public works profession rather than on any one single event or project.

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ShopCore Works Toward Mid-March Completion of Fountains

With the new timeline set by ShopCore Properties, the completion date for the Park Village Fountains is set to occur in mid-March 2019.

In December 2018, ShopCore Properties was granted permits to complete the repair work, concentrating on plumbing and robotics. ShopCore representatives met with City Staff last month to present the expected completion date. This week, the fountain was filled with water as workers moved toward completion.

The Park Village Fountains are located on the corner of Southlake Boulevard and Carroll Avenue. The Southlake City Council approved the privately-owned lighted fountains as part of the Park Village development in 2013.

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Two seasoned professionals join Transportation & Public Works Department

Fort Worth’s Transportation & Public Works Department added two members to its leadership team. They join the staff in January.

Brooks

Tanya Brooks

Tanya Brooks will be assistant director overseeing the Traffic Management Division. In her new role she will be responsible for maintaining and operating the city’s parking, signal, street lighting, pavement markings and street signage programs, as well as the transportation and engineering planning sections.

Brooks is currently assistant director responsible for the Mobility Planning Division in Dallas’ Department of Transportation. She has worked for the City of Dallas for 20 years in transportation planning in the departments of Public Works and Transportation, Sustainable Development and Construction and Planning and Urban Design. She oversees Mobility Planning Division activities covering a wide range of services essential to economic viability and growth.

Brooks was a pioneer in the City of Dallas advocating for streets as corridors for all modes of transportation and led the Complete Streets Initiative. She specializes in complete streets planning, conceptual design and project implementation, especially retrofitting existing transportation corridors. She is an accomplished leader in forming multidisciplinary teams to enhance how multimodal transportation networks contribute to healthy, vibrant and livable communities by creating streets that facilitate walking and bicycling. The Complete Streets Design Manual received the 2015 Urban Design Award from the Greater Dallas Planning Council and was adopted by the Dallas City Council in 2016.

This year, Brooks led the effort for Dallas to become a full member of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, whose mission is to build a strong network of peers and foster open communication and collaboration between cities. Brooks works in close collaboration with multiple agencies, including Dallas Area Rapid Transit, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Dallas County, Texas Department of Transportation, McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, where she is currently a board member, to develop and implement a comprehensive and efficient multimodal transportation system.

Brooks holds a master of public policy degree from the University of Northern Iowa and received her bachelor of science degree in transportation from Southern University.

Edwards

Chad Edwards

Chad Edwards will be the mobility and innovation officer. He comes to Fort Worth with nearly 20 years of experience in transportation planning. Most recently, Edwards was assistant vice president of capital planning at Dallas Area Rapid Transit, where he had oversight of several areas, including corridor development, feasibility assessments, transit system planning and travel demand modeling.

Edwards also managed the agency’s $36 million General Planning Consultant Contract, where outside consulting services are utilized to support transit corridor, system, environmental and transit-oriented/economic development planning work.

Recent efforts included project development for extending station platforms along the Red and Blue light-rail lines; refining a locally preferred alternative for the Downtown Dallas Second Light Rail Alignment (D2 Subway); completing the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cotton Belt Corridor Passenger Rail Line and developing the next DART Transit System Plan.

Prior to DART, Edwards worked as a transportation planner for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the region’s metropolitan planning organization. His activities included air quality planning and conformity determinations, thoroughfare planning, transit/rail planning and coordinating the region’s long-range transportation plan.

Edwards is a member of the American Planning Association. He earned a bachelor degree in geography at Texas Tech University and later earned a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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City Works to Enhance School Safety

The City of Southlake working with Carroll ISD and law enforcement professionals is looking at new ways to strengthen enhance school safety in all Carroll ISD schools.

“Our most precious resource deserves our best efforts which is why I have discussed with the Southlake Crime Control and Prevention District, funding of more than $500,000 in the coming year to support the exploration and implementation of new, innovative safety and security initiatives at Southlake schools,” said Mayor Laura Hill.

(Click the play button for Mayor Laura Hill’s message about School Safety)

History of SRO Program

In early 2013, after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the School Resource Officer program was expanded at the recommendation of a City of Southlake-CISD-Parent task force. By the start of the 2013-2014 school year, specially-trained officers were in place at each CISD elementary school and intermediate school in addition to the officers at the middle schools and high schools.

Much of the $1,000,000 funding for these officers is from the Crime Control and Prevention District portion of the City’s sales tax. In 2015, voters re-authorized the district for 20 years helping to ensure the future of SRO program and other safety initiatives.

2017-2018 School Year

“The success of our SRO program can really be seen in the day to day interactions with CISD students,” said Police Chief James Brandon.  “New investment will only further their mission keep our kids safe and focused on learning.”

In the 2017-2018 school year, the Southlake SROs have participated in more than 4,000 school patrol hours, 850 student meetings, 550 coach or mentoring hours, 450 parent meetings, 90 SRO led student classes, and 40 community presentations.

“All of these efforts have resulted in zero student citations,” said Chief Brandon. “I look forward to working with CISD, and our law enforcement community so that we can continue to see these types of outcomes in Southlake schools and students can learn and have fun without worrying too much about their safety.”

For more information on the City’s SRO program, please visit www.CityofSouthlake.com/SROs.

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Southlake Water Utilities Works to Repair Water Pump

The City of Southlake Water Utilities department identified a water leak at one of its pump stations Monday morning. Emergency crews are working to make repairs as quickly as possible.

Some customers may experience less water pressure during this time. All Southlake Water Utilities customers are asked for their cooperation to help conserve water Citywide. Additionally, all customers are asked to refrain from operating their irrigation systems until the repair has been completed. Repairs are expected to last several days.

Please contact Southlake Public Works Operations with any questions at 817-748-8082.

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Southlake Public Works to Conduct Test to Improve Sewer System

On Tuesday October 17, 2017, Southlake Public Works Wastewater Division, in partnership with RJN Engineering, will begin smoke testing in key locations throughout the City.

The purpose of this testing is to locate any possible deficiencies in the wastewater collection system which may allow rain water to enter the system. It will require access to manholes which may be located in streets, front yards, back yards and public easements.

Some residents may notice smoke emanating from roof vent stacks on houses or the ground. Deputy Director of Public Works Cristina McMurray says residents should not be concerned, “This is a common visual test. Any smoke coming from rain gutters or roof vent stacks on houses is non-toxic, harmless and creates no fire hazard.”

Additionally, the smoke should not enter your home unless you have defective plumbing or dried up drain traps. However, if this does occur, residents should consult your licensed plumber for repairs. If the harmless smoke can enter through faulty plumbing, the potential exists for sewer gases to enter your home or business. It’s also a good idea to pour water into drains which are seldom used and this will also prevent smoke from entering into the interior of the home or place of business.

Some sewer lines and manholes may be located on the backyard easement of property lines.  Whenever the lines require investigation, members of the inspection crews will need access to the easements for sewer lines and manholes.

It’s important to remember that RJN field personnel are uniformed and carry identification badges. Homeowners do not need to be home during this project and at no time will field crews have to enter your home or business.

This test is performed about once every 10 years. The information gained in this study will be used to improve your sewer services.

If you have any questions, please call Public Works Operations at (817) 748-8082.

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Carroll ISD Works to Maintain Allergy Aware District

Due to an increase in food allergies, undiagnosed food allergies, food intolerances, diabetes and cultural preferences, Carroll ISD is working to make its students, staff and parents more Allergy Aware, by making changes for the 2017-2018 school year regarding what types of foods kids are allowed to bring into the classroom.

New for the 2017-2018 school year, all classrooms in Carroll ISD are Nut Free Classrooms, restricting all peanuts and tree nuts from classrooms, which includes daily snacks, as well as classroom consumption food, such as birthday celebrations and class parties.

The only restriction for a student’s personal, daily snack is that it cannot contain peanuts or tree nuts. Personal daily snacks do not have to be prepackaged with a label, they simply cannot contain peanuts or other tree nuts.

All food items brought into school for classroom consumption (to be shared with other students) must be coordinated by the classroom teacher, be store bought and have an ingredient label attached to the packaging. Any label that states the following is not permitted in the classroom for classroom consumption: “may contain peanuts or tree nuts”, “processed on shared equipment with nuts”, “manufactured in a plant containing peanuts or tree nuts”, or “contains peanuts or tree nut ingredients.” With the exception of “may include peanuts or tree nuts,” these items do not apply to the student’s personal daily snacks, only food intended for the entire classroom to consume.

You will notice Nut Free Classroom signs at all K-6 campus classrooms in an effort to consistently remind students, parents, and teachers of the new Nut Free policy. This policy was recommended by SHAC, Student Health Advisory Counsil, a state-mandated committee that meets regularly to discuss student health and safety in school. Along with CISD Nurse Coordinator Karen Flexer, SHAC recommended this action after studying allergy awareness closely during the 2017 spring semester.

Carroll cannot guarantee an allergen free environment, but will abide by the CISD Food Allergy Management plan to minimize unwanted exposure to food allergies and discourage sharing of foods to keep all Dragons safe. Questions about Carroll ISD’s Allergy aware efforts can be directed to Carroll ISD’s Nurse Coordinator Karen Flexer at Karen.flexer@southlakecarroll.edu.

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Public Works Dept. Training Ensures Safety & Excellent Customer Service

The City of Southlake Public Works Department prides itself on customer service and occupational safety.

Not only do staff members work to respond quickly to any disruption in service or new service, but they always place a high priority on safety. Training plays a big role in their ability to perform their duties safely and efficiently. In fact, Director of Public Works Department, Rob Cohen, makes safety training a priority for his team. Director Cohen says, “We are continually seeking training opportunities to equip our employees so they can provide the highest level of customer service in the safest manner possible.”

This week more than 30 employees attended an on-site Confined Space Training course. The course is offered through the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), and includes a large on-site trailer for staffers to receive hands-on training. The course is designed to teach participants the proper procedures for entering a confined space, assist workers with entry and recovery, identify confined space hazards and hazardous atmospheres, and learn the proper use of ventilation systems.

The trailer is equipped to simulate wind, smoke, loud noises, darkness, and other associated dangers of working within tight spaces. Participants suited up in personal protective equipment and stepped through real world scenarios by using the TEEX Mobile Confined Space Safety Trailer. Director Cohen says, “Training courses like this allows our employees the opportunity to have real hands-on experience and be prepared for any critical situation. The TEEX training re-emphasizes the Public Works mantra of safety and teamwork; effectively and efficiently and safely solving problems.”

Each division deals with confined work areas on a daily basis. The unforgiving environment can be a large pipe, a Wastewater Lift station or excavated trench.  Work in this environment also occurs in any weather condition and at any time of the day or night.

Additional training for public works staff will include CPR and First Aid training as well as an Electrical Safety class.

 

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New Proclamation: National Public Works Week

The week of May 15-21, 2016 will be National Public Works Week.

Public Works infrastructure, facilities, and services provided in our communities are an integral part of our citizens’ health, safety, and well-being; and,

Whereas, such facilities and services could not be provided without the dedicated efforts of public works professionals, engineers, managers, and employees at all levels of government and the private sector, who are responsible for the planning, building, operation, and maintenance of transportation, water supply, water treatment, solid waste systems, public buildings, and other structures and facilities essential to serve our citizens; and,

Whereas, it is in the public interest for the citizens, civic leaders, and children in our country to understand and appreciate public works programs in their communities; and,

 Whereas, the quality and effectiveness of these facilities, as well as their planning, design, and construction, are dependent upon the efforts and skill of public works officials; and,

Whereas, the year 2016 marks the 56th annual National Public Works Week sponsored by the American Public Works Association; now,

Therefore, I, Mayor Laura Hill on behalf of the City Council, do hereby proclaim the week of May 15 – 21, 2016, as National Public Works Week.

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