As 2019 came to an end we found ourselves looking down the path of another year’s tasks at hand. As I have heard many times in my life, “You won’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been.” This has proven to be true on many occasions.
As I reflect on the past year, I am initially confronted with all the bitterness that certain individuals have tried to spread throughout our community. But putting that aside I see the many great tasks our Council, P&Z and EDC have accomplished. One of the statements I keep hearing is that growth and development are inevitable, well, so is change and Argyle has endured some change along with our accomplishments.
Some change hurts but if we keep the big picture in focus, we will always make the right decisions, “Service to the Citizens of Argyle.”
The Council awarded the bids for the comprehensive road repair project which has been moving forward and will continue through 2020. As we look at the costs for these repairs it has become clear that we will be able to move forward with additional road repairs throughout town as these repairs have come in under budget.
The Council took an extensive look at the taxes be levied on our senior and disabled citizens. While the town’s tax rate has stayed steady for more than the last 8 years, home and land values continue to rise every year, increasing overall taxes. With this information the council raised the “Over 65/Disabled” deduction from $40,000 to $100,000 for Argyle citizens. We knew this was a big jump but felt it was financially feasible and extremely necessary for our aging and disabled population.
We sadly said goodbye to Police Chief Temple Cottle as he felt it was time to retire. This is a decision I know he didn’t take lightly but one we will all face at some point. As of January 2, 2020 we say a big hello to out new chief Emmitt Jackson. He comes to us from the City of Keene, Texas, a position he has held since 2017.
Jackson, who has 17 years of law enforcement experience, began his career with the City of Dallas in 2002, and rose through the ranks to the position of lieutenant, which he held from 2013-2017. Jackson holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Lamar University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas, and is a graduate of the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas at Sam Houston State University.
Strategic Government Resources (SGR), an executive recruitment firm based in Keller, assisted the Town in recruiting a stellar pool of 76 applicants from 14 states.
We know that Argyle is a wonderful community, and we were pleased with the exceptional group of candidates who applied for the position. Chief Jackson is an engaging leader who has the depth and breadth of experience we are looking for. He is the ideal choice to lead our police department with integrity and vision, and we are excited to welcome him as our new Police Chief.
During our December 17th regular meeting, the Argyle Town Council accepted the resignation of Town Manager Kristi Gilbert. Ms. Gilbert’s last day of employment with the town was December 27, 2019. The Council and I wish to thank Ms. Gilbert for her five years of service to the Town and wish her the best in her future endeavors.
The Town Council also interviewed candidates to serve as Interim Town Manager at the December 17th meeting, appointing Jeff Howell. Mr. Howell has had a long and successful career working with large and small communities across Texas. He retired in 2016 as City Administrator for the City of Winnsboro. Most recently he served as interim City Manager for the City of Fritch. Mr. Howell has decades of senior staff and town manager experience and a track record of helping Texas towns and cities to succeed in meeting challenges ranging from public works improvements to downtown redevelopment.
The Council also selected SGR to begin the search process for a permanent town administrator. The Council is pleased to have quickly identified and hired an interim leader with experience that is relevant to the Town’s ongoing projects and challenges. We are confident that Mr. Howell will provide the Town staff with capable management and support their efforts to deliver excellent service to residents and businesses while we search for a permanent town administrator.
Argyle Seniors Update
We want to thank Santa, Mrs Claus and one of Santa’s helpers for visiting us and making our Christmas gathering and luncheon so much fun.
We also want to thank the City for the donation they give us each month, the Argyle Police Department and the Donut Palace.
We appreciate and want to thank everyone for everything you do to help us be able to bring family and friends together for fun, food and fellowship!
Our next luncheon will be Friday, Jan. 17. Our theme is western, so everyone dress for the occasion. If you or you know someone who would come and play their guitar, please let us know.
We’ll play bingo after lunch.
The seniors meet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week at 10 a.m. to exercise and play the card game Hand & Foot.
We have a new activity Chairman (Gale Schauhec) and she is taking suggestions as to what and where people want to do and go. We are so fortunate to have her. A big thanks not only to Gale, but to Donna and Paul Lumpkins for getting the meat and more for us– and Jody Bellinghausen for everything she does for us– so many I can’t begin to list them.
I personally want to thank everyone who helped clean-up after the luncheon.
In February we are very fortunate to have the seniors singing group from Denton come sing for us again. Be sure to double up on your dish that you bring then, so we’ll have plenty of food for 30 more people.
For more information, contact Stella McDaniel at 940-464-7438 or Karen Kiel at 940-464-0506.
-Submitted by Stella McDaniel