With the phased reopening of Texas by Governor Abbott, I hope you are starting to resume your normal activities in a safe manner. No doubt, this has been tough on everyone regardless of age, especially our business owners. While it may be years before we truly comprehend the lasting impact of the pandemic, I believe in the strength and community spirit of Flower Mound.
This situation reminds me of a Mr. Rogers quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
We owe a huge debt to our healthcare workers and first responders who always answer the call in a time of need. So please, from the entire community, a huge thank you to our medical workers along with the brave men and women of our Flower Mound Fire and Police Departments. I cannot imagine the daily stress they are going through and know it impacts them both at work and home with their families.
I also want to recognize our many Flower Mound employees who kept the community running through the pandemic. Even though Town facilities were closed to the public, they were hard at work behind the scenes, adapting to changes while continuing to serve residents no matter when they were needed.
Here are just a few examples of Town employees who have been working hard behind-the-scenes:
- Emergency Management Officer Brandon Barth has been in daily communication with our public health officials, attended countless conference calls, led the Town’s COVID response team (including regular conference calls), procured PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) from the State, tracked costs related to the response for eventual reimbursement with the Town’s Finance staff, and provided daily reports to Town and elected officials.
- The Town’s internal COVID Compliance Team, comprised of staff members from Economic Development, Fire and Police Departments, and Environmental Services, helped businesses and residents navigate through the various requirements and recommendations to stay safe and compliant with State and County mandates.
- Our Communications Department led the charge in keeping the community informed through multiple news releases a day, videos, stayed on top of the latest mandates, created and maintained all the Town’s COVID-19 webpages, answered residents’ questions on social media, as well as implemented the technology needed to conduct remote public meetings.
- Environmental Services quickly converted permits to an online option to allow residents, businesses, and contractors the ability to still conduct work remotely. Staff also developed flexible inspection and work hour policies to help keep processes as normal as possible for residents and businesses while staying safe. Staff also helped answer questions from residents and business about what was considered essential/non-essential and worked with the business community to help ensure safe practices.
- Environmental Health Services quickly developed and distributed guidelines to help all permitted restaurants navigate the takeout options to help ensure the safety of their employees and customers. They also helped business owners with information on proper cleaning solutions to clean contaminated surfaces.
- Code Enforcement staff reached out to HOAs to provide resources to assist them with regulations and other requirements and providing relevant guidelines to reopen and operate safely. They also worked with Town Council, Town staff, and business owners to develop a policy to allow temporary commercial signs to help promote essential businesses. In addition, they bought pizza and cupcakes to improve staff morale.
- Library Circulation Supervisor Tanya Underwood’s organizational skills were put to the test when she figured out, on short notice, how to safely provide Curbside Pickup for Library items. This task was complicated by the Library’s drive-thru pickup window being closed due to construction. In the first week, 1,150 items were delivered to happy residents in 350 cars. In addition, Tanya issued 250 Library cards over the phone in the weeks since the Library has been closed, and fielded numerous questions related to the Library’s online services.
- The Town’s Building Inspectors continued to perform daily building inspections, and have been flexible when residents want to reschedule due to COVID-19 concerns.
These are only a few of the many stories out there about our great Town of Flower Mound employees. I’m sure there are countless more within our community. I hope you and your family have found your own silver lining to these trying times. I’m so thankful Flower Mound is full of helpers.