Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Do you know what you are doing for your special loved one? I know some of you love this holiday and others prefer to skip it altogether. Whichever your thoughts toward Valentine’s Day, I would like to suggest we use the holiday as a springboard to live and lead with love. You know, all you need is love…love one another…do everything in love…love is a many splendored thing…love is. Living a life of love can be quite simple. It’s really just a matter of being mindful of those around us and engaging with words and actions that reveal genuine care and respect. We are all worth it and we all respond positively to it.
You know I have some suggestions as to how we can show others we love and care for them. I recently read a comment on a Facebook post the City made about purchasing personalized fence pickets for placement at Kids Kastle. The person wrote how they purchased personalized pickets with the names of their grandchildren. Anyone who knows me can tell you how much I love my grandangels so this idea really appealed to me. The original Kids Kastle had personalized fence pickets throughout the playground and we are doing that again as a fundraiser to help pay for the construction of the rebuild. A personalized picket at the playground will be a loving tribute to any family member who has ever enjoyed playing at Kids Kastle or any other playground. And it would make a great Valentine’s Day gift too! All you have to do is visit hvparks.com for details or call the Parks Department at 972-317-7430.
Another way to show love to our community and those around you is to visit our local businesses. We have so many wonderful restaurants, retailers, and services here. These business owners and managers have chosen to provide their particular service or talent to our community. They have made Highland Village their home just as much as those of us who live in Highland Village. We all know our businesses have struggled this past year. We have seen so many adapt to stay in business and keep their employees working. We have quite a few new businesses here as well. Aspire Nutrition, Kendra Scott, Learning Express Toys & Gifts, Berries & Batter, Be Legend Gaming, Buff City Soap, Grill This BBQ Supply, and SOI Brow Threading Salon are just a few of the new businesses open in the last couple months. I encourage you to stop in and welcome them to Highland Village.
Our newest subdivision, The Reserve at Chapel Hills, has nearly completed their infrastructure work and model homes will soon be constructed. It won’t be long before families will be purchasing their new home in Highland Village and visiting our City to see what we offer. I know they will find we are a beautiful City, filled with parks, trails, wonderful businesses and restaurants, and mostly loving and caring residents.
At our January Council meetings we received updates from the Highland Village Police and Fire Departments. Police Chief Doug Reim shared the department’s continued focus on the community policing model with programs like the Emergency Care Attendant program. Through this program is a partnership between police and fire to certify our officers to provide immediately lifesaving interventions while awaiting the arrival of Emergency Medical Services. The department has two School Resource Officers, one working at Briarhill Middle School and one for our three elementary schools. This is a partnership with LISD to fund one of the officers and develop relationships and guide the youth of our community. We also contract with The Shops at Highland Village to provide additional public safety services at the center.
Fire Chief Michael Thomson shared the department’s newly implemented 48 on/96 off shift schedule. We are one of the first departments to convert to this schedule. What we have found is it has improved the overall morale and retention within the department, provided an increase in training hours, and decreased the minimum staffing overtime. The department is continuing the partnership with Flower Mound and Lewisville for the joint fire training facility project. They are working on the completion of the comprehensive Texas Department of State Health Services Provider Audit and Inspection, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Property Protection Classification Regrading, and working to complete the Texas Fire Chiefs Best Practices Recognition Program.
Amidst the list of accomplishments, goals, and statistics, what stands out to me is the love our public safety employees have for our City and its residents. Everything they do is centered on serving and they do it with love. I truly believe this philosophy in action is what makes Highland Village a special place in which to live and work.
Our Fire Department has been certified as a COVID-19 vaccination provider, and as I write this they have not yet received vaccinations to provide to the public. It is their goal to be able to do that and will provide updates at www.highlandvillage.org/COVID. Currently Denton County has been able to provide mega sites to vaccinate qualified individuals who have signed up and have an appointment scheduled. The Denton County Health Department has asked for community volunteers to help with traffic flow and paperwork at these vaccination clinics. You can learn more and volunteer to be part of the Medical Reserve Corps by visiting www.mrc.dentoncounty.gov. I have heard people who volunteer say it has been one of the most fulfilling activities in which they have been involved. This is another way to genuinely love your community and give back by volunteering your time.
You can stay up to date on all things Highland Village by following the City, Parks, Fire and Police on Facebook or Instagram. You can also sign up to receive emergency notifications, the City Manager’s Report, and The Villager at the “Stay Notified” link at highlandvillage.org.
I hope we will all consider how we can put love into action not just for Valentine’s Day, but every day.