We may just be entering February, but 2022 has certainly been a busy year so far!
On January 10th, a special Bartonville resident and World War II veteran, Roberta (aka Tutu) DuTeil, celebrated her 100thbirthday privately with her family. Tutu is such a special member of our community, and we collectively celebrate her many accomplishments and her service to our country. Happy Birthday, Tutu!
Bartonville has also recently taken a step in celebrating our own history. We approved funding for a new mural on the south end of the Bartonville Store. The image selected honors the history of the Bartonville Store and will add an incredible piece of art to our community. We anticipate the artist beginning this project late this month and look forward to its completion.
As some of you may have heard, the Town recently held public hearings related to updating ordinances related to equestrian centers. We formed a committee to review the existing regulations, with a desire to provide clarity for any incoming equestrian centers, as well as protection for their neighbors and their quality of life.
Bartonville embraces the equestrian nature of our community and our goal is to work jointly with the equestrian community to find a balance that works for all. Due to a great turnout for the last public hearing, we have opted to delay any further action on this ordinance update until additional comments are received and thoroughly reviewed.
An additional workshop session with the Bartonville community is being held on February 9th at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Please join us if you want to learn more and/or provide feedback
Don’t forget, we are currently right in the middle of the filing period for our upcoming General Election on May 7th. Residents may file for a place on the upcoming Town Council election ballot until February 18th for Mayor, Place 2, and Place 4. Applications are available on the Town’s website.
Finally, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve as Mayor the last nine years. I have recently accepted an assignment with Boeing Defense – United Kingdom that will require extensive travel over the next 18 months. In good conscious, I feel the need to step down at the end of my term in May, as I believe this will prevent me from supporting the needs of our great Town in the manner you deserve.
I am extremely proud of our accomplishments over the last nine years. We have:
- Ensured Town Council meetings are civil and respectful of all views
- Increased transparency to town operations via a new website, newsletters, social media, monthly newspaper articles, and streaming council sessions
- Rebuilt Town Hall with the Council chamber/community room in the old fire bay, new police offices, new staff offices, better storage, and an appropriate secure entry area for our citizens
- Resolved the water tower dispute to ensure proficient fire protection as well as reimbursement of all town legal expenses and a commitment to expanded infrastructure for several areas of the Town.
- Installed new street signs throughout the town incorporating our Town seal
- Put the Town on a solid financial footing
- Tax rate decrease for our residents for 2022 by limiting growth of government while efficiently providing an appropriate level of government services
- With strategic fiscal planning and debt reduction, we increased revenue over 200%
- Aligned staffing and expenditures with your revenue. While our revenues have grown tremendously over the last several years, the budget was very tight in the early years, and we had to make hard adjustments to align expenditures to revenue
- Roads were in extreme disrepair in the beginning. We allocated budget and created a multi-year road maintenance plan and have successfully improved our roads
- Following the Master Plan, we have had appropriate growth in the designated commercial areas. We have added Lantana Town Center (the “Kroger” center), Lantana Town Center Phase II across FM 407 from Lantana Town Center, Marty B’s, and Tractor Supply
- We have four new home developments either completed or in progress
- ETJ (Extra-territorial Jurisdiction) release for Furst Ranch. We negotiated a deal that would get the town sufficient resources to put concrete roads throughout the town, proposed changes in state law may change this agreement. *concrete roads are more expensive but have the longest lifespan*
- Navigated COVID working closely with our local businesses, we navigated the COVID pandemic in a way that ensured public safety and no businesses closed their doors.
- Because of our conservative budget management, we were able to ensure no staff job loss. Our successful budget management allowed us to then use the Federal government funding to support our local business, none of this money was used/nor needed for staff.
- Revitalized our Police Department by increasing the professionalism and size of the department commensurate with sound budgeting
I also want to thank the Council and Boards/Commissions members, both current and former, for their support, selfless service, and dedication. With a special thanks to:
Tammy Dixon, our town secretary – Tammy is and has been the glue that holds the town administration together. She works tirelessly for this town, and you will often see her at Town Hall on Saturdays.
Bobby Dowell, our Chief of Police – He has been with us for over a decade rising from patrol officer to Chief. He is one of the most honorable men I have had the pleasure of working with.
Jeff Traylor – Jeff’s contribution has been immeasurable. Jeff led the redesign of Town Hall with his expertise saving $100K in costs. On roads, Jeff worked with the Town Engineer to manage our road repairs, comprise the road management plan, and designed the road subsurface experiment where we evaluated three sub-surfaces to see which was best for our soil conditions to limit road cracking: thereby extending the lives of our roads.
Jim Langford – Jim and I ran for council together and started the changes that you now see in the Town. This would not have happened without him.
Bartonville is a special place, and I am pleased to have kept Bartonville Country while preparing Bartonville for the future. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of representing our town.