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Gravell Flying High at Georgetown Meet & Greet
Judge Bill Gravell addressed guests Jan 9 after hangar owner Jim Schwertner's surprise reveal of his jet's new temporary call sign; "Crony Force One"
Candidate for County Judge
Bill Gravell held a public meet & greet at the Georgetown municipal airport January 9. Hosted by business leaders Jim and Patty Schwertner, Mayor Dale Ross and several others at the Schwertners' private hangar, more than 350 guests attended, enjoyed signature Texas brisket barbecue, and engaged with Judge Gravell and many other elected officials. Around the hangar, a popular topic of conversation was reminiscent of President Trump's supporters who proudly took ownership of being "deplorable" after an insulting comment by Hillary Clinton. One campaign booster had items on hand for supporters to show they are part of team #Crony. A recent opposition press release indicated some who favor the Judge are "courthouse cronies". Gravell's many local supporters seemed happy to follow suit by wearing the branded hats and t-shirts. Attendee Tadim Leasure, a senior leader at a community action agency in Georgetown, commented; "I just want Williamson County to stay Williamson County. I love the
conservative values embraced by our leadership and I think Gravell is the person to do that as Judge." Politics aside, guests enjoyed the unusually warm weather after the recent cold snap, which also allowed for a dramatic reveal (above) when Schwertner opened the hangar door where his jet was parked as the backdrop for speakers. Jim Schwertner spoke first and strongly in favor of the change effected in Williamson County since the development of Sun City, which "helped bring the cowboys back!" He introduced Sun City resident Major General Robert Halverson who talked about Gravell's passion for service and how willing he is to listen to others' perspectives. He wrapped up with a rousing "The leader is in the house!" District Attorney Shawn Dick received an ovation in his own right and talked about restoring professionalism and integrity within the entire criminal justice system. "[Judge Gravell] has always solicited feedback, not for himself but simply to improve the justice system here. Every day he deals with
difficulty and death, but, every day, has a smile on his face and a kind word or prayer." On prayer, Jim Schwertner shared "a story about Bill that you don't know. Many people don't know the hundreds of thousands he has affected in Texas. I had strong urge to bring prayer to a State school, and succeeded only with Bill's guidance and prayer. With his help, there is prayer before every sporting event at every game that Texas A&M has all over the state of Texas. Bill has a big heart, wisdom, and he's fair." Schwertner also entreated attendees to contribute more and bring friends to the polls because the race will be a lot harder than people think and, more so, "We need to be aware of [liberal] creep;" i.e., maintain conservative values that are at work in the county. Judge Gravell followed and spoke of his humility in the level of support and his admiration for others who also serve. He highlighted several platform issues; the "best of Williamson County who are protecting us every night while we sleep" and
THE ADVOCATE NEWSPAPER
Left: Lynn Frazier, Jennifer Slayton, Judge Gravell and childhood Sunday school teacher, Sherrie Hopkins; and Renate Riedner assured guests that law enforcement and first responders will be a priority for his administration. He also addressed taxes and drawing down the county's $1.3 billion debt, which equals $1800 for every resident. "No child born into this county should come with a tab." As he often has, Gravell wrapped the evening with his "Why". Every day I ask myself: What am I going to do to make my Williamson County better, so when my grandkids and great-grandkids lay me to rest they will say, 'There lies my Paw-paw. A good man who loved his Williamson County, Texas, and gave it everything he had.'
GEORGETOWN COUNCIL RACE......... A2 WILCO JP3 RACE............................... A3 WILCO JP2 RACE............................... A4 MAYOR'S UPDATE............................. A6 ADVOCATIE...................................... A9 EDITORIAL...................................... A11
SUN CITY WATER TOWER................. B3 RAZMATAZ NEWS............................. B4 SAVVY SENIORS............................... B5 WILCO COLD CASE UNIT.................. B6
Politics PAGE A2
JANUARY 11, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
LOCAL ELECTIONS GEORGETOWN CITY COUNCIL
Open Letter from Ty Gipson Georgetown City Council District 5
and must be made with diligence and care. I have concluded that, due to the time commitment and travel required to successfully operate my business, I will not be able to serve effectively on Council. I am confident that candidate, Kevin Pitts, if elected, will do a great job for District 5. Kevin, employed by BBVA Bank, Crystal, Reese and Ty Gipson has years of I am writing this letter to high level inform my constituents in financial experience, and he District 5 that after careful has served on multiple City deliberation, I have decided boards and committees. He not to seek re-election to is well prepared to serve in the Georgetown City Coun- this position, and I will be cil this spring. Shortly after enthusiastically endorsing I began serving my term on him to represent District council, our business grew 5 on the Georgetown City dramatically, expanding Council. nationally, which has reIt would be impossible quired significant time and for me to thank all the peofrequent travel. I am keenly ple who help make Georgeaware that the decisions town such a unique place made by the Council affect to live, work, earn a living, individuals, companies, and and, yes, to govern; we the community as a whole, have an exceptional group
of outstanding people! I’d like to thank our City Manager, David Morgan, for his outstanding work, as well as my colleagues on this exemplary Council. I’d also like to thank our city staff, who work diligently to carry out the mandate of Council. I have learned an immense amount about public service during my tenure. I’ve learned that governing at this level requires time, patience, and the ability to listen and conciliate when necessary. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage those who feel compelled, to join in and engage in leadership activities in the city that may lead to a run for council. We can never have too many concerned citizens working diligently and serving our community My family loves Georgetown, and I pledge to remain engaged in the ongoing efforts to keep Georgetown as unique as it is, and to maintain the quality of life we’ve all come to love. Here’s to having the best year ever. I look forward to seeing everyone around town.
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The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of The Advocate, administration, staff or contributing writers. The views expressed in all letters to the editor and signed opinion articles are those of their authors. All letters to the editor must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Anonymous and unverified letters to the editor will not be printed. The Advocate reserves the right to edit letters for length and journalistic style, and has a recommended length of 300 words. "To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge, to find the will of God is the greatest discovery, and to do the will of God is the greatest achievement." ~Author Unknown
Local Banker to Run for Dist 5 Seat Kevin Pitts, President of the Georgetown BBVA Bank announced his candidacy for the Georgetown City Council, District 5 Seat, currently held by Ty Gipson. Pitts and his family moved to Georgetown in 2013 and quickly began serving the community. He believes his background on nine Georgetown commissions and boards makes him uniquely qualified to serve on Council. In addition, "being president of a bank and managing a budget gives me the expertise that will allow me to begin contributing on Council day one.” Pitts explains his lead-by-example style is a great motivator. "When I see something that needs to be done, I get my hands dirty and get it done. People see that and are likely to step up, do the same thing and contribute." He is currently a Mayoral appointee and is Vice Chair of the Planning & Zoning Board. "I enjoy the challenge of these new responsibilities and I believe working through complex topics and learning curves makes me a strong candidate for Council. Board work requires learning new data and terms but I never hesitate to ask questions; gather all the available data, and talk to the experts. It's our job to see things from the city's standpoint and ask, 'Does it make
sense?'" Pitts says his goals are consistent with the citizens in his district and across the city. "Public safety and low taxes are always high priorities for residents and Georgetown has high standards that I will work diligently to maintain. In addition, I am looking forward to working on our mobility challenges in order to stay ahead of our growth curve. The city has plans for improvements, however, more people are moving to Georgetown and I want to see us keep up with the increased needs for new roads and infrastructure. "As a Chamber member, I also want to know Georgetown will continue to be a place where it is easy to do business. Bankers are all about service, and I know my City, at its heart, is too. We need to make sure we attract quality business as well." As Secretary of the GISD Education Foundation, he believes it is also important for the City to have a good partnership with the schools. Pitts is married, has two daughters, and is looking forward to campaigning beginning next month for the May 5 election.
Eby Running to Keep Council Seat Anna Eby told The Advocate this week that she plans to run again to keep her seat as Georgetown City Council District 1 Representative. Eby has been a resident of Georgetown since 2001 and is a trial and appellate attorney and small business owner. While proud of her own and the Council's efforts and achievements during her first term, she believes now that she is more familiar with Georgetown's issues and municipal operations, and has learned how the city works, she is ready to continue being a part of the Council and take things to the next level. "Council is a really complex job and I enjoy being part of a thoughtful and deliberative body. I feel I am past the learning curve so I will be even more productive and can get more done. We made great strides, during my first term, in affordable housing and a great many constructive projects. There is no denying the growth of our city and we are still in the middle of great change. I believe this is one of the most monumental periods in our city's history and I am proud to be part of managing growth and decisions in a smart and responsible way. "Creating greatness in a city does not happen overnight and I know this is a longterm process but, again, I am pleased to be a part of that change in this time." Eby believes in the strength she brings to the dais with her legal background and age perspective. "I'm part of the great diversity
we have on Council, which allows us to reflect and see things from every angle. I approach everything with integrity; without ego or self-promotion and I see that mirrored in my fellow Council members." Council registration begins January 17 and Eby will be begin actively campaigning in the next month or so. "I want to continue to do right by this city. I ask my constituents to vote for me because, if I were in their shoes, I would want someone like me who approaches problems and decisions in consideration of what's right, not what's right for me." Council election day is May 5, 2018.
Politics PAGE A3
JANUARY 11, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
LOCAL ELECTIONS PRECINCT 3 JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
Georgetown Law Officer Announces for JP3
Captain Evelyn McLean of the Georgetown Police Department announced her candidacy December 4 for Justice of the Peace Pct 3. McLean began her law enforcement career in 1991 as a Communications Operator for the Pflugerville Police Department but over time realized she didn't want to sit behind a console while "hot calls" were coming in. She trained at the Austin County Sheriff's academy, began her career with the Manor PD, worked full-time for the Taylor police department and later relocated to Georgetown PD. In 1998 she served on the Williamson County Gang Task Force and was named “Officer of the Year”. She has held a command-level position for 17 years with the Georgetown Police Department and was the first female Captain in the department in 2011. As Captain, she has direct input and participation in the overall preparation and administration of the department budget. Her leadership experience includes command of Patrol, Special Operations, Communications,
Criminal Investigations, and Professional Standards. Capt. McLean has also worked more than ten years as Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Georgetown. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree from Midwestern State University, is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas Leadership Command College, an honors graduate from the Austin Police Department Leadership Academy, and a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA. "I believe the prestigious training I received at the FBI National Academy is widely accepted as a prerequisite to most midsize or large agency police chief positions." McLean says, "In total, I believe my education and training, budget experience, leading personnel and major project management are what set me apart from the other candidates and will help me effectively run the JP3 office." She provides oversight for half of the department and directly supervises two Lieutenants, two Managers, one Supervi-
sor and the Property & Evidence Technician and supports many Georgetown and surrounding community outreach programs; "I have extensive experience in major project/incident management such as Law Enforcement Field Day, multiple Emergency Operations Center activations, various sting operations, Calls from Santa, Caring for the Community and clean up days." Captain McLean describes her career as both “rich and rewarding”. On top of her success in law enforcement, McLean believes her concurrent experience as a licensed real estate agent gives her a well-rounded background for the business operations of the JP3 office. Regarding her plans and goals for the office at JP3, she says; "I would like to continue the Teen Court program already in place. I have worked with our City's Teen Court program for many years. It is a positive for the community and across-the-board winwin." She is also familiar with the value provided by volunteers thanks to the VIPs and COPs programs at Georgetown PD. "I would like to explore similar volunteer programs for the JP3 office. Certainly not to take away any current paid positions, but to provide additional customer service to the public without impacting the county financially." Evelyn is blessed with a husband of 24 years, who is a retired Assistant Police Chief. They have one daughter, and a precious grandson. Evelyn is also active in her church and the community. McLean is opposed by Williamson County Deputy Deanna Lewis. The Republican primary takes place Tuesday, March 6.
Georgetown PAGE A4
JANUARY 11, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
St. David's Nurse Giving Award-winning Care, Everywhere
St. David's Georgetown CEO Hugh Brown and Louis Soto-Chavez
St. David’s Georgetown Hospital named Louis Soto-Chavez, a medical-surgical nurse, 2017 Caregiver of the Year. This award recog-
nizes employees who demonstrate St. David’s HealthCare’s core values in their interactions with patients, visitors, physicians and fellow staff
members. Soto-Chavez was selected because of his willingness to provide care to those in need and to rise to any medical
emergency, as he did when he rendered aid for several hours to help save a woman in distress on an international flight last year. Soto-Chavez has been a Medical-Surgical nurse at St. David's Georgetown for the past two years and says he was surprised to receive the award. In November 2016, he and his wife were heading to Rome on vacation and about half-way, he heard an announcement that the flight crew was looking for a doctor. He found himself aside an Italian medical student and an EMT. "I found a patient who was pale and sweating profusely," Soto-Chavez recalls. "She was not responsive and we spent a quick moments assessing what kind of expertise and knowledge we had between us." Soto-Chavez says he suspected she was diabetic and suffering from dehydration; common during travel. "There
was no way to check her blood sugar but we contacted a hospital at Philadelphia and asked the doctor on call if we could give her juice. To make things worse, she spoke only Italian but we were blessed and lucky that our medical student could translate." At one point they considered asking the pilot to make an emergency landing. The doctor indicated it would not be necessary and they continued the trip, giving her juice and oxygen. Part of the job included keeping her calm to avoid heart complications, also common with diabetes. They considered giving the patient aspirin but Soto-Chavez, recalling his training, asked if she was allergic; she was. Administering aspirin could have killed her or at least caused a serious side effect so he again was saving her life. He says it felt like 30 minutes, but he administered care for more than five hours until the
plane landed in Italy. The patient was first off the plane onto a waiting gurney and medical team. "I was just hoping all that time that nothing worse would happen. As a nurse, you work the problem in front of you. I was most gratified to see my patient regain her color and wave to me as she was wheeled away. I just kept thinking, this is someone's mother or grandmother and I know she's out there again, feeling better." Soto-Chavez says he loves the challenge, seeing people recover and watching their natural resilience. "I want to continue being a nurse, learning and enjoying new opportunities to make a difference." His only regret is that he never found out her name or how she fared so if anyone knows of a patient transferred from a Delta flight to an Italian hospital in November 2016, please let him know!
A Jeweler Can be Forever, too
Georgetown Jewelry gems are not just under glass On June 3, 2013 Ricky Poe and his wife Cyndee opened Georgetown Jewelry after searching for the perfect place to build a business. While they are experts in the business and try hard to provide good quality with good prices, the real dream, Ricky says, is to build relationships and help people. "We buy and sell precious metals, stones and coins. We are also a Safe Place where people can conduct private transactions with confidence that we have their back." Ricky and family discovered, when they opened their doors, that the business is a place of fulfillment. "I feel good about protecting people in their financial and business decisions. We take special care with vulnerable folks because jewelry is sometimes very closely tied to people and relationships." He says it is not unusual for a customer to sell an
estate piece or inherited ring to be able to afford medicine or rent. "That's a profound truth in this business, and while some stores just buy and sell things, I wouldn't be fulfilled just to service jewelry needs." He jokes easily about pricing; "We are not in it to be millionaires; i.e., going with the industrystandard 800-1000 percent markups. We put more gold and more investment into quality pieces and sell them cheaper because we don't want you to just have the pieces forever, we want to be your jewelers forever." His son, Jordan, also works in the store and, like Ricky, is a certified diamond grader. Jordan also does custom work and says if you can think of it, he can create it. The bottom line for the Poe family is that they make about as much as they need because when not working with
his family at the store in Williamsburg Village, Poe has another unique calling. At 19, he got the call to be a minister and quickly realized that he was in his element. He went to work in his brother's jewelry store and began a chaplaincy that has spanned 31 years and Above: Jordan, Ricky, Cyndee and Gracie Poe at nine agencies. He was an evangelist and seeded work over the holidays. • Right: Tracee, a regular customer works with Jordan on a custom piece. churches, but always wanted to work in the Poe splits his current and sponsor ministry, so his business duties at the UT Police lists. allows him to do that and Department with other "It's about still support his family. chaplains and credits making and He works with law his wife for making sure keeping enforcement personnel he doesn't overdo it. "I connecand supports them in a have a hard time saying tions. I'm not here just to professional and personal 'no'," Poe says. "I have sell a product, although capacity. "I am the guy sold rings to people we do sell good qualthe police officers call and turned around and ity products. I just want when they are the ones married them right in my to perfect what we're who need help," Poe store. I give back to the doing, which means busisays. "Their stresses are community as a business ness with integrity and a lot different than most, owner, neighbor and compassion, and grow and my priority is their chaplain." Anyone who the business to be able mental and emotional frequents Georgetown to help more people. health so they can be fundraisers will have My business is a chanthere for everyone else. heard the store mennel to do the things I Whether it's PTSD or tioned in many donation really want to do to help marriage difficulty, "
humanity the way I know best." It seems what the Poes are doing is working. Not a single passer-by did not wave or step in the door to say hello or wish them well. Suffice to say the best accessory this jeweler has to offer is good will.
JANUARY 11, 2018 ï‚« THE ADVOCATE
Georgetown PAGE A6
JANUARY 11, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
MAYOR'S UPDATE Street maintenance plan looks to new applications by Dale Ross
Georgetown’s rapid growth means that our city street network continues to expand. The city’s road network currently has 704 lanes miles of city streets, which is three times larger than it was 25 years ago. This growth puts more demand on our budget for street maintenance funding. Georgetown voters wisely supported a dedicated 0.25 percent street maintenance sales tax in 2002 and have voted to reauthorize the sales tax by wide margins every four years since then. The street maintenance sales tax on all goods and services sold in Georgetown generates more than $3 million annually that is used to fund street maintenance. In the past, the City has used a variety of repair and resurfacing methods to maintain our city streets. Costs range from relatively inexpensive treatments like crack sealing for $1,000 per lane mile and surface sealants for $3,500 per lane mile to double-course chip seal for $42,000 per lane mile. More expensive treatments include hot-inplace asphalt recycling for $110,000 per lane mile, milling and new asphalt overlay for $127,000 per lane mile, and full-depth rehabilitation at $141,000 per lane mile. The City’s street maintenance strategy is to use lower cost maintenance methods in order to extend the life of pavement surfaces and avoid more costly full road rehabilitation. In the last few years, we have heard residents express dissatisfaction with the use of traditional chip seal treatments that involve placing oil in one pass and small aggregate on a second pass. While this process served a purpose for many years, current community expectations coupled with better paving technologies mean that other methods
Road, D.B. Wood Road, Del Webb Boulevard, Lakeway Drive, Scenic Drive, Sun City Boulevard, Wolf Ranch Parkway, and others. The City Council did express support for the option of using double-course chip seal on major collectors or minor arterials that are not in residential areas. Two new applications would be introduced. The first is an ultra-thin bonded wearing course. This application consists of a thin layer of specially-graded hot mix asphalt over an application of emulsion. The ultra-thin
product can be applied in one pass and is suitable for many applications, including residential streets. It has an expected service life of 8-10 years and can quickly be applied with minimal traffic disruption. The cost is a bit more than double-course chip seal, but it is about half the cost of hotin-place asphalt recycling. Another type of application recommended by the Committee includes high-performance pavement sealants. These high-performance sealants are twice the cost of the sealants the City has used in the past, however, they have a longer life span and are suitable for many applications, including residential streets. In the November work-
shop, Garza also explained the Pavement Condition Index, or PCI, and how it is related to the pavement maintenance program. The City hires a specially-outfitted vehicle to drive every street in the City and, based on factors like cracking and surface condition, assigns a score from 0 to 100 for each road segment. These scores can then be averaged across the entire road network to determine an overall PCI score for City streets. By policy, the goal of the street maintenance program has been to maintain an overall PCI score of 85 for the City street network. Due to the size and age of the City’s road network, Garza explained that the street maintenance budget would
need to double from $3.3 million to more than $6 million in the coming years in order to maintain a PCI of 85 for city streets. At the November workshop, the City Council gave positive feedback to the Committee’s recommendation. In the spring, Public Works will present a maintenance plan to the City Council that includes the new applications to be used next summer. These adjustments to the street maintenance program should result in products with better performance and help us to meet the goal of maintaining our City road network.
may be better options for streets in residential settings. As a result of resident feedback, the City Council directed staff to form a Pavement Management Review Committee to look at pavement management options and make recommendations. The Committee was comprised of members of the Georgetown Transportation Advisory Board and worked for six months to learn about and analyze pavement surfacing options. Working with Public Works staff, the Committee developed five scenarios using a menu of different types of pavement processes. At a City Council workHAPPY HOUR shop in November, Public Monday – Friday: 2 pm - 7 pm Works Director Wine, Cocktail & Appetizer Specials! Octavio Garza presented the five 1/2 PRICE BOTTLES OF WINE options with a All Day Mondays and Wednesdays Committee recommendation for TUESDAYS one option. That $5 Martinis all day option would retain the use of THURSDAYS most treatment LUNCH DELIVERY options used in Happy Hour ALL DAY & NIGHT 11 am - 3 pm the past. HowDowntown & East Side ever, it would SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS involve a few Call 512-943-4214 or 512-217-0368 Brunch Served 11 am – 3 pm changes. Double-course 701 S. Main St. • Georgetown • 512.943.4214 • www.GumbosNorth.com chip seal would no longer be used KIDS 10 & UNDER EAT FREE on residential streets, major With the purchase of an adult entree WITH THE PURCHASE OF 2 ENTREES collectors, or (1 per adult - Excludes Tenderloin) minor arterials. Valid Sunday-Thursday This means that Valid Sunday-Thursday double-course chip seal would Not valid on holidays, brunch, Not valid on holidays, brunch, or not typically be or with any other offer. with any other offer. used on arteriOne Coupon per visit. Expires 1/31/18 One Coupon per visit. Expires 1/31/18 als like Airport
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Towns Around PAGE A7
JANUARY 11, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
Sonterra Self Storage
Mini Storage Units Climate Control Units Boat & RV Storage Office/Warehouse Moving Supplies 1825 County Road 313 Jarrell, Texas 76537 SonterraSelfStorage.com City of Georgetown residents are encouraged to recycle Christmas trees, boxes, and wrapping paper to reduce material going to the landfill. If you recycle your tree, please remove the tree stand and any garland, ornaments, or lights. Artificial trees cannot be recycled. Curbside Pick-up: Texas Disposal Systems customers in the city limits of Georgetown can put Christmas trees on the curb for collection on your regular yard trimmings pickup day. Trees seven feet in length or less can be placed at the curb uncut. Longer trees should be cut into sections. No artificial trees. For Georgetown city residents, your yard trimmings collection day is on your first recycling day of the month. Look it up at recycle.georgetown.org.
Recycling Christmas trees and boxes
Boxes and Wrapping Paper: Cardboard boxes and wrapping paper are recyclable. If they won’t fit in your recycling cart, you can put wrapping paper and boxes in a larger box and set it next to your recycling cart so it can be recycled. Ribbons and bows are not recyclable. Cellophane wrap and plastic bags are recyclable if they are placed in a yellow bag-thebag, tied, and placed inside the recycling cart. Note that
no extra plastic bags next to your trash cart are permitted without a bag tag. Go to recycle.georgetown. org for a complete list of recyclables. Christmas Tree Drop-off: From Dec. 26 through Jan. 31 at no charge, Christmas trees will be accepted at the City of Georgetown Collection Station, 250 W.L. Walden Drive. Normal fees apply to other items. Mulch is available, year-round, free-of-charge to City residents. Collection Station: Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Collection Station is closed Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1. For details, contact Texas Disposal Systems at (512) 930-1715. The Williamson County Landfill in Hutto is also accepting Christmas trees for recycling through Jan.
13 at 600 Landfill Road. The recycling is exclusive to Williamson County residents, and the landfill will be accepting all Christmas
trees stripped of decorations except for flocked trees. If you can’t make it to the landfill, the City of Round Rock is also hosting a free
recycling at the Round Rock Brush Recycling Center on 310 Deepwood Drive.
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Towns Around PAGE A8
JANUARY 11, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
Summit Motors: Good Example of Doing Business Different You don't just want customers, you want raving fans.
Most industries woke up to the Internet generation and realized “because we’ve always done it that way” is not much of a business model any more. Except car dealers. Photo: Mrs. Corbitt really wanted Summit's FX35 but it sold Outside of Jarrell. You may think this is just before she could see it. Summit found a duplicate and delivered it a free commercial for a local to her home in south Austin within days. auto dealer but what it’s realto have to drive into the city. They come ly about is a new business, in for what they’ve researched on the Web a place that is booming, and it has adapted and what they’ve seen on our page, that to the new paradigm of how people shop also has a better price. They come into the and how businesses really need to evolve dealership with a lot of knowledge about to survive. Additionally, he is part of what the kind of car they want so I just need to makes Williamson County one of the most see to their needs and make it as convenient desirable places in the country to live; the as possible.” opportunities businesses give residents to Huneycutt always wondered why the keep local money local. car-buying process took so long. “I knew Mario Huneycutt has been in the auto it could be shorter. I wanted to provide business for 18 years; 13 of those with the customer-based service and focus on that. Nyle Maxwell family of dealerships. He From better vehicle photos to personally pretty much did every job there, except delivering the purchase; you see a car we Mechanic. have that you like, call me up. I’ll bring Last year he opened Summit Motors in it to your office so you can test drive it Jarrell and has grown faster and better than on your lunch break. There is no need for even he expected. “People don’t spend their people to spend their day off, away from free time driving to dealerships any more family, walking around a car lot then wait and many customers are just happy not
for hours while sales guys ‘see what they Every customer matters, whether buying can do’ on a deal.” the $1500 coupe or the $100,000 sport. The Huneycutt chose Jarrell because he more time I save, the more likely people believes when you give people what they are to appreciate how positive the experiwant, they will make the drive. But aside ence can really be, and they’ll come back.” from easy access, his plan is to make the Find them at SummitMotorCompany. transaction as convenient as possible. He com. has driven cars to Houston for test drives, stays late at the shop for customers and includes a certified Vaccinations, Wellness Care, Microchipping, six-month warranty on used Spay/Neuter, Dentistry, Heartworm cars. One customer said, “I said I wanted it, we shook & Flea Preventive hands and he gave me the keys. I took the car home and got back to my life while he worked out the financing over a couple of days. He also consigned and gave me the retail value for my trade-in, which saved me (in front of Sphere Realty Offices) a few thousand dollars.” Huneycutt says, “I want to be your car guy and I my best day is when I can convert another customer to the realization that car buying can come into the 21st century just like grocery (FM 970 & IH-95) delivery and UberEats. I’m not here just to push cars out of the lot. I put myself David Foster, DVM • (254) 228-3960 in the customers’ shoes and No Appointment for Mobile Clinic recognize what matters to Limited to Cats & Dogs them. I have four kids and I know how busy people are.
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JANUARY 11, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
Every year about this time, my mailbox ceases to be crammed with catalogs that started building up in August, selling "cool stuff," fruits and nuts, and gadgets of all kinds for Christmas. Instead, it is now full of gym memberships and healthy cooking clubs. Greetings, Baby New Year, you should know I am just as likely to join a gym in January as I am to give up fast food. Odds are approximately zero point zero-nothing. I had a conversation this week about resolutions—those things we all work on during the first couple of weeks in January. Saying I'm going to work out or stop eating junk food is so easy to break. It's too specific, and too easy to fail. You either do it or you don't. If I eat a quarter pounder one time, I've failed, so why bother. And I'm a parent; I'm never going to give up precious sleep for a workout. I know my arteries will probably have gravy in them in another decade but I balance that with the joy of eating hot salty french fries a few thousand times in my lifetime. Perhaps smokers say the same thing about each cigarette being a little slice of happiness, so I don't judge. Still, I've never heard of anyone dying from second-hand grease... but I digress. On top of that, I hate exercise in a big way. While I've never been a big fan of panting until my throat hurts and wearing myself out for no immediate gain, I also believe the Information Age has given me ADD to a greater extreme so exercise is just plain boring. I can't run, watch TV and play CookieJam at the same time. Still, I do love to be active; I'm not trying to kill myself with sloth. Dancing, playing a sport or swimming for fun is a wonderful way to spend a day burning calories. But pushing a tire around a parking lot or walking up electronic stairs for 45 minutes makes my head explode. Can't do it.
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Ah, so what is an overweight, out of shape middle aged female to do? Well, I'll go vague on it. I'll resolve to be more aware of the need to be more active and I will make better choices when it's time to eat. I know I can do that. No resolution is going to give me the ability to choke down the vegetables from which a mere sniff makes me gag. But, I can easily *not* get the large value meal when I get my favorite quarter pounder. It's not much but it's a sure thing. I can feel good about making a different choice now and then, rather than beating myself up for not being perfect. So let's go a little easy on ourselves, dear readers! Now, I simply have long term goals of being better at various things, but I make no promise of being better in a certain time frame or making new rules on arbitrary days on the calendar. Growth comes in its own time – it may take years, or it may not happen at all, and I do have a family to stick around for. Still have a few things I'd like to accomplish but I'd also like to enjoy the life I'm walking through every day. My dad had a heart condition and didn't do anything he was supposed to do. He never stopped smoking and could eat a family bag of Lay's in one sitting. He never exercised. I certainly don't idealize his choices because I'm still mad at him for dying in his 50s but I will never forget when he told me that despite his health problems he was always so content and happy with his lifestyle. One of his best friends had a similar heart problem and he lived every day saltless; in fear of missing a pill or even having the hiccups. Ironically, his friend lived a whole 31 days longer. Seriously, who wants to be around a middle aged mom who is skinny, hungry, tired and cheap anyway? So, in the real world I will instead resolve to try not to run up my credit cards, unless my car falls apart or my water heater breaks. I will resolve not to make every conversation come back around to me, unless I just really have to tell you how much I love "The Good Doctor". I will stop texting while driving, unless it's from my family, or my friends, or the people I work with. No problemo! I resolve not to post photos of food, nor will I say "It is what it is" in decent company, and I promise to use my turn signals. That will be nice. And, I resolve to vote in every election this year. I dare you to do the same for us all. Finally, for you fellow computer nerds, join me in my certain success to honor one New Year's resolution... I'll keep it at 3200x1800 like I always have.
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Q&A Have you ever written a ticket for or arrested another officer? Contrary to popular belief, law enforcement officers are not above the law. It is unfortunate but officers do get arrested. I have never personally arrested another officer but I have been fortunate enough to not get put in that position. As for tickets, I have always been pretty big on warnings (who likes getting a ticket right?) so I have let lots of people go with a warning. We've all seen officers driving over the limit without lights and sirens. What are
some legitimate reasons for this? Driving about the limit is dangerous enough when you do have emergency equipment activated so we are very sensitive to doing it without the equipment. The only time that practice is allowable is when responding to a serious call where the sound of the siren or the visible display of lights could alert an offender to our approach and further endanger public safety. As you can imagine, that is a rare situation. Do most officers appreciate having to wear body cams? Yes! We have never had a single officer complain about the use of body cameras. On several occasions they have helped validate our officers' version of events. Are there laws you don't like but you find yourself saying "I really hate to do this to you, but..." ? Of course there are things in the legal system that I might not agree with but as a professional, I have to recognize my role and en-
force laws equally without interjecting my personal opinions. That being said, in my mind, enforcing the law doesn’t always equal arrest or a ticket. Police officers have many tools available to them to enforce the law that includes such things as education as well as arrests and citations. In the words of Judge Wapner from The People’s Court, you have to temper justice with mercy! Is the Good Cop/Bad Cop a real thing? Yes and no. I don’t know how much that really would work anymore. Would you want to talk to someone who was being horrible to you?? A suspect might connect better with one officer over another but intentionally being hostile to drive them in a particular way does not resonate well with juries. They like it in their movies but not in real life. It seems coercive. Cory Tchida is Assistant Chief of the Georgetown Police Department. Send your questions for the Chief to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Opinion PAGE A10
JANUARY 11, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND • TX REPRESENTATIVE TERRY WILSON In my very first article to you one
year ago, I talked about how, on January 10, 2017, the day I was sworn in as a State Representative, my family also celebrated the 90th birthday of my grandfather, W.E. “Bill” Howard. You all gave my family a memory we will treasure for a lifetime, and I could not be more grateful for that gift. On January 10th of this year, my family once again gathered to celebrate W.E. Howard, as we remembered his life and honored his joyous passage to join our Lord in paradise. I would like to share with you a few of the lessons I learned from him, and how I choose to honor his memory. My grandfather, in no uncertain terms, shaped my life. He, like many of the Greatest Generation, lived through the most difficult of circumstances. Growing up in the Great Depression, he lived a very hard life, losing his father in an oilfield explosion, becoming the Man of the house at age 12, working to support the family, scrimping and saving every cent. He learned along the way to be cheap with himself and generous with others, which he continued to do throughout his life. He showed me how having nothing teaches you to place your treasure in the place it matters most, and that is people. During his service in the Navy in WWII, his ship was sunk by a
Kamikaze, killing many of his friends and colleagues. Instead of idly waiting for reassignment, he sought Rep. Terry Wilson relevant service and volunteered to work with a construction and repair unit in Guam and was instrumental in helping build and maintain the infrastructure there. He taught me that physical and emotional trauma are things we must deal with up front. Confront the loss, come to accept the things you cannot change, mourn their loss, and then get to changing the things you can to make the world better. That “move on and get it done” attitude was a part of his generation. They understood that if you didn’t expect much, you wouldn’t be disappointed. When he left the Navy he didn’t expect an education or a job out of the blue, he knew that he needed to make himself into a success; so, he taught himself bookkeeping,
went to night classes on his own, and made himself into an excellent accountant. He taught me that, when you do the work for its own sake, rather than for the reward, the rewards will take care of themselves. Later on in life, when he had saved and built his fortune, he gave much to those around him, investing in people so that they could have every opportunity to make the most of their talents and work ethic. One man who attended the funeral approached
the family to tell me how, many decades ago, Mr. Howard had employed his mother as a bookkeeper. My grandfather followed the young man’s progress through school, mentoring him along the way; and, when he had completed law school, showed up at his door to help him purchase everything he would need to start his own law practice. He saw in that young man that same spirit of determination and self investment that bought him through the worst situations, and made sure that spirit could grow and spread to others. There are so many stories just like this from across his entire life, and in every one of them he never once asked for recognition, pubic acclaim, or attention for himself. The reward he sought was the joy of seeing others flourish, of knowing that the blessings and wisdom he had been given would be passed on, and, most importantly, that those to whom he gave so much would then go out and do the same. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 described him best - “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on
God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” Through his every action, my grandfather taught me leadership is a verb, not a noun. It is a thing you do, not a position you hold. If you want people to give of themselves, don’t lecture them, guilt them, or coerce them; give of yourself first, lead by being the example they will want to follow. Show them a love and a light so bright that everything else will seem but a mere shadow in its wake. We didn’t lose W.E. Howard this year. His body may be gone, but he lives on through every act of kindness, every act of self sacrifice, and every act of love descended from the love and light that he gave the world; and that light will shine for generations to come. My hope is that we do the same with the remaining members of the Greatest Generation. Learn their stories, their values, and their principles before they are gone from us. Those experiences and lessons came at too high a price to allow them to vanish.
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The Last Word PAGE A11
JANUARY 11, 2018 THE ADVOCATE
OP-ED Williamson County Budget Highlights by Williamson County Commissioner Valerie Covey
As your county commissioner for precinct
three, I have been privileged to work on many projects and duties of the job entrusted to me by the voters. One of the most important duties is working to budget properly for the needs of all the county’s approximately 500,000 citizens. As a CPA, I have used my training and experience to evaluate and prioritize the budget requests from elected officials and department heads, while eliminating waste and redundancy in a $328 million total budget. The commissioners’ court begins the budget process in January each year, and works consistently on this important task until the budget is ultimately adopted in late August. In the past year, by working with all parties, we lowered the tax rate by one cent to $.466529 per $100 valuation. However, if your property appraisal increased, your tax bill may have also increased. Another aspect of keeping the tax rate low is by reducing expenditures. One of the county’s largest expenditures is to repay the debt on voter approved bonds. I have advocated successfully for several years for the county to pay off debt in advance of its due date in order to save taxpayer dollars. This has saved approximately $12.7 million over the last three years and will save an additional $12.8 million this budget year. Additionally, one of the county’s biggest
responsibilities is to adequately fund the Williamson County justice system, including the four justice of the peace courts, the four county courts at law and most of the five district courts. Through the county attorney’s and district attorney’s offices, Williamson County covers most of the cost of prosecution of crimes. Additionally, one of the major expenditures in the budget is to fund the sheriff’s office law enforcement efforts such as patrol services in the unincorporated areas and correction services at the county jail. All of these law and order expenses account for approximately 48% of the general budget. I know the citizens of our great county value our low crime rate and the dedicated law enforcement officers, as do I, so I have made these expenditures a priority over the last 11 years. As a part of this effort to fairly and successfully prosecute serious crimes against our residents, at the request of our new District Attorney, Shawn Dick, the budget for his office was increased 23% since he took office a little over a year ago. This amount includes the addition of an office support employee, three new attorneys as well as an increase in compensation for prosecutors who supervise others in his office. In addition to supporting our law enforcement with the budget, the court approved a $7.9 million contract for the Sheriff’s Office Training Facility and gun range improvements. Lastly, one of the county’s responsibilities is to assist in the care of the mentally ill. I have been an active member of the Williamson County Mental Health Task Force since I took office. This year, in a move to further improve the mental health care for Williamson County citizens, the commissioners’ court restructured the Mobile Outreach Team (MOT). This team of mental health professionals who respond to those in need of immediate mental health services throughout the county are now part of the Emergency Medical Services team and will work closely with paramedics when patients also need medical care. These are just a few highlights of the county budget. As your representative on county issues, please let me know your thoughts. You can reach me at comm3@ wilco.org or 512-943-3370.
THE WILLIAMSON COUNTY 2018 BUDGET IS AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC VIEW AT WWW.WILCO.ORG/BUDGET
PUBLISHER'S CORNER Thoughts About Williamson County Politics by Mike Payne
If you’ve ever wondered
how we decide what to write about on this page, let me fill you in. Often, this commentary stems directly from issues that cause our phone to ring, people to send letters, or even approach us in public with a “story” to share. Quite honestly, I’ve rarely seen a local issue stir up ire to the same extent the Leffingwell for County Judge campaign has with its recent public claim of “courthouse cronyism," a suggestion that those who support Judge Bill Gravell are nothing more than close friends or companions rather than duly elected and respected officials, educated voters or dedicated conservative Republicans. Let me preface this by saying that I have friends who support Frank Leffingwell and, frankly, prior to this, I have not heard a negative word about Mr. Leffingwell’s character. At the same time, before anyone accuses me of being “prejudiced”, my friends on both sides know where I stand. Having said that, I think everyone can agree—no matter the outcome on March 6th—on March 7th we’re all still going to be
neighbors in Williamson County. If asked, we’d say that Williamson County is a shining example of true Christianity. And if it is, then shouldn’t we be heeding the admonition of Philippians 4:8? “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” I don’t know any other way to say this, and it might make our Sheriff blush, but how in the world could anyone not recognize that Robert Chody is to the position of Sheriff what President Reagan described as a “shining city upon a hill”? Chody is representative of the top .00001 percent of public servants in the country. He is constantly serving, giving, and investing—professionally and personally—resources and time, for the people of Williamson County; far over and above what is expected or required. Consider District Attorney Shawn Dick, and I’d say the results are in the proverbial pudding. His family is replete with successful and just lawyers and public officials, and he has done so well with
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the “true” administration of justice that you hardly ever hear a word out of that office. Why? Because they are focused on and busy delivering justice for residents. If you want self-aggrandizing, grandstanding, self-centered dealings out of the DA’s office, you have the wrong man. County Attorney Dee Hobbs also comes from a family legacy of law and order, and he administers justice without fanfare. His office operates with unimpeachable professionalism, and if there was anything remotely untoward going on, we’d be among the first to hear about it through the grapevine. No blips on that radar screen. Liking or not liking Judge Bill Gravell for public office is a personal prerogative, but I can say most assuredly that the word on the street is that impugning the reputation of others without merit won’t soon be forgotten by Williamson County voters. One of the great lessons my father imparted to me when I was a young man was, “Sometimes the people who don’t like you says more about you than the people who do.” In this case, his admonition speaks volumes.
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JANUARY 11, 2018 ï‚« THE ADVOCATE
Published on Jan 13, 2018