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Josh Schroeder and GDA: Helping build a better Georgetown Page 9


VOTE: December 10 City Council District 1 Run-off

The Advocate asked each candidate the following questions to enable voters to review “apples-to-apples” responses regarding issues and platforms. Answers were limited to 150 words, appear in the order in which they were received, and as submitted.

Mary Calixtro

Alex Fuller I have attended during the campaign, common concerns expressed by folks I’ve met are that Georgetown retain the small-town character and charm that drew them here and that it remain an overall affordable place to live.

Why did you decide to run to be the next City Council member for Georgetown's District 1? I have always valued public service, and now that I am semi-retired from my law practice, I have more time to commit to it.

When multiple people asked me to run, I decided that serving on Council would be a good way to build on what I have learned through 7 years of service on city commissions. While block-walking and at the many meetings

Which, if any, Georgetown City Boards or civic organizations have you served on, participated in? I served on the Planning and Zoning Commission from 2014-2018, and on the Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2016 to the present. I am currently Chair of that board. I have also been a Board member for Texans for Cures since 2011, and a member of Preservation Georgetown since 2001.

Continued on page 5

Why did you decide to run to be the next City Council member for Georgetown's District 1? I am running for this position because Georgetown is my home. I want to make a difference. I’m the person who will add balance in the planning and decisions of growth in our city. The person who intentionally connects with the citizens that may feel they are not being heard when they approach council. Which, if any, Georgetown City Boards or civic organizations have you served on, participated in? I currently serve on the Board of Directors for A Gift of Time, Georgetown Housing Advisory Board, Southeast Georgetown Community Council co-founder / member, Courageous Conversation member, Previous - GISD

District Performance Council, GISD Neighborhood Conference Committee, Getsemani Community Center Board member/ volunteer, and Hispanic Parents in Action.

Who is your employer and what are your primary roles within this organization? ACM Trucking - Administrative Assistant

Continued on page 5

Sheriff Chody? There's an App for That

The Williamson County Sheriff's

Office launched a customized version of The Sheriff App for iPhone and Android devices. The app was developed to help sheriffs’ offices nationwide reach their citizens where they are: their smart phones. This adaptation is no surprise to users, as WCSO under Sheriff Chody has been consistently innovative in its use of technology and social media to provide easy access to important in-

formation. App users have the ability to receive instant push notifications from the sheriff’s office, submit a tip, view the most wanted page, see a map of sex offenders in their area and more, all from their phones. Sheriff Chody says the app has nearly 3000 users and is growing. "Today, most agencies are doing different things with technology and provide greater transparency, and we wanted to try it out. We chose this

particular app because it is so much in line with the needs of a Sheriff's department, and also what the citizens need from us. As well, we are using seized drug money to fund this program, so there is no additional cost to the taxpayer for what we believe is a value-added service." Sheriff Chody adds the top three uses of the app, to date, are the alerts, inmate information, and news and Continued on page 6

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News You Can Use 2 

Lighting of the Square on Nov. 29

Celebrate the holiday season at the annual Lighting of the Square event on the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 29. The event will be held on the east steps of the historic Williamson County Courthouse, 710 S. Main St. The festivities include entertainment from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mayor Dale Ross and Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell will flip the switch illuminating the courthouse lights and grounds, as well as the lights around the Square, at approximately 6 p.m. Stores will be open late. Entertainment during the event will be provided by the Austin Carolers, and complimentary refreshments will be provided. Swing by The Williamson Museum where children will be able to make a craft from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The museum is free and open to the public. Toy donations the Georgetown Police Department Blue Santa and to Williamson County Brown Santa are encouraged. More information and applications are available for Blue Santa or at for Brown Santa. After the lighting, Williamson County Brown Santa will offer the option for visitors to take photos with Santa inside the courthouse from 6:30 to 8 p.m. for a donation of an unwrapped toy, wrapping paper or a monetary donation. Enter the courthouse on the south side on Eighth Street. Free parking for the event can be found at Sixth and Main streets, Seventh and Rock streets, Austin Avenue and Fifth Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Street and Seventh and Eighth streets, and the parking garage located at Fourth and Rock streets. The lights around the Square are supported by the City of Georgetown, and Williamson County provides the lights on the courthouse. For details on holiday events and activities in Georgetown, call the Georgetown Convention & Visitors Bureau at (512) 930-3545, or visit

Shop Small Business Saturday and be a hero

Shoppers are invited to Shop Small with local merchants during the annual Small Business Saturday event on Saturday, Nov. 30. This year’s theme is Be a Hero! Shop Small! Celebrate how you can be a hero to a small business, by shopping local this holiday season.


Special Election Runoff The City of Georgetown conducted a Special Election to Fill a Vacancy for a Council Member in District 1. The Council Members serve terms of three years. The person elected to District 1 will fill the remainder of the existing term that ends in May of 2021.

The day will kick off at 10 a.m. at the Georgetown Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh St., where shoppers can pick up special Shop Small shopping bags, giveaways, and compete for prizes. Shoppers are encouraged to dress as superheroes and have fun while shopping small. The annual Small Business Saturday event is sponsored by the Georgetown Main Street Program, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Georgetown Association.

Costco is Coming to Georgetown

There’s a Costco in the works for Georgetown. The location is the 34 acres at the northwest corner of Lake-way and IH-35, just south of the new Holt Caterpillar facility. This was discussed at the last Planning and Zoning meeting. “Costco upon approval will develop a member’s only retail warehouse with approximately ±157,931 SF along with an attached tire center and both a liquor sales pod and Optical Exam pod area. In addition, a free standing 24 fueling position fueling facility will be developed on the Project Site. The Costco warehouse and fuel facility would employ approximately 200 to 250 people both full and part time. Currently the proposed PUD site plan consists of the proposed Costco Warehouse parcel as well as seven (7) outlots, two detention areas and two new roadways.”

A Jolly Holiday

A Jolly Holiday 2019 is coming soon! The East View High School Choral Department presents A Jolly Holiday 2019, a Christmas production for the entire family. December 12, 13 at 7pm; Dec 14 at 3pm and 7pm, and Sunday at 3pm. This show will get you in the holiday spirit and you won’t want to miss it. There will be singing, dancing, and holiday costumes galore. This year’s production includes traditional Christmas and holiday songs and a visit from Santa, Rudolph, The Grinch and Frosty the Snowman. Pre-sale tickets may be purchased online at, at the front reception of East View High School December 9-13 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, or at the door for $5. Tickets usually sell out so purchase your tickets today!!!

Because no one candidate received a majority of the votes cast for the position of Council member for District 1, the City of Georgetown, DISTRICT 1 Runoff Election Day will be held Tuesday, December 10, 2019, from 7am - 7 pm at the Williamson County Inner Loop Annex, located at 301 SE Inner Loop in Georgetown. This is for voters residing in the City of Georgetown Single-Member District 1. Please see our candidate questionnaire pages 1 and 5.

Early Voting Schedule

Williamson County Inner Loop Annex, at 301 SE Inner Loop Monday, December 2 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Tuesday, December 3 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Wednesday, December 4 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Thursday, December 5 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Friday, December 6 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

One night. Three nonprofits. Thousands of children helped!

Three local non-profits are pooling their time, energy, and love for a collaborative fundraising project to benefit our local youth. The Georgetown Project, Williamson County Children's Advocacy Center, and CASA of Williamson County have united to not only raise money for education, child advocacy, and even basic necessities like food and shelter, but also to produce a memorable event to highlight their programs which help ensure our kids have a solid foundation for success. The Soiree: A Coming Together for Kids, presented by Don Hewlett Chevrolet Buick, will be held February 29 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center. This year's theme: Mardi Gras Masquerade – The Night You Unmask Your Generosity. This fundraising event will feature dining, dancing, beads, street entertainers, a float parade and an opportunity to put on your best mask and gown, your shiniest shoes and your blingiest jewelry. Every dollar raised benefits The Georgetown Project, CASA of Williamson County and the Williamson County Children's Advocacy Center. Giving back just got a whole lot fancier. “We are over the moon to be partnering with these incredible nonprofits to raise

awareness and funds for our programming,” says Marissa Austin, CASA’s CEO. “All proceeds go back to supporting our organizations as they serve the most vulnerable children in our community. We hope our community will join us!” “The Georgetown Project is excited and honored to partner with CASA and Children’s Advocacy Center in the 2019 Soiree event,” says Leslie Janca, CEO, “When we started The Soiree three years ago, we hoped to show that nonprofits can collaborate in fundraising as well as we do in providing youth services. The three organizations of the 2019 Soiree make a huge impact on children’s lives every day. A successful Soiree will help us do more.” “Williamson county has shown time and again that it’s children are a priority,” says Kerrie Stannell, Williamson County Child Advocacy Center CEO, “ I am looking forward to Feb. 29th when our community will have the opportunity to show their generosity and commitment to the health, well-being, and safety of our children. Support from the Soiree and other events funds vital programs providing children from hard places with opportunities to not only survive but to flourish and reach for the stars." Sponsorships and seats are ALREADY selling, so the public is encouraged to reserve their spot today. For more information, visit

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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





Voting only at

Wilco Inner Loop Annex

Dec. 2 - 6 Dec. 10 Need a free ride to the polls? Call 512-966-2749

Alex is proud to be endorsed by: “... most qualified and able to hit the ground running.”

“... he does not make enemies ... and would bring a calm, capable form of leadership.”

“Alex has the background and experience to get the job done!” Georgetown Association of Professional Firefighters local 3991

“Public safety is of high importance to him.”


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'Nationalism' Shouldn't be a Dirty Word

If there's one thing that elite opinion tends to agree about on the left and the right, it's that nationalism is a very bad thing. If anything, this view has become even more entrenched as nationalism has demonstrated its potency in recent years, from the election of Donald Trump to Britain's vote to leave the European Union. When President Trump first openly embraced the term "nationalist" at a 2018 campaign rally, commentators reacted in horror. Patriotism is about love, nationalism about hate, New York Times columnist

Nicholas Kristof opined. Trump, insisted Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, is "normalizing a hateful political philosophy that is contrary to our deepest-held beliefs." As I write in my new book, "The Case for Nationalism," this reflexive hostility to the concept is ill-informed and an attempt to deem nationalism a swearword and end all discussion on that basis. At its most basic, the scholar Azar Gat writes, nationalism is "the doctrine and ideology that a people is bound together in solidarity, fate, and common political aspirations." Historian Anthony Smith described the national ideal as "a belief that all those who shared a common history and culture should be autonomous, united and distinct in their recognized homelands." When Europe went off the rails in the early 20th century, nationalism as such didn't cause its crash so much as social Darwinism, militarism and the cult of charismatic leadership. The aftermath of World War I added its own poison. Regardless, American nationalism -- which encompasses such diverse, rightly beloved figures as Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln and Ted-

dy Roosevelt -- is not to be feared. As with so many other things about this country, it is more benign than the versions to be found in Europe and elsewhere. This is true for a number of reasons. First, we are the inheritors of an Anglo-American tradition that has profound respect for the individual and the rule of law and is a fundamental part of our national identity. The sheet anchor of American sovereignty, the U.S. Constitution, makes it clear that authority ultimately resides with "we the people of the United States." The Constitution also happens to be a durable mechanism of self-government and itself an object of patriotic loyalty and national

pride. Finally, the United States was never infected with the dream of universal empire that Europe inherited from Rome and that has lingered on in differing forms from Charlemagne to the European Union. The rise of Donald Trump has pushed the left further away from respect for nationalistic attitudes and even patriotic symbols. Democrats—and the country—would be much better served if they countered Trump's nationalism with a version of their own. On his own side of the aisle, Trump has made Republicans more nationalistic. Still, much of the party is quietly uncomfortable with this. If Trump loses in 2020, the party's establishment may try to snap back to its pre-Trump disposition of relative indifference. Yet, if there's one clear political lesson from the long history of nationalism in this country and elsewhere, it is that a party interested in moving people and selling a program should make some sort of an appeal to it -- even if conventional wisdom insists it is foolish and wrong. Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review. ©2019 by King Features Synd., Inc.





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Alex Fuller, cont'd from page 1

Who is your employer and what are your primary roles within this organization? I founded my own small law firm in Georgetown, Alex Fuller Law, PLLC, when I retired as a senior partner with Davis, Fuller, Jackson, Keene in Austin in 2012. I still represent a handful of hospital clients, as well as doing wills and probate work. At DFJK, I handled complex litigation, mediation, and mergers/ acquisitions of hospitals; defended doctors in medical malpractice cases, served as General Counsel to six public hospital districts and helped with day-to-day management of a 35-person law firm. What degrees, majors, certifications, or educational experience will assist you if you are elected to council?

In addition to a BA in Government from the University of Texas at Austin, I have a J.D. degree from Bates College of Law at the University of Houston. I also maintain Certification in Healthcare Compliance, which requires substantial Continuing Legal Education annually. My legal education and years of practice taught me how to read and digest complex documents, how to think on my feet and speak in public, and most importantly, how to find common ground between parties involved in acrimonious disputes. I think all those skills will serve me well on Council. What three issues in Georgetown are most important to you? Neighborhood & historic preservation. In a fast-growing city like Georgetown, it is critical

to balance development/ growth with preservation of our historic assets and the charm and character of our existing neighborhoods. Transportation (including public transport, traffic and parking). We need more cost-effective public transport than our current GoGeo bus, we need to find ways to divert through truck traffic away from Highway 29 through the center of town, and continue exploring ways to provide more parking around downtown. Managing utility costs. I want to be part of the solution to the cost overruns currently being passed through to utility customers. What one item makes you the best choice for District 1 City Council seat? My temperament. I am able to remain calm under pressure, after decades of experience in pressure situations as an attorney. I am able to look at both sides of issues without prejudice, and make my own judgment as to the best decision, regardless of whose name is appended to which side of the issue. While I will fight hard for what I think is right, when the fight is over, I don’t consider the folks who supported a different view as enemies. As a long-time believer in public service, I feel serving on Council will be right up my alley!

Wishing you a joyous holiday season from the

JARRELL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Next Monthly Networking Luncheon January 15, 2020 • • 512-677-5501


Mary Calixtro, cont'd from page 1 What degrees, majors, certifications, or educational experience will assist you if you are elected to council? As a trained Facilitator for the Diocese of Austin in Ethics and Integrity in Ministry and ACC Equity Facilitator, this training will help ease the process of council decisions being made to consider empathy and inclusion of all residents in the community who may possibly be affected. What three issues in Georgetown are most important to you? Workforce and affordable Housing Balanced and conscientious planning of our city growth Restore trust and trans-

parency in our city leaders by intentionally engaging the residents in our district. What one item makes you the best choice for District 1 City Council seat?

I have worked most of my life serving in civic organizations and City boards as well as keeping up with a small business while raising six kids. I know the needs of my community.



6 



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events listings. "Not every department has a jail and we are looking to share that information around the clock. Having online access for so many citizens has cut down dramatically on the amount of phone calls and personal inquiries our staff receive. It has freed up a lot of professional time, so our employees can focus on the primary tasks of law enforcement and administration." Since taking office, the Sheriff has been so successful with his social media outreach, he frequently receives citizen inquiries and requests on his personal accounts and pages about where to file reports or find a particular detective. While he is pleased people feel comfortable reaching out to him, app usage has curbed some of the personal contact, and he is able to focus on his operational responsibilities for his 500-plus workforce. According to the Sheriff, there are also many inquiries regarding inmates; now citizens can get information at any time, and quickly. Family and friends are also able to deposit money online for loved ones who are in the jail to use at the commissary for sundries or phone time.

What you can do...

Contacts for nearly every law enforcement and municipal support agency are available under the various tabs. • Motorists may purchase crash reports for insurance purposes. • Direct numbers are available for detectives, corrections officers and community liaisons. • If you have a traffic concern, you can request speeding enforcement in your neighborhood. • Send messages to animal control or crimestoppers. • Current/active Most Wanted lists Civil agencies listed include: • County Justices of the Peace and Constables

• Crisis hotlines and Health Districts • Bluebonnet Trails • Lawyer referral, victim assistance Users may also set their phone to receive alerts. Sheriff Chody says, "We are very active on Facebook when there is something of great import for the public at large. We try to be judicious with our frequency because we don't want people to become immune. We will not report every incident, but, typically, if an accident will affect a lot of drivers on their way home, or if there is a large law enforcement presence in a part of town, we will tell people everything they need to know." Phone alerts will also include freeze warnings, fatality crashes, and critical missing person alerts. He adds, "We will not notify users of every crime, but if there is a sudden rash of robberies, for instance, we want people in the affected area to know as soon as possible." The app is fully customizable and the WCSO public information officer manages news and events of relevance to the public. The Sheriff hopes to see usage and functionality grow over time and encourages citizens to send comments and suggestions—via a link on the app of course. "We are now able to separate the business side from the public side," Sheriff Chody says. "The payoff to the community is that the people are being serviced better, thanks to technology. It's a winwin for both sides, and so far, so good." He adds that since taking office, his goal was to be give people access where they are; on the web, social media or elsewhere, so he can say, "If you don't know what's happening in Williamson County, you're not looking for it." The department is beyond even that now­— the information is already in your hand.

The Last Word DECEMBER 2019 




The Most Wonderful Whine of the Year I love the holidays. It's a chance to stock-

pile so many things to keep my "ideas for Advocatie column" notebook full. By that, I mean... family is coming. I love my family. I even love my family that are not my own people. Family is my favorite thing about Christmas. If I had a lot of money and a B&B in my backyard, I would probably love them even more. I don't mind at all that my pantry looks and sounds like a swarm of locusts is in there day and night. I don't mind that I haven't been able to do my own laundry for near'bout a week. BUT-- there is never enough time to channel my inner Aunt Bea when someone asks for the tenth time, "Are you going to let your son eat that?" Why is it that people who eat healthy and make or invite you to dinner, cook whatever weird food they like, full of spices you've never heard of, and vegetables with hair, and insist you enjoy it "because it's good for you". Those same people will say, without hesitation, "That's vile...where can I get some fruit?" when I have the nerve, and 14 minutes, to make a meal with the word "Helper" in it. No one's arteries are going to fill with gravy after one serving of Kraft macaroni & cheese. Just saying. So I'll eat your veggie burgers and candied asparagus, because I'm polite. And fortunately, early December begins the round robin of Christmas brunches, lunches, dinners, parties, cookie exchanges, and in my case, a visit from Insulin Claus, that I will enjoy as soon as I leave the house. Then there's the person who wants to get up at 6am on a holiday to run a 5K. These are people you need to know about before you marry into them; a no-fun-run pre-nup! While I’m on running, who invented marathons? Okay, I know it was a guy in Greece and there was a battle. I suppose I might run in a war, but seriously, I can’t remember the last time I Googled restaurants, job sites, or retail stores, that I didn’t include “within 10 miles” in the filter. I won’t even drive 26.2 miles. I've also blocked network television from my Little Elf because I just can’t stand another 30-second spew of plastic that is

generally pink and really loud. Otherwise known as a commercial. Wasn’t the FCC going to make a law, like, ten years ago that required broadcasters to lower the volume of commercials from, say, 747ish to reasonable? Unlike his mother—who watches almost nothing not recorded on the DVR, specifically so I can skip over commercials—“Hey, for just $29 you can have a toy that only has one function! There are eight in the set so you need them all! Go get your mommy’s credit card!” Finally, and this is a general fuss that has nothing to do with my family; do we really need to call it a "war" on Christmas? Depends on what you call a war. Granted, some are upset that Santa Claus is an old, white guy, and that is exclusionary to all the non-white people who celebrate the holiday. I will stipulate that everyone is entitled to feel as they wish and I never want people to feel excluded. But, without boring you with my wiki-Christmas history, suffice to say most modern American Christmas traditions have almost exclusively come out of European history. St. Nicholas was Greek, so maybe olive-skinned would be more accurate. But with dozens of icons to choose from to represent the holiday, can't it just be okay that the people who like Santa can stick to the original on their own dime? And let's remember our country encourages us to do a lot of things as we wish as long as we don't tell others they can't. So hey, you don't *have* to celebrate with a guy in a red suit. If seeing a paisley hippopotamus on roller skates will give you a feeling of hope and giving, I'll send the memo to Hallmark to get busy on a new line of ornaments. The icons of the day shouldn't change the ambiance and sentiment of anything. Seriously, would anyone even think of going over to Hong Kong and complaining that none of the dragons in the New Year parade have cowboy hats? Has anyone ever asked to have more red, white and blue in the Kwanzaa stamp? No, because that's how the people who celebrate those holidays do it. And stop yelling at Starbucks about their cup designs. If you can afford a $7 coffee, there are some homeless people at our public library who would be happy to listen to you whine about this "important" issue over a shared hamburger. Just saying. So let's all go to our respective corners, celebrate the birth of Jesus—or whatever it is we do around the Winter Solstice—any way we want and call it the spirit of the season, without telling everyone else how to do it too. And that includes letting me eat my bacon-covered tater-tot waffles.

City Council District 1 Runoff December 10 by Mike Payne

In the Georgetown City

Council District 1 election, the winner will serve the last 18 months of Councilwoman Anna Eby’s original term. Ms. Eby was required to resign her position when she moved out of District 1. Whom should the voters of District 1 select as their council member? The selection should be the person who is most qualified, and who is able to hit the ground running since there will be no time for a lengthy learning curve.

The only candidate who meets these two criteria is Alex Fuller. Mr. Fuller and his wife, Sue, have lived in their historic home for almost 20 years. This substantial period of time in Georgetown, combined with his seven years of service on City of Georgetown boards, gives him a unique understanding of Georgetown and District 1, which will allow him to step in this role, participate, and lead from day one. Mr. Fuller is an attorney with 43 years of legal and business experience. His public service and community involvement includes four years on the Georgetown Planning and Zoning Commission. He is currently the Chair of the Georgetown Zoning Board of Adjustment; he has been a board member of “Texans For Cures” for eight years; and a member of Preservation Georgetown for eighteen years. He earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, and a law degree from the University of Houston.

Based on recent candidate forums and all of the candidates’ responses in the voter guides in various publications, it is clear that Alex Fuller is uniquely qualified to be the next council representative for District 1. His responses are as refreshing as they are thorough. When asked why he is running, rather than re-stating problems and concerns in the City in general and District 1 in particular, his answers are heavy with plans and solutions that ring positive and proactive. He has done in-depth homework on the issues; he has the educational background and significant business experience; and he has significant Georgetown City board experience to be successful on day one. The editorial board of the Advocate newspaper endorses Alex Fuller for Georgetown City Council District 1 in the runoff election held on December 10, 2019.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Support for Alex Fuller The voters in City Council District 1 need a representative who will work diligently for us. Serving on the City Council is a lot of work, more than many of us would want to tackle. If you look at the minutes from this year, the Council has met 50 times so far for meetings or workshops. During 2018, the Council met 60 times. That’s a lot. District 1’s representative needs to be willing to do that work, and Alex Fuller has shown that he is. Both of the candidates serve, or have served, on boards for the city. Alex has served most recently on the Planning and Zoning Board,

and his opponent currently serves on the Housing Advisory Board. That is where the similarity ends. If you look at the attendance of each you see a huge difference. The minutes of the meetings show that Alex was present for 15 of the 16 meetings held by P&Z during his last 12 months on that board. His opponent’s record, however, tells a very different story. The minutes of the Housing Advisory Board reveal that, during the past 12 months, her board met 7 times. She attended only 4 of these meetings. Alex Fuller was present and working for us on

the Planning and Zoning Board 93% of the time. His opponent was present and working on the Housing Advisory Board only 57% of the time. Candidates routinely promise they are going to serve us, but Alex has a track record of getting the job done. His opponent falls flat with a badly failing grade. You can’t do the work, if you don’t show up. District 1 needs the experience and diligence that Alex Fuller can bring. He is action, not talk, and he has my vote.

they could get it done but they moved forward in faith. Today, we remember why we are here and the

place behind us will b e a workshop for the work God has prepared for us."

Visit for information about the church and school.

Liz Weaver Georgetown

Zion Lutheran Growing Again

The elders and members

of Zion Lutheran Church in

Walburg, with their architects and contractors, broke ground on a new multiuse facility on the church grounds last month. Pastor John Davenport (pictured) prepared the shovels, saying, "We dedicate this space to the glory of God, the good of his people, and the proclamation of the Gospel."

The new building will be built on the footprint of the house previously used as a residence for church staff. It will include space for worship, an altar, and youth activities. Speakers recalled "the people who came before us, the men who built it in a time of drought. Farmers were questioning just how



How Great Neighborhoods Happen

by Ann Marie Kennon

When it comes to leadership,

we often overlook the things that have the greatest impact on our lives because there are no pundits talking about them on CNN or posting memes to Facebook. The positive side of that is, often, if we don't notice our leadership, it means the people in charge are doing a good job and things are running smoothly or seamlessly. One of those groups that has an impact on our city is the Georgetown Development Alliance (GDA). This is a group of individuals who meet as a subcommittee of our Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, and they help navigate the waters between real estate development professionals and city planners to ensure our city engages in appropriate growth while respecting property rights. Chaired by attorney Josh Schroeder (rhymes with "later"), this group looks at the impact of

development and construction on everything from traffic to endangered animal species. Schroeder explains, "Everyone agrees Williams Drive has problems. Part of GDA process is asking what’s wrong with that and what we can do to fix that. As well, we consider how is that method fair to the public and the property owner? Figuring that out is not political or an easy answer." To find those answers, GDA is an unbiased mediator between developers and the city. They filter out what the city and developers want and get everyone on the same page. They don't make decisions, bur rather hold regular meetings, essentially, to create the space and the opportunity to make that happen.

parking areas, distance from the road, where and how much sidewalk must be included, maximum footprint of the building, where the landscaping could be, and much more. The same is true for residential neighborhoods.

Where You Live...

Schroeder says, "Imagine your perfect neighborhood: How far apart the homes should be? How far do you want to walk to a playground or a retail establishment? Where are your sidewalks? Do you want tree-lined roads? Everything on that list is dictated by the development code." He also says while there are no city architecture standards by code, there are several programs

to ensure that our neighborhoods maintain design standards; e.g., rustic farm houses are very desirable right now, but is the hardy plank siding of good quality or will it deteriorate within ten years and lower the home values on that street? "People don’t realize how all of that stuff we all love and want is codified. It's hard to put your finger on it when things are wrong, but you know." As GDA Chair, he believes the role of leadership is to facilitate discussion and engage two opposing groups to discussion and decision. "GDA influence extends to redevelopment of existing neighborhoods. We look at solid neighbor-

hoods in Georgetown that were built in the 1970s or 80s and ask ourselves what they will look like in the next 30 years. What needs to be done now, or in ten years, to facilitate smart growth or change." Of the City's overall growth, he says, "We are at the adolescent growth stage of our city and we need to figure out what Georgetown is going to be. It is not a conflict to say real estate is not the most important thing our city has to do because public safety and other things are critical as well, because we want people to come here. The GDA is just here to lead sound discussion and accept the idea that 'no growth' is not an option."

It's About Relationships

The GDA has nurtured a great relationship with city staff and land developers to review and provide feedback on changes to the City's development code. "The design and development code is a little like the tax code," Schroeder says. "It's extensive and is always being amended. But the rules are important because they govern how every home and commercial property is built, as well as the process. The City wants our feedback and we are pleased to provide input early on in new development." As an example, he explained the construction of the new Academy sports building required being compliant with



Our Award-Winning City Texas law enforcement professionals to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of service and the protection of individual’s rights. These best practices cover all aspects of law enforcement operations including use of force, protection of citizen rights, vehicle pursuits, property and evidence management, and patrol and investigative operations.

It’s no secret that there are trials and tribulations associated with running a fast-growing city like Georgetown. But it's important to put these challenges in context. One thing that is often overlooked is your overall cost for city services. When you consider city taxes, electric, water, sewer, trash, and other expenses, Georgetown is one of the more affordable cities in Central Texas. Another misconception is that Georgetown is just a small, country town. The City is already a nearly $440 million organization with more than 750 employees. While City Council and I work hard each day to help the City maintain its world-class small-town charm, I am also focused on expanding employment opportunities and preparing for growth we know will come. Finally, no doubt, you have read about or been affected by the unique challenges facing Georgetown, most notably our increased costs in electricity. Thankfully, because we can recruit and retain top talent, the City has been able to assemble a new team, which is working each day to make improvements, not only in our electric utility, but across all city departments. However, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would be remiss to dwell only on the negative and not share some of the great things that happened this year. The City of Georgetown has been honored to receive a number of awards recently. These recognitions have been for a variety of departments and programs across the City. You may have missed some of these, so I’d like to take a minute to recount some of the great work done in Georgetown this year.

No. 3 safest city in Texas

Georgetown was ranked the No. 3 safest city in Texas according to a scoring of cities above 50,000 population in 2019. The ranking by gave Georgetown an overall safety score of 86.49 on a 100-point scale. The ranking also placed Georgetown at 62 among the safest cities in the U.S., which means Georgetown is in the top 25th percentile in the U.S. among safe cities. Georgetown is one of only four cities in Texas to make it to the top 100 safest cities on the national level. The safest cities rankings are based on FBI crime statistics, the police officer-to-population ratio in a city, crime trends, and demographic factors.

Police Accreditation

The Georgetown Police Department earned the Texas Police Chiefs Association’s Recognized Law Enforcement Agency award in May, after more than twoyears of reviews, which included a critical review of the agency’s policies, procedures, facilities, and operations. Georgetown is only the 154th agency out of more than 2,700 agencies in the state to receive the recognition. The TPCA’s recognition program evaluates a police department’s compliance with nearly 170 best practices for law enforcement agencies developed by


Reliable Public Power Provider, Diamond Level

The City of Georgetown electric utility attained diamond level status under the American Public Power Association’s Reliable Public Power Provider program in 2019. This is the program’s highest level of recognition and is only awarded after a rigorous application process and outside review. The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Georgetown is one of six public power providers in Texas to receive the diamond designation. In total, only 254 of the more than 2,000 public power utilities nationwide hold the RP3 designation. Georgetown Utility Systems had been a platinum designee since 2016.

2019 National Main Street accreditation

The City of Georgetown’s Main Street Program has been designated an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its coordinating program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs, in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach. In the past 15 years, the Main Street Façade & Sign Grant Program has awarded more than $469,000 to 80 downtown businesses and property owners. Most recently, in May, the Georgetown Main Street Program presented Lark and Owl Booksellers with a $20,500 Main Street Façade & Sign Grant.

Teen Court state champion team A team of three student attorneys from Georgetown won the teen court state competition in April 2019. Linsey Jensen, Taylor Price, and Matthew McCarthy took first place in the final round in which they competed against a team from Allen. The annual state competition—three-person teams of teen attorneys are scored for their lawyering skills in mock trials—is sponsored by the Teen Court Association of Texas. A Georgetown Teen Court team also won the state competition in 2016. This is the eighth year Georgetown sent a team to participate in the state competition.

Shelter maintains no-kill status

For the fourth year in a row, the Georgetown Animal Shelter has achieved a live outcome rate above 90 percent, which means it is considered a no-kill shelter. The save rate was 94 percent for the fiscal year that ended on September 30. The live outcome rate is notable for an open-admission public shelter. Factors in the 94 percent live outcome rate include a high rate of animal adoptions, the number of animals returned to owners, and the

cleanliness of the shelter, which results in healthy animals.

Family Place Library Designation

The Georgetown Public Library was designated a member of the Family Place Libraries national network in August. The designation is given to libraries that provide a welcoming community environment with resources to help families nurture their children’s development and early learning during the first years of life. The library’s new Family Place offers residents a specially designed space in the children’s area for young children to play, share books, and meet other families. It also hosts a collection of books, toys, music, and multimedia materials for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, parents, and caregivers, as well as librarians specially trained in child development and family support.

Georgetown announced as Texas Slam host

The United States Tennis Association announced Georgetown won the three-year bid to host the Texas Slam, one of the largest junior tennis tournaments in the country. Approximately 1,000 participants, ages 11 to 18, compete in the annual tournament. Georgetown submitted a proposal to host the 2020-22 Texas Slam tournament. A special selection committee was formed to review all the proposals. Because of the unique nature of the Texas Slam, the selection committee focused on the strength of the proposals as they relate to the commitment and involvement of the host

community. The committee highlighted the more than 150 tennis courts in Georgetown, as well as the more than 3,500 hotel rooms in the area.

Library Director named Texas Librarian of the Year

At the annual meeting of the Texas Library Association, Georgetown Public Library Director Eric Lashley was named Librarian of the Year. The annual award is given to a librarian in Texas who has shown extraordinary leadership and service within the library community over the past 12 to 18 months. The Librarian of the Year award recognizes that Lashley has implemented “innovative approaches to the technological and existential challenges libraries face and developed a dynamic, beloved public library that is a model for others across the state and the country.” As you can see, this year Georgetown has gotten recognition for many of our departments, programs, and places by statewide and national organizations. We can all feel proud about those honors for our city.





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Every morning I try to get some exercise by going to my local gym. I have made a few friends there, and sometimes we talk about our work. The conversation usually ends up with someone asking a question about a dog, or horse, or cow. A friend of mine has a 9-year-old mixed breed dog that recently started to become clingier toward him; he explained that his dog used to be a bit nervous during thunderstorms, “but never like this.” He said nothing had changed in the home, but the dog won’t leave his side. The dog went

to a vet where a full exam was done with blood work that came back normal. The dog was prescribed Prozac and sent home. My buddy asked me what I thought. I have seen many old dogs suddenly do strange things—stand in a corner for a long time; become more anxious for no reason; soil the house when they hadn’t done that previously; or even become snippy and bite owners or other dogs. Older dogs can develop something called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, or CCD. CCD is a lot like Alzheimer’s or dementia in people. In both people and dogs, the pathophysiology is complex, and includes atrophy of neurons in the brain and buildup of proteins, just to name a couple problems. There are a

few ways to treat the disease. One way is changing the diet and keeping your pet active. Special diets that are rich in antioxidants can help slow the onset. Another option for treatment is prescription medications that can help slow the onset of this problem by increasing blood flow to the brain and reducing damage to organs that help keep the dog healthy. Many of us know a family member that has suffered from dementia and it can be hard on familial relationships. That same insidious process occurs in man’s best friend and can likewise destroy that special bond. When you start to notice sudden changes in your aging dog, call the vet to get some help. Also, be sure to adopt a healthy life-

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Diane Lee Schumacher June 19, 1947 - October 30, 2019

Diane Lee Schumacher, 72, of Georgetown, TX; cher-

ished wife, loving mother and best Mimi in the world, left her Earthly body Wednesday, October 30th at 7:23 PM after a complicated surgery, surrounded by her family, to wait for us in Heaven. Diane was born to Luther and Helen on June 19, 1947 in Madison, Wisconsin, but was adopted by Harold and Edith Gottschall when she was three years old and became Diane Lee Gottschall. Diane was blessed to grow up in rural Highland Wisconsin on a dairy farm with her adopted siblings. She had a pet cow named Sadie that she rode every day to round up all of the heifers for milking. Diane attended Strawberry grade school, which was a one room school, and graduated from Highland High School. She loved her simple country life. Diane met the love of her life when she was 18 years old in 1966 when David Schumacher saw a beautiful girl across the room and said, “That is the girl I’m going to marry,” and marry they did on June 3, 1967 on his birthday. Eventually, they had three children; Stan, Jason and Rachel. In the winter of ’81,’82, after 6 weekends in a row of blizzards in Minnesota, the family decided to pick up and move South, ending up in Georgetown, TX. Diane’s professional life was that of a business owner; Round Rock

Video, Georgetown Video and Pflugerville Video brought some entertainment to thousands of families. When she was finished with being a successful business owner, Diane turned her focus to what comes most natural to her, caring for others. She devoted the rest of her working life to home nursing care and Hospice services. Diane loved the beauty of the world and the people in it. Diane was full of love and compassion. If someone had a need, she was there meeting that need. Diane gave all of herself selflessly and with all of her heart. She is greatly missed and her memories will continue to warm hearts and spread love until we meet again. Diane is survived by her loving husband of 52 years David Schumacher of Georgetown, TX, Children; Stanly Schumacher and wife Laura, Jason Schumacher and Daughter Rachel Brunson all of Georgetown, Grandchildren; Dakota, Kassidy, Taylor, Baylee, Hannah and Caleb, Great Grandchildren; Kayleigh of CO and Collin of CA, her biological sisters; Claudette of OH, Gail of WI, Patricia of MN, and Debbie of WI, adopted sisters; Joyce and Linda of WI, and nieces, nephews, cousins and so many more.

She is preceded in death by her parents, granddaughter Ashley and biological brother Tom. Donations in Diane’s name can go to Mac Packs or BiG. 



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Virginia, your little

friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared

with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as

dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can

conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Laura Virginia O'Hanlon Virginia was born July 20, 1889, in New York City. At age 8, she asked her father, Dr. Philip O'Hanlon, if Santa Claus existed. He told her to write and ask the newspaper, saying; "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." She received her Bachelor's degree in 1910, a master's degree in education in 1912, and a doctorate in 1930. She was a school teacher in the New York City Independent School District. She began her career as

an educator in 1912, became a junior principal in 1935, and retired in 1959. She received a steady stream of mail about her letter throughout her life and often included a copy of the editorial in her replies. In an interview later in life, she credited it with shaping the direction of her life quite positively. Virginia passed away in 1971 at age 81, having met Santa Claus several times throughout her life.



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Advocate News • City Insider - Town & Country December 2019  

Advocate News • City Insider - Town & Country December 2019