Justin Hewlett announces candidacy for Johnson County Judge page 8
STANDARD U.S. MAIL PAID KEENE, TX PERMIT NO. 25
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Volume 01, Issue 23
Did You Know: Peterson’s
August 8, 2013
Peterson’s Gym, located at 220 Wallen Ridge, Keene,Texas has been in the business of building character, self-esteem, athleticism and teamwork values for Keene youth since its opening in September of 1994. Keene Chronicle sat down with Doug Peterson, co-owner of Peterson’s Gym and over breakfast at Sweet Peppa’s Restaurant learned a great deal about the history and current activities of this institution and the amazing acrobats that it produces. The following is the Peterson’s Gym story as shared by Doug Peterson: “I have a Cleburne address but I live in Coyote Flats of which I am the Mayor. Back when I was at Union College, Victor Brown was the recruitment guy here (Southwestern Adventist University). I am originally from Gentry Arkansas, so I’m an Ozark boy! And Victor felt like all Ozark students should go to Southwestern. But I had two
brothers at Union; its 365 miles here and 415 there and they had a new crop of girls, so I decided I’d go to Union. That bugged Victor Brown from day one! From my sophomore year on he tried to get me to come here and run a gymnastics team, because they didn’t have one. And so in my senior year, Union wanted me to go to a boarding school to do my student teaching and leave my newlywed wife at home. I didn’t think that was a very good idea; she didn’t like the idea either! So, I reconnected with Victor and was able to do my student teaching at CTA and to start a team at the University; it was just kind of a part-time venture. “So I graduated, got it all wrapped up and took a call to Enterprise Academy in Kansas. I was there for just a year as Dean and P.E. teacher. So then after that year, there was nothing there for my wife. She wanted to get a Master’s degree and so we moved here
Danny Vargas, Head Coach (L) instructing students
so she could attend U.T.A. So I started the team back up again; that was the ’91-’92 school year. At the same time I started businesses at KAES and CTA - running teams there as well. That actually branched into Burleson Adventist School and Burton Academy and at one point, we were running 7 different teams, including Cleburne Community Christian and a couple of home school teams. We were busy - but then there was about 3 years there where I was just doing acrobatics and stuff. I taught P.E. at KAES for a year or two as well. “At that time there was a gym in Cleburne that was starting up and so I started working for them. I was teaching gymnastics 10-12 hours a day and had my hands full! At the same time my
Peterson's Gym father and son acrobats, Danny (base) and Adrian (top) Vargas performing at the CTA gymnasium for the Keene Chamber 4th of July Celebration, 2013
brother Randy was at Andrew’s (University) waiting for his wife to complete her Master’s in Therapy. Randy also has a degree in Physical Education. I was kind of building a business and building a reputation in the community. The owner of the gym where I was working at in Cleburne came to me and asked me if I wanted to buy it. And so I said, ‘yes I do.’ So then I called my brother and said ‘hey, come to Texas and partner with me and run this gym with me and let’s do this!’ And he said ‘Ok, sounds good!’ And then they backed out! They said ‘you know, we changed our minds, we want to keep paying you 10 bucks an hour!’ This was oh, probably around January or February. And so I called my brother and told him what happened and he said ‘well, let’s just build our own!’ And I responded ‘let’s do it!’ “But you know, we didn’t have any money - which was a small problem - and we were in our 20’s and who’s going to loan you money, you know? So we weren’t smart enough to know when not to do something so we got started! Our parents were involved as well and they put up some money and so we bought property where the gym is now. We then used that property as collateral to get the loan for the building. This was the summer of ’94. “We did not know how to build a gym but we had looked at various designs and when we saw one of the dome
shaped buildings, we knew that’s what we wanted. The bulldozer stuck its nose in the ground on the 8th of July. The dome shape makes a great gymnastics gym because you get a really high ceiling; which is what we knew we needed because we are building pyramids that touch that 25’ 6” these days. Our trampolines are built into the ﬂoor. “So on July 8, the bulldozer started digging the foam and trampoline pits and leveled the pad and got us ready to go. And we worked from sometime before the sun came up till sometime after the sun went down – 6 days a week! We were very happy to be Seventh-day-Adventists because if we would have had to work 7 days a week, we would have killed ourselves! My dad was in construction until his early 40’s as a block mason and working with concrete. So we had some experience and there were some phone calls that went back and forth to Arkansas, where he was living at the time. “We hired a contractor who
was going to put the building up. And that was a whole other story. The contractor himself was blind and the expert that he hired was an idiot! And on top of that his roller machine (used in the steel building construction) didn’t work right! This ‘expert’ couldn’t get the machine to run. So after three days, I chased him off! I had a friend that was an engineering type person and he said ‘well I know who you need, you need Gary Voth.’ So he called Gary who came over and within about 10 minutes he was doing a headstand inside that machine, working over something or another. In about an hour, he had it running good (steel) panels that this other guy had tried to run for three days and couldn’t! And so Gary has a lifetime membership to the gym - he’s just a spectacular guy! “Gary was a part of getting that rolling and then Jerry Howard came out and did a lot of our welding - which was Continued: Peterson’s Gym Page 2
Keene City Council ﬂip-ﬂops on commercial land deal while Ackermann takes another Chapline “smack-down!” While Keene City ofﬁcials revisited and reluctantly approved a $200,000 land deal at the council meeting on the evening of July 25, 2013, the mayor’s support continues to wane and can only be described as “tenuous at best” as he is repeatedly rebuffed, challenged and admonished by fellow Councilmember Chapline, with a “tag-team” back up which included Councilmembers Gore & Schram, Robert Bischoff and even former Councilmember Chad Aden. In the public forum portion of the meeting former councilmember Chad Aden took the ﬂoor to state “At the last council meeting, I know there were a lot of questions asked and no one wanted to answer any of those questions. … Upon reading what the (Texas Open Meetings) Act says … it says: ‘If at a meeting of a governmental body, a member of the public or of the governmental body inquires about a subject for which notice has not been given as required by this subchapter, the notice provisions of this subchapter do
not apply. So, the city council can answer a statement of speciﬁc factual information given in response to the inquiry’ – which would be our question to you guys,” continued Aden. “…So my question comes back to what we talked about last week and I really want to know who started bringing all of the agenda items to the council for termination of Bill Guinn or Keith Jilge? Does anyone care to answer that on a ‘fact’ base response?” “Chad,” responded Councilmember Chapline, “I’ll answer it. It’s been the mayor who’s been pushing this agenda from the very beginning!” Robert Bischoff was then given the ﬂoor and made the
following remarks: “The procedure that I just had to go through at the front door I think is improper; I think it is Mickey Mouse and it’s Mr. Mayor’s little projects. Number one, you see an item on the agenda and it’s hard to explain it in detail. In city council, when you guys start discussing something, we have questions and at that point we were supposed to have already signed up for that. So, I don’t understand how it’s fair to the citizen who is trying to decide which one of the agenda items he might like to speak on at some point. So I would like to register that and I would also like to register the idea that the mayor is still behind this.” Keene resident and Johnson County Commissioner, Don Beeson then took the ﬂoor to concur with Aden’s assertion that “it’s not illegal for a dialogue in city council.” He then shared the following comments: “…I think it’s highly unusual to have on the agenda two public hearings on the same item at the same time. …It’s really unusual and
rare (to do so) …but that’s your business. What I came to address and I think there is going to be discussion on this some point in time about purchasing property for economic development; which sounds good and it is good. But in the last 6 years I’ve been fortunate enough to have been in some business transactions … And I just want to caution you about one thing: If indeed you are going to take city money and put it into a piece of land, please save back enough money to put infrastructure into it – or at least ask them to help you with that. Because I can tell you that’s one thing that businesses will not come in without. …So whatever your decisions are, if you are going to buy some land, then remember if you don’t have the money to help develop that property and land, you could possibly be wasting your tax money that you may not every realize. So, I just want to caution you to please remember that, thanks.” “I would like to bring an item of a code of ethics for councilmembers” proposed
Ackermann under item #2 on the agenda: “Request by the City Council for items to be placed on a future agenda for your approval at the next meeting.” “Anybody proposes a code of ethics for the mayor?” retorted Chapline, to which Ackermann responded “the mayor is part of the council. It’s George Evans, Keene Waevident that the meetings are ter Department Supervisor being choreographed before the meetings actually haplevels.” Evans also informed pen.” Chapline defensively the council that recently the demanded “I’m sorry; I didn’t city has been using “a lot of hear that, could you say that the surface water out of Lake again?” To which Ackermann Granbury.” complied before moving on to Noting that former mayor item #3 “Consider approval of Robinson and several other previous minutes.” This item audience members had their was summarily passed by the hands up for acknowledgecouncil without discussion. ment, Ackermann interjected The mayor then opened the “If we will please be kind public hearing on item #4 enough to follow parliamenon the agenda: “Review of tary procedure and wait to be the Drinking Water Quality acknowledged. Go ahead,” he Report and Public Participaprompted Robinson who then tion.” George Evans, Keene indicated that he had never Water Department Supervireceived “notiﬁcation to go to sor reported that in the recent the web site” for a review of annual water quality report the report but had no comthere were “no violations at plaints about that water at his all …and (the water) tested Continued: Keene City below the actual contaminate Council Page 4
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Continued: Peterson’s Gym really great! He helped with design with our foam pit and the tramp. We have 6 trampolines in a single frame in a pit which is a whole Jerry design, including the doors and stuff all the framing for that - Jerry did all the work. “And then Buger Putnam was just fascinated with what we had going on and he would just come out there and watch us. He’s such a good guy! About the 2nd day, Buger showed up with the biggest ice chest you’ve ever seen - full of ice and drinks and stuff - and he left it! Then he said ‘you guys need an electrical poll, and then you need this cart that you plug into the electrical poll which has outlets.’ Because we were running everything with generators, he brought out what we needed and just set it there. And he’s not charging us a dime; he’s just looking at us and feeling bad for us because we were just killing ourselves in the July-August heat, you know? When it came to electrical, we hired Buger to help us. He really let us do as much as we could do ourselves but helped with the design and stuff. Buger was great! And then when it came to air conditioning, we just let him do it. Our system is spectacular; it’s been there 18 years in September and we’ve had really good luck with all of that. “So we started construction on July 8th and on September 19, 1994 we ofﬁcially opened for business. We ﬁgured we were ready because we had a bathroom! We weren’t completely ﬁnished - we were missing little things like lights along the edges - but we got it started. And then we were
scheduled to host the Acrofest Clinic in November. So we had a very short period of time to get the gym ready to be part of the Acrofest! “In addition to coaching the College team, the Academy team, various school teams and offering tumbling lessons, we worked on the gym every Sunday for the next year and a half or two. And then my older brother Arnie, came over from California and helped us to get the lights all set. Acrofest started on Thursday and on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Acrofest, we were hanging lights! “Acrofest will be here again in the fall and we will again be one of the local host gym locations. It’s a rotation that everybody loves – it’s the fun stuff! I always love it when it’s in town; there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed as opposed to D.C. or somewhere else! “So that’s basically how we got started. It ran strong from ’94 to about ‘06 when I stopped coaching. It just
Pictured L-R, Tondra Smith, Doug Peterson’s sister, Emma Smith, Tondra’s daughter, Hanna Peterson, Doug’s daughter, Doug Peterson, Gym Co-Owner, Andrew Peterson, Doug’s son, Shane Smith, Tondra’s son, Jerry Peterson, Doug’s father and Brian Smith, Tondra’s son
Peterson’s Gym Acrobats performing at CTA Gymnasium on the Keene Chamber 4th of July Celebration, 2013
got old and my shoulders are not very good from too much spotting of cheerleaders. It’s a young man’s game! And speaking of a young man’s game, our staff that we pres-
ently have is great! Our gym manager is Liz Vargas and her husband Danny Vargas, is our head coach and works in the evenings for us. Danny has a Master’s degree in Physical Education and is a teacher for Cleburne ISD. He has a gymnastics resume that is a 3 ring binder which includes pictures. Danny has done some of the most spectacular acrobatics! He is from
Puerto Rico and was on the Puerto Rican team down there for years. He later coached at Blue Mountain Academy (Hamburg, PA) and then came to Keene and started working for us. We’ve had Danny now for 6 or 7 years. He is more than a spectacular gymnast, he is truly a teacher! His son Edrei and daughter Zuri, are also really good acrobats. “And then I have Anthony Rosado, my assistant coach who also coaches for me at night. He’s also a spectacular teacher and has so many personal skills. Anthony is also an artist and works for
the Keene Animal Control. Both Danny and Anthony are absolute teachers! Also on the team is Chris Vargas, who is Anthony’s brother. Chris is an Education Major at Southwestern; I believe he will be graduating in August. He is currently on the University team and will be the head coach for CTA next year. I have Anthony’s wife, Laura and also Keilani Stowell on the team. So when you talk about coaching horsepower, I’ve got a ‘dream team’ right there. The three Stowell boys Continued: Peterson’s Gym Page 3
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WWW.KEENECHRONICLE.COM • THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013 • 3
City Council Playing Horse Shoes? Continued: Peterson’s Gym Well, they were close! Does that count?
Even though the council was told repeatedly by city ofﬁcials and board members that it would only cost the city
$200,000.00, records show it really cost the tax payers of Keene $205,741.50 to purchase 4.9 acres of unimproved
land close to the corner of South College and US 67.
Letter to the Editor Dear Editor After reading in your July 25th edition the article entitled “Keene, the Qatar or Detroit” at least one major violation of the TEXAS OPEN MEETING ACT by the Keene City Council caught my attention. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion listed as GA-0326 references what it routinely called “a walking quorum.” Attorney General Abbott’s summary of the Texas Open Meeting Act, section 551.143 states, “Members of a governmental body who knowingly conspire to gather in numbers that do not physically consti-
tute a quorum at any one time but who through successive gatherings secretly discuss a public matter with a quorum of that body violates section 551.143 of the Texas Open Meetings Act.” I encourage our locally elected city ofﬁcials to educate themselves on the things like the Texas Open Meetings Act, things that you will be held responsible for knowing. Do not follow the lead of someone who may or may not have the city’s best interest at heart. Even following bad advice of an attorney will not excuse you for violation of the law. Violations of the Texas
Open Meetings Act can result in ﬁnes and /or up to 6 months in jail. I honestly believe there have been other violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act by our locally elected ofﬁcials in recent months and all it will take is one disgruntled citizen to ﬁle a complaint with the District Attorney to begin an investigation. The responsibilities of an elected ofﬁcial are not to be taken lightly but do not make it harder on yourselves by following bad advice. Signed Don Beeson Keene Resident
and my son are the men’s four that you see performing around town that are awesome - those boys are amazing! They do stuff that I don’t think they can accomplish; they do it and make it look easy! They are astounding kids, such good kids and they are so strong it’s just amazing! All of those kids for so many years have had little more than twisted ankles and sore elbows. This is a testament to how strong they truly are! “The whole Acrofest thing; you know you’re talking 30-35 teams which is fairly normal. Although acrobatics has a perception of danger to it, compared to a basketball tournament, the injury rate in what we do is so much less. We have gotten through numerous years of Acrofest in a row – 2 and 3 even 4 years at times, without an E.R. trip. And this is 700 plus athletes doing their thing. Basketball is 10 times more dangerous than acrobatics! “So at this point we have those two coaches and our manager that run the place. My brother and I coach the Captain’s team together. We each have 3 children and all of our kids are on the team. My children are Emily and Andrew, who will be 18 in two weeks, Hanna is my youngest, she is 13. My brother Randy has a 17 year old, Katy, and then Alyssa, 14, and Matthew who is 10. “Currently we offer about several different things at Peterson’s Gym. We do a lot of birthday parties - or sports team parties or whatever you want to call it. People rent the gym which normally starts at $175 per two hour party. But if there are more kids, then the price goes up from there. Then we offer tumbling classes which is what Anthony and Danny coach. That starts at 3 years old and goes through young adults. I used to teach adult classes way back in the day; but adults are worse than 2 year olds! They get sore and then they quit or they get busy. “Danny, who is a very ﬁt young man, does a ﬁtness class. The tumbling classes start at 3 pm. Our lessons are $48/mo. with a $25 registration fee. And it’s $96 for twice with some sibling discounts. We have a lot of kids - both boys and girls - who want to be cheerleaders that come and tumble. We also have lot more boys that most gymnastic gyms normally have - it’s a 3:1 ratio. Partly it’s because of the trampoline and partly it’s the acrobatics that brings the boys in. We are open every Saturday night 6 to 10:30. Our fees are $10
per person for ‘open gym’ and $5 per person for the hours of 8-10:30 pm. That has become a teenage boy hangout - which is what I always thought it should be - but it has taken years for it to catch on. There are a bunch of kids, and a bunch of teenage kids that attend, and the skill level has become pretty great. As part of my summer team, I took a group of kids who are acrobatic, but then I took a half a dozen tumblers that are pretty spectacular and you saw that in the (Keene Celebration) 4th of July show as well. “I like to have an athlete who does it all. I want a kid who’s a tumbler and an acrobat. Some of the teams now assign people a specialty job such as a ‘top’ (of a tumbling pyramid) or a ‘base.’ That’s just not how I ever did it because I always thought it was more fun if a ‘base’ can also do a ‘round-off back ﬂip.’ I had a gorilla-strong young man like that once! “I am a member of Neighborhood Fitness but our services at Peterson’s Gym are different. Neighborhood Fitness is a health club; it has the facilities to do whatever you want physically to change your body. They can make you stronger, and will help you lose or gain weight or whatever it is you want to do to change your physical body. There are some opportunities for kids there but it’s mostly adults. What we do is teach tumbling, trampoline and acrobatics. We are really very speciﬁc. With our team, we offer lessons in learning to be acrobats with a show element to it. We love to do shows and the kids of course, love to perform. There’s no budget for travel so we do a half a dozen local shows a year with our team. Our kids are great, we can’t not show them off - they are spectacular! “One of the greatest things about the sport that we do with the acrobatic is for the kid who can’t be an athlete in another sport - he’s too fat for example. Man, I’ll take that kid and make him a ‘base’ and he doesn’t move because he’s got some bulk to him. That kid can be a superstar! And then the little girl who’s too small for volleyball or basketball or whatever, she’s my superstar. I put her on top of everything! And it’s like, every body type works; that’s something that I really, really like about the sport that we do. It’s also co-ed which gives kids a chance to interact. Those boys and girls become friends that they wouldn’t otherwise become in a normal situation which is partly
because they are trusting of each other; because there is also an element of danger in what they do. The best friends that I have today are kids that I have been team mates with or coached at the University - those are my buddies now days and are friends for life! When you do something that’s difﬁcult - that other people don’t do that’s hard - and you accomplish it as a team, there is a lasting bond there that’s unbreakable! “My brother and I have, through the years developed that psychological training. We are also training the kids to think without them realizing that we are doing it! So much of what you can accomplish in acrobatics is what you believe. For example, my brother and I both have invented pyramids that we thought were going to be difﬁcult if not impossible. We then went and sold it to the team, presenting it like we thought it was going to be easy. Then bought into it thinking ‘we’re going to do this’ - and they did! We sold it to them and they were convinced; and that’s a big part of the deal.” Doug Peterson, when asked, estimates that “roughly about 3,000 to 4,000” local youth have walked through Peterson’s Gym’s doors since its opening in September of ‘94. Liz Vargas, Gym Manager, also noted that some of the kids now attending Peterson’s Gym are children of former members! “I currently do very little with the gym,” concluded Peterson. “I am the owner of D.R. Medical Supply, which supplies durable medical equipment to Mission Hospice, where my brother Randy works.” Peterson’s Gym staff: • Liz Vargas – Gym Manager • Danny Vargas – Head Coach • Anthony Rosado & Navimayr Lopez – Beginner’s Coaches • Evamari Erazo – Media Consultant • Hunter McQueen, Brian Folley & Kody Channell - Birthday Parties and Open Gym Supervisors Contact Peterson’s Gym @ (817) 680-7101 • Classes are 5:30-6:30 pm, 6:30-7:30 pm T&Th. • “Saturday Night Out” 6:00-10:30 pm • Classes start on Sept. 3rd @ 6:30 pm for the Captain Team You can also visit Peterson’s Gym on Facebook or on their web page @ petersonsgym. com
Keene City Council Agenda for August 8th 1. Mayor’s remarks/public forum (The City Council invites citizens to speak on any topic; however, unless the item is speciﬁcally noted on this agenda, the City Council is required under the Texas Open Meetings Act to limit its response to one of the following: *Responding with a statement of speciﬁc factual information or reciting the City’s existing policy on that issue; or*Directing the person making the inquiry to visit with City Staff about the issue. (No Council deliberation is permitted.) 2. Request by the City Council for items to be placed on a future agenda for discussion. 3. Consider approval of previous minutes. 4. Consider approval of the Voting Machine Lease agree-
ment between Johnson County and the City of Keene for the 2013 Election. – Keesha Lay, City Secretary 5. Discussion and possible action on 2013-2014 Budget and dates for workshops and approvals. - William Guinn, City Administrator. 6. Discussion and possible action to forfeit/vacate the ofﬁce of Councilman Donny Gore- Mayor Pro Tem Janes. 7. Discussion and possible action on establishing a policy and procedure to specify the manner and circumstances to assist the public in attendance at city council meetings, to interact with, receive answer to their questions on agenda items and make their opinions known to their representatives serving city council. – Councilman Chapline
8. Executive Session -- (Closed to the public as provided by Texas Government Code) As authorized by Section 51.071(2) of The Texas Government Code, The Workshop, Special Called, Or Regular Meeting may be convened into Closed Executive Session for the purpose of seeking conﬁdential legal advice from the Attorney on any Agenda Item listed herein. 9. Reconvene into Open Session for possible action resulting from any items posted and legally discussed in Executive Session. 10. Adjourn
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Keene Chronicle www.KeeneChronicle.com
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Continued: Keene City Council location. Bill Guinn informed Robinson that the notiﬁcation “was on the bill” in order to save the city money and added that Keene does not add ﬂuoride to its water. “Is it possible that the council wants to save as much money as possible so they can pay the lawyers for those closed sessions?” Interjected Bischoff sarcastically. Don Beeson then asked if the council was now operating under “Robert’s Rules of Order” to which Ackermann responded “We do have procedures that we follow on that. Everything is basically based on parliamentary procedure.” “I’ve never seen any rules published, they have never been provided to me in any way and I’d like to know which rules you are referring to” responded Chapline to Ackermann’s explanation. City Secretary Keesha Lay interrupted, “I’m sorry but we are way off topic here!” Some discussion then ensued about the odor and the ﬂavor of the water after which the Mayor closed the public hearing on the “Review of the Drinking Water Quality Report and Public Participation.” Allied Waste Services representatives then made their case for a nominal, CPI based rate increase and entertained questions from the council and audience members under item #5 of the agenda “Discussion and possible action on a request from Allied Waste Services for a rate increase modiﬁcation.” This proposed rate adjustment would translate into an 18 cent per month increase per residence - or over the course of a year an additional $2.16 for the term ending in 2014. Several times Keene resident Bonnie Allen’s questions to the AWS reps were interrupted by Ackermann who authoritatively insisted “I’m sorry but anyone who asks a question had to sign up at the beginning of the meeting.” “Can I get on the list” inquired Allen, “because I had no idea what was on the agenda?” “It’s over there for you to sign up. I’m sorry, but we have to conduct our meetings this way” explained Ackermann. “I may be out of order again” interjected Chapline deﬁantly, “but I don’t know when the rules for speaking in a city council were approved by this council and so this will be on a future agenda to be discussed for those of you who feel like you can’t say what you’d like to say!” Ackermann then acknowledged Gore who observed “many weeks I’ve had more trash than “blue-bin.” However, the service seems to have picked up considerably. He then requested a quote from AWS for the additional cost for a “4 times a year” (vs. twice a year) pick up of miscellaneous “non blue-bin” items of trash and refuse for maintaining the aesthetics of the city. The representatives conceded that “it would be more” stating that AWS “certainly would be glad to work the numbers up.” Councilmember Gore made the motion to approve item #5 on the agenda with a second by Janes. This AWS item failed to pass by a majority vote by the remaining council. “Mr. mayor,” asserted seemingly incensed Chapline, “I’m going to say that I am going to vote against this and I’m going to state the reason I am voting against it is because we were not allowed to fully review the contract and make the modiﬁcations necessary. And if your intent is to tie the hands of the city council to the point where we cannot do our job, I promise you, that will not work for long!” Ackerman did not respond to Chapline’s assertions and bold admonitions as he redirected
the council to item #6 on the agenda: “Consider approval for the Mayor to order the City of Keene’s General Election for Tuesday, November 5, 2013.” This item was carried unanimously by the council. Agenda item #7: “Consider approval of TLM IEBP Healthcare Beneﬁt Plans Renewal for City Employees.” This proposed plans renewal includes a 3% rate increase on the health and 3.7% on the optional dental portion of the plan. Gore made the motion for approval of this item which was summarily seconded by Chapline and carried unanimously by the council. Agenda item #8: “Discussion and possible action on appointing Chad Aden and Lauren Castania to the Athletic Association for a 2 year term” was also carried unanimously by the council after a motion by Janes and a second by Gore. Janes made the motion to approve agenda item #9: “Discussion and possible action on appointing Donnie Beeson and Roy Robinson to the Keene
Former Keene City Mayor, Roy Robinson
Community Development Corporation.” Janes’ motion was seconded by Gore and it was carried unanimously by the council. Items #10 & 11 on the agenda: “First and second readings of and consideration and action regarding Resolution No. 2013-299, Resolution by the City Council of the City of Keene, Texas approving the issuance of a note by the Keene Community Development Corporation and making certain ﬁndings related thereto” prompted much heated discussion by both council and audience members. “If we do not close this loan by July 31” passionately announced Guinn in advocating for passage of this item, “we lose the $20,000 in earnest money.” “Last time some people brought up the question as to what the plans are for this piece of land, could you share that with us; what is Type B Board’s plan for that?” implored Councilmember Morin to Charles Ferrier, the President of the “Type B” Board, aka Keene Community Development Corporation. Ferrier prefaced his response to Marin by acknowledging Beeson’s earlier commentary about the importance of having extra funds for the implementation of necessary infrastructure on property for any prospective industry. “In the future, you never know what’s going to happen to a piece of property when you buy it for investment purposes” Ferrier informed the council, “but … we had $20,000 in earnest money with $2,000 to extend that. It is being bought for future development for what we thought would be a good location for a grocery store. But there are no deﬁnite plans or anybody looking at it to purchase it right now.” “…Right now as it is, it is platted out for residential and the council will have to come together to change that, but we looked at it and felt very strongly that that is a good location for a lot of trafﬁc for expansion and development of commercial property. So, it’s basically being purchased for that purpose” explained Ferrier. Proposing to rezone this property for commercial use which he contends will gener-
ate more tax revenue; Guinn stated “Type B has very good cash reserves as well.” He informed the council that the cost to the city for this 4.9 acre piece of real estate located near College Drive on Hwy 67 frontage road, Wallen Ridge, would be $200,000, with the note carried by Pinnacle Bank at 4.25% interest for a 10 year term with a 5 year note readjustment. “That’s not true folks, that is not true! This council has not recommended running these meetings this way - by these rules!” retorted Chapline in response to Ackermann’s admonition to an audience member to the contrary. “Rule me out of order if you want to” he challenged deﬁantly. Chapline’s repeated emotional challenges elicited no counter response by Ackermann. In response to a motion request by Ackermann on item #10, Chapline stated “not until we hear Mr. Beeson. We have here citizens who would like to speak to this issue; then we’ll be happy to take this under consideration. Mr. Beeson, I for one would like to hear what you have to say.” “I’ve basically said it, I’m sorry,” politely replied Beeson. “You just gave $20,000 dollars away!” declared Guinn in desperation when item #10 was voted down by the council with only Janes and Marin voting in favor. On item #12 on the agenda “Discussion and possible action on a procedure and or policy for placing items on the City Council Agenda,” Chapline declared “we have had a policy, whether written or understood, ever since I’ve been on the council, that any council member can place an item on the agenda as long as it was done before the Thursday of the preceding council. …the other day we all received a memo from Keesha (Lay) that the mayor said that we couldn’t do it that way. It was signed by the mayor and it was signed by Keesha. I understand that Ms. Lay was asked to sign that and very reluctantly signed it because it looked like that it came from her. And what it said was that our motions had to be in writing and they had to be approved by a number of people. And this is nothing more than the same attempt at what the mayor is trying tonight to restrict what can go on the council and what can be discussed; and it’s just one more way of being silly! And tonight we’re addressing these items; we have the attorney here again that we’re spending money on. We have spent tens of thousands of dollars on attorneys over the antics of the mayor! So, if we’re going to be silly, let’s be silly! I’m going to make a motion that says ‘items may be placed on an upcoming council agenda by any councilmember variably during item 2 of the current agenda, or they may telephone, send a pigeon, send a fax, write it on a postal pack, send a signal up in smoke or tap it out in Morse code, walk right into city hall and tell it to one and all any time before noon the Thursday proceeding the next council meeting!” Janes responded in Ackermann’s defense, “I’d like to make a discussion on this; this was the policy that was set in place in 2012 by a previous council. This was not something that the mayor thought up, Okay? This was a written policy that is available for you to read from the City Secretary’s ofﬁce.” “A policy that’s not been in place and has not been used,” Chapline shot back. “I just thought having something in writing was a good idea. Not that we were going to block one from putting their agenda item. I don’t
think the intent of that form is to do that. It’s just that we know clearly who is wanting that agenda item,” observed councilmember Morin. Councilmember Schram then weighed in declaring “Well, as far as this item goes, it may have been adopted as a policy by a previous council. …But this thing was never, ever enforced! And the reason item #2 came on this agenda in the ﬁrst place is because …when I asked to put something on the agenda, I was ignored. This form was not sent forward to me as a way to proceed (and) I had not been experienced early on to understand what I was doing and then I became frustrated with the mayor that is sitting here tonight at the end of this table!” “So I then called our attorney” continued Schram emotionally, “and said ‘how do I get an item on the agenda?’ And he said ‘you just walk in to Keesha and tell her you want it on the agenda.’ And I said, ‘is there a way to not place Keesha between myself and the mayor if he isn’t I agreement with my item for the agenda? (And) he said ‘yes, a lot of cities that I represent do so.’ And you noticed tonight item #2 was not abused. If you’re worried about anonymous items getting on our agenda, you can go back in the minutes and ﬁnd out who asked for items on the agenda. …I would be happy to have my name beside each item agenda that I sponsor. …There would never be any confusion; it would be in the record! So I just have that to say, I’m not having a problem with anybody putting an item on the agenda, but I do have a problem with the suppression of me being able to get the things done that I ran on, that my constituent are expecting me to fulﬁll while I sit here in this chair!” “No one has ever – nor anyone else that I know here - asked anyone not to put anything as an agenda item. The only interest is that we have the information necessary before we put things on the agenda items. It has nothing to do with item #2 on the public agenda,” asserted Ackermann to Schram’s stated objections. “I would like to make a serious motion now” announced Chapline, “to replace the previous one, that says ‘Items may be placed on an upcoming council agenda by any councilmember verbally during item #2 of the agenda, or they may use any other means, verbal or otherwise to communicate their request to the city secretary any time before noon on the Thursday preceding the council meeting. Requests need only to state the item to be placed on the agenda, and if it is to be a discussion item only, or a discussion and possible action item. All items on the agenda will show the names of the person requesting it,’ and – I will interrupt for a second, because the mayor has claimed that anonymous items have gone on the agenda, so they no will longer be anonymous… Tonight he (Ackermann) stated that the council asked for this and they said that they didn’t. So picking back up, the request only need to state ‘the item to be placed on the agenda - if it is to be a discussion item only or a discussion with possible action. All items on the agenda will show the name of the person requesting it including items to be placed on the agenda by the mayor’s staff. All others items such as minutes, reports, etc. would not need a name on them. All agenda items will be in open session unless speciﬁcally requested by the council person making the request or by the direction of the city attorney. In either case, the reason for placing it
in closed session must cite the declaration of an emergency, speciﬁc language in writing and where the City currently and provide the law as to why stands with the plan, including it must be handled in closed the qualiﬁcations and/or trainsession.’” ing required for the position” After a brief discussion, elicited much discussion by some legal clariﬁcations by both councilmembers and atCity Attorney Robert Brown, tendees. and a minor amendment by Nick Chesney spoke from the Marin “that the city secretary ﬂoor stating “As far as I know, review the request with the Keith Jilge is the only one city administrator to make that’s got the qualiﬁcations. sure no action has already And if the mayor is going to been taken, or if there are any be in charge I can’t see why other issues to be addressed,” the mayor has not attended Chapline’s proposed amendany recent emergency manment (above) and motion was agement planning meetings. then seconded by Gore and And since Keith has got the carried unanimously by the credentials and nobody else council. does, I can’t understand why Gore made the motion to he can’t be the emergency approve item #13 “Discussion management person.” and possible action on auCouncilmember Marin then thorizing the funds that were observed that she felt Jilge not used for rent this year for should focus exclusively on the economic development economic development for the ofﬁce to be used for furnishcity. “Keith is our Economic ings.” Chapline seconded Development Director, he gets Gore’s motion for the $5,100 paid for that and it’s a very big to be used in the purchase of job, and that’s what he needs furnishings and ofﬁce equipto focus on.” ment, and when Ackermann Councilmember Schram then inquired about “further discus- commented that “the reason sion” Chapline suggested I asked for this item to be on “Can we change the verbiage the agenda was that there has on this Mr. Guinn, to say that been so much talk in the comit does include all these other munity about an emergency items?” Chapline requested management action plan. And inclusion for the purchase of I said I would like to see what furnishings for the rest of the we have laid out, explained 3 room, 1,500 square ft. space. and discussed. I would like “So why don’t we make it for us all to have assurances the Economic Development that we were covered and Suite” suggested Guinn. that there was indeed a good Amended item #13 was then plan there… Now this was carried unanimously by the not just about the outside council and now Keene Ecowarning system which seems nomic Development Director, to have gotten a lot of attenKeith Jilge has the keys to his tion - this is about having a soon to be furnished ofﬁce plan in place. And it’s my digs at North Side Station on understanding that we are very N. Old Betsy Road. This loclose to having a plan and that cation will also accommodate we are indeed covered by the the Type A and Type B Boards plan that is here in place in and will also provide the city Johnson County. …But we do space – including a conference not have our own tailor made room - for courting out of plan in place here for us for town guests. our town.” Schram praised Janes made the motion “to the Cleburne city mayor as reopen item #1 under the an example of a city leader Open Meetings Act.” His mo- who was not in charge of the tion was seconded by Marin emergency plan but that “he and carried by the council. had other people backing him “It’s clear about what you up. That’s what I’m expectsaid” responded Chapline to ing to see here tonight. What Janes’ interpretation of the have you got for a plan?” Open Meetings Act limiting demanded Schram from council’s response to public Ackermann. “If you are the statements and inquiries. emergency management direc“The law doesn’t require it, tor, I believe that you should but we certainly can follow address this and reassure us the policy;” to which Janes and tell us what you are doing concurred. “It’s up to the to make this happen! In all chair, whether or not that hap- these weeks, what have you pens.” got to show?” Former councilmember “I will be glad to do that,” Chad Aden commented “I responded Ackermann. “We would just like to say that past have an emergency manageexperiences in this council ment plan that is seven have been that the audience twelve years old. …The state participates in the council law requires us to update our meetings, and have done so emergency management plan for many, many years. And every 5 years. I have been just now all of a sudden from working with a consultant the meeting two weeks ago, addressing the issues that we now we’re required to sign need to address in the City of up for something and that Keene.” hasn’t been a policy and Ackermann introduced Mr. clearly that hasn’t been a Bob Hamilton, after reciting policy by the council to move his impressive credentials and in that direction. …And if we (citizens) are really going to have an input into what’s being said, that we have had for so many years previous to this. So I think we’re all lost in exactly what’s going on because we’ve been able to discuss things back and forth for years.” …Some people will not have thought of what they are going to say until the Bob Hamilton, emergency discussion has started.” management planning Supporting Aden’s observaconsultant tions Chapline – in a bit of tongue-in-cheek sarcasm history of accomplishments suggested “that everyone in in emergency management. the future come in and sign up Hamilton spoke on what needfor every item on the agenda!” ed to be addressed in order to This statement provoked put an emergency managelaughter from several of the ment action plan in place for audience members. the City of Keene. Hamilton Item #14 in the agenda conceded that Keene currently “Discussion and possible does not have an emergency action on Emergency Manmanagement plan in place but agement Action Plan for the is covered under the Johnson City which shall include, but County plan. “What we need not limited to, the following; to do is to develop a basic Chain of Command, Emerplan,” advised Hamilton. gency purchases, Emergency Continued: Keene City ordinance, and Conditions for Council Page 5
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Continued: Keene City Council “This plan” he explained, “would outline and detail responsibilities and chain of command for city staff.” Hamilton went on to reassure the council that he would help in “getting a basic plan” in place for the City of Keene and further explained what would be required and expected by the different departments and entities in the city in order to get that done for NIMS, Federal Government compliance. “I have a lot of respect for Bob Hamilton and I know that he knows a lot about these kinds of things. And that’s all I ever wanted is someone who was informed to come in and start talking about these things,” stated Schram. She then suggested entertaining questions from the audience. This was followed by a lively discussion which included suggestions for consulting with the county, recruiting volunteer internship from local universities, retaining outside help, grant eligibility, NIMS training requirements by FEMA, coordinating with the city departments for putting a plan in place and adapting existing plans to the unique needs of the city. Emergency response details like dealing with victims and potable water availability were also discussed. “Chad Aden then revisited the contentious issue back in April regarding Keith Jilge’s cancelled plan to meet with Melanie Divine (Emergency Preparedness Specialist with the North Central Texas Council of Governments) and his subsequent termination as Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Keene by the mayor. “So my question is still, why was Keith removed from his position when this is the direction we were going in, three months ago? When this came to a head back in April you had stated to the council that we didn’t need a person in this position because the city wasn’t that big. And that came from you Mr. Mayor, and that you were able to do this yourself. Now with Mr. Jilge working on this plan, I don’t understand why he wasn’t given the time to do it. After he asked you for your outside warning systems plan, he was terminated. …So it must be a really big coincidence that he asked you for your plan and the very next day he gets pulled from his position!” “I don’t understand why you’re asking about his plan. …When he put the plan together, it was obsolete”
replied Ackermann. Aden then insisted that Jilge was in the process of putting a plan in place when he was abruptly terminated. “Based on the staff’s recommendation, I appointed him (Jilge) as the emergency management coordinator. He was doing that on top of his other duties” replied Ackermann who then conceded that “that was perhaps a bad choice.” “I’m sorry” interjected Schram, challenging Ackermann’s assertion, “but I have to take exception to that statement be-
Ackerman then directed the council on to item #15 “Discussion and possible action on obtaining funding for Emergency Management programs and/or personnel.” “Was this (item) something to retain the services of Mr. Hamilton?” Inquired Chapline, “because if we do decide to go short term with Johnson County… Then it sounds like we would just barely be out of the starting gate to do a whole plan; if I understand correctly.” Hamilton explained that the three months “is part of the basic plan” but in the meantime the city would be covered under the Johnson County plan. However, he recommended that the City of Keene “have their own plan,” long term. “I’ve been burned once” Ackermann stating “that exclaimed Chapline, “on was perhaps a bad choice!” voting on something that was cause I believe that …there’s open-ended, I believed (that) a lot of personalities that came I was voting on one thing and into play here and as far as it turned out it was something I’m concerned, relationship entirely different! I would and healing and amends are in like to see if we need to have order in this particular issue a special meeting to get this so that we can set it to rest and moving forward. I would move on. I just feel that that like to have something with a is something that has to be timeline and exactly what you said because I don’t think that are going to accomplish and that is a fair characterization have a price for that. It’s an of the situation!” unknown that I’m being asked What rules are you referto vote on here, because I have ring to again, Mr. Mayor?” no earthly idea; and I know declared Gore in frustration that to a large extent you don’t with the mayor’s failure to ac- know. And so maybe with a knowledge raised hands from few days of fact ﬁnding you several audience members. could have a better handle. The mayor responded that he But I would like a real proposwould give everyone a chance al that says ‘this is what I’m to speak. going to do and this is what “I make a motion that we it’s going to cost.’ I think that move forward on developing a motion should be made that an emergency action plan for we request Mr. Hamilton to the City of Keene and for all give us a ﬁrst proposal.” applicable requirements to “I’ll tell you what I’ll do” be ready by September 1st,” proposed Hamilton, “give me declared Schramm which till the next week, and I’ll do was seconded by Janes and it for you for free. I will have carried by a majority council the County’s plan, with their vote. This action would allow update, or something that will Hamilton to assist the city in get past us if you enact on the formulation of a city emer- it …we’ll pass and give the gency management plan on a state all the information that pro bono basis for a period of we’re now compliant before three months. His proposed September 1st. Then you can plan would them have to be make a proposal for a city adopted by September 1, 2013 speciﬁc plan.” in order to be grant compliant. Aden interjected with a “I voted against it because I personal observation that any wasn’t allow to ask a quescurrent expenditures on the tion” exclaimed Chapline, current plan would not have “which was, under your been necessary had Mr. Jilge motion, if Johnson County’s been allowed to continue with emergency plan is up to date, his responsibilities as Emerwould that allow us to marry gency Management Coordinaup to their plan, to give us tor. time to do that, i.e., to put the Announced Chapline, “I’ll whole thing together?” Chap- change the motion to accept line then expressed concern Mr. Hamilton’s offer to do a about currently unknown limited amount of work for projected costs and time free just to keep it current and constraints for developing the copy what Johnson County is plan. using; and then present that to
FIFTY YEARS IN KEENE
HALLOWEEN 1970 – My friend Kevin Thomas and I were at my parents’ house and we were talking about what to do that night. We had made a dummy a month or so before and from a distance he looked pretty realistic. We took one of my old shirts and a pair of old jeans, stuffed them with some other old clothes and put an old pair of gloves on him so he would look like he had hands; we put an old pair of boots on him and put a tee shirt around a small basketball and drew a face on it for his head and topped it off with an old cowboy hat. Well, we decided it would be cool to take the dummy down to Keene Public School where Kevin and I both attended, and run him up the ﬂagpole. So we got an old rope, made a hangman’s noose, put it around the dummy’s neck and waited until dark. The next thing was how to transport him to the school. Those of you who knew Kevin Thomas. Know that he always had something that would run. At this particular time Kevin had a 1956 45-cubic inch Harley David-
son trike. The person Kevin bought it from had painted it orange, handlebars and all. It was a sight but it ran. The trike was selected to deliver the dummy. So when it got good and dark, we carried the dummy out to the trike. I guess he thought we were going to a party instead of a hanging because he offered no resistance. The three dummies got on the trike. Uh---No----Uh----It was Kevin, myself and the dummy---well, think what you like! We rode down to the public school, took the dummy over to the ﬂagpole, attached the rope and ran him up to the top. He looked pretty real up there. I felt kinda bad for him, though I’ve gotten over it over the past 43 years. Kevin thought he heard a car door close and he said, “Here comes Jake.” You remember Jake Howard, the cop, only lived less than a block from the school. We jumped on the trike, kicked it 8 or 10 times. It ﬁnally started and we took off. If Jake had really been after us, he would have caught us before we ever got the trike started.
We went down to US 67 highway, turned and went toward Cleburne. We passed E. K. Birdwell’s broom Company, College Drive, the old Findley Lumber Yard at a top speed of 55 or 60 mph. Then we went down Rattle Snake Hill and gained a little speed. Kevin turned right on Old Betsy. We were going too fast for that hard right; the bike leaned over on two wheels. I quickly leaned to the right and it set back down and we went on. It was scary but we made it. All the while we were out running, Jake; I imagine he was home in bed, fast asleep. The next day in school, Albert Pauley (the principal) told the ninth and tenth grades, “There were some dummies hanging around here last night,” while looking right at Kevin and me. We never cracked a smile. That’s the only thing Mr. Pauley ever said about it. I heard from people that the dummy was under the school for years after that. Another thing that started around 1970 was dirt bikes and motocross racing. Small motocross tracks sprung up
us.” This motion was seconded by Gore and carried by a unanimous council vote. The council rejected Roy Robinson’s suggestion that would allow residents to burn dead trees, brush and other vegetation in home ﬁre pits. They also denied a request for residents to bring tree limbs or yard waste to be mulched at public works on item #16. “I would like to make a motion to reopen items #10 and #11” (“First and second reading of consideration and action regarding Resolution No. 2013-299, Resolution by the City Council of the City of Keene, Texas approving the issuance of a note by the Keene Community Development Corporation and making certain ﬁndings related thereto”), announced Marin. Janes then seconded Marin’s motion which then allowed the items to be reopened for discussion and approval. Bonnie Allen spoke in favor of approval of these items stating that the price was “a good deal!” Guinn made a convincing sales pitch prefaced by his expressed concerns about losing the $20,000 plus and extra $2,000 extension escrow money. “It has to be closed by July 31st or the deal is off” explained Guinn. “Maybe this wasn’t made clear, but the money to pay for this comes from the sales tax from the Type B Board which is ½ of 1%. ... And frankly I agree with Ms. Allen that the price is a decent price for that piece of property with 121 coming through. And I don’t believe we want a bunch of track homes right there on the corner which is a prime retail development area, and sales tax can help us more than property tax in many cases.” Guinn also noted that utilities are already in place at the location and “it’s a great spot.” He further made the case for a grocery store in that corner location. “I think if we don’t go through with this as we had indicated in March, you’re going to have a massive board resignation or a total board dissolving – I don’t know! But it’s your decision. But I’m dumbfounded that we would give away 10% of the cost of the land when we’ve got the money in the bank and it ﬁts the bill and there is plenty of cash ﬂow to cover it!” Following Guinn petition for passage of items #10 & #11, further discussion ensued by councilmembers which also included endorsements by some audience members including Bonnie Allen, Roy Robinson and Keith Jilge who
implored the council “I really would appreciate if you would reconsider the purchase of this property.” Marin’s motion to reopen item #10 was carried unanimously by the council. Marin then made a 2nd procedural motion to reconsider the previous vote on item #10 and vote on it again; a moved deemed legal by Robert Brown, the city attorney. Her motion was stated as follows: “I make a motion to approve the resolution by the City Council of the City of Keene, Texas approving the issuance of a note by the Keene Community Development Corporation for the purchase of this property.”
City Attorney Robert Brown with meter running, now a ﬁxture at city council meetings
Marin’s motion was seconded by Janes with Chapline taking the lead for discussion stating “This was one of the ﬁrst things that came up when I came on the council and I wanted to understand how Type A and Type B Board worked and what they were about. And I went to an acquaintance that had been on the Type B Board and talked with him about it and he suggested that it was a good idea for the city to buy land. So I voted for it the ﬁrst time based off of that recommendation. Since then I’ve done a lot of research and I don’t think it’s a good business to be in! To purchase property where we have a business that is ready to move in, or to purchase property to increase the size of the Industrial Park, with real qualiﬁed companies that have met all of the qualiﬁcations and are ready to move in - I’m all for that! But to buy property on speculation really bothers me! And that’s part of the reason I voted against this item. The other part was the mayor was determined he was not going to allow us to have any discussion. And when you cut me off where I can’t have an open discussion with other council members and allow the people - the citizens of Keene - that put us here and that we are representing to say anything; I’m going to vote it down every single time
that happens! I’m not too big to admit when I’ve made a mistake; and I think I did make a mistake when I voted against it – not because it’s a good idea to buy the land, but because it’s a bad idea to lose $22,000! …In principle, I’m against doing this type of thing!” “I’ve been asked a couple of times in the past” volunteered Gore, “on how I come to some of my conclusions or decisions sitting up here. And basically what I do is take my packet, read though it and ask a heck of a lot of questions in those areas in which these agenda items fall into. Then I come to council and I like to get feedback from the community to ﬁnd out what they want; and based off of those two items, make my decision. And Janes, when I get a piece of my equation removed from me, it clogs up my decision making process! …I’m not real fond of this land deal, but I voted for it and gave my word that we would move forward so I’m going to honor that. But I will vote more carefully in future land deal! I will talk a great deal, if I’m still up here, when it comes to a grocery store being placed there. So that’s my two cents for the night.” Marin’s motion was then carried unanimously by the council members. Related item #11 was also voted in unanimously by the council. Chapline made the motion to approve item #17 “Review and approval by the Council of the ﬁnancial statement as of May 30th, 2013.” His motion was seconded by Schram and it was carried unanimously by the council. With no further discussion the council was adjourned.
Councilmember Cheryl Schram
Councilmember Ward III, Donny Gore
around the area and several people in Keene got dirt bikes. Charley and Morris Davis built a small motocross track on the family farm north of Keene. Myself and some of my friends and lots of others had lots of fun on that old track. Those were good old days, when people weren’t scared of being sued, and would let people on their property. Now that I’m older and have a place of my own, I have a better understanding of what Charley and Morris did for us. Thank you Morris, for providing a place and letting some young people have some Melba Bowers with son Ray visiting the Ruidoso SDA church good clean fun in the dirt. The story you have just read is true. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent or for that matter the guilty. Signed, T. G.
Kent Muse having special music for the Ruidoso Church
6 • THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013 • WWW.KEENECHRONICLE.COM
From the Pen of Morris Lowry (Part 4): Morris Lowry, a local resident and retired history professor, taught for many years on the campus of Southwestern Adventist University. He earned a Master of Arts degree in History from Texas Christian University. In his 1951 Master’s Thesis entitled “A Background of Seventhday Adventism and its Early Development in Texas,” he traces the tumultuous history of Adventism in the Lone Star State as well as the humble, early beginnings of the Adventist education movement in Texas. Mr. Lowry shares the following interesting anecdotal accounts about “The Home” (pictured in the last edition of Keene Chronicle) and some of the other early structures built on Keene Industrial campus: The ﬁrst and second ﬂoors (of “The Home,” later renamed “North Hall”) housed the young ladies while the young men usually lived on the third ﬂoor and in the attic, which also contained the boys worship room. A young man less concerned to “build thee more stately mansions, on my soul, while the swift seasons roll,” than to communicate with his special lady friend could write a note, then lower it via string to a lower window where a girl could retrieve it and then dispose of it properly. There were other temporary means of pouring out one’s heart-felt deeper yearnings. When carpenters prepared to install steam radiators in the rooms, they bored holes in the ﬂoors. But the pipes did not come for a while, therefore a young lady by using such items as a table, chair and box
could climb close to the hole in the ﬂoor of her boyfriend’s and by this ingenious method they could whisper or otherwise communicate those sweet nothing of yore! Regardless of how primitive the dormitory was, by 19061907 it had a small wing to the west, which had a bathroom containing a genuine bathtub with hot water piped from the kitchen. Having a community tub surely made it difﬁcult to bathe every day, but few did that once a week was customary. The ﬁrst administration building, or Academy Hall, built in 1895, stood in the area occupied by the Findley Memorial Library. It had the chapel on the second ﬂoor with classrooms on the third ﬂoor. There were separate stairways for the young men and women, who after entering the chapel sat on opposite sides of the Auditorium. Perhaps such provisions helped keep youthful minds centered on life’s stern realities. The 1919-1920 school year, witnessed the completion of the new boy’s dormitory (West Hall). However, the builders overlooked the lavatory equipment. For a while, the girl’s dormitory, North Hall, appeared doomed and the girls evacuated it. When the building burned from top to bottom, Willie Brinegar hurried from the ﬂaming structure. She carried a sewing machine under each arm and another young lady, Brent Zacary, scurried from North Hall carrying only her violin. The water supply being entirely spent, the young men threw milk on the ﬂames, then the chemical wagon from
Cleburne arrived and saved the girls dorm. The new brick veneer administration building was ﬁnished in time to be used during part of the 1921-1922 school year. Mrs. Grace V. Bradford of Oilton, Texas, the former Grace Jenkins, served on the committee chaired by Elder Moody. The committee selected the Biblical name Penuel (Hall) for the ﬁne ediﬁce in which so many splendid young people from the Southwest have received training and inspiration. As construction of the building (Penuel Hall) progressed an accident occurred during the erection of the water tower. A young workman from the community, Mr. Walter Winn, started up the tower, then about 65 feet high, had some 2’X12’ beams on top for scaffolding. Reaching the top, Mr. Winn grabbed one of these beams and started to throw himself up on the platform. Unfortunately, the beam was not fastened, so Walter, the bucket, and the beam, all fell. When he landed, his lower jaw struck the bucket and broke in two places on each side and each arm also broke in two places. However, though injuring his feet, his legs did not break. On the way to Cleburne, he wanted his head raised, and this prevented him from choking to death. The doctor who examined Mr. Winn gave him no chance to survive and thought it best just to “ﬁx him up to make a nice looking corpse.” But Mr. Winn, possessing a remarkably tough constitution and having never lost consciousness, said in a direct and deep masculine
voice that he was not going to die. The doctor straightened Mr. Winn’s jaw some, but did not use splints or casts. The rugged young man lived for several more years and although able to work he once told his brother, Mr. Joe Winn, he never drew a breath free from pain. Another unfortunate incident struck the campus on January 2, 1944, when West Hall burned to the ground, taking the lives of two young men, Virgil Ray Dye and Lee Roy Birdwell. The following is the concluding article, proudly and exclusively presented by the Keene Chronicle, containing Mr. Lowry’s historical account of Adventism in the Lone Star State: The growth of Keene Industrial Academy may be taken as an example of the growth of Seventh-day-Adventism in Texas. But a retrospective look may be cast that will help trace the growth of the movement in this country. William Miller before 1844 was the outstanding proponent in the United States of Christ’s Second Advent. There is a similarity between a river and some movements. At its inception Millerism could be compared to a small rivulet. Members joined it from every direction until it became a river ﬂowing along with a constantly enlarging volume. The “midnight cry” and the “seventh-month movement” began in the summer of 1844. The hopes of the Millerites sank with the sun as it was going down October 22 (1844). The Millerites had the experience of falling from joy and expectation into deep
disappointment. However, not all of the people were so completely crushed by such an untoward experience but that they were able to rise above it. Some of the folk accepted the teaching that the Seventh day was the proper Sabbath. After the disappointment which occurred October 22, 1844, but later in the year Ellen Harmon received her ﬁrst vision and “Sister White” is the person accepted by Seventh-day-Adventists over the world as having the true prophetic gift, and being the one through who has been fulﬁlled the teaching of Revelation 12:17 regarding the prophetic gift. Finally Robert Meade Kilgore, formerly a Union soldier but by 1877 a minister for Seventh-day Adventists, came to labor in Texas, which had a comparatively small number of Seventh-day Adventists. Kilgore worked vigorously in Texas for eight years. He received opposition from Texas preachers and was able to accept ﬂoods and other difﬁculties. He was successful enough in his work that in 1878 the Texas Conference was organized. After he left the state, Kilgore returned to different camp meetings. Other laborers such as McCutchen, Greer, and Hyatt helped develop the work of Seventh-day Adventists in Texas. Different individuals made some contribution to the development of the Seventhday-Adventist program in Texas. There were the canvassers who disseminated Seventh-day-Adventist literature. A job printing ofﬁce was founded in Dallas in 1888 by
Roberson and Huguley, and Hyatt said it was hoped their paper, The Sothern Sentinel, would be a signiﬁcant means in spreading Seventh-day Adventist doctrine. The Seventh-day Adventists launched into the work of denominational education in Texas. Oak Hill was one place where a beginning was made; later Keene Industrial Academy was started, which has developed until it has reached enrollment in 1951 of about 450 students. So the program of Seventhday Adventists in Texas has grown. In a summarization for work done for the year terminating October 1, 1844, it is shown there were 253 church members and $1,929.58 had been paid in as tithe. The same type of report for the year terminating October 1, 1844, shows the number of church members had increased to 390 and the tithe amounted to $2,043.73 which represented a gain of $962.36 over the preceding year. The Texas Conference in 1950 did not include the entire state and had a membership of 5,568 with ﬁfty-nine churches. First administration building, Academy Hall, construction completed in 1895. Campus and buildings before 1921. Pictured L-R: North Hall, Academy Hall, East Hall, Normal Building (turnstile at right). Second administration building, Penuel Hall (standing behind Mizpah Gate), construction completed in 1921. Men’s dormitory, West Hall, burned to the ground in 1944, taking the lives of two young students.
JUST SO YOU WILL KNOW…. by Danny Earl Roberts Good news for Scrabble enthusiasts! You are invited to join a Scrabble Club that is being organized by Myrna Castillo and will be meeting every 3rd Wednesday of the month at her home residence. It will start with a potluck lunch 12 noon - 1 pm, and Scrabble game from 1 - 3 pm. For further information please call Myrna @ 817-558-9379. Several families spent time in Ruidoso, New Mexico these past couple of weeks. Melba Bowers & son Ray traveled with other family members and spent 10 days in Ruidoso. The Tony Muse family also traveled to Ruidoso. Now if you go out there and have a chance to attend the Ruidoso SDA church be sure to you meet or re acquaint yourself with a former student of SWAU and a former faculty at KAES in past years Dana Thiry Dildine. You can’t help but notice the smiling energetic Dana when you visit the Ruidoso church. But watch out…she will put you to work and make you feel at home. You never can tell what the Keene City Council might do... the local trash collector, Allied Waste, requested an 18 cent per month increase in service fees and the city council denied their request. It’s not like fuel has not increased in the last year or so. Then they vote NOT to purchase 5 acres of land and then they come back in an hour later to reopen the discussion and decided in FA-
VOR of the purchase, because they would have lost $22,000 in earnest money. Why would the city put up 10% of the purchase price in non-refundable earnest money to begin with? Would it make a difference if they were using their own money? But it gets worse… when the city purchased land from Dale Martin, a licensed realtor; he wanted to split the commission with the city’s realtor normally 6%. The contract price was originally $200,000. The city of Keene’s realtor refused to split the commission, so the city agreed to increase the price to $205,000 to give the seller/agent his commission. The city’s realtor charged the full 6% commission on the $205,000 giving the realtor another $300 in commission on top of their $12,000, all at taxpayer’s expense. Now don’t forget the city of Keene save the taxpayers 18 cents per month on garbage collection services for the next year! With all these savings in mind…some of your city council members will be up for re-election this November. August 12 – 27th is the ﬁling period if you feel the NEED to offer your services to the city of Keene. You will be able to pick up a candidate packet at city hall during normal business hours. There are three positions up for election. Ward 1, Gilbert Perez, Ward II, Cheryl Schram, Ward III, James Chapline will have the chance to ﬁle for re-election until the 27th at 5pm. Candidates must have
lived in Keene one year and live in the ward that they ﬁle for election to represent. Another election that should be of importance this year to the citizens of Keene is the Keene ISD school board. Four positions will be up in the coming election on November 5, 2013. The present board members whose term expires are Sheri Hadley, Geri Montgomery, Judy Miles and Mary Ann Hodges. Carmen Curubo has submitted her resignation and according to district policy the unexpired term will have to be ﬁlled at the November 5th election. Out of 7 board members 5 seats will be subject to election. These are four year terms. A prospective candidate needs to live in the Keene ISD and be a registered voter. Board members Jerry Becker and Danny Roberts terms do not expire until November 2015. The Keene ISD had a record number of students last year with 905 in attendance. The board administers a $10 million dollar budget with almost $3 million from local tax sources. Deadline to ﬁle is August 27th at 5pm. You need to go by the administration building on East Highway 67 to get an application and while you are there make a point to meet the new superintendent Ricky Stephens. Listen to his vision for the KISD and became a team member for the district whether you are on the board or just a bow-beaten tax payer.
WWW.KEENECHRONICLE.COM • THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013 • 7
That Has Keene In Mind
While Keene ISD is attempting to do its part in making Keene a better place to live and visit by educating 900 plus students, it is also doing its part by grooming the highway right of way along its property to make it more visually atrractive to those that pass by on highway 67. Watch for new superintendent Ricky Stephens to take an active part in grooming the entire campus.
This property along Wallen Ridge is the property that the city council ﬁrst vote NO to purchase and then an hour later rescinded their vote and voted in favor of the purchase. Is there not a ordinace against burn piles in the city limits of Keene? Is it true that several residents throughout the year will get letters threatening to ﬁne the property owners if they do not clean up their property? How long will the City of Keene allow this unsightly scene be to visable from US 67? Should the city lead by example?
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Justin Hewlett announces candi- On Again Off Again Council After several heated council dacy for Johnson County Judge council declares Councilman
August 6, 2013 Today, Justin Hewlett of Cleburne, TX announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for County Judge of Johnson County. “Our current county judge will have been in ofﬁce for 20 years at the end of his current term. I feel strongly that 20 years is more than enough time for someone to serve in a single ofﬁce. You can look at Washington D.C. to see the problems that can result from someone making a career out of holding a public ofﬁce. Johnson County will be undergoing signiﬁcant changes in the coming years and my background in technology, banking and public service give me the qualiﬁcations to lead our county. We need to be
developing strategic plans for the county and take a proactive approach to problems rather than simply reacting when problems arise.” Hewlett has been married to the former Sydney Beasley for 35 years and they have four grown children – daughter Ryan is an attorney in Houston and is married to Carl Newman and they have one daughter Sophie, son Dax is serving with the 10th Special Forces Group in Ft Carson, Colorado, daughter Tyler is a CPA in Dallas and is married to Bryan Cravey and son Zachary serves in the 3rd Infantry Division in Ft. Stewart, Georgia and is married to Paige and they have a daughter, Vivianne. Hewlett graduated from Cleburne High School in 1978 and from Texas A&M University in 1981 with a BBA in Accounting. After college, he worked for local banks before starting Hewlett Computer Services in 1987 to provide data processing services to community banks. This company grew to provide services for 19 banks before Hewlett sold the company to Jack Henry & Associates in 1998. In 2005, Hewlett partnered with two others to start Hewlett Ofﬁce Systems to provide sales and service to small businesses for their computer, networking, copier and printer
needs. Hewlett Ofﬁce Systems has grown to employ nine fulltime employees. In 2012, Hewlett and his wife started Bright Beginnings Christian Learning Center to provide quality childcare to Johnson County residents. Bright Beginnings now has 19 employees and over 120 children in its care. Hewlett served two terms on the Cleburne ISD school board in the early 1990s and recently served as Mayor of Cleburne from May 2010 to May 2012. He currently serves on the board of directors of the United Way where he also served terms as President and Campaign Chairman. He also serves on the executive board of the Marti Foundation. In the past he has served on the Cleburne Chamber board of directors, Parks and Recreation Board, Airport Board, Board of Adult education and Hill College Technology committee. Hewlett’s parents are Jack and Elizabeth Hewlett of Cleburne. He and Sydney have been members of the Granbury Street Church of Christ since 1981 where he has served as a deacon in charge of ﬁnace since 1985. Fro more information, you can go to his website at www. justinhewlett.com or email to email@example.com or call 817-357-8701.
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What began as a wrong side of the street issue, has now developed into a question of what does the Keene City Charter really say. Although Donnie Gore was certiﬁed as a qualiﬁed candidate by the city secretary Keesha Lay at his time of ﬁling as a candidate in November 2012, out polling his opponent in the general election, being certiﬁed as the winner of the election by the entire city council and took the oath of ofﬁce to uphold the Keene City Charter and has served almost 9 months in that capacity it may all be in vain, if Mayor Pro-Tem Janes gets his way.
The next monthly Retirees Fellowship Meeting will be on August 15, at the Keene Senior Center at 5:30 pm. The food will be catered by “That Catering Co.”--Olivia A. Hall and it will be a “Taste of Asia.” Program commit-
“proceeds go to church and other missionary & humanitarian projects”
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Gore seat vacant, the council will be unable to appoint a successor since it is less than 90 days to the next regular election. When Councilman Gore was ask for a statement by the Keene Chronicle he replied “my application was certiﬁed by the city secretary, no one challenged my residency from the city secretary, city Council, election judge, including the mayor, who certiﬁed the election. It is now that I have moved into Ward 3, that my residency is being questioned some nine months into my term. My only question is, why now have I offended Dale Janes? Does he have a vendetta against me? After reviewing the city charter and numerous phone calls regarding this issue I have decided to stand up and defend my position on the city Council. I feel the city charter also supports this decision along with other information that I have read.” Council meeting is Thursday August 8 at 7pm at City Hall.
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meetings where Councilman Gore has opposed Mayor Ackermann on several issues, Mayor Pro-Tem Dale Janes reported on July 30th to City Secretary Keesha Lay that councilman Gore whose address is 111 E Third Street is living in the wrong ward. Accordingly, when a council person fails to live in the district they represent they automatically forfeit their position as was in the case of Dale Janes when he moved from one side of Keene to the other side a few years back. What now adds to the situation is that on August 1, 2013 Donnie and his wife “closed” on their new home on Presidential Drive in north Keene and had moved in by August 2nd. There is no question about his new residence being in the ward that Councilman Gore was elected to serve. At the request of Mayor Pro Tem Dale Janes there will be a discussion on whether Councilman Gore seat has been forfeited. In the event that the
Weekly newspaper covering the City of Keene, Texas.