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City Audit Report



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Volume 01, Issue 10

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Disaster Hero

New learning game has strong Keene ties By Rick Murray The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recently released a new computer based learning game for kids. The game is called ‘Disaster Hero’ and it teaches kids and parents home disaster preparedness for events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and tornados. It also teaches some basic self-aid for injuries that can be used until professional medical help arrives. ACEP’s unique proposal for an animated learning game was one of approximately 120 proposals that FEMA reviewed and awarded contracts to only 10. These proposals came from universities and professional associations all across the country and they went through a very rigid review process. ACEP was award $1.5 and given three years to develop this project. But the story really begins about 40 years ago and involves two long-time Keene residents, Don Beeson and Ernie Sadau. Back then several friends and I were seniors at CTA and Don Beeson was Keene’s Police Chief and

Ernie Sadau was the Fire Chief. We all started hanging around the police and fire station so Don and Ernie quickly put us to work. Don picked a few of us to train as reserve police dispatchers and later sent us to reserve police officer training. Ernie got us involved in the fire department and sent us to fire training at Texas A&M’s Fire Training Program. This was a dream come true because what kid doesn’t dream of being a police officer or firefighter and we were doing both. So their guidance and influence started me on a career in public safety that took me through working as a paramedic, with the State Health Department’s EMS Division, on to the Arlington Fire Department, and for the last 16 years as the Director of the EMS and Disaster Preparedness Department at ACEP.

So when I reviewed that first call for proposals from FEMA and started writing our initial concept paper to submit, all those lessons and ideas that started way back with Keene’s Fire and Police Department’s came to mind. The game is free to play and can be found on the web site at We also have a fan page on facebook at Disaster Hero. Each disaster has its own villain that you play against and there are three levels of difficulty. For each segment you work through a number of chal-

lenges and games, learning disaster preparedness principles as you go, and if you are successful you defeat the villain and become the Disaster Hero. This is actually only one of

several government projects we manage for FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of our other projects aren’t as fun as this one and involves preparing fire, EMS, and hospitals for natural disasters and terrorists attack. Most are training programs for response to terrorist bombings, chemical or biological attacks, hurricanes, or earthquakes. So I encourage you to take some time and play the game, your kids will learn something and who knows, you might too. If you have questions or comments on Disaster Hero you can contact me at

Many Keene residents cry “foul” over City water rates Early on when the Keene Industrial Academy was beginning, the Academy and Keene residents relied on shallow wells and natural springs for their water. Later the College drilled water wells and serviced the College and community beginning the first community water system. As the town grew local businessman Lloyd Winn expanded the community water system for the residents of Keene. W O Belz read the water meters for years while running his grocery store on S. College Drive. Then the town of Keene became the City of Keene and started to negotiate with Lloyd Winn to take over the water system. It became a stalemate and Lloyd Winn ended up selling the water system to Leonard Brothers, owners of the bustling Leonard Brothers Store in downtown Ft. Worth. The City of Keene then had to issue bonds and purchase the water system from the Leonard family at a higher price

than they were willing to give Lloyd Winn. So the controversy over the water in Keene goes back years and is not just a present day problem. With bonds issued it was necessary for the City to control all waters sales in the City of Keene and the city purchased the water system from the college. It was not until 1974 that the city actually purchased the last wells from the College/ University. Today the City of Keene experiences high water and sewer rates according to most water users in the and around the City of Keene. Old timers have always pointed back to the stand off between Winn and the city council in the sixties for excessive water rates and new comers point to other reasons for these higher than normal water and sewer rates. The Keene Chronicle went out and talked to the citizens and some former city officials and current city officials to size up the water issue in Keene.

Comment: “I think they’re (Keene City water rates) extravagant - I think they’re very high! I own other properties in other cities and the (water) rates of Keene are almost double of what they are elsewhere. When you have a minimum of $75 and go on vacation for a month and still have to pay that charge even though you didn’t use it is simply not fair. I think that the City of Keene’s responsibility to its residents is to be fair – to err on the side of benevolence rather than greed.” Comment: “I have attended almost every City Council meeting in the last year and I’ve not heard anything explained to me, other than to have a sewer meter installed that would cost the homeowner $1,200! That makes no sense to me because the burden of proof should be on the city who is sending us the bill. I feel the City itself should invest in the $1,200

City of Keene Water Rate Schedule Residential Water Rates: Base Rate Inside City $25.00 Base Rate Includes First 1,000 Gallons Inside Each Additional 1,000 Gallons Up to 20,000 $8.70 Each Additional 1,000 Gallons Up to 75,000 $9.20 Each Additional 1,000 Gallons Over 75,000 $10.20

Base Rate Outside City $37.50

Commercial Water Rates: ¾”-1” Meter Base Rate $66.50 1.5” Meter Base Rate $133.00 $320.00 Base Rate Includes First 1,000 Gallons Each Additional 1,000 Gallons Up to 20,000 $8.70 Each Additional 1,000 Gallons Up to 75,000 $9.20 Each Additional 1,000 Gallons Over 75,000 $10.20

Outside $13.05 $13.80 $15.30 2”– 4” Meter Base Rate

Residential Sewer Rates: Determined According to Water Consumption: Inside Base Rate (Includes First 1,000 Gallons) $33.86 Each Additional 1,000 Gallons $ 1.27 Residential Service Maximum (up to 13,000 Gallons) $49.10 Residential Without Keene Water (Flat Rate) $49.10

Outside $50.79 $ 1.91 $73.71 $73.65

“The Keene Sanitation Rates (which are attached to the monthly water statement) are separate from the water rates and are as follows: Inside Outside $10.76 plus tax $16.14 plus tax Website:

meter to prove their claim. But if they are expecting a person to pay for sewer rates they should have a number to go off of and it’s not going to be dollar for dollar or gallon for gallon. The bottom line is that you’re being charged for something you’re not using! I love fairness, I love justice - I don’t like the thought of doing something that’s not accurate or at least trying to keep it accurate and fair. It doesn’t make sense to me - and I don’t know why the rates are as high as they are, but they are. What are the steps that the water has to go through, how is it treated, with what chemicals, what are the quantities of chemicals they are putting in our water that they can justify charging what they charge. I understand putting pipes in and doing a lot of infrastructure to get water to the houses, but that’s already been done and paid for - for a long time now.” Comment: “I spend $100 a month in my tiny little office and all we do is flush toilets and wash hands. Plus we’re only open 20 days out of the month. So when I do the math I’m spending $5 a day just for flushing toilets. Let’s say that they’re flushed 3 times a day – that’s almost $2.00 per flush! That seems a little high to me. So what do you do, do you tell my staff to go pee at the neighbors? I think it hurts the little people and the individual consumer rather than the big industry. But still, I don’t understand why it costs more for commercial than it does for residential – I mean, water is water!” Comment: “Why can’t it (Keene City water rate) just be normal like every place else – why does it have to be higher?” Comment: “To change this it has to be passed by City Council. It

needs to be put on the agenda with the Mayor and have the residents come and voice their opinion. The residents of Keene should press the issue and write their City Councilman speaking frankly and openly, they should pack the City Council room where there is no room to sit – everybody is standing because they want it dealt with! You just put pressure on the City Council to make a change because they represent the people. It’s not about them, it’s about them taking care of their people.” Comment: “The City leaders told us years ago that when they got the new sewer and water purification system paid for that our rates would go down. They have since informed us that the system has been paid for, but our water rates remain high – they have still not been lowered! I don’t want to say its mismanagement, but I know that other cities are managed much more efficiently. The City leaders need to publish an article explaining to the Keene residents as to why the water rates were so high in the first place and why they did not lower our rates as promised.” Comment: “My thoughts are that I’ve become numb with uh - like it’s gonna happen anyway! I don’t have all the facts involved with it but there doesn’t seem to ever be a clear statement as to why my rates are going up or any clear explanation about it and what my money pays for. They just go up! There has been mention of things like sewer reclamation, becoming State certified and water transportation – since there doesn’t seem to be enough local water here - having to go to lakes further out and pipe the water in. I do not understand all of that and it doesn’t seem to have ever

been made real clear to the Keene residents.” Comment: “I am a widow on a fixed income. My passion is gardening. With the high water rates the way they are, I’ve had to give up what I love doing the most! I just cannot afford it!” Comment: “Those people at City Hall are a bunch of idiotic incompetents! They don’t know how to manage a city. I’ve researched it and the Keene City water rates are the highest of any city in Texas. They are trying to promote industry - how can any prospective industry in its right mind be interested in coming into this community with the water rates as high as they are? The City leaders promised us a (water) rate cut a few years ago. I haven’t seen any cuts – the rates are higher than ever! I personally know of several families who have moved away from Keene for that very reason!” Comment: “I have lived in several other communities and I’ve never seen water rates as high as those in this city!” Comment: “You don’t want to hear from me about (Keene City) water rates - don’t get me started!” Comment: “The rates are high enough now that people cannot afford hardly to grow a garden. I’ve haven’t done research on it but they seem to be higher than in other areas. At least the places we’ve lived before, the rates are higher here and it’s atrocious what they charge! If you raise a garden, unless you have a private well, you simply can’t afford it. I raised a garden years ago when we lived barely outside the city limits and my water were running $184 per month. Even now, within the city limits we Continued City Water Rates Page 3



Keene Police Department Crisis Response Team Police Chief, Rocky Alberti, and Police Officer, Chip Krieger, presented a brief up-date on current training the Keene Police Department has completed and detailed plans for on-going training the department is to receive that will help ensure that our first responders in Keene are adequately prepared for crisis events. This presentation was made to Keene Junior High School teachers and staff. Keene Junior High Principal Billie Hopps arranged for this up-date, as part of on-going campus preparedness to address potential crisis situations. Police chief, Rocky

Alberti invited the KJH staff to volunteer and to participate with their staff in a future training where the Keene PD joins with Mansfield PD and the Johnson County Sherriff’s Department. The Keene PD has plans to participate in a training where they enact various crisis scenarios, including an active shooter scenario, as well as tactile training, where first responders receive training on how to respond appropriately to such crisis events. This training will be held at the

Keene ISD. The Junior High building will be used to enact several potential crisis scenarios. This training will be held at a time when no students are present. The purpose of such training is to learn better ways to respond to crisis events and to be as prepared as possible to ensure that Keene can remain a safe and secure a town as possible for all of our residents, and especially for our students who may become the future leaders of this wonderful community.

Keene Police Department Crisis Response Training


ONLINE @ www. KeeneChronicle. com

sented, as was in attendance Pinnacle Bank President, Amy Lingo, representing the business sector. In addition, key representation from Keene City and Law enforcement as well as the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department joined in for an open forum discussion regarding the community’s response or plan of action to address potential crisis

situations. The Keene Community Crisis Response Plan of Action initially met the morning of February 13, 2013. A group of 20 individuals in key leadership roles met to begin dialogue on how prepared the city of Keene currently is to address a crisis. Questions posed included: How prepared are we now? Where

PO Box 135 Keene, Texas 76059 817-645-9808 Managing Editor - Robert Rael 817-701-8148

READING CONTEST Article written and submitted by Irene Herr, 7th grade reading teacher. During the next two weeks, students at Keene Junior High will be preparing for a nationwide reading challenge called Read the Most from Coast to Coast, set for Friday, March 1, 2013. This national celebration of

Article and Picture submitted by Joyce Anne Yates

In the days following the most recent, tragic and senseless shootings across our nation and then closer to home, Billie Hopps, Principal of Keene Junior High School, met with Dana Ames, Keene ISD Student Resource Officer, to discuss the current School Crisis Plan. This discussion led to further dialogue with Keene ISD Superintendent, Wanda Smith, and expanded to include key representation from departments within Keene ISD, as well as key leadership from local private schools: KAES, CTA, and SWAU. Clergy leaders from the local Baptist and Seventhday Adventist churches were also invited to join the dialogue and were well repre-


Keene Chronicle

should we be? How will we get there? As the discussion progressed, it was emphasized that each entity must have a plan with procedures and protocol in place to address crisis situations. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department is working with local Police Departments to provide training that will help all area first responders to respond

reading challenges students at all grade levels to join together and break the record for the number of Accelerated Reader Quizzes taken in one day. The record to top this school year is an amazing 3,581,992 quizzes. KJH is among thousands of U.S. Schools that will help top this national record. Parents are invited to join in the excitement by read-

with uniform procedures that may better facilitate a crisis response. The Keene Police Department would like to be involved in any way they can to assist area schools, businesses, and churches in reviewing their crisis management plans. They may be able to provide valuable insight into the functionality of these plans and perhaps

ing alongside their child at Keene Junior High on the evening of February 28 from 6 – 8 p.m. Reading teachers and the librarian will be available to assist. “We will be keeping track of our progress with the quizzes on a big screen on Friday so students can see the impact they are making toward breaking the record,” says Aida Castillo, librarian. give tips on any over-sites or improvements that could be made within the current plans. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department has offered their assistance as well. The goal of the initial, and what promises to be an ongoing dialogue, is to recognize that we are all a part of our community. We need to take care of each other, as well as our own. Information must be shared. At times of crisis, space must be open and shared. Future discussions will address what this will look life and how we can be a united community working together to do all in our power to prevent, avert, and respond, if necessary, to acrisis event within our community.

The City of Keene has “a very healthy cash balance,” reports City Auditor, Auldridge Griffin, CPA On the 7th of February, in the meeting of the Governing Body of Keene, Texas, Auldridge Griffin, Certified Public Accountant, presented to the Board Members the audit for the City of Keene and related entities for the year ending

September 30, 2012. The following is the narrative account of Griffin’s presentation to the Governing board of Keene, Texas: “First of all I want to thank the City for having us back to do your audit again, we appreciate the opportunity.

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Keisha and Bill and Peggy were all a great help and as we’ve gone along things have certainly gotten easier so we appreciate what they’re doing. “I want to give you all a little history so I can get everybody up to date for some of you who were not on the Council back then. The first year we came out and did you all’s audit, you all were using an accounting program called Green Tree, I believe. And one of the problems with the program was that it wasn’t really designed to do city accounting. In addition to that you had some individuals in place who didn’t understand fund accounting and so it made the process rather difficult to get done. And we were a little bit behind back then too. We changed over to something else which I don’t remember the name of, and then we switched over to QuickBooks which is easier to use but still wasn’t really an accounting system to use for governmental type accounting. We made some recommendations that you all consider using Encode. It was an expense to the City and I understood that it would be when we made the recommendation, but you did implement that plan and switch to that accounting software. Now, it happened mid-way to that particular year that’s under audit right now. So that presented a few challenges because the information in QuickBooks didn’t convert over to Encode but neither was anything you had before then either, so it

wasn’t a seamless process like you would like for it to be. So that presented some challenges for your staff in getting information from QuickBooks over there. And then the learning curve that you had in getting this implemented, and the problems that they ran into in my discussions with them in doing the audit for this year were not anything that I was surprised to see. “Based on the size of the city and the amount of staff that you’ve got - and that you have multiple people doing multiple jobs, because that’s first of all, all the room you’ve got here! So you don’t have room for more bodies. And, you know you haven’t had a structure in the past that necessarily had a person that was just dedicated to doing accounting work. You do have a little more now with Peggy here than you’ve had in the past. So you’ve got somebody that’s got the ability to spend a little more time and effort on the accounting end and not getting torn to perform other duties which is what’s been going on in some of the prior years. All those things combined have kind of led us to continue to be a little bit behind but we’re making a lot of strides at getting caught up. “And just so that you guys will know, we have a meeting set up for 2 weeks from now for me to get together with Bill (Guinn, City Administrator) and Peggy (Thompson, City Finance Director) and go through your general ledger for the next year, and some of what we did for this year. We

already identified some things that they already know about - that they are already working on. And we’re going to spend one whole day working on getting some stuff cleaned up before we come in to work on the next year’s audit. So we’re already making some steps to speed that process up a little bit. And as soon as we get through with it then we’re going to do the one that’s due for the current year. So our anticipation is that by summer we’re going to be caught up. And by caught up, I mean we will have everything audited through the end of 2012. So I just wanted to give y’all a little background and get you caught up to date. “Before we get to the Audit Report (copies of which were provided to all City Board members) you have a couple of pieces of paper that I want to talk about. One is a management letter, which I want to mention a couple of things in there. They are not a big issue, they’re just points that we needed to bring up. Again, these are things that I’ve talked to Bill and Peggy about and I think that they’ve already corrected some of this in some of the procedures that they’ve put in place. “One of the items I did want to talk about is you budgeting process. Bill and I had a discussion about this and during this particular year under audit. Ya’ll made an ordinance to spend some money out of reserve, to purchase some equipment that the city needed to purchase. That was

all fine - but we didn’t budget for it - so even though y’all made a recommendation that y’all were going to spend excess funds that you’ve got in reserve in order to purchase something, it’s still an expenditure in the current year, so for budgeting purposes, we need to budget that. You also went back and borrowed some money which you had planned to do to refurbish you coffers, for some equipment that you had purchased in the previous year - so there was a time lag. You bought the equipment in one year and you borrowed the funds in the next year. And again that’s something that needs to get included in your budget. Even though we’re spending reserve money, it doesn’t come out of Continued: City Audit Report - Page 4

Continued: City water rates have had to quit growing a garden.” Comment: “Well the water rates in this town are one of the highest of any city in the State of Texas. And since we have made arrangements to bring water in from Lake Granbury and all these things, you would think that there would be some way of helping us with that - but so far it hasn’t happened. So I guess it’s just a way maybe for the City to get revenue - I don’t know.” Comment: “For Keene City water - that’s a big problem, especially when you run a business here in Keene. I actually have this little Vibrant Thrift Store here in Keene which is only a 500 square meter store – very small. I seldom use actually the water, and few of my customers ask to use the facility. I probably only use the restroom 3 or 4 times a day. And then 2 days a week we close. And how much water can you use with that? And in order for us, we have to have a maximum of 1,000 gallons of water for the $103.78 that we are charged. But the thing is that I only use like a maximum of 800 (gallons) of water. There were even some days where I only used 200300 gallons of water. And for me to be charged $103.78 per month is outrageous! You know, if you use 1,000 gallons you’re going to be charged $103.78, OK? And if you go over that then they will charge you extra. But the thing is that I’m only using only half of the maximum water that I can use in order for me to be charged over the $103.78. “So for me, that’s ridiculous and it’s actually not fair for me to be charged that. So, that’s the problem that I have. “And, you know that’s not fair for a small, non-profit, charity store that is barely generating enough income to be able to pay for the utilities and the rent, but not enough income for other things. This is actually a charity/missionary store. All of my sale revenue is put in for a missionary project. I wish that the City (of Keene) could have some kind of consideration for that.” Comment: “I am a commercial property owner in the City of Keene. Many of my tenants have voiced their complaints about Keene City Water rates. I have actually registered my complaint to City Hall, and it seems that they just don’t want to do anything about it. They haven’t even taken steps or measures to rectify or to solve the problem. Like as if they could care less of what’s going on as to whether the tenants are going to suffer or not! All that they’re interested is that they get back their money so that they can pay back whatever actually arrears that that have accumulated in the past for. I don’t know if it was a wrong decision that they had made in the past that they have to pay so much - and they don’t have the money to pay their debt and so they have to let the tenants suffer and let them pay for it by jacking up the water rates!” Comment: “They (Keene City water rates) are very high, it’s not like you can’t water anything or grow anything because the minute you start using any water - then it goes up really, really fast! I’ve never have had it lower than $80.00! I don’t water anything! The most I ever water in the summer is a little bit around the foundation and that’s it. You can’t water anything else.” Comment: “The water tastes foul - and some days it’s worse than others! I’m not sure it’s even fit to drink! A study should be done to see about that. The water coming out of the shower smells like mold. That’s gross!”

Comment: “I don’t really understand it – it just doesn’t make sense. The City of Keene is trying to attract businesses to the city, but at the same time they are bleeding out the existing businesses with their exorbitant and unreasonable water rates. That just does not compute!” Comment: “I really don’t feel that it’s (Keene City water rate) is out of line.” Comment: “I think they’re fair as far as I know. This is the only place I’ve lived in for 100 years!” Ex-Mayor details Keene water history while projecting “bright future!” -Roy Robinson “I started in Keene City Council in 1999” recounts Roy Robinson, ex-Keene City mayor. “Not long after that the City began working hard on getting surface water into Keene - and actually had been working on that for some time even at that point. Because at that point in time what the city had was just wells, we didn’t have any surface water. We had been hearing from the geology people that the Trinity Aquifer was dropping about 20 feet per year. That’s a lot! So we surmised ‘if we don’t get some surface water in here the day is going to come when we’re not going to have any water at all!’ Keene is unlike Burleson and other places around who get their water from Fort Worth. And they also send their sewer back to Forth Worth for processing so they don’t have to have a water plant or a sewer plant. We’re not that fortunate. We either take care of ourselves or we just do without. So we begin working with whatever we could find to get some surface water. “The Trinity River Basin would not talk to us because they said ‘well, you’re in the Brazos basin, so you get your water from the Brazos River.’ The only place we could get it from then was from Lake Granbury, which is 35 miles away. The water in that lake is salty because the Trinity comes from several different sources - one of which is called the Salt Fork and it brings extra salt into that water. So there was a plant over there called the Desalinization Plant. The water had to be desalinated before it could be used as potable water - it was expensive! In addition to that the 35 mile pipeline that got it from Granbury to just pretty close to where Cleburne Ford is, was jointly owned by the Brazos River Authority and the Johnson County Special Utility District. And so we had to come up with a million dollars to buy into what’s called the SWTPs plant - Surface Water Treatment Plant which desalinated the water. We had to buy into that and lease space in the pipeline to get water transported from Granbury to Keene. And oh, by the way it didn’t actually get all the way to Keene, we had to actually build 16,000’ of 18’’ pipeline from the take point near Cleburne Ford to get it over here to well #11, where the white water tower is. There is a million gallon storage tank up there next to it and that’s where the water comes in from Granbury into the Keene water system - surface water. “That was a big project. The completion date was around ‘04, something like that. That was a 7.9 million dollar project for a city of 6,000 people. That’s a big, big project! We had a 3.5 million dollar grant from the Federal Government which covered a big part of it, but we still had to finance over $4,300,000 for 40 years with U.S.D.A., at a low interest rate. So that immediately pushed our water costs up. Prior to that we had been paying about $3.50 per thousand gallons for water.

Well that doubled it, easily! Other cities around were also having to increase their water rates slowly. But because of different situations which I won’t try to detail right now, I think the current rate for water in the City of Keene is like $8.70 per thousand gallons. Now that’s after you get past the initial cost and the way it’s set up. So, people who are accustomed to watering their lawns and spending a lot of water money – some people it doesn’t bother them to have a $300 or $400 water bill. It bothers me a lot, I don’t use that much. I have city water at my house. But there’s another thing that factors into what most people call their water bill and that’s the fact that it’s not just the water bill – its water and sewer and trash pick-up. “So you can very easily have people with a $100 bill and they say ‘I didn’t use hardly any water and I got this $100 water bill!’ Well, you don’t understand, that’s not all water use. So that’s part of the problem. You know, it’s largely a perception problem! But it is true that we do have probably the highest rate for water, certainly in this area and maybe in all of North Texas, for all I know! But, I see that as more a temporary thing, for a few reasons: First of all, when I was still in office as mayor, the city started working with the Johnson County SUD (Special Utility District) to purchase water from them rather than from Lake Granbury. They owned the pipeline and really wanted their pipeline back. But they are in the process of bringing water in from Mansfield. They’re building a 30 inch pipeline from Mansfield to the Joshua area. And once that pipeline is completed then we’ll be getting water from there. We’re already buying water from Johnson County SUD rather than from the Brazos River authority. And that’s what’s going on currently. So, over a period of time, the cost of water should be coming down - some. In the mean time we still have to pay for that 16,000’ of pipeline that we had to build from the take point out there and our million dollar storage tank that we got here. So there are capital costs involved besides the everyday usage of water. ”So, Keene is in a complex and unique situation. We have expensive water, but we also are in an enviable position of having both well water and surface water. This means that if one goes bad we probably can survive with the other one - so that’s a big advantage. So as far as some of the folks and business people who have complained about their ‘exorbitant water rate!’ - back to my statement that probably half of that bill is for sewer. And the biggest part of the rest of it is the minimum charge that we have to have. Commercial users pay a higher cap fee and a higher rate than residential users do. And so, that’s a part of why some of the business people complain. “Here’s what’s going on in a bigger picture. It’s been reported in other news outlets that the city of Keene is working very hard to expand our industrial park which is located near the waste water treatment plant. When that is done, if the expansion amounts to as much as has been reported that it’s suppose to, that would put an additional $600,000,000 of tax base on the ground. Right now, our tax base in the city of Keene is about $200,000,000. So that would quadruple the tax base in the city, which means the city can back off on some of its other fund raising efforts in other ways. And without going into any detail I will say that anything that the city has that it can legitimately


charge for it has had to do so in order to raise enough funds to operate the city. Because for a small city we have some expensive things that we don’t want to give up. One of those is ambulance service. We have our own ambulance here. We have a paid fire department/EMS. So the trade off would be if we did not have that ambulance service then we would have to be relying on CareFlite. That would mean that maybe – well let’s just say you’re having a heart attack and let’s say it’s going to take 20-30 minutes for an ambulance to get here rather than three to five minutes or whatever it is. So, it’s a life saving issue and we have so many elderly and retired people who live here. We don’t want to give that up! “So the city has an operating budget of about 8 million dollars a year. Let that sink in for a minute! And we have a population of about 6,500 people. That’s a pretty sizable operating budget - but when you consider that you have almost no sales tax whereas other cities do. Sales tax, for most cities offsets a large portion of their operating expense. The only thing we have to fall back on is property taxes and things like water rates and franchise fees to companies. The city has to operate its business, and so consequently when the industrial park is developed fully and the revenue comes in from that - then that will enable the city to cut back on some of the other cost that it has to pass on to its residents in order to survive. Because we have to survive as a city! “I am out of the information loop since I have been out of office as mayor, but I have been told that B.E. Energy and some other interests are actually moving forward with their plans to develop in the industrial park out there. B.E. Energy plans to produce diesel fuel and high quality jet fuel from cellulose products, wood chips and other things. They can also convert natural gas to diesel and jet fuel. There is another entity out there - I’m not sure what the name of it is. You know we have a lot of high pressure gas that gets pumped around in this county because of all the gas wells here. And when gas comes into this area from another area, it has to go into a ‘booster station’ in order to be pushed on further. Well, it comes in at high pressure and then it has to be depressurized before it goes into the booster pumps. Somebody has figured out how to install what amounts to a turbine in that gas pipeline so that the gas moving through it drives this turbine, which in turn drives this electrical generator and generates electricity. And that’s one of the items I understand that’s supposed to be developed in the industrial park. So there are a lot of things going on that if you want to pursue it you can have a wealth of information there. You could talk to the various City Council people, you could talk to the mayor, the city manager, Bill Guinn or Keith Jilge who is involved in economic development. You could even talk to David Patterson who is the President of the Keene Economic Development Corporation. “And so, I think our prospects for the future are bright. Right now we’re just kind of in a holding pattern and just kind of suffering along until we can get some additional cash flow that will make life easier for us. But if we had not taken the steps that we did yesteryear, it would get very difficult to expand this city. Right now we probably have the ability to expand the city from its current 3 or 4 square miles to about 30 square miles. This means it could be a rather sizable city of 20,000

or 30,000 people in the future. And is that possible? It’s very possible when the Chisholm Trail Parkway is completed and we’re actually driving on it in the year 2014 - which is just a year from now! At that point in time all of the north part of Johnson County is going to experience dramatic growth , and Keene too! “Once the Chisholm Trail Parkway is completed people who work anywhere in SW Forth Worth – and there’s a lot of industry there – will be able to live in Cleburne, Keene, Joshua or somewhere in this area where the housing costs are less, the tax rates are lower, etc. They will be able to commute very quickly into SW Fort Worth without having to go through fighting traffic on interstate 35. And so, in the next 10 years, you can expect dramatic growth in the populations of Cleburne, Keene, Alvarado, Joshua, Burleson, Rio Vista and all of these little cities around here. “Also along in the next few years you’ll see the completion of the other part of the four lane road between Keene and Cleburne. Once it becomes 4 lanes it will open up commercial growth right here on the west side of Keene which can’t happen right now because you don’t have easy access out there. But once the road becomes 4 lanes, then you will have access. So that means that you’ll be able to have grocery stores, maybe a shopping mall, and different things. As the city grows, the character of the city will change. Rather than just a bedroom community like it is now, Keene can become a self-sustaining city, with service industries, grocery stores, and places to shop. I think the day is coming when Keene folks will be able to shop in Keene rathere than driving to Cleburne or Burleson. And so I think the future is very exciting, but in the mean time we’re kind of stuck in the same old place. “Like Keene, many other cities are experiencing growing pains. You know, it’s pretty well documented that right now the Dallas/Fort Worth Metropolitan area which includes 16 counties - is about right at 6.7 million people. That’s a quarter of the population of the State, pretty much. That’s huge! And, it’s projected that in the next 1015 years to grow by another 3 million people - that’s a 50% growth. And Tarrant and Dallas County are largely built out. And so all of the cities in the surrounding counties are going to experience dramatic growth - because those people have to go somewhere. “So, I think it’s going to be an interesting thing to watch, not necessarily a fun thing to deal with - because right now for example in the City of Cleburne, traffic at times is pretty bad over there already! Tex DOT at one point said that within 10-15 years of the completion of the Chisholm Trail Parkway, Cleburne’s population will likely hit 90,000. That’s a 300% growth in 15 years. That’s huge! That’s not going to be fun to experience because of all of the construction that is it’s going to bring. “For a lot of different reasons, North Texas is growing. You have a lot of people moving here from other states where they can’t find work. You have people wanting to move here from California because California is pretty much bankrupt. In California you have the Silicon Valley, well in Texas you have the ‘Silicon Prairie,’ so to speak! The Austin/San Antonio area is really big in high technology and what most people don’t realize is that there is a fiber optic loop that was installed several years ago from Fort Worth down to Cleburne. It comes through Keene, goes

through Midlothian, loops back up through Dallas to Plano. AT&T denies that, but it’s there! And the reason that was done is to provide high speed access from business to business for this part of north Texas to grow largely in whatever field. So, we’re going to be in the cat birds seat at some point in time when it comes to being able to offer housing and a great style and way of living. We’ve got an excellent school system here. People from some of the surrounding school systems already pay out-of-district fees to send their kids to Keene ISD. We have our church school and we have our University here which is the only university in Johnson County. It’s no MIT, but it’s a pretty good liberal arts school! “And so we have a lot of things that we can build upon and expand upon. And that sounds like I’m glossing over the water rate issue but I’m really not, because the water rates that we have right now are a function of what it took to get us here. And as the City grows, we will have money to fix roads and to expand our sewer system in the future because we’re going to have to do that. We are about to get the current water treatment plant paid for, and I think that’s going to happen in the next couple of years. But at the same time we’re probably just about at 45%-50% capacity. By the time that plant reaches 80% capacity, the state mandates that we must be in the process of building an expansion to the plant. So we are going to have some expansion costs in the future and hopefully some of that money will come from the development of the industrial park. And then if we can bring businesses in that will elevate the sales tax potential – that’s going to help. “I think the city is very well run. Bill Guinn as the City Manager is just doing a tremendous job! We have excellent people at pretty much all levels of the city – whether you’re talking about City Hall, the police department, fire department, public works, etc. Right now we need more people - but we just don’t have the money for more budget. As that comes along we’ll be able to expand. You know the fire department has got to be expanded. Right now we have more equipment than we have people to operate it! And so we are having and will continue to have growing pains for a while. But certainly some of the council people will talk to you about that. “When you have people that say ‘the city is charging us exorbitant rates!’ - well, that’s a perception. Exorbitant compared to what? And so if you happen to have a commercial business and if it happens that the commercial business rates have minimum charges, and you say ‘my minimum charges computes to X dollars a gallon for the water I use, because I don’t use much water!’ Well, I’m sorry but that’s the cost of doing business! You know - it is what it is! And so we have to just deal with what we have. And given what we have to work with, the City of Keene is doing an excellent job. Because we, at one point in time were virtually bankrupt! That was about 6 months after I was elected mayor. “I was called by the city auditor in probably June of 2007 and he said ‘you guys are in big trouble!’ And without getting into that too much we had to borrow $300,000 just to make payroll for the last 3 or 4 months of that fiscal year which began October 1. Most people don’t realize when a city like Keene borrows money for operating expenses, Continued City Water Rates Page 4


Continued: City water rates Continued: City Audit Report that money has to be paid back within 12 calendar months. So we had to borrow $300,000 to make payroll for the rest of that year, because we didn’t have enough money to meet our obligations. Then we had to adjust our budget to the point that we could pay our bills and pay that $300,000 back in the next year! “So, here’s where we are. Do we all like exactly where we are? No, we would rather have something different, easier, better! But we don’t, and so right now we’re going to stick to our knitting, we’re going to continue on until we get to a better place. And I think that will happen in the next few years – probably in the next 3 to 5.” Bill Guinn, City administrator gives this for you to consider: The amount charged by the City of Keene for water and sewer is based on the amount needed to cover the costs of delivering the service. This includes the amount needed to service the debt that has been incurred to provide the services as well as the amount needed to maintain the system. For the current fiscal year the debt payments alone are $1,049,000. In addition to that

is the electricity for the wells, the labor to keep the wells and sewer plant running, the supplies needed to treat the water to ensure the water is potable, the chemicals to treat the sewage and the amount needed to repair and maintain the entire system and the administrative costs for billings, collections, accounting and management. The city doesn’t just make up an amount to charge because it wants money; the amounts charged have to cover the debt payments and expenses of maintaining and improving the system. The State of Texas has formulas that determine how much water the city is required to have available on a daily basis. The city was substantially under on those requirements, which led to the deal with the Brazos River Authority back in the early 2000’s. Since that time the population of the city has grown approximately 20%, which is increasing the amount of water the city must supply. Additionally the State of Texas has required the formation of water conservation districts to monitor and control the ground water in each area of the state. Keene is in the Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District, which

is comprised of Johnson, Hood, Ellis and Somervell counties. The district is funded by charging the well operators twenty cents per each thousand gallons pumped from their wells. This charge went into effect in the last half of 2011, but the City of Keene water and sewer rates have not been raised since September of 2008. Although water may be cheaper in surrounding cities and water districts at this time, the supply and cost of providing additional water because of the population growth in the area is becoming a critical challenge for all of North Texas and these rates are also going to be increasing. Our challenge is the cost we have to pay must be supported by the size of the customer base that the city has. Now with all that being said by the officials and residents of Keene, you the reader and water user of Keene can determine if anything can and should be done to correct the water and sewer situation. Just remember how nice it is when you get up in the morning and you turn the shower/ tub faucet on... and clean water pours out…how much are you willing to pay then?

Morris Venden, Asleep in Jesus By Jay Wintermeyer Morris Venden, age 80, died Sunday, February 10, 2013 following a 10year battle with FTD, a comparatively rare form of dementia. COLLEGE PLACE, Wash., February 12, 2013 – Morris L. Venden, well known husband, father, Seventh-day Adventist preacher, teacher, and author, passed to his rest Sunday evening, February 10, 2013. Venden was 80 years old and died following a 10-year battle with FTD, a comparatively rare form of dementia. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, son, Lee, and his wife, Marji, daughters, Lynn and LuAnn Venden, grandchildren, Kris, Lindsey and Mark, his brother, Louis, and his wife, Margie Venden. During his life, Venden pastored several large churches including the La Sierra University Church and Pacific Union College Church in California and the Union College Church in Nebraska. Later he pastored the Azure Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church near Loma Linda, California, from which he retired in August 1998. Venden then joined the Voice of Prophecy team as an associate speaker. In addition to writing more than 30 books about

Jesus, Venden was a widely sought-after speaker and has been described as a master of the art of preaching, who loved Jesus. Venden’s son, Lee, said “Dad will be remembered for the one string on his violin that he consistently talked about; Jesus, and the privilege available to everyone to have a meaningful friendship with Him. At this point it seems clear Dad will be able to sleep this disease off; the long sleep from our perspective, the short sleep

from his.” Venden’s memorial service will be held in the Loma Linda University Church, on Sunday, March 3, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, or for those wishing to contribute to a memorial fund, the family requests that gifts be sent (In Memory of Morris L. Venden) to the SonBridge Community Center in College Place, Wash. or to Maranatha Schools and 1-Day Churches.

our fund balance until the year in which the expenditure occurs. When we went back and borrowed money to refurbish our coffers for something we bought in the prior year - that income didn’t show up until the next year. So you still need to include those things in your budget, when you’re doing your budget process. It’s not a big deal, but it made your budget be off a little bit. And Bill was asking me why and I explained it to him and I wanted to take a minute to explain it to ya’ll also. “In addition to that, you’ve got a letter here that is just a letter we provide that says we did our our engagement in connection with auditing standards. But something we haven’t provided in the past is a list of our journal entries. And in prior periods we did not have to do that. The standard changed and it says that we have to let the governing body, which is The Council, know what journal entries we had to perform. And a lot of the entries that are in here are entries that primarily have to do with the learning curve in getting the accounting system implemented. It put some account number differences between our old chart of accounts and the new. Encode is a very detailed program and so if you have got some different layers in there when things are getting entered - if they don’t get all set up all the way through there - it’s not going to post to the right place. There were no issues with things not being correct in any way - no fraudulent items going on - it was just all posting problems, which I think are part of the learning curve in getting to learn the new accounting program, which led to there being this many journal entries in. I’m anticipating that with what we do here in the next couple of weeks that we’re going to cut down on that greatly for the next time period. So that’s what those two pieces of correspondence are that you’ve got there in addition to your Audit Report. “If you will look at page 7 in

the Audit Report - this is kind of a snapshot of the City for the year in question and the prior year. And if you’ll look at the governmental activities - which are everything but the water and sewer funds the water and sewer funds are business activities and everything else shows up under the governmental activity. You’ll notice that for 2010 our net assets were 3.2 million and the year before they were 2.7 (million). So you had an increase in your net assets of about a half a million dollars in that year. Your cash increase was about $250,000 dollars in the general fund. So, I can tell you that ya’ll have gone from a very precarious cash position from the first year I did you audit - which I think this is the first year that we’ve done it – or the fifth. So now you have a very healthy cash balance - at least you did during this time period. And you business activities (water and sewer) increased about $170,000 for you net assets, and most of that was an increase in cash also. “So that tells me that the city is doing a good job of budgeting and that your getting your fund balance, so that you’ve got a healthy fund balance in order to handle any emergencies that might come up for the city during the year. I know that that has not been the case in the past. So that shows me that the things that the Council has implemented in the way of financial controls and your budgeting process are working very well! And as an auditory that’s certainly what we’re looking for!” “If you’ll flip to the next page, which is page 8 – that gives you a year by year analysis of your revenues and expenditures. Your governmental revenues were up a couple of hundred thousand dollars in 2010 over 2009. Your water revenue dropped in that year, but if I remember correctly it rained in 2010. … We didn’t get any rain last year and as we know. Rain affects what our water revenueis greatly. So in the years that it

rains, our water revenue tends to fluctuate quite a bit. Plus in ’09, I believe that we had a lot of bulk water sales in ’09 too – and we didn’t have as much in 2010 as we did in the prior year. And they go back up again in the next year. “But your expenditures were very consistent from year to year. Again, I see that that reflects back on your budgeting process and that what you’ve got in place there is working. ‘If you’ll flip over to page 43, there is a ‘subsequent event’ footnote here at the bottom of that page. During the subsequent year, which is the year ending September 30, 2011, ya’ll made an agreement with SWATs to disengage yourself from the water line that was coming up from Grandbury where ya’ll were buying your water and got into an agreement with the Johnson County Special Utility District in order to purchase your water from them, instead of what you were doing. So that was a pretty significant event that happened in the next year, and it has an impact on your financial statements from the standpoint of the fact that we have an investment in that project down there that’s going to disappear in the next year – but the related debt goes away too. But I felt like that was an event that needed to be footnoted in here because of the financial change that it’s gotten in that subsequent period. Otherwise I wouldn’t have put that in there.” City Mayor Pro Tem, Dale Janes made the motion to accept the audit prepared and presented by Auldridge Griffin, CPA. The motion was seconded by City Councilman Donnie Gore, and it was carried unanimously.

Class of 1973 Come Celebrate our 40th!! We are planning a fantastic alumni party this year! Enjoy Surprises, Gifts, Fellowship, Music, Food and Fun! It will be great to see those who are brave enough to venture back for Alumni Week-end April 11-14, 2013! Bring special pictures you wish to show! Visit face to face with old friends and teachers! Share experiences. Mark the Special Class Party Date! Saturday Night at 8:00 PM April 13, 2013 Our party is located at: 310 Oakhill Drive, Keene, TX 76059 (The home of Danny Roberts ‘73) So come one come all! Y’all come let’s have a ball! RSVP to give us a general idea of who is coming and if you want to take part in the program. Thanks! Contact Patricia Massey Courter ’73 at 940-367-1397 or or Aquila Patterson Read ’73 at SEE YOU ALL SOON!


Keith Jilge and David Patterson explain mission and goals of “Type A” and “Type B” Boards

Keith Jilge is the current Economic Development Director for the City of Keene. He is also the President of the Keene Chamber of Commerce. Keene Chronicle recently sat down with Jilge and David Patterson, PresidentKeene Economic Development, as they described and explained the purposes and respective functions of ’Type A’ (aka Keene Economic Development Corporation) and ‘Type B’ (aka The Business Development Corporation) Boards, their own respective roles and involvement with them, and what this means for the City of Keene and its residents. As Economic Development Director for the City of Keene, Jilge oversees the ‘Type A’ and ‘Type B’ bo ards. Q: “Describe and define the mission and purpose of the Type A and Type B boards.” A: Jilge: “There used to be more differences, but the State changed the rules. Type A and Type B are real similar. Type B is able to fund things that Type A cannot. They can fund the park. Otherwise they are for economic and business growth within the (Keene) city limits. Attracting and retaining jobs is the number one criteria that they have to meet in what it is that they want. So let’s call it ‘new jobs and business growth.’ The City of Keene itself, Type A and Type B all help to fund my check. They each pick up a portion of it. I answer to all three of those - the Council and both boards. That’s why I make all the meetings. I am required to make the A meeting, the B meeting and the Council meeting, so if they have questions or need updates I can provide them with that. “But my job is to direct business growth, new businesses, adding on to businesses, whatever is encompassed in that - Type A purchasing property. Anything that is related to business growth or new jobs, I

get a call on. I’m also the Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Keene. What that job entails is being sure that we meet all Federal and State guidelines. There is a Mims (Logan O. Mims) compliance, which are the National standards for emergency management. We have to go through testing ever year – everbody has to have a certain amount of testing. “That’s employees at all levels and in all of the different departments, fire and police of course, but also Public Works has to go through disaster training, e.g., who runs the chain saw, who takes care of this. And we work together to come up with a national standard that we have to comply with this Mims training, and submit a report every year and work with that. We also work with the Johnson County Emergency Management to make sure that that’s done. (It’s) as simple as who sends, during a tornado, the little text that goes out. I’m on call 24/7 to be sure that that happens and watch weather all the time. I’m also the City liaison. If there is a State mandate, or a County mandate that requires a representative to be there, I’m the guy that goes and does that. So those three, among others, are the three things that I do. Type A helps fund – Type B helps run the City of Keene.” Q: “Do the two Board (Type A and Type B) have the same board members?” A: Patterson: “Type A and Type B has two completely separate board members, I started out as President Type B. I did almost 9 years serving as President. Then I resigned and just kind of stepped back for a while and then that’s when the City asked me if I would serve on the Board again and they appointed me to Type A Board, and Type A Board asked me to be President. But in the very beginning, when these boards were formed, A Board was not able to do anything in bringing in any type of retail or retail incentive - they were strictly light and heavy industry. B Board could do retail; they could do community projects such as quality of life. They could bring in parks and recreation centers. There were other things that they were allowed to do. And

since then they have loosened the laws on A and made both of them very similar. There’s still some slight differences on them. “But, kind of going back on old history, we had a grant to do the park down here from the State. Alicia Carver applied for a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant to get our new park started and we really found out real quick into the project that it was not going to be sufficient to get the park to the quality we wanted. And B Board came on board and actually borrowed $375,000 to help fund getting the park completed and getting it up to where it’s at now. Plus we put another $60,000 – $65,000 cash, here and there, as projects were needed. Several years ago the Type B Board bought the all-terrain vehicle that they now use at the park. And they’ve done several things like that to help the park. B Board still carries that note - I think they’re a little more than halfway through the $375,000 note. It won’t be too much longer and the park will be paid off.” Q: “How do the two boards coordinate their respective services, i.e., how do they work together?” A: Patterson: “I feel the two boards work very, very well together. That’s one thing where Keith comes into play with the two presidents. I am a volunteer and always having time to meet face to face and discuss things is where I can go to Keith and say ‘hey can you check with B Board and set up a meeting?’ We’ve sat down in the past and done several joint projects together. The A and B board have come together – one of them was helping with Keith’s salary. A and B came together in agreements on that to pay a portion of his salary. We extended water and sewer down here to the North Side Station, the little shopping center. There was no sewer and water available down there. This was back in ’08 –’09, we worked together and were able to get the funding, extended it down there because that was creation of jobs - creation of new development and stuff down there. So I think we work very well together. They both serve a separate function because they both have their own board members; their members have their different views, different ways of looking at things. The B Board lean more, to this day

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52 weeks…..$25.00 in Johnson County 52 weeks…..$35.00 outside Johnson County 26 weeks….$15.00 in Johnson County 26 weeks….$25.00 outside Johnson County Amount remitted $_____________

Remit to: P.O. Box 135 Keene, TX 76059

to what I call ‘commercial and retail type of development.’ They’ve been looking at working on property and to try to get a grocery store, and to get some more store fronts in Keene. A Board is primarily focused on industry. I put all of my eggs in the basket of industrial development out there in the Industrial Park, looking at other areas to bring in more industry, more I call it ‘high quality, high job retention,’ I want good jobs. I want jobs that are going to be here 15-20 years from now. I want medium to higher end pay. You know, we can find a lot of places that would want to come in here and pay minimum wage, you know, some kind of factory in here. But that doesn’t do a lot to help the overall economy of Keene. I’m looking for a higher - a medium to upper income wage areas - is what I’m looking for to bring into Keene. There may be a certain project such as infrastructure that the two boards may team up to do, but so far most of anything that we’ve done jointly has been infrastructure.” Jilge: “Let me just give you a brief overview of why jobs are important, and that is two or three things are happening: one is 121 is being extended down into Cleburne coming in at Nolan River from downtown Fort Worth. As of July, Highway 67 four lanes between 174 and Keene have been funded. It’s just a two lane road right now. I’ve been talking to TxDOT, they gave us the plans and everything to make sure we can move our infrastructure - if we have anything in the way. The four lane dirt work will start somewhere around September 1st - that is done, it has been funded. When that happens, the traffic count already out on 67 is higher at 67 and here and Old Betsy than it is at I35 and 67. But 121 coming in will bring in free access of commercial vehicles from Fort Worth to Cleburne. Cleburne then will be the dump off point. And Keene will be part of the transfer of products and services from that pipeline of traffic to I35. It’s an endaround downtown Fort Worth, is what it is. That puts us - at least the property on 67 - in prime, commercial growth. We’re the target! “If you look at Burleson and what it looked like 20 years ago, it was as small as Keene, or maybe even smaller in population and in density than

we are now. We are growing this way. So Keene and the City Council have chosen to be proactive in that growth process. We have a decision making process. We can steer what we want, who we want, how we want that growth. We can choose what our community is going to look like or we can settle for what is given to us. They (City Council) have chosen to be proactive, not reactive. “So that’s where I come in, that’s what I get to do, try to manipulate, project what the desires of Keene. And you know, it’s an Adventist community, it’s a Christian-based Adventist community and they have a vision of what it should look like even through the growth process. That’s what we’re trying to incorporate with zoning, with rules for blight. We have ordinances to resolve that right now. Those didn’t exist at sometime in the past. But you know, we want our community to be nice because it is a proven fact that communities that have rules and ordinances that control those things actually grow at a faster pace. Because business that come in knows what rules are and knows that someone next door to them will not be able to get away with something they didn’t. They’ll have sprinkling, they’ll have building standards, they’ll have everything in place that will allow them to be a long term client and part of this community. But that’s the vision. We looking at 20 years out, 100 years out, instead of 2 years out.” Q: “Project some short term as well as long term goals for the economic development of Keene.” A: Jilge: “Short term goal would be – and we’re in the process of getting the City compliant with State and National mandates that will allow us to ask for and receive grants. I am a Certified Grant Administrator. To get a grant you have to have your financial statements, audits for the last fiscal year posted in. That is in not being done. I can’t move forward with any of that until that’s done. So, let’s say short term goal, we’re going to become compliant, we’re going to look at our zoning, and we’re going to look at our ordinances to insure that everything is in place that will allow that growth. Long term goal, we’re going to have industry and commercial retail along 67. We’ve also done

studies for Eldercare. And we are working on all three of those projects right now as we speak. And when I say long term, this is 2-4 years. This is happening now! “But that’s what it takes, you know, in a small community there is no diversification of particular jobs. An example of that is Dave (Patterson) actually going down to the (Keene) Senior Center and actually painting, hands-on! Me, last week, I picked up trash with TAES. So to be a part of a small community you can’t say ‘that’s not my job!’ You just go ‘what needs to be done?’ and you go ‘OK, where can I fit this in the schedule?’ and start doing it! “Here’s another thing that most people don’t know about 121. Up in Alliance Air Port, Dave and I attended the meeting last June. And there’re kind of projecting. Texas is real good about projecting the vision of what they want it to be and inviting you to kind of share in that. And what a lot of people don’t know is the largest inland port in the world is at Alliance Airport. They have spent the money to put in a rail system, for instance, that most people don’t even know that it’s there! So, I35 is the artery for economic growth and products for the central United States. What they’re planning is bringing into Houston, Galveston all the ship traffic that can’t go into the West or the East Coast - because it’s already clogged up. They’re going to bring in ship traffic through the expansion of the Panama Canal, to be done in 2014. And when that happens, I35 will be the lifeline between Houston, Galveston and those ports. And all that traffic that’s coming up to the largest inland port in the world will bring all its products to the Central United States! Instead of coming to the coast, then in, they’re going to go right up the middle! And so that’s the plan for 2-3 years from now. We’ve seen road plans with everything from another south loop that brings Burleson to be the south loop. Instead of 820 there will be another one that comes down between Dallas and Fort Worth which will bypass again those urban areas and come on down. And 35 is that link, 121 is the outside bypass around that. We are the target for that. So we Continued Jilge - Patterson Page 6

FIFTY YEARS IN KEENE by TG In late December 1963, myself along with two of my brothers, our little feet touched the Keene soil for the first time. My mother and my youngest brother had been here since the summer of 1963. Coming from a farm in northwestern Oklahoma, the city of life of Keene sure was exciting to me. We just barely got enrolled in the Keene Public school one day and the next day a fourteen inch snow blanketed the big City of Keene. We walked to school, only to find the doors locked. We were pleasantly surprised! In Oklahoma they did not close schools unless the snow was several feet deep. So, we had an extended Christmas vacation. I don’t remember how many days we did not go to school, but we had a lot of fun playing in the snow. My brothers and I rolled a snowball up the street. It grew to about 4 feet in diameter until we couldn’t push it any further. So we just left it there. We had no money and a wrecker probably couldn’t pick up a snowball anyway. So it was left in someone driveway. Meanwhile, in 1963 W O

Belz had a general store on South College Drive. It was a cool place and he had a big old pot-belly stove in there. Some of the local men would be in there from time to time, telling old stories. During the time of snow it was a really popular place. We would play in the snow and then go get around W O’s pot-belly stove to warm our little bodies. While we were there this particular day getting warmed up we overheard one of the local men say “Some boys rolled a big snowball right in front of my driveway and I can’t get my car out.” When we heard this we eased on out of there and ran. I bet those men had a big laugh out of that. I am sure they knew we were the ones that had rolled that snowball. Looking back he could not have driven his car if had been able to get it out with 14 inches of snow on the roads, so who was he kidding? Back in the 60’s there was a young man in Keene by the name of Pat Lawrence, he still lives around here today. Pat had a hot-rod Ford… and he knew how to drive it too! When we would hear Pat coming we would run to

get out of his way. We were scared of Pat and his hot-rod Ford. But soon, instead of running, we would try to get closer to watch Pat burning those tires and going thru the gears. Keene had only a one man police force in those days and sometimes we would see “Jake” take out after Pat, though he hardly ever caught him. A few years passed and one by one my brothers and I all acquired our drivers’ licenses. We all got hot-rod Fords of our own. After this, Keene no longer had a one many police force. They got 2, then 3 and then 4. I am not taking credit for the size of the police force growing, I am just saying…. The story you have just read is true, the names have not been changed to protect the innocent, or for that matter the guilty. See you next time with more from Keene’s past. Signed TG


Keene Police Department Arrest Reports

Keene Police Department Case Reports

Keene Police Department Officer Reports

Continued: Jilge - Patterson need to be again, proactive instead of reactive for that growth that’s going to happen over the next 5 to 10 years.” Q: “Do you folks feel that you have the support of the residents of Keene in your goals and your endeavors for the city?” A: Jilge: “I do. And you know how I know that? Those Council people – Council men, Council women – that are voted in are the best gage. They are the ones that I talk to directly, they are the representatives of that constituency. Their goal, their mandate to me, by hiring me is exactly what we talked about. I’ve been here since 1972. And in my experience, even though there is some contention (in the Council meetings) there is nothing out of control, there are never any voices being raised. They conduct themselves in a very civilized manner. The Board, as is see it now and the boards that exists now, are as professional and directed – they have a direction – as any time in Keene’s history. They are as good as we’ve ever had, right now! So, things are coming together well, as far as I’m concerned, to be proactive in that endeavor, and I look forward to working with them. It should be for all of us.” Q: “What do you see as your biggest constraints or challenges in achieving you short and long term goals for the City of Keene?” A: Jilge: “The biggest challenge would be the transition.

As you know, transition is the hardest part of any endeavor the transition process of going from a small city to a big city. You know childbirth is the hardest part that goes with growth.” Another challenge is setting new standards, setting new ordinances, moving from small city to big city. If we’re going to play in the big city sandbox, we’re going to have to have the big city rules and moving towards that direction.” Q: “What would you say to those Keene residents that say ‘we want to preserve and promote our founding fathers’ fundamental principles and vision for a small, segregated, Seventh-day Adventist community. We don’t want any Baptist churches, or Sonics or Subways. Any big industry to the community would be a threat to that and to the spiritual integrity of our city!” A: Jilge: “I am Adventist, I’ll say that up front. I’m treasurer of my church. I am an active Adventist – we’ll put it that way! Again, transition is a good way to discuss that. Keene is not 90% Adventist, anymore. Keene is less than half Adventist now. Keene City of, answers to its constituency. The employees - Keene City of - answer to Council. Council is voted in by constituency. Policy is not mandated by a conference. It’s mandated by our constituency. Whatever the citizens of Keene vote that’s what we’re going to do. I appreciate the older folks in

wanting to keep things as they were. I too, do not like change. However, change is coming. All you have to do is look at Burleson. Change is coming! You can choose to put your head in the sand and not admit it and say that it isn’t coming - that it’s not going to happen. But it is going to happen, whether you like it or whether you don’t! So you choose, do you want to be proactive or do you want to be reactive. I see the change coming. I am informed, I am educated – it’s coming! Let’s make educated decisions to control what comes and how it comes so my kids can be proud of this community in 20 years and look back and say ‘man I’m glad we made those decisions so we’re not a trash dump in the middle of somewhere, or a car lot in the middle of somewhere!’ We have industry and we have SWAU, we’re college town, we’re educated, we have a high median income, we’re not a poor city. Those are the decisions you and I have to make. The old folks at 70 or 80 are not the ones making those decisions. You, I and Dave (Patterson) are! We need to step up and do the right thing!” Patterson: “I agree 100% with what Keith said on his topics. And the change of embracing the new and mixing it with the old is the biggest challenge I see that the Economic Development Director, the President of the Board, the Mayor and everybody is going to be - the hardest challenge

that we face in what is coming up for Keene. And it is a daily challenge to be able to blend that. Ok, we have this community that a lot of people still don’t lock their front door when they go out for an hour or so if they run to Dollar General or if they run to the store. There’s still a lot of people that don’t lock their car at night. We like that feeling and we want to keep that feeling. But at the same time where we’re going to be in 8-10 years - the whole area in this Central Johnson County - is not going to be recognized because of the growth that’s going to happen, Cleburne pushing over into Keene. I know for a fact there’s already going to be a big Chevrolet dealership somewhere between Walls Hospital and 171 on the bypass. Ten years ago, when they were first finishing the bypass, everybody was looking at that and saying ‘what are we going to do with all this land out here?’ Now they got all that service road completed through there. I would say that within 5 years just about every bit of that frontage road on both sides of the service road is going to be taken up by something – new car lots, new shopping areas, new types of store fronts and businesses. Do we want it to come up to and hit Keene and say ‘oh no, it doesn’t want to grow’ and then comes to the other side and hits Alvarado and Alvarado continues to prosper and continues to grow? And then we’re sitting here

literally drowning because we can’t afford a property tax that it takes to continue to maintain. Because we can say ‘well we don’t want to pay our city employees as much as they can go to other places and get.’ Well, we’re not going to get the quality of life that we want. Our streets, our infrastructure, we have to keep all that up. And the only way to do that is to bring in new businesses, new industry, and doing it in a planned way, i.e., having a plan in place and implementing that plan and keep that plan moving forward is going to be the most important thing happening in the future of Keene.” Q: “How would your goals for the city of Keene affect me directly here and now and what can I do as a resident to facilitate those goals?” A: Patterson: “I think each citizen has a responsibility and that responsibility lies to take a little bit of time out of their busy schedule to attend City Council, to attend these different board meetings, so that they have the ability to not only be informed about what’s happening, but to have their voice heard in a public setting. (That) can actually make a difference. I’ve heard for years people say, ‘well, the City Council is going to do what they want no matter what the citizens want or not!’ That is so far from the truth that it is almost ludicrous for people to say that! To me it’s just an easy way out to say ‘well I don’t have to get involved,

I can blame it (on the City).’ Our City Council is very, very concerned about what the citizens want and what the citizens like and dislike. I know from my years on City Council, my years on this board, that when the citizens come in and say they don’t like something or they would like to see something changed, it happens! It may be slow, but it will happen. And we need each one of the citizens. If they came to one Council meeting per quarter, that’s just one Thursday night a quarter, and come to a Council meeting just to hear what’s going on and to see who the mayor is, who the City Council members are, who the City Administrator is, who are these people. Put the name and the faces together – that is the way that they can get involved. And once they get started they’re going to realize that we are here to help everybody have a better life. What does it affect you directly, immediately? Nothing. In 3 or 5 years it’s going to affect the tax rate on your home, it’s going to affect what you look at when you open your tax bill, it’s going to affect the quality of streets, water, sewer services and that’s what is going to affect! We want to see those things maintained, we want to see them updated. We don’t necessarily feel that every citizen ought to carry that burden when we can find other ways of bringing in new industry and new businesses that help shoulder that burden.”


SWAU Student Week of Prayer 2013 Photos by student photographer, Matthew Mendoza

Keene Senior Citizen’s Center building gets facelift

Above: Building facade Left: Stan Neiman

Installing new lights

New lighting with ceiling fans Left: Roy Robinson

Right: Roy Robinson and Dave Patterson, left to right

Keene Senior Citizen’s Center Interior Renovation Project Completed

$9.95 per month begins February 1, 2013 You are in the unique place of being one of the first to learn of a new, cutting edge mobile application. iLA (Inspired Living Application) is the first and only mobile application that makes it possible for the average every day person to profit from the exploding application industry and we are counting down to pre-launch. On this site you will learn about the details of the application, who we are, and how people get paid. Be sure to subscribe to our updates to stay informed of new developments and when you will be able to take advantage of pre-launch.


SWAU Student Week of Prayer 2013 Photos by student photographer, Matthew Mendoza

Keene Senior Citizen’s Center building gets facelift

Above: Building facade Left: Stan Neiman

Installing new lights

New lighting with ceiling fans Left: Roy Robinson

Right: Roy Robinson and Dave Patterson, left to right

Keene Senior Citizen’s Center Interior Renovation Project Completed

$9.95 per month begins February 1, 2013 You are in the unique place of being one of the first to learn of a new, cutting edge mobile application. iLA (Inspired Living Application) is the first and only mobile application that makes it possible for the average every day person to profit from the exploding application industry and we are counting down to pre-launch. On this site you will learn about the details of the application, who we are, and how people get paid. Be sure to subscribe to our updates to stay informed of new developments and when you will be able to take advantage of pre-launch.

Keene Chronicle February 21, 2013  

Weekly newspaper covering the City of Keene, Texas

Keene Chronicle February 21, 2013  

Weekly newspaper covering the City of Keene, Texas