Sunnyvale Review - February 2019

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Sunnyvale Review

Town of Sunnyvale 127 N. Collins Rd. Sunnyvale, TX 75182 (972)226-7177

From the Mayor Welcoming the New Year ‌ The holidays are behind and the new year is upon us. When I reflect upon 2018, I am proud of what we have accomplished as a town, humbled by the hard work and dedication of many who have volunteered, and feel blessed for the opportunity to live and serve in this great community. The Council has taken on many big challenges for 2019, such as keeping Sunnyvale a safe place, addressing the escalating public safety costs, improving communication and transparency in the government process, maintaining conservative fiscal management, controlling property taxes, improving residential and commercial infrastructure (such as establishing a clear project schedule for the Collins road expansion Mayor Saji George and staying on schedule), and working to address and find solutions sajigeorgetexas@ to the Town’s drainage issues. Hiring a top town manager talent who can execute the vision and strategy of the Council was the or highest priority, and as I have reported earlier, after an extensive search, the Council has offered Susan Guthrie that role. Susan started in Sunnyvale the first week of February. In preparation for 2019, Council met in early November to lay out a vision and strategy for the Town. The five strategy objectives the Council came up with are 1) Balanced Residential Development 2) Focus on Quality Business 3) Enhance Safety 4) Municipal Excellence, and 5) Community Engagement. In the next several months, Council members and Staff will be working closely to further discuss these strategic objectives and develop actionable plans. I believe 2019 is a very critical year for Sunnyvale. The vision and strategy the Council has adopted clearly focus on some of the very reasons many of us moved to Sunnyvale: preserving the character of the rural community and enhancing quality of life. A number of citizen committees were formed this year, and many more are planned for the upcoming year to engage you and listen to your voice. There is so much talent in this town; citizens who are educated, experienced and highly motivated to serve. The number of emails and phone calls I have received from the residents offering to serve on various boards, commissions and committees is truly amazing. We must maintain this momentum and complete all initiatives and projects as planned in a timely manner. As always, I am here to serve you and if I can be of assistance at any time, please feel free to reach out to me by email. I Wish You and Yours a Very Happy New Year. Mayor Saji George

New Year, new services

We are continually looking for ways to make your interactions with the Town more convenient. Here are a few new ways we are working to improve services.


You can now sign up to receive your utility bill by email instead of regular mail. Send an email to mary.mcguffey@, or visit to sign up. The process is simple, and does not require an additional log-in to view your bill. Other convenient billing services such as automatic draft and online payments are also available.


There were more than 100 public meetings held last year. One of our focuses is to do a better job of communicating the meeting information before, during, and after the meetings. We have a few ways you can stay up to date on what is happening at Town Hall and in your community: 1. Sign up for emergency alerts. We use CivicReady to alert our citizens of time-sensitive, critical information during emergencies. 2. Sign up to receive our weekly news flash - A great, quick way to keep up to date on what’s happening, upcoming meetings, and other important news. We promise we won’t send more than one or two emails per week. 3. Check out our web content - Our website has everything from streaming Boards & Commissions Meetings to the status of current development projects, important documents, the Council’s goals, and upcoming events. 4. Sign up for notifications of new web content. Our website has a special feature that allows you to set up and customize what you want to know from us. Get emails letting you know when we have posted agendas, minutes, news items, events, bid opportunities, and job postings.

Election Information

In early 2019, the Town of Sunnyvale will call a General Election to be For more information contact: held on May 4, 2019 for the purpose of electing the Mayor and two Town Councilmembers, designated as Places 1 and 2. The term for Rachel Ramsey Mayor is two years, and the Councilmember terms are for a period of Town Secretary three years. All three incumbents – Saji George, Mayor; Ryan Finch, (972) 203-4153 Place 1; and Kevin Clark, Place 2 - are eligible to run for re-election. rachel.ramsey@ A special election to fill a vacancy will be held for Place 6, previously held by Chris McNeill. Additional propositions will be included on the ballot as a Special Election as recommended by the Home Rule Charter Review Commission. An informational candidate packet for those who may be interested in learning more about running for Sunnyvale Town Council is available online and at Town Hall (127 N. Collins Rd., Town Secretary’s Office). The period for submitting an application for a place on the May 4th General Election ballot runs from Wednesday, Jan. 16 through Friday, Feb. 15. It is anticipated that the Town of Sunnyvale’s municipal election will again be administered by the Dallas County Elections Administrator, as has been done in past years. Early voting is scheduled for Monday, April 22 through Tuesday, April 30. Election Day voting will be held Saturday, May 4 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Specific information concerning polling locations and early voting times will be made available on the town website and on the county Election Administrator’s website as soon as those details become available. Applications for ballots by mail must be requested from and mailed to the Dallas County Elections Administrator’s Office and received no later than the close of business on April 23. The address is 2377 N. Stemmons Fwy #820, Dallas, TX 75207. Please direct questions regarding ballots by mail, voter registration, designated voting locations, voter identification requirements, absentee voting, precincts, etc. to the county elections office by calling (214) 819-6389.

Home Rule charter

The Town’s Charter is akin to a municipal constitution that is written and adopted by an election of the citizens. The Charter defines and limits the powers, duties and responsibilities of local government based on local preferences and desires. It defines the form of local government and establishes organizational provisions. The original Charter was approved in 2013, and is required to be reviewed every five years. The Council appointed a committee of nine citizens to review and make recommended changes. The Committee made the following five recommendations for Charter Amendments: 1. Restriction of Mayor’s Authority. Amend Section 3.04 to expressly restrict the Mayor from making agreements on behalf of the Town unless expressly authorized by the Town Council. Though already the law, the Committee determined this prohibition was of such significance it warrants inclusion in the Town Charter as a reminder to all involved parties of the subject. 2. Filling Mayoral Vacancy. Amend Section 3.06 to fill a vacancy in the Mayor’s position by appointment, identifying an order for whom may be appointed, timing for the appointment and public meeting requirements for the appointment. This amendment is necessitated because the current provisions of Section 3.06 requiring a special election may – depending on timing – conflict with State law, as it recently did. Council Member vacancies will continue being filled by special elections, which does not conflict with State law. A small revision to Section 3.08 is also recommended for consistency. 3. Exempting Election Ordinances from Two-Reading Requirement. Amend Section 4.01 to exempt the passage of election ordinances from the Charter’s two-reading requirement. Section 3.10 of the Town Charter requires that ordinances be presented and considered by the Town Council at two separate meetings before ordinances may be adopted. Election ordinances (which order the calling of elections), are ministerial in nature and State law imposes timing requirements for election ordinances, which are complicated by the two-reading requirement. 4. Budget Ordinance and Public Hearing Requirements. Amend Section 6.04 to require adoption of the Town’s annual budget by ordinance. This is already the practice of the Town Council and should be included in the Charter. Additionally, amend Section 6.05 to require public hearings for adoption of the mid-year budget amendment and any other budget amendment increasing the general fund total approved budget by 1.5% or more. 5. Delete Transitional Elections Provision. Delete Section 12.06. This section provided the means and methods for transitioning from election of Council Members by plurality to election by places and majority vote when the Charter was adopted in 2013. This transition was successfully completed and Section 12.06 is now obsolete. Additionally, Section 12.07 should be renumbered to Section 12.06. The recommended Town Charter amendments will be on the ballot for approval or disapproval by the qualified voters of the Town at the May 4, 2019 election.

Doris Padgett PUBLIC LIBRARY Math Tutoring: Thanks to our partnership with Mathnasium Mesquite/Sunnyvale, the Doris Padgett Public Library now offers free math tutoring for elementary and middle school students! Space is very limited and registration is required. Emergency Preparedness: The Doris Padgett Public Library is dedicated not only to entertaining and educating you and your family, but also to providing you with the information you need to live a better life. With that in mind, the library’s Emergency Preparedness classes are designed to help you keep yourself and your family safe and prepared for the worst. Classes are free and open to the public. No reservations required. Schedule: • Thursday, February 21, 6p.m. Emergency Cooking Options • Thursday, March 21, 6 p.m. Preparing For Natural Disasters

Book Club: The Sunnyvale Public Library Book Club meets on the first Saturday of the month at 1 p.m. to discuss our monthly book and enjoy light refreshments. If you need a copy of the book, be sure to come by the Library: we have multiple copies of each book available for checkout and past book club selections available for purchase. Schedule of Upcoming Books: • March 2: The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston • April 6: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See Story Time: The Library holds our weekly story time every Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. Children ages 2-6 are invited to hear some great stories and make a fun craft they can take home!

The Type A and Type B Sunnyvale Economic Development Corporations have achieved many goals in 2018 and have some big goals for 2019. 2017-2018 Achievements • Groundbreakings include Provident Realty, a retail/restaurant/ medical project (SE corner of Collins and US Hwy 80), QuikTrip, and Sunnyvale Park Square, a mixed-use project (on Collins North of Town Hall) • Approval of up to $341,500 in incentives • Worked with Town Staff and Sunnyvale Primary Industries to re-create a heavy industrial zoning use • Hosted two roundtable events: Realtors and Primary Employer CEOs. • Park improvements such as lighting at Vineyard Park, the addition of pickleball at Town Center Park, new security cameras and additional playground mulch • Completed the sale of 10.1 acres owned by the Type B EDC at the Southeast Corner of Collins Road and US Hwy 80 2018-2019 Initiatives • Assist with infrastructure needs along US Hwy 80 for commercial development • Add gateway signage to main thoroughfares in to Town • Revitalization of the Sunnyvale industrial area • Complete the Economic Development Strategic Plan • Host the First Annual Business Retention and Expansion Awards event • Create a downtown vision committee to create a plan for the development of a downtown • Recruitment of primary industries • Continue to build upon the parks and trail system in Sunnyvale, to include new ball fields, soccer fields, and restroom facilities at the parks • Recruitment of retail/restaurants/entertainment businesses • Continue recruitment of a grocery store • Research the purchasing of an abandoned railway and work on grants for the Rails to Trails project • Conduct a new Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan • Complete Master Plan for the Glazer Tract For more information contact: Traci Anderson, Economic Development Director (972) 203-4154

Town of Sunnyvale 127 N. Collins Road Sunnyvale, TX 75182



4th - Board of Adjustments Meeting, 7 p.m. Town Hall 11th - Town Council Meeting, 7 p.m. Town Hall 12th - Type B EDC Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m. Town Hall 13th - Type A EDC Board Meeting, 5 p.m. Town Hall 18th - Planning & Zoning Commission, 7 p.m. Town Hall 18th - Ethics Committee Meeting, 6 p.m. Town Hall 25th - Town Council Meeting, 7 p.m. Town Hall

4th - Board of Adjustments Meeting, 7 p.m. Town Hall 11th - Town Council Meeting, 7 p.m. Town Hall 12th - Type B EDC Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m. Town Hall 13th - Type A EDC Board Meeting, 5 p.m. Town Hall 18th - Planning & Zoning Commission, 7 p.m. Town Hall 18th - Ethics Committee Meeting, 6 p.m. Town Hall 25th - Town Council Meeting, 7 p.m. Town Hall

Dates and times are subject to change. Please visit for current meeting information.

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