April 24, 2017
First, I would like to thank our chamber of commerce for putting on the Meet the Candidates forum. The meeting was very well organized and well attended. It is great to see so many of our folks interested and engaging in our local election. I believe that the questions posed brought out our candidates’ personalities and views, and I hope that this will help our voters make their decisions.
I feel compelled to straighten out a couple of the issues brought up in the forum. One item is likely a misinterpretation of something one of the candidates saw in print, and the other is a newspaper misquote of one of the candidates who provided factual information during the meeting:
One of the candidates told the crowd that the city has a budget line item for Starbucks coffee. This is not at all true. No one in city government gets Starbucks coffee on the taxpayers’ dime. What the candidate had undoubtedly seen was a graphic illustration in the fiscal year 2016 – 2017 budget where the topic is the cost of governance. Starbucks coffee was listed as one of many items which some of us buy for ourselves at times. The graphic was supposed to provide some perspective on personal purchases, and the money spent, versus comparative costs per individual for the things that our city government provides, day to day, using your tax dollars. No one is charging the city for Starbucks coffee.
The other issue that I think I should correct is one that appeared in the April 21, 2017 issue of the Van Alstyne Leader on page 5A. Paraphrasing, the article says that Councilman Billy Plake told the audience that Palladium had, at one point in negotiations, bargained to lower the minimum age of eligibility for the Palladium Senior living center to 52, but the council held fast at 55. In fact, at one point in negotiations Palladium did try to persuade the council to lower the age limit to 55, but the council held steady at 62. And so, to avoid confusion, the lower age limit for the Palladium Senior Living Center remains 62. No one under age 62 may live in Palladium. Billy Plake’s statements on this issue were correct, but he was misquoted.
I need to mention two job openings at our Community Development Center: one for a Director and one for an Administrative Assistant: Director: Provide leadership of the Community Development Corporation (CDC). The CDC is a not-for-profit organization incorporated to provide programs, offer services and engage in other activities that promote and support Van Alstyne, TX. Specifically, it is tasked with developing the retail and commercial space of Van Alstyne, in addition to, providing for improvements to the City at large, i.e. parks, green space, bike trails, etc. Duties include working with new businesses including commercial, office and retail, doing all we can to bring them to Van Alstyne. The Director will be responsible for bringing in retail/commercial business to the City; budgeting, marketing, prospect development/negotiations, business retention, oversee administrative assistant, and appropriate reporting of activities to the stakeholders. Administrative Assistant: Provide part time administrative support for the Van Alstyne CDC. Duties include general clerical, receptionist and project-based work. Must project a professional image through business casual dress and proper etiquette. The individual in this position must be self-motivated, discreet and able to maintain confidentiality.
I wish you all well and thank you for your citizenship.
Mayor Larry Cooper