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Mayor’s Newsletter – July 2018

Greetings from the Mayor’s office. As most know by now the city council elections were held May 05, 2018 and new council members have been seated. Alderman place 1 Ryan Neal, Alderman place 2 Marla Butler, and I all look forward to working with the other council representatives to move the city forward in a positive way.

We have already made progress on a couple of fronts. City Hall will be moving to new offices on Main street, hopefully, by August 01. The new offices will easily accommodate the city’s needs for several years to come and keep vital services in the downtown area. Plus parking will be close by.

The second important item was the new pay scale recently adopted for the police department. Interim City Manager Lane Jones was able to secure a pay raise in the existing budget that brought the police department pay to be more competitive with area cities. Our city had been at a great disadvantage trying to attract and retain officers. The new salary structure puts us close to the other cities in the area and because Van Alstyne is a great place to live, it will now be a great place to seek a law enforcement career.

The city will be sponsoring its annual fireworks show at the football stadium this July 04. The celebration usually starts a few minutes after dark.  This is a great opportunity to get out, meet your neighbors, introduce yourself to strangers, and celebrate our country’s birthday. Please come out and enjoy yourselves. Summertime is a time for family fun, trips, and get togethers. Remember the youngsters are outside playing. Please exercise due caution when driving through neighborhoods. Watch for the children. Another thing to remember is with the temperature as high as it is in the summer, take frequent breaks and drink plenty of liquids. Have a good time but have a safe time. Another, and last summertime warning, is it is against city ordinance to sell, discharge or cause to discharge fireworks in the city.

One issue that has been a constant thorn for both city officials and citizens is water. How we get it, how we treat it, and how we deliver it. It is incredibility complicated how water is delivered from the source to the customer. We get many complaints about the water when it smells, when it tastes strange, and when it doesn’t look the way it should. These are valid concerns and we appreciate you feedback. We receive water from three sources, Lake Texoma, Lake Lavon, and our own wells. Each source has to be uniquely and specifically treated. Rest assured, anytime you have a problem, we have a problem and we spend resources to correct issues as quickly as possible. This has been long term problem but it is an important issue to council, the City Manager, and staff. We are going to see this through.

Since I am new to the council many may not know me yet. My contact information is: or telephone 903-482-5426. If need be, drop a note by city hall addressed to Steve Riley or Mayor and staff will ensure I receive it.