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The City is enhancing transparency with the release of department data analytics dashboards, beginning with one for Parks and Recreation. Denton County has established its polling locations for the upcoming November election, with some venues added and others removed. The City is disseminating information about the 2023 Bond Election through detailed flyers. Wayne Emerson, the Director of Economic Development, is transitioning to a new role in the Town of Addison, prompting a search for his successor. The Southeast Denton Area Plan Steering Committee now has eleven members. Lt. Preston Pohler of the Denton PD has been recognized for completing an advanced training program with the FBI. As the City undergoes an insurance renewal process, a Declaration of Emergency process will be used to ensure continuity of coverage. Feedback from a recent Developer Town Hall was positive, highlighting the user-friendly GIS system. Council members have made various inquiries regarding animal calls, tree removals, cleanup efforts, and wildlife concerns. Lastly, numerous community events are lined up, including kayaking for veterans, a golf scramble, park improvement meetings, hikes, and cultural celebrations, among others.

General Information

Department Data Analytics Dashboards – Strategic Services is advancing transparency by releasing public department data analytics dashboards. These dashboards, birthed from performance workshops, will visually depict the department’s story, challenges, successes, and decision-making assets. The inaugural dashboard, dedicated to the Parks and Recreation Department, is now accessible on the City’s Strategic Plan Dashboard website. The City has plans to unveil one new department dashboard each month.

November Election Polling Locations – Denton County has finalized the polling locations for the November 2023 Election on September 13. Notably, the MLK, Jr. Rec Center has been added as an early voting site. Two previously listed locations, Lifeline Church and the Denton Optimist Club, have been removed from the election day venues.

Bond Proposition Fact Sheets – The City is actively promoting transparency concerning the 2023 Bond Election through detailed flyers that elucidate each proposition’s key projects. These informational sheets can be accessed on the bond’s official webpage and will also be distributed at various city events. Spanish versions of these flyers are in development.

Director of Economic Development Departure – Wayne Emerson, the Director of Economic Development, will be joining the Town of Addison in a similar capacity starting September 18, 2023. Recognized for his dedication and vision, Wayne’s contribution to Denton’s economic development will be deeply missed. The City is collaborating with a recruitment agency to find an appropriate replacement.

Southeast Denton Area Plan Steering Committee – Thanks to the City Council Members and increased community interest, the Southeast Denton Area Plan Steering Committee now boasts eleven diverse members. Midway into the project, two out of the four scheduled meetings have been concluded. Any prospective additions to the Steering Committee are advised to align with specific representation categories and need to be finalized by the City Council meeting on September 26, 2023.

Denton Police Lieutenant’s Achievement – Lt. Preston Pohler, a part of the Denton PD since 2007, recently graduated from the esteemed FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, on September 14. This commendable achievement is representative of the academy’s rigorous ten-week program, emphasizing advanced training. The Denton PD is immensely proud of Lt. Pohler.

Upcoming Insurance Renewal Process – The City is in the process of renewing separate insurance policies to supplement its self-funded property and casualty program. Given the inherent constraints in the renewal process timeline, the City adopts the Declaration of Emergency (DOE) process. This method allows the City Manager to expedite insurance coverage approval, ensuring no coverage gaps. Policy renewals will be presented for ratification to the City Council soon after.

Developer Town Hall Recap – On September 14, the City organized a Developer Town Hall to update the development community on projects and procedural changes. Thirty participants engaged in conversations about legislative-driven process changes, Denton Development Code updates, fee alterations, and area planning initiatives. Attendees praised Denton’s user-friendly GIS system and its open communication channels. The session was recorded and is available online for viewing.

Council Member Requests

Animal-Related Call Data – On Sept. 1, Mayor Pro Tem Beck asked for maps and data tables regarding animal-related calls, distinguishing between domestic and wildlife call types. For the last three fiscal years, the calls are as follows: FY 21 had 6,964, FY 22 had 7,190, and FY 23 (YTD) had 6,467. Currently, there isn’t a straightforward method to provide a map or location breakdown of these calls. However, Animal Services is collaborating with GIS to produce this information more efficiently in the future.

Debris Cleanup at Residence – On Sept. 8, Mayor Hudspeth requested a review of debris cleanup options for a residence on McKinney St. Staff have been visiting the said residence weekly to assist the occupant in rectifying any violations.

Gun-Related Business at Residence – On Sept. 9, Council Member McGee looked into a resident’s concerns about a gun-related business within a residential area, found on Google Maps. After reviewing, staff determined that the development code permits home occupations, making this business lawful.

Other VOD Stories

Clear the Shelter Adoption Inquiry – On Sept. 10, Council Member McGee sought information about the outcomes of the “Clear the Shelter” month. 324 animals were adopted from the City’s shelter during this event, which spanned from August 2023 to September 2. At its end, 78 animals were still available for adoption. The figure fluctuates due to daily animal intakes.

Adopt-a-Spot Cleanup Inquiry – On Sept. 10, Council Member McGee inquired about the scheduling for the Council’s Adopt-A-Spot location on Bell Avenue. The City provides cleanup supplies for the said spot, and these can be requested online. The Council also takes part in the annual Great American Cleanup event in Denton, set to occur on March 23, 2024.

Recent Tree Removals – On Sept. 12, Council Member Holland questioned the removal of certain trees in the city. Trees in Fort Worth Drive’s median were removed due to damage from a 2021 ice storm. The Parks and Recreation Department has been actively planting trees in various areas. They’ve planted or provided over 11,000 trees since 2016 and have been recognized with multiple awards for their efforts.

Wildlife Corridor Map Follow Up – On Sept. 13, Mayor Pro Tem Beck sought details about the gradient used in the 2023-063 Wildlife Corridors Map. The map includes modeling results and actual greenspace, which helps identify areas crucial for wildlife.

Feral Hog Response – On Sept. 13, Mayor Pro Tem Beck inquired about the city’s stance and actions concerning wild hog appearances within city boundaries. While private property owners are responsible for managing feral hogs on their premises, the City oversees hog populations on City-owned lands. They collaborate with Texas Parks and Wildlife and other entities for hog management. Since introducing a reporting function in 2022, only four hog sighting instances have been recorded.

Upcoming Community Events

Veterans Kayaking – Parks and Recreation is offering a kayaking program specifically oriented toward veterans. Join American Canoe Association assessed instructors and American Red Cross lifeguard staff for a kayaking trip in a local waterway. Make connections with other veterans and enjoy connecting with nature. The trip begins on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. at the Denton Senior Center (509 N. Bell). The cost is $25 per kayaker, and registration is available at this link.

Golf Scramble – Parks and Recreation will host its Monthly Golf Scramble at Wildhorse Golf Club in Robson Ranch (9400 Ed Robson Blvd) on Sept. 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Tee off and enjoy the chance to win some great prizes. There is a $30 for a team and an additional $14 per person green fee paid to Wildhorse Golf Club. Registration is available online.

Joe Skiles Park Improvement Project Meeting – Parks and Recreation will host a virtual meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. to provide residents with an update for the planned renovations to Joe Skiles Park. Planned improvements include the addition of a loop trail, landscaping, shade, and typical park amenities. Staff are asking for feedback on these elements and the plan in general. Staff will also provide residents with a proposed project implementation schedule. Residents interested in attending the virtual meeting must register with their name, contact number, and email address 24 hours before the meeting to receive a meeting link. Registration for the virtual meeting is available at this link.

Active Adult Hike – Discover beautiful fall colors at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center with outdoor recreation staff on Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Meet old friends and make new ones on this leisurely 3-mile hike for adults 50+. Hiking boots, long pants, drinking water, sunscreen are all recommended. Registration for the hike is $5 per person and available at this link. Hikers should meet in the Denton Senior Center Lobby (509 N. Bell Ave.) at 10 a.m. to start the excursion.

Prepare Denton – On Thursday, Sept. 21, from 6-8 p.m., Denton Fire Department is hosting its first emergency family-friendly preparedness class at the Central Fire Station (332 E. Hickory St). Bring your family to learn how to prepare for disasters in your community and how to pack a go bag for your family. DFD’s new monthly educational series will teach residents various lifesaving skills that will better equip them if or when an emergency happens, and will feature classes tailored for children, families, or adults. Preregistration for the first class is available online.

Clear Creek Night Hike – Join Parks and Recreation’s outdoor recreation staff on a night hike at Clear Creak Natural Heritage Center (3310 Collins Rd.) on Sept. 22 from 6 to 8:00 p.m. Cost for the hike is $5 per person, and it is open to ages 5 and up. Children aged 12 may attend without a guardian if they provide a signed waiver. Registration is available at this link.

Mexican Independence Day, Ages 50+ – The ALH Senior Center (629 Lakey St.) will host a Hispanic Heritage Month event on Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be food, fun, and a presentation on the history of this day. This event is free to attend, but registration is encouraged and available online.

Adapted Rec Social Connections – Adapted Recreation Social Connections is headed to the Sky Theatre! The program is open to those 16 and up with developmental disabilities and offers the opportunity to meet new friends while trying new activities. This month’s event is on Friday, Sept. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $5 per person and registration is available at this link.

Yappy Hour at North Lakes Park – Grab your four-legged companions and join Denton Parks and Recreation at North Lakes Park (808 W. Windsor Dr.) on Friday, Sept. 22, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will be an array of food and pet treat vendors who will be offering a variety of yummy goodies for sale. The event is free to attend and open to all ages.

Bike Safety Course – Learn the basics of bicycle safety with an expert-led class at Denia Recreation Center (1001 Parvin St.) on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class will cover topics such as helmet fit and how to respect the rules of the road in your bicycle, and will also involve practicing in a safe place before venturing onto neighborhood roads for further practice. The class is taught by a Denton Police Department Bicycle Patrol Officer. The class is open to individuals ages 8 and up, and costs $40 for residents and $45 for non-residents. Participants are asked to wear appropriate clothing including close-toed shoes and to bring their bicycle, helmet, water, and something for lunch. Registration is available at this link.

Fall Block Party – Mark your calendars for an exciting, family-friendly event, the City Block Party, bringing the community together for a night of fun and engagement with City officials. This event combines the National Night Out Kick Off Party with State of the City in one central location where all can attend. Join us on Sept. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Denton Civic Center and Quakertown Park (321 E. McKinney St.), where numerous departments will host booths, “touch-a-truck” exhibits, and various fun activities with free giveaways for attendees. Food trucks will also be in attendance with food for purchase. More information is available online.

Adult Tennis Social – Denton Parks and Recreation is hosting an adult tennis social at the Goldfield Tennis Center on Friday, Sept. 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (2005 Windsor Dr.). Bring a friend or meet new ones at this low-stakes get together that will have tennis pros on hand to offer helpful tips. The event is free to attend, but registration is required and available at this link.

Teen Council Community Garage Sale – Join the Denton Teen Council on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Denia Rec Center (1001 Parvin St.) for a community garage sale. Become a vendor by registering online. Vendors must provide their own tables and chairs. The event will take place in the recreation center parking lot. Registration costs $20 and available online.

Adult Archery – Learn the fundamentals of international-style archery with a USA Archery and National Archery in Schools Program certified instructor. The class will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon at Denia Rec Center (1001 Parvin St.). The class costs $35 and registration is available at this link.

National Night Out – On Tuesday, Oct. 3, residents across Denton will host cookouts, block parties, and other community events in celebration of National Night Out (NNO). Each year on the first Tuesday of October, residents organize events to meet and build connections with their neighbors, as well as the first responders and City officials who serve them. Denton Police, Fire, and other City personnel will visit registered NNO parties throughout the evening to strengthen relationships with residents. If a party host would like Police, Fire, and/or other City staff to attend their gathering, they are encouraged to register online by Friday, Sept. 22. City Council will receive a list of NNO events following the registration deadline.

Community Tree Giveaway – Registration for Keep Denton Beautiful’s 25th Annual Community Tree Giveaway opens Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. This drive-thru events provides free trees to Denton residents on Saturday, Oct. 21 beginning at 8 a.m. Registrants will be provided a 30-minute window in which to pick up their trees after they have completed the registration process. More information and a link to register is available at this link.

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