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Kennedale
Tuesday, December 1, 2020

May at City Hall: Elections complete city council make-over

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May brings elections to towns and cities across the state each year. Most are ho-hum affairs but In Kennedale, the month marked a significant shift at city hall. Save the mayor, all the members of the city council have been elected to serve their first term in office in the previous two years. Four of the five seats on the council have members elected in the last thirteen months. {{more: continue …}}
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Something new something old ?
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Mayor Brian Johnson, who survived a close mayoral election last year, is the real veteran at City Hall. He has over twenty years of experience working in local city governance and has served as both city council member and mayor.?
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For the council the next veteran is Sandra Lee, whose first term on the council only began in May of 2017. Like Johnson, she has survived a close election, winning her second term by a single vote this past May. Lee served last year as the Mayor Pro Tem for the council and has been chosen once again to fill the position. The Mayor Pro Tem position is for a term of one year and elected by council members.
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Council members Chris Pugh and Linda Rhodes were newly elected last year in 2018 while Josh Altom and Chad Wandel became the rookies this year. All council positions, along with the Mayor, are for two year terms. Find out

more about the Kennedale

City Council.

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Is this anything to worry about?
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This is not necessarily when you consider that all of the council members have experience working and/or volunteering with city government. The newest members bring their own job related experiences. Chad Wandel has in background working as a city planner/GIS analyst within the scope of his job assignments. Josh Altom is a career firefighter/paramedic with experience working for several North Texas communities and has served as a HOA president along with serving on the Kennedale on the Board of Appeals and the Kennedale Economic Development Committee.
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Linda Rhodes, elected last year, is truly the only life-long resident of Kennedale on the council. She was a city employee for Kennedale before finishing out her career at City of Lake Worth. Her 34+ year municipal career allowed her to work with city finance & taxes; city mayors & councils; and, city managers & attorneys while these two cities have grappled with being in the center of the one the top five urban growth areas in the nation. Chris Pugh has been active as a volunteer for Kennedale serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission and on the Citizen?s Advisory Committee that was formed a couple of years ago to review the city?s utility rate structure and to make recommendations. Both are in the second year of their first term of office.
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The work goes on ?
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Every year a new city budget has to be developed, proposed and then adopted. The new council began almost immediately. Budget day workshops were held on May 31 and then again on June 4 of this year.
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Considering last year?s budget (FY 2018 ? 2019) was adopted with no new revenue beyond the amount used to operate the city the previous year, projections made at adoption was that the city?s general fund would be reduced by 35%, the water/sewer fund by 45% and the street fund by 50%. The new council gets to see how that worked and what challenges the budget will present this year.
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Respectful of one another and cautious in decisions …?
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What seems to be good so far, based on their statements and actions, is that they seem to respect? the office and more importantly one another. This is a nice change from the often-contentious meetings of the last two years. They appear to be keeping their own counsel and moving cautiously in their decisions without open bias. Wish them luck.?
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If you interested in seeing the actions and finding out more, attend a council meeting. Regular council meetings are set for the third Tuesday of each month with the regular session beginning at 7 p.m. Work sessions are generally held before each regular meet beginning at 5:50 p.m. All meetings are open to the public within the guidelines established in the Texas Open Meetings Act. Find out more @ City

of Kennedale.

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