This is a very important week for Addison. It is Election Day tomorrow. We have a Council election every spring; in odd numbered years the Mayor’s spot and three Council seats are up for election and in even number years, as is this year, three Council seats are up for election. Our great democratic process, therefore, gives each of us a chance each spring to review all that we know and have seen and make a determination about the future of our Town. Current Council Members Mary Carpenter, Janelle Moore and David Heape are running for reelection. Paul Walden, Al Angell and Jim Duffy are also candidates. Voters will choose three of those six to serve for the next two years on our Addison City Council. If you have not already, I encourage you to take full advantage of your opportunity and please vote. The election judges tell us early voting has been at a record pace for a local election and we know every vote counts. The polls will be open tomorrow from 7am to 7pm and the results of the election will be posted as soon after 7pm tomorrow evening as they are available at Fire Station #1 on Airport Parkway.
On Tuesday, evening May 17 at 5:30pm we will hold a Special Council Meeting with the only item on the agenda being the official canvassing of the election results from Saturday, May 7.
Please join us in welcoming Marlin Willesen and Fran Powell to the Community Partners Bureau. Marlin will be our liaison with the Cavanaugh Flight Museum effective May 1st and Fran our liaison with Metrocrest Services effective July 1. Please join us in also thanking Donna Hugly, who has been serving as our liaison to Metrocrest Services. Donna is moving and will be very much missed around Addison.
Marlin and Fran will be joining Linda Berthold, our liaison with Metrocrest Community Clinic and Chair of the Community Partners Bureau; June Cooper, our liaison with The Family Place; and Dawn Jantsch, our liaison with LaunchAbility.
Many thanks to all of our Community Partners Bureau liaisons for their service and their contributions to our community.
Once again last Saturday the Addison Conference Centre was a hub of activity! The morning began with a huge turnout for the EdRev Dallas conference focused on kids, families and educators coming together to learn more about learning differences and strategies to deal with all of the challenges that come from young folks with learning differences. Addison business guru Eric McGehearty of Globerunner and his wife Heather founded this effort and brought over 250 people together from all over North Texas and Oklahoma for their one-day conference here in Addison. After Eric as the master of ceremonies got us started, he gave me a few minutes to welcome every one and share my personal and family story about celebrating learning differences. The conference continued all day with noted authors and speakers inspiring the kids and families, including Stan Gloss founder and CEO of Bio Team who spoke on his 50 year journey with dyslexia and “Turning Lemons into Lemonade.”
As we approached the late afternoon and the EDRev conference was ending, several family groups sought me out for recommendations for restaurants in Town. That, of course, was after I tempted their taste buds earlier in the day with a reminder that we have over 180 restaurant choices here in Addison and, for the people in from out of town, 22 hotels to stay with us overnight.
From the main Conference Centre building I walked over to thank the folks who had rented our Stone Cottage for an alumni event for the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. They used our 1930s era piece of history to hold their annual Muster. After I let them know how much we appreciate their selection of our Addison venue, I shared with them how much we appreciate each of their lives of community and military service for our country and that we are indeed very proud to have them here with us in Addison. Their humble event included the National Anthem, a roll call of fallen alums, taps, the Cadet prayer, their alma mater, bagpipe music and their conclusion, which included a reminder that they will be back with Addison next year.
These are just two more examples of the value our Conference Centre and event staff bring to Addison – well done by all!
By the end of June we should be cutting the ribbon on a very cool new amenity for our entire community! The new 7,000 square feet Market Hall food emporium will be open at the corner of Ponte Ave and Vitruvian way in Vitruvian Park. Located in the ground floor of Savoye 2 and already 75% complete, the food hall will feature all sorts of foods and, according to President and CEO Tony Riviera, will place itself in the market between Whole Foods and Tom Thumb. They will offer a wide selection of organic vegetables, cheeses, wines, pastries and pastas to name just a few. On Tuesday afternoon Tony gave me a tour of their soon-to-be-completed space and shared with me their marketing positons and the fact that this will be their very first location in Texas.
They currently have Market Halls located in San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle that are all doing very well. Tony and his team will be open from 7am until 10 or 11pm for business and will work most of the rest of the night on the onsite food preparation. They will not only be creating a great place to shop for some very tantalizing food treats, they will just as importantly be creating over 75 new jobs! Welcome to Addison, Tony. We will be there at your ribbon cutting very soon.
We started our month off just the right way, with a fun Economic Development First Monday of the Month luncheon at Snuffers to help recognize their renewed investment in Addison. Economic Development Director Orlando Campos and Tourism Coordinator Alisha Holmberg, who just returned from maternity leave after having a new baby daughter, joined us for great conversation and the usual excellent service. I hope you will plan to join us next month on June 6 from 11:30am – 1pm at a place to be determined. In fact, I would love to hear your recommendations and suggestions for a site for our next luncheon.
The Addison Circle Community Association held their monthly meeting at the Lion and Crown in Addison Circle on Monday evening beginning at 7pm. A very nice group in excess of 30 neighbors and Circle business owners joined in to connect and build on their growing community neighborhood feel. Council Colleagues David Heape and Bruce Arfsten joined me to answer questions and give a quick update on all of the good things going on around Addison. Thanks again to Addison Circle neighbor Ilene Cohen and her team for organizing this group. Their next meeting will be Monday evening June 6 at 7pm and once again will be held back at Lion and Crown in Addison Circle.
Council Colleagues Janelle Moore, David Heape, Ivan Hughes, Bruce Arfsten and I joined about 50 Addison residents for a “meet and greet” of the three finalists for our Fire Chief position that was created when former Chief John O’Neal returned to Virginia to be with his daughter and family. I was very impressed with the credentials and communication skills of all three candidates and I am very pleased that Addison is able to attract high quality candidates from all over the country. The final selection will be made by our City Manager Wes Pierson.
Our First Wednesday of the Month Coffee with the Mayor at Dunn Bros on Wednesday morning at 10am drew a particularly large crowd including Council Colleagues David Heape and Ivan Hughes. I spent just a few moments reminding folks about our upcoming Taste Addison and reviewing the outstanding work our staff and Larry Kanter have done improving our internal financial controls and addressing the 32 recommendations Mr. Kanter has made for our organization. I also touched on the current political environment and how that may affect our ability to attract good folks to serve on our Council. We had plenty of time for questions, a few of which had a bit of an edge to them; however, by the end of our extended session I believe each question was respectfully addressed.
Early Thursday morning Council Colleague Bruce Arfsten and I represented Addison at the 25th annual Metrocrest Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel in Farmers Branch. This is an excellent event that each year brings many members of our respective Metrocrest Cities – Coppell, Farmers Branch, Carrollton and Addison – together for a spiritual time and prayer for our local, national and world leaders, as well as so many others who may want and need prayerful guidance.
Do you want to know one of the many reasons I love being your Mayor? Check out these pictures! Right after the Prayer Breakfast, I raced over to George H. W. Bush School to participate in their annual career day. Addison Police officers, firefighters, paramedics and many others representing a cross section of professionals joined me in making presentations to the kids, leaving plenty of opportunities for them to ask us questions about what we do. I met with a group of third graders who so impressed me. I emphasized to them the need to learn to effectively communicate and the importance of staying in school. After that it was their turn to ask questions. They were extremely well behaved, respectful and prepared with a long list of great questions. “How does it feel to be Mayor?,”“How did you become Mayor?,” and “Why did you want to be mayor?,” The one that I was a bit less prepared for: “What is your favorite fishing place in Addison?.”
After one of the kids asked about how much a Mayor gets paid, I explained that I serve out of a sense of community service and love for our Town. One very quiet young man sitting in the back of the room raised his hand and offered a suggestion: “Why don’t you have a tip jar like Starbucks?” Great idea? Anyway, it should be very obvious that I really love this part of my job.
Just a bit later on Thursday, Council Colleague Ivan Hughes joined me for our Quarterly Meritorious Service luncheon for all of the Town of Addison employees at our Conference Centre. Assistant City Manager Chris Terry presided as we recognized new members on our team, those who have been recently promoted, those who have achieved personal tenure milestones and very importantly our employee of the quarter. Here are the names of the employees recognized for 10 years of service of higher:
- Justin Pierce-10 years
- Joel Cruz-15 Years
- Jim Clark-30 Years
The Employee of the Quarter award was given to Sheri Baldwin, a part-time Fire Inspector at the Addison Fire Department, for going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure a young woman traveling alone was fed, had a working cell phone battery and made it home safely on a 30-hour bus ride to North Carolina. Thank you, Sheri, for your great work.
On Thursday mid-afternoon several retired and longtime Addison employees and staff gathered at our Municipal Courthouse to celebrate the retirement of City Prosecutor Larry McCallum. As recognized at last week’s Council meeting, Larry served Addison for almost 43 years as our City Attorney and then as our City Prosecutor. Judge Dwight recognized Larry with a beautiful piece of crystal and heartfelt words of thanks for his service. Larry, we can’t thank you enough for the decades of service you have dedicated to the Addison community!
As your Mayor another fun part of my job was to help many of our restaurant patrons celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Taqueria La Ventana, El Fenix, Rio Mambo, Cantina Laredo, Blue Mesa Grill, Chuys, La Comida, Los Lupes, On The Border, the Hub Sports Bar, Astoria Cafe and then I just ran out of time . . .
Saturday May 7, 7am to 7pm: Election Day. Voting will be taking place at both fire stations, however, your precinct number will dictate which fire station you need to go to. Click here to find out your precinct and voting location
Saturday May 7, 8am – 2pm: Addison Garage Sale in it’s new location! Addison’s Community Garage Sale has moved to a new home in Addison Town Center in front of Crunch Fitness at 3854 Belt Line Road. In addition to the booths there will also be computer and electronic recycling and document shredding available on site!
Tuesday, May 10: No Council Meeting
Friday, May 13 – Sunday, May 15: Taste Addison . Join us for a three-day menu of fun for the whole family. Advance tickets are available until Friday, May 13 at noon. You can purchase tickets, plus see a complete schedule of events, list of restaurants and much more at TasteAddisonTexas.com
The comments above are just a “Taste” of all that is so special in Addison. We have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate. We are in a very strong financial position to continue to provide special and unique amenities for our residents, maintain our very reasonable property tax rate that continues to be one of the lowest in our region, continue to reinvent and revitalize our business friendly economy and have fun along the way . . . we are in a very good place here in Addison. All is well in Addison, Texas.
Thank you for the honor of being your Mayor,