Monitor Photo/Sariah Kendall
Lester Davis of Gun Barrel City, shows off the work of artist and Cedar Creek Brewery cook Scott Davis at the inaugural Cedar Creek Lake Festival in Seven Points Saturday. See more photos on The Monitor’s Facebook Page and in the Sunday issue of The Monitor.
Posted by : April 27, 2016| On :
Monitor Photo/Sariah Kendall
Posted by : April 22, 2016| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council announced the selection of the next city manager Tuesday night. Bret Bauer, the current city manager for Holton, Kan. has been named the Gun Barrel City Manager.
He will take up his new duties in approximately 60 days, the amount of time he is required to give notice of leaving his current post. Gun Barrel City Mayor Dennis Baade told The Monitor, the city went through an exhaustive nationwide search with the help of JD Gray & Associates, which identified 35 candidates. These were whittled down to 11 in the first round and then down to five in the second round. The council interviewed the five and selected two finalists, either of whom would have been a “fine selection,” Baade said.
He added that Holton has a population of 8,000 and that Bauer has been involved in city management for the past 10 years, with the last six as the chief administrator of Holton, where he has been overseeing a staff of 50 city employees.
“He has a proven track record in economic development, fiscal responsibility and managing high-quality projects,” Baade said in a written press release. “We are excited to have Mr. Bauer join and lead our city staff.”
“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the City Council, staff and community,” Bauer said in a statement. “I am eager to move to Gun Barrel and to get to work on helping it continue to progress and grow.”
Prior to his current role, Bauer was assistant city administrator for Smithville, Mo. He earned a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wichita State University. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has recognized his professional expertise with a Credential Manager certification.
“We believe his energy, experience and commitment to the professional management of our city will be a great asset to o ur citizens, business owners and other stakeholders,” Baade stated.
Posted by : April 22, 2016| On :
More information, easier to update, cleaner design will enable greater communication
By David Webb
KEMP – Kemp Independent School District recently unveiled a new Internet website that administration officials touted as an enhanced information tool to better inform the community about school district policies and activities.
KISD’s new website address is www.kisd.org, which replaces the old website administered through a Texas Education Agency Region 10 portal. Anyone attempting to access the old website will be redirected to the new one.
KISD Director of Technology Tobin Brown told the Board of Trustees at the April 18 meeting that the new website would be easier for administration staff to update, and that it would provide more information to students, parents and other residents seeking information about the school district. He noted the community will now be able to see pictures of the school district’s staff along with their contact information, and that there would be more news disseminated to the public. “It has a much cleaner design,” Brown said.
Brown said there will also be better communication among the campuses and the administration building and improved Internet service as a result of technological advances undertaken by the school district. The trustees approved the installation of Fiber Internet Service by Century Link at a contract cost of $573 per month for 36 months and new network equipment by SHI Co. of New Jersey at a cost of $7,063. “We’re going to have a tremendous amount of speed compared to what we’ve had,” Brown said.
Prior to the start of the meeting, two Kemp High School senior honors students addressed the trustees during the public forum time. They complained about having too much work to accomplish during the semester because of special projects designed to orient them to college workload requirements. The two female students said the pressure of the projects had caused them significant stress because of their regular academic and extracurricular pursuits.
“I don’t even want to go to college anymore,” one of the students said. The student said the stress had caused her difficulty in going to sleep at night. Several other students who did not address the trustees attended the meeting in support of the students who spoke.
Administration officials told the trustees that previously the students received the project assignments at the end of the school year for completion during the summer. They said some students tended to wait until the last minute to start the projects, and that students could not benefit from communication with teachers during the summer break. The officials said they recently gave the students an extra week to complete the projects, increasing the time from 13 weeks to 14 weeks.
Trustee Jerry Gilbert said the students’ complaints worried him because he feared the school district had “stripped away the hours” needed to complete the projects by moving the projects from the summer to the regular school semester in the Spring.
Trustee President Charissa Roberts told the students their concerns would be reviewed by the trustees and administration officials.
In other action, the trustees:
• adopted new policy for summer band camp at Southwestern Oklahoma State University to keep students “safe and secure.” Male and female students will ride to OSU on separate buses, stay in separate dormitories and remain an extra night to avoid late night bus rides to the Kemp area. Students attending the camp must be recommended by a teacher and receive a clean disciplinary report from the principal to be eligible for the trip. Supt. Phil Edwards said a rumor had circulated that there would be no camp this year due to behavioral problems by some students last year. That was never the case, he said.
• learned the school district lost 26 students from March to April. Administration officials attributed the decrease to six students living at a community shelter relocating, a family with eight students moving out of the area and several at-risk students not returning after Spring Break.
• approved a $74,900 contract with Z Floor Co. to replace the gym floor at the Intermediate Campus.
• approved disposal of 8,225 outdated books.
• approved a plan to extend Pre-K for 2016-17 to a full-day schedule. Some parents are unable to place students in the current half-day program because they have no place for the children to go afterwards
• approved a plan to allow district employees to register their children in the Pre-K program at a cost of $15 per day.
• learned administration wants to increase pay for teachers with three to 11 years experience to be more competitive with other districts.. KISD teachers with 1 to 2 years experience are already compensated in line with other schools, they said.
• approved a plan for KISD to pursue Local District of Innovation Plan status along with other school districts in the area because it gives public school districts benefits similar to those enjoyed by Charter schools that enjoy for autonomy.
• scheduled an April 27 meeting to work on the budget for 2016-2017.