May 7, 2021
This is the latest edition of Week In Review - a series of weekly messages from the Mayor and City Council to help Richardson residents and businesses keep up to date on events at City Hall. If you would like to sign up to receive this in a weekly e-mail click here.
Throughout the year the City Council or City Plan Commission will hold meetings on topics of significant interest to local neighborhoods or the community in general. Links to view all City Council or City Plan Commission meeting documents that may have topics of interest to you can be found here:
Unofficial Election Results Posted for City Council Election
Unofficial results are in for the May 1 Election for Mayor and six City Council places. The candidates, in ballot order, and vote totals are as follows (only one candidate is listed for Places 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 (Mayor) since those candidates were unopposed):
|City Council Place 1
|City Council Place 2
|City Council Place 3
|City Council Place 4
|City Council Place 5
|City Council Place 6
Marilyn Frederick—2,638 Runoff
Arefin Shamsul—3,553 Runoff
|Mayor (Place 7)
The Richardson City Council must canvass the election returns before they are official. The canvass will take place at the May 10 City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Please note that the final numbers may change slightly once all mail-in and provisional ballots are counted. In addition, because no candidate for Place 6 received a majority of the vote, the top two vote-getters in that race will take part in a runoff election June 5 (see story below).
Runoff Election Early Voting Information
Early Voting will take place May 24-June 1 for the June 5 City Council runoff election.
Voting dates and hours for Dallas County are as follows:
- May 24-27—8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- May 28—7 a.m.-7 p.m.
- May 29—8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- May 30—1-6 p.m.
- June 1—7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Voting dates and hours for Collin County Richardson voters are as follows:
- May 24–27—8 a.m.–5 p.m.
- May 28—7 a.m.–7 p.m.
- May 29—8 a.m.–5 p.m.
- June 1—7 a.m.–7 p.m.
Polls will be closed Sunday, May 30 for Collin County voters and closed for both counties May 31 (Memorial Day).
Richardson Civic Center/City Hall is an early voting location for both Dallas County and Collin County voters. For more information including other early voting locations, visit www.cor.net/election.
New Police Chief Appointed
Richardson City Manager Dan Johnson announced this morning that Assistant Chief of Police Operations Bureau Gary Tittle will serve as the next chief of the Richardson Police Department. Tittle has 33 years of experience in law enforcement and will ascend into the top position next month upon the retirement of current Richardson Police Chief Jim Spivey.
Assistant Chief Gary Tittle has been a member of the Richardson Police Department since March of 2018. He started as a captain over the department’s Technical Services Division and has been promoted to various positions within the department, being promoted to his current position in March of last year.
Tittle started his career with the Dallas Police Department in 1987 as a patrol officer. He served more than 30 years with DPD, progressing through the ranks, attaining the title of assistant chief at the height of his career there. During his time in Dallas, Tittle gained law enforcement experience and accolades serving in multiple areas including work as a patrol officer, detective, supervisor over internal affairs and public integrity divisions, held various appointments to community boards and served as a liaison with state legislators.
Tittle’s appointment as the new chief will begin June 1.
New Fee Structure Approved for Senior Center, Existing Members Will Not Be Affected
At its Monday work session, the City Council approved a new fee and age structure and lower age limit for the Richardson Senior Center when it reopens June 1 in its remodeled space. The new fee structure will not affect residents who are already members. The changes, previously approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission, include:
- Changing resident membership fees from a one-time, lifetime fee to a yearly fee in order to keep member records up-to-date
- Recognizing that all current Richardson resident lifetime memberships will continue to be honored
- Initiating a fee structure that’s comparable with many other area cities’ senior centers and that doubles resident fees for nonresidents, as Richardson already does at its recreation centers.
In addition, the Parks and Recreation Department is broadening membership eligibility to age 50 (previous minimum age was 55).
|Resident fee per year||$25||$15||$5|
|Nonresident fee per year||$50||$30||$10|
State Launches Mobile Vaccine Team Call Center
The State of Texas’ Mobile Vaccination Team Call Center launched today in order to help more Texans receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Texans can call 844-90-TEXAS and select one of the following options:
- Option 1: Homebound Texans can request a state mobile vaccination team visit their home.
- Option 2: Information about where to go to receive a vaccine near you.
- Option 3: Texas businesses or civic organizations can schedule a visit from a state mobile vaccine team. To qualify for a visit, a business or civic organization must have 10 or more employees, visitors or members who voluntarily choose to be vaccinated.
Update Given on Richardson Economic Development Partnership
Richardson Chamber of Commerce staff gave the annual report on the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP) at Monday’s City Council work session. REDP is a longtime partnership between the City and Chamber in attracting and supporting business in Richardson.
- Richardson’s business sector as a whole has weathered the pandemic fairly well thanks in part to the decision by REDP in 2005 to push toward diversifying the City’s economy after large job losses were experienced in the telecommunications sector
- Richardson’s office vacancy rate is currently only 1 percent higher than it was in late 2019, 8 percent lower than the DFW-area average
- Though the volume of relocations and expansions in Richardson decreased in 2020 by almost 40 percent from the past five-year average, there were still 17 relocation and expansion projects in Richardson, allowing for 2,765 new and retained jobs
This past year, the REDP has continued, often remotely, its ongoing activities of business recruitment and support, international business development, workforce development, and support of redevelopment projects such as the IQ®. Planned initiatives for the future include refreshed marketing and communications efforts and a pilot program for façade/signage improvements in the downtown and IQ® areas.
For more of the REDP report, view the presentation here.
Dog Park Closed May 11-12 for Turf Revitalization
The Bush Central Barkway, Richardson’s dog park, will be closed May 11-12 as part of a turf revitalization project taking place there during May and June. Aerating, soil flushing and fertilizing will help the grass recover from the normal heavy use coupled with the effects of last winter.
Closure dates may be affected by weather; stay up-to-date on the Barkway via the dog park recorded information line, 972-744-4301 (option 9).
Registration Open for Summer Recreation Classes
Registration has begun for the City’s summer recreation classes and activities, featured in the 2021 Summer Recreation Guide. There are more than 200 types of classes and activities offered, spanning all ages, from Mini Camps (different from the City’s Summer Day Camp program) to Computer Coding to Games, Sports, Fitness and much more. In addition, several Adaptive Recreation events and classes are open for registration.
Course locations include Heights and Huffhines recreation centers, the Gymnastics Center and Tennis Center, with some activities offered online. Cost varies; visit www.cor.net/recguide for more information and to register.
Best Locations to See Wildflowers in Bloom
Richardson’s annual wildflowers are now in full bloom, with some of the best places to view/take photos located at City Hall, Crowley Park, Huffhines Park and Berkner Park.
If you plan to snap some wildflower photos in Richardson, please keep the following in mind:
- Observe social distancing guidelines.
- As per City Ordinance 235-A, do not pick or damage the wildflowers: they are here for everyone’s enjoyment!
- If you’re taking photos in a City park, follow the City’s photography guidelines found at www.cor.net/photography.
Since 1990, the Parks and Recreation Department has been planting wildflower seeds across Richardson, making the City one of the most picturesque in North Texas and landing it on “Top Ten Wildflower Viewing” lists.
Multiple Lane Closures Planned Near US 75/Renner
Fiber optic work may close the right lane of eastbound Renner Road between US 75 and Red Moon Way, the right lane of northbound US 75 Frontage Road south of Renner Road (between 760 feet south of Renner Road and Renner Road), and the right lane of southbound US 75 Frontage Road between the Spring Creek trail and 800 feet south of Renner Road, from 9 a.m-3:30 p.m. The work is expected to be complete in early August.
Lane Closure Expected Near Coit/Spring Valley
The right lane of southbound Coit Road between Dumont Drive and Spring Valley Road may be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. due to fiber optic work. The work is expected to be complete by late May. .
Wildflower! Online Concert May 15 (Watch Video)
Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival is sponsoring a free, streamed concert experience May 15 featuring local AC/DC tribute band, Back in Black, performing at the Eisemann Center. The Back in Black tribute band is a high-energy reproduction of a concert performance of Australian rock legends AC/DC, including tribute performances of both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson.
Virtual doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the concert starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free but registration is required to view; click here to sign up. The streamed concert will be available to view May 15–31 by logging into your account. Note: In-person tickets will not be available.
Sign Up for Senior Center Sneak Peaks
The June 1 unveiling of the newly renovated Senior Center is fast approaching, and an opportunity to take part in exclusive hour-long “Sneak Peaks” May 25-27 is now available. There is no charge or membership required to participate in the sneak peaks.
For available time slots and to register, call 972-744-7800 or click here (must create or already have a Richardson recreation account in order to sign up online).
IQ® Brew May 13
Dr. Arun Gupta will be the featured speaker at the next IQ® Brew, Thursday, May 13 from 9-10 a.m. online. Gupta is the founder and CEO of Skyven Technologies, a company located in Richardson’s IQ® that provides clean, emissions-free solutions for thermal energy, helping to “decarbonize” the industrial sector. Gupta will share insights from his journey from building prototypes in his garage to winning multi-million dollar contracts with some of the world’s largest companies.
There is no cost to attend; attendees are encouraged to grab a coffee from a favorite local coffee shop and join the informal conversation by signing up in advance here.
The IQ® Brew is a networking and educational series hosted by City Development staff that features short presentations from entrepreneurs, small businesses, innovation ecosystem builders and subject-matter experts. For more dates and speakers in the series, click here.
Darbey’s Storywalk Features Interactive Activities for May Book Selection
This month, the Library’s outdoor Darbey’s StoryWalk® is featuring the book, “A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play,” by Marilyn Singer, and including instructions for fun actions/activities at each page station. For example, at one, there are bubbles drawn with chalk on the sidewalk and readers must “pop” them by jumping, stepping, poking, etc.
Darbey’s StoryWalk® enables visitors to walk along a designated path behind the Library while reading pages of a children’s book posted at 16 different stations. By the time you complete the path, you’ve read an entire book. The walk begins at the Friends Garden just north of the Library’s main entrance and continues along one side of the fountain plaza and back to the front of the Library. It is free and open to the public around the clock, seven days a week.
“Gametime” for Teens Online May 15
Teens ages 13-18 are invited to play games such as UNO (Solo) and compete with other teens using Board Game Arena and Webex Saturday, May 15 from 3-4 p.m.
Register, create an account with Board Game Arena and then join the fun! To sign up, call 972-744-4358 during the Library’s regular business hours.
Police Department Launches Spanish Facebook Page (Watch Video / Ver Video)
The Richardson Police Department has launched a new Facebook page in Spanish to provide another form of communication between officers and Richardson’s growing Latino community. The new page will include events notices, crime prevention information and resources including food and clothing assistance.
RPD also connects with the Latino community through “Unidos,” an outreach program that meets quarterly and hosts events throughout the year, including food and school supply distributions.
Facebook users can access the Richardson Police Department’s new page via a smartphone or a desktop computer. Visit www.facebook.com/richardsonpd.espanol to follow Richardson Police En Espanol.
- Lone Star Wind Orchestra May 9
3 p.m. in the Hill Performance Hall. Tickets are $20.
The Lone Star Wind Orchestra returns to the stage with a Mother’s Day afternoon concert featuring lively dances, stately marches and band classics.
Unless otherwise noted, tickets to Eisemann Center events are available at the Eisemann Center Ticket Office (credit card only), 972-744-4650 and at www.eisemanncenter.com. Click here for more information about the Eisemann Center’s COVID-19 safety procedures.
At UT Dallas:
- Last Weekend for UT Dance “Composition Jumpstart 3”
Through May 8 on the Arts & Humanities YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram (IGTV) site. Admission is free. The performance is the final project of students enrolled in Dance Composition and Production Collaboration. All choreography and technical design were created by the students and set in locations both on and off the UT Dallas campus. For more information and links to view, click here.
Mayor Recognizes Lyme Disease Awareness Month; Precautions Encouraged
In conjunction with National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Mayor Paul Voelker signed a proclamation recently declaring May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Richardson. He was joined at the signing by Kristina Bauer, a Richardson resident and Lyme disease survivor who is the Executive Director of the Texas Lyme Alliance. Bauer works tirelessly to get the word out about Lyme disease, as it also has a congenital form and has affected her two children.
Lyme disease is the fastest-growing vector-borne illness in the U.S. and can be easily treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated (and the painless bites often go unnoticed), it can affect the skin, joints, nervous system, heart and eyes.
Here are some prevention tips from the Lyme Disease Association:
- Know where to expect ticks and be aware in high risk habitats. Ticks are most likely to be in woods, tall brush/grass, under leaves, under ground cover (low growing vegetation), near stone walls or wood piles, shady areas, around bird feeders and outside pet areas.
- When in high-risk areas, consider using DEET-containing products for skin and permethrin for clothes
- Do “tick checks” on yourself and pets and continue the checks 2-3 days after outdoor activities
Year-round Options Available for Recycling Electronics, Shredding Paper
If you missed this year’s Trash Bash April 24, the City wants to remind people that there is information on the City’s website about where to get paper shredded year-round, as well as information about electronics (“e-waste”) recycling. In addition, many local office supply and shipping retailers offer paper shredding services, and some large electronics retailers offer free electronics recycling, with some items picked up at your home.
Additional information about e-waste recycling is also available here.
Lifeguard ($9.50-$12.72 hourly)
This position is for Summer 2021. Must be at least 15 years of age with current certification in Lifeguard Training (YMCA or American Red Cross, CPRPR and First Aid.)
Recreation Customer Service Representative ($8-$13.75 hourly)
Assist in supervising Recreation Center instructors, programs and activities. Work evenings and/or weekends as needed.
Swim Instructor/Coach ($12-$35.70 hourly)
Must hold current certifications in CPRPR, and First Aid. Must present evidence of experience and background/references. Must be able to demonstrate required ability.
Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Looking for a senior cat to spoil and cuddle with? If so, come to the shelter and see Minnow. Minnow is an 8-year-old neutered male domestic shorthair who came to the Shelter on April 24 as an owner surrender. Minnow has lived in a home with a female cat. He is friendly but can be very shy and needs a little more time to warm up to new people. He would do best in a quiet household as loud noises and loud people can scare him. If you are interested, make an appointment to see him at https://richardsonanimalshelter.setmore.com/.
For information about animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s web page here.
City Council Links
To read previous Week in Reviews,