Papa Murphy’s: FBBA Spotlight of the Month

Business, Community Organizations, Flour Bluff, Front Page
Bob Westrup, owner of Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n Bake Pizza

     FBBA President Jennifer Welp awarded Bob Westrup, owner of Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n Bake Pizza the FBBA Spotlight of the Month Award at the regular noon meeting held March 8, 2017, at Funtrackers’ Speedway Cafe’.  Papa Murphy’s is located in the shopping center at 10241 South Padre Island Drive facing Waldron Road.   Wastrup thanked Welp and the Flour Bluff Business Association for all that they do.

     “We have been here a little over 6 years, and we have survived due to the FBBA and the people in the community,” said Wastrup.  “We need to keep it in the Bluff and help all our businesses.”

     When Welp commended Wastrup for helping the school and various other organizations, he said, “Being part of the community, it’s the responsibility of a business owner to give back.”

     Specializing in scratch-made dough, freshly shredded, 100% whole-milk mozzarella cheese, and fresh veggies, Papa Murphy’s has a little something for everyone.  To see what they have to offer, visit the Papa Murphy’s website or pay a visit to the Flour Bluff site where you will more likely than not, see Bob hard at work behind the counter.

 
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Jim Lago Addresses Flour Bluff Business Association

Business, Flour Bluff

     Introduced as a man “whose voice you probably know better than his face,” award-winning radio personality, Jim Lago, addressed the Flour Bluff Business Association at its regular monthly meeting held February 8, 2017, at Funtrackers in Flour Bluff.  Lago, a recent inductee of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame hosts “Lago in the Morning” each weekday from 5:30 to 9:00 a.m. on KKTX 1360 in Corpus Christi.  Known for his gift of gab on a host of subjects, Lago spoke on many topics, most of which focused on the unique history of the Flour Bluff community, including its struggles with the city and its connection to NAS Corpus Christi.

     Lago, a former resident of Flour Bluff from 1987 to 2005, said he always liked living in the Bluff primarily because of the “maverick attitude” that the people of Flour Bluff possess.  He told a few stories from his old neighborhood of Turtle Cove, including one that spoke to the issues that still exist in Flour Bluff parks due to neglect, something that the business association and Flour Bluff Citizens Council are working to change.  He spoke of how the history of the area is often neglected in the media, as well.  He was speaking about Flour Bluff being chosen as the place for NAS Corpus Christi in 1940.  Lago reminded everyone of how the relationship between the city and the base should be valued and protected.  “They say that when you see a government entity open in your town, you’re one day closer to seeing it close.”  Such was the case, he pointed out, with Homeport in Ingleside, Texas, and could be the case for NAS Corpus Christi at some point.

     The popular radio host went on to relate the history of the Battle of Midway in WWII led by Lt. Cdr. John C. Waldron, for whom Waldron Road was named.  Lago expressed his concern that this piece of American and Flour Bluff history should be more highly publicized and memorialized.  He suggested that the FBBA invite Captain F. W. “Rocco” Montesano, USN (Ret.), Executive Director, USS Lexington  Museum on the Bay to tell the story of Midway, Waldron, the Lexington, and how Flour Bluff and Corpus Christi were affected by them.  Lago commended those young Navy pilots who have worked and given their all to show everyone what American Exceptionalism really is.  He compared the actions of these young men and women to those who have been rioting and wreaking havoc on the Berkeley University campus.  Lago described an “aura of leadership” that he has observed in those who have graduated the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

     After relating a few more local stories and making a few jokes about former Mayor Dan McQueen, Lago thanked the FBBA for asking him to address the group.  FBBA President Jennifer Welp returned the thanks and awarded Lago with a certificate of appreciation.

Other Announcements:

     Javier Ramirez, Financial Advisor for Edward Jones, was welcomed as a new member.  Javier’s office is located at 10241 S. Padre Island Drive, Suite 135, Corpus Christi, Texas, in the offices facing Waldron Road.

Javier Ramirez receives certificate from Jennifer Welp
     Melanie Hambrick, ex officio member of the FBBA board and current chairperson of The Friends of Redhead Pond, explained about a group of volunteers formed for the purpose of enhancing and maintaining the Redhead Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in accordance with the Management Plan of 2016 by and between Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries and Texas Parks and Wildlife.  “The WMA was acquired to protect and enhance wintering waterfowl habitat, and has a mission to provide for sound biological conservation of all wildlife resources with emphasis on wetland natural resources while providing public viewing opportunities that are compatible with wildlife use of the site,” Hambrick said.  She invited everyone to take part in the clean-up project on February 18, 2017, 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Click here for details.  Get updates by visiting: https://www.friendsofredheadpond.org/
     Monette Bright of the Flour Bluff PTSA reminded everyone about the 5K run to sponsor Flour Bluff Operation Graduation.  The run will start at 8:00 a.m., on March 4, 2017, at Flour Bluff High School located at 2505 Waldron Road.  Online registration is available by visiting https://vfitproductions.webconnex.com/fboperationgraduation2017.  For more information on all Operation Graduation activities, contact Ms. Bright at 281-507-6041 or monettebright@sbcglobal.net
    A representative of Laguna Little League appealed to the members to consider helping the league with much needed capital improvements, including immediate repairs to score boards, backstops, and field lighting.  The league has been in existence since 1959, long before Flour Bluff was annexed by the city.  It sits on federal property, for which no fee is charged.  However, they do not receive any funding from the City of Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation, Nueces County, or NAS Corpus Christi.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Contact information can be found at the following website:  http://www.lagunabaseball.org/pages/Board.html
     The next FBBA general meeting will be held on March 8, 2017, at noon, at Funtrackers.  County Commissioner Brent Chesney will be the keynote speaker.
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Safe Guard Mini-Storage: FBBA Spotlight of the Month

Business, Flour Bluff, Front Page

 

 

     Safe Guard Mini-Storage, a local, family-owned and operated business that has served the area of Flour Bluff since 1987, received the Spotlight Business of the Month Award from the Flour Bluff Business Association at the regular monthly meeting held at Funtrackers in Flour Bluff on February 8, 2017. Mark Thomas accepted the award for Safe Guard saying, “This company has helped the FBBA out with a free storage space for over 5 years, and we really appreciate that.”

     With more than a dozen locations throughout the greater Corpus Christi area, Safe Guard Mini-Storage offers everything you need in an easily-accessible personal storage, including boat and RV storage. Their climate-controlled, fully-heated units are perfect for any size or type of residential or commercial storage need. They provide both residential and commercial storage facilities and offer the following:

Residential Storage:

  • Security Fenced and Lighted
  • On-Site Managers
  • Video Surveillance
  • Freight Deliveries Accepted
  • Insurance Availability
  • Military Discounts
  • Locks Available
  • Drive-up Access
  • Month to Month Rentals
  • Major Credit Cards Accepted

Commercial Storage:

  • Record Storage
  • Inventory
  • Equipment & Supplies
  • Seasonal Supplies
  • Building Materials
  • Trailers
  • Tools
  • Vehicles

 

For more information, contact Manager Rubin Morin at:
10514 SPID
Corpus Christi, TX 78410
361-937-8673
Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m -5 p.m.
Closed Sunday
Access Everyday 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
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City Park Director Addresses Flour Bluff Citizens Council

Business, Community Organizations, Flour Bluff, Front Page, Outdoors
Corpus Christi Director of Parks and Recreation Stacie Talbert Anaya addressing Flour Bluff Citizens Council at January 23, 2017, general meeting
     A crowd of about 60 people gathered at 6:00 p.m. on January 23, 2017, at Grace Community Church in Flour Bluff to listen to Stacie Talbert Anaya, Director of Parks and Recreation, describe what her department does city-wide and what is planned for parks in Flour Bluff. Dr. Lloyd Stegemann, FBCC Chairman of the FB Parks and Recreation Committee and newly-appointed member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee for Corpus Christi introduced Ms. Anaya to the audience, pointing out that she lives and works by the motto “The world needs play.”
FBCC members listen while Stacie Talber Anaya, Director of Parks and Recreation, explains what is in store for Flour Bluff parks.
     Ms. Anaya told the citizens council that Parker Park is being upgraded as part of a 2012 voter-approved bond.  New walking paths, lighting for the tennis and basketball courts, improvements to the covered picnic area, and new playground facilities are just part of the plan.  A plan for planting more trees is also in the works.  Parker Pool, which is no longer managed by the city, is not part of the renovation project.  The community was encouraged to assist the Parker Pool Patriots in keeping the pool functional.  (To donate to the cause, visit their website.)
Recent construction at Parker Park
     Plans for an extension of the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center, a 162-acre nature preserve accessible by using the walk-in entrances along N. Oso Parkway and from the Holly hike and bike trail, sits just across the Oso from Flour Bluff.  Anaya said that she and her group are working on making the park accessible to the Flour Bluff community via a hike and bike trail across the existing railway bridge. She said that the plan includes the walkway, fishing spots along the bridge, and perhaps even a trail head parking area at the corner of Flour Bluff Drive and Division Road, a property purchased two years ago by the city to build a citizens collections center, a facility opposed by those who live and own businesses closest to the area.  Anaya’s  idea for the property received many nods from the crowd who also want to see the property used for a more family-friendly space.
Map showing connection of Oso Wetlands park to Flour Bluff side of Oso via old railway tracks
     Anaya also discussed how the Community Enrichment Fund dollars (funds received from developer fees, other donations and interest earned in the Community Enrichment Fund) are used.  The Unified Development Code (UDC), requires that the fees be used for the acquisition or improvement of parks most likely to serve the residents of the subdivision. Community Enrichment Funds shall be used only for parkland acquisition, park development and park improvements including utility extensions required to serve recreational areas. The last appropriation of Community Enrichment Funds was approved by City Council on July 19, 2016.  The next appropriation will be made following approval at the January 24, 2017, council meeting.
    Adding to the discussion of parks and recreational areas in Flour Bluff was community activist and former president of the Flour Bluff Business Association, Melanie Hambrick, who outlined the plans for Redhead Pond (an area purchased to protect freshwater wetland habitat for wintering waterfowl and other birds). Redhead Pond offers a unique opportunity to view large concentrations of wild birds on Laguna Shores Road in Flour Bluff. Ms. Hambrick has long wanted to work with Texas Parks and Wildlife to make this a place for families and visitors to enjoy.  (To volunteer for the Redhead Pond Project, contact Melanie Hambrick at 361-728-7393 or mlhambrick@aol.com.)
Melanie Hambrick
Map of Redhead Pond Wildlife Management Area, Corpus Christi, TX 78418
 
     Joining the FBCC members at the January 23, 2017, general meeting were City Manager Margie Rose, At-large Council Members Paulette Guajardo and Michael Hunter, District 4 Councilman Greg Smith, and Gaye White of Todd Hunter’s office.  Pastor Jess Cole of Grace Community Church offers the church for the FBCC meetings, of which the group is very appreciative.
Better in the Bluff
     As an added bonus, Better in the Bluff t-shirts were raffled to the members in attendance.  Anyone who wishes to purchase a shirt at a cost of $16 ($4 goes to the FBCC for each sale) may visit Caption Tees by following this link.
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District 4 Councilman Greg Smith Addresses Flour Bluff Business Association

Business, Community Organizations, Flour Bluff, Front Page

Keynote Speaker:  Councilman Greg Smith

     Newly-elected District 4 Councilman Greg Smith addressed the Flour Bluff Business Association members at the general meeting held January 11, 2017, at Funtrackers in Flour Bluff.  Smith, a native of Flour Bluff and small business owner, has been a community activist for many years, especially in the areas of windstorm insurance, desalination, water, electrical transmission, and coastal erosion and protection. He is currently a member of the FBBA and of the newly-formed Flour Bluff Citizens Council.

     Smith gave an update on some of the issues the City of Corpus Christi is facing.  He spoke about the $870 million budget ($2.4 million per day) and how the city is carrying one of the highest debt levels in the nation in terms of debt compared to revenue.  He added that this debt level could very easily prevent the city from borrowing money for much needed street repairs.  “We have borrowed to the limit,” said Smith.

     Smith outlined a few of the big-ticket items.  He assured everyone that the pension fund is much better than before, with $70 million going to the Corpus Christi Police Department and $50 million going to the Corpus Christi Fire Department.  When discussing recent city efforts to consolidate the waste water plants, he asked, “Do we really need to consolidate our plants?”  Presently our sewer cost is second highest in the state.

     The new councilman said that there are lots of good people who work for the city, and he commended them on the jobs they are doing. “This council expects more out of staff,” Smith said, as he spoke about necessary changes that the council would be discussing at their retreat on January 13, 2017.  He expressed how he wants to see a culture of value developed within the city departments so that progress can be made.  Smith wants everyone to be more aware of what is being spent and how purchasing technology should offer some savings in another area of the department.  He spoke of a $337,000 software for Development Services that was intended to streamline the department, how it had not met the expectations that many had in terms of customer service, and how it failed to eliminate any positions.  He ended by saying that industry is very interested in Corpus Christi and that he was looking forward to the retreat where he believed the conversation would continue to be centered around streets, water, and waste water and emphasized that the “status quo is not acceptable.”

Other FBBA Business

    Out-going president, Melanie Hambrick, was recognized by newly-elected president, Jennifer Welp, for her service on the board. Hambrick is credited with actively growing the association and building positive relationships with local, state, and federal agencies. President Welp will lead the new board which includes Vice-president Roshan Bhakta, Secretary Shirley Thornton, Treasurer Jonathan Vela, Programs Director Michael Morgan, Membership Director Lynn Kaylor (appointed to replace Jeff Rank who resigned in December), Director Mark Thomas, Director Tom Hollingsworth, and Director Cliff Zarbock (appointed to replace Melanie Hambrick who resigned in January). Welp expressed how she is looking forward to serving with the new board and growing the association even more.

President Jennifer Welp thanks Melanie Hambrick for her work on the FBBA board, serving as both a director and as president.

     Welp thanked all the Flour Bluff businesses, Flour Bluff ISD school groups, and board members who made Community Christmas a success.  Over 300 children received gifts at the event, while dozens more were distributed by the Flour Bluff Fire Department via the Santa Float.  Still more were donated to Driscoll Children’s Hospital when the need for more gifts was shared with the FBBA.  Businesses and organizations who helped with Community Christmas include:

  • HEB Plus
  • Fleet Reserve
  • Funtrackers
  • Walmart #490
  • Colonia del Rey
  • Ethel Eyerly
  • Children’s Center
  • ESD#2 (personally delivered Santa and Mrs. Claus to the event)
  • County Commissioners Brent Chesney and Mike Pusley
  • County Judge Loyd Neal
  • Flour Bluff HS NHS
  • Eisenhauer’s School of Twirling
  • Flour Bluff Intermediate Choir
  • Jack and Jill (Santa stage, lighting, and Christmas tree)
  • Monette Bright
  • All the small businesses and individuals that donated toys, supplies, or time

     Welp recognized new member Hilde Hermann of First Direct Financial, a credit card processing company located in Flour Bluff.  Member Susan Lawson reminded everyone to support the Parker Pool Patriots.  Elaine Motl of Barefoot Mardi Gras updated the group about the plans for a bigger and better Mardi Gras Beach Parade on February 25, 2017.  The event is a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the island charter school.  The board of directors held a financial workshop immediately following the regular meeting.

     Next month, the FBBA will host its regular meeting at noon on February 10, 2017, at Funtrackers.  The keynote speaker will be Jim Lago, the host of the long-running morning show “Lago in the Morning,” on KKTX radio here in Corpus Christi.  Lago was recently named to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.

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Flour Bluff Business Association Spotlight of the Month: The Children’s Center

Business, Community Organizations, Flour Bluff

     

FBBA President Jennifer Welp awards Jennifer Olivarez and Monica Salazar of the Children’s Center the Spotlight of the Month Award at the January 11, 2017, general meeting.

     At its regular meeting on January 11, 2017, at Funtrackers in Flour Bluff, The Flour Bluff Business Association recognized The Children’s Center as FBBA Spotlight of the Month.  The pediatric center is one of two in Corpus Christi and is located at 9702 S. Padre Island Drive in Flour Bluff.  Pediatricians Dr. Mohamad Hassan and Dr. Yunus Syed provide pediatric health care to the children in the area.  Nurse practitioner Jennifer Olivarez, who recently joined the Flour Bluff office, expressed thanks to the FBBA for the award.

     “I’m a family nurse practitioner, and I work with Dr. Hassan here in Flour Bluff,” said Olivarez.  “I hope to be an asset to the community to help meet the needs of the children.  I agree with ‘Keep It in the Bluff’ as a graduate of Flour Bluff High School and a community member who still lives here.”

     Monica Salazar, office manager for the Flour Bluff office, reminded everyone that the Flour Bluff clinic is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Appointments can be made by calling 361-937-5311.

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Christmas in Flour Bluff

Business, Flour Bluff, Front Page, Human Interest

     The Flour Bluff Business Association held its annual Community Christmas event at Funtrackers on December 9, 2016.  Santa and Mrs. Claus made a special appearance arriving by fire truck, courtesy of the Flour Bluff Fire Department.  Santa gave out hundreds of gifts to the little children while his elves assisted.  Local businesses, HEB, Walmart, the Fleet, and individuals gave toys or made donations for the purchase of toys. The Ethel Eyerly angels served cookies and punch.  The FBISD Intermediate choir entertained the crowd with Christmas carols, and the Eisenhauer School of Twirling sparkled like the Christmas lights as they performed their routines.  The FBHS National Honor Society provided games, arts and crafts, and opportunities to write last-minute letters to Santa.  An old-fashioned cakewalk allowed attendees of all ages to win a scrumptious cake or cupcake to take home.  There was even a sing-along where children and adults came together to sing favorite carols and usher in the Christmas season.  Not a single child left empty-handed.

     The Flour Bluff businesses were so generous that there were enough gifts for Santa to give out along the way as he traveled throughout Flour Bluff, Padre Island, and NAS on a float provided by the Flour Bluff Fire Department, a tradition since 1965.  And when the call came in that Driscoll Children’s Hospital was short of gifts, there were even enough to make up for what was needed.  Yes, the community of Flour Bluff knows how to celebrate Christmas and spread joy through giving.  As the year ends, let’s remember some of the fun through a few pictures taken along the way.

 

 

Picture by Russell Warren

It was a merry Christmas for all!  Have a happy new year!

 

 

 

Note:  Unless otherwise stated, all photographs for this piece are the work of Katy Beseda of Seven Twelve Photography.

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Corpus Christi City Manager, Margie Rose, Addresses FBBA

Business, Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Front Page

margie-rose-and-melanie

     Corpus Christi City Manager Margie Rose spoke to the general membership of the Flour Bluff Business Association at its November 2016 regular monthly meeting.  Ms. Rose was appointed City Manager on July 12, 2016. She served as Interim City Manager, beginning on June 23, 2016 and has been Deputy City Manager since June 2014. Prior to that, she was Assistant City Manager for 12 years. She has over 29 years of local government management experience.  Ms. Rose focused on issues that would directly affect the Flour Bluff citizens.

  • A new traffic light at Purdue and Flour Bluff will be installed in 2017 as part of the 2014 Bond traffic signal project.
  • 18 Flour Bluff streets will receive seal coats or overlays beginning in the spring of 2017.
  • Laguna Madre Wastewater Treatment Plant capital improvements are occurring now.  As part of the City’s long range plan, the plant may be eliminated as part of the Wastewater Consolidation Plan.
  • The City partnered with NASCC will be working in 2017 to improve the truck staging area at the main gate to improve traffic flow and safety.
  • Parts of the 2012 and 2014 bonds include projects in Flour Bluff.  (Parker Park is part of the 2012 Bond.)
  • Passage of Proposition 1 in the recent election will allow the City to replace the portion of Type A sales tax that expires in 2018 with the adoption of a one-eighth (1/8th) of one percent sales and use tax (about $7.5 million).  Of these funds, 50% goes to economic development, up to $500,000 annually to affordable housing projects, and the balance to be used for construction, maintenance, and repair of arterial and collector streets and roads.
  • Passage of Proposition 12 will allow the City to spend about $11 million of the $18 million to start work on residential streets.  Two streets (Rogerson and Ralston) are being used as a testing ground for reconstruction of residential streets.  These streets, not located in Flour Bluff, will become the reference points for future residential street reconstruction.
  • The Council has established priorities:  residential streets, water supply, and economic development.  In January they will come together to re-evaluate the priorities.  TCEQ water updates are being provided to Council on a regular basis.  Ms. Rose explained that even the filing of late paperwork can result in a water boil notice by TCEQ.  The City will provide their comments concerning these kinds of regulations.  This topic will be addressed at the November 15, 2016, Council meeting.

Ms. Rose asked those in attendance if they had any questions.  The following questions were addressed:

  • Where are we getting the consultants who will be working on the test streets, and what will we gain?  Answer:  The engineers are local and will be able to offer the kind of knowledge necessary to ensure proper construction of the test streets.
  • What is the status of the ESD#2 emergency services ambulance, which has been ready to operate since August 31, 2016, but has been delayed due to negotiations with certain City staff?   Answer:  Because this topic will be discussed in executive session at the November 15, 2016, Council meeting, Ms. Rose was not at liberty to offer specifics.
  • What is the status of the promised Litter Critter Program in Flour Bluff?  Answer:  Ms. Rose said that she would find out the answer to this question and relay the information to the organization.
  • Is Ms. Rose aware of the formation of the Flour Bluff Citizens Council?  Answer:  She is aware of the group and is looking forward to working with them on Flour Bluff issues.
  • What is the status of the Laguna Madre Wastewater Plant, and how will it affect future growth of Flour Bluff? (This question arose out of a concern about Flour Bluff Drive being reconstructed without a wastewater line and consolidation of wastewater plants to save money at the possible expense of growth in the Flour Bluff area.)  Answer:  Ms. Rose said the goal is to eliminate the Laguna Madre plant in the distant future.  Currently, the City has hired a consulting firm to create a plan that will serve the City in the best way possible.  She encouraged those who have a concern about this issue to let their voices be heard. (The video of the Council report can be viewed here.)
  • What is happening with the online application process at Development Services? (The question arose out of concern about the system being down and a lengthy experiences of lengthy wait times for permitting.)   Answer:  Ms. Rose was told by the Development Services that the online system was working well.  However, with the concern raised at the FBBA meeting, she will be looking into the issue to see what is happening with the implementation of the online service.
  • What is the status of the Navy’s study on the effects of wind generators?  Answer:  There has been no official report at this time.
  • Is there a possibility that Council member terms will be changed to 3- or 4-year terms?  (This question was based on concerns about the frequency and cost of training of Council members.)  Answer:  The Charter Committee recently discussed the issue, but no change was suggested to Council.

Ms. Rose stayed after the meeting to respond to questions from individuals.  She encouraged everyone to stay apprised of Council action on topics discussed by attending meetings or checking the City website for additional information.

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Flour Bluff Business Association Holds Candidate Forum

Business, Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Front Page, Government and Politics

FBBA

     The Flour Bluff Business Association hosted a candidate forum at their regular monthly meeting on October 12, 2016, at Funtrackers in Flour Bluff.  The turnout of candidates was impressive and noteworthy:

  • Mayor Nelda Martinez (incumbent)
  • Dan McQueen (mayoral candidate)
  • Greg Smith  (District 4 City Council)
  • Dr. Lloyd Stegemann  (District 4 City Council)
  • Chad Magill  (at large incumbent)
  • Paulette Guajardo  (at large candidate)
  • Michael Hunter  (at large incumbent)
  • Joe McComb (at large candidate)
  • Margarita Fratila (at large candidate)
  • Jimie Owsley  (at large candidate)
  • Flo East (Flour Bluff ISD School Board candidate, Place 3)
  • Jeff Rank  (Flour Bluff ISD School Board candidate, Place 3)

     All mayoral and city council candidates thanked the association for inviting them and then launched into their ideas and concerns for the Flour Bluff area.

mayor-martinez

     “One of the biggest challenges facing Flour Bluff is its growth.  We need to strategically manage that growth and look at land use development plans out here in Flour Bluff,” said Mayor Martinez.  She went on to commend the work the city has done in Flour Bluff on the streets but explained how Laguna Shores is a significant safety issue and that this street would be placed on the next bond.  Mayor Martinez thanked the FBBA for its work in the community and the members of the Flour Bluff Citizens Council for coming together.  Martinez is an ex officio member of the organization.

dan-mcqueen

     Dan McQueen, mayoral candidate said, “We need to focus on growing business and high-paying jobs at every opportunity we have.”  He stated that many of his friends who now work on the Black Hawk helicopters at the base will not have jobs in a year.  “The key is all of us uniting and working towards our common goal, and then we’re going to be successful.”

greg-smith-forum

     Greg Smith, District 4 candidate, expressed how pleased he was that Flour Bluff was coming together through the Flour Bluff Business Association and the newly formed Flour Bluff Citizens Council.  “This is exactly what we need.  To get a turn out like this gets the city that Flour Bluff cares, and Flour Bluff votes.”  Smith is one of the founding members of the FBCC.  He went on to explain how important the base is to Flour Bluff. “We need to do everything we can to protect our air spaces and do the things that make the base a good place to fly from.”  He added that many of the streets in Flour Bluff are deplorable and that we need to come up with the funding source to repair and maintain them.  Smith said that anything the city could do to help the school is crucial to growing Flour Bluff since Flour Bluff ISD is the main draw to the area.

lloyd-stegemann-forum

     Dr. Lloyd Stegemann, a Flour Bluff resident who runs a successful medical business in the area of bariatrics expressed a concern about Flour Bluff lacking a unified voice.  “When I hear my neighbors talk about all the issues we’re facing – streets, drainage issues, waste water, homeless issues – they get drowned out.  One of the most important things we can do is make this Flour Bluff Citizens Council work.  I’m going to do everything I can – whether I get elected or not – to make this work, and I encourage each and every one of you who care about Flour Bluff to get involved in that.  Once we have a unified voice, we’re really going to see things happen in our community.”  Stegemann ended by saying that he would be a fiscally responsible leader who understands that the money being spent is not his money, but money earned by the hard work of the citizens.  Stegemann is also seeking a position on the FBCC Board of Directors.

     

paulette-guajardo-forum

     “I – like you – want to prioritize some issues.  We could sit here all day and talk about one issue after the other, and they’re all very important.  I went on a little field trip out here this week, and it is the streets and the storm water that seem to have been neglected, but they are an absolute priority for everyone,”  said Paulette Guajardo, a 44-year-old wife, mother, and business woman who grew up in Flour Bluff and makes her home in Corpus Christi.

magill-fbba-forum

     Incumbent at-large candidate, Chad Magill, spoke with a great deal of knowledge as he outlined the issues that have plagued Flour Bluff for many years.  He, like Mayor Martinez, expressed a desire to put Laguna Shores on the 2018 bond election.  “Laguna Shores, many say, is the Ocean Drive of Flour Bluff.  I agree.  It has some waste water issues that we are addressing now.”  He went on to discuss problems in specific neighborhoods like Turtle Cove, the Flour Bluff Drive debacle where the sewer main was left out of the project, and various other issues that are unique to Flour Bluff.  Magill also commended the community for coming together and forming the Flour Bluff Citizens Council, something that Magill chose to join as an ex officio member.  “The fact that you’re coming together and formalizing your voice is exceptional.  That means you can provide a clear direction to us on council.”

margaret-fratila-forum

     Margaret Fratila, at large candidate, came to Corpus Christi from Romania penniless and in need of work.  She moved into the Glenoak Apartments in Flour Bluff and went to work for Glen Johnson at Johnson Greenhouses.  She told the audience how she went on to earn her master’s degree in business from A & M.  “I feel like Flour Bluff gave me my start.”  Fratila echoed the Flour Bluff issues of poor drainage and streets in dire need of maintenance and reconstruction, and added that she will work to keep the bays open.

joe-mccomb

 

     Joe McComb, former city councilman and former county commissioner, has entered the at-large race.  McComb declined to repeat the obvious issues already highlighted by his opponents and said, “What do we do with the tax money that we have?  Do we want to tax you more to get more?  A concern I have is that the city has a tremendous amount of debt, and we spend a lot of money on that debt in interest.  This year in the budget, if I read right, $75 million will be paid on the principal, and $75 million will be spent on interest.  You can do a lot of things with $75 million.  We ought to reduce the debt as soon as possible.”  McComb went on to encourage everyone to read the twelve propositions carefully, especially Proposition 3, which would amend the City Charter to establish a dedicated fund to be used solely for residential street reconstruction and allow the council to levy a property tax increase to do it.  “I don’t think doing it through the Charter Amendment is the way to do it.”  He went on to say that it is the job of the council to look at the available funding and prioritize what gets funded and to what degree.  “It may require cuts in in other areas to do that.”  McComb ended his talk saying, “I want to be a watchdog for your taxes and address the issues you’ve been promised.”

owsley-forum

     Dr. Jimie Owsley, a veteran, wife, mother, and trauma surgeon, hopes to bring to City Council some of the social issues facing the city, issues she believes ultimately affect our taxes.  “I think the City Council forgets that its job is really public health and safety.  If you take care of those, we’ll have more money to do other things.  That which is affecting Corpus Christi is affecting Flour Bluff, as well.  Poverty in the city is at 20%; crime is twice the national average; and homelessness needs to be addressed.”  Owsley, like McComb, expressed a great concern for the amount of debt the city has.  “We spend a significant amount of money servicing debt and not paying off the debt.  Buying houses is difficult for people because of the increase in taxes.  We need to reign all of that in and become more efficient.  We may just have to wait a little longer to get the things we want.”

michael-hunter-forum

     At-large incumbent, Michael Hunter, thanked everyone for turning out at the last Flour Bluff Citizens Council and at the Flour Bluff Business Association forum.  “When we see the turn out at your meetings, we are encouraged to reach out to you.  We appreciate what you do for our community.”  Hunter then said, “The most important issue in Flour Bluff is infrastructure.  You need quite a bit of help out here with roads like Yorktown Boulevard.  We probably need to widen it.”  Hunter was appointed to the Council to finish out Lillian Riojas’s term.  He was immediately faced with street, water, waste water, and storm water issues.

     Flour Bluff School Board candidates were also present.  Michael Morgan and Jennifer Welp are running unopposed, while Jeff Rank and Flo East are vying for the Place 3 seat.  Click on the video below to see how Rank and East responded to a question from the audience about what the school might do to attract more families with children to the area.

     FBBA President Melanie Hambrick thanked the candidates for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak to the business people and residents of Flour Bluff.  “To our candidates, we really do appreciate and value your commitment to serve our community and city.  We face many issues in our community and elsewhere.  We take great pride in our community, and we hope to have a strong voice in helping you help us move forward.”

For more information on candidates, visit the League of Women Voters site.

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FBBA Spotlight Business of the Month: Boat Stop

Business, Flour Bluff, Front Page, Government and Politics
ryan-pridgeon
Melanie Hambrick congratulates Ryan Pridgeon of Boat Stop Storage for being the Spotlight Business of the Month.

 

Ryan Pridgeon, manager of Boat Stop Storage, accepted the Spotlight of the Month Award from Melanie Hambrick, President of the Flour Bluff Business Association on September 14, 2016, at the regular monthly meeting.  Boat Stop, located at 502 Graham Road in Flour Bluff, provides secure storage with a private ramp and dock nearby.

“I’m sure you’ve seen the construction that’s going on.  We had 196 units and were at 100% occupancy.  We are just finishing up a separate building that has 70 additional units, and we’re about to start construction on another 70 units after that.  We’ll have plenty of spaces if you know anybody who has a boat and needs to store it.  We also store trailers outside,” said Pridgeon.

Pridgeon went on to say that they have a mechanic on site (Mike’s Marine 361-937-0422).  “He’s a separate business, but he’s at the storage units.  I believe he will be joining the business association, as well.”

There are plans to fix up the existing boat ramp that sits at the end of Graham Road.  “It’ll be a lot nicer with concrete and a parking area,” added Pridgeon.

Other Announcements:

  • New members were announced:  Boat Stop Storage and Grande Communications.
  •  Many candidates running for office were present, including:
    • Jeff Rank and Flo East, Flour Bluff ISD School Board, Place 3
    • Jennifer Welp, Flour Bluff ISD School Board, Place 6 (unopposed)
    • Mike Morgan, Flour Bluff ISD School Board, Place 7 (unopposed)
    • Greg Smith and Dr. Lloyd Stegemann, District 4 Corpus Christi City Council
    • Chad Magill, At-large Corpus Christi City Council
    • Alex Garcia, Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 Place 1
  • An update was given on Flour Fest, which was held on September 17, 2016, at Funtrackers and was deemed a real success by those in attendance.
  • The Flour Bluff Citizens Council will hold its first general meeting on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at Grace Community Church located at 1514 Flour Bluff Drive, at 6:00 p.m.  All who are interested in attending are encouraged to visit the Facebook page  where the bylaws, Membership Application, and information about the organization can be found.
  • Ken Knight of Coastal Wellness , located at 9929 SPID in the Bluff Plaza, announced that they are expanding in November.  They will be adding a coffee and juice bar and a yoga studio.  Coastal Wellness offers free health education and has partnered with the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and other health-related groups.
  • Javier Wiley, General Manager of HEB Plus in Flour Bluff, announced the passing of Howard Butt, older brother of Charles Butt, CEO of HEB.  He also informed the group about a new service that HEB will launch on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.  HEB has partnered with SHIPT to provide home deliveries, which Wiley said will be beneficial to those living on the Island, those who are unable to go to the store, and those who are too busy to go to the store.  Click here for more information.
  • Captain Tony Hahn, USCG, was the keynote speaker.  Click here for the full story.

October meeting:  The October 12 meeting will be highlighted by a candidate forum.  The FBBA meets at Funtrackers at noon, the second Wednesday of each month.  Stay informed by visiting the FBBA website.

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