Nueces County Commissioner Brent Chesney spoke to a group of about 35 gathered at Funtrackers for the regular Flour Bluff Business Association on May 4, 2016. Commissioner Chesney, represents Precinct 4, which encompasses all of Port Aransas, North Padre Island, Flour Bluff, and parts of the Southside of Corpus Christi from Ocean Drive to the London Independent School District. He previously served as the Presiding Judge for Nueces County Court at Law Number 5 and as an at-large Corpus Christi City Councilman from 2001-2007 and 2009-2010.
Chesney opened his talk with a plug for the Sand Castle Run to be held Saturday, May 7, starting at 7:00 a.m. at Bob Hall Pier. Proceeds from the event go to Camp Sandcastle, a program of the American Diabetes Association, established over 20 years ago to broaden the opportunity of Coastal Bend children with diabetes to experience summer camp. He encouraged everyone to take part in the fun and festivities as they attempt to raise at least $20,000 to help send more kids to the camp.
Other topics Chesney discussed included:
- Nueces County supported the new harbor bridge to the tune of $12 million, which was part of a 25-year SIB (State Infrastructure Bank) Loan.
- Other bond dollars will be used to relieve overcrowding at the jail through expansion of the McKenzie Annex, a less expensive way of creating more space.
- Nueces County is working to meet the $25-$30 million tab to be compliant with ADA regulations in all of its facilities as per the settlement agreement with the Justice Department.
- For the first time in about ten years, Nueces County did adopt the effective tax rate, which means county taxes truly did not get raised, something of which Chesney was especially proud. He went on to say that it is hard to do this, but it is doable. Chesney explained that looking for the tax increase first instead of seeking ways to be more efficient is what many elected officials do. “What we’re supposed to do as elected officials is really be good stewards of those dollars. Sometimes a tax increase is necessary, but if I have to vote for raising taxes, there will be a very good reason for it.”
- In terms of what the county can do for Flour Bluff, it basically comes down to first responders, county sheriffs, and county courts. Chesney said that the county will go digital in juror selection. In July, jurors will have the option of filling out their questionnaires online and in October can sign up for electronic notification to their email inboxes or their cellphones.
- Chesney chose to use his bond money for improvements at Padre Balli Park I.B. Magee Beach Park because they are county parks that offer some return on the investment.
- Chesney is looking to find a way for the county to help with the Redhead Pond project and perhaps even with Parker Pool. He makes no promises but is trying to think out of the box to help.
- The county gave the Flour Bluff Business Association economic growth seed money last year for special projects, one of which is Flour Fest. He will return in June to discuss more about these kinds of funds.
- Chesney pointed out that many community members, such as Andy Taubman and James Skrobarczyk who serve on the street committee and Councilwoman Colleen McIntyre , are working to make the community better and should certainly be recognized for doing so.
- The commissioner, like many elected officials, was critical of the RTA for wasting tax dollars on their new building and went on to say that he is definitely in favor of them putting more money into the streets. He is happy about the changes on the RTA board and hopes that these changes will lead to something good for the city and county. (Note: According to John Bell, “On August 19, 1985, Corpus Christi voters approved the half-cent sales tax increase by a margin of 64.9% in favor and 35.1% opposed. Voters in Robstown, Driscoll, Agua Dulce, Gregory, and San Patricio City also voted themselves into the authority. Port Aransas joined in 1987.”)
- Chesney expressed how the purchase of the Kleberg County property, an eight-mile stretch of land that covers more than 3,600 acres of beach on Padre Island has been cleaned up and made more accessible to thousands of tourists who come to the area specifically for birding.
- Commissioner Chesney believes that a county should run much like a business and that we should spend only what we take in. Commissioner Chesney also believes in bringing government to the people and not making the people always come to government. In that vein, he has opened part time satellite offices in Port Aransas, North Padre Island and Flour Bluff so that he is accessible to his constituents. Commissioner Chesney is currently serving a four year term. For more information or to contact Commissioner Brent Chesney please call 361-888-0268.
This month’s spotlight business is Beacon Chiropractic Clinic. You can expect prompt service and natural healing at the Beacon Chiropractic Clinic. Dr. Hollingsworth wants to help your body heal the natural way and is not going to simply prescribe a medication and send you back out the door. www.beaconclinics.net
- The business association members thanked Colleen McIntyre for her service on the city council and for her early announcement to step down, which will allow others an opportunity to prepare to run in the District 4 race.
- Joe Kelley, Superintendent of Flour Bluff Schools reminded everyone that the students are headed into STAAR testing next week followed by a quick end to school with graduation at 10:00 a.m. on May 28, 2016, at the American Bank Center. Mr. Kelley was accompanied by Brian Schuss, Assistant Superintendent for Business Management and Kim Sneed, FBISD Public Information Coordinator.
- Kim Sneed spoke about the record-breaking number of Flour Bluff Hornet student-athletes signed letters of intent to take part in baseball, basketball, football, soccer, swimming, or track programs at colleges across the country. The event began at 4:15 p.m. and took place at the Flour Bluff ISD Indoor Athletic Field.
- James Skrobarczyk announced that he will be running for the District 4 position.
- During the October meeting, a public forum will be held for the community to hear from all the candidates.
- Parker Pool is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. More information is available at: http://parkerpool.org/
- Pastor Linda Morrow of St. Peter’s by the Sea UMC asked for help with the mobile food bank run by her church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, and Lord of Life. Help is needed the 4th Thursday of each month in the afternoon. Everyone was encouraged to contact Pastor Morrow if anyone would like to help out.
- Jeff Rank welcomed new general members: Edmond’s Coastal Plumbing, KP Direct Oilfield LLC, Oso Mini Storage, and Terry’s Family Hairstyles.
- Jeff Rank also welcomed new associate members: First Title Company, Michael Hunter, and Unlock Texas.
- Jonathan Vela, the FBBA webmaster, has set up a text message alert system for all members. Melanie Hambrick encouraged everyone to sign up.
- The FBBA has been in existence since 1951. Flour Fest will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the association by highlighting local businesses on September 17, 2016. There will be food, drinks, music, and booths. Sign up information will be available soon.
- The City of Corpus Christi is celebrating the completion of the Waldron Road portion of Bond 2014. All are encouraged to attend.
Retired from education after serving 30 years (twenty-eight as an English teacher and two years as a new-teacher mentor), Shirley enjoys her life with family and friends while serving her community, church, and school in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is the creator and managing editor of The Paper Trail, an online news/blog site that serves to offer new, in-depth, and insightful responses to the events of the day. She also writes and edits for The Texas Shoreline News, a Corpus Christi print newspaper.