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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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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