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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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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