The Flour Bluff Business Association held its regular monthly meeting at noon on March 8, 2017, at Funtrackers in Flour Bluff. A crowd of about 40 small business owners and government officials listened as Pct. 4 Nueces County Commissioner Brent Chesney updated the group on issues at the county level. In closing, Chesney and Pct. 1 County Commissioner Mike Pusley awarded the association a total of $4500 as part of a program that allows each commissioner to distribute funds for community development as they see fit. Chesney contributed $2500, Pusley $1000, and County Judge Loyd Neal $1000.
“I was so impressed with how this seed money was used for Flour Fest last year. It was a huge success. There were lots of people in attendance even though it was really hot!” said Chesney. He went on to thank the FBBA for doing such a great job on the event. “I certainly hope they do this again. What a great first year! It was a lot of fun for everyone. The food and music were great. The events were fun. It was just a huge success. Those are the kinds of things that I, as a county commissioner, can get involved with personally.”
Commissioner Chesney, keynote speaker at the event, expressed how much he appreciates all that the FBBA does for the Flour Bluff community and how much he enjoys being a part of what is going on in all areas of his precinct and “not just being around at election time.” Chesney, elected in 2014, was sworn in as Nueces County Commissioner, Precinct 4 on January 1, 2015. “In Flour Bluff, there’s not a lot that the county can directly do because everything out here is in the city limits,” said Chesney. “However, there are many ways that we indirectly impact your community.”
Chesney opened his talk by recognizing the various entities in Flour Bluff that help the community thrive. He was especially complimentary of the students, staff, and programs of Flour Bluff Independent School District, saying, “There’s none finer than FBISD.” He went on to describe how proud he was of Coach James McMinn, his friend and former high school teammate, and the FB girls basketball team for winning their way to the final 4 of the State Girls Basketball Championship. Chesney said it was thrilling to attend the game in San Antonio. “It was fun to be there. And, what a great student body! Those kids were so well behaved and so fired up. You should be very proud of the Flour Bluff School District; they really do a great job.” He was especially happy to announce that the county health fair held at FBISD was a success and something he hopes to continue in the future.
Chesney handed out other accolades, as well. He complimented Melanie Hambrick for her efforts in cleaning up Redhead Pond on Laguna Shores Road with Friends of Redhead Pond saying, “This is a project that is special to me and that I’ve been involved in, but Melanie is the one who really got this thing going and is doing what Melanie does, just going after full force.” He thanked the Flour Bluff Citizens Council, a local advocacy group formed in October 2016, for keeping the people of Flour Bluff people informed and pointed out that he became a lifetime member to show his support for the group. Chesney thanked Monette Bright for her work with Operation Graduation, a program he personally supports through contributions. He also thanked Jeff Craft of The Flour Bluff Messenger for allowing him to write a column to keep people apprised of what the county is doing with taxpayers’ dollars.
Turning to County business, Chesney reviewed what has been happening and how the commissioners are working to be “a business friendly county.” He first recognized Constable Mitchell Clark who was in the audience. Constable Clark took over as the Pct. 2 constable following the death of longtime constable Jerry Boucher. “Jerry was a great man. He was a mentor of Mitchell’s, and we all miss him,” said Chesney. “But, at the same time we are very excited about Constable Clark because he is who Jerry wanted in that job. Jerry would only want someone out here who would be a great asset to the area. Get to know him. He’s a great guy who’s going to work really hard for Flour Bluff. You’re also very fortunate to have Judge Thelma Rodriguez out here who works so well with the school in handling truancy cases, a task she took on herself. We just have a lot of great county officials out here, and she’s one of them.”
Chesney told the group that coastal parks in Nueces County are now on the short list for millions of dollars in grants from the BP oil spill and that Padre Balli Park and I.B. Magee Park in Port Aransas are expected to receive $7.5 million in funds from the Restore Bucket 1 grant program. “These dollars will be used to increase and improve the coastal parks, which will help you.” Chesney pointed out that the coastal park is one of the few revenue-generating areas of the county and that the $7.5 million will give the county a ten-year jump-start on their master plan. “Mr. Pusley and I are always looking for ways to generate revenue for county projects that benefit everyone in the county – without increasing taxes,” which Chesney pointed out is one of the most effective ways the County can serve the people of Flour Bluff.
Chesney talked about how much he really enjoys being a county commissioner. “Things are going well in the county. We don’t always agree, but we have civil discourse, shake hands, and walk away knowing that we will probably agree on the next ten issues. That’s how it’s supposed to work in government.”
Chesney and Pusley addressed the ongoing issues with ADA compliance at all county buildings. “It’s important that we make our facilities accessible to all. We just want to see some flexibility if – let’s say – a ramp shifts a quarter inch, and it’s no longer in compliance,” said Pusley.
Other Announcements from the FBBA
April Spotlight of the Month: Bob Westrup, owner of Papa Murphy’s in Flour Bluff
New members: Julie Armstrong of Cubit Contracting and Neal Ekstrom of NCE Waste Environmental Services were accepted as General Members; and Misty Svoboda of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Real Estate Center was accepted as an Associate Member.
April 1, 2017: Coastal Bend Troop Support Crawfish Boil and Military Tribute, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Briscoe King Pavilion, 15820 SPID, Corpus Christi, TX (Contact them to donate items by visiting coastalbendtroopsupport.com)
April 8, 2017: Special Olympics (Contact Lori Eureste, President FB Special Olympics Booster Club at 361-658-9701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
April 17, 2017: Flour Bluff Citizens Council General Meeting, 6:00 p.m., at Grace Community Church on Flour Bluff Drive (Visit the website https://www.flourbluffcc.org/ for more information.)
April 22, 2017: Earth Day Community Clean-up with HEB
April 22, 2017: First day of Litter Critter Program in Flour Bluff (Check the FBCC and FBBA websites for more details.)
NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at noon at Funtrackers (The speaker will be Pct. 2 Constable Mitchell Clark.)
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.