Part of a Vision for the City Is Realized

Corpus Christi, Front Page, Government and Politics
Ralston Avenue, Corpus Christi, Texas

     Tuesday’s Council meeting started with long, heartfelt “goodbyes” and “thank yous” as the current mayor and council members held their last meeting together.  The items on the agenda included the possible impeachment of Councilman Mark Scott, the rezoning of .86 acres across from Tuloso-Midway High School for the building of a controversial faith-based transition home for women, a resolution  opposing proposed Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rule amendments that give TCEQ broader discretion to order boil water notices, Ethics Commission recommendations that further define “conflict of interest”, and a few other less significant topics. However, one agenda item stood out as an example of what Councilman Chad Magill accomplished as part of his vision for the City.  He along with other council members, community members, and City staff made possible something that has been long in coming, the appropriation of funds to start rebuilding residential streets, albeit only two at this time.


    One of the streets is Ralston Avenue, located between Alameda and Staples, and the other is Rogerson Drive, which runs between McArdle and Sunnybrook. The two projects are expected to cost about $4 million combined.   The reconstruction of these two streets will serve as a testing ground for collecting data for moving forward with the reconstruction of other residential streets in years to come, including the initial program implementation planned in the Bond 2016 approved by voters last week.  This test project also provides additional analysis and considerations for the selection matrix for future candidate streets.


     According to the report prepared by Valerie H. Gray,  Executive Director of Public Works, “Staff will use these two projects to further refine the Residential Street Reconstruction Program including developing better pricing, street selection process, and construction recapitalization strategies.”  This is a far different way of handling road reconstruction than what has happened in the past.  It seems that the data collected and compiled by the Ad Hoc Residential Street Reconstruction Commission, which was championed by Councilman Chad Magill, had some influence on the process as the language of the agenda memorandum suggests.

Chad Magill portrait

     Magill expressed how pleased he was with the projects and thanked City Manager Margie Rose and her staff for taking the lead on the project.  “Even though this is not the big ticket item, this should be the big news of the day.  This is achieving the impossible, and when we achieve the impossible in this city, it often doesn’t get shared.” Magill and fellow Councilman Brian Rosas talked of how they were committed to making this happen even when they were running against each other for the District 2 seat.

     “District 3 is open for new streets as well as for business,” said Magill to District 3 Councilwoman Lucy Rubio, a play on a line used frequently at Council meetings by Rubio concerning her district.

      Rubio thanked Magill for being a major supporter of District 3.  “You did your job as an at-large member, and you did it very well.”

     Rosas thanked the Council for allowing part of the project to be in his district as well as in Rubio’s district.  He also asked Margie Rose not to forget him when the projects are finished.  “I definitely want to be there for the ribbon-cutting.”

      Ralston Avenue (Staples to Alameda) and Rogerson Drive (McArdle to Sunnybrook) are anticipated to receive:

  • full depth reconstruction with limited utility upgrades/adjustments,
  • complete removal and replacement of existing HMAC Pavement
  • new curb & gutter, sidewalks, ADA ramps and signage/markings


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Takin’ It to the Streets: A Highly Qualified Committee

Corpus Christi, Front Page



     On October 27, 2015, nine dedicated citizens set sail on the CC Ad Hoc Residential Street Committee, on a seven-month voyage through oceans of engineering, accountability, and information sharing documents as they celebrate the successes of the current program, identify areas in need of improvement, and develop a plan of action for moving forward.  This is the first of a series of articles that serves to log their progress and offer information and insights into the picture that is so much bigger than the pothole at the end of the street.

     The Corpus Christi Caller lists the members as:

  • Chris Duff, 43, is a  Realtor who views the streets through the eyes of prospective residents;
  • Toby Futrell, 61, is a retired city manager from Austin who hopes to offer a different perspective on an old problem;
  • Alan Guggenheim, 65, is a civil engineer and conservative thinker with an analytical mind who seeks to develop an improved plan that is cost-effective;
  • Javier Huerta, 44, is an architect and former Planning Commission chairman who wants a cost-effective plan that achieves good results and more accountability while creating more competition among contractors;
  • Kyle Pape, 41, is an engineering consultant who offers his project management skills to help find the lowest-cost solutions to the problem of residential streets;
  • Darrell Scanlan, 50, is a chemical engineer and lifetime resident who wants to make his hometown better by offering his expertise in the areas of business and construction;
  • James Skrobarczyk, 65, is a real estate broker who specializes in real estate development, construction, and sales in the Corpus Christi, Texas area, and whose love for the area motivates him to help find an answer to the street problems;
  • Richard Stracener, 59, is a heavy machinery salesman who has called Corpus Christi home for over 50 years wants to find ways to save money while increasing the longevity of the streets;
  • Andy Taubman, 48, a real estate investor and manager serves as the chairman of the committee and hopes to create public trust in the city government by implementing his Infrastructure Committee Plan  which outlines the role of the committee and was approved by City Council on October 20, 2015.

     The committee is subject to the Open Meetings Act and meets at City Hall on the first Monday and third Wednesday of every month at 4:00 p.m. As of this writing, the committee has had five meetings, the first two being organizational in nature.  Andy Taubman was elected chairman and Javier Juerta, vice-chairman.  The committee discussed its purpose and expectations, established subcommittees, and proposed dates for presentations from each subcommittee.  An online message board was set up to keep the public informed, and an account was created to accept public feedback.  Valerie Gray, Executive Director of Public Works, gave a presentation on Street Operations and the Street Improvement Plan Strategies.  Additional information was provided by Andy Leal, Interim Director of Street Operations, and Jeffrey Edmonds, Director of Engineering Services.


(This is the first of several articles covering the work of the residential street committee.)

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