City Update

Dear Friends,

I just wanted to bring you up to date on what’s happened in the city these last few months.


Our purchasing and accounting teams, along with the Interim Finance Director Todd Simoneax, have done an outstanding job in the past few months. Some of these accomplishments include:

· Separating the duty of adding new vendors to the system from the duty of making payments to the vendor; no single person sets up a vendor AND makes payments to them;

· Implementing controls and automating processes for requisitions, purchase orders and payments for both efficiency and appropriate oversight by administration;

· New policies and procedures related to purchasing cards, including independent reviews and other measures to ensure compliance with purchasing policies, city charter and state law;

· Employee oversight support and cross training, closing out ARPA reporting and reconciling disparate ARPA accounts, while instituting many other best practices in the department related to budgeting, payroll, and other tasks.

This has resulted in some savings, an audit with a clean opinion delivered one month earlier than last year, and a healthy credit rating for the issuance of bonds. A transparent and efficient budgeting process is already underway targeting the city’s needs.

Bonds and Infrastructure

· Council agreed with the administration’s proposal to draw funding at 3 intervals. The first was proposed for $14.6 million but because of more favorable rates will actually be for $15.2 million. Drawing down funds at differing times places less pressure on the city to spend the dollars within the 3-year required time, provides for appropriate project planning, allows for a thorough process for bids, and spreads the tax burden.


· We are still waiting for the result of the water rate study.

· The city has made multiple repairs to water lines due to catastrophic rains, but also corrections to drainage systems to prevent future flooding; utilizing smoke through lines to determine possible leaks


· Staff has begun an examination of the zoning ordinances, in conjunction with the council and planning and zoning commission to clarify, simplify and correct ordinances that are conflicting or unclear.

Boards and Commissions

The city is accepting applications for membership in the following boards and commissions:

· Convention and Visitors Bureau Board

· Historic Landmark Preservation Committee

· Housing Authority Board

· Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities

· Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

· Planning and Zoning Commission

· Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Applications can be found at

They will be accepted until 5 p.m. on June 12, 2024 followed by interviews; the city council will appoint members in July 2024. Thank you so much for your willingness to share your time and talents!

I know people are busy this time of year, but I’m always happy to hold a ward meeting or to come to any of your neighborhood meetings. Just let me know and I’ll arrange it. I’m also happy to visit with you on the phone or in person: 936-552-9395.

Have a wonderful summer and stay safe.