Celebrate the Season!!
It has been a great year for myself and my family. I have enjoyed these past months as a City Councilman, working to find solutions and helping the community grow. The holidays are here to remind us all to be happy and to enjoy life through whatever we may believe as true Christmas. This time is truly the most awaited month for all people, all ages and all walks of life. Apart from this, it is also the month of gift giving. this is the month wherein we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ as our savior.
As this month is fast approaching the end, a lot of people are preparing for this season. Among all celebrations throughout the entire year, Christmas is still the most memorable. People help other citizens through donations and volunteering services. They take it to their hearts to help people and see them fulfilled and happy as well. This will serve as a good memory that is worthy to be cherished. This season invites people to become busy in preparing all of the gifts for their loved ones, friends and relatives.
Before we truly end this year, we still recall our past memories. These can either be good or bad as these are all a part of life. Before ending this year, we are also making our New Year’s resolution and promising to change something about ourselves. We also want to change one of our behaviors or core values. I am expecting great things for Mineral Wells…I am expecting great things from everyone to grow this great City for our future.
This is the opportunity to share good times with everyone else in the family. The Christmas and New Year Celebrations are truly wonderful times for you to cherish them with your family, loved ones and friends.
Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself…
– Norman Wesley Brooks, “Let Every Day Be Christmas,” 1976
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!
As always, you can reach me on Facebook, Twitter, my blog – www.letsgrowmw.com or at my email firstname.lastname@example.org Please encourage your friends and neighbors to join my pages as I believe in keeping citizens fully informed about the happenings in Mineral Wells.
This is a very long post and I will place on my website letsgrowmw.com
I was contacted by a few citizens about the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter. I want to let the citizens of Mineral Wells know that we have the best workers and caring workers at our shelter and that I am very proud that they serve our city. “It’s easy to point fingers but harder to solve the crisis that animal shelters across the country face. Most are filled to the brim because people aren’t spaying or neutering their animals or making lifetime commitments to them. ”
I found the following and at the end of this long post is a letter from our Chief of Police, Mr. Dean Sullivan.
“It isn’t easy facing the never ending stream of animals each day. It’s challenging facing the anger and frustration of people not wanting to be told how to care for their pets. It’s devastating when you have to make the “call” because there is no more room in the shelter, and the stream of animals entering the shelter just won’t stop. But this selfless commitment goes unrewarded, unrecognized and constantly criticized until the lack of resources, constant stream of homeless and abused pets, and lack of support from the community becomes enough to make it all not worth it. The long hours, the challenging statistics, the shortage of resources, but most painful of all is the cruelty toward animal care workers from those claiming to love animals on their blogs and websites. We’re working in the trenches day in and we’re making a lasting change. Why? Because the animals count on us.
Texas, more than any other state across the nation, is exceptionally hard on its animal control staff, as the larger agencies are typically buried underneath large, under-resourced, code departments, or are nothing more than a staff of one or two fighting alone to be effective and compassionate at the same time, with little to no support. Texas shelters have some of the highest euthanasia rates in the country, and the lowest funded animal control agencies. One has to wonder, will we ever get there as a community divided, or have we been fighting the battle for so long we no longer see that we should all be on the same side? ”
From The Chief of Police of Mineral Wells,
Honorable Mayor and Member of the City Council,
I have reviewed the email(s) received in regard to concerns about operations and staff at the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter.
First, the volunteers are more than a “little miracle”, they are the essence and strength of all the progress that has been made thus far. No volunteers have been unwelcome, denied access, or are otherwise banned. Volunteers are welcome and have access to the animals not otherwise claimed or re-homed that are deemed available for adoption or rescue by the staff. The underlying context of what is being portrayed and what actually occurred involves a particular incident with a member of a rescue group who was asked to leave the shelter after challenging the staff regarding the assessment of certain animals. While this may be a difference of opinion or conflicting personality issue, the fact remains the staff at the shelter are charged with the responsibility of maintaining operations and a business decorum at the shelter. Any person, member of the public, volunteer, rescuer or otherwise who fails to treat the staff and/or visitors to the shelter in a respectful and professional manner will be asked to leave.
With respect to the comment, “59 cats [that] were killed last month [September, 2015] that could have been saved”, that statement is true but does not represent the complete story. Two specific calls account for 33 of the 59 total cats in the September euthanasia figures. One call involved animal hoarding and after consultation with the humane society, the animals were determined to be diseased and malnourished to the point they were deemed unfit for adoption. The other call was a Code Enforcement investigation of an abandoned structure where the cats were determined to be feral and not adoptable, As unfortunate a consequence as it may seem, these types of situations do happen in the business of animal control and those 33 animals could not be saved.
Looking at the overall numbers for 2015 year to date, intakes have increased 31% (1901 vs 1456 total dogs and cats taken in) compared to last year. This figure is in large part due to the number of public drop offs, both owner surrenders and strays, the shelter has experienced. The return to owners is down about 5%, while adoptions have remained steady at 54%. The number of euthanasia for dogs and cats has increased slightly (6%) through the first 10 months when compared to the 2014 year end totals. Considering the volume increase in overall intakes, the euthanasia figure is unremarkable at this time. Putting this information into perspective, in 2012, the return to owner rate was 10%, adoptions 21%, and euthanasia 68%. To date in 2015, the return to owner rate is 15%, adoptions 54%, and euthanasia 28%. The volunteers and staff absolutely deserve the highest praise and credit for these improvements at the shelter.
Other emails to Council members have been received regarding the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter Facebook. While the shelter staff does attempt to monitor this Facebook page, it is the product and result of volunteer efforts and not the staff. It is true, the shelter lost a great volunteer who had been taking pictures and posting excellent call outs on the shelter animals in need of a home. That volunteer was unable to keep up with the demands of the page due to personal reasons and nothing else. Another volunteer has picked up the slack and is doing a fabulous job trying to get the word out. However, the only official place to check intakes and availability of animals in the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter is via the city’s webpage and the “Impounded Animals” list. As previously discussed with City Council, this page is updated almost daily and has interactive features to notify, hold, and/or inspect for potential adoption an animal housed at the shelter. The social media pages related to the shelter are not connected to the records management system and do not guarantee an animal will be or is still available.
The shelter is regulated under the Texas Health and Safety Code, which governs the activities at an animal shelter or humane society in this state. The Mineral Wells Animal Shelter abides by this code. The procedures outlined for the disposal of unwanted or abandoned animals and euthanasia are being followed. Furthermore, the staff is not employing a “heavy handed solution of just killing every one that comes in” nor is every animal coming in “being killed immediately”. The types of statements being perpetuated can only best be described as alarmist and uninformed.
Lastly, the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter is not nor does it claim to be a “No Kill Shelter” and never has. The shelter is a facility where impounded or surrendered animals are kept in the interest of public health, public safety, and rabies control. I do not anticipate the shelter could ever truly be classified as “No Kill” since that would reflect a greater that 90% return or re-home rate. With a rural and virtually unregulated environment surrounding this community, a “no kill” shelter makes for great conversation and a lofty goal but unrealistic. Our priorities are the health and safety of the public we serve. While rescues, fostering, and re-homing unwanted or abandoned animals are important goals, these are not primary to the reasons for animal control in a community.
The Mineral Wells Police Department and Animal Control Shelter have a complaint process in place. To date, none of the individuals expressing concern via email, social media, or other communications outlet has contacted this office or requested to submit a formal complaint against a member of the Animal Shelter team. Vague and indirect reference to inaccurate information or alleged facts concerning the conduct of any employee is troubling, but the most appropriate and, in some cases, legal venue or outlet for such a forum is the complaint process and not social media.
From my perspective, great strides have been made at the shelter. While there is always room for improvement in any business model, I do not believe agitation or negative energy directed at the dedicated staff members or other volunteer elements of the shelter is appropriate. To be an effective partnership, we need everyone working together. Volunteers are an invaluable component to this process and have helped make this all possible. It is incumbent the relationships formed in the interest of the animal shelter be maintained with a mutual respect for one another and a vision for the shelter to be shared by all.
I apologize for being away so long from my writings, but with all the major meetings and addressing several concerns that citizens needed answers, I placed my articles on the back burner. That is why I wanted to address this subject about Social Media in Government, as this is a way for me to stay in touch with you and for you to reach me.
Not everyone working in the city, and council members, is open to the use of social media. Some are not yet used to it, and some are not open to the idea of sharing everything with the public. Others find it is an open platform where they can actually reach out to their constituents and just about anyone whom they are serving. However, there are still people who are not completely open with the idea of putting up their social media accounts and getting started in communicating with anyone who would follow them or those who would add them as fiends.
As millions of people are now using social media for discussing nearly everything, different government offices are now opening their official social media accounts. The fact that there are many people who are accessing information online, following a page of government offices allows them to get to know some updates on what the officials are doing. Also, simple announcements can also be done in the accounts, which makes it easier for anyone to know and spread the word about it in a timely manner.
Benefits that Both Government and Public Can Get from Using Social Media
There are a lot of benefits that both the city and public can get from the use of social media. If you are one of those who is trying to find out what benefits social media could bring to the city and the public, check out the following:
- Fast and Convenient Information Dissemination
Before, people had to wait for announcements made by the city or different city offices about certain topics in the newspaper. Now, people can get it right on their news feeds. With just a simple tap, officials and everyone following them can share the information in a short period of time.
- Reaching Out to People is Easier
Instead of finding ways on how to communicate, like finding phone numbers or assembling communication devices with different people especially during calamities, just a single post could already be read by a lot of people. Those people who could read the posts can actually share it with others and let everyone connect with certain officials.
Aside from all official matters, councilmen can actually learn a lot from the posts of certain individuals. The daily posts of officials do not necessarily have to be about their job or whatever things they do online. Most of the time, they can share their words or quotes of wisdom or just anything that could educate the public or their audience. Maybe share an egg or two!
There are many benefits that the city government, councilmen and public can get once they welcome the use of social media in their offices and at home. Also, as they make use of social media platforms as their way of communicating with the public, they are able to get the best out of connecting the bridge between the government and everyone. This makes the city government transparent with everything they do. Also, with opening their doors in communicating with a lot of people and with everyone who wants to be more at ease with people, it shows how the city government works with them.
I hope to stay in touch as often as I can, so become my friend on Facebook (Clif Wright), my tweeter @Clif_Wright) email at email@example.com and join my small webpage at www.letsgrowmw.com . One thing I hope you get from this article is that Social Media is how I want to work and keep you informed. I look forward to hearing about your problems and ideas that we can solve together and implement for the city. Together we can grow Mineral Wells and make it a gathering point for many activities.
There are times during the day that I observe behavior from young adults that never ceases to amazement. My parents taught me one thing that I carry with me to this day. Nothing shows how you were raised by your express of manners and respect that were taught to you by your parents.
You can often hear that whatever behavior your child shows will reflect to your own behavior. This is partly true since it is the responsibility of parents to mold their children to become a better individual. Teaching of manners is often disregarded because there are instances that the environment takes the major role in molding the child’s behavior.
A child who knows how to show respect is well loved by the people in their surroundings. I always make a point to compliment the parents on how respectful their child was. The importance of teaching manners in front of a senior person, a teacher, siblings, to everyone, is important. In school, it is expected that a child can learn the proper manners and respect to other people; however, there are instances that the school can not make some strategies in bringing up a good pupil or student.
The facts state that it really depends on the person. Children are not born knowing the right way of respecting others. Though children have different personalities, all of them should be taught to become respectful. There are contributing factors on the development of the child’s behavior. In addition, it is not only the parents that should be blamed for a negative attitude of a child. However, it is the parents’ major responsibility to teach their children to respect not only them, but also all people around them. To this day, I remember my mother making sure that I learned to respect my elders and the proper manners when in public. I do miss that lady and think about her everyday.
You will notice that these days, kids are a little disrespectful. You can see children or teens arguing with their parents. They use some foul language which is not appropriate for their age. Children of today’s generation are not afraid to fight authority and do not even respect authority in school. Sadly, this has been the norm in today’s kids. Parents have to work harder in teaching their children manners. Because of the influence of television, the internet, and many other technologies, it seems that all these have taught a child to be a rude, disrespectful adult.
Below are some tips I used to teach my children manners and respect:
Teach your child to say thank-you and you’re welcome even for simple things. Teach them to say “Yes” and “No’” instead of “Yep” and “Na”. Look for ways to help others — open the door for someone whose hands are full. Or just open a door for anyone. Not only do courteous behaviors show you are thinking of others first, they also make you a more pleasant person to be around, notes the article “Good Manners,” on the Women’s and Children’s Health Network website.
They are not your friend, they are your child; therefore, you deserve respect from them. Make it clear to your child. If you notice a bad attitude, take some actions. Discipline them if necessary so that it will instill in their mind that they are not behaving properly. Show respect as you correct them. If you see disrespect on your child’s part, you should tell it to them in a respectful manner also.
On the other hand, a child must also play their part. Since, they have they own free will, they must be aware of the positive attitude that they must possess and the bad attitude that they must eliminate. They need not be a burden to their parents for they will feel that they had failed in the upbringing of their child.
Remember that good manners can be learned and bad manners must be avoided and removed. Someday, as parents, we will be gone and the only things that will be left are the teachings we instilled in our kids.
Just a side note:
The budget process is almost over and we are getting ready to move forward with the new year. On September 15, everything will be final. I appreciate everyone that came out and participate in watching the process. One of my goals in the next few months is to get planters in the downtown area. So, watch for the pictures of the planters…..I think they are a great design! We will be needing help in picking plants and flowers to put in the planters and support in taking care of the plants and flowers….Any volunteers? I look forward to the beautification of downtown Mineral Wells!
As always, you can reach me at my small website http://www.letsgrowmw.com, Facebook Clif Wright, and of course, my email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know what you think and let me help you enjoy your City!
Well, because of the 2015-2016 budget, I have not been able to write an article, but since this is a new process to me, I thought I would give you an insight on being a City Councilman.
The challenge of being a newly elected City Councilman
Being new on any new adventure surely brings frustration to people. The day I took office, I was looking for the training manual. Have not found that manual as of today. There are a lot of changes to overcome and more expectations to meet. Specifically, acquiring this position for the City of Mineral Wells gives a heavy responsibility to a councilman.
The mere understanding of the entire process is already a burden and cause of stress. However, coping with the job will be easy after a few months of performing the different tasks and required activities. One must invest in patience and love towards his work so that everything will be fine in the long run. I have been told that sometimes I wear my feelings on my sleeve and I need to be prepared to accept criticism from all points of view.
The duties which are entrusted are:
Working with city staff– The city staff has been there longer than the newly appointed Councilman. One has to depend on guidance and the advice from the staff on procedures and goals. There are different appointed positions to evaluate that report to the council. The decision to maintain or select new appointed positions is a very responsible decision a councilman must weigh on during his/her tenure..
Communication with the public– As an official, a councilman takes charge on passing municipal ordinances. There might be conflicts and issues whenever this official failed to orient the people comprehensively.
When it comes to ordinances, a council member must make sure that he approves the regulations reasonably. Noise control guidelines, land development policies, traffic ordinances, and anti-pollution procedures are some of the ordinances he needs to pass. The ordinance is required to be presented by one council member. A council member must always think of the welfare of the majority over his personal interests.
As a member of the city government, a councilman is expected to promote good connections with government, state, and federal agencies. He must appropriately work with the other officials to resolve problems and issues that bother the citizens.
Setting Tax rates– There is a need for proper calculation of tax to be implemented. As a newly elected councilman, it might be hard to determine the exact amount he must set. The newly elected official will experience confusion in some instances.
Budget– A city councilman is responsible for approving the yearly budget of the entire city. In Mineral Wells, the City Manager formulates and presents the budget to the council for agreement. This process then is for the Councilman to determine if there are any additions and deletions that need to be made.Aside from the budget, he will also approve the current expenditures of funds within the city.
Working as part of a team– A city councilman always needs the help of other government officials and constituents. It is better to have a frequent coordination with the other departments in order to ensure a united city government.
A newly elected city councilman will encounter exhaustive procedures dealing with his job at first. He must prepare himself with wide knowledge and related experiences to accomplish his duties professionally. Choosing to serve the people will require him to be versatile on coping with the daily operations. I decided to become a City Councilman so that I can make a difference in growing our city.
By October 1, we will be ready for the new year and I have several ideas in place to beautify the city and help in driving businesses to our city.
As always, please stay in touch with me and I am always interested in your input and ideas. Please join my Facebook page at Clif Wright and have your friends to do the same or watch my Web page for new things happening in the city at http://www.letsgrowmw.com or email me at email@example.com.
We are currently in the process of budget meetings and there has been many things said that was not correct. I have included here the link to the City Councilman packet that we work from during the Council meetings.
I want everyone to know that I am FOR the Police and Fire Department and the City Employees in dealing with the compensation package delivered by Chief Sullivan. In the minutes, you will find attached by recommendation on how to justify spending cuts instead of raising taxes. This proposal was for 1 year and review during the year.
The next year will prove very interesting as I still have hope in the Baker coming to life and watching this town grow. I have faith in our city leadership and believe in direction to grow Mineral Wells. If nothing happens in the next year, yes…then we need to find another direction to follow.
If you have any questions or concerns…leave me a note here, or on Facebook.