Working with stakeholders in the West 7th Urban Village, the city’s parking management team could implement a new rate structure for metered on-street parking.
The new rate structure will allow two hours of free parking before 5 p.m. to retail customers visiting the area. This amendment is intended to address concerns expressed by business owners who contend that on-street metered parking has contributed to a decline in business. Other stakeholders were concerned with the lack of available on-street parking due to long-term parking and a lack of turnover parking in the district. This change will also discourage the misuse of on-street parking by employees.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the new rates at 7 p.m. Dec. 10. If approved, the new rate structure will become effective Dec. 13 and will allow two hours of free parking daily, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., within a three-hour tiered rate structure. A $3 rate would be charged for the third hour if a patron stays beyond the allotted two hours of free parking during the day. A rate of $3 per hour would be charged between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., with no free parking.
Christina Brooks has been named director of the new Diversity and Inclusion Department at the City of Fort Worth.
“We look forward to welcoming Christina Brooks to Fort Worth,” City Manager David Cooke said. “She is a results-driven diversity and inclusion professional with 20 years of experience working with underrepresented populations in public, private, local, national and international settings. Her years of experience in organizational inclusion policy and process change will prove to be extremely valuable as we move forward with our enhanced diversity and inclusion efforts.”
As the first diversity and inclusion officer and LGBTQ liaison for the City of South Bend, Ind., Brooks is responsible for overseeing the creation and implementation of an inclusive workforce, talent, community and diversity purchasing and contracting policy development and programs. She also oversees the Human Rights Commission with jurisdiction over St. Joseph County.
“I want to thank the South Bend community for the opportunity to serve as the city’s first Diversity and Inclusion Officer,” Brooks said. “Now, I’m excited to return to my home state of Texas and join the City of Fort Worth administration at a pivotal and important time. I have a sober-eyed view of the intense and necessary work that has yet to be done, but I’m reassured that both Fort Worth’s community and administration are well positioned to work together to advance healing and change where it’s needed.”
Before joining the mayor’s office in South Bend, she held positions at the University of Notre Dame in the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Undergraduate Admissions, TRIO Programs and Human Resources as Notre Dame’s first program manager for staff diversity recruiting. Before that, she was co-founder and executive director of Brooks Running Start Foundation in Washington, D.C., which focused on inner-city youth development. She also held leadership positions for the A. Phillip Randolph Institute’s Tulsa, Okla., Chapter, and School Redesign Task Force with Tulsa Public Schools. Other leadership positions include the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Black Catholic Advisory Board-Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend, Community for Peace and Nonviolence, and Black Faculty and Staff Association at the University of Notre Dame.
Brooks holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University at South Bend with concentrations in political science and history and a master’s in nonprofit administration from Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame. She also holds a Master Contract Compliance certification through the American Contract Compliance Association from Morgan State University.
She is married to Reggie Brooks and they have five children.
This new position resulted from the work of the city’s Race and Culture Task Force, which looked at equity in several aspects of the city. The director will manage the newly-created Diversity and Inclusion Department, formerly known as the Human Relations Unit of the City Manager’s Office. This department is responsible for coordinating implementation of the task force’s recommendations and promoting equity in the provision of all municipal services. The department also enforces various civil rights laws, promotes cultural awareness and provides staff support for the Human Relations Commission.
Brooks is expected to begin work in Fort Worth on Dec. 9.
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art recently checked out some items from the Fort Worth Public Library, but they won’t all fit in a tote bag.
Multiple issues of periodicals representing more than 35 art-related titles have a new home in the Amon Carter’s research library as part of a long-term loan. The materials previously stored at the Fort Worth Public Library’s Central location comprise 100 linear feet, a length roughly equal to the height of a 10-story building.
The transfer is a no-cost collaboration that moves materials that saw little use at the Fort Worth Public Library to the Amon Carter, where art researchers can more readily access them.
“Relocating these materials benefits the public,” said Linda Barrett, manager of the Fort Worth Public Library’s Genealogy, Local History and Archives. “Anyone looking for these periodicals can always go to the Amon Carter and use them.”
The materials are a mix of bound volumes, boxed issues and microfilm. Many of the magazines are no longer published, and Barrett said the Library no longer subscribes to any of them except for one – Fortune.
Sam Duncan, who leads the Amon Carter’s research library, said Fortune is not a magazine many would associate with an art museum. The copies the museum requested, however, are older issues in an oversize format with unique artistic value.
“During the mid-twentieth century, Fortune was beautifully produced with many commissioned illustrations from a who’s who list of artists,” Duncan said. “I’m already thinking about an exhibition that would highlight the publication’s contributions to graphic design and its support of American artists.”
The collaboration came about after Duncan had visited the Fort Worth Public Library for many years to access several art-related periodicals for researchers.
“One in particular was Art Digest, especially issues from the 1930s and 1940s, important periods for the research we do at the Amon Carter,” Duncan said. “Around 2008, I started a conversation with the Fort Worth Public Library about the possibility of getting them someday.”
After taking current Library Director Manya Shorr on a tour of his library at the museum, he said, the long-term loan became an obvious win for both institutions.
“We know the periodicals will have a good home at the Amon Carter,” Shorr said. “It just makes sense to add them to the museum’s art-focused collection, as those are resources already familiar to local art historians. This is another way the Fort Worth Public Library is reducing barriers to accessing information and resources, even if those resources are housed elsewhere.”
Researchers who visit the Amon Carter library tend to be those who are digging deep into the history of American art, Duncan said. However, the loan agreement stipulates that the museum must provide public access to the material. That means even casual scholars are welcome and able to peruse the periodicals and the roughly 150,000 items in its library collection.
Recently renovated, the research library has another thing going for it. “The museum’s reading room and new study room are gorgeous spaces to come relax and learn about American art,” Duncan said.
The Amon Carter’s research library is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays (September-May); and open other times by appointment.
City Manager David Cooke has selected a panel of national experts to review police department policies and practices and provide recommendations on changes the police department should implement to improve and retain public trust and confidence.
“First and foremost, I want to again express my complete confidence in Chief Kraus and the leadership team at the Fort Worth Police Department,” said City Manager Cooke. “To that end, I acknowledge that every organization can benefit from having an independent group of experts review policies and procedures to see where we can improve the work we do with, and for, our community.”
This expert panel has extensive knowledge and policing experience in areas including applications of procedural justice, investigative best practices, bias-based policing and use of force. They will conduct a rigorous and completely independent review of the police department.
“We were contacted by firms and individuals around the country who are recognized for this type of work,” said Cooke. “After a review of qualifications and experience, I believe we have assembled an excellent team to provide recommendations and best practices that will allow us to improve our police department and the way we work with all members of our community.”
The purpose for this review is to identify patterns and practices related to police interactions with the public during investigative stops, searches, arrests, de-escalation and use of force incidents. The panel will examine police policies, operational practices, training, documentation, accountability systems, corrective and reporting procedures, and technology applications. The review will include substantial interaction and listening sessions with community members, groups and police personnel.
Other areas the panel is expected to review include community policing and engagement, Internal Affairs complaints, recruiting, hiring and promotions, critical incident interactions within the mental health community, and interactions with youth.
The panel will be led by Dr. Theron L. Bowman and Dr. Alex del Carmen. Both experts, with strong local and national ties, who also have extensive police reform experience. Other panel members include:
Lynda Garcia – policing campaign director, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Emily Gunston – Washington Lawyers’ Committee and former USDOJ Civil Rights Division deputy chief
Tom Petroski, JD – former FBI Dallas chief legal counsel
Jonathan Smith – Washington Lawyers’ Committee and former USDOJ Civil Rights division chief
Marcia Thompson, Esq. – law enforcement and civil rights attorney and consultant
Dr. Rita Watkins – executive director of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas
City Manager Cooke will present the recommendations to City Council at the Tuesday, November 12 City Council Work Session. Following presentation to the City Council and residents, City Manager Cooke will place a resolution to approve the creation of the panel on the Tuesday, November 19 City Council meeting agenda. The panel’s review process will begin immediately upon finalization of the contracts with each individual or entity. The review is expected to continue for several months, with regular updates, reports and recommendations on changes and improvements.
All reports and updates will be posted online at fortworthtexas.gov/FWPDReview.
Significant progress continues on all three of the TxDOT signature bridges on Panther Island. Here are a few highlights:
Henderson Street Bridge
In late September, the contractor completed the final signature V-Pier on the Henderson Street Bridge. This means all 20 signature V-piers are now completed.
With all of the signature V-Piers complete, motorists can expect to see the superstructure false work (the temporary support structure for construction) to begin spanning this bridge. The superstructure false work is under construction on both the north and south ends of the bridge.
Once the superstructure false work is in place, the contractor will begin installing the steel reinforcement for the bridge’s box girder system. The box girder is the portion of the bridge that supports the roadway.
White Settlement Bridge
Work is well underway on the box girder superstructure on the White Settlement Bridge. The box girder is the portion of the bridge that supports the roadway. In August and September, the bridge contractor performed six major concrete pours associated with the bridge’s support system.
Major concrete pours have now been performed on three of the four bridge abutments. It is anticipated that four additional concrete pours will occur on the bridge in October.
North Main Bridge
The contractor has completed the superstructure false work for the North Main Bridge and is installing th steel reinforcement for the box girder systems over two of the signature v-piers. It is anticipated that the steel installation will continue into December.
The Panther Island project, which includes three signature bridges positioned along the to-be-realigned Trinity River, is a collaborative effort between the Trinity River Vision Authority, TxDOT, the City of Fort Worth, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Tarrant County.
Head over to Crockett Street and discover The Dash between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sept. 23 on Crockett Row (Crockett Street between Currie and Norwood streets).
There will be breakfast tacos, giveaways and the opportunity to claim wristbands that provide access to more than 20 deals at Crockett Row and Cultural District merchants.
The Dash is Trinity Metro’s first electric bus that will take riders from downtown Fort Worth to the Seventh Street corridor and the Cultural District. The Dash provides daily service with later hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
Rides on The Dash are complimentary through Oct. 31. Starting Nov. 1, tickets are $2 one way or $5 for a day pass, which includes all of Trinity Metro’s bus services, TEXRail and Trinity Metro Express to CentrePort
Cowtown Farmers Market invites all area families to celebrate the beginning of fall with a special celebration from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 21, highlighting the benefits of fresh, local foods. The event is in collaboration with Blue Zones Project, a community-led well-being improvement initiative making healthy choices easier.
The come-and-go event will feature fresh products, all grown or produced within 150 miles of Fort Worth; free reusable grocery bags and other giveaways; a cooking demonstration by Ellerbe Fine Foods; free fruit for every child; fall-themed kids activities; and artisan vendors.
Cowtown Farmers Market is at 3821 Southwest Blvd., on the Benbrook Traffic Circle. It is open 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays during the spring/summer growing season.
Many people question what it means when the National Weather Service issues a watch or a warning. Knowing the difference is important, especially when it’s a tornado or flash flood warning.
Here’s a quick way to tell the difference:
A watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop in or near the watch area. The watch area, when shown on a map, will usually cover several counties or large portions of the region. Residents should translate this as: “Good chance we’ll get some weather.” Stay alert and keep your eyes and ears open as the weather may be changing soon.
A warning means a dangerous weather event is occurring or will shortly occur at or very near a specific location. The warning area, when shown on a map, is normally much smaller, such as the size of a town, city or single county. Residents should translate this as: “If you’re in that location, take cover right now!”
The National Weather Service will issue a weather watch or warning for tornados, severe thunderstorms, flash floods and excessive temperatures. Stay a step ahead of the storms by purchasing a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio to receive watch and warning information directly from the National Weather Service.
The bottom line on watches and warning:
In a watch, keep your eyes open and watch for changing weather conditions.
In a warning, find sturdy shelter immediately if you are in the warning area.
Average Fort Worth residential customers would see their stormwater utility fee increase by 35 cents per month in 2020 based on the proposed rate increase presented to the City Council. With the proposed changes, the average residential customer would pay $5.75 per month in 2020, up from $5.40 a month, or $69 a year for stormwater utility services with the proposed rate increase in 2020, up from $64.80 per year.
A document highlighting the proposed 2020 rate changes and explaining the factors behind the changes is available for review. If approved by the City Council on Oct. 15, the new rates take effect Jan. 1.
The proposed changes to stormwater rates affect the fixed monthly charge, which is based on the amount of the property’s impervious surface, such as rooftops and driveways, which determines the amount of runoff from properties into the public drainage system during rain events.
View the stormwater utility fee billing table for the 2019 rate comparison to 2020 rates with proposed fee increase.
The fee increase will be used to accelerate the delivery of high-priority capital projects to improve the safety of hazardous road flooding locations, rehabilitate aging storm drain pipes, restore eroded channels and mitigate flooding to homes and businesses.
The City Council directed city staff to continue studying the best way to regulate short-term rentals as the use of Airbnb and similar properties becomes more prevalent in Fort Worth.
Planning & Development Director Randle Harwood estimated there are 1,100 properties being marketed as short-term rentals in Fort Worth, generating about $15 million in gross revenue yearly. If all of these properties paid hotel occupancy taxes, the city would net between $1 million and $1.5 million yearly.
Some Texas cities, including San Antonio, Austin and Arlington, regulate short-term rentals. In addition, many cities collect a hotel occupancy tax from these properties, but Fort Worth does not have a mechanism for collecting the tax.
Under the current zoning regulations, short-term rentals are essentially allowed everywhere but in residential areas. Code Compliance officers are responsible for enforcement on a complaint basis, usually the result of a nuisance situation such as excessive noise or parking problems around a property.
Last June, city staff began tracking zoning violations related to short-term rentals. Since then, 11 violations have been recorded.
Through the end of this year, city staff will continue to explore how to implement regulations and enforcement options. Another briefing to the City Council is scheduled for January 2020.
SIGN UP TO RECEIVE OUR ENEWS
Connect with CDA:
Office: +1 (817) 692-9931
PO BOX 471391
Fort Worth, Texas 76147