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News Review
Week In Review, June 7, 2013
Posted Date: 6/7/2013
Week In Review Image

June 7, 2013
Here is the latest edition of Week In Review - a series of weekly messages from the Mayor and City Council to help Richardson residents and businesses keep up to date on events at City Hall.

News Briefs

City to Celebrate Opening of Durham Park on Saturday

Durham Park
This weekend the City will celebrate the grand opening of Durham Park, a one-acre park that will serve the Richardson Heights and Cottonwood Heights neighborhoods. The dedication will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at 410 S. Weatherred Dr.

The new park includes a playground, pavilion, plaza, open play lawn and butterfly garden. Four of the five columns in the pavilion include bricks from the four houses that were previously on the site. The $1.5 million project was funded through the 2010 Bond Program.

Durham Park is named in honor of W.R. Durham, his daughter, Jessie and their family. W.R. Durham began operating a farm in 1910 in the area that contains the park, and Jessie Durham inherited the farm house when her father died. She also operated a shop on Main Street, where she provided a service to the public with a library in the back of her store.


Council Reviews Preliminary Tax Rolls at Works Session 
Early estimates presented to the City Council at Monday's work session show the City could experience a 4 percent increase in property values this year after reviewing preliminary tax rolls from Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) and Collin Central Appraisal District (CCAD). The preliminary rolls show a 6.5 percent increase in values, but that number is expected to drop as the appraisal review boards hears protests and adjusts appraisals over the summer. The certified tax roll will be released by July 25. 

The preliminary tax rolls show a 4.5 percent increase in Collin County and a nearly 8 percent increase in Dallas County properties. About 64 percent of Richardson properties are in Dallas County, with 36 percent of properties in Collin County.

Watch the work session presentation at


Council Reviews Preliminary Budget Calendar
The City Council reviewed the preliminary Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Budget Calendar at its Monday work session. The City will hold public hearings and special meetings leading up to the adoption of the next budget, which is expected to be up for a Council vote on Sept. 9.

The Council will hold a budget retreat beginning at 5:30 p.m. July 16 and 17 at the Richardson Woman's Club, 2005 North Cliffe. The retreat, as well as all City Council work sessions and discussions related to the 2013-2014 Budget, are open to the public. In addition, the meetings will be broadcast live on CITV (Channel 16 on Time Warner and Channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse) and on

The City Council is expected to hold a special meeting on Aug. 5 to discuss the tax rate and officially set public hearings on the tax rate and budget. The first public hearing is expected to take place Aug. 19, with the second public hearing likely to occur on Aug. 26.


Safe Room Program No Longer Accepting Applications
A program offering rebates for safe rooms that provide protection from severe weather stopped accepting applications just hours after its launch Wednesday after 825 people applied for 400 spots. Applications may still be picked up at Richardson City Hall as additional funding for the program may become available in the future. Applications are expected to become available on the program’s website at in two weeks with the opening of a waitlist.

The Metro Safe Room Rebate Program (MSRRP) is administered by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It was open on a first-come, first-serve basis to residents in Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant counties, with each county receiving 100 rebates. Qualified applicants may receive half the cost of construction for an individual safe room, up to $3,000.

To qualify, residents must not be living or building a home in the 100-year floodplain and must complete the MSRRP Floodplain Verification Form. It must be signed by the City of Richardson’s floodplain administrator, Assistant Director of Engineering Jim Lockart. Call 972-744-4280 for floodplain information.

For more information, visit


Civic Art Society Donates Painting to Library
Civic Art Society
The Richardson Civic Art Society this week continued its tradition of purchasing the winning artwork from its biggest annual art show and giving it to the City of Richardson in acknowledgement of the City’s support. This year’s winner will be displayed in the Richardson Library, along with winning art from previous years.

The 2012 Best in Show winner was a pastel portrait by Carol Williams Devereaux, a Dallas resident who paints and draws landscapes and portraits. The winning artwork is titled “Expecting” and features a pregnant woman posing in front of a blue background. The painting can be viewed on the second floor of the Library.

The Richardson Civic Art Society is a local group of artists that works to support visual arts in the community. Its 47th Regional Juried Art Exhibition was open to all Texas artists, and works selected by the jurors were recently displayed in the Eisemann Center. The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:45 p.m. in the basement of the Richardson Public Library. Meetings are open to the public. For more information, visit


Council Receives Update on Friendly City Agreement
Pengzhou Visit
Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka and Mayor Pro Tem Bob Townsend each received small gifts from the Mayor of Pengzhou, China, at the City Council’s Monday work session. Richardson International Ambassador Mr. David Wong brought the gifts from Pengzhou's mayor back with him from his recent trip to the city. Mr. Wong presented Mayor Maczka with a silk scarf and a book about Pengzhou and Mayor Pro Tem Townsend received two Pengzhou books. The Council also heard an update on the agreement from the director of the Mayor's Office of International Business.

Last year Richardson entered into a Friendly City Agreement with Pengzhou, and since then the two cities have worked to build relationships and explore business opportunities. In August 2012, a delegation from Pengzhou visited Richardson as part of a tour developed by the Mayor’s Office of International Business Development.


June Issue of Richardson Today Has Been Mailed, Available Online
The June edition of Richardson Today has been delivered to post offices and began arriving in mailboxes this week.

Richardson Today is mailed to every residence in the city and will also available at Huffhines Recreation Center, the Senior Center, City Hall and at the Richardson Public Library. A Richardson Today interactive edition, which includes links to CITV videos, is also accessible at  

Ask your local mail carrier if you live in the city and do not receive your copy of Richardson Today.


  Eisemann Center/Arts/Cultural & Community Events

YMCA Celebrates 50 Years in Richardson

YMCA 50th
The Richardson Family YMCA celebrated its 50th anniversary June 1 with a ceremonial tree planting, which included remarks from City and YMCA officials. The Y is looking for individuals and companies to sponsor a tree for $500 throughout the year. Sponsors will be acknowledged in a special display inside the building, which is at 821 Custer Rd. For more information on sponsoring a tree, e-mail  

The celebration also featured a picnic in the afternoon, which included bounce houses, games for kids, refreshments and swimming. Another Richardson YMCA 50th year celebration will be held Oct. 3.


RISD School Board Runoff Early Voting Continues
Early voting continues through Tuesday for the Richardson ISD Board of Trustees runoff election between Lanet Greenhaw and Rachel Chumney. Voters may cast an early ballot at the Richardson City Hall/Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Rd., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Runoff Election Day polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 15. City Hall will not be an Election Day voting location. View a list of Election Day polling locations at


Fire Explorers Place at Competition
Fire Explorers Competition
The Richardson Fire Department Explorer Post 991 finished in third place in spinal immobilization and the bunker gear relay at the annual Fire Games hosted by the Dallas Fire Department. Eight members of the post participated in the games, which also included competitions in CPR and movement, physical agility, room search and ladder raise.

The Explorer program is open to students age 14 to 20 who are interested in pursuing a career in Fire and Emergency Services. Participants get a firsthand look at the operations of the fire department while building relationships and competing in various events. Learn more about the program at

The Richardson Fire Department is having a Fire Explorer Summer Camp June 17-21 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Richardson Fire Training Facility. The camp is FREE, but enrollment is limited. More information contact the Richardson Fire Department at 972-744-5750.


Meet the Summer Camp Counselors June 13
Meet the Counselor
Children participating in the City’s Summer Camp Program are invited to "Meet the Counselors" from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Heights Recreation Center, 711 W. Arapaho Rd. The informal event will provide an opportunity for parents and campers to get to know the staff members before camp begins. Attendees are encouraged to come and go at any time during the event.

For more information about summer camps, visit Register for a camp at


Senior Center to Host Health and Information Fair Wednesday
The Richardson Senior Center will offer health screenings and information about financial planning, home health agencies, assisted living facilities, nonprofit agencies that serve seniors, HMOs and more at a Health and Information Fair. Door prizes will also be given throughout the event.

The Fair will take place 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, at the Senior Center, 820 W. Arapaho Rd.


Local Dance Groups to Perform at Eisemann Center
Several local dance companies will perform at the Eisemann Center this week.

Dance Industry Performing Arts Center will present “Dance, Dance, Dance” at 5:30 p.m. Friday, 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The group will perform “Classically Inclined” at 8 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets to all shows cost $5 to $15.

KJ Dance will present “Once Upon the Land of Wonder” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Tickets cost $7 to $25.

Avant Chamber Ballet will perform “New Works” at 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $20 to $25.

Tuzer Dance School will present “Tuzerita in Outer Space” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets cost $10 to $15.

Tickets to all shows are available at or by calling 972-744-4650.


Library Kicks Off Summer Reading Club Saturday 
The Richardson Public Library will kick off its Summer Reading Club with a live performance by David Chicken from noon to 1 p.m. in the Youth Services Department. David Chicken and Chachie, the Superhero Chihuahua, will put on a heart-pounding, floor-stomping singing and dancing event for the whole family.

For more information, call 972-744-4358. Learn more about the Summer Reading Club at


Library’s Explorers Club Starts Meeting Thursday
The Richardson Public Library’s 2013 Explorers Club will hold its first event, Dig Up Dinosaurs, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13. Children in third through fifth grade who are Richardson residents will learn about fossils and dinosaurs through the Heard Museum’s Mobile Field Investigation.

The club will meet each Thursday afternoon through July 25 with the exception of July 4. Registration and a Richardson Library card are required to attend club events. Register by calling 972-744-4358.


Richardson Community Band to Perform Sunday
The Richardson Community Band will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Sunday on the lawn of the Richardson City Hall/Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Rd. “Hail to the Chief!” will feature music to celebrate U.S. presidents and include special guest Barry Samsula.

Families are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets and a picnic supper to enjoy an evening of music. For more information and to see a list of upcoming free concert dates, visit


UTD to Host Healthcare Forum
UT Dallas will host Healthcare Reform in Texas: How the Affordable Care Act Will Impact Small Employer Health Insurance from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 11. The forum will be in the Davidson Auditorium in the Naveen Jindal School of Management, 800 W. Campbell Rd.

At the free event, experts will speak about coverage requirements, the function of health insurance exchanges and the future of employer-sponsored health insurance. Panelists include Jeff Barrett, regional sales director at BlueCross BlueSheild of Texas; Katrina Daniel, associate commissioner at the Texas Department of Insurance; and Joy Gaines, senior benefits consultant with Alkali Benefits and Insurance Services.

On-site registration will be available from 7 to 7:30 a.m. Complimentary parking is available in the green-coded spaces of Lots M West and M East. For more information, visit


Richardson Animal Shelter Pet of the Week
Pluto June 7
Pluto has been with us at the Shelter since April 26. He is a neutered male Labrador mix! Pluto is so sweet and energetic! He loves to play and jump!

For information about other animals available for adoption, visit the Animal Shelter’s Facebook page at 


Related Links
City Council videos:
City Council agenda:
City Council meeting documents:

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Laura Maczka
Laura Maczka


Bob Townsend
Mayor Pro Tem
Bob Townsend
Place 1


Mark Solomon
Council Member
Mark Solomon
Place 2


Scott Dunn
Council Member
Scott Dunn
Place 3


Kendal Hartley
Council Member
Kendal Hartley
Place 4


Paul Voelker
Council Member
Paul Voelker
Place 5


Steve Mitchell
Council Member
Steve Mitchell
Place 6