City Council calls City Charter amendments election for Nov. 2

City of Georgetown voters will have the chance to vote on amendments to the City’s charter during the Nov. 2 election. City Council called the election during its Aug. 10 meeting.

The City Charter is the legal document establishing a municipality and defines the structure, powers, functions, and procedures of local government.

City Staff and members of the council-appointed Charter Review Committee identified several potential charter amendments, which were presented to the council at its May 25 workshop for discussion and direction from City Council. Council direction was sent back to the committee for consideration and to be drafted into a final report that outlined the committee’s recommendations to the council.

The proposed amendments include changes related to:

  1. Term limits
  2. Council qualifications
  3. Council vacancies
  4. Rules of procedures
  5. Procedures to enact legislation
  6. Franchise agreement notifications
  7. Public lead initiative, referendum, and recall requirements
  8. City structure language

Details of the proposed amendments can be found at Georgetown.org/2021-charter-amendment-election.

The last day to register to vote for the November election is Oct. 4.

Early in-person voting is Oct. 18-29. Early voting and Election Day polling places, dates, and times will be listed at wilco.org/elections.

National Night Out on Oct. 5

National Night Out, an annual event to support safe neighborhoods, is on Tuesday, Oct. 5, in Georgetown. Block parties are being organized from 6 to 9 p.m.

Last year, National Night Out block parties were held virtually due to the pandemic. This year, as block party activities return throughout Georgetown, the City encourages residents to continue to physically distance and use proper hand hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If your neighborhood is hosting a block party and would like Georgetown Police Department officers, other local law enforcement officers, elected officials, Georgetown firefighters and EMS technicians, or other City employees to attend, please register by Sept. 16.

The Georgetown Police Department is hosting a reception for hosts of NNO block parties 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road.

For details about National Night Out in Georgetown and to register your block party, go to pd.georgetown.org/national-night-out.

Public invited to cast ballots for People’s Choice Award in library sculpture exhibit

[UPDATED Aug. 10, 2021: The awards reception planned for 1 p.m. this Sunday, Aug. 15,  in Georgetown Public Library has been canceled by the Texas Society of Sculptors due to the rising number of new COVID-19 cases in Williamson County. Instead, awards will be announced online on the Texas Society of Sculptors website and the library website.]

 
For 13 years, Georgetown Public Library has hosted the Texas Society of Sculptors’ annual summer show. The competitive, juried exhibit is a popular tradition in Georgetown that includes sculptures throughout the building on both the first and second floors. Participating sculptors from across the state work in wood, glass, bronze, ceramics, and more. Most pieces in the exhibit are available for purchase.

This year’s exhibit opened Sunday, June 20, and lasts through Friday, Sept. 17. The show includes a People’s Choice Award decided by library visitors, who cast votes for their favorite three pieces out of the 78 pieces in the show. To cast a vote, pick up a ballot in the library’s lobby and place it in the ballot box no later than 5 p.m. Saturday, July 31. The sculptor of the piece with the most votes will be awarded the People’s Choice Award and a cash prize.

Prizes determined by this year’s exhibit juror, Graeme Durant, curatorial assistant at Umlauf Sculpture Garden + Museum, include first, second, and third place, as well as three honorable mentions. These will be announced Aug. 15, in addition to the People’s Choice and Librarians’ Choice awards. Prizes are funded by the City of Georgetown Arts and Culture Board.

The library will also host a sculpture demonstration featuring several of this year’s sculptors demonstrating various techniques and processes. The free event will be held in the library lobby, 402 W. Eighth St., from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11.

For more information about this year’s exhibit and events, contact Technical Services Librarian Dana Hendrix at dana.hendrix@georgetown.org or TSOS Exhibit Coordinator Linda Wilde at lzorawilde@gmail.com.

City to host household hazardous waste event Sept. 15

The City will host a free household hazardous waste collection event from 3-6 p.m. Sept. 15 at the old show barn site in San Gabriel Park, 425 E. Morrow St.

The event will be available for up to 300 Georgetown solid waste customers who have solid waste service through Texas Disposal Systems. Customers must contact Customer Care at 512-930-3640 or customercare@georgetown.org to have their name placed on a list. Please include your name, address, and utility account number when emailing customer care. Customers must have their name on the list to participate.

Residents must remain in their vehicles during the no-contact collection. Staff will unload items from the back seat or trunk of the vehicle.

All items to be dropped off must be in their marked original containers. Commercial disposal and trailers are not allowed.

Acceptable items include:

  • Batteries (household, hearing aids, cell phone, etc.)
  • Automobile batteries
  • Pool and spa chemicals
  • Used oil/oil filters (up to five gallons per vehicle)
  • Transmission fluid
  • Light bulbs (including regular, compact, and four-foot fluorescent)
  • Grease
  • Thermometers
  • Over the counter, residential lawn and garden chemicals
  • Aerosols
  • Household cleaners and disinfectants marked caution, warning, or poison
  • Art and hobby chemicals
  • Paint (up to 10 gallons per vehicle)
  • Over the counter one-pound disposal propane bottles
  • Gasoline (up to five gallons per vehicle)

Unacceptable items include:

  • Unmarked containers or unknown chemicals
  • Construction, commercial, or landscape waste
  • Professional, concentrated chemicals that require a professional license to mix
  • Medications or pharmaceuticals
  • Oxygen tanks
  • Electronics
  • Tires
  • Explosives (including ammunition and fireworks)
  • Radioactive materials
  • Biological materials

Additional household hazardous waste collection events are being planned for 2021.

For more information about the City’s solid waste and recycling services, visit recycle.georgetown.org.

Williamson County will also host a household hazardous waste collection event open to all county residents this fall. Once finalized, information will be available by calling 512-759-8881, option 4, or visiting https://bit.ly/3648ZYX.

Georgetown Arts and Culture Board awards grants for 2021 Round II

The Georgetown Arts and Culture Board approved $12,650 in grants in July to local arts and culture organizations to help with funding local arts and culture programming that includes visual art, music, performance art, and history in Georgetown.

The funding is for events in Georgetown taking place between Oct. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022.

Grant recipients include:

Project or event name Grant amount
Central Texas Philharmonic, Inc., the Patriotic Pops Concert by The Central Texas Philharmonic $5,000
Congregation Havurah Shalom for the ANNE FRANK – Let Me Be Myself Traveling Exhibit $2,500
Williamson County Symphony Orchestra Society the Spring Concert in Georgetown $2,500
Georgetown Texas Photography Festival for the Georgetown Texas Photography Festival 2022 $1,250
Preservation Georgetown for Art at Grace Heritage – Hidden Gems of Georgetown $500
Artists Molly Fonseca & Kayur Patel for the Healing Artists Workshop and Performance – Stories of Our People $500
Gary Anderson dba AndersonArt for Jingle Georgetown $400

The next grant cycle will accept proposals Dec. 1 -31, 2021, for events and programs occurring April 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2022.

For more information about the Georgetown Arts & Culture grants, visit arts.georgetown.org.

‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ screened at back-to-school teen movie night

The City of Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department presents “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (PG-13) on Friday, Aug. 6, in San Gabriel Park as part of its annual Sunset Movie Series.

The free, community event will take place in the Legacy pavilion in San Gabriel Park, 445 E. Morrow St. Free parking is available throughout the park.

The movie starts at dusk, around 8:30 p.m. Moviegoers are welcome to bring blankets, chairs, and picnics. Come early for free popcorn, to explore the park, and to visit with vendors.

The movie is rated PG-13. Parents are urged to be cautious, as some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.

For more details, visit parks.georgetown.org/sunset-movie-series.

City of Georgetown seeks applications for Civic Leadership Academy

The City of Georgetown is creating a Civic Leadership Academy to educate, connect, and inspire leaders to develop a strong commitment to community service for the greater good of Georgetown.

The academy will provide a learning experience for existing and emerging leaders to understand City services and functions while building the skills and knowledge to succeed in City leadership roles. Participants of the program are given the opportunity to develop an understanding of the promises and challenges facing our community, as well as their role as future City leaders.

The eight month program will meet from 2-6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, except for the first class, which will meet Sept. 30.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 15.

To be eligible to attend, participants should be a resident of the City of Georgetown and be able to attend 6 out of 8 sessions.

Benefits of participating in the program include:

  • an enhanced understanding of Georgetown local government, community challenges, and decision-making
  • relationships with other community and local government leaders
  • insight into how to use data to articulate challenges and advocate for resources for your community
  • an in-depth look at how the City works and develop specialized knowledge about the City’s departments and programs
  • information about how to become an effective community leader

To learn more and apply, visit government.georgetown.org/georgetown-civic-leadership-academy.

Public input sought for parks and recreation master plan

The City of Georgetown is looking for community input to guide decisions on the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan through a digital survey. The survey is open July 12 through Sunday, July 25.

The survey also was mailed to a random sample of 4,000 Georgetown households to collect statistically valid results. People who received the survey in the mail should follow the instructions instead of responding to the open-link survey. The open-link survey will give all residents an opportunity to provide feedback, and all responses will be included in the final analysis, which the City expects to share with the public by the end of August.

“The results of this survey will create a priority blueprint for where we can improve, how to grow responsibly, and what programs and recreational opportunities our community needs,” Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly Garrett said.

The master plan will provide a vision for the Parks and Recreation Department and act as a guide during the next 10 years. The master plan will prioritize the community’s desires for upgrading and improving parks and recreational assets to develop goals, policies, and guidelines, as well as an implementation plan. There will be several opportunities for public input throughout the master planning process, which is expected to be completed by January 2022. So far, public engagement to develop the master plan has included a community questionnaire and a public forum in May.

During the master plan process, consultants GreenPlay will look at the existing parks, recreational facilities, and services, and use public input to determine the future level of services that will be needed. GreenPlay also is conducting a needs assessment survey to determine priorities for the parks and recreation system, facilities, and activities; identify potential funding sources and partnerships; and create a plan for how best to support the parks and recreational needs of the community.

To take the survey and learn more about the master plan process, visit gtxparkplan.com.

City begins street maintenance projects this summer

Street resurfacing projects, including a high-performance surface seal treatment and hot-in-place recycling, will be completed throughout the summer.

The work schedule can be affected by weather conditions, mechanical issues, and product availability. For updates on the paving schedule and a complete list of projects, visit transportation.georgetown.org/2021-street-maintenance-projects.

The City is using two types of street maintenance applications:

High-performance surface seal

As part of this surface treatment, a sealant is applied to the surface of the roadway, reducing damage from UV radiation, water, and vehicle traffic.

On the day work is scheduled for surface seal treatment in the Old Mill Crossing, Pleasant Valley, Quail Valley, and portions of Sun City neighborhoods, the streets will be closed to traffic and street parking from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Work scheduled in portions of Berry Creek, Gatlin Creek, and Lakeside at Lake Georgetown will close streets for 24 hours from 7 a.m.-7 a.m.

Hot-in-place recycling

Hot-in-place recycling is an alternative to mill and asphalt overlay in which existing pavement is removed, ground, and mixed with new material to create a new asphalt surface.

Streets will not be closed during repaving; however, drivers should expect delays and are encouraged to choose alternate routes. Flaggers will be present to assist drivers.

For questions about street maintenance projects, contact customercare@georgetown.org.

Council Member Jonrowe resigns

Georgetown District 6 Council Member Rachael Jonrowe has resigned from her seat effective July 6, 2021. She cited personal reasons for her decision when she announced her intention to resign in June.

“Serving on behalf of the residents of District 6 for the last 10 [plus] years has been the honor of a lifetime, and I look forward to being able to continue to connect and serve with many of them, as a friend, in the years ahead,” Jonrowe posted to her official Facebook page Tuesday. “I wish everyone full measures of grace, empathy, and wisdom, as our community continues to deliberate, debate, and vote on issues of vital importance to the current generation and those to come. And I encourage us all to actively search out opportunities to include people with different experiences and points of view in these decisions. I believe we all benefit when we do so…and listen to their voices.”

Jonrowe was serving her fourth term on City Council, after being most recently reelected in November 2020. The City Charter and the Texas Constitution require a special election within 120 days of a vacancy, which coincides with the Nov. 2, 2021, election.

“While I was surprised and saddened by Jonrowe’s resignation from City Council, I fully support her decision to prioritize her family and her health,” Mayor Josh Schroeder said. “I thank her for her service to this community and wish her well in her future endeavors. I know that she will remain an active participant in Georgetown. I look forward to working with the next representative of District 6.”

Jonrowe served on multiple boards during her time on the council, including the boards for the Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation, the Downtown Georgetown tax increment reinvestment zone board, the Transportation Advisory Board, and the Animal Shelter Advisory Board. As a volunteer in the community, she has helped organize letter-writing, voter registration, and get-out-the-vote drives and works to encourage greater diversity and participation in local government.

While a City Council member, Jonrowe was committed to encouraging more people to “be aware of who their representatives are, get involved, and encourage accountability and transparency.” She said her personal goal, as an elected representative, was to do her part to make sure decisions made at City Council reflected the needs and desires of her district and benefited the people of Georgetown.

Jonrowe was born and raised in Austin and moved to Georgetown in May 2006. Jonrowe and her husband, Brian, have four children, and she is a co-owner of Lark & Owl Booksellers, 205 Sixth St., Ste. 101.