As we wind down the year there has been a lot of good to come around Kerrville, including a flurry of activity that should help foster continued economic development heading into 2020. 

The proposed sale of the soon-to-be-vacated Hal Peterson Middle School on Sidney Baker Street could certainly be a good thing. Although it can be sad to see the disposal of a school that has admirably served this community for decades as both a middle school and a high school the push toward economic development is equally important. 

Obviously, practical redevelopment of the buildings would be ideal, but since the property is on 25 acres along arguably the city’s most important corridor, it’s clear there is opportunity to build something of enduring economic value to our community. 

Most importantly, this demonstrates good stewardship by the Kerrville Independent School District leadership, including Superintendent Mark Foust, to see the marketable potential of the land and how it could benefit the district in the long run. Since the district already has a replacement campus for Peterson Middle School under construction across the street from Tivy High School, the revenue generated by the sale of the old campus will certainly help improve the district’s longterm finances, and could be applied to projects that were not included in the 2018 bond measure passed by voters. 

So, this is a good thing for the community and represents a solid vision for the district — both in an educational sense and in the broadest terms economically. 

MISS: District should use more specific agenda language

While we support KISD’s move to sell the old Hal Peterson Middle School property, we are troubled by the vague description of the matter on the agenda for the board of trustees meeting on Monday. 

The school district doesn’t release its board packet publicly until the day of the board of trustees meeting. While the agenda is released 72 hours before the meeting, in accordance with state law, it’s not always clear in the agenda what the district staff and the board of trustees will discuss.  

While it has been long discussed that the district would sell the property, this was the first formal discussion about the process between district leadership and the board of trustees, but the general public would have no idea from the way the agenda was written. 

Here’s how the agenda item was presented: “RFP Process for Selling District Property.”

District property could be just about anything, including furniture, vehicles or a valuable piece of property. On Monday afternoon, the district released the board’s packet of information about that meeting, which included the specifics, but by then, it was too late to inform residents about what was being discussed. 

We encourage the district to consider releasing its complete board packets early, similar to the way the city of Kerrville handles theirs. Those packets allow the public to review the same information officials have available to them and gain background information and context on topics that will be discussed before the meetings.

Regardless of the timing of the release of this broader information for public consumption, we argue that the district needs to do a better job of how it words its agenda items and presenting context on its agenda moving forward.

HIT: Speaking of Christmas

t was another great year for the Christmas celebrations at the Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center with its annual Christmas at the Kroc. With an estimated crowd of 800 people, families were treated to cookies and other Holiday-themed fun, but it was the community focus, which has always been the Kroc’s mission, that was the real gift on this day. 

Thank you for bringing our community together.

HIT: Powerhour Christian Center Living Nativity was well worth a visit

hen it comes to fostering community spirit and goodwill, you have to love what Ingram’s Powerhour Christian Center did recently by presenting a living nativity scene with a donkey, goats, sheep and two alpacas (not authentic to the geography of Asia, but friendly and cute, nonetheless). This was dreamed up by the congregation of the church, which was led by Pastor Roy Haldrep, who always loved these sort of Christmas displays. 

The congregants certainly did a marvelous job in making people feel welcome in enjoying the nativity. There was fellowship, some treats and just a chance to enjoy the beauty the church tried to recreate on a Sunday night in December. 

We have to give the church a hearty congratulations for pulling it off and instilling some Christmas cheer for all. 

Let’s hope they come back and do it again next year. 

HIT: Local artist shines in Austin, as does Rep. Andrew Murr

tate Rep. Andrew Murr, pictured left, championed the work of local artist Herman Walker, pictured right, who painted a stunning Christmas ornament that is displayed at the Texas State Capitol Building. Walker, whose work is shown at the Museum of Western Art, painted a scene called “Ranch Life,” which features a beautiful painted longhorn. 

Congrats to Walker for earning this distinction by having his work on one of the capitol’s Christmas trees, and thank you to Murr for highlighting the work. 

Kudos also are due Murr who recently was honored with the Texas District and County Attorneys Association’s Law & Order Award for his work on criminal jurisprudence during the last legislative session. The awarding organization provides city and county prosecutors with resources and assistance on  criminal, civil and juvenile justice issues.

Murr says he continues to be involved in doing what he can legislatively to protect the communities he serves from crime. 


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