Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

From the Desk of Mayor David Rutledge

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to see our drought gone! It was becoming a drain on everyone’s patience and pocketbook. The ground around my slab was starting to shrink away from the concrete and needed watering. Plants and trees were becoming almost daily water consumers. That and the heat associated with the dry spell came earlier and seemed to stay longer than it had in previous years. The last high-pressure system that I can remember moving over us and staying like this one was in 1980. We may have had others since then, maybe even more oppressive than this one, but I don’t recall them. The moisture that broke this dry spell was certainly a welcome relief. I just wish the rain would have spaced itself out to fall at a slower rate and for a longer time. Either way, I’m grateful for the relief.

Out and about town, our crews continue to work to improve our city. As usual we continue to work on improving drainage. It’s just a fact of life on the Gulf Coast that drainage is always going to be a challenge. Considering that we have quite a few miles of ditches to maintain, our crews do a great job keeping things open and flowing. During the dry spell, our water systems were challenged as well. The high usage rates persisted for several months. Our crews did a great job making sure all our equipment was available and in service to meet the demand. Around City Hall we’re getting all our “new” people settled into their new or expanded roles. That training phase is going really well, and we hope it is seamless for our citizens/customers.

City Council had a first-in-a-very-long-time (if ever) day-long training session last month. We took some time to have an orientation for our new council members that doubled as a refresher course for the “veteran” members. We went over our City Charter, the document that spells out how the City is governed, what it means to be a Home Rule City, and some of the legal requirements of that type of government. The charter also states the roles and responsibilities of various elected positions and selected staff members. The Charter was adopted in 1974, and with only minor changes over the last almost half-century, still continues to serve us well. We also covered Council procedures and policies that explain how and why we conduct our business the way we do.

Along with our orientation for new and veteran council members, we also began working on what’s called our City Comprehensive Plan. This is where we look at where we are as a city, what goals we want to achieve, what our strengths and weaknesses as a city are, areas we’d like to improve, and the things that could inhibit us from achieving our goals. It includes looking at City infrastructure, short-term and long-term goals, capital projects, funding and investments, projected growth of the city, quality of life opportunities, and many other factors that go into creating the place where we all want to live and work. We barely scratched the surface in our discussions and have a long way to go to develop that Comprehensive Plan. As we go forward in our efforts, we’ll be gathering lots of data on all these things along with input from our citizens on what they would like to see in Bridge City’s future. So stay tuned, you’ll hear more on that as we go forward.

That’s about it for now. See you around town. Take good care of “Bridge City, the Gateway to Lake Sabine.”


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