BRANCH BULLETIN: eNews from Farmers Branch
Memo from the MANAGER  
Newtown
   
    Last Friday provided a stark reminder of the dark side of our society, when the season of peace on earth was shattered by the sound of gunfire in Newtown, Connecticut that reverberated around the world and forever linked that tiny hamlet with places like Aurora, Littleton and Killeen.
Memo from the Manager
   The sheer, unthinkable magnitude of that cowardly act renders the word "tragic" as woefully inadequate to describe the events of that day. Yet, we all must sit up and take notice for inasmuch as this happened a thousand miles from Texas, when dawn broke over Connecticut last Friday, the chances of unspeakable horror visiting itself upon Newtown were as remote.
   Every parent in America felt a part of their heart breaking when they heard what happened and we all called, texted and, if we were lucky, hugged our kids that evening with thanks to God for the miracle of our own families and heartfelt prayers for those families whose lives have been changed forever. 
Newtown   In the days, weeks and months to come, there will be unending analysis of the events, the people and never truly adequate answers to the question of "why." Politicians will dust off old arguments and try to make Sandy Hook Elementary School, Columbine High School and Virginia Tech synonymous with the need for gun control legislation.
   But none of that restores the families of the 27 souls gone too soon.
   Most communities, including Farmers Branch, have never and will never experience this specific kind of horror. But it is incumbent upon us all, as a greater community to be sure our American neighbors are cared for in their time of need and that we stay vigilant in our own watch so that our families are protected and safe.
   The kind of perspective afforded us by events like this really brings into focus how small and insignificant our own problems and squabbles and disagreements really are.
   So, while there is still time this season, may the silent nights and still reflection of Christmas bring peace of mind, clarity of thought and comfort for the soul as we each find renewed strength to face the hills and valleys that come with each new sunrise and every new year.

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FeaturedSTORIESFEATURED 
City Manager Gary D. Greer recognized by ICMA

CIty Manager Gary D. Greer
City Manager Gary D. Greer
WASHINGTON, D.C. ~ As a means of recognizing his continued record of success and ongoing professional development, the International City/County Management Association has renewed the professional credentials of Farmers Branch City Manager Gary D. Greer.
   Serving as City Manager of Farmers Branch since 2007, Mr. Greer is one of only 71 credentialed city managers, out of the more than 1,800 cities in Texas.
   "It's an important qualification for city managers to be credentialed by ICMA," he explained. "But more than that, it is vital that city managers engage in constant and ongoing professional development that, in turn, enables active renewal of credentials."
   ICMA established the credentialing program in 2001 to define and recognize local government managers and to promote lifelong learning. To maintain credentials, members must submit an annual report, describing 40 hours of professional development during the previous year.
  
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Fire Department promotes three in December ceremonies
FIRE ADMINISTRATION ~ Praising their dedication and work ethic, Farmers Branch Fire Chief Steve Parker promoted three members his department in ceremonies Tuesday, attended by Mayor Bill Glancy, City Manager Gary D. Greer and numerous family and friends.
   Promoted to the rank of Captain was Brandon Baughman, a 12-year veteran of the FBFD. Eric Kruckenberg was promoted to Lieutenant, having originally joined the department in 1998. Firefighter Kyle Richardson received promotion to the rank of Driver. He has been with the department since 2007.
Fire Department promotees
Newly promoted Farmers Branch Fire Department officers include (from left) Lieutenant Eric Kruckenberg, Captain Brandon Baughman and Driver Kyle Richardson.
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City achieves Comptroller's award for financial transparency for third year

AUSTIN ~ For the third consecutive year, the Farmers Branch Finance Department has received Texas Comptroller's Office "Gold Leadership Circle" award for transparency in local government operations. Texas Comptroller's Office Gold Circle Award
   The Texas Comptroller's website describes the "Gold" award as highlighting "those entities that are setting the bar with their transparency efforts." Qualifications for the award include online posting of the City's Annual Budget, the Comprehensive Annual Finance Report and the check register.
   Originated three years ago, the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are designed to encourage local governments to open their books, provide clear and consistent pictures of spending and share that information in a user-friendly format that lets taxpayers easily drill down for more information. Find out more about City financial transparency HERE.

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BusinessNEWSFEATURED 
One Colinas Crossing sold to Independent Bankers Bank

FARMERS BRANCH ~ The Independent Bankers Bank has acquired One Colinas Crossing, 11701 Luna Road, former home of i2 Technologies and currently half-occupied by JDA Software. 
   Built in 1999, the building is six stories and encompasses 181,961 square feet. The Independent Bankers Bank will be moving its headquarters from Irving and absorbing all remaining space in the building.

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SeasonalSNAPPollSNAPPOLL
From Perry Como to Charlie Brown, what's your favorite Christmas TV special

   The heydey of the major networks traditionally yielded "Christmas specials" every December that ranged from song-filled entertainment 
ventures to animated programs that appealed to adults and kids, alike. 
Favorite TV Special Snap Poll   Today, even in the era of 10,000 channels, the classic TV specials still endure. This week's snap poll asks which one is your singular favorite?
Last Week's Results: George Bailey rules Yule
   The only thing that seems to be constant when considering favorite Christmastime movies is that everyone seems to have a different flick that puts them in the holiday spirit.
Snap Poll Results
   The perennial classic, "It's a Wonderful Life" pushed ahead of the others in local polling, at 31 percent, with the holiday misadventures of the Griswold family and Ralphie's Red Ryder BB gun, that is "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and "A Christmas Story" splitting the vote at second place with about 18 percent each.
   Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" and "Miracle on 34th Street" rounded out the field with 17 percent and 15 percent, respectively. "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" received a single voice vote. 
PartingSHOTFEATURED 
Fire Station Wreath
Decking the hall
Brenda Houston delivers a wreath she, and mom Eileen, created for Fire Station No. 1 to use during the holidays. The pair also created a similar wreath that is currently decking Fire Department Administration on Hutton Drive.
Volume 2.52 | Number 96
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the  Communications Office of the City of Farmers Branch, TX.
Two-time TAMI Award Winner for Best eNewsletter in Texas 
Given by the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers 

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QuickHITS   
Tour of Lights to be limited Christmas night 
 
HISTORICAL PARK ~ So that Tour of Lights community volunteers and City employees may enjoy Christmas with their families, the Historical Park portion of the Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights will not be open on Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25.
   The rest of the 300,000 lights on the annual tour will be on from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m. for Christmas evening viewing. The Historical Park portion will reopen Wednesday, December 26 and run with the rest of the Tour through New Year's Eve.

Santa House Calls still available but filling fast

FARMERS BRANCH ~ Prime slots are still available for Santa Claus to make house calls to families living within five miles of the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center, December 14-24.
   Santa is taking appointments for 15 minute visits with families to deliver presents, take pictures and visiting with kids. Space is limited and time slots are starting to fill up.  Times are every half hour from 6:30 until 9 p.m.  Cost is $25 for Recreation Center members and $29 for non-members. Call for more details and to book a time. 972.247.4607.   
City offices to close at noon on Christmas and New Year's Eves
 
FARMERS BRANCH ~ City of Farmers Branch offices will be closing at noon on December 24 and 31 for Christmas and New Years Eves. Other City facilities have listed their closing hours according to the following schedule:
Mon, Dec 24 - Christmas Eve
City Hall - Closes at noon.
Rec Center - Closes at 5 p.m. 
Senior Center - Closes at 5 p.m.
Historical Park - Closes at 5 p.m.
Library - Closes at 6 p.m.
Tue, Dec 25 - Christmas Day
All offices and facilities closed.
No garbage collection.
Tour of Lights closed.
Mon, Dec 31 - New Year's Eve
City Hall - Closes at noon.
Rec Center - Closes at 5 p.m.
Senior Center - Dance til 9:30.
Historical Park - Closes at 5 p.m.
Library - Closes at 6 p.m.
Tour of Lights closing night.
Tue, Jan 1 - New Year's Day
All offices and facilities closed.
No garbage collection.
   All schedules are subject to change. Call 972.247.3131 for more information.
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Christmas Tour of Lights
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Holiday Craze getting fired up for end of the year run

REC CENTER ~ With the winter break around the corner, Holiday Craze is getting warmed up at the Community Recreation Center.
   A recreational day camp, designed for kids ages 6 to 12, Holiday Craze is operated by the Farmers Branch Parks and Recreation Department during all non-federal school holidays in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. The program meets at the Community Recreation Center, 14050 Heartside Place, from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on specified days.
   Call 972.247.4607 for more information. 
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Environmental Health Director receives state appointment

AUSTIN ~ Farmers Branch Environmental Health Director Stacy Wright has been named by Texas Governor Rick Perry to serve on a Blue Ribbon
Stacy Wright
Stacy Wright
Committee for the 2013 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards, coordinated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Office of the Governor.
   A noted expert in the field of environmental health, Mr. Wright has been with the City of Farmers Branch for 12 years. 
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Fire Station No. 1 honored in design competition

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ~ New Fire Station No. 1, at Webb Chapel and Golfing Green, has been recognized as among the most well-designed facilities in the nation, by the Fire Industry Equipment Research Organization. New Station 1 occupied
   At their 2012 Design Conference, held recently in Charlotte, North Carolina, the FIERO honored Farmers Branch with an "Award of Recognition" for the design of the new station.  
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Tour of Lights continues through December

FARMERS BRANCH ~ The Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights continues every night through New Yea  r's Eve, from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m., with limited availability on Christmas Day.
  The driving Tour follows candy cane signs from the intersection of I-35E and Valley View, down William Dodson Parkway and through the DART station area to the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Along with way are more than 300,000 twinkling lights on displays, trees and buildings.
   Admission is free with donations accepted. More at  www.farmersbranch.info or on Facebook @branchlights
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SWAT team pulls most money for Special Olympics

FARMERS BRANCH ~ The
North Texas Metro SWAT Team, including officers from Farmers Branch, Addison, Carrollton and Coppell participated in the recent Special Olympics' Fire Truck Pull to raise money for the organization.
    North Texas Metro SWAT collected the most money of participating organizations with $741. 
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EcoDEVO   
November 2012 Branch Business BriefView our videos on YouTube
VIDEO EXTRA
 
November 2012
Branch Business Brief
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IN the BANNER     
BRANCH BULLETIN: eNews from Farmers BranchThis local classic portrait of City Hall at Christmastime, by talented photographer Derrick Birdsall, is becoming a staple of Branch Bulletin Christmas week editions. City Hall remains lit up on the Christmas Tour of Lights through December 31.
LBJUpdateLBJ
About the City of Farmers Branch 
Farmers Branch Logo
An historic community in the geographic center of the DFW Metroplex, Farmers Branch boasts a residential population of 28,800 and a daytime employment population of 66,000. Located on the northwest border of the City of Dallas, the City's 27 parks and lush greenbelts feature nationally-acclaimed, award-winning soccer fields, football facilities as well as baseball and softball complexes. The city's location in the center of the Metroplex and only 15 minutes away from both DFW Airport and Love Field, along with the 2,200 hotel rooms within the city, make Farmers Branch an ideal location for residents and for business. For more information on the City of Farmers Branch, visit farmersbranch.info,  visitfarmersbranch.com, lovethebranch.com
or call 972.247.3131.