BRANCH BULLETIN - eNews from Farmers Branch
City Facilities CLOSED January 1   |   No Garbage Pickup
Memo from the MANAGER



   Out with the old.

   I know it's a rhetorical question, but what got so old in the past 12 months that we've got to get rid of it this time every year?

   It doesn't really matter as much as what people plan to do in the new year. Yes, I'm talking about the single biggest waste of time we all engage in every December 31 - New Year's Resolutions.

   We're all going to lose weight and exercise, eat better, read, floss, get the band back together and have our taxes done by February 1.

   Most of, if not all of these, resolutions are usually out the door by the first weekend of the new year.

   I heard an ad on TV the other day (probably good that I can't remember the product) but they suggested a shift in thinking about these pronouncements. Don't make "resolutions," make "evolutions."

   I like that because anyone can tell you that effecting real change in life's habits requires us to evolve over time, not to stop caffeine cold turkey just because the calendar clicked over to January. Changing behavior means changing habits and that takes time. Different people argue over how long, but a habit will generally take hold after two to four weeks of constant repetition.

   Here at City Hall, we encourage excellence from our City employees. That success boils down to creating that repetition of going above and beyond expectations. There is an old quotation that crystallizes this point. Through the years it has been attributed to several different people, but let's go with Aristotle: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit."

   Why should any one of us expect any less from ourselves in our everyday living, whether it be in our diet, our exercise program or simply in our personal growth? Be excellent - repeatedly.

   So, for 2015, don't worry so much about making grand declarations of intent that won't be worth the paper you print them on. Decide what you want to do and, to coin a phrase, just do it.

To contact Gary, click on his picture 

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Pomp & Special Circumstance
Fire Inspector celebrates 2014 as the year he became a 70-year-old college graduate

FARMERS BRANCH ~ Not all college students graduate in the originally intended four years. Some take five, some take six.

   Don Ross was on the 50-year plan.

University of North Texas Alumnus Don Ross

   A part-time Farmers Branch Fire Inspector for the past five years, Don is fondly looking back on 2014 today as the year he turned 70 and the year he finally graduated from college.

   It was 1964 when the 20-year-old Don Ross first started working on his Bachelor's degree in Illinois. However, it wasn't long before Uncle Sam called him up for a trip to southeast Asia.

   After two years in the Army, including combat experience in Vietnam, Don returned stateside and tried to go back to school but found the 1960s reception for returning Vietnam Veterans to be unwelcoming.

   So, he hit the workforce. 

   Suddenly, 30 years went by working for an insurance company and a home improvement retailer.

   Then, 10 years ago,at the age of 60, Don and his wife, Nancy had a house fire at their home in Lewisville.

   He was so fascinated by the machinations and procedures of the fire investigation that he went to school to become a Firefighter, Fire Inspector, Investigator and Certified Texas Peace Officer. And, in 2011, he resumed work on that long-idle undergraduate degree program.

   Three years worth of night classes later, Don earned his Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences degree from the University of North Texas. What's more is that he did it with a 3.8 grade point average.

   But, he's not stopping there.

   In January he will become Don Ross, the graduate student, working towards a Master's Degree with a concentration in Criminal Justice. He expects this degree to only take about three and a half years.

   "At age 70, Don is really hitting his stride," said Farmers Branch Fire Chief Steve Parker.  "We're looking forward to having Don serve the citizens of Farmers Branch well into the future."


FBFD in action

Farmers Branch Fire Department units responded to an apartment fire in the 3900 block of Spring Valley Road two days before Christmas. The fire turned out to be in the kitchen and was controlled by the residential sprinkler system.


Volume 4 | Edition 52 | Number 201  
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the  Communications Office
of the City of Farmers Branch, TX.
Three-time Award Winner for
Excellence in E-Newsletters in Texas
Awarded by the
Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers

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Roadwork to limit Library access Monday

FARMERS BRANCH ~ As part of the $23.5 million voter-approved makeover of City streets, work on Golfing Green Drive, west of Webb Chapel, will limit access to the Manske Library for a few hours on Monday, January 5.

   According to officials, the roto-milling of the asphalt on Golfing Green is in preparation for additional construction that will include concrete work and a new asphalt surface.

   One lane should stay open at all times during Monday's work which is expected to take only a few hours.


City offices close for New Year's

FARMERS BRANCH ~ All City of Farmers Branch offices and facilities will be closed Thursday, January 1 in observance of New Year's Day. There will be no garbage pickup and the Citizen Collection Center will be closed.
Landscaping with Roses sessions begin January 13

REC CENTER ~ Each Tuesday, from January 13 through mid-February, the Community Recreation Center will be abuzz with gardeners, enthusiasts and dedicated rosarians, talking about Landscaping with Roses, as part of the annual winter class series.
   Each session begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, January 13 through February 17.
   The class sessions are free but pre-registration is required by calling the Community Recreation Center at 972.247.4607.
   For more information, call Pam Smith at 972.919.2625.
Library returns to ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt at the Manske Library

MANSKE LIBRARY ~ By popular demand, local
Egyptologist Rollin Phipps will bring his collection of authentic ancient Egyptian relics and reproductions to the Farmers Branch Manske Library's Art Gallery, January 3 through February 27.
   Mr. Phipps will also be on hand for presentations on ancient Egypt January 13 & 24 and February 11.
   For more information, call the Library at 972.247.2511.
Upcoming DATES
All City Offices Closed
No Garbage Collection

JAN 6 & 20
@ City Hall
4 pm - Study Session
6 pm - Regular Session

JAN 14 & 28
3 to 6 pm @ City Hall 

All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.
Happy New Year!
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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 or call 972.247.3131.