BRANCH BULLETIN - eNews from Farmers Branch
Memo from the MANAGER

Measure twice


   I was recently taking part in a community function when I was taken aside by a citizen who asked me, "How do you and your staff get so much done?"

   First, and foremost, I was very gratified that the work done by our incredible City employees is noticed and appreciated. Never before have I worked with a group that is this creative, innovative and dedicated.

   My short answer was that we have a lot of people who do exceptionally great work. We always try to hire well, selecting individuals that are attuned to the calling of public service while, at the same time, having aptitude for their specialized work. More importantly is what happens after they're hired. We take great effort to empower our people and to engage them in what they do. That, in turn, lends itself to great things being accomplished for our citizens.

   Our hardworking staff takes ownership in their projects and, as such, takes a great deal of responsibility to do their work above and beyond the call.

   Anyone can dream. And, the dreamers are a vital part of any planning process. But, carrying out those dreams is where the simple and uncomplicated philosophy gets more complex.

   I'm fond of the old adage coined by woodworkers through the years. "Measure twice, cut once." In other words, plan in a careful and thoughtful manner before taking action.

   That's why I look forward to this week every year with great relish.

   On Friday, the City Council along with the leaders of each City department will sit down in a meeting room at Providence Towers for our annual planning retreat. This is the first step in the process that will lead to the update and approval of the City's Strategic Plan which is how we "measure twice."

   It is that planning process that drives the budget discussions to come later in the year as we work towards the upcoming 2015-16 Fiscal  Year.

   But it starts here, with an all-day free exchange of ideas and information. I believe it is because we have this Strategic Plan as a roadmap that our people are able to accomplish so much. 

To contact Gary, click on his picture 

In case you missed it, please check out these links for the most recent month of 'Memos from the Manager' and complete editions:

January 14, 2015 .  Lessons of 9/11

January 07, 2015 .  Water is gold

December 31, 2014 .  Evolutions

Important UPDATE
Farmers Branch burglary suspect caught in Carrollton


FARMERS BRANCH ~ A 19-year-old Addison man will be facing burglary charges in connection with a pair of incidents in Farmers Branch last week, after being apprehended Monday by Carrollton police.

   Farmers Branch Police Chief Sid Fuller said they believe the suspect to be responsible for the early morning hours burglaries of homes on Wooded Creek Drive and on Tanglewood Drive. In both cases, he appeared to have entered through unlocked doors. The suspect also faces burglary charges in Carrollton.

   Chief Fuller explained that even though this suspect is in custody, there are more burglars out there, looking for crimes of opportunity - primarily doors and windows that have been left unlocked or open on houses, vehicles and storage units.

   "Reducing their opportunity by keeping all doors locked greatly reduces your risk of being a victim of property crime," he explained. For more information, call the Farmers Branch Police Department at 972.484.3620. 


Featured STORIES

FARMERS BRANCH ~ On an unusually warm Tuesday in January, a crew of specialized craftsmen carefully helped place a 100-plus-year-old bell back into the belfry where its service began in the 1890s.

   The Old Church at the Farmers Branch Historical Park has been the site for lectures, demonstrations, recitals and many, many weddings since being moved there from Renner, Texas in 1985.

   But, it came without a bell.

   A group of concerned, civic-minded citizens in the Focus Farmers Branch class of 1991 donated a small railroad bell to the park for use in the Old Church. Yet, the structure's original bell was still out there.

   Historical Park Superintendent Derrick Birdsall said the original bell had been given to the Renner Baptist Church where it had been displayed outside their building for many years, enduring the Texas weather and earning years of rust and decay.

   "The good folks at the Renner Baptist Church reached out to the Historical Park with their desire to donate the bell to us," Mr. Birdsall said, "thereby, reuniting the bell with the church."

   The Friends of the Farmers Branch Historical Park took on the task of funding the restoration of the bell by Siebler Inc. who also removed the railroad bell and placed the original, 600-pound bell back inside the bell tower at the park earlier this week.

   "The Friends of the Historical Park are to be commended for taking on this project to preserve the bell, return it to its home, and reinforce the 1890s-era church to be sure it can still support the bell's weight," Mr. Birdsall concluded. "This has been a great project."



Crime drops to 15-year low


FARMERS BRANCH ~ Citing community partnerships and advances in technology, Farmers Branch Police Chief Sid Fuller announced this week that overall crime in Farmers Branch dropped to its lowest level in the past 15 years with 997 incidents reported.

>> More

Business community grew in 2014


FARMERS BRANCH ~ More than 240 businesses either moved into Farmers Branch or expanded their existing footprint in 2014, accounting for 1.9 million square feet of space and more than 1,400 new jobs, according to Farmers Branch Managing Director John Land.

>> More

Three veteran officers promoted at FBPD


FARMERS BRANCH ~ Three veteran Farmers Branch Police Officers were promoted up the chain of command before a standing-room-only crowd in ceremonies held recently in the municipal courtroom at the Farmers Branch Justice Center.

Fire Inspector graduates college at age 70


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.

Celebrating Katie

Former Senior Advisory Board Chair Katie Roberts was honored by the Farmers Branch City Council earlier this month in recognition of more than 24 years of volunteer service. Ms. Roberts was selected to be a member of the Senior Advisory Council in July of 1990, ascending to the chair position of the Council in 1995. Later, she became chair of the Council-appointed Senior Task Force and then an original member of the Senior Advisory Board where she served as chair since its inception in 1999 through 2014. Farmers Branch Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Harting said Ms. Roberts "has been a major force behind what is now a thriving, active, superlative senior program in Farmers Branch."

Volume 5 | Edition 04 | Number 205  
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the  Communications Office
of the City of Farmers Branch, TX.
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Upcoming DATES
Event set March 14-15
$50 non-refundable pre-registration required per campsite

FEB 3 & 17
@ City Hall
4 pm - Study Session
6 pm - Regular Session

@ Community Rec Center
6-8 pm
Tix - $5 residents in advance / $10 at the door

FEB 12 - MAR 1
"The Drowsy Chaperone"
@ Firehouse Theatre on
select dates

FEB 19
@ Historical Park Old Church
4 to 6 pm

All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.
Camping registration opens Feb 2


FARMERS BRANCH ~ Registration for the spring edition of the popular 'Camping Under the Stars' event at the Farmers Branch Historical Park begins February 2 at 8 a.m.

   The event is planned for Saturday into Sunday, March 14 & 15. Registration requires a $50, non-refundable fee per campsite. Call 972.406.0184 for more information.


Special Gilbert House tours set February 7


FARMERS BRANCH ~ The public is invited to discover one of the most significant historical structures in Dallas County with special tours of the Gilbert House at the Farmers Branch Historical Park, Saturday, February 7 from 1 until 4 p.m. 

   The old rock house, home of Dr. and Mrs. Samuel Gilbert and their two daughters, is the oldest structure still on its original foundation in Dallas County. 

   "It is the cornerstone of the Historical Park and an excellent example of an early Texas dogtrot dwelling," said Daneille Brissette, Historical Park Museum Educator. "It will be staffed by one of the Historical Park's most friendly costumed volunteers.

   "Come by for a tour of the home and see what life was like in Farmers Branch in the 1850s."

   For more information, call the Historical Park at 972.406.0184.


Daddy Daughter Dance tickets now on sale


FARMERS BRANCH ~ Gumdrops, lollipops and candy canes set the scene for the 2015 edition of the annual Daddy Daughter Dance, set Saturday, February 7, from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center. 

   Tickets are $5 per person for residents and $8 for non-residents and are available in advance through February 6. All tickets are $10 at the door.

   The event will feature a live DJ, face painting, a keepsake photo, cookies, punch and coffee. 

   For more information, call 972.247.4607.


'The Drowsy Chaperone' coming to Firehouse


FARMERS BRANCH ~ A parody of the American musical comedies of the 1920s, "The Drowsy Chaperone" will be presented by the Firehouse Theatre, 2535 Valley View Lane, on select nights February 12 through March 1.

   Tickets are available now at the Firehouse Theatre box office. For more information, call 972.620.3747 or visit


'How to Prune Roses' planned for next Tuesday

REC CENTER ~ The Dallas Area Historical Rose Society's Peter Schaar will answer everyone's questions on "How to Prune Roses" as part of the winter "Landscaping with Roses" class sessions held Tuesdays at the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center, through February 17.
   Mr. Schaar's presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 3. Classes are free and open to the public but pre-registration is requested by calling 972.247.4607.
   For more information, call Pam Smith at 972.919.2625.
AARP tax help set Tuesdays at Manske Library


FARMERS BRANCH ~ Tax preparation assistance from AARP-trained volunteers is now underway at the Manske Library and continues through the season from 1 until 7 p.m. each Tuesday.

   Anyone needing assistance should bring all necessary documents, last year's tax return and printed tax forms.


A spectacular sunset splashes color across the western sky as viewed from last year's Camping Under the Stars event at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Registration for this Spring's event opens Monday. Call 972.406.0184.
Photo by Derrick Birdsall

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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.