BRANCH BULLETIN - eNews from Farmers Branch
Memo from the MANAGER

A mighty Olk

   For more reasons than one, I don't like writing these columns when I must report on the impending departure of a longstanding member of the City staff.

  However, at the same time, I take a great deal of pride in singing the praises of Community Services Director Jim Olk and his extraordinary contributions to this organization during the past two decades.

  In a few weeks, Jim will begin his new position as Building Official for the City of Garland. In the meantime, today is for appreciation of Jim and how he is leaving the City of Farmers Branch a much better place than he found it.

   A full summary of Jim's work during 20 years of service here would fill much more space than we have room for. What's important to know is how Jim came to us and literally changed the rules of the game when it came to Building Inspections and Code Enforcement.

Community Services Director Jim Olk    As one of the most recognized names in those fields, Jim has been responsible for helping to write those rules for the handbook that governs best practices. His reputation led the powers-that-be to ask him to write the 30-page chapter on "Housing, Property Maintenance and Code Enforcement Inspection Programs" for the International Code Manual which is endorsed by the International Accreditation Service and International Code Council. The thick volume serves as the blueprint for building officials and building department managers across the U.S. and around the world.

   That reputation was borne of a common sense approach to code enforcement that began with a simple premise - property values are tied to curb appeal. Everything he has done ever since has begun with that singular notion.

   And, he's right.

   Regular property surveys in Farmers Branch have shown steady improvement in property conditions during his tenure. And while strict Code Enforcement will garner its share of complaints, the accolades that stand out are the ones Jim and his people receive for keeping our community in shape.

   Finally, Jim's dedication to his profession landed him in numerous positions of leadership through the years. As one of only 20 certified disaster inspectors in Texas, we will never forget the images of Jim working his way through the shells of buildings devastated by the fertilizer plant explosion in West.

   The City staff, the Inspectors and Code Enforcement Officers are all indebted to Jim for his habit of leading from the front and setting a standard that will be felt in Farmers Branch for many years to come.

   It's hard to ask for more than that.


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:
Weather ALERT

NWS issues Winter Storm Warning for DFW Metroplex


FARMERS BRANCH ~ The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and beyond at 3 p.m. today, lasting until noon on Thursday.

   The forecast is for the area's third winter storm in the past two weeks with the potential for freezing rain with ice accumulations of up to one-quarter inch followed by sleet and snow accumulations of up to an additional three inches possible.

   Farmers Branch Emergency Management Coordinator, Fire Chief Steve Parker said residents should monitor local radio, television and Internet sources for updates through the night and into the day on Thursday.

Important NEWS

Mayor receives resignation from District 3 Councilmember Fuller


FARMERS BRANCH ~ Mayor Bob Phelps has announced his receipt of the resignation of Mayor Pro Tem, and District 3 Councilmember, Jeff Fuller, effective March 17.

   According to provisions of the City Charter, the District 3 City Council position will remain vacant until the May 9 regular election.

   Mayor Phelps added that the City Council will vote on acceptance of Mr. Fuller's resignation at their next regular meeting, scheduled for March 17.

>> Read More of the City Charter

Featured STORIES

The Women of Farmers Branch

Historical perspective of local women through the year focus of exhibit in March


FARMERS BRANCH ~ In honor of Women's History Month in march, the Farmers Branch Historical Park is showcasing local history from the female perspective with a profile on "The Women of Farmers Branch," in an exhibit in the art gallery at the Farmers Branch Manske Library, 

Naomi Goodnight was the first female City employee in 1946.

March 5-27.

Maude Dodson
"The First Lady"

   As the first First Lady of Farmers Branch, Maude Dodson played an important part in the incorporation of the City.
   She was born in 1896 in Malakoff, Texas and married Bill Dodson in 1917. They moved to Farmers Branch in the mid 1930s where Bill became the first Mayor after the town incorporated in 1946.
Find out more about Maude and the other "Women of Farmers Branch" through March 27 at the Manske Library.

   The Historical Park's Jamie Rigsby said the exhibit will highlight the contributions made by the ladies who have helped to shape the community and its people from pioneer days to the present, progressive 21st century community.

Ruth Ann Parish is a retired City Secretary, currently experiencing her second career as a tireless advocate for Farmers Branch.

 "Photographs, objects and stories will teach visitors about the history of our city through the eyes of the matriarchs, wives, sisters and daughters who cultivated it," she said. "It's an interesting perspective on the history of our community."

   The public is invited to a reception to meet the curators of the exhibit on Thursday, March 5, from 5 until 7 p.m.


Members of the Farmers Branch Woman's Club have been major players in the development of the Farmers Branch community.

Election season

Five candidates file to run for two open City Council seats


FARMERS BRANCH ~ With elections coming up on May 9 to fill City Council seats for Districts 3 and 5, early voting has been scheduled for April 27 through May 5.  Voting Button

   At the close of the official filing period, the following candidates had filed to run for the District 3 seat - (in ballot order) Andy Olivo, Brenda Brodrick and John Norwood. 

   In District 5, David Merritt is running against Mike Bomgardner for that position. 

   The Mayor and five Council members, from geographically-defined districts, are elected to three year terms with two positions up every year.

   Early voting will be held at Dallas County early voting locations, including Farmers Branch City Hall, according to the following schedule:

  • Mon, April 27 through Sat, May 2, from 8 am to 5 pm
  • Sun, May 3 from 1 until 6 pm
  • Mon & Tue, May 4 & 5, from 7 am until 7 pm

   Additional information on voters can be found at, including a Council District Map, facts about the Texas Voter ID law and a lookup tool for determining Council districts according to address.

>> More Elections Information

CityStaff Snapshot

Employee: Kevin Martin

Position: Code Enforcement Officer

Employment: 1 year

Background: I am set to graduate from UNT in May. I majored in Emergency Management and Planning with a minor in Public Admiinistration.

What I like most about working for the City: The best thing about working for Farmers Branch is the family style atmosphere among and with my fellow employees. 

Tax help open at Library & Senior Center every Tuesday


FARMERS BRANCH ~ Tax preparation assistance from AARP-trained volunteers is now underway on Tuesdays at the Manske Library and Farmers Branch Senior Center and will continue through the season.

   Volunteers are available at the Senior Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. each Tuesday, but by appointment only. Call 972.919.8740.

   Library-based tax help is on 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.

Snowy fire

Farmers Branch Firefighters responded to a house fire, in the snow, in the 12000 block of Eunice Saturday morning. Crews from Station No. 1 arrived quickly and contained the fire with no injuries reported.

Volume 5 | Edition 09 | Number 210
Wednesday, March 4, 2015  
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the Communications Office since March 5, 2011
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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March 4, 2015

MAR 11 . Wednesday
3 to 6 pm @ City Hall

MAR 14 . Saturday
1 pm @ Historical Park

1 to 4 pm @ Historical Park


All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.

Coming SOON
All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.

All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.
This intrepid photographer was not one to waste a rare snow event and was busy shooting this cold bridal party near the depot in the Farmers Branch Historical Park on Friday. If tonight's forecast is any indicator, the Park could be flooded with brides by Thursday morning.
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.