City Hall

MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeintung

New Braunfels City Council members used a special called meeting on Tuesday to appoint residents to various boards and committees for various terms, the first time the council made such appointments en masse since approving a measure aligning all terms for city board and commissions and setting up a twice-yearly appointment process.

The ordinance, passed in August, sets all terms for the city’s 31 boards and commissions to start either Dec. 1 or June 1, with appointments to fill vacancies with unexpired terms to be made at any time. 

As part of Tuesday’s consent agenda, council members appointed Cate Cardenas and Nora Smith to the Community Development Advisory Committee, which serves as an advisory committee to the council on matters related to community development block grant program funds, for terms ending Nov. 30, 2024; and Dean Rutherford and Jacob Tschoepe to the Construction Board of Appeals, which hears appeals of decisions made by the building official regarding the city’s building codes, for unexpired terms ending May 31, 2023.

Also as part of the consent agenda, members appointed Judith Dykes-Hoffmann and Lee Edwards to the Workforce Housing Advisory Committee, which addresses the community’s affordable and workforce housing needs, for terms ending Nov. 30, 2024; Sarah Shea to the River Advisory Committee, which advises the council on river-related matters and issues, for a term ending Nov. 30, 2024.

Council members also confirmed the mayoral appointment of Mahealani McFarland and Emily Richter to the New Braunfels Partnership Committee for unexpired terms ending Nov. 30, 2024.

The purpose of the Partnership Committee is to create and strengthen partnerships between New Braunfels and Braunfels, Germany, and any other city outside the United States approved by the council as a sister city.

After discussing candidates, council members made additional appointments:

• Yvette Barrera to the New Braunfels Utilities Board of Trustees for a term ending Nov. 30, 2026. The board approves all bond issuances and rate changes for electric, water and wastewater in the NBU service territory.

• Don Austin, Stuart Hansmann, Roy Linnartz and Kathy Meurin to the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation Board for terms ending Nov. 30, 2023. The board governs the use of the economic development sales tax and makes recommendations to the council for projects that encourage and promote the general economic welfare of the city, its residents and businesses.

• Neal Linnartz and Baruch Almonte for terms ending Nov. 30, 2023, and David Lerch for an unexpired term ending Nov. 30, 2022, to the Building Standards Commission, which can order the repair, within a fixed period, of buildings found in violation of city codes.

• Tiffany Harris to the Community Development Advisory Committee for a term ending Nov. 30, 2024. The committee serves as an advisory committee to the council on matters related to community development block grant program funds.

• John Boyd and William Burrell to the Landa Park Golf Course Advisory Board for terms ending Nov. 30, 2023. The board advises the Parks and Recreation Department, council and city manager in matters pertaining to the Landa Park Golf Course.

• Cheri Ortega and Dana Watson to the Library Advisory Board for terms ending Nov. 30, 2024. The board acts in an advisory capacity to the council for the improvement and development of the library.

• Amber Brown and William Turner for terms ending Nov. 30, 2024, and Thomas Blagg for an unexpired term ending Nov. 30, 2022, to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which acts in an advisory capacity to the council and director of parks and recreation.

• Michael Biesboer, Ellen Duncan and Leticia Martinez to the Workforce Housing Advisory Committee for terms ending Nov. 30, 2024.

• Keith Fontenot to the River Advisory Committee as an at-large member for a term ending Nov. 30, 2024.

• Christopher Werk to the River Advisory Committee as an at-large on the Comal River resident member for an unexpired term ending Nov. 30, 2023.

“We started out this process with a goal to improve our community engagement and streamline our processes internally and administratively,” City Secretary Caitlin Krobot told council members. “In this first round of applications, we received 213 applications. Of those, we had 87 individual applicants and multiple applicants applying for more than one board. The 213 applications are more applications than our office collected in previous fiscal years.”

The next appointment process will take place in the spring, with the following boards and commissions terms expected to begin June 1: Airport Advisory Board, Arts Commission, Central Texas Technology Center Advisory Board, Downtown Board, Ethics Commission, Heritage Commission, Historic Landmark Commission, Planning Commission, TIRZ Board, Traffic and Transportation Advisory Board, Watershed Advisory Committee and Zoning Board of Adjustments.

Applications for openings on those boards and committees will be accepted from Feb. 1 to March 31.

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