Mayor Nancy Hunter

The Stephenville City Council met twice in March. One agenda item that was discussed at each meeting was the use and possible prohibition of cell phones and texting while driving. In order to receive citizen input on the matter, a public hearing was held on March 2. The item was then sent back to the Public Health and Safety Committee for further discussion. The committee debated the use of cell phones while driving, texting while driving and a possible broader ban to include more distractions while driving. Ultimately, the committee forwarded a recommendation to the city council to approve an ordinance prohibiting the use of wireless communication devices while driving. If passed, the same restrictions that currently apply to active school zones would be enforced at all times within the city limits. This would make Stephenville the only city in Texas to impose a cell phone ban while driving. The ordinance is scheduled to be voted on at the April 6 City Council Meeting.

It doesn’t take long for a visitor or newcomer to realize the pride that Stephenville residents have for our great city. With spring in the air, this is the perfect time to enhance the pride that we all feel by spending a little time tending to your surroundings. You can beautify your own corner of the city by mowing and trimming your yard, cleaning up debris in and around your property, repairing fence, planting flowers and helping a neighbor with theirs. Remember, anytime one house in a neighborhood is improved, it becomes an incentive to other homeowners to do the same. That raises property values for everyone! This is yet another way the City of Champions can show their pride.

One group of local residents has taken this charge very seriously. Keep Stephenville Beautiful is a newly formed, non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to educating and promoting a cleaner Stephenville through beautification, litter prevention and community improvement for everyone’s health and enjoyment. This affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful consists of eight volunteer board members who meet monthly. There will soon be opportunities for the community to join as members and volunteers. KSB will plan several beautification projects, including cleaning up and trimming medians and will have projects planned that local organizations can adopt. A website will soon be available for the community to stay current with KSB projects.

KSB has teamed up with Tarleton State University and the current Leadership Stephenville class to host the 10th annual Tarleton Round-Up scheduled for April 10. Tarleton Round-Up is a community-wide day of clean up and service with the mission of assisting the citizens and local businesses of Stephenville that may not have the means to take care of certain tasks such as raking leaves, mowing, edging, painting, cleaning gutters and pulling weeds along with routine maintenance. Community members are encouraged to participate in these projects as well as beautification projects of their own.

Nancy Hunter is the mayor of Stephenville. Her column appears monthly.