By Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula
ONALASKA - Re-elected Mayor Chip Choate opened the monthly Onalaska city meeting with news of an agreement made with TXDOT to allow the city to place flags on the Kickapoo Creek bridge, outside of the guardrails. Traditionally, the city has put flags along Highway 190 on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day, but has been unable to along the bridge due to TXDOT regulations.
During his announcements, the mayor also encouraged meeting-goers to reach out to their representatives, James White and Robert Nichols, citing their inaction on legislation to assist the Alabama-Coushatta reservation in retaining their gaming activities. With hundreds of bills already filed for the 87th legislation, which will start at noon on Jan. 21, 2021, there is still time to reach out to representatives to better help the tribe, which helps bring millions of dollars to East Texas and Polk County.
For a list of representatives by zip code, visit www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.
The city approved several hires and appointments, including Onalaska-raised Simon Prince, who will serve as a full-time officer with a standard probationary period. Chief Jessica Stanton said his prior experience includes working in Cleveland and in San Jacinto County before deciding to move back.
Other positions include the re-appointment of David Johnson for Municipal Judge, Associate Judge Greg Magee, city council member Paul Laverty, and newly appointed Attorney and Prosecutor for Onalaska, Chris Thompson. Thompson will replace David Mormon, who earlier resigned after 17 years with the city to take on a judgeship for Walker County.
Shirley Gilmore was also continue serving as Mayor Pro-tem.
On Nov. 21, the Onalaska Volunteer Fire Department will hold a blood drive from 2:30-7 p.m. Those wishing to participate must sign up online prior to giving blood.
Sign-up forms can be found at tinyurl.com/y56z8mkp.All. Successful donations will include a free Covid-19 anti-body test.
The Second Annual Onalaska Reindeer Dash will be on the afternoon of Dec. 5, which the Christmas Parade immediately following. Parade participants will toss candy and parade-goers are encouraged to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
For more information on the race or parade, contact Tammy Seader at 936-646-5000 or visit the city’s Facebook Page. Parade forms are also available online at cityofonalaska.us.
The City of Onalaska meets every second Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m. at City Hall. Public comments can be made at beginning of the meeting.