HomeNewsBusinessNews You Can Use • February 2020

News You Can Use • February 2020

Candidate filing period for May election

The first day to file for candidates who wish to run for mayor or for a seat on the Georgetown City Council was Jan. 15. Candidates for mayor as well as for City Council districts 2 and 6 will be on the ballot for the May 2 election. The filing period is Jan. 15 through Feb. 14.  Completed applications for candidacy should be submitted at City Hall, 808 Martin Luther King, Jr. St.

Valerie Nicholson is the current council member for District 2, Rachael Jonrowe for District 6, and Dale Ross is mayor.

To see maps of council districts, go to maps.georgetown.org/council-district-maps.

Georgetown City Council members serve three-year terms representing one of seven single-member districts. The mayor serves a three-year term representing the whole city. A candidate for city council or mayor must be at least 18 years of age on the first day of the term of office and a citizen and qualified voter of the state of Texas and the City of Georgetown. Candidates for council district seats must be a resident of the council district the member would be representing for a period of six months as of the last legal date for filing. Candidates for mayor must be a resident of Georgetown for a period of six months as of the last legal date for filing.

The last day to register to vote in the May election is April 2.

Early in-person voting is April 20-28. In the early voting period, voters may cast ballots at any early voting location in Williamson County. Early voting polling places, dates, and times will be listed at wilco.org/elections.

On election day May 2, voters may cast ballots at any vote center location in Williamson County. Polling places, dates, and times will be listed at wilco.org/elections.

For details about the city election, go to government.georgetown.org/city-secretary/elections.

Free Electronic Tax Preparation

United Way of Williamson County will be offering free electronic tax preparation at locations across the county. Starting January 27 and running through April 15, 2020, IRS-certified tax preparers will be available in Georgetown, Hutto, Leander, Liberty Hill, and Taylor to provide assistance to wage-earners through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). VITA volunteers will complete and file federal tax returns to households earning $55,000 or less annually, and to older adults of all income levels.

In addition to the sites managed by United Way of Williamson County, AARP Tax Aide, and Foundation Communities will also offer free preparation assistance for the upcoming tax filing season at locations in Cedar Park, Georgetown, Leander, Round Rock, and Taylor. Information for all Williamson County sites including locations, dates, and times is available at www.WilcoFreeTaxPrep.org or by calling 2-1-1. 

“Tax laws change regularly and we strongly encourage wage-earners to meet with a preparer at one of the local free tax preparation sites,” UWWC Chief Executive Officer Jodee O’Brien said. “Our volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS to identify qualifying tax credits to answer questions, navigate through the new system, and maximize each person’s federal tax refund.”

O’Brien goes on to state that the goal of the program is to help low-to-moderate income workers increase their financial security. By offering this service free of charge, clients can keep their hard-earned money, avoid unnecessary fees or high-interest loans, maximize their tax credits, and submit more accurate returns.

Free tax preparation services are available in English and Spanish. Tax preparers are certified through the IRS annually and returns are filed electronically according to IRS standards.

Junior Police Academy applications now available

Applications for the Georgetown Police Department’s Junior Police Academy summer camps are now available. There will be a one-day registration event from 9 a.m.-noon March 28 at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 DB Wood Road. 

The free summer camp is for Georgetown students ages 8 to 12 years old. During each session, junior cadets will be introduced to physical training, such as obstacle courses, self-defense tactics, hand-cuffing, marching, and rappelling. 

Each session has 35 slots available, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Camps are Monday- Thursday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Camp sessions are: 

  • June 8-11 (age 8-10)
  • June 15-18 (age 10-12)
  • June 29-July 2 (age 8-10)
  • July 13-16 (age 10-12)
  • July 20-23 (age 10-12)
  • July 27-July 30 (age 8-10)

Visit pd.georgetown.org for more information.

Draft 2030 Comprehensive Plan update open house Feb. 12

The City of Georgetown Planning Department will host an open house from 4:30-7 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. on the draft 2030 Comprehensive Plan update. The meeting is come-and-go, and presentations will be made on the hour.

During the meeting, residents and property owners will be able to learn more about what’s included in the plan and provide feedback to staff.

City staff presented the draft plan to City Council at its Jan. 28 meeting. The plan is expected to be adopted by the council this spring.

The 2030 Plan acts as a guide for the City’s growth and development decisions, and components of the plan include land use, Williams Drive Gateway Plan, gateways and image corridors, housing, and plan implementation.

The implementation plan will guide how the City uses the 2030 Plan during the next 10 years.

The implementation plan outlines three major strategies:

  • Regulatory framework
  • Decision framework
  • Plans, programs and partnerships

Each strategy relates to the goals outlined in the 2030 Plan update, which were drafted using public input from community surveys including the first “On the Table,” in which more than 1,400 people participated in conversations to envision Georgetown’s future, and an accompanying online public survey taken by an additional 1,460 people.

To see the full draft plan, visit 2030.georgetown.org. Feedback should be sent to 2030@georgetown.org.

The Planning Department also is offering office hours by request. To request a meeting or to have a planning staff member present at a community meeting, call (512) 930-3575 or email 2030@georgetown.org.

February Events in Georgetown

Several events will happen in Georgetown throughout February in recognition of Black History Month.

Courageous Conversations

Come to the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St. for a screening of “The Best of Enemies” followed by a discussion facilitated by Courageous Conversations of Georgetown at 2 p.m. Feb. 2. The PG-13-rated film, based on a true story, focuses on the relationship of a civil rights activist and a Ku Klux Klan leader who co-chair a community meeting on school desegregation in 1971. Sensitive topics may be discussed, and a guardian’s discretion is advised for those age 18 and younger.

Georgetown Art Center

The Georgetown Art Center will have a variety of events related to the “Tignon” by artist Chelsey Antoinette exhibit running Feb. 14-March 15. Tignon is a French word that can mean cloth or handkerchief and is used to reference the headwraps of Creole women. Events include workshops, as well as an artist reception and a talk. For details on the events, visit georgetownartcentertx.org.                                                     

Mural dedication

The City will celebrate the dedication of the “Preserving History” mural at 2 p.m. Feb. 15 at the back of City Hall, 808 Martin Luther King Jr. St. The mural features the work of Georgetown artists Devon Clarkson and Norma Clark.

Clarkson painted the portrait of Mary Smith Bailey, the founder of the first preschool for non-white children during the period of segregation, which later became the Mary Bailey Head Start Center. Clark painted the colorful, abstract imagery based on the people who live in the Track, Ridge and Grasshopper neighborhood as well as people who attended the historic Marshall Carver neighborhood school.

For more information on the mural, visit arts.georgetown.org.

Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association

The Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association will host several events in Georgetown to celebrate National Black History Month in February.

The group will host a workshop “Heart of the Headwrap” from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Georgetown Art Center, 816 S. Main St. Seating for the workshop is limited. The suggested donation for tickets is $25. For ticket information, contact Regina Durden at (512) 636-4576 or reginadurden@bradshawsg.com.

View art by African American artists in the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St., through Feb. 22. GCCMA will host a meet the artists and panel discussion event from 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the library.

A panel discussion “The Black Vote” will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in the library.

This year’s annual Black History Month Banquet on Feb. 29 will include a presentation entitled “African Americans and the Vote” by Audrey Selden with Selden Consulting.

The 38th annual banquet is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Southwestern University. The banquet is open to the public. The suggested donation is $25 per person or $250 for a table sponsor.

For more information about the banquet, contact Regina Durden at (512) 636-4576 or email ggcma1975@gmail.com.

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