Council to consider rates, tractors

Incumbents Dan Ticer, Jerry St. John and Berry White will be sworn in for another term on the Runaway Bay City Council at a meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

The three will join fellow council members Kay Simmons and Neil Peters and Mayor Robert Ryan to discuss the purchase of a tractor for the mowing department and entering a five-year rate review mechanism (RRM) agreement with Atmos Energy.

From 2008 through 2011, the city participated in a three-year trial run of an RRM, a systematic process that specifies how rates will be set over a period of time, avoiding costly rate case expenses which are passed on customers.

The proposed RRM will not increase rates. It simply “set the ground rules for future rate filings.”

Routine business items include reviewing the April meetings minutes, financials, accounts payable, journal entries and activity report.

The meeting is open to the public.

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Sheriff’s corporal named police chief

Wise County Sheriff’s Cpl. Timothy W. Donald will soon take the reins of another local agency.

The 20-plus year law enforcement officer was named police chief of Runaway Bay following a five-hour special called meeting of the city council Tuesday. His start date is contingent on release from his current post.

Donald, who lives in Runaway Bay, was one of 40 applicants interviewed for the job.

“We’re looking forward to him joining us in the very near future,” Mayor Robert Ryan said.

During his 12-year stint with WCSO, Donald worked in patrol, investigations, interdiction, narcotics and supervision. He graduated from the West Central Council of Governments Police Academy in 1987 and earned his Master Peace Officer license in July 2010.

The certified field training officer has garnered almost 1,500 hours in additional training through various law enforcement schools.

At Runaway Bay, he will oversee a department that includes three other full-time employees and a part-time officer. He fills a post that has been vacant since Drew Paschall resigned in February 2012.

Runaway Bay Police Sgt. Rex Richie has served in the interim.

The council also approved:

  • the purchase of 10 pagers for the city’s volunteer fire department;
  • bids of $500 and $1,000 for lots struck off to Bridgeport ISD from the Sheriff’s sale; and
  • the March meeting minutes, financials, account payable, journal and activity reports.

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Glad to have generous store

I just wanted to let everyone know how great a community store Brookshire’s is. They always go above and beyond to help the local community and the other cities in Texas.

Personally, they have helped my family by donating cases of water to a poker run we had for my husband’s uncle when he had a stroke and was hospitalized for months. Now, when the city of West has had the fertilizer plant disaster, they have gone out of their way to help me gather things to donate to the victims.

Next time you are in the grocery store make sure you thank them.

Crystal Holt
Runaway Bay

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Council may name new police chief

Runaway Bay may have a police chief following a pair of meetings next Tuesday.

The city council will meet in a special session at 9 that morning to interview candidates for the job, which has been vacant since Drew Paschall resigned in February 2012.

Runaway Bay Police Sgt. Rex Richie has served in the interim.

During its regularly scheduled meeting at 7 that evening, councilmembers will break into executive session before considering an appointment to the position in open session.

Other agenda items for consideration include purchasing pagers for the fire department; bids on property seized for non-payment of taxes in Bridgeport ISD; and the March meeting minutes and financials, accounts payable, journal and activity reports.

Both meetings are at City Hall, 101 Runaway Bay Dr., and are open to the public.

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Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner

Chuck Tanner

Chuck “General” Tanner, 74, a retired U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant, died Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in Runaway Bay.

Graveside service is 2:15 p.m. Monday, April 8, at DFW National Cemetery in Grand Prairie. Visitation is 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

Bro. Guy Orbison Jr. will officiate, and pallbearers will be the DFW Cemetery Honor Guard.

Chuck was born June 2, 1938, to Chalmer and Gertrude (Cornelius) Tanner in Coleman County, Ala. He married Anita Beth Balch June 15, 1994, in Lake Tahoe, Calif., and worked 10 years as a starter at South Padre Island Golf Club during the Texas winter seasons.

Chuck also worked for two years at the Pro Shop at Runaway Bay and two years as a substitute teacher in Fort Worth ISD. He worked nine years in civil service, including a year with the CIA and retired from the military after 30 years in the Air Force as a chief master sergeant.

Chuck is survived by his wife of 18 years, Beth Tanner of Runaway Bay; daughter Karen Beth Goad of Coppell; granddaughter Katie Anne Goad of Coppell; brother Rick Tanner and wife, Sheila, of Runaway Bay; other family members and a host of friends.

Memorials may be made to the Intern Program, Church of Christ, P.O. Box 633, Durango, CO 81302 or to a charity of your choice.

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Billie Marie Horn

Billie Marie Horn

Billie Marie Horn

Billie Marie Horn, 77, of Runaway Bay, died Friday, March 29, 2013, in Decatur.

Funeral is 2 p.m. Monday, April 1, at the First United Methodist Church in Bridgeport with the Rev. David Rucker officiating. Burial will follow at Eternal Oaks Cemetery in Runaway Bay.

Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport. Pallbearers are Corey Horn, Johnathan Angell, J.R. Moody, Alan Green, Jeremy Widon and Chris Tackel.

Billie was born April 28, 1935, in Amarillo to William Adam and Vestal Marie (Pierson) Goetz. She married Kenneth Earl Horn Dec. 28, 1956, in Clovis, N.M. The couple moved to Wise County in 1968.

Billie was a real estate broker for 42 years, many of those years in the Bridgeport area. She was a member of the National, Texas and Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors. She was also a member of the First United Methodist Church of Bridgeport.

She is survived by sons David Horn of Runaway Bay and Ronny Horn and wife, Debbie, of Wizard Wells; daughters Tish Tackel and husband, Chris, of Bridgeport, Rena Parris and husband, Odie, of Jackson, Calif., and Cindy Horn of Runaway Bay; sister Dolores Jones of Euless; grandson Ricky Baumgarte of Elk Grove, Calif., Corey Horn of Runaway Bay and Johnathan Angell of Fort Worth; granddaughters Shelly Moody of Bridgeport, Kristy Green of Runaway Bay, Joy Widon of Arlington, Erica Angell of Dallas and Shayla Doyle of Elk Grove; and 19 great-grandchildren.

Billie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, son Randy Gordon Horn and grandson Colby Lynn Horn.

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Lillian Rose Loper

Casey Loper and Victoria Prescott of Runaway Bay announce the birth of a daughter, Lillian Rose Loper, on March 20, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. She weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and was 19 1/4 inches long.

Grandparents are Topper and Priscilla Loper and Michael and Renae Leathers.

Great-grandparents are Jim and Barbara Barrow and Rosie Loper.

Great-great-grandmother is Hazel Matthews.

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Council announces board, commission vacancies

For Runaway Bay residents looking to become more involved in their city, there are plenty of opportunities.

At its meeting Tuesday, the city council announced places on various boards and commissions that will soon expire. The organization, number of expiring terms and current placeholders are:

  • Planning and Zoning, 4 – Belinda Amerman, Dawnelle Burns, Hope Binkly, Roland Ray
  • Cemetery Association, 4 – Carol Tanksley, Jim Davis, Joyce Waynauskus, Katherine Federspiel
  • Parks and Recreation, 3 – Charles Tisdale, Becky Melton, Jackie Ishmael
  • Economic Development Corp., 4 – Mary Allen, Adam Huitt, Aline Stack, Donald Federspiel.

The posts, which are typically appointed in June, are open to any Runaway Bay resident.

“Anyone can volunteer, and we always need more,” said City Secretary Oneta Berghoefer.

Those interested can stop by City Hall to pick up an application.

For information, call Berghoefer at 940-575-47475.


Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council approved:

  • the purchase of a $6,149 Scag zero-turn, riding lawn mower for the water and sewer plants.
  • cancelling the May 11 election and declaring each candidate – Dan Ticer, Jerry St. John and Berry White – re-elected to office. The incumbents were the only ones who filed for the three at-large spots up for election.
  • disposing of surplus items including multiple bush hogs, tool boxes and wheelbarrow an air conditioner window unit, two gas pumps and various computers and monitors via scrap and trash; and a fifth-wheel hook-up, chain-link fencing, toolboxes, headache racks, sprayers, vending machines, a fire-proof filing cabinet, tiller weedeater, freezer, tire machine, snow cone machine, paddle boats, trailers, prisoner partitions, light bars and mowers via auction.
  • the minutes from its Feb. 19 meeting.

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‘New’ council to be declared elected

Runaway Bay citizens won’t have to wait until May 11 to determine the new makeup of their city council.

In fact, it’s not so new.

With only three candidates filing for just as many at-large spots, the council will cancel the election and declare incumbents Dan Ticer, Jerry St. John and Berry White re-elected at a meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

The council will also announce expiring terms on various boards and commissions, consider a proposal to purchase a lawn mower for the water and sewer department and discuss the disposal of a number of surplus items including bush hogs, toolboxes, headache racks, a vending machine and prisoner partitions.

They will also review the February meeting minutes, financials, accounts payable, activity reports and journal entries.

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Linzi Leigh Smalley

Dustin and Ashley Smalley of Runaway Bay announce the birth of a daughter, Linzi Leigh, on March 11, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. She weighed 9 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

She has a sister, Aubrey Jeanne, 2.

Grandparents are Robin and Gere Melton and Bob and Judi Conger, all of Runaway Bay, and Dan Smalley of Gatesville.

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Police chief position open, code officer created

The City of Runaway Bay will add two staff positions to the payroll following the council’s meeting Tuesday night.

After approving amendments that made a city ordinance on the police chief position uniform with a more recent personnel policy (adopted in 2010), the council approved posting the job opening.

The ordinance originally required the police chief to report to the mayor daily. Although the position is to be appointed by the council, the chief is to daily report to the city administrator (filled in the interim by Oneta Berghoefer) and to the council at its monthly meetings, as outlined in personnel policy.

The new job description also excludes the duty of serving as public safety director and eliminates required patrol hours.

The changes were discussed at a work session Feb. 13.

“It makes the two the same,” Mayor Robert Ryan said.

The position will be posted through March 22 before the selection process is initiated. Rex Richie has served in the interim since Drew Paschall resigned last year.

Later in the meeting, the council also created a part-time, contracted code compliance officer position. Because the city cannot contract past the end of the fiscal year, the position is for six months.

“That gives us time to evaluate the performance and need thereafter,” Ryan said.

The post will earn a monthly $500 salary – a $3,000 impact on this budget.

Berghoefer said she’d been in contact with someone who holds the required licenses and permits but declined to give a name.

Because the position is contracted, the city cannot stipulate the hours worked.

“They work at their own discretion,” Berghoefer said.

But the hired hand is to report to her weekly, the mayor added.


In related personnel matters, the council approved the formation of a voluntary sick-leave pool at the request of employees wanting to donate their sick days to a co-worker in need.

According to the ordinance, to use time from the pool, an employee must:

  • contribute at least one eight-hour period to the sick pool annually;
  • have exhausted all of their own approved time off;
  • be using it for personal, catastrophic ailments, not to care for a family member; and
  • not request more than 120 days a year (240 total) or one-third of the pooled time.

The pool will be administered by a committee comprised of department heads and one council member appointed by the mayor, and once time is donated, it cannot be returned. City employees get 12 sick days a year.

The city will make a one-time match of the hours donated by individual employees to get the pool started.

“I’ve had experience with something similar in the past,” Ryan said. “It’s not used very often, but when it’s needed, it’s needed.”


  • Berghoefer shared a note of praise submitted through the city’s website. A man from Temple was having trouble getting in contact with his daughter, who just moved to Runaway Bay over the weekend. So he called the police department and had them check on her. He was “very impressed with the timeline in which the response was handled.” The note continued with, “You have a wonderful community and a very good police department.”
  • Councilman Neil Peters received the green light to talk with golfball manufacturers and other companies about advertising on the city’s water tower, whichlooks like a golfball atop a tee. Although no price was set, the council discussed charging $100,000 up-front to be featured on the water tower for 10 years. “I think I may be underpricing it,” Peters said. “That money would be used to rehab and repaint the water tower and add the logo.”
  • Councilmembers awarded a $6,800 contract to Basic IDIQ to install handicapped-accessible ramps at City Hall, to be paid for with funds allocated for municipal building repairs. The council postponed a decision to install ramps at the police and fire buildings pending additional research.
  • The council approved routine items – minutes from the Jan. 15 regular meeting and Feb. 13 work session; the police department’s racial profiling report, as required by the state; and the January financials, accounts payable, activity reports and journal entries.

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Marina talk dominates council session

Storm-damaged docks at the Ben Hickey Marina claimed much of the time at Tuesday’s Runaway Bay City Council meeting.

To compensate residential leaseholders who have not had access to their marina slips since microburst winds in excess of 65 miles-per-hour blew through in August, the council authorized a one-time $50 adjustment on bills that will be sent out at the end of the month.

“The way this is written out, if people want to donate their $50, then they don’t ask for a refund,” Mayor Robert Ryan said. “If they don’t want to donate $50 a month, then they do ask for a refund of one month, or $50.”

Because the council does not yet know how many tenants will choose to donate and how many will opt for the adjustment, a specified budget impact was not readily available.

“If everyone asks for an adjustment – which I’m fairly certain is not going to happen – we’re looking at a three-fourths of a cent tax rate (increase),” Ryan said. “It’s really unknown, at this point, as to how that would affect us financially.”

City officials believe the potential maximum increase is enough.

“We can’t expect the rest of the citizens of Runaway Bay to pay for the marinas,” Jerry St. John said. “For leaseholders, it’ll either be additional, higher fees to make up for that shortfall, or continue to pay the $50 fee.”

City secretary Oneta Berghoefer added that customers can cancel their lease at any time and get a pro-rated amount returned on what’s been paid.

“Nobody’s come forward to do that,” she said. “They want to hang on to their spot. We currently have a waiting list of 30 people.”

In November, the council accepted a $173,998 proposal from Basic IDIQ to repair the marina docks. However, additional work has since been identified. To fund that, the council on Tuesday approved a financing agreement with Government Capital in the amount of $65,000. It will be financed at $14,000-plus for five years.

However, the council will check to see if other parties can also be held accountable and thus help with the expense.

“There be may be some negligence on the part of the insurance company or the contractor,” Councilman Neil Peters said. “We need to look into that.” Peters said a contractor was asked to come work on the docks, and promised to do so, but said he was “too busy.”

Councilman Berry White supported efforts to collect from other parties but said the city needs to go ahead and start on the repairs.

“We can always come back and make the adjustment.” he said.

The financing agreement originally included funds to add 10 slips to the “b docks” and generate additional revenue for the city, as discussed at a work session Feb. 13. That would’ve necessitated a $150,000 loan that would, in turn, require a three-cent tax-rate increase for five years to pay off.

Given that financial burden, and taking into account the additional repairs that came with the change order along with the number of years it would take before the city realized any profit, the council decided against adding the slips.

“In light of the fact that we’re going to need funds for other capital outlay items, as well as water and sewer issues that we’ll be exposed to, hopefully within another 30 days, as a result of our water study being completed … I don’t feel like the return on those additional slips was important at this time,” Mayor Ryan said.

“For sure we’ve got to do the repairs if we’re going to operate the marina. I would hope we wouldn’t want to obligate ourselves for that additional amount of money in light of the other things that we know are coming down.”

Councilman White agreed, adding, “It would not be the prudent thing to do economically.”

Work at the marina started in the last week.

“Hopefully we’ll see that come together in the next two or three months,” Berghoefer said.

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City looks at police chief, code compliance officer positions

Two city staff positions will be defined at the Runaway Bay City Council meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at City Hall, 101 Runaway Bay Dr. After considering an amendment to the “powers and duties” of the chief of police, councilmembers will consider posting the opening. Rex Richie has served in the interim since Drew Paschall resigned last year.

The council will also consider creating a code compliance officer position.

In related personnel matters, the council will look at amended policies and a voluntary sick leave pool.

Councilmembers will consider options to fund additional repairs to marina docks damaged by storms last spring and summer. They will also look at authorizing the city secretary to adjust the fees for tenants who could not access their docks because of the damage.

The council will discuss adding 10 slips to the B docks; proposals for installing handicap ramps at City Hall and the police and fire buildings; and giving Councilman Neil Peters the go-ahead to seek companies to advertise their logos on the city water tower.

In routine business, council will look at the minutes from the Jan. 15 meeting and Feb. 13 work session; the January financial, accounts payable and activity reports; journal entries and the annual police stops racial profiling report.

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Natalie Wood and Clint Wilson

Natalie Wood, daughter of Raymond and Pam Wood of Decatur, will marry Clint Wilson, son of Gary Wilson of Decatur and Debra Wilson of Runaway Bay, March 16, 2013, at The Chandor Gardens in Weatherford.

The couple plan to live in Decatur.

Natalie Wood and Clint Wilson

Natalie Wood and Clint Wilson

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Raef Henry San

Keo and Nicole San of Runaway Bay announce the birth of a son, Raef Henry, on Jan. 21, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. He weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

He has one brother, Nian Lee San, 2.

Grandparents are John and Chanry Yoest of Tipton, Mo.

Great-grandparent is Mary Yoest.

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Rollover injures 1

A man was transported to Wise Regional Health System early Friday morning after his vehicle rolled on U.S. 380 east of Decatur.

Phillip Garrett of Runaway Bay was driving eastbound on 380 near County Road 4004 at 3:45 a.m. when he saw a deer, said Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lonny Haschel.

Garrett swerved to miss the deer and overcorrected to the left, which caused the vehicle to roll.

According to Wise County dispatch, a helicopter was called to transport the patient, but it was unable to fly due to fog.

Medic 1 transported Garrett to WRHS in Decatur with non-life threatening injuries.

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Council approves joint election

In a brief, 30-minute meeting, the Runaway Bay City Council Tuesday called a joint election for May 11 with the Bridgeport School District to split polling costs.

Three council seats will be on the ballot. They are currently held by Dan Ticer, Jerry St. John and Berry White.

In routine business, the council approved the December meeting minutes, financials, accounts payable, activity reports and journal entries.

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Runaway Bay council to tackle election issues

Aside from calling the May 11 election for three spots on the city council and considering partnering with the Bridgeport school district to split election costs, the agenda for Tuesday night’s Runaway Bay City Council meeting looks routine.

The council, which meets at City Hall (101 Runaway Bay Dr.), will review minutes, financials, accounts payable, activity reports and journal entries for December.

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Marian Hill Watson

Marian Hill Watson, 78, formerly of Runaway Bay, died Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in Bedford.

Funeral was Dec. 17 at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur with the Rev. David Burrows officiating. Burial followed at Oaklawn Cemetery.

Marian was born Sept. 24, 1934, in Fairy to Cornelius Orion and Effie Hall Hill. She retired from Vought Aircraft and was a member of the First Baptist Church in Bridgeport. Marian was preceded in death by her husband, James G. Watson.

Survivors include her daughter, Bonny Sue Williams; son David Watson and wife, Denise, all of Bedford; grandchildren Robin Fennema and husband, Sean, and Amy Graham and husband, Brian, all of Grapevine, Jim Watson of Norman, Okla., Andrew Watson and wife, Tiffany, of Bremerton, Wash., and Kyle Hunter of Bedford; great-grandchildren Kelsie, Madison, Cole, Chip, Collin, Sydney, Macy, Dimity, Gabriella, Benjamin and Frederick; brothers Billy Hill and wife, Beverly, of Cranfills Gap, L. C. Hill and wife, Shannon, of Conroe, and Reggie Hill and wife, Sandra, of Bedford.

Memorials may be made to the Fort Worth Alzheimer’s Association, 101 Summit Ave., Suite 300, Fort Worth, TX 76102.

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Kinzlie Raeigh Baker

Larry Baker and Shanee Baker of Runaway Bay announce the birth of a daughter, Kinzlie Raeigh, on Nov. 22, 2012, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. She weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces and was 18 inches long.

Grandparents are Larry and Sherry Baker, Roger Grober and Rhonda and Chris McConnell.

Great-grandparents are Larry and Lavri Baker, Jimmy and Verlin Hunt, Sharon and Grady Williams, Lena Grober, John Grober, and Arlis Grober and Frances and Wilson Hale.

Great-great-grandparent is Frances Tedrow.

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