MIDLOTHIAN – Mayor Boyce Whatley administered the oath of office to new police officer, William Kyle Boyd, during the Midlothian City Council meeting Tuesday.

Representing Communities in Schools, Brandon Morgan of Frank Seale Middle School gave a presentation about the organization and its work with at-risk and failing students.

“Communities in Schools is helping students to stay in school and we are assisting them in preparing for life,” Morgan said, saying the organization’s goals include improving TAKS scores, minimizing conflicts, assisting students who are new transfers or timid and assisting students from low-income families.

“We also have programs that deal with anger management, social and organizational skills,” said Morgan, who’s assigned to work with students at Midlothian and Venus.

Ron Langenheder presented a video presentation about Honor Flight, a program to give World War II veterans the opportunity to visit the World War II memorial in the nation’s capital.

“The Honor Flight program was founded by Earl Morris, a physician’s assistant in Ohio in 2005,” said Langenheder on behalf of the Ellis County chapter. “It is in its fifth year, and the nationwide goal is to take 50,000 veterans to Washington, D.C., in 2010.”

There are 30 organizations or hubs in 30 locations across the United States that are sponsoring trips for veterans, he said.

“Our first flight last year was, without a doubt, the most moving thing I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience, working with the guardians that accompanied the veterans on the trip,” he said. “And it was not a vacation for the guardians and it was not a vacation for the veterans.”

Fundraising is ongoing for the Ellis County chapter’s next trip, with from $30,000 to $35,000 remaining to be raised, he said.

In other action, the council approved an ordinance establishing no parking, stopping or standing of vehicles on either side of the roadway along Main Street (U.S. Highway 287 Business) from Midlothian Parkway westward to U.S. Highway 287 (both directions).  The vote passed 4-2.

“Of course, trucks and other motorists broken down beside the road and the humanitarian efforts of other drivers in stopping to render assistance would be exempt from this ordinance,” Whatley said.

Discussion was heard about amending the city’s zoning ordinance to allow residents to erect wind energy turbines and towers.

Whatley suggested a conservative approach relating to the ordinance.

“We need to consider how these turbines will impact neighboring properties and especially more densely populated neighborhoods,” the mayor said. “With new technology developing, I think it would be advisable to revisit this ordinance within about 24 months.”

The council also voted to:

• approve the city’s investment policy for 2009-2010.

•accept the resignation from council member Place 1, R.J. “Dusty” Fryer.

• approve an ordinance calling a special election to fill the vacated seat.

• approve a services agreement with Jones Lang LaSalle Brokerage Inc. to represent the city in determining the best locations for park sites and any additional land needed.

•conduct a public hearing regarding the proposed 2009-2010 budget.

•approve property tax abatements for Toys R Us, Target and Ennis Business Forms.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.