In a changing of the guard, the city of Greenville will swear in Jerry Ransom as the city’s 51st mayor replacing David Dreiling during a ceremony at 6 p.m. today at Fletcher Warren Civic Center.
After leading the city for six years, Dreiling leaves office during a time of remarkable challenge and change for the city of Greenville, including navigating the coronavirus pandemic. Ransom inherits a leadership post that will feature a long list of items to face in the coming days, including a rapid pace of development as the Dallas-Fort Worth area continues its relentless push outward.
In tonight’s meeting, the City Council, which will also welcome new members Ben Collins, Place 5, and Kenneth Freeman, Place 6, will consider several in-fill development projects and then jump into setting the schedule for the 2021-2022 budget.
Even before the meeting’s tonight, the City Council will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m. to certify the results of the May 1 election and then call a special runoff election for Place 1 between Terry Thomas and Brian Hudgeons. In that race, Thomas fell just short of winning 50% of the vote to bypass a runoff. Hudgeons edged Ramon Rodriguez by 11 votes for second in the tally.
Just what that budget will look like is still being determined but considering the one-two punch of the coronavirus pandemic and February’s freeze, the budget is likely to be a conservative approach even with positive economic indicators such as strong sales tax revenue and increasing property values leading to higher tax collections.
The budget process is expected to take most of the summer with a final approval due to start the new fiscal year in September.
The City Council meeting will be preceded by a 5 p.m. reception honoring Dreiling’s service, along with the work of council members Brent Money and Cedric Dean. All three men are leaving office due to term limits after serving six years.
In other council business:
A requested rate change by ONCOR, an electricity supplier for the city, is expected to be rejected by the City Council. The company is asking for nearly $100 million worth of rate increases across the state, but cities are also pushing back against the requirement. Greenville will be just one of many in Texas that is expected to reject the increase.
The council will meet in closed session to discuss a potential settlement over litigation about Trader’s Road.