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SGVHV Salutes Copperas Cove Mayor Bradi Diaz

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SGVHV usually only shares articles written by members or about SGVHV Members or Events.

But this article about the wonderful job done by Mayor Bradi Diaz, mayor of Copperas Cove who replaced Mayor Frank Sefford (who died during the first month of his second term) is truly worth sharing. 

Mayor Diaz has also been a strong supporter of Star Group Veterans Helping Veterans and we also Salute her for A Job Well Done. 

 Info from Article in KDH ....

“I think I did a good job as mayor before, but I think maybe (there’s) a maturity as well.”

In an interview last year before being sworn in, Diaz said her biggest challenge might be filling Seffrood’s rather large shoes.

“He set such a high bar,” Diaz said of the late mayor, “as far as the time commitment and just doing his level-best to just go to everything you’re asked to attend. He was amazing at doing that and loved doing that, and did such a great job.”

Her overall goal at the time was to help the city move forward and bring more development and activities to the city.

“We’re always on that cusp of being a little bit bigger, a little bit better, (and I) just want to be a part of making that happen.”

In the 12 months since being sworn in, Diaz has chaired city council meetings, represented the city at numerous events and functions, and continued her work as the business manager for property management company Dewald Properties, while still finding at least some time for herself and her family.

And while she expected to face some challenges as mayor, the two biggest that happened in her first year likely weren’t on her radar when she took office.

TORNADO

On June 9, 2019, an EF-2 tornado struck the western side of Copperas Cove in the Grimes Crossing/Big Divide Road area. The tornado had an estimated wind speed of 115 mph and traveled approximately a mile and a half from north to south. While causing millions in property damage, there was no loss of life or serious injuries. For the safety of all involved, CCPD began restricting access to only residents that lived in the area. So, one short month after taking office and one of my first actions as Mayor, I declared an emergency.”

On June 12, 2019, Diaz issued a disaster declaration for the area affected by the tornado, saying that “extraordinary measures” needed to be taken to “alleviate the suffering of people and to protect or rehabilitate property.” The measure allowed the city to activate its emergency plan and help dedicate more resources to the cleanup of the area.

Initial estimates of the damage caused by the tornado were around $2.7 million.

THE COVID CRISIS

The latest unexpected emergency the mayor was dealt is the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Diaz said she started getting the first inkling the virus would be a serious problem in mid-March.

“Our emergency management team discussed the growing concern (on March 18) but didn’t feel the City needed to take action at that point,” Mayor Diaz said. “The very next day I participated in a conference call with Governor Abbott where he shared with judges and mayors (that) ‘the federal government is adamant about stopping the spread and they are looking for us (states and local government) to do it before they step in.’

“We were also very concerned as we monitored the increasing cases in Bell and McLennan counties, as well as Travis and Williamson counties. Cases in those counties were escalating rapidly and we had concerns about the transient nature of our region.”

On March 19, Gov. Abbott issued GA-8, a statewide emergency declaration taking steps to slow the spread of coronavirus. The next day, Diaz issued the first disaster declaration for the city, mirroring the governor’s order.

The seriousness of the COVID-19 emergency has led to a greater commitment of time by the mayor.

As the focus turns to reopening businesses and helping the economy recover, Mayor Diaz said she has faith that the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and the city’s Economic Development Corporation will help lead local recovery efforts.

DUTIES

As mayor, Diaz chairs each meeting of the City Council. She also represents the city on boards such as Central Texas Council of Governments, the Killeen-Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the Hill Country Transit District Board of Directors. She also appears at various social events, as well as special meetings and town halls. It’s a time commitment that required a bit of preparation and planning even before the onset of the COVID-19 emergency.

“I would say (I spend) a couple hours on meeting prep and reading depending on the agenda items,” Diaz said. “I meet with Mr. Haverlah, Mr. Keller (Communications Director Kevin Keller) and Mrs. Wilson (City Secretary Lisa Wilson) twice monthly to review the coming agenda and my calendar of events for the month. These meetings are usually thirty minutes to an hour.”

Meeting with various boards adds several hours a month, and appearances at social events range from a few hours a week to almost daily during the busiest times of the year. The mayor is paid a $50 stipend for each regular and specially called council meeting she attends, according to a city document.

Overall, she feels that she has been dealing “surprisingly well” with the demands of the position, saying the nature of her “real job” allows her the flexibility to meet the needs of the city.

Asked to sum up what her first year back in the mayor’s chair has been like, Diaz is direct and to the point.

“Eventful, busy, challenging and yet I am thankful for the experience.”

SGVHV CONGRATULATES MAYOR DIAZ ON A JOB WELL DONE!

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