The new interim city manager in Bellmead spent his first meeting hoping to shape a council-led mission and core values.

Interim City Manager Yost Zakhary said he wants each council member to submit ideas and suggestions for their vision of Bellmead, giving focus to city employees.

“This is kind of a start of where do you want the city to be,” Zakhary said. “As I’ve talked to people, people often times are very, very proud. You won’t hear a lot of people from Bellmead say, ‘I live in Waco.’ They are very happy to say, ‘I live in Bellmead. We should capitalize on that.”

No matter what, the city’s core values should center around excellence in what they do, accountability to residents, transparent financial policy and business practices, a form of responsiveness and a high level of integrity, Zakhary said.

He is also starting efforts to help clean up the city.

“We feel that the cleanup should start somewhat in our own backyard,” Zakhary said.

The council gave Zakhary approval to sell or dispose of various pieces of equipment and supplies that are no longer in use or no longer operable.

“Some of the stuff has been around for 20 years,” Zakhary said. “So it’s going to take a little while to sort through it and get rid of it.”

May election

The council also agreed to hire McLennan County to conduct its May election. As of Tuesday, Bellmead did not have any contested races, and its election will be canceled if that does not change by Friday, the end of the candidate filing period.

Bellmead’s estimated cost to have the county run its election is $7,400, but the cost can vary depending on how many entities hold an election.

Three terms are up in May on the Bellmead City Council.

Bellmead residents can apply to run for Precinct 1, held by Alfreda Love; Precinct 2, held by Travis Gibson; and Precinct 5, held by Doss Youngblood.

Youngblood has filed for re-election, and Ioan Faur, an equipment tech, has filed for the Precinct 2 seat.

New firetruck

The city’s new firetruck is expected to be delivered by the end of the month.

In October, the council voted 3-2 to buy a pumper and an aerial ladder truck from Siddons-Martin Emergency Group for almost $2 million.

Council members Gary Moore and Doss Youngblood cast the dissenting votes. In August, the council adopted a 2-cent increase to the city’s property tax rate to cover a newly issued $2 million bond to replace two aging firetrucks.

“I know chief is very excited about it,” Zakhary said.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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