Council gives nod to new LPD Chief
By LPR Staff
During a brief business meeting on Tuesday evening, the Lockhart City Council unanimously approved a recommendation from City Manager Vance Rodgers to appoint Ernest Pedraza as Lockhart’s new Chief of Police.
Pedraza, a retired commander from the Austin Police Department, honorably discharged fro
m the U.S. Army, and has more than 34 years of Texas municipal law enforcement experience that began in El Paso in 1979.
He applied for and was accepted as an Austin patrol officer in 1985, and then retired there after more than 26 years of progressive and distinguished service. As a Commander, he managed 125 officers and a $15 million budget. He has extensive experience with the Texas Civil Service Law as it applies to law enforcement.
Pedraza holds a Masters’ Peace Officer Certification, TCOLE Instructor’s Certification, and he graduated from the Austin Police Department’s West Point Leadership Academy. He is a strong believer in community policing.
Pedraza will join the Lockhart Police Department on Jan. 30.
In other business, the Council unanimously agreed to seek a Community Development Partnership Grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) to help install lights at the Cpl. Jason K. LaFleur Soccer Complex.
The fields, which serve more than 400 local youth, have been unlit since their development, a situation which former Parks Director Bernie Rangel told the Council he had always hoped to rectify.
Under the terms of the proposed grant, LCRA would provide funding for the lights, while the City of Lockhart would provide up to $30,000 in matching funds, mostly in the form of in-kind contributions, Rodgers said.
Because the City has not yet applied for the grant, the timeline to the acceptance, or the installation of the lighting, is unclear. However, it is unlikely that the improvements will take place in time for the Lockhart Youth Soccer Association’s spring season, which is open for registration now.
In brief news:
The council held a brief public hearing, and without fanfare approved a zoning change for 6.667 acres at 2201 Maple St., designating the property in the Industrial Light district. According to documentation provided to council, the property owner plans to establish an office and storage facility for an electrical contracting company.
The council also approved James Bertram as the City’s nominee to fill a vacant spot on the Caldwell County Appraisal District Board of Directors.
Rodgers informed the Council that veteran Comptroller Stephanie House had announced her retirement, to be effective at the end of the month. House has been with the City’s Finance Department for 18 years.
The Lockhart City Council routinely meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Council Chambers of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library Complex. The meetings are open to the public, televised on Time Warner Digital Cable Channel 10, and are available for online viewing at www.lockhart-tx.org.