Martindale prepares for growth with new position￼
By Kyle Mooty
When Lisa Shell-Allan stepped down from the Martindale City Council recently, she stepped down the sidewalk a few steps.
As a Business Consultant and Professional Life Coach, Shell-Allan has spent most of the last quarter century serving her adopted hometown, including the last 15 years as a member of the City Council. She stepped aside last week to accept the newly created Zoning Administrator & Economic Development Coordinator for Martindale.
The small town is expecting to explode in development, which seems appropriate for Shell-Allan, a diminutive figure but a self-described “firecracker.”
With the planned growth both in the city limits of Martindale as well as its ETJ (Extra Territorial Jurisdiction), City Administrator Jared Anable determined the city needed to create a position to handle all of Martindale’s paperwork for developers, engineers, attorneys, etc., such as economic development planning, and zoning and building permits, Shell-Allan was an obvious choice because she was already handling such matters for the city.
Shell-Allan applied for the position, was later offered the role, and she accepted. First, she had to resign from the City Council, which she did on March 8. She started her new post on March 15.
“I know the language,” Shell-Allan said. “I have met with business leaders, legislators, and everyone in between. Those are things I’ve been doing for years.”
The position is only part-time for now, but with her other jobs, Shell-Allan will stay busy.
Shell-Allan doesn’t just expect growth in Martindale, she insists it’s here.
“I’ve been saying for 10, 11 or 12 years that it’s happening,” she said. “It’s happening. A lot of these things I’ve seen over the years can’t be talked about. I am saying now it is here and all around us, the city limits and the ETJ. On my desk right now for development agreements in the ETJ. People are seeing dirt get turned. They’re not seeing sticks going up yet, but it will happen soon enough.
“I would expect in the next five years that the population will potentially double, not just in the city limits but further out in the ETJ. I moved to Martindale in 1998 and the sign said population 947; after the 2000 census it read 952. That was my family moving here.”
The 2020 census has Martindale at 1,253 residents.
During her tenure as a member of the City Council, Shell-Allan has worked with eight mayors — mayors — Patti Peterson, Loraine Harrison, Truman Hawkins, Doyle Moser, Randy Bunker, Kimberly Smith, Rob Deviney, and Katherine Glaze — in just 15 years.
“I will tell you that it has been an honor to serve the community since I’ve lived here for about 25 years.
Shell-Allan recalled a Martindale couple, Les and Loraine Harrison, around 2007, driving up to her house in a golf cart and notifying her of an open position on the council.
“They said they wanted to appoint me to fill that seat,” Shell-Allan said. “The joke is that they would say ‘it’s just two meetings a month.’”
Shell-Allan’s seat as the Place 3 member of the council was to have its term expire in May. Two other seats will also be up in May, but Place 3 was the only one that was going to be contested. Shell-Allan recommended, after officially removing her name from the ballot, that the city should fill the vacancy with Nick Stiler, who was going to be her opponent in the next election.
“Nick is interested and a youngblood, which Martindale needs,” Shell-Allan said.
Buy withdrawing, Shell-Allan saved the Martindale about $7,000 since it now does not have to have an election.
“There are three filters that I used as a city Council member,” Shell-Allan said. “Is it in the best interest of the city? Is it in the best interest of the residence that it affects? Is it in the best interest of the community as a whole? If the answers are yes, yes, yes, then yes will always be my vote.”
Shell-Allan has been the epitome of a public servant, explaining at her kitchen table to an 80-year lady who spoke no English with her granddaughter as a translator on what was going on with her property.
“I take all calls,” she said, “and I will continue to use my three filters. I love what I do.”
When Shell-Allan first worked for the City of Martindale, she said there were just three departments — utility, municipal court, and police.
“I saw three tails wagging a headless dog,” she said. “I suggested we needed a city administrator.”
A graduate with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences from Texas State University, Shell-Allan is also a Certified Life Coach from the Life Coaching Institute of America, and a Certified Etiquette Consultant from the Etiquette Institute. She is also the Founder/CEO of Allandelle Finishing School, and Founder/Director of Allandelle Girl Camp in Martindale.