Georgetown - December 2020


VOLUME 14, ISSUE 4  DEC. 16, 2020JAN. 19, 2021


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Local veterans organizations are still battling COVID19 challenges

live in Georgetown and are served by 7,550


Rick Mitchell, a 21-year veteran of the Navy submarine force, received a slew of phone calls and text messages in late March. On the other end of the line was Williamson County’s coronavirus call center sta, who contacted each of the county’s thousands of veterans. Mitchell, a Georgetown resident, said he was asked about his physical safety, nancial security and whether he had

concerns regarding the pandemic. “The county was very proactive in reaching out to nd out what needs were there and how they could help,” Mitchell said. While he was personally safe and nancially sound, Mitchell said the experience made him reect on the challenges facing his fellow former service members. CONTINUED ON 18

local veterans nonprots. 5

About 1,460 full-size American ags were placed at the Georgetown Field of Honor on Nov. 715.


Williamson County will have a new sheri Jan. 1 after Robert Chody lost his re-election bid in Novem- ber, but the ramications of Chody’s tenure, includ- ing an unauthorized contract with “Live PD,” will continue to cost the county and taxpayers money for years to come. Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 2, the county has paid out about $236,000 from its general budget in contract lit- igation fees. This accounts for at least 20% of all legal ‘LivePD’will continue to costWilliamsonCounty despitenewsherielected BY ALI LINAN

fees the county paid in 2020 so far, county auditor reports show. But commissioners warn they anticipate more lawsuits and therefore more fees in the future. “We’ll be paying Chody-[related] lawsuits for years to come,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Cook said. “They’ve only just started to come out, and more are going to.” As of Nov. 6, the county has incurred 20 lawsuits and complaints concerning allegations against the Williamson County Sheri’s Oce, including Texas Commission on Law Enforcement complaints, general issues within the WCSO and litigation sur- rounding “Live PD,” data shows. Of those, threehavebeensettledthroughnancial means for a combined total of about $303,900; one has been dismissed; one is a notice of claim led;

have been brought against Williamson County involving the Williamson County Sheri’s Oce including “Live PD” involvement. Of those, three complaints have been settled totaling about As of Nov. 6, 20 LAWSUITS AND COMPLAINTS $303,900 IN PAYOUTS . See Page 22 for a timeline of events.



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We are closing out the fall semester in Georgetown ISD, and I have been reflecting on the events and work of the last several months. I don’t get very far in my thoughts about this school year without being overwhelmed with appreciation and gratitude for you, the Georgetown community. Your partnership, support and input has been an invaluable resource for us as we navigated the summer, planned for the school year, and continue to make adjustments along the way. Your patience as we learn, your joy in celebrating with us when things have gone well, your willingness to share feedback when things could be better, and your passion for helping when and where you can as needs arise have supported us more than I could ever express. It is very clear to me that the empathy, resilience, and love you have shown Georgetown ISD have been calming and inspiring forces. The spring semester will certainly bring us additional problems to solve and more opportunities to make decisions that have a significant impact on our students and their families. We know, too, that the traits of our incredible community — empathy, resilience, and love — will carry us forward. Thank you, Georgetown. Thank you for allowing me to serve you, and thank you for being the community that I love to call home.

Fred Brent GISD Superintendent of Schools



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FROMDENISE: During this time of year my family and I try to help out the community in any way we can. We continue to see such a need for our locally owned businesses and non- prots in Williamson County, which is what we have decided to do. During this holiday season we are going to try and keep our dollars local. Along with the local shops and boutiques are some amazing thrift stores, such as The Caring Place in Georgetown. Please consider helping out the businesses in your area this holiday season. Happy holidays from my family to yours! Denise Seiler, GENERALMANAGER EDITOR Sally Grace Holtgrieve REPORTER Ali Linan GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chance Flowers ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Ann Miller METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Travis Baker MANAGING EDITOR Amy Denney ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Haley Grace CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across ve metropolitan areas providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON



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FROMSALLY GRACE: Being a journalist at Community Impact Newspaper means often nding oneself in a variety of places and situations. This month, Reporter Ali Linan attended the grand opening of the Kalahari resort and took some wonderful photographs to share (see Page 11). There is also a more expansive gallery online. Meanwhile, Reporter Taylor Girtman talked to several area veterans and the people who work so hard to assist them (see Page 26). If 2020 has taught our team anything, it is to embrace the unexpected; striding into it head on always results in the best stories. Sally Grace Holtgrieve, EDITOR



Kalahari Resorts & Conventions EDUCATION BRIEFS News from Georgetown ISD CITY& COUNTY The latest local news BUSINESS FEATURE


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CORRECTION: Volume 14, Issue 3 On Page 11, the numbers for on- campus learners for the rst and second nine-week periods of school, respectively, are 53% and 51% for Richarte High School, 67% and 57% for Georgetown High School, and 59% and 50% for East View High School.

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Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

been a nancial services professional for 13 years. The Charles Schwab George- town branch is located in the Wolf Crossing development at 1125 I-35, Ste. 125, Georgetown. 512-876-2388. Georgetown business Urban Grazing opened Oct. 1. The business oers char- cuterie-style grazing boxes that include meats, cheeses, crackers, nuts, fruit and more, as well as disposable boards with similar items. Patrons can rent a board or use their own, owner Tessa Cardwell said. The business also plans to expand to dessert boxes soon. Urban Grazing does not have a storefront, but orders can be made on social media at or or by email at COMING SOON 5 The Garden at the Summit , a new Italian restaurant, plans to open in summer 2021 and will oer Boston Italian bites, craft beer and craft cocktails. The Garden will be located near 2020 Market Scratch Kitchen & Bar at The Summit at Rivery Park Town Center at 1500 Rivery Blvd., Bldg. 2, Ste. 2175, Georgetown. 6 Anchor Floors is coming soon to Georgetown. The store oers a selec- tion of hardwood, tile, luxury vinyl and carpet, and it plans to open in January. It will be located at 4405 Williams Drive, Georgetown. This is the second location for Anchor Floors, which also has a space in Cedar Park. RELOCATIONS 7 The Austin School of Fashion De- sign , or ASFD, relocated from Austin to Georgetown in October. The sewing and fashion design school oers classes all year for students of all ages and levels. Its signature program is the academy for young designers, but it also oers holiday and summer camps. ASFD is located in Wolf Ranch Town Center at 1015 W. University Ave., Ste. 507, Georgetown. 920-345-6652.








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NOWOPEN 1 Fredrickson Health Solutions opened in Georgetown on Oct. 7. The business specializes in noninvasive and natural pain solutions for soft tissue injuries, including shockwave therapy, manual therapy, active rehab exercise plans, nutrition and supplementation counsel- ing, and genetic testing for chronic pain. Fredrickson Health Solutions is located at 1006 S. Rock St., Ste. 103, Georgetown.

512-399-3370. 2 Coee+Crisp , a coee truck, opened in the South Fork Fun, Food and Brew food truck park Oct. 19. It is located at 3302 W. Hwy. 29, Georgetown. The truck serves coee, espresso, tea and break- fast. 512-763-9717. 3 Coreena’s Bridal Boutique opened one block west of the Georgetown

Square on Sept. 18. This is the second lo- cation for the business, which can also be found in College Station. The store sells bridal gowns and accessories. Coreena’s Bridal Boutique is located at 806 S. Rock St., Georgetown. 512-240-5373. 4 Charles Schwab , a full-service investment services rm, opened a new independent branch in Georgetown on Nov. 13. The oce is led by Independent Branch Leader Eric Johnson, who has

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EXPANSIONS 8 Georgetown’s Smile Haus Modern Family Dentistry and Orthodontics ex- panded with an Austin oce Sept. 1. This is the third oce for the practice, which has two locations in Georgetown. Smile Haus oers general dentistry, such as routine cleanings; replacement of teeth, including implants, dentures, crowns and bridges; root canal treatment; gum treat- ment; and cosmetic rehabilitation. The two Georgetown locations are: A 113 E. University Ave., Georgetown, 512-863-3379; and B 3737 Williams Drive, Georgetown, 512-863-8559. 9 Kim Wanslow, James Brown, and Jack and Kelly Surko took over ownership of Floor King in Georgetown on Jan. 16 but celebrated its ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Georgetown Chamber of Com- merce on Nov. 3. The previous owners were Kurt Wade and John Surko. Located at 3415 Williams Drive, Ste.130, Georgetown, Floor King specializes in hardwood, luxury vinyl, carpet and tile for new or existing homes. 512-931-2555. IN THE NEWS 10 Swift water training facility Fathom Academy has expanded beyond George- NEWOWNERSHIP

town. In September, the business began to consult other states and countries building their own indoor swift water training tanks, owner Barton Bollfrass said. The tanks rest on the ground and plug into a standard cir- cuit so they can be built anywhere and help anyone, Bollfrass said. Fathom Academy is located at 3879 E. University Ave., Ste. 105, 11 Georgetown resident Wayne Rhoden received the Sharie Lanza Ambassador lifetime achievement award from the Texas Master Gardener Association on Nov. 3 for his continued leadership and service to the organization. Rhoden has served in the Williamson County Master Gardener Asso- ciation for 23 years. The Williamson County Master Gardeners is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and an educational program. The Williamson County Exten- sion Oce is located at 100 Wilco Way, Ste. AG201, Georgetown. 512-943-3300. CLOSINGS Georgetown. 512-964-4884. 12 The location of Red Poppy Coee Co. housed inside the Georgetown Public Library has closed due to COVID-19, the business announced on Facebook on Oct. 27. The restaurant and bakery may reopen once the pandemic passes, it read. Red Poppy Coee oered library visitors sandwiches, salads and desserts at 402

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Texas Speed and Performance, and the remaining space will accommodate users in need of 25,000-250,000 square feet of space. The rst phase is expected to be completed in spring 2021.

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Kalahari resort inRoundRock celebrates openingwith a bang


Morgan said the resort only moves the city closer to that goal. “This is the new entertainment area for Round Rock, Texas,” Morgan said. Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell also made note of the impact the resort will have in the county. “This is a place where dreams are going to come true [for] families,” he said. “What Kalahari has done in Round Rock is going to be the gold standard for the rest of the world, and it’s really quite amazing.” Kalahari Executive Vice President Bill Otto told Community Impact Newspaper that with exception of the pools, which are reserved for resort guests only, everything at Kalahari is open to area residents. For example, all of the restaurants have outside access, and the facility sells day passes to the water park. This is the fourth Kalahari resort; there are other locations in Wiscon- sin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. “This isn’t just a win for the city of Round Rock but also for the entire state of Texas,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a video. “Texas is the premier economic destination in America, and that’s because of companies like Kalahari that choose to invest in our top-notch locals, our world- class infrastructure and the thriving business economy that we have.”

Families gathered outside as a full reworks display lit up the sky to commemorate the grand opening of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Round Rock on Nov. 14. Kalahari founder and CEO Todd Nelson said his team knew they wanted to come to Texas. After looking for sites in Dallas and Frisco, Nelson said he discovered that was not where they needed to be. “It felt like corporate America, and we’re not corporate America,” Nelson said of the Dallas area. “I would not want to be in any place on earth besides right here [in Round Rock].” Kalahari celebrated its ribbon-cut- ting and welcomed its rst family Nov. 12. Since then, hundreds of families have enjoyed all the resort has to oer, including the country’s largest indoor water park and the Tom Foolerys adventure park, which features an arcade room, games, rock climbing, a roller coaster and more. The African-themed resort broke ground in May 2018 with an opening date set for two and half years later, November 2020, Nelson said, and it managed to stay on schedule despite a global pandemic. Boasting 975 rooms and 20 food and drink options, Kalahari brings more than 1,000 jobs to the Round Rock area at a time when many were seeking employment due to the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Travel and tourism industry has been devastated across the country, and even here in Round Rock,” Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said. “For this to be open, it just invigorated the community.” Morgan said that with Kalahari, a family-owned business, the Nelsons have truly invested in the Round Rock community. With a $550 million development increasing the city’s tax base, Kalahari choosing Round Rock to be its home will help keep taxes lower for residents, he said. Morgan added that it has been part of the city’s strategic plan to create a live-work-play status in Round Rock. With Kalahari located across the street from the Dell Diamond,




Kalahari Resorts & Conventions ended its grand opening event Nov. 14 with a reworks display. (Photos by Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tom Foolerys has games, a rollercoaster, rock climbing and more.

Kalahari in Round Rock boasts the largest indoor water park in the country.


Families gathered at Kalahari on Nov. 14 to watch a reworks display.

Kalahari resorts are African-themed.



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News from Georgetown ISD

Bond committee could be formed in coming year


committee will spend several months looking at district facilities and enrollment data and make recom- mendations to the board on future needs. It will then make a recom- mendation by Aug. 16 on whether the district should or should not call a bond and what should be on that bond, officials said. Brent said that current student projections show the possible need for a third area high school in 2027. In order to achieve this, construction would have to start in 2024 and plans would need to start being drawn up in 2021, he said, adding the district is currently on track to hold a bond election every three years. NewGISDCFOnamed GEORGETOWN ISD Scott Tipton was named the new chief financial officer of Georgetown ISD following board approval Nov. 16. Tipton previously served as CFO of Pecos Barstow Toyah ISD, which is located in West Texas. He replaces Pam Sanchez, who served as GISD CFO since June 2017. BY ALI LINAN

The CAC is made up of community members who represent the diverse and multifaceted interests of the district, and will be aided by district staff, he said. “This is not to say that we are automatically calling a bond,” Brent said. “I want to encourage everyone to understand that this is the board’s way and the district’s way of saying committee members tell us where you think we are and what we should do in terms of meeting the needs of the district for long term growth.” The formation of the committee is pending board approval, an item which will likely appear on the December agenda. Once formed, the

GEORGETOWN ISD The school board may convene a citizens advisory committee in 2021 as preparations for a potential future bond election near. During a Nov. 16 meeting, the board received information and a timeline for the formation of a CAC, which is the first step in a bond election, GISD Superintendent Fred Brent said. This does not, however, mean one will be called, he added. The purpose of a CAC is to evaluate existing district facilities, enrollment projections and other data and pro- vide facility and equipment recom- mendations to the board, Brent said.

District welcomes its newest boardmember GEORGETOWN ISD Stephanie Blanck was sworn in as the Place 4 Georgetown ISD trustee Nov. 16 following the canvassing of votes by the Williamson County Elec- tions Department. Blanck unseated incumbent support our newly elected school board members,” McLean said. “I know that they really appreciate your support for them, and I know that they’ll serve our ISD well.” The board also voted to reorga- nize its board leaders. BY ALI LINAN

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Scott Stribling, Place 1 trustee, was named board president once again with Place 3 member Andy Webb as vice president and Dun- ham as secretary, who also previ- ously served in those positions. School board members are responsible for adopting goals and priorities and monitoring district success, adopting policies and review for effectiveness, hiring and evaluating the super- intendent, adopting a budget and setting a tax rate, and com- municating with the community, according to the Texas Association of School Boards.

David Phillips taking 59.55% of the vote while Phillips took 27.89%. A third candidate, Francis Jackson, took 12.56% of the vote. Blanck spent 30 years as a licensed specialist in school psychology and campus administrator and 15 years as special education director. Melanie Dunham was also sworn in for her third term as Place 5 trustee during the meeting. The elected officials were sworn in by Evelyn McLean, William- son County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 judge. “Thank you all for being here to

Hablamos Español

GISD looks to add nine courses for 2021-22


GEORGETOWN ISD District officials said new courses for the 2020-21 school year include one middle school course with Math 6/7, compacted to prepare students for eighth-grade algebra. The new high school courses include Mexican American Studies, African American Studies, Agricultural Structure Design and Fabrication, Engineering Design and Presentation II, and Comprehensive Wellness.

Here is who they are. WHO’’S WWHHOO??

The Georgetown ISD school board voted on a president, vice president and secretary on Nov. 16.

Georgetown ISD Dec. 14 and Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. Hammerlun Center for Leadership and Learning Boardroom, 507 E. University Ave., Georgetown MEETINGSWE COVER

Scott Stribling President

Andy Webb Vice president

Melanie Dunham Secretary




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News from Georgetown & Williamson County

After 20years of service, Georgetown Library director to retire in January

Thousands of local health care workers to receive COVID19 vaccine



circulation and has served as a community gathering space where groups can meet, artists can show their work, children can develop reading skills and adults can

care workers. “We are excited for our hos- pital systems partners to begin vaccinating our front-line hospital workers against this virus.” said Dr. Mark Escott, interim Aus- tin-Travis County health author- ity, in the release. “By protecting our health care system personnel we can ensure that we are able to meet the needs of COVID and non-COVID patients in our community.” Those who receive an initial dose of the Pzer vaccine will need to receive a second dose within several weeks to be fully immunized against the virus.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY The Aus- tin area is set to receive 13,650 doses of the Pzer COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December, pending emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In a Dec. 4 news release, Austin Public Health announced it had received the news from the Texas Depart- ment of Health Services, which is set to receive a total of 1.4 million doses this month. The rst 13,650 doses will be distributed among “a handful of hospitals” in Travis, Hays and Williamson counties and will be administered to front-line health

GEORGETOWN Public Library Director Eric Lashley, who has served in that role for 20 years, announced his retirement Nov. 19. Lashley will retire Jan. 29 to become the executive director of the Central Texas Library System, a nonprot that serves 218 member libraries across the state, according to a news release. High points in Lashley’s 25-year career at the city include a National Medal recogni- tion for the library in 2018 by the Insti- tute of Museum and Library Services and being named Texas Librarian of the Year in 2019 by the Texas Library Association, the release said. Lashley played a key role in establishing a need for a new library as well as in its construction and opening in 2007. During his tenure, the library has increased material

Director Eric Lashley

learn and nd the latest bestsellers or information on many topics. The library regularly partners with local nonprot groups to oer tax assis- tance, voter registration, exhibits and programs for all ages. Sally Miculek, currently the assistant director of library services, will serve as interim director while the city conducts a search for a new library director, the release said.

Residents can now round up their utility bills to help those in need

Confederate statue committee postponed WILLIAMSON COUNTY Com- missioner Russ Boles informed the Commissioners Court during a Dec. 8 meeting that while he still intends to convene a committee to look into the possible removal of the Confederate BY ALI LINAN Each of the court’s ve members will nominate three individuals to serve on the committee. The formation of the committee does not mean the statue will be removed. Rather, the committee will be tasked with looking into the stat- ue’s history and potential options for relocation. Those who request its relocation



GEORGETOWN Customers can elect to round up their utility bill, with all proceeds going to the Good Neighbor Fund, per a news release. Donations will allow The Caring Place, which administers the fund, to provide more families in need with nancial assistance with utilities. Customers can choose from two donation options: Contribute a specic monthly donation amount, or round up their monthly utility bill to the nearest dollar and donate the overage to the fund.

The Good Neighbor Fund is completely supported by utility customer contributions. In scal year 2020-21: families received more than 215 $45,000 from the 2,764 customers who currently contribute to the fund.

statue in front of the courthouse in Georgetown, he would like to postpone it to early next year. Boles said that as his and other court members’ duties are stacked with end-of-year obligations, he plans to put the committee on the agenda in the second half of January.

have said the statue no longer represents the views of county residents. Those who wish it to stay have said its removal will undermine history.


Recycle holiday string lights through Jan. 31


Georgetown City Council Meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m. 101 E. Seventh St., Georgetown 512-931-7715 • Williamson County Commissioners Court Meets Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. 710 S. Main St., Georgetown 512-943-1550 • MEETINGSWE COVER



sorting machines at the recycling center, a news release said. Yard art, inatables and other holiday lighting will not be collected. Georgetown was the rst city in Central Texas to oer this service when the program launched in December 2017, the release added. Last year Georgetown residents recycled more than 3,440 pounds of Christmas lights.


GEORGETOWN The city of Georgetown has partnered with Texas Disposal Systems to oer free holiday string-light recycling to all Georgetown residents. The program is limited to string lights. Lights must be taken to a collection station (see map) and cannot be placed in residential or commercial recycling bins because they will damage the









THE LOOK: Hippie vibesmixed withWestern air

Jarvis said because she adds all the details to vintage pieces by hand, each item at Hippie West is unique.

Customized jeans can be ordered.


India Jarvis launched Hippie West in May. (Photos courtesy Hippie West)

Jarvis plans to attend many more craft shows and market days in Central Texas.

HippieWest Resident with love for re-purposing clothes launches online boutique G rowing up, India Jarvis was always on the hunt for the coolest, most unique

Jarvis said. “She opened her own restaurant 19 years ago and taught me the ins and outs of being your own boss and creating something from the very beginning and succeeding. That’s what I’ve always wanted.” Jarvis has been working to market her business via social media and has received orders from a variety of places. She is also working to tap into the Central Texas community by selling her products at market days, decreased at fairs due to the coro- navirus pandemic, Jarvis said the sales she made at Round Rock’s Junk Hippy event in October, for example, were beyond what she anticipated. Custom orders are also available. If a shopper sees a piece they like that craft shows and other events. Even though foot trac has

is not in their size, Jarvis will nd vintage denim in the correct size and incorporate the design. Vintage, high-waisted denim is trendy right now, Jarvis said, adding keeping her prices aordable is important to her so everyone can have access to unique clothes that make them feel beautiful. “I’m pricing my products at what I would want to buy them at,” she said. “Especially these days—these are hard times for some people, and I denitely take that into consideration.” Jarvis said she would love to have a permanent physical location in the future. She said though some people do prefer to shop online, she would enjoy decorating a store and letting locals have the opportunity to come in, feel and try on items.

clothing to wear to school. “Not much changed,” Jarvis said of her love for creative fashion. “I started buying vintage denim in college and painting it, then began adding fringe, patches, stu like that and fell in love with it.” In May, Jarvis launched George- town-based Hippie West, turning her lifelong passion into a business. The online and pop-up store oers her signature vintage denim with hand- painted designs and details, hand- made jewelry, and other women’s clothing and accessories. Running her own business was “a long time coming,” Jarvis said, citing her mother as an inspiration. “She’s the hardest worker I know,”

Accessories are also available.

HippieWest 432-208-5638



WHAT IS A GYRO? (pronounced yeer-oh) Gyros are believed to be of Greek origin meaning “turn.” Thinly sliced layers of either lamb, pork, beef or chicken are stacked on a skewer that rotates as it cooks. Then thin slices are shaved o and often placed in a pita wrap with tomatoes, red onion, and Greek yogurt or tzatziki sauce. SOURCE: GREEK CHEF DIANE KOCHILASVCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Italian cream cake ($4.50) is on the menu for dessert.


The gyro plate ($11.99) is one of the more popular dishes at Greek Gyros. (Photos by Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

GreekGyros &Pizza-Subs Family-owned restaurant brings eclectic menu to Georgetown M usa and Sadejeta Sinanaj knew they wanted to open a restaurant when they moved to Georgetown six years ago from the Bronx, New York, but they were unsure of exactly what kind, their son Leo said. Frankie’s Pizza & Pasta also in Georgetown. It is from working at Frankie’s that Leo learned how to make a pizza, a skill he brought to Greek Gyros by adding his own spin to the gyro pizza. There are also several other pizza options available. Other menu items include a gyro plate served with fries and a Greek salad, kabobs, baba ganoush, a falafel sandwich and a Philly cheese steak sand- wich. There is also a Greek nacho platter with pita chips topped with gyro meat, tomatoes, red onion and a feta spread. BY ALI LINAN

Try a baklava nut roll ($4.50).

GreekGyros &Pizza-Subs 1211 Leander Road, Georgetown 512-688-4221 Hours: Tue-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Mon.

They nally decided on Greek because of its sim- plicity, and with a brick pizza oven already in the kitchen from the previous owners, the Sinanajs wanted to add that to the menu too and opened Greek Gyros & Pizza-Subs on Leander Road in December 2019. The restaurant oers dine-in and takeout options. Leo added Georgetown did not have a lot of Greek food options, with Greek Gyros being the second option after Plaka Greek Café. While Leo said his parents had never owned or run a restaurant before, they received a lot of help from his grandfather, Frank Nikshiqi, who owns


For dessert, patrons can try baklava nut rolls, Italian cream cake or a tiramisu nut roll, among other options. Ultimately, Leo said they want their patrons to feel welcome and will do their best to make them happy. “It’s a relaxed and friendly [vibe],” he said. “We want [visitors] to feel safe, happy and be themselves.”



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PEOPLE Josh Schroeder New mayor optimistic about future of Georgetown Community Impact Newspaper asked Josh Schroeder, who was elected mayor of Georgetown on Nov. 3, about his next steps and long-term goals for the city. He replaces Dale Ross and was sworn in Nov. 17.



WHAT DO YOU THINKMADE YOUR CAMPAIGN SUCCESSFUL? Schroeder said his victory is an indication that people are generally happy about the direction George- town is headed. “There are always some things that we can do better, but I think [my win] shows folks are positive about where we’re at and optimistic about the future,” he said. “My two opponents were pretty negative about the state of Georgetown, so I think positiv- ity was a clear distinction of my campaign.” He said he believed residents agreed with the positive message and voted accordingly. YOU HAVE TALKED IN THE PAST ABOUT HOWTRANS PORTATION AND TRANS PARENCY ARE PRIORITIES OF YOURS, BUT NOWTHAT YOU ARE THE MAYOR, WHAT ACTIONS WILL YOU TAKE TO FURTHER THESE CAUSES? A transportation bond committee is working on a list of projects and cost totals, Schroeder said, in support of the eorts already underway. “Hopefully, we can get enough signicant projects done for the pro- posed $50 million bond we’re looking at to keep up with growth,” he said. Schroeder also cited the trac impact study underway and said it is important that new developments pay for themselves, and a trac impact fee is one way to ensure that happens. In other communities where a traf- c impact fee has been implemented, there have been intense disputes among landowners, developers, the city and community members, according to Schroeder, who said one of his priorities is keeping the process civil. “I’m hopeful because we’ve been working on this already for a signicant period of time,” he said. “Prior to getting elected, I was the chair of the Georgetown Development Alliance, a committee under the chamber of commerce.

It focuses on relationship-building between city sta, developers and the community at large and talking openly about these types of issues. So I’m really hopeful that not only will we get that trac impact fee worked out, we’ll get it worked out the Georgetown way: as a commu- nity, civilly, and without a bunch of screaming and hollering.” Regarding transparency, Schroeder said he wants to reopen in-person City Council meetings. He said he feels like it could be done while maintaining social distancing. YOU CANNOT TALKABOUT GEORGETOWNWITHOUT TALKING ABOUT GROWTH. WHATWILL BE YOUR APPROACH TOADDRESSING THE POPULATION BOOM? The pressure points from growth the community feels are trac, crime and water, Schroeder said. Regarding trac, he referenced the transpor- tation eorts mentioned above to address the issues. “Folks are sitting in trac, and that’s one of those pressure points we have to alleviate because growth is going to happen whether we like it or not,” he said. The city added three new police ocers this scal year, though Schro- eder believes there should be a higher ocers-per-residents ratio. For water, Schroeder said, work is scheduled to begin on another water treatment plant next year, which will help bring immediate relief, but it is important to think long-term and work with area water authorities to secure new sources of water, be it groundwater, piping surface water to dierent locations or transfer- ring water service for some areas in extraterritorial jurisdiction to neighboring cities. “We don’t need to necessarily be in the water utility game outside of our territory so that we give [ourselves] a smaller, more manageable area to cover and make sure we have enough water for our needs,” he said.

Josh Schroeder is pictured here with his family Nov. 3 at Mesquite Creek Outtters, where they watched the election results come in. Schroeder’s oldest son was in quarantine, so the family brought a picture of him so he could be included in photos from the occasion.


WHAT ARE YOUMOST LOOK ING FORWARD TOABOUT BEINGMAYOR? “We’ve got a great council, I genuinely like all of those folks, and I love to bring people together and get them on the same page, nd common ground or at least nd ways to disagree civilly,” Schroeder said. He said he has also gotten to know city sta through working on various boards and commissions. “I think we have one of the best city sta in the United States,” he said. “The city manager, police and re chiefs, planning director—all of them are just great people. That doesn’t mean I agree with them all the time, but they love this commu- nity and have its best interests in mind, and I can’t wait to work with them.”

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ARE NERVOUS ABOUT? Schroeder said having to make a decision where there is no clear right or wrong answer scares him—a decision about something that is not a moral issue in any way, but rather one that will make half the people mad whichever way it goes. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOUWANT PEOPLE TOKNOW ABOUT YOU? “I want my kids to be proud of Georgetown,” he said. “You meet people that couldn’t wait to get out of their hometown and never want to go back to it. I want my kids and grandkids to call Georgetown home— that’s my goal; I’m playing the long game, and every decision is made with that in mind.”



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