Fellow citizens,

Last night's State of the Community forum was a good event and it was well attended. I wish to thank the Chamber of Commerce for putting it on. The Chamber put a lot of thought and effort into how the event should go. I deeply appreciate all of the speakers participating and each member of the audience – great, concerned citizens all.

I think the big news for the week will be the switchover to a new trash and recycle service. The council voted Sanitation Services in as the new provider in this last council meeting (the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 14), which was past the deadline for last Friday's news articles. There will be information however, written by our local reporter, Mary Jane Farmer, in this same edition of the Van Alstyne Leader. I hope not to misinform you, but I think that the way to handle your old bins is to put them out, filled, as you normally do (both trash and recyclables) and let our past vendor, Republic, pick up bins and all as they can. Your new bins should be arriving at approximately the same time. There will be a new pickup schedule, which will not take long to get used to. I don't think the switch out will take long.

Our May city election should be exciting. We have contests for each of the three city council seats open: 2, 4 and 5. Candidates for these contests will also be listed by our reporter, Ms. Farmer, in this edition and so I will not be redundant here. I am sure that there will be “Meet the Candidates” forums, and those will be good get-togethers.

My seat is open for election, though I have no opponent that I know of. I guess I will put out my signs though, because I will be hoping for some votes. A write-in candidate still has a chance.

We all regret the loss of another pillar of Van Alstyne, Mr. John Houx. We do lose them occasionally; that's the way of life. But, they remain as pillars and we will see them all again. Our prayers go out to Shirley Houx and all the family.

God bless you all.

Yours truly,

Mayor Larry Cooper