Pa n h a n dle R egiona l Pl a n n i ng Com m is sion
2 011 A n n u A l R e p o R t
Working across the miles
ne of the unique aspects of Panhandle life involves traversing from one community to another, with the knowledge that the distance between destinations typically includes a fair amount of miles. Our regions geography is spread out and people who live here know, understand, and even appreciate this fact.
It is not unusual for people to drive 250 miles round trip to get a contract signed, or spend a day on the road to attend an important meeting and return home that same day, or convene an event in a more central area so that more people can attend and each share in the driving experience. It is not out of the ordinary for Panhandle residents to initiate a trip that would log more miles in a day than a trip from Dallas to Houston, all for a single, important purpose. Driving many miles to accomplish our activities or visit with others is our reality.
Working together, in spite of the distance we sometimes must travel, is very important to us. We make what to residents in more centralized communities would be a big sacrifice in order to address critical issues, hold face-to-face encounters, or assist with community needs. All in the name of improving the quality of life for everyone in our region
Sometimes we use maps, but more often than not, the route is familiar. Those who have lived in this region long or moved here to live and work know and rely on traveling our roads to help us take care of the business at hand. It is this willingness to literally go the extra mile that makes the Panhandle an exceptional part of the country to call home.
Many of the photos used in this report were taken by photographers Shannon Richardson (cover photo) and Barclay Gibson.
Panhandle Regional Planning CommissionThe Panhandle Regional Planning Commission is a voluntary association of cities, counties and special districts in the Texas Panhandle. Established in 1969, the Planning Commission assists local governments in planning, developing and implementing programs designed to improve the general health, safety and welfare of the citizens in the Texas Panhandle.The Planning Commission is an organization of, by and for local governments. It was created based on the concept that more can be accomplished by local governments acting cooperatively rather than alone. Since 1969, the Planning Commission has been involved in a wide range of projects and programs. Activities currently include initiatives in the areas of workforce development, aging, local government services, economic development, dispute resolution, 9-1-1 services, criminal justice, solid waste management, emergency preparedness, transportation planning, water planning, regional services and technical assistance to the local governments of the Panhandle.The Panhandle region covers a 26-county area consisting of almost 26,000 square miles. The regions population is 427,927. The Panhandle Regional Planning Commission has 91 member governments including all 26 counties, 57 incorporated cities and 8 special districts.
Wayne NancePRPC Board ChairmanBriscoe County Judge
Board ChairmanLetter from the
Working Across the Miles is a most fitting title for this years Annual Report. Whether serving as a Board Member, a volunteer, or PRPC staffer, logging miles through the region comes with the territory. Our PRPC Board Members and Advisory Committee members have collectively driven more than 137,500 miles this past year in order to conduct the business of the region. These individuals believe in the importance of such efforts to improve the Panhandle, some even donating their travel expenses so as not to pass along those costs to the organization.
If you add to that number the 106,000 miles driven by the PRPC staff, a total of 243,745 miles (which is just a little more than a one-way trip to the moon) was driven on our members behalf during the past twelve months all for the purpose of ensuring our region is an even better place in which to live and work. Results of the efforts that have been made can be found in this report. The impact the PRPC is making on the Panhandle can be seen in such diverse projects as the replacement of water and sewer systems, the installation of safe rooms, the installation of new in-car computers and training for law enforcement officers, and the development of plans for the regions future water and transportation resources. The PRPC has provided assistance to various groups, such as our aging population, our small business owners, and our low-income families.
Serving as this years Board Chair has provided me a better understanding and strategic view of the PRPCs mission, as well as its accomplishments. Every community has directly or indirectly benefitted from the work of the PRPC. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to thank every man and woman who has played a role in this regions current and future success. The talent and hard work you have committed to the Panhandle and even the miles you have traveled is impressive.
Board of Directors
DON ALLRED Judge, Oldham County
RONNIE GORDON Judge, Hartley County
ZELDA LANG, Councilwoman, City of Dalhart
CLEO CASTRO Councilman, City of Cactus
Dallam, Hartley, Moore, Oldham, and Sherman Counties Representatives
BOB GOBERBoard Member, North Rolling Plains Resource Conservation
and Development District
BRIAN GILLISPIE Mayor, City of Spearman
JEFF BRAIN Mayor, City of Borger
JUAN CANTU Commissioner, Lipscomb
PETE DeSANTIAGO Minority Citizens Representative,
VERNON COOK Judge, Roberts County
Hansford, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Ochiltree, and Roberts Counties Representatives
ARTHUR WAREJudge, Potter County
ERNIE HOUDASHELL Judge, Randall County
JED WELCH Commissioner, City of Canyon
SAUL HERNANDEZ Minority Citizens Representative,
PAUL HARPOLE Mayor, City of Amarillo
Armstrong, Carson, Potter, and Randall Counties Representatives
JAY MAYDEN Judge, Childress County
JOHN JAMES Judge, Collingsworth
TOM BAILIFFBoard Member, Greenbelt
Municipal & Industrial Water Authority
TOM VELASQUEZ Minority Citizens Representative,
JACK HALL Judge, Donley County
Childress, Collingsworth, Donley, Gray, Hall, and Wheeler Counties Representatives
HAROLD KEETER Judge, Swisher County
HARVEY PEREZ Minority Citizens
TOM SIMONS Judge, Deaf Smith
WAYNE NANCE, Judge, Briscoe County
Briscoe, Castro, Deaf Smith, Parmer, and Swisher Counties Representatives
As the PRPC team goes about its day-to-day duties serving the people of the Texas Panhandle, spending time on the road becomes a big part of the routine. Whether our Dispute Resolution Center mediators are heading to Pampa to assist area court officials, or our 9-1-1 staff are finalizing some new network addresses, or one of our Local Government Services professionals is traveling to Timbercreek Canyon to serve as a contract City Manager, driving those miles enables us to successfully complete that mission.
In this Annual Report you will see photos of some of these often traveled pathways, as well as some of the maps that have guided us through the years. This past year, the PRPC staff logged more than 106,000 miles in order to attend meetings, administer surveys, update plans, counsel clients, hold public forums, and accomplish many other member-related tasks. On these hundreds of road trips we have encountered storms, taken detours, witnessed a wreck or two, fixed flat tires, arrived too early or a little late, passed a few 18-wheelers, and taken in a Panhandle sunrise or sunset. Traveling on our regions roadways is like second nature to the PRPC staff, and we have learned to enjoy the journey. This travel, which to some outsiders might appear as a burden, is how we get our work done. Long distances are unique to our region, and our PRPC mission is far too important to let the miles stand in our way.
The members we serve live in all sizes of communities and range in distance from our Amarillo office from several miles to more than 125 miles. Our region is special for many reasons, but our expansive geographic footprint is certainly one of the more unique
aspects. We hope the next time you travel from one Panhandle community to another, you take a minute to appreciate the roads we tend to take for granted,
observe some of the landscape you pass, and make some mental notes about your trip. There is much to enjoy about our Panhandle plains and the pathways that enable us to connect!
As we close out the year and begin another, the PRPC staff wants to express its gratitude for the confidence you place in our capabilities. We serve you and your community with the utmost respect for the values you represent and the goals you want to achieve. It is always our hope that the work we carry out can and does make a positive difference for our neighbors.
Gary PitnerPRPC Executive Director
Executive DirectorLetter from the