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May 30

We Are Webster- David and Taylor Biddle

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 4:06 PM by Katie Stamy

David and Taylor Biddle moved to Webster in 2014, and they wasted no time at all turning the small but mighty town into their home.

Taylor grew up in the Webster area and attended Clear Lake High School before graduating and moving to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University. 

David grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi and attended the University of Mississippi before moving around to Denver, CO, Birmingham, AL, Savannah, GA, and ultimately, Lubbock, TX.

While Taylor worked as a bartender in the college town, she met David. He repeatedly asked her to go to lunch with him, but she would politely decline. Eventually, when David once again petitioned a lunch-date, she finally decided to give him a chance, and about a year later in 2012, the two were married in Las Vegas. 

The pair wanted to be closer to family, so in 2014, David accepted a job in the area, and they moved to Webster.

David is a financial advisor with Edward Jones and owns and operates the office in Seabrook on NASA Road 1. He is passionate about helping others manage their finances, all while overlooking Clear Lake from the business’ front entrance. 

David became involved in the community when he joined the  Citizens Police Academy, which he graduated from in May. After learning about the Webster Police Department’s roles and responsibilities, and getting the opportunity to go on a ride-along, he looks forward to joining the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association. He is also a chairperson for the Clear Creek Ducks Unlimited Group, which raises money to conserve wetlands. 

Taylor is a paralegal at a law firm in downtown Houston. She is on the Webster Parks, Recreation and Beautification Board, a member of the Junior League of Galveston County, and an advocate and board member for CASA of Galveston County.

“I saw that there was an opening on the parks board and I knew that was something that I would be interested in,” she explained. “The City of Webster has some of the nicest public parks. I enjoy serving on the board because I have met many great people in our area and love being in the know.”

When they aren’t busy working, David and Taylor can usually be found outdoors. A typical day off is spent at the San Luis Pass with the couple’s dogs. David fishes while the dogs run about and Taylor captures the moments on camera. 

David also loves watching college sports, specifically the Ole Miss Rebels during football season.

“If you hear screaming and shouting from our house during football season, do not be alarmed,” Taylor joked. “That is just David coaching them through the TV.”

Their love for the outdoors, and Taylor’s position on the Parks, Recreation and Beautification Board led them to devise a creative 2017 new year’s resolution. This year they are venturing to visit 15 of the Texas State Parks. Four down, 11 to go.

The active couple has made the City their home and has made an effort to make a difference in the community. 

“We absolutely love our neighborhood,” Taylor said. “We have the best neighbors, we feel safe, and we love the location.”

May 30

2017 Fourth of July Celebration

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 4:04 PM by Katie Stamy

Another mesmerizing fireworks show will end a day full of entertainment and festivities at the 2017 City of Webster Fourth of July Celebration. The Celebration Committee has been meeting since March to make arrangements for this year’s bash to be bigger and better than ever. 

The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. at Texas Avenue Park on Tuesday, July 4. Guests can try their chances at a prize during a round of Bingo or check out the Webster Police Department’s K-9 demonstration. The U.S. Coast Guard will stop by for a visit, as well as a PHI helicopter that will be open for viewing.

Vendors from around the City will be there for guests to enjoy a delicious meal or a sweet dessert. Free, refreshing slices of watermelon, and tasty snow cones will be handed out, as well!

Kids can have fun at the Texas-themed playground, the baseball-themed splash pad, on inflatables, or at the petting zoo.

A Salute to Veterans program will begin around 8 p.m. when U.S. Veterans and servicemen and women are invited on stage to be acknowledged and given a token of appreciation from the City.

Following the National Anthem, the riveting fireworks show by the Webster Fire Department will begin.

As the City of Webster’s largest annual event, the Celebration Committee, City Council, and City Staff are looking forward to another successful event. Texas Avenue Park is located at 17100 Texas Avenue in Webster. Follow the City of Webster Facebook and Instagram page for updates on the upcoming event. Share your photos from the event on social media using #WebsterTX, and you could be featured on our page. 

May 30

City Hall Connect- Emergency Management Director Joe Ferro

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 4:03 PM by Katie Stamy

Joe Ferro_thumb.jpg
At eighteen years old, Joe Ferro accepted a job with the City of Webster mowing grass at the wastewater treatment plant and scrubbing sewer tanks. Thirty-four years later, he has a bachelor’s degree, numerous certifications, and is the Director of Emergency Management for the City of Webster. “It hasn’t always been easy,” Joe said. 

He was born in upstate New York into a large Italian family, who moved to Florida one year after he was born. His family built homes and businesses and was involved in the solid waste industry. In 1982, they purchased a solid waste company in Houston, and Joe decided to move to Texas to see what it was all about. He got a job working at Bennigan’s Restaurant, which was once located on Bay Area Boulevard in Webster, and then at Gallagher’s Restaurant, also located in Webster. While working at Gallagher’s, he was introduced to the Webster Director of Public Works. In 1983, after three interviews, he was offered a job with the City, and he hasn’t looked back since.

After Joe had been employed with Webster only a few months, Hurricane Alicia hit the city. “It devastated the area,” Joe remembered. “Recovery was a long process, but I stuck it out, and I’m glad I did,” he stated. Public Works crews had to work 12-14 hour days clearing the debris around Webster.

During that first year, Joe was provided opportunities to further his education, and he quickly became a licensed wastewater operator for the City. That winter, the City endured a record freeze that broke water mains and busted pipes in apartments and homes.  “We worked tirelessly repairing things. At one point, I thought I didn’t want to do this anymore because I was cold, tired, and wet,” Joe explained. But once again, he decided to stick it out, and it was the right decision for him. 

In 1991, Jim Williams was hired as the new Public Works and Community Development Director. He encouraged employees to continue advancing their education, and soon Joe received the highest level of licensing for water and wastewater that the state offered. Joe helped build lift stations, sewer stations, water plants, and public works facilities during this time, and he facilitated in the construction of the police department, city hall, and the fire station. Joe then became the Superintendent of Public Works and oversaw 34 employees and millions of dollars worth of equipment and infrastructure. 

After Hurricane Ike hit in 2008, Joe realized that he wanted to do more for the City, and since he had never obtained a degree, he went to school and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Columbia Southern University while working full time and raising four children. Leading up to his graduation, City staff and City Council created the Emergency Management Coordinator role. Joe applied, and was offered the position. In this position, Joe has created mitigation plans and multiple responses and recovery plans for all hazards, whether man-made or natural. “We constantly review our daily operations to protect our community, our infrastructure, and our employees, and to better respond to local and regional needs,” Joe said. 

In 2009, as Emergency Management Coordinator, Joe had the opportunity to help plan the move of the space shuttle to Space Center Houston. Joe worked with local law enforcement agencies, the Coast Guard, Texas Department of Transportation, and several other organizations to successfully move the shuttle. He received the Texas Municipal League’s Award of Excellence for the move. 

Then, in 2014, Joe worked with Space Center Houston again for “The Big Move.” Along with a myriad of agencies and businesses, the Boeing 747 plane was moved from Ellington Airport to Space Center Houston, where it now resides. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Joe recalled. 

Over the years, Joe has realized that, although it was ultimately up to him to make the right decisions, he was only successful because of the people surrounding him. Joe firmly stated, “It’s the citizens, the employees, the mayors and councils, and all the people that I have been fortunate enough to work with up until this very moment.” He said there had been many challenges throughout his career, but he never quit, and he has always worked through the obstacles that were attempting to set him back. 

On his days off, Joe enjoys spending time outdoors, camping, hiking, and traveling with his wife, Misty, who is the driving force behind everything he does. Joe and Misty have four children, Alexandra, Victoria, Joseph, and Olivia. “This community has been good to my family and me,” Joe said, and reemphasized, “I’ve only had success in my career because of the people I have worked for and with, and I feel very blessed to have had this great opportunity and look forward to my future with the City of Webster and its citizens.”

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