Nearly 60 members have been selected for either the Longview Walk of Stars committee or the city’s 2020 Census Task Force.
At least two of them will serve double duty.
On Thursday, the City Council Appointments Committee nominated activists, politicos, business people, educators, officials and a host of public servants for the committees. Longview City Council members later approved the appointments.
The 28-member Walk of Stars committee will be chaired by businessman Tim Patrick, a Longview native who originally brought up the idea to Mayor Andy Mack.
“We were sitting around and (Patrick) asked, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’” Mack said. “We started kicking it around, and I said I think it would work. ... He’s just very excited about Longview (and) very excited about seeing things taking place here.”
Patrick graduated from Longview High School and the University of Texas at Dallas before co-owning Chelsea Corner Restaurant in Highland Park, his wife, Janean Patrick, said. He later moved to East Texas and opened Chelsea Landing on Lake Cherokee, but he has now worked in the oil and gas industry for the past 15 years.
Earlier this year, Mack suggested that the city create a Walk of Stars or some other way to honor city residents or natives who have made significant contributions to the community, state, nation or world.
The committee will set guidelines and qualifications for honorees, he said.
He also asked that a separate task force be formed to lead local efforts that ensure every Longview resident is counted during the U.S. Census count next year.
The Census Task Force includes several superintendents and administrators from Longview, Pine Tree and Spring Hill ISDs, more than a half-dozen faith leaders, a representative of the Greater Longview Area Apartment Association, a retired college president and Northeast Texas Housing Consortium navigator Karen Holt.
The City Council agreed to both ventures and submitted nominations for the Walk of Stars committee and the Census Task Force.
“I’m excited about both of those coming together and moving forward,” Mack said.
Meeting dates haven’t been set.
Community Services Director Laura Hill will be the city’s liaison to the 2020 Census Task Force. A chairman for the task force hasn’t been selected.
Hill said she’s only glanced at the list of members and hasn’t gathered everyone’s background. However, the faith leaders will be key when the group looks to churches to determine who will connect with certain churches and develop a phone tree.
She pointed to Longview ISD Community Relations Director Matthew Prosser and his work editing the school district’s newspaper, which connects with students, families and others in the community.
“That’s a huge opportunity to reach a lot of people in Longview in one fell swoop,” Hill said.