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Video interview with Mayor Kay Joffrion on the electrical petition

Thursday, May 07, 2015 - Posted by Craig Allen, in City news, Videos

Yesterday (May 7th, 2015), we sat down with Mayor Kay and asked her a few questions about the electrical petition that has been signed by more than 500 people and turned into the city secretary.

The council will discuss the two petitions, after receiving certification of the signatures on each, at a meeting tonight at 6:00 p.m, at City Hall.

Mayor Joffiron says "that the citizens have a right to speak" and "This petition shows how many do want to have a say so in their electrical contract and electrical issues in the city".

Joffrion continues "That a statement had been made that there weren't may people that were concerned about the electrical issue and I think this shows how many are concerned and they want something done" ... "I believe this is a loud voice, the citizens have spoken and if the council does not listen it could be detrimental to a lot of things in the city"

Please click on the image above to view full interview.


The actions that are possible at the city council meeting are:
Table the discussions for a future date.
Vote on and adopt (pass) the two petitions (ordinances) as they are without change.
Vote to put the two ordinances on a ballot within 90 days to allow the citizens to vote on these items.
Add their own version of the ordinance(s) and place theirs along with the citizens’ version on the ballot.
Ignore or deny the petition(s) and simply refuse to put the ordinances on the ballot by trying to say the people do not have a right to petition on this subject as it is too complex of an issue for people to understand and they do not have enough facts.
This last choice is strictly against Coleman’s charter, but it very likely that this is what they will do even though the people have shouted clearly and are demanding that they be allowed to vote.
This is a critical time for Coleman. You have spoken up by signing the petitions; it is now important that you contact your council member and let them know you want these petitions to go to the vote of the people.
That is what democracy is all about. You have asked our city leaders to allow you to vote on these very important maters, and this is what you expect them to do.  Uphold the charter, and bring these items to the vote of the people.
The city council meeting is at 6:00 pm, Thursday, May 7th (Today) 2015. We encourage you to please clear your schedule and attend this very important meeting.

Here the email addresses of the city council members and city manager.
Mayor Kay Joffrion --
Councilman Johhny Needham --
Councilman Danny Jameson
Mayor Pro-Tem Gary Payne
City Manager Paul Catoe --

Please click here to go to the forum conversation on this article.

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Video tour of the Coleman Public Library

Thursday, April 30, 2015 - Posted by Craig & Bernadette Allen, in General News., City news, Videos

This video is a continuation of our multi-video series of interviews from downtown Coleman, TX

It is an exciting time for Coleman.
There are seven or more businesses opening or that have just recently opened in the span of just a few months!

In this video we feature our incredible public library. Sue Dossey was kind enough to narrate as well as summarize below the 5 recent grants that the Library has received since December.



Here's some information about all the grants the library has received since December to a total of $30, 685.17.
1 & 2.) Preservation and digitizing - we received a grant from the Coleman County Foundation ($7,632.00) December 11th for preservation and digitizing the Mac Woodward Texas History Collection.  The library has partnered with the Abilene Library Consortium with this project.  The collection was donated to the library in the early 1990's and houses approximately 800 books and booklets with published and unpublished materials and memorabilia.  The collection is related to Texas and two prominent Coleman family's - the Woodward and McClellans.  There are also limited editions, some of the booklets are rare self-published editions, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, telegrams, letters and photographs of the McClellans and Woodwards.
With help from the Abilene Library Consortium archivist Mary Lee Bartlett, the collection will be  inventoried and training for library staff to preserve the collection from further deterioration.  Book cases will be covered with archival lining to insulate the acid in the wood from the books.  Scrapbooks, photographs and other loose items will be stored in archival boxes to deter damage due to light.  To give the collection books a worldwide presence, Coleman Public Library will add the titles to its local catalog and to OCLC (the world's largest online catalog of library materials)  Items of great historical interest, such as letters, telegrams and photographs will be selected for digitization on the West Texas Digital Archives, a free public online repository containing over 50,0000 unique historical items.  Digitizing materials will allow patrons to view this priceless historic content without exposing the original physical objects to further wear and damage.  Once it is finished patrons will also be able to view the collection on the library website.
Tocker Foundation ($15,600.00) awarded the library a grant for digitization of the Coleman Voice; the Coleman Democrat Voice; the Coleman Daily voice; and the Coleman County Chronicle.  This project partnered with Abilene Library Consortium, will include approximately 15,000 pages of text and images to be housed on the University of North Texas' (UNT) Portal to Texas History.    The library's 105 reels of newspaper microfilm span the years 1908 - 2013 and provide a look back at Coleman's past.  Once again the library is partnered with Abilene Library Consortium for this project.  ALC is a 501 c (3) to serve libraries and other cultural heritage organizations across Texas.  The consortium's primary mission is to deliver higher-quality library services to its communities through resource sharing and collaborations.  Their web site is

The Portal to Texas History,, is a gateway to
Texas history materials.  The portal digitalizes historical materials from private collectors and collaborative partners, including libraries, museums archives and other historical groups.  In 2010 the Portal hosted over 900,000 digital images from one hundred and thirty partners.  Every month over 115,000 visitors from around the world use the online collections.
The Tocker Foundation has adopted a goal of promoting Texas public libraries in communities of 12,000 or less.  Grant applications are reviewed by a permanent committee of librarians appointed by the Texas Library Association.  This grant brings the cumulative grant support to the Coleman Public Library to a total of $147,143.00.
3.) Free books for children - we were very excited to learn we have been awarded a Books For Children grant by the Libri Foundation. 
This foundation works with Friends of the Library or other local organizations to raise funds to contribute as a match fund of $200 to $350 which the Libri Foundation then matches a 2 to 1 ratio.  The library can receive up to $1,050.00 worth of new quality, hardcover children's books that will be added as a permanent addition to library collection.  Books donated though this program will be used for storytelling, toddler, preschool, after-school (ACE) program, school projects and to just provide children with a "good read."  The Libri Foundation is a nationwide non-profit organization, established in 1989 for the sole purpose of helping rural libraries in the United States acquire new children's books.  For this 2015 grant 98 libraries nationwide.  Four libraries in Texas; Coleman Public Library, Dublin Public Library, Hugh Springs Public Library and Clarksville Public Library.  Librarian Sue Dossey would like to share some additional information, she received a letter to inform the library of a new development.  Thanks to a generous and anonymous, donation to the Libri Foundation our library is no longer required to prove matching funds.  The library will receive $1,050.00 worth of books absolutely free.  
4.) Texas Book Festival collections enhancement grant ($1,500.00)  The grant will be used to fund the MackinVIA, eBook content of accelerated Reading books for all Coleman County students.  Students have easy access to the collection twenty-four hours, seven days a week accessed via the Coleman public Library web site  MackinVIA was originally funded by a grant from the Friends of the Coleman County Foundation in 2014.  
The Texas Book Festival is a nonprofit organization that celebrates authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas and imagination.  Founded in 1995 by Laura Bush and a group of interested volunteers, the annual Festival is held on the ground of the Texas Capitol.  It features readings and discussions from more that 50 renowned Texas and national authors, entertaining and informing more than 40,000 adults and children, free of cost.  The 2015 Texas Book Festival is scheduled for October 17th & 18th.  For more information about the Teas book Festival visit  
5.) 3D Technology - (This grant will be announced tomorrow night at the Friends of the Library awards party) Friends of the Coleman County Foundation 2015 grant has awarded the Friends of the Coleman Public Library a grant for $4,923.17 to enhance the library's Summer Reading Program, ACE Reading Program and to provide new 3D technology services for the community of Coleman.  This includes a craft machine and supplies, 3D doodle pens, and a 3D printer to use to stimulate the minds of our children for reading projects.  The 3D printer will provide an additional service for businesses, organizations, churches and the community. 
Thank you, Sue Dossey

Sue Dossey, Librarian, Cindy Dempsey and Mary Lou Garrett

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The new retro furniture store being built by Bonnie West

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Posted by Craig & Bernadette Allen, in General News., City news, Videos

The second in a series of interviews downtown Coleman, TX

Coleman Connected is pleased to present the second in a series of interviews with some of the new business owners downtown Coleman, Texas

It is an exciting time for Coleman. There are seven or more businesses opening or that have just recently opened in the span of just a few months!

In this article, we feature the new retro furniture store being built by Bonnie West

Yesterday, Coleman Connected stopped by the nearly completed construction project that will surely be transformed into a nostalgic retro furniture home décor store, downtown Coleman Texas, which is now owned and operated by Bonnie West.

"The new name is currently a secret," says West, "but we'll be putting up our sign by the end of May if all goes well."

West will be selling mid-century modern (styles from around the years 1955 - 1965) furniture and other home décor - rugs, lamps, vases, ashtrays, record players.

Most of the merchandise will be vintage - actually from the 50s and 60s.  But, there is not enough of the old stuff left to go around, so about 25% will be good reproductions - new merchandise in a retro style.

West says when people think about that era, the first thing that comes to mind is the music - early rock-and-roll  (Elvis, Buddy Holly, Everley Brothers).

The cars are the next thing that usually come to mind from that era. That was the first time cars for young people were widely available, instead of your parents' sedan (the Mustang, the muscle cars).

Both of these things will be featured in the shop.

West remarks:  "A lot of work was needed to get the building ready for us -- there was no electricity, no plumbing, no heat or a/c and no front door! -- BUT it is in a great location, has an intact pressed-tin ceiling and a good concrete floor that just needed to be cleaned and polished.  My sister-in-law, Sue Cullins, and my friend, Loma Dean, will be helping me in the shop."

West hopes to be open by the end of May.


Grab your best girl and cruise on down to Coleman, Texas and relive the good ol' days. Then spend the day just enjoying everything Coleman has to offer.
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The first in a series of interviews downtown Coleman, TX

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Posted by Craig & Bernadette Allen, in General News., City news, Videos

Coleman Connected is pleased to present the first in a series of interviews with some of the new business owners downtown Coleman, Texas.

It is an exciting time for Coleman. There are seven or more businesses opening or that have just recently opened in the span of just a few months!

In this first series of interviews and articles, we feature the new pizzeria being built by Robert and Laurie Williamson, followed by an quick look at the construction in progress by the Jones Brothers, who have been commissioned by Bonnie West. She is opening up a 50's - 60's style furniture and nostalgia store.

As a bonus, we had a chance to talk with the ladies at the Coleman Library about the exciting new items and events coming to the Coleman library as a result of the five grants they were just awarded. Congratulations!

Looking good Coleman!

Williamson expects to open the pizzeria on May 24th. The coffee shop, gallery and winery will open at progressively later dates. A farmers market is also in the planning stages. Williamson says he really needs to find some skilled workers to help him meet his goals.

The pizzeria features an authentic wood fired oven. They expect to be able to seat 50-60 people, where the dining will be casual.  Music is anticipated, with hours reaching into the evening, perhaps 9 or 10 pm, giving Coleman downtown some much needed nightlife.

The winery, where they will be crushing their own grapes is expected to open before the Prickly Pear Food and Wine Festival, which is scheduled for Oct. 24th, 2015. This promises to be quite an event, with the top six Texas wineries present, 7 chefs, and even one prickly pear beer maker. Williamson expects to bring in 2000 - 3000 people from out of town for the festival and is really optimistic on how this and the collection of bushiness will boost growth for the other local businesses and Coleman in general.


Here is a link to Rancho Loma Restaurant, a fine dinning restaurant owned and managed by Robert and Laurie Williamson just outside of Coleman.


If you would like your businesses or project interviewed, please contact us at

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A video montage of the Chamber Banquet.

Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Posted by Craig Allen, in General News., Events and announcements, Videos

There are times when we all get a little down. Perhaps it's trouble at work, school, kids, money, body doesn't move like it used to --- you know, that little bit of blah that just won't let you go. Hopefully it does not pounce you very often and hopefully you have a friend or two to help you through the grayness. That's surely what friends are for; true friends that are with you when your are not. These are the friends you find in a small town. People that you can really get to know, deep down, with all the wrinkles and hiccups in them and the town you call home! You just wouldn't trade either for all the riches left in Fort Knox.

It's that small town fabric, small town pride, and small town hope that Coleman Texas is all about.  That's the feeling the Chamber banquet shares each year with those who attend.

We hope you enjoy this video of our Chamber's annual banquet (2015). There were several hours of material; so many great moments, but we of course had to cut a great deal of this out. Hopefully what is left is a good balance between just right and and wish there was a tad more/less of his/her comments. If you do find you would like the missing segments, just let us know ( and we'll try to make them available to you. (Free of course, as long as you use it in a non-profit venture).

Please share this video directly from this site or email links to directly to as we may update the video, therefor the Youtube address may change.

Awards (Last years winner to this year's)

Teacher of the Year:  Darlene Webb (absent) to Bonnie Brown
Rural Citizen of the Year:  Bobby Green to Harold Fahrlender
Citizen of the Year: Jo Ann Eddleman to Louise Strength
Young Horizon: Heath Hemphill to Sandra Rose
Business of the Year: Novice Cafe & Mercantile ( Jerald, Nita & Tish Wilson  ) to Cathy Allen and Linda Caldwell, Owl Drug

Special award from Coleman Youth Activity Center board to Henry Dodson for years of service.

Special award to Mary Griffis for her 30 years of Chamber service.

MC was Tammy Cassey.

Music by Gilbert Olinger.

Produced by Craig & Bernadette Allen.
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The citizens of Coleman have shouted loudly.

Monday, April 13, 2015 - Posted by Craig Allen, in City news, Videos

A short victory video and thank you to the Coleman citizens!

On, April 10th, 2015, 4:30 pm we turned in the two electrical petitions.

More than 500 signatures total! And they're still coming in!

That's a mighty loud voice demanding change!

For those who have not been following this saga:  Coleman has the highest electrical rates in the state of Texas!

These rates are crippling businesses and wreaking havoc on our citizens. These two petitions ask that the rate be reduced to 12/kWh and the 2nd, requests that the electrical system be sold to a provider that can deliver electricity to us for a substantial discount, removing the middle man (the city of Coleman) from the formula.

If due process is allowed as outlined in the city charter, the petitions will be voted on by the city council within 30 days (after certification). Should the council fail to pass them,  one or both will move to a final vote by the citizens via special ballot within 90 days.  Legal maneuvering may change this process and the time table, yet we fully expect that the citizens will prevail and Coleman will finally be allowed to loose these shackles and begin to heal.

So, here are the final moments as we turn the petitions in and gather our thoughts just afterwards.

For details on the electrical issue and petitions, please visit the forum at:

Produced by Craig and Bernadette Allen in connection with Coleman Connected
Bringing all of Coleman Together.

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A video interview with Jeannie Moss

Monday, April 13, 2015 - Posted by Craig Allen, in City news, Videos

 Jeannie is running for city council, west ward in Coleman Texas.

Coleman is truly a beautiful place to live and raise a family, yet it has some real problems, which include a VERY high cost of electricity, a significant drug abuse problem, battered streets and dilapidated housing that has become a drain on community pride.

We had an opportunity to interview Jeannie and hear her concerns and desires for the future of Coleman. Jeannie is acknowledging these problems and speaks opening and honestly directly to the people of Coleman; a truly welcome change.

Get to know Jeannie, click below.

Produced by Craig and Bernadette Allen in connection with Coleman Connected

Bringing all of Coleman Together.

Political advertisement paid for by Jeannie Moss.
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Audio/Video of very passionate discussion 3/19/15

Friday, April 03, 2015 - Posted by Craig, in General News., City news, Opinion/Commentary, Videos

Here's the video everyone is talking about.

A video/audio recording of a very passionate discussion that occurred during the City Council Meeting held Thursday, March 19,2015

Coleman has the highest electrical rates in the state of Texas that we are aware of. These rates are oppressive to both the citizens and businesses of Coleman

To make matters worse, the contracts with AEPEP are secret, and are not available for the citizens to view and analyze.

Representative Keffer of the Texas House, has heard our pleas and sponsored a bill to prevent such contracts from being withheld on the basis of Confidentiality.

Now, the TPPA (Texas Public Power Association), who represents the 72 MOU's in Texas, is fighting to keep these bills from passing, stating that such transparency will have a negative impact on the utilities that they represent.

This discussion and audio/video recording clearly demonstrates the acute level of concern by many citizens and the  city council members on this subject.

Contact us at for more information.
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