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City expressing concerns in communication

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The Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino and Willy 98.7/1550 Radio Personality Kenny Graves sit down with Navasota City Manager Brad Stafford to discuss the latest topics related to Navasota in Grilling Stafford – Episode 6.

In this episode Stafford takes a stroll downtown and talks about how encouraging of a walk it was. He also discusses the possibilities of a farmer’s market, communication concerns and more.

Can you tell us anything about COVID-19 cases at any of our local nursing homes? “I can’t talk about that because we don’t really get that information direct to us. I know in some larger communities they get that information and that goes back to the way DSHS distributes information to local health officials. So, we don’t really have a lot of information we are able to provide.”

Did you have an opportunity to stroll through downtown Navasota Friday? If so, how are our local businesses doing? Did you get a chance to stop by any of the salons, barbershops, etc? “I didn’t go Friday, I went Saturday. I did go into several of the businesses and they were happy and seemed to have a decent crowd. The good part that I saw was it was a mix of locals, but there were a lot of out-of-town people that were in there and they were having a good day. There were people having a great day. I stopped into Lizzy’s and they were busy, so I didn’t get to say much to anybody. I stuck my head in at Revival Barbershop and they were busy, so I just said hey and went on down the road because they were all busy. It looked like downtown stayed hopping and some of the ones I talked to yesterday said Sunday was a good day as well. I think that people are starting to come out. One of them said people were coming from Conroe, the Woodlands, Spring, Cypress, so it’s really good to see our visitors coming back in from the south.”

Given the poor communication between rural communities and DSHS during COVID-19, will the cities, counties, or their associations, take their concerns to the state legislature so this does not happen again? “That’s already in the works. Mayor (Bert) Miller met with Representative (Ben) Leman and had a conversation with h i m about our concerns that cities like us who have our own emergency management plans and our own emergency management coordinators are sort of left out of the loop and dependent on second-hand information. It seemed like Representative Leman was interested in hearing what the mayor had to say and promised that he would have a conversation about that. We probably will go a little further with that and push that to get better information in the future.”

Do you know when the Farmer’s Market will resume? And where is that location? “I don’t know when the Farmer’s Market will resume. In years past we have tried multiple times trying to have a Farmer’s Market. Finding the farmers to participate has been part of the issue. We started working on one with a private sector group and of course when COVID hit it kind of changed everybody’s focus. So, I don’t really know when one will open back up or even where it would. We have the ability if somebody wants to start one, we are more than willing to work with them. We have the ability for them to do it at the city parking lots here around city hall or at Mance Lipscomb Park. Hopefully, somebody hears this and says, hey I have a lot of produce I want to sell, and we can have a Farmer’s Market. All they need to do is call us and have a conversation.”

View the full video of Grilling Stafford – Episode 6 and all Grilling Stafford videos online, www.navasotaexaminer.com. Submit Grilling Stafford questions to news@navasotaexaminer.com.