Friday, April 25, 2008

Stakeholder interview appointments are still available

As announced in the opinion survey and Tri-County Leader, Butler Planning Services will be holding stakeholder interviews during the last week of April. These interviews are open to any community member or stakeholder. Appointments are still available for Tuesday the 29th and Wednesday the 30th. Although anyone is welcome to participate, an appointment is required. Please contact Christopher Butler (, 979-777-7794) if you would like to make an appointment. Due to travel considerations, the consultant will only be available at scheduled times. Therefore, walk-ins are not encouraged. Appointments must be made 24 hours in advance to guarantee availability, though we will attempt to accommodate everyone.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Get updates to this Blog automatically

Did you know you can get updates to this blog automatically sent to you? Several programs and/or websites you may already use support something called RSS. This is a complicated sounding name for something very simple. It allows you to get a free “subscription” to this blog (and many other blogs and websites you frequently check). Instead of checking the site manually, you get the content delivered to you automatically, but ONLY when new items are posted.

Best of all, unlike signing up for a mailing list, you remain in control. The blog you subscribe to does not get your information. You can subscribe and unsubscribe freely and securely.

If you are already accustomed to subscribing to blogs, please use the URL: This will allow us to count the number of subscribers we get. If you are new to the idea, I have created a short step by step guide to several popular subscription methods. You can use one or more, depending on how you wish to receive updates. If you have trouble with this, please use the project email ( to get help.

In Outlook 2007 (probably the easiest to use and integrate, new posts show up just like email)
  1. I believe this only works in Outlook 2007 (try Google Reader for a free, email-like option)
  2. On the Tools menu, click the “Account Settings” option
  3. On the RSS Feeds tab, click the “New” button
  4. A window will pop up called “New RSS Feed,” type
  5. Click Add
  6. Check the “automatically download enclosures for this feed” check box
  7. Click OK
  8. You should now have a folder on your “Mail Folders” bar called “RSS Feeds”
  9. Each new article will show up automatically as it is posted to the blog. You can read articles the same way you would read new email.

In iGoogle (no software to buy, but not as seamless as the Outlook 2007 option, if you use Google everyday, this is still a great option)
  1. Go to
  2. Click the “iGoogle” link at the top of the page
  3. Click the link in the line “(Don’t have an iGoogle page? Get Started.)”
  4. Click the “See your page” button on the “Create your own homepage in under 30 seconds” popup box
  5. Once you have been taken to the new home page click the “Add stuff” link, located in the upper right portion of the screen
  6. Click the “Add feed or gadget” link located in the middle, left portion of the screen, type and click “add”
  7. Once it adds a check mark down below click on the “x”
  8. Click on the “Back to iGoogle home” link at the upper left portion of the screen
  9. A new box should have been created with headlines for the Whitehouse Planning Blog, new headlines will show up automatically any time something is posted. Click on the “+” icon to expand and read the story
  10. Next time you visit google this page should come up, you can also add many more feeds and useful items if you would like

In Internet Explorer 7 (not that useful)
  1. Launch the IE7 browser
  2. Type into the address bar and hit “enter”
  3. Click on the “Subscribe to this feed” link
  4. A pop-up box will appear, click the “subscribe” button
  5. To check feeds click the “tools” button, then select “tool bars” then “feeds”
  6. This will bring up a list similar to your favorites list
  7. Click on the new folder item for “Whitehouse Plan”
  8. On the far right, click “View feed properties…”
  9. Click the radio button next to “Use custom schedule” and set the frequency to “15 minutes”
  10. New postings will show up here automatically

In Firefox 2 (least useful from my experience, but does work if the user does not mind checking for updates manually)
  1. Launch the Firefox 2 browser
  2. Type into the address bar and hit “enter”
  3. You will see a yellow area near the top of the page with a drop down box
  4. Select “live bookmarks” then click the “subscribe now” button
  5. Click “ok” on the pop-up box
  6. To view the articles click on the “bookmarks” menu, select “Bookmarks toolbar folder” then right click “WhitehousePlan” and select “reload Live Bookmarks” (this option may be different for some users, you will be looking for the folder “WhitehousePlan”)
  7. New articles will pop out to the right

Other options
  1. Yahoo has a similar option to the iGoogle method for those who prefer Yahoo, it is called “MyYahoo.”
  2. Google Reader is a free stand alone application that works similarly to the Outlook 2007 method. Do a Google search for “Google Reader” for more information.
  3. Many more options exist as well including other email programs, websites, and services.

Finally, if you would like to receive updates via email rather than subscription, please contact the consultant team at

Monday, April 14, 2008

Town Center opinion surveys go out today

The consultant team would like to get as much feedback as possible for both the Town Center Plan/ordinance and the city-wide zoning ordinance. The first way for stakeholders and interested parties to participate is by filling out this survey. If you own property in the Town Center we have already mailed a survey to the address on file with the Smith County Appraisal District. If you do not own property in the district, but would like to participate as well, please send an email to and we will be happy to get you a copy.

The surveys are anonymous; however, we are using a unique ID number to prevent duplicate responses. This ID is not tied to any personal information; however, participants must use it when submitting a survey. Duplicate submissions will be rejected, so please contact the consultant team if you would like to participate.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Welcome to the Whitehouse Planning Blog

The City of Whitehouse and Butler Planning Services are beginning a project to plan for development in the Town Center. The project will also produce a new Zoning Ordinance for the whole City. Check back here (or subscribe to the RSS feed) to get regular updates on how you can help shape the Town Center and City.