Residents meet the city in “Wizard of Oz” event
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Residents of Copperas Cove got the chance to meet and interact with the many different departments of the city at the 8th Annual Meet the City on Wednesday afternoon.
The theme for the afternoon was the Wizard of Oz, evident by a yellow brick road on the civic center floor. There was a costume contest for the children and different city department booths were decorated to coordinate with the Wizard of Oz theme. The Copperas Cove Police Department’s booth was decorated to look like the Yellow Brick Road with an appearance by a scarecrow. The Human Resources booth was decorated to look like the Wicked Witch of the West and the Code Compliance and Building and Planning booths had a model house like the one that carries Dorothy away to Oz, complete with the striped tights and ruby red slippers of the Wicked Witch of the East underneath.
The purpose of the event is to “open the doors to the community” and allow residents to stop by and visit with city staff and ask questions about a water bill or solid waste or recycling that they might not have time to go to the department offices and ask.
Animal Control had four kittens and a male rabbit available to pet and possibly adopt at the event. The Animal Control department is about more than catching stray animals. The department also cares for animals, helps with the adoption of animals and educates the public, said supervisor David Wellington. Animal Control also partners with the elementary schools and focuses on teaching kids how to act around stray dogs and their own pets to avoid dog bites, according to Animal Control employee Tammy Hall. Summer is a time when the number of dog bite cases increases because kids are out of school and outside, but Hall said that the education program helped cut down on the number of cases last year.
Charlotte Hitchman, the City Planner for Cove, was at the Building and Planning booth and she said she thought the event was great for the city.
“You know, a lot of our citizens know about what the city does but it’s really hard to let them know everything we do unless we have an event like this and they can come and see the different departments and see exactly what we do,” Hitchman said. “A lot of questions that we get asked as city staff is when somebody has a specific issue and a lot of times, if they don’t know what department they need to go to, they get transferred around quite a bit. An event like this helps educate the citizens on what each department does and what we can do to help them out.”
Outside the Civic Center, there was a fire truck, a SWAT vehicle, a police SUV, as well as trucks from the City for the sewer and streets plus construction equipment. There were two bounce houses for the kids and food trucks for Snofellas Shaved Ice and Funnel Cakes and Big Boss Bar-Be-Que and Catering.
The bounce houses were the favorite of Julie Rodgers’ son, James, 2. Rodgers said she thought the event was good and the booths were really nice and informative.
“It’s very nice to see the city of Copperas Cove coming together to just meet the town, meet the people and show what they’re all about,” Rodgers said. “We did stop by the fire department booth and I can bring his car seat there to make sure it’s safely installed in the car so that’s good, with two little ones.”
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