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Council Report: American Airlines amendment extension

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AMERICAN AIRLINES AMENDMENT EXTENSION

At its work session, the Fort Worth City Council received an informal report that American Airlines needs a little more time to fulfill part of its bargain in a tax abatement agreement.

The company informed the city that since the Texas Transportation Commission approval of Texas Department of Transportation funding was delayed until this past Jan. 31, it is not feasible for the American Airlines to mobilize their construction contractor as originally planned.

Due to this delay, the company is requesting an extension to the deadline of the completion of the Enhanced Community Facilities Agreement (ECFA) improvements to July 31, 2020.

Now, after numerous changes to the original abatement, issued in November of 2015, and further design and discussions with the company, the city’s participation in the public infrastructure project is $2 million, representing the entire commitment in the original tax abatement agreement.

The council authorized execution of an advance funding agreement (AFA) between the city and the state of Texas, acting through TxDOT for regional toll revenue (RTR) for the public infrastructure improvements along Trinity Boulevard, American Boulevard and U.S. Highway 360 Frontage Road.

The AFA would have a project amount not to exceed $7 million, which would provide the city with RTR funds not to exceed $5.6 million, with a 20% local match requirement not to exceed $1.4 million.

The council also authorized the execution of one or more ECFAs with American Airlines consisting of the RTR funds, as well as ECFA funds and transportation impact fee funds in an amount not to exceed $2 million for the public infrastructure.

An item will be placed on the June 18 agenda for council to consider.

“I’m just hoping we can work it out, whatever it is we need to do,” said Councilwoman Gyna Bivens, in whose District 5 the project lies. “Everything is riding on this. I know you’re working as quickly as you can, but let’s go faster.”

MANAGEMENT DIVERSITY REVIEW

In a continued effort to employ diversity as a core value for the city, the Fort Worth City Council received an informal report on management diversity within its workforce at June 4 work session.

City officials have said diversity is a core value for Fort Worth. They stress that a diverse workforce provides many perspectives, views, and ideas that add strength to the ability to strategize, communicate and deliver services.

The report also provided an update specifically about the recruitment efforts of senior management, meaning assistant directors and higher, at the city. Officials said for several years, human resources and city management have had the following three goals for each selection process:

• Find the best candidate for each position through a competitive process.

• The workforce reflects the diversity of the community.

• Remove bias from the selection process.

Statistics over the past decade show the following employment statistics within the city:

• Caucasians – 56.34% in 2009, 54% in 2019.

• Hispanic – 22.64% in 2009, 23.80% in 2019.

• African-American – 17.63% in 2009, 17.40% in 2019.

• Other – 3.39% in 2009, 4.90% in 2019.

• City of Fort Worth residents – 49.88% in 2009, 49.12% in 2019.

Among current senior management, 64% are males and 36% are females. The ethnicity breakdown includes 67% Caucasian, 16% African-American, 15% Hispanic, and 2% other.

Hiring since 2016 include 58% male and 42% females. Ethnically, it is 58% Caucasian, 24% African-American, 14% Hispanic, and 4% other.

Officials said city management and human resources will not move forward with a finalist pool of candidates unless it meets the diversity standards of the city. In a review of both the diversity of the candidates presented, as well as the diversity of the finalist pools that the city chose to move forward with, the percent of diverse candidates presented averaged 55%, and the percent of diverse candidates the city chose as finalists averaged 70%.

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