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Mayor's Minute with Atwood Kenjura

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"I am excited to embark on this journey. Change is not always easy, but with your support, we can overcome any obstacles that come our way. Let us embrace this new dawn and work together to create a city that thrives on our strong heritage and small-town feel, and where everyone has the opportunity to succeed and flourish.

Thank you for entrusting me with this responsibility. I am ready to serve you with dedication, integrity, and a steadfast commitment to the well-being of our community."  - Mayor Atwood Kenjura

May 2024

Welcome to May! By the time you read this, the annual Maifest celebration will be taking place at Fireman's Park for 134 years, dating back to its beginning in 1881. The event has taken place each year except for several years during World War I and II. The Brenham Maifest is a culmination of its Board. Royalty families, supporters, and friends who work diligently and tirelessly each year to create a festival that highlights and celebrates the heritage of our community. Once again, because of being more involved this year (my granddaughter Caroline Kenjura is Junior Queen), I am amazed at the unbelievable amount of hours spent on this event to ensure the Brenham Maifest remains "The Oldest Festival in the State of Texas". Preparation for the festival begins in January and continues through the final day of the event.

The two coronations for the Senior and Junior Courts highlight the youth of our community. The entertainment by various bands continues at the festival site along with food booths, crafts, and carnival rides. If you are new to Brenham or have yet to experience Maifest, I encourage you to attend the festivities. Again, thanks to all the supporters and volunteers who keep this tradition moving forward – and maybe some of the young participants this year will be able to attend the 200th Maifest Celebration in the year 2090.

Another celebration during May, that is near and dear to all of us, is Mother’s Day. It is a day that is all about the woman who raised you and shaped who you are as a person. From the packed lunches with napkin notes to the bandages applied after falling off your bike, to being the first to cry at your graduation - your mom was there for it all. It's important to thank her or remember her for all the love and work she put in through the years to make you a better person. Thank you, Mom!

The 50-year anniversaries of the Brenham State Supported Living Center (May 10) and Memorial Oaks Chapel (May 22) mark significant milestones worth celebrating. It's wonderful to see these institutions serving the community for half a century.

Events like the Boys and Girls Club Gala and Fundraiser (May 16) provide vital support for youth programs, while high school graduation ceremonies signify a new chapter for many young adults in Brenham and Burton.

The DPS meal fundraiser supporting the victims of the DPS tragedy demonstrates the community's compassion and solidarity during difficult times. It is Wednesday, May 15 from 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM at Batter Box on FM 389. Tickets can be purchased from various businesses in town. Please help support this worthwhile cause.

Last, it is hard to believe this weekend marks one year since I was elected Mayor of this great community. The City of Brenham is blessed to have outstanding employees and administrators who genuinely care for this place we all call home. I, along with the City Council strive to do our very best to keep Brenham-Brenham.

April 2024

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend and welcome to April! There is a great deal happening in our community and so much to talk about. Today I want to focus on two topics that were brought up at the Chamber of Commerce State of the Community – Crime and the Brenham Post Office.


The question asked was about the crime rate in our city and county and what type of crime was the most prevalent. After consulting with our Interim Police Chief Powell and Washington County Sheriff Hanak, it was determined that theft and burglaries are at the top of the list for the city while assault due to drugs and alcohol and ID theft/scams are at the top of the list for the county. For the City of Brenham, stats for 2023 regarding thefts, burglaries, and auto thefts are:

Some may perceive theft and burglaries as the same, but there is a clear difference in the offense. Theft involves the unlawful acquisition of property belonging to another through dishonest means while burglary refers to the unauthorized entry into a building with the intent to commit theft, cause bodily harm, or inflict unlawful damage. According to our PD, most thefts are crimes of convenience for anything valuable, and more cars than homes are targeted. Firearms top the list of items stolen. Law enforcement recommends that you make sure your homes and vehicles are locked, along with not leaving your garage doors open. Brenham PD, according to state and national statistics, has an above-average percentage of solved cases and individuals brought to justice – and for that, we should be very proud.

Brenham Post Office

During the Chamber forum, I announced the formation of a committee led by Judge Durrenberger and myself, tasked with evaluating our current post office facility. If you remember, the post office used to be located on Market Street, now the site of the museum, before relocating to its current location in 1964. Since becoming mayor, I've received numerous inquiries regarding potential improvements to both the service and the facility. One common concern is the lack of a convenient drop box for mailing letters without the need for parking and entering the building.

Several meetings are planned in the coming weeks to gather input and insights that will guide us in achieving our goal of enhancing services and facilities. Again, I would ask that anyone who has contact with an elected official or their staff to please get in touch with me ( or Judge Durrenberger ( as politics will play an important part in this endeavor.

What do I need from you? I need your feedback. Over the next several weeks we will be gathering your experiences, complaints, suggestions, and compliments about the Brenham Post Office. Simply share your views at One of my duties as your mayor is to work with our state and federal counterparts to solve problems facing our city. Our postal service was written into the U.S. Constitution by the Founding Fathers and is still an important part of our lives to this very day.  With your help, we can put a positive plan in place and work on ways to help the U.S. Postal Service improve this situation for everyone.

TxDOT Update

Phase I of the sidewalk project on Park St. and S. Austin St. is almost complete and Phase II from Jack-in-the-Box to Tom Green St. will begin in early 2025.

The proposed medians along S. Day St. from Stone St. to the loop have been put on hold until a different plan can be determined. The engineers on the project recognize the traffic issue is complex and are trying to develop a plan for the future.

Upcoming Community Events

  • MainStreet Brenham 25th Anniversary celebration dinner will be held on Thursday, April 11th at the Barnhill Center.
  • The Chamber is having its 4th Annual Chamber Golf Tournament at Brenham Country Club on Monday, April 22, 2024. If you have not yet registered to play, get in touch with the Chamber for more information (979) 836-3695.

As always, feel free to send questions to me at, and thank you for helping us keep Brenham, Brenham.

Mayor Kenjura

March 2024


I want to urge those who haven't voted early to take a moment and participate in the upcoming election on Tuesday, March 5th. The voting locations will be open from 7 am to 7 pm. Many thanks to the county and Carol Jackson, the elections administrator, for ensuring ample parking spaces around the courthouse during the early voting period and for all involved in the election administration process. This election has generated significant interest, evident from the numerous political signs across the city and county. We have several local contested races, including Sheriff, District Attorney, County Commissioner, Constable, and the election of a new state representative for District 12. These candidates have invested considerable time and resources in their campaigns, and your vote can make a difference.

Please take a few minutes to cast your vote on Tuesday.

Upcoming Events

It's hard to believe that spring seems to have arrived early, with plants budding and grass turning green. The city and Main Street will host the annual Spring Eggs Art Walk and contest in downtown Brenham. This event showcases the artistic skills of various clubs and organizations.

The city and county Collection Days at the collection station on East Alamo St. will take place on March 7-9 for the city and March 14-16 for the county. Make use of this free service to keep Brenham and Washington County beautiful.

Tourism along with a bumper crop of bluebonnets (thanks to abundant rainfall) should be in record numbers this year. The Antique Horse Carousel, the oldest in Texas (and only one of five classic wood horse carousels that still exist in Texas), will be open from March 1 to Oct 31 on Saturdays and Sundays.

City Projects

The sidewalk project that is underway is moving along at a nice pace and has sharpened everyone's driving skills with all the orange cones in place along the work area. Phase One on Park Street is listed as the area from Burger King and Kenjura Tile to Vulcan Street next to City Hall. Phase Two will be Day Street from Tom Green Street extending to Jack-in- the-Box. And, Phase Three will connect the two areas. Along with this project, the Street Department will begin a paving project that will include the resurfacing and construction of approximately 10-12 streets throughout the city. So please be patient and reduce your speed when driving these areas around town in the next few months.

Progress continues on the new fire station #2. The council will finalize decisions after a field trip to fire stations in New Braunfels and San Marcos on Monday.

Public Invited to Chief Parker Retirement Party

On March 7th, the public is invited to a retirement reception for Chief Ron Parker, retiring as Police Chief for the City of Brenham. We extend our sincere wishes for a well-deserved and fulfilling retirement. The reception will be at 4:00 pm at Police Headquarters, 1800 Longwood Dr.

Take care and drive safe with all the activity in the months ahead.

Thank you for your questions, and again I can be reached at or mailed to:

City Hall
Questions for Mayor Kenjura
200 W. Vulcan St
Brenham, TX 77833

February 2024

I would like to express sincere gratitude to our Utility Department and its dedicated crews who were on standby during the recent severe weather conditions. Special thanks also go to the Fire Department and first responders for their swift responses during the bitter cold and the recent community flooding.

Impact Fees

There has been considerable media coverage since the beginning of the year regarding "impact fees," which will be presented to the city council in the coming weeks. Discussions on these fees were initially brought to the council in May 2023, and since then, several meetings with the public and developers have taken place to enhance understanding. A workshop and discussion on this topic were presented at our recent council meeting, followed by another meeting and a special presentation to developers and contractors for further insights and input.

The primary purpose of these fees is to shift some of the financial responsibility for new development from the city and its taxpayers to the developers. While this approach is common in nearby cities, Brenham is one of the last to implement such fees. As with any new initiative, there are pros and cons, and we welcome your opinions and input.


Recently, a meeting was held by TxDOT concerning the Hwy 290/36 interchange, where citizens voiced their concerns. Construction is set to begin in 2027, with completion expected in 2029-2030. Concerns have also been raised about the proposed raised median along S Day from Stone St to Hwy 290. A letter from my office to TxDOT has been sent expressing the concerns of businesses along this route, indicating that it would be very problematic for them and the public if this project is allowed to happen.

City Manager Position

On January 29th, the city council spent a substantial amount of time reviewing applications for the city manager position. We received a total of 17 applications that met the required qualifications.

Resident Q&A

#1 Retention Pond Maintenance

I received a question regarding the maintenance responsibility for detention ponds that are in many areas of our city limits. As we know, some of these can become an eyesore with overgrown vegetation. The property developer or homeowners’ association, not the city, is responsible for maintenance. The newest detention pond near the Academy store will be maintained by the developer (Market Square Development).

#2 Sidewalk Improvements

Regarding sidewalk improvements on Park St, this project is funded by TxDOT, and no city funds are being utilized. The project will extend from the intersection of Blue Bell Rd. and Park St. (Burger King) along S. Austin and S. Day St. to the intersection of Hwy 290/36 (Jack in the Box). Completion for this is scheduled for the end of 2024.

Thank you for your questions, and again, I can be reached at or receive mail at:

City Hall
Questions for Mayor Kenjura
200 W. Vulcan St
Brenham, TX 77833

January 2024

Here's wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas with family and friends and that Santa was good to those of you who were nice and not naughty. It's incredible how fast time goes by, especially this time of year. Personally, it seems like it was just yesterday that I was sworn in as mayor and here we are ready to start a new year.

The growth experienced over the past couple of years has been incredible and it has taken a team effort on behalf of all the city employees and staff to manage this growth. Permits in the residential and commercial sectors have begun to slow down, primarily because of the multiple interest hikes during the past year by the Feds. The good news is that in 2024 we should hopefully see several cuts in the prime interest rates. This “slowdown” is both good and bad in that it gives us a chance to catch up on the challenges to our infrastructure that have stressed all departments within the city, especially those dealing with water, electricity, and streets. Also, a little slowdown will help to maintain our identity in keeping Brenham-Brenham.

We understand the crucial role that growth plays in the development of any city, so as we anticipate ongoing expansion, this growth must occur in a manner that aligns with our available resources, avoiding undue financial strain on taxpayers. Over the past year, water has been a major focus, as a lifeblood of a community, leading to extensive planning and research to ensure a sustainable water supply for many years to come. Unfortunately, the estimated cost of the associated project stands at approximately $65 million. To meet this financial demand, there will be a need for incremental rate increases over a designated period for both commercial and residential water users. I will continue to give you updates as decisions are made with the City Council.

Another priority for 2024 is the continued planning, building, and staffing of Brenham's second fire station. This is in response to our rapid growth and is a necessity for the good of our community.

Next, as I’m sure you have heard, our City Manager, Carolyn Miller, has announced her retirement effective April 1, 2024. It will be difficult to replace Carolyn who has been with the city for 19 years and the last two and a half years as City Manager. It has been a true pleasure working with her and we all wish her the very best in her retirement. The process and recruitment of securing a new City Manager has begun. City Council decided not to contract with a search firm but to do an in-house search, led by Human Resource Director Susan Nienstedt and her staff. The proposed timeline is to begin conducting in-person interviews by the end of February and select a City Manager by the end of March 2024.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank everyone who has personally told me they enjoy reading this monthly “Mayor’s Minute”. I have enjoyed writing it even though sometimes it seems the monthly submission comes along rather fast. My goal and intention is for the article to be informative and discuss what might be on the citizens' minds. For 2024, I’d like to invite you to submit your questions for me and I’ll address them, each month, throughout the year. Questions may be submitted to or mailed to:

City Hall
Questions for Mayor Kenjura
200 W. Vulcan St
Brenham, TX 77833

Thank you and again Happy New Year!

December 2023

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Mayor's office and without a doubt "it's the most wonderful time of the year". There is really nothing quite like the holidays! Our family enjoyed Thanksgiving and celebrated with 31 members of the family ranging in age from four to 92. It was very special having four generations sit at one table, and the food was absolutely delicious, as usual.

On the business side of the ledger this month, the Texas Department of Transportation's meeting concerning the installation of raised medians on South Day Street was well attended. I encourage everyone to read more about it at Opinions on the matter may be shared with TxDOT at or (979) 778-9231. I believe it is crucial to gather more input from the residents before initiating this project. A significant concern of mine is traffic leaving Sonic and HEB may be unable to make a left turn onto Day Street. Instead, drivers might either proceed onto the westbound feeder road, circling back to Highway 36 for a left turn at that intersection, or, as an alternative, exit the feeder road after the LaRoche Dealership and travel via Lubbock or Stone Street back to Day Street. This would inevitably result in unwarranted traffic through a residential area.

Another noteworthy meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 7, addressing impact fees. Moderated by Strand Engineers, the meeting aims to explain the various types of fees associated with any new development within the city limits. This meeting is set to take place in the community room at the Nancy Carol Roberts Memorial Library, at 5:30 pm.

Downtown has taken on a festive atmosphere with all the holiday decorations being displayed by the many retail establishments. Thanks to all the merchants who have participated and made downtown a special destination to visit and shop. It is a great place to bring your friends and family who are here for the holidays.

Brenham is gearing up for a series of festive activities in the upcoming weeks leading up to Christmas. Among the highlights is the much-anticipated annual Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade held Saturday, December 2, at 5:30 pm in downtown Brenham. This event has steadily grown, drawing sizable crowds eager to witness Santa as the main attraction. Be sure to visit for a full listing of holiday events. There is a lot of activity going on in our town this time of the year leading up to Christmas and that special time being with friends and family to celebrate "Jesus - the reason for the season".

From me and the entire city staff, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

November 2023

In this edition of the Mayor’s Minute, I wish to shine a spotlight on several noteworthy matters that warrant our attention. 

First and foremost, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the myriad of organizations and individuals who played integral roles in the various Halloween festivities in our city last week. These events, thoughtfully designed with our youth in mind and emphasizing safety and fun, are a tremendous asset to our community. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Main Street for their dedication in orchestrating a different location for the First Fridays Farmer and Artisan Market, allowing the final days of early voting to proceed at its customary location in the courthouse annex on Park Street. 

Following our recent council meeting, we held a retirement reception in honor of Assistant Fire Chief Brian Scheffer, whose remarkable 26 years of service to our community deserve our recognition and gratitude. In Brian’s speech, he expressed his appreciation to the City of Brenham and the fire department for entrusting him with this significant role. Brian eagerly anticipates his new role with Texas A&M TEEX and Region 7, which encompasses the Brenham area. Furthermore, Brian has graciously agreed to continue serving on a part-time basis, assisting with essential reporting and providing his leadership until an interim or permanent fire chief can be appointed. Thank you, Brian, for your service and leadership to our fire department over the years. 

Thirdly, I wish to draw your attention to an upcoming public hearing scheduled for November 16, from 4:30 to 6:30 PM at the Blinn College Student Center. The purpose of this hearing is to provide information and gather feedback from our community regarding a proposal to enhance South Day Street. This TxDOT-led project seeks to raise the median and incorporate dedicated left-turn lanes along South Day Street from W. Stone Street to US 290. Representatives from TxDOT will be present to address any questions the public may have regarding this initiative. Should you have specific questions before the meeting, please feel free to reach out to Sydney Fox, TxDOT Bryan District, at 979-778-9231. 

Fourthly, I want to emphasize the importance of election day, which falls on November 7. While there are no city or county elections at this time, there are 14 proposed amendments to the state constitution that warrant our attention and your invaluable right to vote so I encourage everyone to put this on your calendars.  

Next, I’d like to take this time to express my deep gratitude to the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Veteran’s Day is a special opportunity to recognize the sacrifices and dedication of those who have selflessly defended our freedom. On November 11, let us not only remember the veterans of the past but also support those who continue to serve. They have put their lives on the line so that we can enjoy the liberties and opportunities we often take for granted.  

Last but certainly not least, we must recognize the significance of the upcoming decision facing the Brenham Independent School District Board regarding the selection of the next Superintendent. This decision will undeniably stand as one of the most pivotal choices the Board will make in the coming years. The input from the public in recent weeks has underscored the necessity of appointing an individual with an unwavering commitment to Brenham, someone who will serve in this position for the long haul, rather than using it as a stepping stone. There is no facet more critical to our community than education. Without a strong educational foundation within our district, prospective businesses and industries may choose to bypass Brenham and Washington County in the future. Now is the time for unity, not division or blame; we are all in this together – bound by our shared commitment to the future of Brenham and Washington County. It is this determination that truly defines our community as a great place to call home.

October 2023

This month’s topic is of the utmost importance - water. It is clear the City of Brenham is facing a critical need for water supply and treatment facility upgrades. As you may know, the City Council has approved a contract with Strand Associates to address the city’s water needs and improve the existing water treatment facility on South Austin Street.

The City has owned and operated water treatment facilities at the current location since 1894. The City moved to a surface water treatment system in 1972 with an 18-inch line to Lake Somerville. A 24-inch line was added in 1995 and the 18-inch line was abandoned. The last major plant expansion was in 1987 when treated water capacity was increased from 3.5 MGD (million gallons a day) to 6.984 MGD. Thus, the current water plant has served the community for over 35 years, and as with anything in service for that many years, it’s in need of improvements and replacements.

This has been a difficult decision for past city councils because of the costs associated with a project of this magnitude. But, the time has come to “bite the bullet,” as the saying goes. Whether we want it or not, growth happens. We have a responsibility to ourselves and future generations to supply the city with enough water and to ensure the quality of this water meets or exceeds all standards as specified by the State of Texas and our own high standards.

To accomplish this, we have had several proposals to secure more water for the city. After much discussion, the chosen solution is to drill deep water wells in strata that are at a depth of 500 – 1,000 ft. to secure a long-term water supply. The other choice was to construct a second line to Lake Somerville but the costs to lay the line and to construct a new lake intake station were deemed too expensive; therefore, the decision to proceed with the deep water wells was made. One concern with drilling within the city limits was that it would affect citizens with existing wells outside the city limits but because of the depth of the wells, this will not affect the existing wells of our county residents.

Of course, all of this comes with a price tag that is expensive and necessary. A city cannot run out of water! As a new mayor, the last thing I want is to raise water rates for residential and commercial customers, but the city has no other choice. Our utility department is looking at ways to help offset the proposed increases but with a projected expenditure of over $36 million.

We face many challenges when we talk about water but I am confident we have all the right people and components in place to be successful. The City’s water treatment plan is fortunate to have seven talented and dedicated personnel who are committed to ensuring a reliable and safe water supply for the community. Their hard work and expertise are vital to the success of the city’s water initiatives. We have a city council willing to make tough decisions to address the water challenges. And, the city, as a whole, benefits from an exceptional staff that is fully engaged and committed to finding solutions to many day-to-day challenges. This “all hands on deck” approach underscores the city’s determination to secure a bright future for Brenham.

Thank you for the opportunity to explain our water challenges and would like to personally invite you to attend our council meetings as we will be discussing this issue in the coming months.

September 2023

I’d like to personally take a minute to thank all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to attend the Town Hall on August 10 to discuss the Brenham Family Park Small Area Plan. The meeting was very well attended and was interactive and informative. Your voice is integral in shaping so many things in our community and your engagement in this viable and sustainable plan is greatly appreciated. This project hasn’t come without its list of challenges. Yet, City staff has worked hard to work through things like land acquisitions and permitting with the end goal of marrying potential uses with Brenham's unique character and capturing its small-town allure while enhancing our entire community. That’s not an easy task!

This parkland was donated by Ed and Evelyn Kruse in December 2013 and development will likely begin in the summer of 2024. Our Small Area Plan, while it includes the land surrounding the park, firmly excludes any potential for commercial or residential development within the park itself. This commitment underscores our dedication to maintaining its essence as a passive family park.

Based on a community-wide survey and from participants of the Town Hall, what we’ve heard thus far from residents for what is most desired is – quality/affordable housing options (500 townhomes, 800 apartments, and approximately 500 single-family homes), the possibility of a new school, larger lots near the park, coordinated development, walkability, and stormwater management. Proposed elements of the first phase of the Brenham Family Park development include a one-mile, 10-feet wide multi-use concrete trail, recreational lakes stocked with fish for families of the community to enjoy, wildflower viewing areas, restrooms, parking, security lighting, road extension, a pedestrian bridge, utility infrastructure, and park and program signage. Public investment typically is followed by Private investment.  Thus, the Brenham Family Park may become a catalyst for future growth and development inquiries.

Your contribution was instrumental in formulating a roadmap that aligns with the vision for our community. Your engagement was critical and appreciated as we strive to keep Brenham – Brenham!

August 2023

Introduction video featuring Mayor Atwood Kenjura discussing topics important to you and the community. Launching September 2023, the first Monday of the month will feature a new video from Brenham's Mayor, Atwood Kenjura.

The Mayor’s Minute

A New Dawn: Embracing Change as Your New Mayor

Hello Brenham!

I am humbled and honored to address you today as the newly elected mayor of our wonderful community. As I step into this role, I bring with me a deep sense of responsibility and a strong commitment to serving each one of you.

Change is often met with mixed emotions. Some may feel apprehensive, while others embrace it with open arms. First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to all the previous administrations that have worked tirelessly to lay the foundation for our city's success. Their dedication and efforts have brought us to this point, and I vow to build upon their achievements while addressing the challenges that lie ahead.

One of my top priorities is to promote transparency and foster an open dialogue with the community. I firmly believe that progress can only be achieved when leaders actively listen to the concerns and aspirations of their constituents. I will be accessible and approachable, encouraging your feedback and actively seeking your input on key decisions that affect Brenham. I want to emphasize the importance of community engagement and civic participation. Our city is only as strong as its residents, and it is through active involvement that we can shape the future we envision. I encourage every one of you to get involved, whether it's volunteering, joining boards and committees, or participating in local events. Together, we can build a stronger, more vibrant community that we can all be proud of. The Mayor’s Minute will be written once a month and available in The Banner Press and on the City of Brenham’s Facebook page. I will also be launching Mondays with Mayor Kenjura where you can submit questions and on the first Monday of each month, I’ll be on Facebook to answer them. 

I am excited to embark on this journey. Change is not always easy, but with your support, we can overcome any obstacles that come our way. Let us embrace this new dawn and work together to create a city that thrives on our strong heritage and small-town feel, and where everyone has the opportunity to succeed and flourish.

Thank you for entrusting me with this responsibility. I am ready to serve you with dedication, integrity, and a steadfast commitment to the well-being of our community.

Want to ask Mayor Kenjura a question? Use our online form at and be sure to check "To ask the Mayor a question".