March 18, 2019 Newsletter
Live! By Loews Hotel, Starts Bookings
The hotel is to open in August and is now accepting reservations. And city officials are excited about this...
Expected sales tax revenue to the city over the next 30 years: $0.00.
Expected hotel tax revenue to the city over the next 30 years: $0.00.
Expected liquor tax revenue to the city over the next 30 years: $0.00.
What a bunch of zeros....
Arlington is a city where citizens are relegated to being spectators rather than players. The SPECTATOR helps citizens know what is happening on the field. Only the few on the in-house team are allowed to play ball in Arlington. The SPECTATOR helps citizens understand the game.
March 18, 2019 – Volume 12 Number 11
Tuesday, March 19: City Council Meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram Street, 8:15am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm.
Thursday, March 21: AISD Board Meeting, 1203 W. Pioneer Parkway, 7:00pm.
Monday, March 25: District 2 Town Hall meeting on the gas well ordinance, Mary Moore Elementary Cafeteria, 5500 Park Springs Boulevard, 6:30pm.
Tuesday, March 26: City Council Meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram Street, times TBD.
Tuesday, April 9: City Council Meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W. Abram Street, times TBD.
Thursday, April 11: AISD Board Meeting, 1203 W. Pioneer Parkway, 7:00pm.
From THE LOCKER ROOM
Arlington City Council Update
The Arlington City Council will meet this Tuesday, March 19 for council meetings. The first of three committee meetings begins at 8:15am. The afternoon session will begin at 11:45am in executive session, with the open portion to begin no sooner than 2:30pm. The evening meeting is at 6:30pm.
The first of three committee meetings is scheduled for an hour beginning at 8:15am. The only agenda item is Plan Year 2019 Action plan for HUD grants e-binder overview. [presentation: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/323527/CND_Briefing_on__PY19_Action_Plan_Final_3-19-19.pdf ].
The second committee meeting is scheduled for 45 minutes beginning at 9:30am. The only agenda item for that meeting is Dockless Micromobility [electric scooters] Regulatory Framework. [They were to be working on regulations for a pilot project proposed for the UTA area.] [presentation: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/325944/Dockless_Micromobility_TMI_Committee_031919.pdf ].
The final committee meeting is in executive session, so you are not invited. They will deliberate real property (30 minutes) of an airport lease and the property associated with the Senior Center in west Arlington. They will also discuss (30 minutes) Offer$ of Incentive$ of Bu$ine$$ Pro$pect$.
The afternoon session begins in executive session at 11:45am. There are eight items on the executive session agenda, including three lawsuits (Benitez, Mitchell, and Kovacs) and possible negotiations with Grand Prairie of adjustments to define the boundary of the cities as being at Highway 360.
The open portion of the afternoon session will begin no sooner than 2:30pm. The agenda includes only one work session item: hotel design standards. [presentation: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/325444/3.19.19_CC_Work_Session_ARC_edits__002_.pdf ].
The agenda also includes three informal staff reports and possible discussions of a legislative update, erosion issues, short-term rentals, and gas wells.
Informal staff report #1 on street sign toppers along Pioneer Parkway [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/322173/ISR_Honorary_Street_Sign_Toppers_for_Pioneer_Parkway_031919.pdf ].
River Legacy Living Parking Lot Project staff report: [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/324233/River_Legacy_Living_Science_Center_Parking_Lot_Project_-_ISR.pdf].
The evening meeting begins at 6:30pm. The agenda includes three executive session items, two sets of minutes, 39 consent agenda items, two zoning cases (the first has been withdrawn), and two ordinances (first readings) and four resolutions.
Consent agenda item 8.9 is for the purchase of five dump trucks for $665K.
Consent agenda item 8.16 is $4.65 million for the construction contract of Collins Street (from Mayfield Road to I-20).
A geotechnical services contract modification for $200K, 22%, for more time on the project is consent agenda item, 8.17. [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/323384/PWST15008_SR_CM1__03.19.2019_.pdf ].
The gas drilling ordinance final reading is item 8.22.
Item 8.38 is for obtaining outside legal council for the Benitez lawsuit, which stems from an automobile accident of a city employee. [https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/319846/Staff_Report_Retain_Renwick_for_Benetiz_lawsuit.pdf ]
The first public hearing regarding a possible Highland Events Center at 200 W. Arbrook has the project being withdrawn.
The second public hearing is to shoehorn 28 houses on small lots between Pecandale Drive and W. Abram Street, east of Bowen Road. [Staff Report: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/324840/FINAL_CC1_3.19.19_PD18-22_Staff_Report_gg_2.pdf ]
The two ordinances have to do with an amendment to the flood damage prevention ordinance and budget adjustments to the operating budget.
The four resolutions deal with an agreement to perform Kennedale's water/sewer line maintenance, adoption of a capital budget, intent to issue tax and revenue certificates of obligation, and an intent to reimburse certain capital budget expenditures.
The next scheduled AISD Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 21.
Candidates on the Issues
During the coming weeks, the accumulation of the candidates’ responses will appear on the website [ www.arlspectator.mysite.com ]. You will see the candidates in ballot order within each district along the left side of the page.
The Mayoral and District 8 race are city-wide. District 3 is generally considered Southeast Arlington. District 4 is generally considered West Arlington. District 5 is generally considered East/Central Arlington.
If a candidate does NOT respond to questions while he is asking for your vote, the odds of that person responding as a council person would not seem to be very high.
Q1. Term Limits – please respond by March 14
Last November, voters approved term limits for the Arlington City Council. What is your opinion of these term limits?
Ashton Stauffer –
As you know I was an outspoken advocate for term limits. I am so happy that they passed.
Chris Dobson –
Term limits - I am for the term limits amendment voted into place by the citizens of Arlington and will work if elected to keep them unchanged for at least 2 years.
Ruby Woolridge –
I will honor the vote of the citizens in the term limit campaign of 2018 and I will work to provide the best leadership possible for the citizens of the city. Term limits provides the city an opportunity for an infusion of new leadership along with veteran municipal leaders.
Jeff Williams – Did not respond.
Roxanne Thalman – Did not respond.
Marvin Sutton –
I fully support term-limits. My wife and I was part of the grassroot efforts to get it on the ballot. I spoke before the council in support of the citizen's version.
Andrew Piel – Did not respond.
Cindi Golden –
The term limits have resulted in record numbers of candidates filing for office in Arlington. The citizen vote was 62% in favor of these limits which sent a clear message to the city that term limits were needed. I like that Arlington residents will have more choice in choosing who represents them and makes vital decisions affecting their everyday life.
Teresa Rushing –
As your city council member, it is my ministerial duty to adopt the city charter amendment as approved by 62% of the citizens of Arlington. I have no interest in making any changes or removing the initiative as approved by the voters. That said if the citizens were to decide this new system doesn’t work and bring forth a new ballot initiative to amend the city charter again to change the term limits. It would also be my ministerial duty to place the proposition on the ballot for the voters to make that decision.
Andy Prior –
Term limits as enacted by a vote of the citizens of Arlington ought to remain in force unchanged for a long enough period of time to determine whether they are effective. The fact that this election cycle has drawn the largest group of candidates in a very long time is definitely a positive sign for the future of Arlington.
Kennedy Jones –
I fully affirm term limits. It is the will of the people as exhibit in last Novembers election. I also affirm the preamble to the US Constitution which says
“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union……. For ourselves and our posterity.”
I do not be believe that term limits or any other legislative action taken by the peoples of the United States or by the citizens of Arlington are in and of themselves the perfection of governmental policy as they tend to be initially approved. It rests with those duly elected council members in government to review and improve, as warranted, and then set before the citizens these perfecting improvements. This then will allow the citizenry to affirm or reject those improvements. This is my position.
Celia Morgan -
A majority of voters in Arlington have already voiced their opinion on Term Limits, in an election with the highest turnout in nearly two decades in Texas- I support their decision as it stands. The “Term Limits” committee may bring further amendments or proposals to the voters if it is necessary to do so in the future, but those proposals should be on a ballot where the highest possible voter turnout is anticipated to ensure maximized input.
Ignacio Nunez -
Generally speaking and for many reasons I am in favor of term limits. It does bother me that someone cannot come back at a future date after being forced off.
Don Warner -
I fully support term limits as passed by an overwhelming majority of the voters in Arlington.
Barbara Odom-Wesley –
I support the term limits amendment passed by residents. This is the will of the people. Philosophically, I believe in term limits for federal, state and local elected officials. I think it is important for our elected representatives to be responsive and accountable to the electorate. “Career” politicians tend to become less and less responsive or accountable. Also, new ideas and perspectives can help assure that a community does not become stagnant or unbending.
Joshua Taylor – Did not respond.
Robert Harris -
In my opinion it’s a completed issue. I was in favor of term limits, I did hold varying opinions on term durations. The issue is resolved now.
Election Day is Saturday, May 4. Early voting starts Monday, April 22.
VIA by the Numbers
On December 11, the VIA pilot program began its second year. The City Council approved the second year of the pilot program [for $2.1 million] on December 4.
When the pilot started, the staff report stated it expected to reach I-20 within four to six months of the pilot’s initiation. That did not happen until September 20, more than nine months after the pilot began. The project has been a disaster and a major waste of taxpayers' dollars.
Even with its newly expanded area, it only covers about 25% of the city, meaning a majority of the taxpayers have to pay for VIA, but receive no benefit from it. All those taxpayers are paying for something that competes against the private sector Lyft and Uber services.
Best Burgers in Dallas
It came down to a place in Arlington vs. a place in Arlington. The winner was Mo's Best Eatery, a burger grill off I-20, on Matlock in South Arlington. The runner-up was Fork in the Road.
The Spectator . ...ArlSpectator@yahoo.com
The Arlington Voice (online newspaper covering Arlington) www.arlingtonvoice.com
Opinion Arlington (comment on issues of Arlington) www.opinionarlington.com
City of Arlington website www.arlingtontx.gov
e-mails of mayor and council
mayor = jeff.williams
district 1 (north) = helen.moise
district 2 (sw) = sheri.capehart
district 3 (se) = roxanne.thalman
district 4 (west) = kathryn.wilemon
district 5 (central/east) = lana.wolff
district 6 (all) = robert.shepard
district 7 (all) = victoria.farrar-myers
district 8 (all) = michael.glaspie
city council grades:
AISD website ....................... www.aisd.net
e-mails of the AISD board .....
whole board ..................... - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hogg ......................- email@example.com
Reich......................... - firstname.lastname@example.org
Walton ............. - email@example.com
Hibbs ........................ - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mays ............ - email@example.com
Chapa........... - firstname.lastname@example.org
NW Arlington Newsletter:
SE Arlington Blog
Texas Legislative Online
The Texas Bond Review Board ....