March 25, 2024 Newsletter

Home  ============ Citizens Defending Freedom vs. AISD Lawsuit ============== Taxpayers' Funds at Risk ============ April 15, 2024 Newsletter ============= Arlington City CouncilGrades ============= AISD Board Grades ============ April 8, 2024 Newsletter =========== April 1, 2024 Newsletter ============ March 25, 2024 Newsletter ============ March 18, 2024 Newsletter ============ ================D1  Jacob Franklin, Candidate for ===District1=== Tim Goss, Candidate for ===District1=== Mauricio Galante, Candidate for ===District1=== ================D2  Raul Gonzalez, District2 ============= ================D6  Long Pham, District6 ============= ================D7  Bowie Hogg, District7 ============== Chris "Dobi" Dobson, Candidate for ===District7=== ================  Jim Ross, Mayor ============= Helen Moise, District1 ============= Nikkie Hunter, District3 ============= Andrew Piel, District4 ============= Rebecca Boxall, District5 =============  Barbara Odom-Wesley, District8 ============= ================P1  Sarah McMurrough, AISDPlace1 ============= ================P2  Kendall Orr, Candidate for ==AISDPlace2== Melody Fowler, AISDPlace2 ============= ================P3  Larry Mike, Candidate for ==AISDPlace3== Kathi Arocha, Candidate for ==AISDPlace3== April Williams Moore, Candidate for ==AISDPlace3== ================  Aaron Reich, AISDPlace3 ============= David Wilbanks, AISDPlace4 ============= Justin Chapa, AISDPlace5 ============= Brooklyn Richardson, AISDPlace6 ============= Leanne Haynes, AISDPlace7 ============= Fact Sheet - November 8, 2022 Election ============ ++++++++++++  ============= Kennedale Observer Homepage =========== Kennedale City CouncilGrades ========== Kennedale Observer - Latest Newsletter ============ Prior to That Newsletter ============== ================M  Jan Joplin, Kennedale Mayor ============ Brad Horton, Candidate for Kennedale Mayor ============= ===============P2  Matthew Dyer, Candidate for Kennedale Place 2 =========== Ebony Berry, Candidate for Place 2 =========== Thelma Kobeck, Candidate for Place 2 =========== ===============P4  Bryant Griffith, Kennedale Place 4 ============= Chris Gary, Candidate for Place 4 =========== =================  David Glover, Kennedale Place 1 ============== Ken Michels, Kennedale Place 3 ============== Jeff Nevarez, Kennedale Place 5 ============== Kennedale City Council Compare ========== 1083 Bowman Springs Road Kennedale ============ What to Know About the Texas Raceway Project ================ Kennedale Financial Reports ============== Kennedale P&Z agenda ============== Kennedale City Council Agenda ============== Kennedale EDC agenda ==============


March 25, 2024 – Volume 18 Number 13


* The city council is set to approve the zoning for Anthem, the replacement of Lincoln Square.

* City council to discuss purchase of property for childcare facilities in executive session. You and your input are not wanted or allowed.


Taxpayers' Funds at Risk:


City Council grades:


AISD Board grades:


Citizens Defending Freedom vs. AISD




Arlington is a city where citizens are relegated to being spectators, rather than players on the field. The SPECTATOR helps citizens know what is happening on the field. Only a few of the in-house team members are allowed to play ball in Arlington. The SPECTATOR helps citizens understand the game.



Tuesday, March 26: City Council meetings, 101 W. Abram Street, 9:00am, 3:30on, 6:30pm. (You must preregister by 5:00pm to speak during citizen participation.)

Thursday, March 28: Arlington Republican Club AISD/City Council Candidate Forum, Skillet-N-Grill, 1801 W. Division Street, 7:00pm.

Thursday, March 28: Texas Rangers season opener, 7:35pm.

Friday, March 29: Good Friday holiday.

Sunday, March 31: Easter.

Wednesday, April 3: P&Z meeting, 101 W. Abram Street, 5:30pm. (Work session at x:xxpm.)

Thursday, April 4: AISD Board meeting, AISD Administration Building, 690 E. Lamar Boulevard, 5:00pm. (You must be signed up online by 3:00pm if you wish to speak.)

Sunday, April 7: Biblical Citizenship AISD/MISD Candidate Forum, Grace Community Church, 801 W. Bardin Road, 4:00-6:00pm.

Monday, April 8: Solar Eclipse.

Tuesday, April 9: City Council meetings, 101 W. Abram Street, 6:30pm. (You must preregister by 5:00pm to speak during citizen participation.)

Wednesday, April 17: P&Z meeting, 101 W. Abram Street, 5:30pm. (Work session at x:xxpm.)



Arlington City Council Update

The council did not meet last week. They will meet this Tuesday, March 26, for a full slate of meetings. The first of four committee meetings will be at 9:00am. The afternoon session starts at 12:45pm and goes into executive session. The open portion of the afternoon meeting will start no sooner than 3:30pm. The evening meeting is at 6:30pm.


Committee Meetings

The Finance and Audit Committee will meet at 9:00am. They expect to spend 30 minutes on the FY23 single audit, comprehensive financial report, and popular financial report (presentation , attachments: audit , CAFR , audit communication).

The Transportation and Municipal Infrastructure Committee will meet at 9:45am. They will spend about 45 minutes on the Safe Streets Arlington plan overview (presentation).

The Community and Neighborhood Development Committee will meet at 10:45. They expect to discuss farmers market feasibility analysis (30 minutes), PY2024 CDBG, ESG, and HOME Proposal Review (60 minutes), and then go into executive session to discuss the purchase of property for childcare facilities [yes, plural] (15 minutes) (presentations: farmers market analysis , plan year 2024).

The Economic Development Committee will meet at 11:30am, but no need to rush to get there as it will be in executive session, and your presence and input is not wanted, nor allowed. They will discuss the always expensive offers of incentives to business prospects.


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Afternoon Meeting

The afternoon meeting begins at 12:45pm and goes into executive session. That portion of the agenda includes possible lease of Entertainment District land for signs, discussion regarding purchase of land for childcare facilities, possible lease of land for community court, four easement properties, discussion of security, performance reviews of council appointees, and offers of incentives to business prospects.

[Are taxpayer childcare subsidies the next $6 million/year budget item, like rideshare? Taxpayer subsidized childcare facilities, with lower than market prices, willl drive business away from Arlington small businesses, leading to business failures, and driving up the need for more subsidizing? This is a “market” the city has no business being involved in.]

The open portion of the afternoon meeting will begin no sooner than 3:30pm. That portion of the agenda includes one work session item (parks master plan overview), five informal staff reports, discussion of committee meetings, and discussions on the trash cart rollout and historic preservation fund.

The five informal staff reports:

1. museum district (staff report , attachment),

2. solar eclipse (staff report),

3. age-friendly housing standards (staff report),

4. commercial vehicle parking violations (staff report), and

5. transition to the trash carts (newsletter).


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The agenda for the 6:30pm evening meeting includes the four easements discussed in executive session, 31 consent agenda items, four public hearings, and two special ordinances.

Consent agenda #31 is just under $240,000 to keep the XFL headquarters in Arlington through December 2024 (staff report).

The first two public hearings are to change the UDC (Unified Development Code) (staff reports: general annual , hotel design standards)

Public hearing #3 is for Zoning Case PD23-18 (old Lincoln Square) to change the zoning from Planned Development-Entertainment District Overlay-Community Commercial (PD-EDOCC) with a Concept Brief to Planned Development (PD) for limited Entertainment District Overlay-Regional Mixed Use (PD-EDO-RMU) uses, with a development plan (staff report).

Public hearing #4 is for Zoning Case ZA24-2 (2010 Duval Drive) to change the zoning from Residential Single-Family-7.2 (RS-7.2) to Residential Medium Density-12 (RM-12) for a duplex (staff report).

Special ordinance #1 is for the issuance of greater than $150 million in bonds (staff report).

Special ordinance #2 is for firefighters specialized pays (staff report).


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The Arlington Spectator's City Council grades:


This week's question:

The City Council has given away millions of dollars and/or potential revenues to companies to encourage development. At what point has there been enough “encouragement” and when should the taxpayers-- and lowering tax rates-- become a higher priority than development? Why?


District 1

Jacob Franklin - I believe that subsidizing economic development should be deprioritized once there are enough jobs and wages to meet the general needs of the population. Once we’ve reached that point, further subsidies would only serve to siphon off wealth from our taxpayers.

Tim Goss - Did not respond.

Mauricio Galante It's important for local governments to strike a balance between fostering economic development and ensuring responsible use of taxpayer funds. Evaluating the effectiveness of incentives and their impact on the community's well-being is crucial. Adjusting priorities to address taxpayer concerns, such as lowering tax rates, should be considered when the benefits of further development are outweighed by the financial strain on taxpayers. This requires ongoing assessment and transparency in decision-making processes to best serve the interests of all stakeholders.


District 2

Raul Gonzalez - Tax abatements and/or other incentives are awarded to deepen the overall tax base. In the vast majority of cases, revenue that might seem “lost” to a tax abatement, is recovered through significantly increased tax returns in other forms. Arlington’s sport franchise venue partnerships have produced vast increases in our sales tax revenue. The COVID pandemic’s economic impact was lessened by these partnerships because of this revenue stream. The undeveloped Viridian property tax value was around 8 million in 2006. Viridian’s taxable value is now more than 840 million and increasing with each additional construction project. Properly allocated tax incentives cause dynamic activity, increasing money supporting our city. Arlington has some of the lowest property tax rates in the area. The largest portion of our tax bill pays for Public Education. District policy has the most significant impact on our tax bill. Continuing to base tax property on appraised value alone must be addressed as growth, inflation and other factors are driving property values and thus appraised taxable value up. Taxes are a serious burden to many homeowners. In the last session, the Texas Legislature increased the homestead exemption giving some relief however property tax reform should continue to be a priority in the legislature.


District 6

Long Pham Did not respond.


District 7

Bowie Hogg - Lowering our tax rate should always be a top priority as that is a smart strategy for our residents and businesses. Reinvesting in our city helps drive satisfaction for residents as well as lower tax rates. The Economic Development Corporation was approved by voters, and it must be used in a very strategic manner as one of the many tools to bring more revenue into the city. As a council we must assure the agreements produce a return on investment and bring actual value to the city in the case a partner does not uphold their side of commitment.

Chris “Dobi” Dobson – The city has been foolish in the level of benefits provided to these developers. The city needs to make an immediate change to prevent these continued giveaways first by limiting the number of years behind the current tax year that a property can lag, with my suggestion being 5 years, and secondly providing either front end or back end benefits but not both.

Furthermore I believe we need to have resident approval for all economic development projects in which more than $1mil in benefits is provided from. The residents of Arlington should have always been a higher priority than developers, but whats important here is to prevent cronyism and corruption, by short circuiting the influence of campaign donations by returning to a direct democratic model, allowing each resident to choose what they feel is in the economic benefit of the city.  Regardless of the 9 people on the council, I feel better about the will of the 400,000 of us making decisions, rather than those 9.


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Economic Development Corporation (EDC)

The EDC Board met this past Tuesday, March 19. The agenda/packet can be found at: . There were no action items on the agenda. They went into executive session to discuss offers of incentives to business prospects and to deliberate real property.

Arlington’s EDC is easily the largest sales tax supported EDC in the state. This gives spending addicted politicians greater than $20 million annually with which to fund their buddies.


Upcoming Public Hearings

On Tuesday, March 26, the city council will hold a public hearing on more UDC (Unified Development Code) updates.

On Tuesday, March 26, the city council will hold a public hearing on more UDC (Unified Development Code) updates for hotel standards.

On Tuesday, March 26, the city council will hold a public hearing on PD23-18 (the old Lincoln Square, now Anthem) on 45 acres.

On Tuesday, March 26, the city council will hold a public hearing on ZA24-2, on the 0.196 acres at 2010 Duval Drive where they wish to change land zoned for single family to townhomes (RMD-12).

On Wednesday, April 3, P&Z will hold a public hearing on PD24-8 (6907 Joplin Road) wishing to change RS-7.2 to a planned development for RM-12. If passed, it will go to the city council on May 7.

On Tuesday, April 9, the city council will hold a public hearing on the 0.964 acres at 1850 Park Springs Boulevard where they wish to change zoning to more major auto repairs.

On Tuesday, April 9, the city council will hold a public hearing on ZA24-1, on the 6.91 acres at 100/120/150/200 Stephens Street where they wish to change land zoned for general commercial to light industrial.

On Tuesday, April 23, the city council will hold a public hearing on SUP24-1, on the 1.424 acres at 3400 S. Watson Road where they wish to allow for a private club in 961 sq. ft. of the existing building.


P&Z Commission

P&Z met this past Wednesday, March 20. There were two special use permit (SUP) cases on the agenda. The meeting may be viewed at: .

(1:05) The first zoning case was SUP22-3R1 (2118 East Abram Street) - Application for approval of a revision to Specific Use Permit SUP22-3 for Used Vehicle Sales, on approximately 1.63 acres, currently zoned General Commercial (GC), to amend restrictions on assignability and transferability or other conditions (staff report). This was continued indefinitely, 8-0.

(25:04) The second zoning case was for SUP24-1 (3400 South Watson Road) - Application for approval of a Specific Use Permit (SUP) for Private Club, in a unit with an area of approximately 961 sq. ft. within the existing building on the site of approximately 1.424 acres, currently zoned Community Commercial (CC) (staff report). This was approved, 8-0.


AISD School Board

The AISD Board met this past Thursday, March 21. The agenda included an executive session, citizen forum for agenda items, appointments, one action item, one discussion/action item, consent agenda, one discussion item, citizen forum for non-agenda items, and end of meetings report. The meeting may be viewed at: . Board Member Chapa was not physically present but was there virtually.

Executive session discussions included personnel matters, consult attorney regarding potential and pending litigation, and real property (5200 Lake Ridge Parkway, 2501 Lynn Road, 2912 Lynn Road and 2914 Lynn Road).

(31:12) Citizen forum for agenda items. There were no speakers.

(31:43) Appointment. It was approved, 7-0.

Courtney Shank – Assistant Principal Moore Elementary.

(34:33) Action item, consider the sale of properties discussed in executive session. It was approved, 7-0.

(38:08) Discussion/action item, consider written response to the Jarvis Level IV grievance from last meeting. Whatever was discussed in the executive session was approved, 7-0.

(38:57) Consent agenda. Nothing was pulled or discussed. It was approved, 7-0.

(39:51) Discussion item, House Bill 3 progress monitoring update.

(1:27:57) Citizen forum on nonagenda items. There were no speakers.

(1:28:28) End of meeting reports.

They then went back into executive session. When they reconvened, they adjourned.

The next scheduled AISD Board meeting is Thursday, April 4.

The AISD will have three seats available up for election, Place 1, Place 2, and Place 3. All school board places are district wide. Ballot order has been set.


The Arlington Spectator's AISD Board Grades:


This week's question:

The district has performance improvement plans where the goals are for less than 50% of the students meeting or exceeding grade level expectations on the state achievement assessments. Is this acceptable? Why or why not? What are your suggestions regarding student achievement goal plans?


Place 1

Sarah McMurrough – Did not respond.


Place 2

Kendall Orr – Did not respond.

Melody Fowler – Did not respond.


The Arlington Report did a report on this race. The Fort Worth Report story: .


Place 3

Larry Mike – Did not respond.

Kathi Arocha – First and foremost We must diligently ensure that all students have equal access to all resources and curriculum across-the-board. We want all students to excel in every subject.

Performance improvements are good strategies but we have to take into account that the teacher must have the resources to accomplish these goals. I’m concerned with the recent announcement of downsizing, these positions that were helping in the classroom will no longer be available therefore we may see more declines.

Parent engagement is vital in this stage of the child’s life. Therefore the partnership between parent and teacher must be in unison in order to achieve such goals. Without that, it will be challenging.

We also must keep in mind the different learning types the students have. The district must ensure they are identified quickly in order to meet that child learning abilities.

April Williams Moore – Meeting Achievement goals are twofold. The role of the superintendent is critical when it comes to providing resources for educators so that students may meet academic objectives. Analyzing patterns and adapting instruction is essential to improving our scores across the board.

Parent involvement is also an important  factor. Parents must prioritize their child’s education by sending their children to school ready to learn. This means proper sleep, nutrition and helping with assigned homework. If there is a constraint, notifying the school, and strategically partnering with staff to utilize every resource, from tutoring to Saturday school to ensure their child’s success.


The Arlington Report did a report on this race. The Fort Worth Report story: .


ESSER Funds to Run Out

The AISD will be cutting 275 positions. The Fort Worth Report story: .


TEA Accountability Data:

2022 Accountability

2021 Accountability

2019 Accountability


In 2020, the AISD was tied for the highest M&O rate of all the school districts in Tarrant County. Since then, there has been NO tie. The AISD HAS the highest M&O rate in Tarrant County. [school district tax rates]


Top 5 of Tarrant County's 21 ISDs M&O Rates

1. Arlington ISD $0.824900

2. Fort Worth ISD $0.790400

3. Mansfield ISD $0.789200

3. Birdville ISD $0.789200

3. Everman ISD $0.789200


Of Tarrant County's 21 ISDs - Lowest Tax Rates

1. HEB ISD $0.921100

2. Burleson ISD $0.924700

3. Carroll ISD $1.002500

4. Azle ISD $1.025000

5. Fort Worth ISD $1.062400

6. Keller ISD $1.087500

7. Northwest ISD $1.090200

8. Everman ISD $1.094146

9. Arlington ISD $1.115600

10. Lewisville ISD $1.130100



Press Box

Arlington Firefighter Shot

An Arlington firefighter was shot while conducting a wellness check on Friday morning. The story: . story: .

TAD to Hold Emergency Meeting

Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) will hold an emergency meeting regarding the ransomware attack on their “new” computer system. The system has been down since Thursday. The Fort Worth Report story: . The Channel 8, report: .

Old Lincoln Square

The old Lincoln Square, now called Anthem, will have a zoning case public hearing before the city council this Tuesday. The Arlington Report reported on this project. The Fort Worth Report story: .

More Apartments – City Officials Love It

Of all the cities in the North Central Texas Region, Arlington has one of the highest densities; I believe it is second highest, only behind Bedford and far greater than Fort Worth and Dallas. It is NOT our responsibility to supply more housing. City officials talk out of one side of their mouths speaking of affordable housing. Yet they also speak out of the other side and discuss super-luxury apartments. Apparently, these officials love over-crowded, under-developed infrastructure. The Arlington Report reported on this story.

The Fort Worth Report story: .



The Spectator:


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Taxpayers' Funds at Risk:


City Council grades:


AISD Board grades:


City of Arlington website:


e-mails of mayor and council


mayor = jim.ross

district 1 (north) = helen.moise

district 2 (sw) = raul.gonzalez

district 3 (se) = nikkie.hunter

district 4 (west) = andrew.piel

district 5 (central/east) = rebecca.boxall

district 6 (all) = long.pham

district 7 (all) = bowie.hogg

district 8 (all) = barbara.odom-wesley


AISD website .......................

McMurrough............ -

Fowler ................... -

Reich......................... -

Wilbanks .......... -

Chapa ...................... -

Richardson ... -

Haynes ................... -


TEA Accountability Data:

2022 Accountability

2021 Accountability

2019 Accountability


Opinion Arlington


ARC Political Watch Committee Reports

includes coverage of Mansfield ISD and national, state, county , & city


Texas Legislative Online:


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