April 1, 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 ==============



 

April 1, 2024 – Volume 18 Number 14

Highlights:

* The city council approved the zoning for Anthem, the replacement for Lincoln Square.

* City council discussed the purchase of property for childcare facilities in executive session. No comments made to the public.

 

Taxpayers' Funds at Risk:

http://arlspectator.mysite.com/rich_text_83.html

 

City Council grades:

http://arlspectator.mysite.com/rich_text_39.html

 

AISD Board grades:

http://arlspectator.mysite.com/blank_1.html

 

Citizens Defending Freedom vs. AISD

http://arlspectator.mysite.com/rich_text_14.html

 

...

 

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.

 

GAME SCHEDULE:

Monday, April 1: The AISD School Safety Committee meeting, 1111 W. Arbrook Boulevard, 6:00pm.

Wednesday, April 3: P&Z meeting, 101 W. Abram Street, 5:30pm. (Work session at 4:30pm.)

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.)

Thursday, April 18: 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.)

Monday, April 22: Early voting for municipal elections begin, 8:00am - 5:00pm.

Tuesday, April 23: City Council meetings, 101 W. Abram Street, 6:30pm. (You must preregister by 5:00pm to speak during citizen participation.)

Tuesday, April 30: Early voting for municipal elections end, 7:00am - 7:00pm.

 

From THE LOCKER ROOM

Arlington City Council Update

The council met last week. All council members were present. As expected, they approved “Anthem”, the Lincoln Square redevelopment. They also discussed in executive session the possibility of buying land for childcare facilities [NOTHING was made public on this item].

 

Committee Meetings

The Finance and Audit Committee met to discuss the FY23 single audit, comprehensive financial report, and popular financial report (presentation , attachments: audit , CAFR , audit communication).

The Transportation and Municipal Infrastructure Committee met to discuss Safe Streets Arlington plan overview (presentation).

The Community and Neighborhood Development Committee met to discuss farmers market feasibility analysis, PY2024 CDBG, ESG, and HOME Proposal Review, and then went into executive session to discuss the purchase of property for childcare facilities (presentations: farmers market analysis , plan year 2024).

The Economic Development Committee met. They discussed the always expensive offers of incentives to business prospects.

 

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Afternoon Meeting

The afternoon meeting can be viewed at: https://arlingtontx.granicus.com/player/clip/4786?view_id=9&redirect=true . All council members were present.

(4:23) They opened the meeting and went into executive session. That portion of the agenda included 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, will 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.]

(3:04:50) Work session item, parks master plan overview. The final master plan was approved by the council in April 2021. $350 million shortfall in funding for priority projects.

The five informal staff reports:

(3:30:40) 1. museum district (staff report , attachment), The city already has a museum district, in the downtown area. Additional districts need to be added (as opposed to expanding the existing one). DAMC (Downtown Arlington Management Corporation) is opposed.

(3:49:30) 2. solar eclipse (staff report).

(3:50:12) 3. age-friendly housing standards (staff report). Council Member Odom-Wesley was looking to add standards. Council Member Hogg was concerned about costs. Council Member Moise would like for a way to make a small percentage of new housing to be compliant.

(3:59:51) 4. commercial vehicle parking violations (staff report).

(4:14:13) 5. transition to the trash carts (newsletter).

(4:15:42) Trash cart rollout.

(4:23:03) Discussion of committee meetings.

(4:32:50) Appointments and evening agenda items. There were two board appointments.

(4:50:22) Historic preservation fund. The fund's interest is about $5,519 short to be able to do electro-magnetic scanning to determine if there are more tunnels located at Top O'Hill Terrace.

(4:53:23) Future agenda items. Nothing was said by anyone, but they were rushed. [If there was to be more follow up to the “public” childcare issue, it would seem it would have happened here. We will have to wait to see if the issue is totally dead.]

 

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The evening meeting may be viewed at: https://arlingtontx.granicus.com/player/clip/4787?view_id=9&redirect=true . All council members were present.

(2:40) Start of meeting.

(11:09) Two appointments, four executive session easements, and two sets of minutes were approved with three 9-0 votes.

(13:59) 31 consent agenda items. No speakers, none pulled for separate consideration, no conversation of any of the items. Approved, 9-0.

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

(16:42) The first two public hearings were to change the UDC (Unified Development Code) (staff reports: general annual , hotel design standards) There was one speaker in support of each item. Both items were approved, 9-0.

(25:59) Public hearing #3 was 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). It was approved, 9-0. The city's story: https://www.arlingtontx.gov/news/my_arlington_t_x/news_stories/anthem?vgo_ee=x8%2B1v8G%2Fo0XCSugumd3RSes9QLyf0aw4YSxq2yar3AzduHE%2Fr4k%3D%3AMtGQ72GvpbPhDdxthk9gGx4zymepNHMP .

(34:00) Public hearing #4 was 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). The motion failed, 2-7, with Boxall and Odom-Wesley in support.

(40:07) Special ordinance #1 was for the issuance of greater than $150 million in bonds (staff report). There were three 9-0 votes to pass all the bonds.

(41:55) Special ordinance #2 was for firefighters specialized pays (staff report).

(43:06) Citizen participation. There were six speakers. The first speaker wanted to thank the council for their work. The second speaker discussed the problem of marijuana in Arlington parks. The third speaker wanted to bring back the pedi-cab program. The final three speakers spoke on Gaza.

 

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The Arlington Spectator's City Council grades:

http://arlspectator.mysite.com/rich_text_39.html

 

This week's question:

If you receive an e-mail from a constituent on an Arlington issue and the constituent logically laid out and well documented the issue, will you respond to the constituent? Why or why not? What actions will you take?

 

District 1

Jacob Franklin - I would take every effort to provide a satisfactory response to any inquiries from Arlington residents. Everyone deserves to be able to communicate with and question their elected officials. I would make every effort to address the issue and provide a solution.

Tim Goss - As your future councilman, I will be deeply committed to representing the interests of our voters and advocating tirelessly on their behalf. It is my duty to ensure that the concerns and voices of our citizens are not only heard but also actively addressed in the decision-making process.

Whether it involves advocating for specific policies that align with the needs and values of our community, addressing pressing community needs, or securing funding for essential services, I am dedicated to working tirelessly to uphold the priorities of those I serve.

I firmly believe that citizen engagement lies at the heart of the democratic process. The input and perspectives of our residents are invaluable assets that help shape the direction of our community's future. By actively involving citizens in discussions, soliciting their feedback, and considering their viewpoints, we can collectively work towards building a stronger, more vibrant community that reflects the aspirations and needs of all its members.

If elected, I am also committed to providing opportunities for meaningful engagement with constituents beyond email correspondence. This may include hosting community forums, conducting surveys, participating in neighborhood gatherings, and actively seeking input on important issues facing our community.

Mauricio Galante When I receive an email from a constituent I’ll promptly respond and address the issue immediately in order to solve it.

Will also follow up with the person to communicate the progress that has been made.

 

District 2

Raul Gonzalez - I have made constituent communication a hallmark of my 14 years of elected service. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to document an issue they are concerned about. I have met with individuals and groups to discuss issues of concern. I do not know everything and am open to hearing from community members. If the issue involves a particular department, I make certain staff members are made aware of the situation so that a resolution can be achieved. This of course does not always favor the constituent, but in many cases compromise can be agreed upon.

The nearly 400,000 residents of Arlington have many different points of view. We may not agree on everything, but I will take the time to research and respond to constituents who take time to contact me.I have made constituent communication a hallmark of my 14 years of elected service. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to document an issue they are concerned about. I have met with individuals and groups to discuss issues of concern. I do not know everything and am open to hearing from community members. If the issue involves a particular department, I make certain staff members are made aware of the situation so that a resolution can be achieved. This of course does not always favor the constituent, but in many cases compromise can be agreed upon.

The nearly 400,000 residents of Arlington have many different points of view. We may not agree on everything, but I will take the time to research and respond to constituents who take time to contact me.

 

District 6

Long Pham Did not respond.

 

District 7

Bowie Hogg - Constituent services is a key part of serving as an elected position and might I say possibly the most important function, as we serve the people. I have continued to live by the practice of being an open book for a discussion and providing a response even if it is a time we might disagree. I have found this practice helps me build a stronger foundation to my thoughts on how I plan to address an issue, it has also helped me think of all sides and determine how I will proceed. Disagreements occur, but I think all parties must understand we may need each other for the next vote or issue. My track record has always been the highest on communication and response, and I have made it a point to be open in communication, agreement or disagreement. My personal cell phone is always available (817.565.2636), as it has been since I have been serving, as well as reaching out through e-mail and other traditional manners.

Chris “Dobi” Dobson – I hope to have this happen, and It is among the duties of a representative to respond. While email communications are not private, they are not generally public (attainable through Open Record Requests, but not otherwise published), I would hope to also provide public forums, such as town halls or social media posts, to allow these issues to be addressed publicly if desired. I do believe we should congratulate people pointing out problems or issues where the city can improve, yet it does not entitle them to dictate the solution to the problem. That solution must be worked in a public and demonstrable way, so that all residents can comment if interested. This engagement of the residents can be helpful not only in decision making but also later during adoption. At-large seats, as this election is, require a dedication to respond meaningfully even if one disagrees personally with the framing or suppositions of the issue brought up by residents. If the issue is such that it can be resolved individually I'd be happy to act including speaking with the city manager, as council is specifically prohibited from giving instruction or direction to city employees.

 

Economic Development Corporation (EDC)

We suspect the next EDC Board meeting will probably be April 16.

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 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 Wednesday, April 17, P&Z will hold a public hearing on PD24-1, on the 10.73 acres at 498 Debbie Lane where they wish to allow for planned development of MF-22 (multi-family) for assisted living units.

On Wednesday, April 17, P&Z will hold a public hearing on PD24-6, on the 0.611 acres at 4901 S. Cooper Street where they wish to CC commercial to PD for CC commercial for a restaurant with a drive-thru.

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 is to meet this Wednesday, April 3. There is only one zoning case on the agenda.

The zoning case is PD24-8, 6309 Joplin Road. They wish to change the RS-7.2 single-family zoning to a PD-RM-12 for eight lots of town homes on the 0.903 acres (staff report). The plan fails to meet requirements for lot size, lot depth, various setbacks, landscaping, and screening.

 

AISD School Board

The next scheduled AISD Board meeting is this 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:

http://arlspectator.mysite.com/blank_1.html

 

This week's question:

If you receive an e-mail from a constituent on an AISD issue and the constituent logically laid out and well documented the issue, will you respond to the constituent? Why or why not? What actions will you take?

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: https://fortworthreport.org/2024/03/12/qa-arlington-isd-board-presidents-competitor-is-business-administrator-district-mother .

 

Place 3

Larry Mike – Did not respond.

Kathi Arocha – The Trustees are accountable to the voters. We are to listen to the voice of the taxpayers & parents on any concerns they have within AISD. Trustees are also responsible to ensure all student receive quality education. I have no issue in responding to the constituent truthfully and transparently. I believe in order to build trust we must lay a foundation of partnership and with that clear communication is key to a successful partnership.

April Williams Moore – The relationship between the district administration and its school boards is often complex; however, it must be built upon trustworthiness and accountability in order to best serve our communities. The Board has an obligation to not just work with one another but also engage actively with constituents who elected them so they understand issues facing their community. We need to prioritize transparency on the board. I don't appreciate the culture that if you don't ask the right question, you won't receive a straightforward answer. Instead of deflecting and answering only what was asked, we should strive for clarity and understanding.

The Arlington Report did a report on this race. The Fort Worth Report story: https://fortworthreport.org/2024/03/19/qa-3-candidates-are-vying-for-arlington-isd-school-board-spot-incumbent-chose-not-to-run/ .

 

AISD School Safety Committee meeting

There will be a School Safety Committee meeting on Monday, April 1, at 1111 W. Arbrook Boulevard, at 6:00pm. Agenda items include AISD Intruder Detection Audits Update, AISD School Safety Grant Updates, and 2023—2026 Safety and Security Audit Process.

 

ESSER Funds to Run Out

The AISD will be cutting 275 positions. The Fort Worth Report story: https://fortworthreport.org/2024/03/20/arlington-isd-cuts-275-positions-as-covid-dollars-expire-employees-raise-questions .

 

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

MISD Candidate Qualified?

One of the requirements to run for most, if not all, school boards, including the Mansfield Independent School District (MISD), is that the candidate must be a registered voter. Place 2 candidate, Angel Hidalgo registered after the filing deadline had passed. The KERAnews.org story: https://www.keranews.org/politics/2024-03-28/mansfield-isd-candidate-removal-amid-questions-about-his-eligibility .

 

Ransomware group wants $700,000

Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) held an emergency meeting regarding the ransomware attack on their “new” computer system this past Monday. The Fort Worth Report story: https://fortworthreport.org/2024/03/25/ransomware-group-demands-700000-from-tarrant-appraisal-district .

 

Arlington boasts 2.26% increase

Arlington unfortunately boasts a 2.26% increase in housing units from the end of 2022 to the end of 2023. We all know that increase includes very few desirable single-family homes rather than the other stuff being produced. The Arlington Report makes known the Annual Development Profile produced by the city. The Fort Worth Report story: https://fortworthreport.org/2024/03/26/development-report-data-tracks-arlingtons-growth .

 

Looking Forward to 2026?

Is this what we have to look forward to in 2026, fights at AT&T Stadium? The Stadium using a different name will be hosting nine world cup games. We hope last weekend's game between the U.S. and Mexico is not an example. The 1063theBuzz.com report: https://1063thebuzz.com/brawl-soccer-match-arlington-texas/ .

 

HELPFUL CONTACTS

The Spectator: www.ArlSpectator.mysite.com

 

to be added/deleted to/from the mailing list e-mail: ArlSpectator@yahoo.com

 

We can be found on Facebook at ArlSpectator.

 

Taxpayers' Funds at Risk:

http://arlspectator.mysite.com/rich_text_83.html

 

City Council grades:

http://arlspectator.mysite.com/rich_text_39.html

 

AISD Board grades:

http://arlspectator.mysite.com/blank_1.html

 

City of Arlington website: www.arlingtontx.gov

 

e-mails of mayor and council

.................... first.last@arlingtontx.gov

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 ....................... www.aisd.net

McMurrough............ - sarahforaisd@gmail.com

Fowler ................... - fowler.aisd@gmail.com

Reich......................... - areich.aisd@tx.rr.com

Wilbanks .......... - david@wilbanksforaisd.com

Chapa ...................... - chapa.aisd@gmail.com

Richardson ... - brooklyn.richardson.aisd@gmail.com

Haynes ................... - haynes.aisd@gmail.com

 

TEA Accountability Data:

2022 Accountability

2021 Accountability

2019 Accountability

 

Opinion Arlington

www.opinionarlington.com

 

ARC Political Watch Committee Reports

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

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HBliPv5JKafA5bOnksLUi1_pCYUJ_mtL?usp=sharing

 

Texas Legislative Online:

http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

 

To be added to/deleted from our mailing list please e-mail: ArlSpectator@yahoo.com