1083 Bowman Springs Road

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1083 Bowman Springs Road

We are NOT saying there is anything illegal here. We are NOT saying that everything is fine, either. There is NOT enough information to make a valid assumption either way.

 

1083 Bowman Springs Road Timeline

 

TAD (Tarrant County Appraisal District) Records

2011 TAD records show the address belonging to the city (City of Kennedale, Texas). The parcel is left over from the creation of the new Bowman Springs Road.

 

2013 TAD records show the address belonging to the EDC (Kennedale's Economic Development Corporation).[recorded by county clerk: https://tcrecordsonline.com/?linklocation=supermenu&linkname=Real%20Estate%20Search#pdfviewer?ID=D213009152 ]

 

2015 TAD records show the owner as Spiral Gymnastics. (no improvements) [recorded by county clerk: https://tcrecordsonline.com/?linklocation=supermenu&linkname=Real%20Estate%20Search#pdfviewer?ID=D215017849 ]

 

2017 TAD records show improvements.

 

City Agendas & Minutes

May 2012 – City Manager Bob Hart announces at the EDC meeting that the city will be taking bids on several parcels of land. 1083 Bowman Springs is one of the five parcels up for bids. [May minutes in June agenda packet: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=143#page=6 ] I looked at city council minutes, but found no agenda item, nor any such statement noted by the council.

 

July 2012 – EDC meets in executive session to consider making the bids for the properties of the city. Based on the minutes of the meeting in the August 2012 agenda packet, [ https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=160#page=4 ], the item was tabled until the next regularly scheduled meeting [which was in August, after the council already accepted the EDC's bid]. There appears to be no special meeting of the EDC in between, strongly suggesting that either city manager and executive director of the EDC Bob Hart did the bids on his own, with NO direction from the EDC, or that there was an illegal meeting.

 

August 2012 – The city council has an agenda item to consider bids for several pieces of land, including this one (1083 Bowman Springs Road). EDC won the bid to pay the city the funds they receive from the sale in the future. The council approved that, 5-0. [staff report: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/Web/GenFile.aspx?ar=645 ] “3. 1083 Bowman Springs Road, Lot 19R Block 1, Woodlea Acres Addition Bid from EDC (100% of proceeds from sale of property)

[minutes, part of September 2012 packet: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=69#page=34 ] There is no contract or anything, just the description listed above.

 

February 2014 – EDC considers the sale of 1083 Bowman Springs in executive session. When they reconvene into open session, no action on this item was taken.

[minutes, part of the March 2014 agenda packet: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=321#page=4 ]

 

March 2014 – EDC considers the sale of 1083 Bowman Springs in executive session. When they reconvene into open session, no action on this item was taken.

[minutes, part of the April 2014 agenda packet: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=348#page=4 ]

 

April 2014 – EDC considers the sale of 1083 Bowman Springs in executive session. When they reconvene into open session, no action on this item was taken.

[minutes: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/GenFile.aspx?ad=1750]

 

May 2014 – EDC considers the sale of 1083 Bowman Springs in executive session. When they reconvene into open session, no action on this item was taken.

[minutes: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/GenFile.aspx?ad=1780]

 

[[January 15, 2015, P&Z holds public hearing for zoning change, including 1083 Bowman Springs Road.

January 19, 2015, City Council holds public hearing for zoning change, including 1083 Bowman Springs Road. [no mention of potential deal in minutes or agenda, zoning request by EDC]

January 27, 2015, transfer of property filed with the county clerk with a date of January 23, 2015.]]

 

I looked at several months of minutes of both the city council and EDC and found NOTHING referencing any “deal” for this property. There was NO VOTE for any “deal” for this property.

 

January 2015 – P&Z holds public hearing, with no speakers, and considers changing this and other properties from AG to PD, Case #PZ14-12. The zoning request according to the documentation was requested by the EDC. It was approved with some amendments by the P&Z, 5-0-1. [agenda: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/Web/Player.aspx?id=852&key=&mod=m&mk=-1&nov=0 ] [staff report: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/Web/GenFile.aspx?ar=2210 ] [minutes from the February 2015 agenda: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=444#page=10 ]

 

January 2015 – City council holds public hearing, with no speakers, and considers change this and other properties from AG to PD, Case #PZ14-12. The zoning request according to the documentation was requested by the EDC. It was approved by the city council, 5-0. [agenda: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/Web/Player.aspx?id=918&key=&mod=m&mk=-1&nov=0

] [staff report with results from P&Z: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/Web/GenFile.aspx?ar=2241 ] [minutes from the February 2015 agenda: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=443#page=9 ]

City council monthly packets did not contain monthly financial information at this time. EDC did have monthly financial information but made no notes as far as one less property. [I guess the money would be a wash, coming in and going out [to the city]. This gives the appearance of the deal not being registered on the city records.

 

May 2015 – Bob Hart's letter to Spirals Gymnastics [ https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=1946#page=69 ] that only surfaced in 2019, greatly overstepping his authority. City council determines zoning, not city managers. EDC and city council approves land purchases, not the city manager.

I looked at the 2015 CAFR but do not see where anything is recorded about the sale of this property. [ City CAFR https://www.cityofkennedale.com/DocumentCenter/View/2415/City-Financials-2015?bidId= EDC CAFR https://www.cityofkennedale.com/DocumentCenter/View/2416/EDC-Financials-2015?bidId= ]

 

June 2019 – P&Z holds a public hearing with one speaker, and considers Case #PZ19-02. P&Z votes 4-3 to deny the UV zoning request.

[minutes: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=1951#page=11 ]

 

July 2019 – City council holds a public hearing with no speakers, and considers Case #PZ19-02. The council does not allow zoning request to UV. Vote was 2-2, with the mayor then voting NO to break the tie.

[approved minutes: https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?m=1&aoid=1941 ]

 

Aug 2019 – City council considers Case #PZ19-02 again. Since it was not denied the previous month, staff wants council to consider it again. The city council approves UV zoning, 5-0. This time the packet includes the recently-surfaced Bob Hart letter from 2015, where Bob Hart greatly oversteps his authority—city council approve zoning, not city managers, boards & councils approve land purchases, not city managers. [ https://kennedaletx.civicclerk.com/web/UserControls/DocPreview.aspx?p=1&aoid=1946#page=69 ]

 

MY OPEN RECORDS' REQUESTS:

September 23, 2019:

Please provide an electronic copy of all full financial transactions that that debited or credited the land balance sheet accounts that occurred in January 2015 for the city and/or EDC. “Full” financial transactions would include all debits and credits of the land transaction, including both sides of due to/due from accounts. Please include dates, accounts, amounts, debits, credits, and any comment/description field carried within the financial system.

 

--October 7, 2019 response:

There were no land purchases or credits on the City’s financial records through the EDC or General Fund in January of 2015.

 

October 30, 2019:

Please provide an electronic copy of all accounting records, including end of year entries, of the city and EDC, regarding 1083 Bowman Springs during fiscal year 2015. The property changed ownership in January 2015. Please provide whatever the accounting system data is available, including, but not limited to date, amounts of debits and credits, accounts, and any notes/descriptions.

 

--finally, December 12, 2019 response:

We do not have any responsive records for that address during that time period.

 

Summary:

I have a situation that needs more “authority” than I possess, and I hope you would be able to forward this information to someone who could accomplish what needs to be done.

The situation involves a parcel of land at 1083 Bowman Springs in Kennedale, TX. In January 2015, the land in question was transferred between the Kennedale’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and its current owner [recorded by county clerk: https://tcrecordsonline.com/?linklocation=supermenu&linkname=Real%20Estate%20Search#pdfviewer?ID=D215017849 ]; however, there is NOTHING in the minutes of either organization (EDC or City of Kennedale) indicating a vote approving the sale or an economic development agreement. Incidentally, the parcel of land at 1083 Bowman Springs is not insignificant: TAD values the land at slightly over $100,000.

Thinking that there must have been a land sale, I initiated an open records request for all items affecting the land balance sheet account for January 2015 and was told there was nothing on record.

I checked with a different city asking how an economic development agreement would be handled financially. It was suggested it might be in the end of year adjustments. My next open records request specifically listed the address in question and the full fiscal year, including end of year adjustments. Again, I was told there was nothing on record.

Again, there was NO agreement of sale or economic development agreement approved by either the City of Kennedale or the Kennedale Economic Development Corporation in either entity’s approved minutes. And my open record requests produced no money trail that would indicate a sale of the land parcel in question.

I have no proof, and cannot guarantee that any wrongdoing has actually occurred, but I really believe this should be investigated by someone with investigative authority. It seems very suspicious.

I would really appreciate any help you can provide with this situation.

 

Actions Taken:

I presented the information at the February 2020 City Council Meeting (Visitor and Citizen Forum). I then e-mailed this information to the city manager, mayor, and council members. I have heard nothing in reply.

 

Probable Cause:

The mayor and city council not holding the city manager accountable.

The city manager DID sign the property away.

The accounting system shows no money. So, what happened to the money if there was money?

If there was an Economic Development deal, you would think the accounting system would still show a credit to the land account and a debit to Economic Development expenses.

If there was an Economic Development deal, there should agendas, minutes, and votes both at the city council level and the EDC level. Why did this not happen?

 

 

 

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