January 7, 2019 Newsletter
City to Pay Outside Lawyers to Defend Lawsuit
On the consent agenda is the paying for legal services by the taxpayers for the mayor, because he and the city is being sued by the mayor's good buddy [and also the city council's good buddy] Robert Johnson over the term limits vote.
The council will learn more when they talk during executive session.
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.
January 7, 2019 – Volume 12 Number 1
Tuesday, January 8, City Council Meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W Abram St, times 8:15am, 3:30pm, 6:30pm.
Wednesday, January 16, Filing for City Council and School Board Positions Begins (deadline February 15 to be on the ballot).
Thursday, January 17, AISD Board Meeting, 1203 W Pioneer Pkwy, 7:00pm.
Monday, January 21, MLK Holiday.
Tuesday, January 22, City Council Meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W Abram St, times TBD.
From THE LOCKER ROOM
Arlington City Council Update
The City Council will meet on Tuesday, January 8. The first of five committee meetings is at 8:15am. There will be a board meeting [that is the city council members] of the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation at 12:30pm. The afternoon session begins at 2:00pm in executive session. The open portion of the afternoon session will begin no sooner than 3:30pm. The evening meeting is 6:30pm.
The first committee is scheduled for a 8:15am and take 90 minutes. Approximately 30 minutes are scheduled for the Homebuyer Assistance Program Policy Update, and 60 minutes on 2019 Housing Tax Credit Applications.
There is no presentation available on the housing tax credit applications [that's a shame]. The Arlington Homebuyer Assistance Program is looking to change its policies because the cost of Arlington housing has increased so much, it is basically useless. That presentation is at [ https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/289725/AHAP_Policy_Changes_2018_for_CND_1-8-19_FNL.pdf ].
The second committee is scheduled to spend 30 minutes at 10:00am on Hotel Design Standards, which is more along the lines of very selective approval plans of hotels in different areas of the city. The presentation is at [ https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/289965/HAA_Hotel_Guidelines_Analysis_-_Entertainment_District_-_Arlington_TX_-_2019_JAN_Update.pdf ].
Dockless mobility is to be discussed for 30 minutes at the third committee meeting. The committee meeting starts at 10:30am. Dockless mobility means electronic scooters that other neighboring cities have had a problem with. The presentation is at [ https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/286466/Dockless_Mobility_TMI_Committee_010819.pdf ].
The fourth committee meeting is to begin at 11:15am and last for 30 minutes. Their subject is Procurement Policy/availability & disparity study. There is no presentation available.
You don't have to worry about the final committee. It is in executive session.
Arlington Tomorrow Foundation
The Board of the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation, which is the city council members, will meet at 12:30pm.
The afternoon session begins at 2:00pm in executive session. There are 11 items to be discussed on the executive session agenda. The key item is the Robert S. Johnson v. Jeff Williams, Mayor and the City of Arlington lawsuit.
Robert Johnson is a long-time friend of the mayor and city council members. He is accustomed to receiving his way with the council on any city issue.
Johnson filed a suit trying to throw out the election, claiming the vote to establish term limits was invalid. Our city council will spend/give-away taxpayers' dollars to defend the lawsuit (well kinda), as the majority of the council would love to see the suit win.
The next biggest item is the sale of several pieces of land at 100 S Cooper and properties in that vicinity along Main. This has been discussed in executive session, so anything I would say is total speculation. This has been on the agenda before but pulled, evidently for more negotiations.
The open portion of the afternoon session will begin no sooner than 3:30pm. The agenda has two work session items (Sandra Bland Act update and Abram St project update), one informal staff report (Levitt Pavilion video screen usage), and several possible miscellaneous items (including flooding and erosion, donation boxes, and short-term rentals).
The Sandra Bland Act is internal reporting of the police department. [ https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/289970/19.01.08_Presentation-Sandra_Bland_Act_Update_FINAL.pdf ].
The Abram St update presentation [ https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/288416/Abram_Street_Project_Update__January_8__2019_.pdf ]
The Levitt Pavilion video screen and sound system was paid for with Arlington Tomorrow Foundation funds. The Levitt Pavilion people are wishing to use the screen more than the original restrictions allowed. The staff report [ https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/289714/01-08-19_Levitt_Video_Board_Usage_ISR__REVISED_1-4-18_.pdf ].
The evening meeting begins at 6:30pm. Te agenda includes seven executive session items, four sets of minutes, 28 consent agenda items, three public hearings, and a resolution to redo the DR Horton corporate welfare deal.
The biggest item in the executive session item is the sale of several pieces of land at 100 S Cooper and properties in that vicinity along Main. This has been on the agenda before but pulled, evidently for more negotiations.
Other executive session items are for buying “erosion” land, buying right of way, and modifications to several oil and gas leases.
Consent Agenda item 8.26 is to pay for more legal council from the taxpayers' funds regarding the Robert S Johnson lawsuit trying to claim the citizens vote for term limits was invalid. This city council loves both wasting taxpayers' dollars and ignoring the citizens and what they overwhelmingly voted for.
There is a consent agenda item for another modification (30+% of the original contract) to the engineering services contract for Division Street sidewalk enhancements.
Another consent agenda item has the the staff recommending rejecting both bids (over estimated cost) for a hanger demolition at Arlington Municipal Airport.
There is a consent agenda item for $722K for elevator replacement services at city hall.
The first public hearing is for a Quick N Clean Car Wash at 709 W Harris.
The second public hearing is for a A-Loft hotel at 4500 S Collins.
The third public hearing is for TIRZ #1, the downtown area. The current plan has run out after 20 years. They are going to approve the amended and restated project plan to continue siphoning money from the general fund (where police and fire are paid from). They have been doing this for 20 years, which has greatly benefited council friends, as the “suing” Robert S. Johnson, so they wish to continue to fund their “deal” bucket. [Kinda makes you sick, doesn't it]
The corporate welfare modification with DR Horton is to allow the company to keep some of the additional sales tax revenue that will be generated.
The next scheduled AISD Board meeting is Thursday, January 17.
City Still Claiming VIA is Wonderful
On December 11, the VIA pilot program started 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 new expanded area, it only covers about 30% of the city, meaning the majority of the taxpayers have to pay for VIA, but receive no benefit from it. All of those taxpayers are paying for something that competes against the private sector Lyft and Uber services.
Yet for some unexplained reason, Wasteful [Council Member Kathryn] Wilemon and [Mayor Jeff] Williams are all for throwing away the taxpayers' money.
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) = roxeanne.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
Charlie Parker Blog:
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
Chapa .....................- email@example.com
Walton .. ................ - firstname.lastname@example.org
Hibbs ........................ - email@example.com
Mays ............ - firstname.lastname@example.org
School board grades:
NW Arlington Newsletter:
SE Arlington Blog
Randol Mill Park Nature Area
Texas Legislative Online
The Texas Bond Review Board ....