November 12, 2018 Newsletter
Arlington Mayor and City Council HAS Term Limits!!!
Of all the election results from this past Tuesday, the most important is the Arlington Mayor and City Council HAS term limits.
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.
October 15, 2018 – Volume 11 Number 40
Tuesday, November 13 Arlington City Council meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W Abram St, 10:45am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm.
Thursday, November 15, AISD work session, AISD Administration Bldg, 1203 W Pioneer Pkwy, 7:00pm. Public comment may not be accepted.
Thursday, November 22, Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 27 Arlington City Council meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W Abram St, times TBD.
Tuesday, December 4 Arlington City Council meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W Abram St, times TBD.
Tuesday, December 11 Arlington City Council meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W Abram St, times TBD.
Thursday, December 13, AISD meeting, AISD Administration Bldg, 1203 W Pioneer Pkwy, 7:00pm.
From THE LOCKER ROOM
Arlington City Council Update
The Arlington City Council will meet this coming Tuesday, November 13. The first of two committee meetings is at 10:45am. The afternoon session starts in executive session at 12:30pm. The open portion of the afternoon session will start no sooner than 2:30pm. The evening meeting is at 6:30pm.
The first of two committee meetings is allocated 15 minutes for a close out of the Milo [driverless shuttle] Program. The presentation [ https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/263069/Milo_Closeout_Presentation.pdf ] and closeout report [ https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/264980/Milo_Closeout_Report.pdf ].
I am sure they are calling a huge success, though I do not know how. I, a fairly typical taxpayer, got absolutely zero benefit from them spending $265,213. [but then again, it is NOT about the taxpayer or the citizens]
The second of the two committee meetings is to discuss updates to the Chapter 380 program for the Arlington Home Improvement Incentive Program for approximately 15 minutes. [presentation: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/263734/AHIIP_380_Agreement_Policy_Updates_ED_Committee_111318.pdf ] They are also scheduled to have 30 minutes in executive session to discuss Offer$ of Incentive$ to Business Prospect$.
The afternoon session at 12:30pm begins in executive session. The executive session agenda has seven items on it.
2.1 Discussion of the Zack Maxwell lawsuit has become a popular item, occurring meeting, after meeting, after meeting [burning up those taxpayer dollars].
2.2 Legal issues regarding gas well drilling has also occurred at multiple meetings.
2.3 Discussion of possible acquisition of more property in regards to the Johnson Creek Capital Improvement Master Plan.
2.4 Discussion of 6-plus acres at 1707 and 1708 New York Avenue (selling I guess?)
2.5 Discussion of a possible settlement along Abram St for right-of-easement of 1951 sq. ft., with Arlington Collins, Ltd, and Independent Bank [no address(es) given].
2.6 Discuss a third amendment to an oil and gas lease.
2.7 Offer$ of Incentive$ to Business Prospect$.
The open portion of the afternoon session will start no sooner than 2:30pm. The agenda includes three work session items and four informal staff reports. [Surprisingly, no short-term rental discussion this meeting.]
The first work session item (3.1) is Domestic Violence and Victim Services. The presentation: [ https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/265634/18.11.13_Presentation-Domestic_Violence_and_Victim_Services-FINAL.pdf ].
The second work session item (3.2) is new water utilities customer account management tools (no presentation available).
The third work session item (3.3) is a gas well discussion.
The four informal staff reports are (4.1) Health & Wellness Clinic Update, (4.2) 2019 Neighborhood Matching Grant Call for Projects Open, (4.3) Special Event Parking Ordinance, and (4.4) Enhancing Regional Mobility Newsletter.
The evening meeting starts at 6:30pm. The agenda includes two executive session items, approval of two sets of minutes, 24 consent agenda items, six public hearings, and three additional resolutions.
Consent agenda item 8.12 is for the purchase of ten buses for Handitran. This was not done the straight low bid way, and the lowest bid was NOT taken. [I am NOT trying to suggest anything illegal.] A Chino, California company was selected over a Lewisville, Texas company.
Best value was based on 70% operation plan and 30% cost. The operational plan included: meeting FTA grant requirements, warranty and support, design of low floor model, delivery, and references. I have no idea of the plan differences, or why the split was 70/30, or what the price difference was. I don't have an objection to “best value”, but would sure like to know the differences which we are paying extra, before voting on the item.
Of the $1,000,590 cost for the Handi-tran buses, $850,502 is expected to be refunded from the federal government, FTA, Federal Transit Administration.
Consent agenda 8.14 item is for two more change orders (#2, and #3) to the $10 million for the e-sports conversion portion of the Arlington Convention Center. The three change orders total over a half million dollars. As if $10 million is enough to get the job done, we have to suffer through change orders.
Consent agenda item 8.18 is to retrain Jim Jeffrey law service in representing an officer in a lawsuit that involved the city and the officer.
Consent agenda item 8.23 is to transfer tax abatements for the Arlington Commons. You see, the apartments are getting sold yet again, and therefore, the corporate welfare needs to get modified for the selling.
The first public hearing, 11.1, is a zoning case at 2501 Woodside. This is a modification to a plan approved in 2016.
The second public hearing, 11.2, is also a zoning case for 5401 Kelly Elliott. There is for single family homes.
The third public hearing, 11.3, is for a Wendy's with a drive-thru at 1197 N Watson Rd in the entertainment district.
The fourth public hearing, 11.4, is for more apartments at 1500 Blue Danube St. They wish apartments at approximately 29 units/acre, well above the 22 units/acre allowed by the zoning. A majority of the apartments fall below minimum size requirements. Beware, your city council loves its apartments.
The fifth public hearing, 11.5, is for approval of the the waste of tax dollars, known as the Downtown Master Plan.
The sixth public hearing, 11.6, is for an extension of TIRZ #1 (downtown). Twenty years is far too long, an extension is ridiculous. So if a TIRZ started in 1999, basically the tax money that goes to the general fund, where police, fire, and administration is paid from, is locked in at 1999 prices, while the additional tax money goes to the TIRZ to spend. Meanwhile, the other taxpayers have to make up for the shortage siphoned from the general fund AND also pay for bonds, as for Abram St.
The three remaining resolutions have to do with a) interlocal agreement with Tarrant County for another TIRZ on East Pioneer Pkwy, b) paying $50K to a Houston firm to established that TIRZ on East Pioneer Pkwy, and c) amending the bylaws of the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation (ATF).
The first two special resolutions are basically together. The city generates TIRZ all the time, having about fifty of them. I have no idea why they need to pay a law firm for this one. My only guess is they do not qualify under normal conditions, so they need some lawyers to bend the numbers to get it in shape.
The final resolution to change the bylaws of the ATF, is to allow the council [the same as the ATF Board] to chose the chair and vice-chair of any committee the ATF creates, including the Citizen Advisory Committee. [I have no idea what happened to cause this, but it sure sounds like someone needs to put on their big boy pants.]
The next scheduled meeting is Thursday, November 15.
Strange, but the report with the October numbers, has not been received yet. [ http://arlspectator.mysite.com/rich_text_22.html ] Arlington Taxpayers are still paying for a lemon. While the company, VIA, is doing quite well [they have a contract for nearly a million dollars for the year—no problem].
All four bond propositions and the term limits proposition all passed at Tuesday's election.
Greene Proves Great Ignorance, Again
Former mayor and current droppings generator for the Star Telegram, Richard Greene, once again proved his great ignorance in this past weekend's article [ https://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/richard-greene/article221309440.html?fbclid=IwAR37R9_oMcLo4b8sMVHznjhEZyyQ-pp19LFVwE9wTsTwl-z0d_ADPXqeaF0 ]
Greene had three points to make about the local election results from this past Tuesday. It is better to take them in reverse order.
Point #3 was that Ron Wright did NOT win Tarrant County. He expressed surprise, which is all right, but just seems to ignore that the fact more Democrats were casting votes in Arlington and east Fort Worth. Arlington and east Fort Worth showed some of the effects of a “blue wave”. It certainly wasn't a tidal wave, but a wave of some amount.
So, on point #2 he attacks Konni Burton. Again, not to the point of the fact of more Democratic voters [something he should have realized from his point #3], but for reasons of his own personal mixed-up agenda. Do you emember Greene's good friend, Mayor Jeff Williams? Williams' buddy, Andy Nguyen, also loss for much of the same reason as Konni Burton.
I won't even touch the ignorance droppings going to print of point #1. Suffice it to say the man is clueless, especially when it comes to the description of Williams' to be named task force.
The Spectator . ...ArlSpectator@yahoo.com
The Arlington Voice (online newspaper covering Arlington) www.arlingtonvoice.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:
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e-mails of the AISD board .....
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NW Arlington Newsletter:
SE Arlington Blog
Randol Mill Park Nature Area
Texas Legislative Online
The Texas Bond Review Board ....