Been quite a while since I’ve contributed to the blog. A week of vacation on the beaches of Belize and then two weeks of trying to catch up from that vacation will do that.
I really wish I was back on the beach in Belize……. If you ever get the chance to go, I would highly recommend it. The water was absolutely amazing.
Gio finished the final special session but has been very busy at Town Halls and public and private events around the district. Today, Empower Texans came out with their report card and he received a 94%. As somebody a whole lot smarter than me said, in this instance 94% was a lot better than 100%.
He has also been getting a lot of grief about a statement he made about Windy Wendy Davis. He stated that she should have to pay for the second special session, because she knew it was a publicity stunt. The Twitterverse blew up on that one, and he became “The Asshole of the Day” to the left wing nuts. I remarked that for every negative tweet about his stance on life, his poll numbers went up in HD98. Stupid libs.
I was sent the following picture from Austin:
I’m wondering if a Dem ran in HD98 on a pro baby killing platform whether they would even get 30% of the vote?
On the local front, I have been very busy with the Future Land Use Advisory Committee, and attended another meeting last night. The committee will make its recommendation to the City Council on the 17th of September. We have one more public hearing on the 27th of this month, if you have anything to add, please come to and let us know. So far, the committee has unanimously agreed to make a recommendation to review and revise the entire FLUP and the final two meetings will be to work on getting our formal recommendation to the council agreed upon. It has been a great process to work through, and we look forward to finishing the project soon.
Again, we are not recommending WHAT the changes will be to the plan, but that we feel that it should be reviewed and revised. It will be up to a future committee to figure out what those changes are, if that is the final direction the council decides to take. With my work and family schedule these days, unless my colleagues on the council really twist my arm, I don’t expect to be part of that committee.
I also will post in the future about the Transportation Bond Committee recommendations and our vote last week and will have more on this as this process continues. Unlike what was stated by a colleague or two of mine the other night, we have been working on this process for over two years, and in fact former City Councilman Jim Thompson started to push the city to start this process back in 2008 or 2009. That led to the City hiring a consultant in 2011 to look at intersections, cut through traffic, the Old Town Couplet and roadways. They held numerous public hearings taking input from citizens on many different projects and areas of town. We also had multiple presentations to council from that consultant in the regular session, out front in front of everybody, with public hearings during that process. It was only then after that process that we determined to convene the Transportation Bond Committee to look further into the matter. We, meaning the council, outlined the responsibilities of the committee….with a unanimous vote I would add. The council as a whole went into this process looking for ways to improve infrastructure, we all knew that the funding mechanism would be a bond election.
The committee spent many months with public hearings and open sessions taking input from hundreds of citizens. During all this time, the city website featured prominently information about both processes. I don’t know the final number of meetings and public hearings, but it is a large number going on for many many months.
Nowhere during that long process did anyone bring up the issues that were brought up the other night. Not during the process of writing the charge to the committee, telling them exactly what we wanted from them, nor during the whole process. Not once. I will also say this, I have been a bomb thrower of my own over the years, I understand the process and the reasons why you throw bombs and the timing of those outbursts. I have been critical in my years as a gadfly in Keller, but what I have been critical of is the process and the elected officials. I have never attacked the staff at Keller City Hall, because as I’ve stated here multiple times, I feel we have some of the best staff members as any city in the country. Do they make mistakes? Sure they do. Have I stated my displeasure with former City Managers or Acting City Managers? You bet I have. But the staff through this process has spent hundreds of hours, many of them after normal working hours meeting with citizens and attending public hearings. They have spent countless hours with elected and appointed members of our government gathering information and answering our questions.
I will say this, I stand by the process we have gone through. There were no late night votes during Christmas break. There were no fewer than four front page newspaper articles about the process over the last two years. Has it been perfect? Probably not, but it has been as open and transparent as you can make it. The council took the recommendations from the committee and then worked to lower the impact on the taxpayers by another half cent. We, meaning the council, outlined the responsibilities of the committee….with a unanimous vote I would add. The council as a whole went into this process looking for ways to improve infrastructure, we all knew that the funding mechanism would be a bond election.
But hey, it’s politics. The choice will be ultimately be up to the voters, but I will say again for yet another time. I stand completely behind the process that has led us to this point and feel that the citizens we have heard from, including some of the most conservative members of our city, have stated publically they have agreed with the decisions made by the committee.