Thursday, March 26, 2009

Matt K Mooney will you please go now?

Most people who don't live in HOA's agree: They Suck. That's why they choose not to move into a neighborhood with an active and established HOA. It is naive to think this governing board of busybodies will not at some point irritate you, unless you are one the governing busybodies or some wannabe tyrant licking their boots.

The city is invasive enough. Rockwall already determines so many of the tiniest deatils of how you can live at your house.

Both the city and HOA do this in the name of preserving or raising home values. The only factor in home value is someone wanting to part with hard-earned money to buy it. 15 Years ago East Dallas (near Baylor) was a slum. In the past few years, wealthy people have been moving in and without the force of law have improved the neighborhoods greatly.

Matt Scott had a public fight with his HOA. I assume he moved into the neighborhood knowing full well that there was an HOA.

He wanted the city to "do something". Without the details, I cannot say whether the city couldn't or wouldn't do ayhthing, but they didn't.

Burt Solomons (R-District 65) has introduced legislation and an ammendment to reign in HOA power. Matt Scott helped write this legislation.

Tonight the special session of council was called to determine if the city of Rockwall would officially endorse the legislation. Matt has planned to go down as a concerened citizen with or without the ciy's endorsement, or with the city's endorsement and representative of the city.

The council made some inquiries and expressed a few opposing comments, which Matt said he will disclose during the public hearing in Austin on Monday.

The council vote 6-1 in favor, Bill Cecil opposed (he didn't both sides of the issue were fairly represented, which is wierd cuz that's how I felt during annexation.)

But no one else, maybe including Matt, knew that legislation better than Bill Cecil.

I don't like HOA's. I live in a neighborhood with an HOA, but not a real one. It's been a few years since we had a meeting or "Mexican-bash-fest" as I like to call them. When three cranky old, white ladies constantly talk about "those people", the absence of blacks in the neighborhood allows one to draw some conclusions.

Now that I am a full fledged citizen (expect for that I cannot vote or run for office or have nice streets or get Tubbs finished or have the major thoroughfare widened or get the maps changed or the city limit sign or get storm drainage fixed or vote) I don't want or see any need for our HOA to even exist anymore.

Still not sure if I support or oppose the legislation, although I lean to oppose it. I usually oppose inviting legislators to do anything, they usually muck it up worse. Don't like the HOA? Don't move into a neighborhood with an effective one or get involved in a leadership role and change it. Or get one like mine: Impotent as Ukranian weightlifter from Chernobyll.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Fret no more, I have found what I was looking for. Reminded me of one of my favorite passages from one of my favorite books, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. A conversation between Arthur Dent (his house is about to be demolished) and Mr Prosser (the bureaucrat in charge of the demolition):

"But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."

"Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything."

"But the plans were on display ..."

"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

"That's the display department."

"With a torch."

"Ah, well the lights had probably gone."

"So had the stairs."

"But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

They are discussing some issues being introduced in the State House regarding HOA's.

The legislation and amendment are authored by Hon. Burt Solomons (R-District 65). The info about the bills can be found from links on that page or here.

The council meets on Thursday at 5pm. Be there and see squares.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hey city, thanks for the heads up!!

Got an email update from the city about a special council session on Thursday containing the following:

Discuss and Consider the Status of HB 1976, HB 1977, HJR 76 and other Legislative Matters and take any Action Necessary.

Thanks for the heads up! I've really been worried about HB 1976, HB 1977, and HJR 76. Been keeping me up at night. What are HB 1976, HB 1977, and HJR 76?

Here's what I found when doing a search at the City website

Your search - HB 1976 - did not match any documents.

  • Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
  • Try different keywords.
  • Try more general keywords.
  • Try fewer keywords.
Same result for the other two. Further, I could not find anything about these obviously important issues on the website.

I have an inquiry in to the city secretary for clarification.

I sometimes wonder if such vagueness is intentional in order to keep "the people" from knowing what's going on in their government.

Do you live in the country?

After reflecting, I decided a qualifying post about living in the "country" is in order. List-form seems to be a popular meme for doing such things, so here goes:

How to tell if you don't live in the country:

1. You live in the 4th largest metropolitan area in the USA.
2. You can see the 9th largest city in the USA from your area.
3. The 9th largest city in the USA has part of its city limits in your county.
4. You can go to Wal-Mart and not see anyone you know.
5. You can get to Wal-Mart in less than half an hour.
6. New schools are brick and stone.
7. The First Baptist Church is not the largest baptist church in your area.
8. Your local Ford or Chevy dealer has cars and trucks.
9. The interstate is not something you've only heard about from relatives.
10. Gas and milk prices are about the national average.
11. You have a driveway made from concrete or pavestone.
12. "Garden" refers to flowers.
13. "Dinner" ever refers to pizza delivered from a national chain.
14. Free TV is more than 3 channels.
15. You've never seen a dead cow on the road to your house.
16. You have multiple land-line options for high-speed internet.
17. Everyone in your county can get to the courthouse in 30 minutes or less.
18. A 100 million dollar bond doesn't seem that big.
19. You have more than 5 choices to get gasoline at 3 o'clock in the morning.
20. You have more than 5 choices to get anything at 3 o'clock in the morning.
21. Going out to eat means more than 2 choices available: BBQ or Chicken Fried Steak.
22. Euthanizing a dog does not involve a .22.
23. You have ever bought a cat.
24. You've ever wondered to what organization all those kids in purple jackets belong.
25. Your school district has not one, but two robotics programs.

If 5 or more apply, you don't live in the country.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rockwall City Council 16 March

Councilman Sweet led the prayer and pledge. Quite odd that he used "Jesus" in the prayer. I thought it was standard practice for politicians to shy away from any denominational prayer to the All-Mighty. Good for him.

Glenn Farris and Michael Scott had more important things to do. Absence of dog-tethering or Rockwall Zoo items keep them away.

Only going to hit a few things, there were other items and what-not, but most passed without any discussion or desent.

2nd Appointment: Some guy from the NTMWD spoke about water levels and conservation. We have plenty, but recommends we have some restrictions in place soon as La Nina predicts 6 more weeks of winter. Or something.

I did learn we get our water from Lavon, Tawakoni, Chapman, Texoma, and East Fork Supply. In the next 40 years there will be more water.

Not terribly exciting, but as the council spent 45 minutes on it, I decided to mention it.

Public Hearing items 1 and 2 were about the same thing essentially. The snow cone stand that has been near Sonic for the last few years was pushed out once the State took the land it once stood. They need a piece of land nearby rezoned commercial (corner of Bourne and Goliad). Coincidentally, the snow cone stand is owned by Chance from The Vanished 's girlfriend. They should call them "scene cones"!!

The most contentious item of the evening: There is a planned development going in north of 552 (Dalton), bewtween John King and Breezy Hill Lane. It is going in. I repeat, it is going to happen. The developers requested a small change. Turning a 50 acre plot into retail, instead of all of it being residential. There has been some interest by Tom Thumb to put a store there.

The first guy to speak, was not against it. He is also a retired developer who 20 years ago had done some site studies in that area. His only concern was potential water erosion problems.

ALL the rest spoke against it for the following reasons:

First lady thinks she lives in the country. She doesn't want an increase in traffic. Mind you, John King will be 4-lane, and 552 is being widened to 4-lane.
Second lady thinks she lives in the country.
One guy thinks he has a pond worth $70, 000 and the extra run-off will kill his pond, creek, and trees. It must be full of Coelocanths.
Third lady thinks she lives in the country. She has lived in the area since '96. In '96 she and her family moved to the country. Not 1896, 1996.
Fourth lady spoke for everyone on her street, and they are all against it. She didn't have a petition or an affidavit, so we'll have to take her word for for it.

Did I mention these people were especially upset the city never notified them of anything about this?? Most had only learned about it THAT MORNING???? Why didn't the city send out notices to citizens????

Actually, the city had notified the citizens. None of those who spoke are citizens of Rockwall. They are in unicorporated areas of the county. Just wait till they get annexed!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!1111

The city has just settled a lawsuit with the developer. Originally there were to be c.1500 homes on that land, the city wanted less density and the part of the suit reduced the amount of homes to c.800.

Margo Nielsen basically said they don't live in the country. They are adjacent to a rapidly growing city. She supported the right of the developer to develop his land as he wants, so long as it meets zoning and laws and what-not. She made one recommendation that the developer consider moving the commercial area away from the busy intersection to an area away from the busy intersection. And she was doing so well.

Break. Everyone but the reporters and I remained for the last of the meeting.

Action items:

1. Allow late night sales of alcohol. DENIED!!!! There was no real support or opposition.
2. Finances. BORING!!! No action needed or taken.
3. Concert by the Lake being extended by 2 weeks in August because of the recession (allows people some recreation they can afford). Will cost the city $30,800, but won't cost the citizens a cent!!!

Bill Cecil did mention he really likes going to this event. He grabs some food and sometimes some wine. Is it legal to drink alcohol in a city park?

4. Something about trees and a new sewer line in Turtle Cove. No Action.