Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You do know it's 2009, right?

On my way home last evening from the council, I got pulled over and ticketed for exceeding the speed limit. It happens, not my first, won't be my last. I fully accept the consequence and am willing to pay my fines.

However, I went to the court at 2:30pm to take care of the ticket, because that's what a responsible citizen does. Not wait until the last minute to take of the ticket, or worse, ignore it.

I tell the lady there my intentions. After a brief pause she says, "You just got this yesterday?"

"Yes.", I replied.

"Oh, it won't be in the system for 3 days."

"3 days? Are you kidding?"

People can electronically transfer ten of thousands of dollars in a heartbeat electronically, you can do all your banking and bill paying electronically with usually less than a few hours for the transaction to complete. You can buy homes and cars and books and ovens electronically and instantaneously.

But our city is still so backwards that they are still handwriting tickets and taking 3 days to process? Why are we wasting money on aesthetic improvements while basic things like computerizing these operations are ignored? About 5-6 years ago I got a ticket, printed from a computer, from the DPS on the Bush Tollway on my to my office in Rockwall. By the time I got to the office 20-30 minutes later, I was able to take of the ticket online.

The city is discouraging responsible behavior by still processing tickets as they did 20 years ago when I got my first one (which was also in Rockwall). Frustration leads to apathy.

I'm not irritated I got a ticket, I'm irritated at the asinine, backwards bureaucracy.

Rockwall City Council 20 April

Question: What's better than your government doing something?

Answer: Your government doing nothing.

Alas, this is a democratic republic chock full of people who don't know how to do nothing.

Mayor Cecil opened with prayer and mentioned the Rockwall County Mayors Prayer Breakfast on May 7. The past few years have shown a demographic shift in Rockwall. Lots of Yankees moving in to town bringing their Yankee ideas. Won't be long before some jerk files suit against the city and the opening "prayer" will be: "Everyone don't bow your heads: Dear earth, you wonderful giant rock, thanks for beating the odds of trillions to one and have nature and the universe mysteriously end up in such a perfect position as to support life on this planet."

It's motorcycle safety awareness month! Chief Moeller accepted a proclamation about it. Rockwall has 2 motorcycle cops that ride totally sweet ST1300's. Internet rules dictate that any mention of motorcycles results in posting of motorcycle pictures. The first is the Honda ST1300 Police Bike:

Not an actual picture of Rockwall's, but it's close and it is one good looking motorcycle. I can haz plz?

And mine. This is me in Ft Davis, Texas last year.

And this is a video I made with my bike cam.

Enough about bikes (for now).

April 17 is Rockwall's 155th birthday. Birthday? I guess no one could spell anniversary.

The city staff asserts the rock wall for which Rockwall was named is man-made, Mayor Cecil asserts it is a natural formation. No one knows for sure (except the aliens).

Mayor Cecil mentioned that Lantana will be playing at the Harbor next. I was excited to hear this as I assumed it was a Santana cover band from Atlanta, but it's not.

Consent agenda approved with no item pulled for individual voting. The rezoning in the highly contentious development off John King and 552 passed. So, I guess those who didn't live in the city who opposed this won't be voting for the incumbents next time.

P and Z chairman said some things. I can't remember really, I think I was daydreaming about that sweet ST1300 again. I love that bike.

Ray Turco presented his companies findings or the citizen survey 2008. 1541 out of 12719 households mailed responded (12.1%).

44% citizens very satisfied, 51% satisfied, 4% dissatisfied

Coincidentally, 4% is also the percentage of residents who attended city council meetings in 2008.

89% of people can find what they need to buy in Rockwall. 78% can find ample entertainment in Rockwall. 22% cannot find ample entertainment? What's ample mean? No one knows.

Retail wanted by those surveys: Barnes and Noble plus another bookstore totaled 32%. 32% is also the percentage of people who never heard of the internet.

Some restaurants and stores they would like to see: Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Jason's Deli (they have the best brown lettuce anywhere, also I like how they don't drain the water off the lettuce. Who wants thick ranch dressing anyway?), Central Market, Whole Foods, Macy's. Dillards, Pappadeaux, PF Changs, and Outback steakhouse. People sure love chain restaurants in this town.

At this time Mr Turco hit turbo boost and I couldn't keep notes for a bit.

Citizens overall happy with dealings with city personnel.

Most people get info about the city from newspapers (81% and most popular) and one of the least popular was the city council (5%). It's nearly the opposite for me. COME TO COUNCIL AND THEY WILL TALK TO YOU. Probably.

93% "think" code enforcement makes their house worth more.
89% happy with how the city maintains itself.
87% think city is better (better than what? I don't know, that's all I wrote in my notes)
20% do not like something (can't read my writing). I will call these people 20%ers though. Rockwall hating 20%ers. And they stink.

Mr Sweet wanted to know the cost and what it would compare to a phone survey. It cost $8k-$10k for this, a phone survey would have cost $12k-$15k plus they would have been bugging folks and had much a lower number participate.

People weren't able to qualify their answers, but there was a comment section which Mr Turco "doesn't take a lot of stock in".

I hope we in the Zoo get to take one this year. Unless Turco doesn't realize we are in the city as the city limit sign still hasn't moved on Horizon. If for some reason we do get included I hope there is a question about water service and street drainage.

Public hearing:

Some guy in the historic district built a "playhouse". He had no permit, he built it bigger than allowed (he had got a permit), no foundation, not out of like material of home. And he tried to build a fence without a permit. And a pergola without a permit.

He continued building after given a citation last year and now wants "forgiveness". P and Z denied and eventually, so did the city.

I am all about bending, skirting, ignoring, etc rules of all kinds. But, once you get caught, well...

He did have his law-talking guy there who had apparently done extensive preparation during his drive over to the council meeting.

Living in a historic district guarantees a watchful eye in your direction.

Final note, the construction on this building was the craziest thing I've ever seen. The "structure" was essentially sand-filled buckets stacked, with metal lathe on the inside and outside covered in stucco. Bucket Walls and Stucco is also coincidentally the name of my favorite country band.

Action Items:

1. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees.

No action.

2. Some guy needs a variance on a sign, he got it. Glen mentioned his love of monument signs. He may have said "dreamy".

4. The city is going ahead with the original plan to widen White Road which involves removing trees. Glen is a horticulturist and/or arborist and he knows trees. And he says these trees are going to die even if the city has to kill em. Motion was made to kill the trees in the most violent manner possible and it passed. David and Mark agreed "KILL EM ALL!"

5. Fella from Lake Pointe Church needs some land rezoned in the Zoo from Ag so the church can build a home for some folks. Passes.

Homes in the Zoo with septic will be assessed about $6k to tie into the city sewer. This sounds like a lot of money, but the upside is everyone alive now will prolly be long gone before the Zoo gets water and sewer from the city anyway. Let our grandchildren's grandchildren worry about it.

6. City staff and the Rockwall Zoo Subcommittee want nothing more than to put up to 250 "multi-family" dwellings in the trailer side. Town homes, duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes. Cuz nothing encourages pride in a community like a giant rental property. Renters are the best neighbors. Always wanting to share their music with you. They want to show you their new car in the easiest way possible for you to see it, and what's easier for you than parking it in front of your house? They want you to enjoy their pets company as much as they do. And so forth.

This is only the beginning of the process, there will lots of other times for the nieghborhood to voice their concerns. Unfortunately, it will be at the 2nd reading under consent agenda before they get involved.

I'm against the city dictating what an "investor" could or should do in the area. It's his land and money. But the city should be encouraging home ownership in the Zoo.

3. City wants to get into showbiz. In order to get people to want to film in Rockwall, the city has to pay some guy to come in and find places to "shoot". This then goes into a registry at the Texas Film Commission or something and then the city makes 50 billion dollars and a credit on IMDB.

Seems harmless, but does remind me of this Simpsons episode:

Mark Russo is VERY excited about this. Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, excited.

7. City approves budget reserves of 3.5 months or something.

8. City has to do some ID theft thingy required by state law to "protect" people from people.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rockwall TEA Party

April 15, 2009 at the Rockwall City Hall: 2000 showed up to let the feds know (finally?) that we are sick and tired of wasteful spending and high taxes. Probably to the surprise of liberals everywhere, I saw a few wealthy people, but most were middle class people who for some reason think their taxes are too high as well.

High taxes and over spending are really just the symptom of what's wrong: BIG government which has strayed so far away from the U.S. Constitution, most people and elected officials can't even remember what led to its drafting!

Quick history of said drafting: after the Canadian invasion of the Alamo in 1812, the Minutemen (so called because of their love of minute rice) traveled around the world on the Mayflower collecting signatures from people like John Hancock and Abraham Lincoln declaring our independence from dread pirate King George.

Over reaching government does not begin in Washington D.C. It begins right here in Rockwall and towns just like it. Every stupid, little nit-picking issue brought up by the council with an equally ridiculous ordinance or to enforce it is just as bad as the feds in Washington. Elected officials from city to congress forget why they are elected. Not to address their petty pet peeves, protect their donors, or to make a name for themselves, but it is to be "us". Thinking and acting as "us", keeping the bureaucratic machine out of our lives so that we can pursue our own version of happiness.

Anyway here's some pictures of the event:
The Gathering (5:30pm)

Master of Ceremonies Tom Taylor

Key Note Speaker Jerry Hogan

Rockwall City Councilman Mark Russo

Rockwall Young Republicans President Aaron Moore

SGM Clifford Sevier, Sr, US Army (Retired)

Hiram Sasser, Director of Litigation Liberty Legal Institute

David Peek, publisher Rockwall Enterprise-Success

Todd Smith (Benediction)

Speical note: The Rockwall event was spearheaded by my father, John N. White. He would never take credit or boast of his involvement, but that's what his kids are for. Ironically, he was unable to attend as he had planned several months ago and was on his way to one of the most oppressive countries in the world.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I feel so honored.

Please read: http://matthewrscott.us/

I have been called out by a member of the city council. I must be really special to receive such an honor from such a distinguished member of the council.

It's truly a shame, that in our great city to have someone so humorless on the council. Amazing that someone so well educated has such a weak grasp of sarcasm. Someone who voluntarily enters the public life must expect a certain level of criticism from citizens. In fact it is not only my right under the first amendment of the Constitution, it is the duty of every citizen to critically analyze what their representatives are doing.

I do not work for any paper, therefore I am unashamedly biased in my opinions. I will hold no punches. This is just a blog, written with a great deal of sarcasm and humor. There is nothing malicious written. My hope is that others in the city get involved and see what the council does.

Was I vehemently opposed to annexation? Yes and no.

A little history first: I have lived in the neighborhood for 10 years now, I have lived in Rockwall since 1987. I moved here as a kid with my family. I love Rockwall. I can remember a Rockwall few on the council ever knew. I remember when we had 2 street lights and where Chili's now stands was an very old abandoned gas station with a cow pasture behind it. I have seen the city grow from about 5,000 to nearly 30,000 now. I graduated from Rockwall High School in 1993. All of my siblings attended Rockwall schools. My parents live in Rockwall. My sister (Rockwall Grad) and her family live in Rockwall (LRE residents). My cousin (Rockwall Grad) and her family live in Rockwall (LRE residents). My closest friend and his family live in Rockwall (LRE residents). My office is in Rockwall.

I do not hate Rockwall. I love Rockwall.

From Mr Scotts own Blog:

"But here’s the interesting part: [refering to me] wanted nothing to do with the City of Rockwall, and wanted nothing to do with living in the City of Rockwall."

For the record: I love Rockwall.

Who is spreading lies now?

My opposition to annexation had absolutely nothing to do with me not wanting to be a citizen of Rockwall. When I moved in 10 years ago there was talk of annexation. When I was in high school 15 years ago there was talk of annexation. I can think of no time our neighborhood was not considered for annexation. I knew that we would be annexed before I even started looking for a home in that neighborhood. Only a fool thought we would not be annexed.

My opposition stems from the condescending attitude many on the council expressed towards our neighborhood. I didn't want to be annexed because a bunch of do-gooders who felt we needed to be saved from ourselves. The neighborhood had been improving long before the city ever started official annexation procedures 3 years ago. The city wanted to make our neighborhood "better". I love my neighborhood exactly the way it has been since I moved into my house: constantly improving.

More from Mr Scott:

"But suddenly he wanted to LEAD the City of Rockwall?"

I am unworthy to represent my fellow citizens because I opposed annexation? As a "new" citizen of Rockwall, I now have the right and responsibility to be concerned with the direction of my city. I can only assume any negative action or opinion makes anyone ineligible in Mr Scott's eyes to represent their fellow citizens. I must blindly follow the shepherding of the council in all matters or else I am to be seen as not caring about the city of Rockwall?

Mr Scott is arrogant to think he is somehow a target of mine because he voted for annexation. I have had multiple discussions with Mayor Cecil, Mayor Pro-Tem Sevier, and councilmen Sweet and Russo, all of whom I expressed my distaste of the do-gooder attitude towards our neighborhood.


"This is not on his web site, but I think it’s interesting, and you might to. Right before the council filing deadline, David White filed to run against Glen Farris (why Glen and not me is still a compelte shock considering how much he obviously dislikes me)."

Who I decided to run against is irrelevant to any of this. Mr Scott, you think you are some special target of mine and I should have filed against you?

Why is it "interesting" that I have not put it on my website? Do you think I am hiding something? Are you accusing me of something? Tell me why it is interesting.

You have obviously taken my comments very personally. I do not know you personally. You may be the greatest husband, father, co-worker, or whatever. I hope you are, but I am not interested in your personal life one bit. Only your policies are of my concern. Some I disagree with, some I agree with.

It is obvious you have negative personal feelings about me, and yet as I said, we don't know each other personally.

In a way I am truly honored to have an elected official take such an interest in me. I'm just some guy in a little house with an opinion.

At the same time it concerns me that an elected official has publicly targeted a constituent for his opinions.

I love Rockwall. I am a citizen or Rockwall. I have my concerns and opinions regarding the direction of my hometown. I have been to all city council meetings since annexation and plan to attend every single one that I can in the future, which I hope is all of them. I'm not going anywhere.

Matt, if you want to have a civil discussion with me at the next meeting: I'll be the fat guy taking the fastidious notes.

Finally to my 4 regular readers, I will return back to a more sarcastic tone in the next blog. I will not address Mr Scott personally in this venue again. Maybe.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rockwall City Council 6 April

Interest meets Anger meets Monday: City Council!

Special Thanks to Mr Glen Farris for the shout out on Twitter!

Margo Nielsen opened short and sweet, let's get this party started right!

Open Forum night at the Apollo. I was hoping for some really angry folks, but no such luck. All three speakers were happy with what the city has done. Guess they don't have a newspaper. One even sang a song of thanks. At least I think it was, once I'd recovered from the shock of someone suddenly and loudly singing in council chambers, I had missed all the words. Must have been good though, she did get a standing ovation from the council. I guess they REALLY like people singing songs of praise about them to them.

Consent agenda, pulled items:

13. TxDOT want's some money to do something they forgot and left out of their scope of work regarding some stamped concrete on Alamo. Seemed like a lot of cash ($178,000 I think?), but it was approved after lengthy discussion, Margo voted against. The city engineer was he who was questioned and he was pretty-well, but not-quite prepared to answer most of the councils questions with very definitive repsonses.

14. Time to renew our agreement with the county for septic inspections. The county gets $500 from whoever needs their waste hole and related items inspected. Glen wants the county to justify what he perceives as a high cost. It goes to the ever diligent, hard-working, never arbitrary and completely reasonable county Environmental Health Coordinator.

What is an Environmental Health Coordinator? He is responsible for:
  • Inspections of septic tanks
  • Enforcement of Texas Health and Safety codes
  • Enforcement of Texas public nuisance laws
  • Enforcement of illegal dumping laws
  • Enforcement of junk car ordinances
  • Flood plain management
Having lived in an unincorporated area and having dealt with the department many times, I know how hard the department works. I had a neighbor behind me who for about 8 years (at least 4 times a year) whose sewer would back up and drain into my yard. Every time I requested assistance, I was always able to get the Coordinator to come over and very definitely guarantee that it was in fact feces water! He would then go over and speak to whoever was living there and tell them that they can't let poop-water flow into my yard!! At least I assumed that was the case, as he didn't speak Spanish and my neighbor didn't speak English. But sure enough, within a month, all that possbily hepatitis ridden fluid would suddenly vaninsh!

That's where the money goes, Glen! Crap water magic tricks!

Appointments: Yawnsville.

Site Plans/Plats: Somebody wanted something or whatever. After a marathon 17 hours of questioning, something was approved.

Action Items:

1. FINALLY I can sleep at night. THE CITY HAS APPROVED THE FONT TO BE USED ON THE GREEN INITIATIVES LOGO!!! Parade to follow. I would like to know what those initiatives are. Will it be actions the city will be taking to truly reduce the amount of energy consumed by the city? Some feel-good, tree-hugging action, like making everyone at the city offices wear green on earth day to raise awareness of global warming that is definitely NOT caused by the 10,000 °F constantly erupting nuclear bomb 93 million miles away, but caused by hairspray and plastic bags? Or will it be draconian ordinances forced onto citizens and businesses, existing and new, while the city remains exempt?

Also, the slogan is something like "We're all in aGREENment!". It's like, "We're all in agreement!", but they used the word GREEN inside of agreement!!! Cheesetastic!

Who agreed to who to do what now?

2. Watering restrictions. The recommended restrictions are April to October, the hot months. This prevents wasted water through evaporation. Matt wants year round restrictions, because, well that's what he does.

3. Changing a site plan north side of town, all covered in the first post. This was first reading and it passed. Seemed like some on the council may have been advocating for non-residents of the city, but maybe not. But maybe. Just wait till they get annexed. That'll be fun!

Side note, 99.9999999999999% of the time anyone says, "I am such-and-such, but....", their actions will contradict such-and-such.

4. City bureaucrats think some things are noisy and like to subjectively say so. There is now a more quantifiable definition of "loud". Excluding AC units. I think. Sometimes the verbosity of the council makes me forget what the hell they were talking about or what the motion is. Did this pass? Whatever, you'll know when some ding-dong with a sound meter is standing on your property line.

5. ???? Boring I think, but not irritating. I think.

6. McLendon-Chisholm would like to "access the regional sanitary wastewater system." I think this means the want to put their poop in our poop-pipe (well, not MINE. My poop belongs to AquaTexas.). This would allow them to grow from 1600 current population to 17,000. The only real "concern" came from Matt Scott who thinks this could prove detrimental to our ability to grow and put a strain on the school district. Matt is afraid that M-C could grow to 17,000 "overnight". 17,000 residents is the maximum population we would allow M-C to have putting their sewage into our pipe (<---- again, not MINE) at which time we could or would renegotiate the agreement. The fastest growing cities in the nation in one year do at best 10-11% growth. Plano, consistently one of the fastest growing cities in the metroplex went from (roughly) 73,000 in 1980 to 129,000 in 1990, and 255,000 estimated for 2008. 1990 to 2008 was about 100% increase. 1980 to 2008 was about 250% increase. It took Plano about 40 years to increase 1000% in population. It's not impossible for the M-C to grow that fast. But, seems unlikely they will break any growth records anytime soon. (Housing starts down, recession, Obama policies, etc.) I don't think we have too worry about them using our sewer for the time being. 6. Annexed some land. 7. Screening and buffering requirements discussed at length. Great length. For perspective it took less time for our founding fathers to agree to the wording and contents of the Declaration of Independence. Even then the founding fathers ended up VOTING ON SOMETHING. I did learn from the city staff that a 6 ft masonry wall can block smells from a KFC onto a residence. I took the time to illustrate how this works:
9. Hotel/Motel subcomittee recomendations. Basically, jjpv o rjho erok o voikjn ijvovor voiervorenkj hvo reov eirvok eivnk. orhvo erion ovnoa nv niern on rognrm vqjoaer mvo fo dt nbbvs thkjdf nj keyho oihknv oia o jvn ai hdfdf. nif iui hr o o h govojvva. orovofdn oj ajv oihvoi aoo voijg oioerrhv ohrv pojnj. sonbso bn sno ti bnso kbn soi joiorijgj morj osinb o sn oern gaorinvo iain voijh arj. oejehvnk ah vo ahvhj aerporpiij goiarejj n arejernv o. jnv aeirhjaou hfoo anl hvna r hj av oavvoanvn.

In conclusion, what the hell did they talk about? There may or not have been a motion, which may or may not have passed.

10. Budget reserve subcomittee recomendations. Several council members were for some parts of this, while others had reservations. But all could agree that something was discussed and the motion either passed or failed or both or neither.

11. Rockwall Zoo has made the agenda AGAIN!!! My fellow caged friends will be so delighted! There are buildings which some claim need to be torn down as they are "dangerous". What's "dangerous"? Only someone unqualified to determine so could tell you. Is a buidling "dangerous" if someone lives there? Will they be kicked out if the city deems it "dangerous"? A building could be deemed "dangerous" regardless of current occupancy, but the city won't or can't do anything to these buildings. Still not sure what the dealio is, but I know it's in my best interest. It must be, they keep telling me so.

Other things: Some councilmembers think the city doesn't do enough or hasn't done enough, but what they have done is greeeeeeeeeeat! As a resident, I say they've done plenty. The city coming into the neighborhood is like getting a hair cut from your dad. You may not like it while he's doing it. It may hurt and irritate you. But in the end, the fact is you needed a haircut because he said you did. But, at least you'll hate it. And you have school in the morning.

David Sweet thinks it's time to disolve the LRE subcomittee (Mayor Cecil, Margo Nielsen, and Matt Scott). I agree. This was formed to aid the transisiton for annexation and it is time to disolve it. How many of the hundreds of neighborhoods in Rockwall have a subcomittee dedicated to them?

We are citizens of the city now. We want and expect no more or less attention from the city. Time to stop targeting my neighborhood. We don't need a dedicated code enforcement in our neighborhood looking for ways to pick (and nit-pick) on my neighbors.

It seems the city staff and some council act as if there has been no plan for LRE. Not that I want one from those knuckleheads. But, as a member of the "LAKE ROCKWALL ESTATES SUPER TASK FORCE OF JUSTICE", I'm still not sure what part of the plan the 40+ members of that task force concluded. Oh, and the $100,000 spent for the annexation transition, not sure where that money went.

I also learned from Matt Scott that everyone else (one councilman in particular) was too ignorant to discuss anything about the Rockwall Zoo. And if anyone on the council needs any information about the Zoo they should ask the Omnicient Keeper of LRE Information, Mr Matt Scott (praise be to him). He knows more about that neighborhood than anyone EVER EVER PERIOD END OF DISCUSSION NO TAKE BACKS. Pbbbbbbbtt.

Special recognition and thanks to Cliff Sevier for wanting the targeting of the neighborhood to stop, and to treat code enforcement (and other things) as the city staff does for the rest of the city.

12. Shoal Creek. Seemed to me that some people live next to park land. They don't like seeing people using this park land. Or don't want it as anymore park land. Or want to ban anyone from using it for anything. Sort of reminded me of the people who want to ban people from using a public beach after they moved in to their new beach house.

If you live near a park or park land (green space), you should not have a reasonable expectation that no one will ever be on it. Move away or don't move there in the first place.

Also this issue had come before the parks board and was (as I understood) denied 5-0, went before the council (last year I think) and was voted down 7-0. Now it was approved 4-3 (Farris, Sevier and Nielsen or Cecil against). One seemed to vote base on a personal bias he has with Mr Farris. I have my disagreements with many on the council, but that doesn't negate the fact that when they're right, they're right. Put your petty feelings aside.

Why didn't this go before the parks board again before coming to the city council? Well, I can guarantee it has nothing to do with the fact that one of the whiners works with Matt Scott's wife. So don't think for one second Matt was passionate about this with any conflict of interest, I forbid it.
P.S. City, I live alone in a house slightly less than 1000 sqft. My water bill this month was $130 (and change). My neighbor (2 adults) was $140, and my sister (2 adults and a 6 year old) was $153.

Thanks for something. Oh, yeah, TWO trash days a week now. Really great.