Sunday, May 10, 2009

Democracy in action!

Oops, I meant "Democracy inaction!"

May 9th elections have passed. Rockwall now has 4 (5 total, I think) more unelected council members, all incumbents. Do I blame them for running unopposed? Nope. I do blame them for a lot of other stuff, though.

Did they run unopposed because the nearly 30,000 people in the city think they do the best job ever? Not even close. I have talked via email, in person and on the phone to countless folks who very strong opinions about the current council.

Only one person (me) filed to run. Unfortunately, state law and federal law (the federal law being a violation of the 10th amendement, but who cares about that?) prevented me from running. Basically, I'm not a qualified voter as my voting district changed after annexation and we had to wait 90 days from annexation for the state (about May 17th, I should be eligible. Good timing) and 60 days for preclearance from the feds. The city really sat on their hands about that one, btw. The city didn't even bother to apply for preclearance at the earlist date after annexation, February 18th I think. Guess someone broght in some "lil somkies" that day. About April 13th or 14th the city finally did get around to submitting the info (I haven't verified, so maybe still hasn't happened).

So 2 more years of unelected officials telling Rockwall what's best for them.

So who's to blame for the council running unopposed? You. (Unless Pete or Ben are reading this, they couldn't run either).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rockwall City Council 5 May

Didn't even get to drink my Coke!

I read that all the planets lining up in the solar system happens every 8.6 x 1046 years (theoretically, older then the universe it self). There is only one thing that happens less often in the universe: A short city council meeting. At 7:17pm it was over.


There are 2 different emotions to express when reading that.

Mark Russo opened with prayer and led the invocation.

The city won award for excellent parks from TRAPS or "Texas Recreation And Parks Society". Sure glad I don't live in California.

It's also Rockwall Water Polo Champions Week. The Rockwall Tridents are the best in DFW! The best part of this is that in a couple years Rockwall could be hosting Water Polo Championships at the WORLD'S BESTEST GREATEST NATATORIUM IN THE WHOLE WIDE UNIVERSE right here in Rockwall! FINALLY, we will recoup the money burned in the making of that travesty!

Jerry Rice accepted a proclamation for National Safe Boating Week. Funny, I always thought he was black.

Open Forum. I sure wish more people would show up for this. You can say anything to the council. Anything.

The Pastor from St. Paul AME church is very, very, very, very concerned that there is an action item about the public swimming pool that anyone can go to for 50 cents, $1.50 less than Harry Meyers and 100x less crowded located in Southside. He stuck around to hear about it.

Consent agenda including an "adoption of an ordinance amending Section 18-5 of the Code of Ordinances pertaining to the City's noise regulations". Now you know as much about it as I do.

Some money appears to have been shelled out for some things, including awarding of the Fannin Street light installation. Will this take as long as Fannin Street construction? I'll update in 5 years.

Speed Fab Crete update on the Fire Stations. All proceeding according to a plan.

Action items:

1. Some rules about the Youth Dog Walking and Scrubbing Program at the Rockwall Animal Adoption and Euthanizing Center. Basically, common sense will be used to determine whether or not a youth can interact with certain animals instead of predetermined age limitations set by a committee. Common sense in my city government? It's more likely than you think. (Not really)

Даже слепая свинья находит жолудь раз в промежутке времени -Russian Proverb

2. Some thing to do with water regulations or something that may have not been updated since the 50's or something. Approved, whatever it was.

3. Discussion of the naming for the dedications of the new Fire Stations. This sort of action does 2 things:

First, it recognizes 2 long time citizens for hard work and dedication to Rockwall. Mr Merrit for 43 years of service to the Fire Department and other things, and Mr Shaw who "built the first fire truck with his bare hands" according to Mr Russo.

Second, it gives the council ample time to hear themselves talk.

4. Some lady gets a front yard fence to keep out trespassers and graffiti artists.

5. That place that was supposed to be a park, but then some didn't want it to be, won't be. Will be a field-park maintained by the city. Approved 4-3 (Mayor Cecil, Mayor Pro Tem Sevier and Councilman Farris opposed) No jungle gym or slides, but I think you can have a picnic there, maybe even a family reunion. Only one way to find out.

6. The feds passed a law requiring some kinda drain cover which require about $20,000 extra for the Gloria Williams (aka Southside) Pool. Thus began the lengthiest discussion of the evening.

Mr Scott thought this too great a sum for such an underutilized facility. He inquired about the cost and compared them to those of Harry Meyers Park. Alluded that it may be more feasible to close it altogether.

Mr Russo noted the history and fully supported continued funding of the pool.

Mr Sweet also thought it seemed like a large sum for such an unused facility. He thoughtfully suggested that the city should try and increase usage.

FYI: Meyers Pool $2.00, very crowded. Williams Pool $.50, no crowd.

Mr Farris pointed out that neither pool is self sustaining, and both have to have supportive funds from the city.

Mr Sevier noted that Meyers also gets money from the city.

Mrs Nielsen noted the very small attendance from a very small neighborhood.

This ain't rocket surgery. Close it down or increase attendance. Try increasing attendance first. Tell people it exist. Tell the citizens in the Zoo, they may not even know they can use it. This is probably because some may not be totally aware of the annexation. After all the city limit sign hasn't been moved, Tubbs Roads is in shambles and un-mowed, the street drainage is non-existent, and sky-high water bills might make anyone think annexation hasn't completed.

Now, where was I? Yes, Australia.

Motion passed 7-0.

Of course the real issue here:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

8. City renewed interlocal agreement with the county for septic system inspections.

City Manger Julie Couch presented some report (reports?). All I heard was the city predicts 150 residential building permits for the year, down from last year of 173.

And that's about it.