Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rockwall City Council 21 December

Dreaming of a blight Christmas? Then this is the place (belatedly)!

Actions as a result of Top Secret Executive Committee Session.

Something about the REDC, committee assignments? (Always a lapse in memory waiting a week+ to update.)

For some reason I wrote "Authentic Porches". (???)

Some money was spent for right-of-way acquisition on Airport Rd. $5,142 + $10,825 (c.) + $10,137

Cliff was absent. Went to see Yakoff Smirnoff or something.

III. Consent Agenda.

1, 6, 7 pulled by Matt. 5 pulled by Mark.

2,3,4 approved 6-0 (All dealing with the ever-oozing lava that is city limits, viz. annexation of land).

1. Minutes approval (Matt not present at full meeting). Approved 5-0-1.

5. The 2009 Lake Rockwall Estates Dog Tethering Crackdown Act. Passes 5-1

6. Approved without explanation for pulling. 6-0 City gonna spend money for something and TxDot will reimburse. Can TxDOT pay us back? I thought it was beyond broke.

7. Matt wanted more info. City getting involved with the US census. Julie is all for it (cuz she gets to spend our money).

VI. Public Hearing.

1. Hearing for the 7-11 planned for near my house (yea! No more Queasy Mart when I need gas for my mower!) continued until January 19th.

V. Action Items.

1. Been 10 years since city did an large scale micromanaging of land use and is ready to hire a private company to spend our money to tell us the best way to use it.

Mayor Cecil had concerned the city council would have no insight/input until P&Z completes thje entire process. (Well, that was the plan.)

He would like a council member assigned to the committee throughout the process. Makes motion to do so. Passes 6-0

2. Oncor was a franchise agreement through November 2030 (might be 2050, bad handwriting)

3. City spending $400,000 to do what God cannot: landscape John King Blvd. Mark supports this wholeheartedly.

Matt must have seen me refilling my pen ink as I was about to go into a tirade about wasting money and pointed out this was money from the bond. Good block.

Of course I will point out it might be wise to consider saving that money for real maintenance of the road way once the big trucks tear it up over the next few years......

This will be used as matching funds for a grant from the Federal Teat. (If it happens.)

4. Expansion of zoning change notification tabled to next meeting. Again again.

30 minute meeting!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rockwall City Council 07 December

Adjourned at 7:30pm, could any damage be done in such a short time? You be the judge.

II. Mark led the invocation and pledge, including a moment of silence for those who died at Pearl Harbor which led to the US involvement in World War II, where many American soldiers fought and died for freedoms and liberties that the council believes we aren't smart enough to manage on our own.

III. Proclamations.

2. Helping Horses, Healing Hearts Day. A group that takes care of horses no one wants (including France?). They also let autistic kids ride em. The group also works with abused women and children.

1. John Browning Day. Not the gun one, the other one who writes an article found in local papers and elsewhere. 7th anniversary? He's also won some awards, and also nominated for a Pulitzer.

IV. Open Forum

No one took the opportunity to tell the city how awesome a job it is doing this month.

V. Consent Agenda.

2 and 9 pulled by Matt
6 pulled by Glen
5 pulled by Cliff

2. Approval of minutes from previous council session that had Matt left early.

5. More stringent dog tethering definitely NOT specifically directed at the largely Hispanic neighborhood, Lake Rockwall Estates. Cliff and Mark opposed, rest of council agreed with Dr Jeffrey Widmer, DVM that it was time to punish LRE for not being like the rest of Rockwall.

6. Something about installation of antennas that TxDOT is doing or Rockwall is doing. Glen pulled because he wants some kind of electronic sign put up in Rockwall (monument sign, I presume) that the city has been trying to get TxDOT to put up for a while now. The staff agrees to look into the electronic sign while negotiating the antenna thing. Passes 5-2 (Mark and Mayor Cecil opposed.)

9. Contract with KART (read: subsidize KART). Matt pulled to say that he originally opposed as he was waiting for more information from KART and now that he has it, he will support. Passes 7-0

VI. Appointments.

1. P&Z Chairman Michael Hunter mentioned the upcoming public hearing.

2. Environmental subcomittee and Allied waste presented a sales pitch for an "alternative recycling collection program." The alternative to what we have now? Pay more. For $3-4 more a month you will be able to recycle more and get "reward points" (kinda like miles on credit cards) that can be redeemed for teddy bears or foot warmers or am/fm stereo cassette recorders. (Will this be a voluntary or mandatory reward program?)

If Allied Waste was really that interested in recycling (city for that matter), why is it after 10 months and a multitude of phone calls can many of my neighbors not even get a recycling bin?

Maybe Toppo Chico and Jarritos bottles aren't worthy enough for recycling.

VII. Public Hearing.

1. Lady wants to able to let her daughter build a second home on her lot of 5 acres on Wallace Lane and needs a zoning change.

Talk about fast action!! The city didn't even ask about mansonary requirements, how long they planned to live there (assumptions were made, though), no one demanded shutters be placed on the home, no one explained to her that she knew when she bought the home that there wasn't a second home and she should just suck it up and accept that she wasn't smart enough to buy a proper tract home or one without wheels. What a difference 2 miles makes!!!!

2. Public "comments" (not a hearing) regarding the Shores Golf Course. Matt is ready to finally do it after waiting for the management company to fix the problems on the course (the problems have not been fixed, hence the forum). Glen was not (at first) in favor as he didn't think the city will be able to do anything to the course, even with public comments. Cliff thought the public comment forum would be a good time to let the rest of the city know why the city was sooo interested in the affairs of a privately operated golf course. (Obviously, this council session was not a good time, as no one explained why the city was sooo interested in the affairs of a privately operated golf course. I did find out why later, but I ain't saying. It's a conspiracy!!!)

3,4,5 dealt with annexation, aka "bureaucratic lava flow." More land added.

6. Council wants to extend length of the terms (not number of terms, set by charter at 2) for P&Z commission from 2 years to 3 years. Apparently, it takes 2 years to train a commissioner, then the city only gets 2 years of useful work out of the commissioner. That must really make our newest commissioners feel good about themselves and the "work" they do.

Does it really take 2 years to learn to ask dumb questions? Maybe it takes 2 years to get commissioners to start asking dumb questions. Hmm, I'll have to consider that for a while.

7. Expansion of notifying people of zoning (and similar) changes within 200 feet of area being changed to 1000 feet. Tabled to next meeting (2nd time at least, maybe 3rd?)

Blight Me

Prior to annexation, a lot of staff and council used the term "blight" to describe Lake Rockwall Estates.

Remember the case a few years ago where a neighborhood was deemed "blighted" in order to destroy the neighborhood so a company (Pfizer) could come in and "revitalize" the area's economy?

Yeah, not so much.

Two points to take away:

1. Using the term "blight" is an excuse that government bullying of a citizen (or group of citizens) is in the best interest of everyone not affected by said bullying.

2. A government official (elected or appointed) using the term "blight" is an indicator that the person using the word "blight" is probably a scum bag.