Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rockwall City Council 3 January

"Meet the new year, same as the old year." - Pete Townsend

No amount of dilly-dallying would keep this meeting from starting late.

Action from executive session, here's what I caught: Motion, resolution, abandon, portion, Hilltop Drive, quick claim deed. Passed 6-0.

III. Open Forum.

Starting the new year with no speakers, everyone must be so pleased with the progress of our council.

IV. Consent Agenda.

Everything passed with nothing pulled 6-0.

V. Appointments.

1. General Manager with superhero name, Omega Hawkins, with annual report and tax money request for KART.

-KART is now Star Transit. (Star is not an acronym, but how about "Subsidized Transport Around Rockwall?")
-17,500 trips in city of Rockwall last year.
-18,160 trips total in county
-Few hybrid vehicles now in bus fleet, part of a pilot program.
-New hours of operation are 6a-6p.
-Ridership continues to increase.

Mayor Pro Tem Farris extolled KART/STAR, "It's cheap".

Councilman Sweet explained his disappointment that the KART/STAR board did not put a member of council on that board (appointed a county commissioner instead), even though the city has over 95% or ridership and contributes $20,000 a year vs $10,000 contributed by the county.

Councilman Sevier reiterated the desire by some on council to have city of Rockwall representation on the board.

Mayor Cecil was also "distressed" at the lack of city representation.

Motion to give 20,000 tax payer dollars to Star Transit passed 5-1, Councilman Sweet opposed.

VI. Action Items.


1. Allied Waste wants Rockwall citizens to have 2 big-ass trashcans. These big-ass trashcans are 96 gallons EACH. The cans will be embedded with an RFID chip to track your recycling weight.

Basically, you will get divvied points for recycling. The amount recycled by you and your neighborhood or subdivision will be divided by the number of those participating in the program.

So if you are enrolled and recycle nothing and your neighbor recycles 20 pounds, you each get credit for 10 pounds. Got it?

Your reward could be a coupon for up to $20 per month at participating retailers, or you can donate the money to our over-funded school to build another football stadium or swimming pool.

Most likely your monthly reward will be an average of $8-12. (How can a range be an average?)

The goal is to trick people into thinking they are getting something for nothing. Really the goal is to please Gaia for our maltreatment.

Allied Waste says it will increase participation, which is currently estimated at 45% - about the same as individual councilmember's participation, to as high as 85%.

Garbage rates will increase regardless of participation from $14.39 to $15.75 per month, and commercial rates for customers with no ability to participate will increase 5%.

Allied also says the city will look better because instead of a bunch of garbage cans of different colors, sizes, shapes, etc, everyone will be exactly the same. And the city sure loves promoting monotony!

The representative also suggested that the city have an ordinance to prevent people from leaving the big-ass trashcans out at the curb after pick-up.

Points from council discussion:

-50% increase in participation in every city program enacted
-Voluntary participation at first.
-All big-ass trashcans will have the chip, but only record the participants.
-A camera will record all the trash dumped from the big-ass trashcans.
-It "won't hurt" to start this program.
-Trash service will decrease to one time per week.
-Recycling service will decrease to one time every two weeks.

Mr Sweet opposed stating it was an "increase in rate, and decrease in service." He also noted that he, like many others, had no place to store "one, much less two" of these big-ass trashcans.

The first of May we can expect the service to start.

Motion to move forward passed 5-1-1. Mr Sweet opposed and Mr Russo abstained. (Mr Russo stated afterward he did not feel it appropriate to vote as he had missed the entire discussion.)

Anyway, here's Bono on trash:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here's where some of your money goes!

List of all employee salaries for the city of Rockwall.

Special Thanks to Jerry Berrgren at

Jerry has also listed the city of Rowlett salaries on