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Rowlett News – Work session draws a crowd

September 18th, 2010 . by TexasFred
Rowlett News – Work session draws a crowd

A special work session of the Rowlett City Council on Wednesday drew a large crowd mostly made up of city employees. The crowd was too large to hold the session in the conference room so the council moved the meeting into the council chambers to accommodate the overflow. The session was called by Mayor John Harper to address concerns that the council members may have with the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

“When the city manager presented a proposed budget on Aug. 3, I told you my concerns, then I repeated those same concerns when I requested this extra meeting,� Harper said. “I now have had the chance to speak with most of you about the budget proposal and the reasons for my concerns. I hope that I convince you to join me in approving a budget that does not raise taxes, does not borrow money, does not use savings but does spend only what it earns and still maintains core city services for our residents.�

Harper began the meeting by indicating he would be separating the issues he had into three categories – recurring expenses, nonrecurring expenses and transfers.

“I am proposing a zero-growth budget for recurring spending,â€? Harper said. “My recommendation for the recurring portion of the budget is to accept the projected current recurring revenues for fiscal year 2011 — $71.3 million for all funds,â€? Harper said. “I want to adopt a no-growth budget for recurring spending keeping it the same as anticipated for fiscal year 2010 — $67.5 million.â€?

Full Story Here:
Work session draws a crowd

Rowlett is, considering this time of financial instability, in a much better position than many cities. When you consider the size of Rowlett and the number of citizens, somewhere around 60K, it becomes obvious why MONEY Magazine ranked us in the Top 25 best places to live in America.

Our Mayor, Dr. John Harper, has angered a few of his City Council cohorts by taking a solid CONSERVATIVE stance regarding Fiscal Responsibility and the spending of our tax dollars here in Rowlett.

One of the Core Principles of the TEA Party is Fiscal Responsibility. I am a staunch believer in the Principles of the TEA Party. I am well known in the Rowlett area as a member of the TEA Party, but in this instance I speak for me, a private citizen, and not as a TEA Party member.

Michael Gallops, councilman, indicated he supported the budget as it was proposed.

“I am OK with the budget the way it was proposed,� Gallops said.

Mikey? I have to ask…how did you con so many people into voting for you? It obviously wasn’t your earth shattering ideas and masterful oratory skills.

Mr. Gallops, a past President and former member of The Rowlett TEA Party, ran as a Conservative on the GOP ticket. If Mr. Gallops is “OK with the budget the way it was proposed” I have to wonder if he (Gallops) knows the definition of conservative and actually remembers the Core Values he claimed to embrace.

I also have to wonder about the validity of the hushed rumors that are floating around Rowlett of Mr. Gallops being a lot more aligned with Democratic views than those of the GOP members and Conservatives in general. Yes, I said rumors. But those rumors are being proffered in a few private discussions lately.

Words are cheap, and when you speak in generalities, when you never take a specific stand on anything. Well…actions speak louder than words Mikey.

Councilwoman Donna Davis echoed Gallops thoughts regarding the budget.

“I felt comfortable considering the fact that this year (the city staff) has been very conservative about what was spent,� Davis said. “I felt like we had already taken a good step in the right direction.�

Donna, instead of toeing the line and spending OUR hard earned dollars, perhaps you need to look into this: Fiscal Conservatism. Look it up, read the definition, several times. Memorize it, live it, embrace it fully, and know this, We, The People are the ones you work for, and We, The People are not exactly pleased with the direction of our Council at this time!

Mayor Pro Tem Todd Gottel urged caution about cutting too much from the fund.

“There are needs that we do have,� Gottel said. “We are going to replace trucks and stuff.�

Todd Gottel has, if I am not mistaken, aspirations of becoming Rowlett’s next Mayor.

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Proposed construction at Rowlett Rd and Miller Rd

May 14th, 2010 . by TexasFred

Proposed construction at Rowlett Rd and Miller Rd

An Op/Ed by TexasFred concerning the meeting to discuss the proposed housing project being affectionately referred to as
Balch Springs on the Lake

Well, the meeting went off as planned, even if it was a bit late getting started.

It seems that the developer hadn’t anticipated the number of people that were in attendance. The room was set up for less than 40 people, at least twice that many showed up, some estimates said close to 100 people attended.

This meeting was a disaster right from the start. The developer had a very mild, very muted voice, and then they didn’t have a working microphone system for the best part of the meeting.

The A/C wasn’t doing it’s job for a crowd this size. Tempers were short and opinions were plentiful.

And what kind of a HOST throws a little get together in TEXAS, especially a HOST that’s wanting the approval of those in attendance? And doesn’t even offer up some kind of refreshments?

I mean, not a cup of coffee, not a bottle of water, not anything. And they held the meeting right at supper time too! Where I come from, that’s just down right inhospitable, and bad manners to boot.

The developer and his associates ran through their presentation, and were challenged at nearly every turn.

One of the assistants asked that we NOT question Mr. Holcomb, the developer, until AFTER he had had his say.

The questions persisted, some folks were highly agitated at these proceedings, and this same assistant again asked that ALL questions be held until after Mr. Holcomb was done speaking, except this time, she was obviously a bit angry. Body language and facial expression says a lot…

After Holcomb was through talking, the questions began in earnest, and to put it bluntly, the answers we received were less than satisfactory. Smoke, mirrors, deflection, generalities, *plants* in the audience to oppose anyone that had HARD questions.

Great tactics, if you’re dealing with MORONS…

There were some excellent questions asked by the residents of Rowlett. Serious, thought provoking questions. Well formulated questions that were well thought out and presented in a professional manner.

The answers TO those questions were, shall we say? Less than professional? All in all, Mr. Holcomb and Company handed out a HUGE line of B.S. at this meeting.

In MY opinion, this was the most unprofessional BUSINESS meeting I have ever seen! These clowns brought a steak knife to a gunfight! As ANY gun person can tell you, you just don’t take a knife to a gunfight!

This isn’t over, it’s a long ways from over, but the developer and his group of stooges now know, Rowlett is a buzz saw if the right buttons are pushed, and this matter has to get by the planning and zoning folks, then, if I understand it correctly, the Rowlett City Council.

The only question I asked was, WHAT is this going to do to our property values here in Rowlett? What can the home owner expect to see happen to their property value if this 4 story debacle defaces the landscape of our fair city?

They didn’t have an answer for that one, BUT, one of the aforementioned *plants* got up to tell me how she had 20 some odd years in the apartment management business and she KNEW that property values did NOT go down.

This *plant* cited her creds in the apartment mangers business and stated that SHE was from Chicago and had extensive experience in that market. I have to wonder? What was an apartment manager from Chicago doing at a Rowlett citizens meeting if she was anything other than a *plant*?

I asked her what proof she had to that matter. Did she have an in-depth study that had been conducted? Did she have a recent survey of this area that had determined this to be true? Was there anything in BLACK and WHITE that could be presented in evidence to back up her statement?

She, and I say SHE because SHE remains unknown to me, anyway, SHE told me that I would have to accept HER word and HER professional opinion as a fact.

I then informed HER that if SHE had NO hard proof, no substantiating facts with citation, all she had was an opinion, and everyone in that room had an opinion…

SHE shut up, I never got MY question answered and the meeting broke up with a lot of very pissed off Rowlett citizens leaving the meeting shaking their heads and vowing that this project would NEVER get off of the ground!

It was heard said, by quite a few, that ANY council person that supported this project would currently be enjoying their last term. Ominous to say the least.

There were also an accusation made against Mayor Harper, in a hushed whisper. An individual trying to say that Mayor Harper was behind this project and was encouraging it, supporting it, and that individual went so far as to infer that the Mayor *may* be a lot MORE involved…

Then I got the old *wink wink*, know what I mean? thing…

Those are NOT rumors, those are things that were said to ME.

I immediately walked away from this person, I have a very confrontational personality and I don’t deal in, nor listen to, unsubstantiated rumors against anyone, especially someone that I have great respect for, someone in the person of Mayor John Harper.

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