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Arlington Spectator: Candidate Forum this Wednesday

2016-03-04-1

http://www.opinionarlington.com/?p=9308

Primary Election Day is this Tuesday, March 1. You must vote at your precinct’s voting location.

Four seats of the Arlington City Council are up for election this coming May. However, only two are contested. They are city-wide, at-large District 7and single member district of north Arlington, District 1.

Only one of the two AISD board positions is contested. That is Place 4.

From The Arlington Spectator, Volume 9, Number 9, Monday, February 29, 2016

Richard Weber, Publisher of the Arlington Spectator

Game Schedule

  • Tuesday, March 1, Primaries Election Day.
  • Tuesday, March 1, City Council meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W Abram St, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 3:00pm, 6:30pm.
  • Wednesday, March 2, YMA Candidate Forum, University Hall, #108, UTA, 6:15pm.
  • Thursday, March 3, AISD School Board meeting, AISD Administration Building, 1203 W Pioneer Pkwy, 7:00pm.
  • Tuesday, March 22, City Council meetings, Arlington City Hall, 101 W Abram St, TBA.

Arlington is a city where citizens are relegated to being spectators rather than players. The SPECTATOR helps citizens know what is happening on the field. Only the few on the in-house team are allowed to play ball in Arlington. The SPECTATOR helps citizens understand the game.

From the Locker Room

Council Update

The Arlington city Council met for its regular meetings on this past Tuesday, February 23. All of the council members were present. It is quick turnaround for the council as they meet again this coming Tuesday, March 1.

This week’s committee meetings start at 11:00am and 11:45am. The council will meet as the board of the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation at 12:30pm. The afternoon session begins in executive session at 1:45pm. The open session is scheduled to start at 3:00pm, or later depending on the length of the executive session. The evening meeting starts at 6:30pm.

Committee Meetings

WeCAN’s Peggy James has a report of the committee meetings at:

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/7ddd0294d1c4a1d1511d4ee3c/files/02_23_16committeemeeting.pdf

 

Afternoon Session

The afternoon session started 49 minutes late and lasted for 43 minutes. We, the citizens, are not given the common courtesy of being able to start at a certain time. We, the citizens, have to pay for the expensive salaries of department heads that also are not given the accurate start time.

Why, you ask? So the high-priced lawyers of those wishing to make special deals to get your taxpayer dollars can have an accurate start time of executive session.

The staff gave the council the opportunity to ask questions on the four informal staff reports.

The item drawing the most attention was in regard to city regulations of dogs that attack other animals. Several members of the audience were there for that subject.

The city staff will forward information on to the animal advisory committee for their consideration of changes to the ordinance, which currently is the same as state law on this issue. From there it will go to a council committee and then on to the full council.

District 2’s Sheri Capehart wanted to know if our ordinances applied to federally-owned land. She was quite upset at all the naturally grown, untreated weeds at the Bardin Post Office in southeast Arlington.

Robert Rivera brought up the subject of panhandlers as a future discussion item. The subject with pictures had been e-mailed to the council over the weekend by a citizen. The majority of the uncaring council members tried to avoid the subject by saying it was handled by the literature passing ordinance/controversy they passed.

 

Evening Meeting

It was a long evening meeting, lasting just over an hour and a half. All council members were present.

WeCAN’s Peggy James has a report of the council meetings at:

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/7ddd0294d1c4a1d1511d4ee3c/files/02_23_16councilmeeting.pdf\

Appointments, minutes, and consent agenda items were all flying along at 9-0 votes, except for the 5-year electricity contract consent agenda item (that won’t start until January 1, 2018). Two speakers spoke against the item. The council plans on discussing this item this Tuesday (March 1) as a work session item. The contract was tabled.

The first public hearing was for a zoning case for 7415 S Cooper. This item hit a lot of resistance because the owner wants to change the zoning to sell, and therefore the actual potential business is an unknown. Four citizen speakers were opposed to the zoning.

Despite zoning, limiting many types of businesses, the council voted to deny, 6-3. Robert Rivera, Robert Shepard, and Jimmy Bennett were the three voices of property rights. P&Z had voted to approve 5-3.

The second public hearing was for the establishment of yet another reinvestment zone for a deal to be voted at a future council meeting. It passed 9-0 with one nonspeaking citizen opposed.

The special event ordinance for WrestleMania passed 9-0.

The modifications to the Arlington Building Rehabilitation Fund were approved 9-0 with one nonspeaking citizen opposed.

All the budget resolutions passed 9-0.

There were eight speakers and two additional non-speakers for citizen participation. Subjects included the Randol Mill Park Nature Area problems ( www.thepostoaks.org ), several gas well incidents, the desire of a FLUR camera to tell what gases are being released into our breathing atmosphere, and potential belly-up gas drillers, and citizens in support of the mural at the old Arlington Steak House.

Committee Meetings

The committee meetings for this coming week, Tuesday, March 1, will start at 11:00am. They will further discuss the HUD Action Plan spending. The second committee will discuss Van Bortel Aircraft leasing the airport maintenance hangar and aircraft parking apron.

 

Afternoon Session

The 1:45pm meeting opens in executive session to discuss six items, including, yet another, business proposal.

The open portion is scheduled to start at 3:00pm, or whenever they decide the public can listen. The open agenda includes two work session items and two informal staff reports.

The first work session item concerns the electricity supply contract the council tabled at the meeting last week. T-CAP, the group the city is part of that negotiated the contract is expected to have a representative there to answer questions.

The second work session item is the city’s communication strategic plan. The Office of Communications’ presentation is online beginning on page 3 of

http://www.arlington-tx.gov/citycouncil/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/06/Afternoon-03-01-16.pdf

The first informal staff report is concerning the zoning of a liquor store that opened near the newly developing Arlington Commons. The staff report is page 68 of

http://www.arlington-tx.gov/citycouncil/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/06/Afternoon-03-01-16.pdf

The second informal staff report is about investing in the economy newsletter. It can be found starting at page 69 of

http://www.arlington-tx.gov/citycouncil/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2014/06/Afternoon-03-01-16.pdf

 

Evening Meeting

The agenda for the March 1, 6:30pm, evening meeting includes nine consent agenda items and two additional resolutions.

The consent agenda includes $2.6 million in methane gas collection improvements at the dump. Bond funds will be used.

The last resolution is for a tax abatement for the reinvestment zone created last week. It is mixed-use development on the vacant land (2.73 acres) at 2909 E Arkansas Lane. So this mixed-use garbage is such a bad investment, they must have taxpayer assistance to make it.

 

AISD Update

The next AISD board meeting will be Thursday, March3.

 

In the News

Candidate Forum

There will be a candidate forum at UTA’s University Hall, Room 108, 6:15pm, this Wednesday. Learn about your candidates.

 

City May 7 Elections

There are two contested race in the upcoming May City Elections. District 7 is an at large seat, city-wide and will NOT have an incumbent. The candidates are Victoria Myers, Chris Dobson, and Dan Wojcik.

The other contest race is in North Arlington where incumbent Charlie Parker is being challenged by Kelly Canon.

The two uncontested races have the returning incumbents, District 2 (Sheri Capehart) and District 6 (Robert Shepard).

 

AISD May 7 Elections

The one position contested on the AISD Board is Place 4. The incumbent John Hibbs is being challenged by Luis Castillo.

Jamie Sullins, the incumbent in Place 5 is unopposed.

 

Republican Primary Races

The Arlington Spectatorendorses TONY TINDERHOLT in the Texas State District 94 Representative race.

The Arlington Spectatorendorses BILL ZEDLER in the Texas State District 96 Representative race.

The great news here is early voting is over, Election Day (March 1) is Tuesday, and the mudslinging by Andrew Piel will eventually

 

Feel free to forward this column to family and friends.

Ready to put your two cents in? Comment online and/or….

email the entire City Council with one click!

or

Contact City Council members individually


Richard Weber, publisher of the Arlington Spectator, is that rare citizen who devotes time to civic duty and involvement. For doing so, he receives little thanks. Most citizens have more important things on their minds—TV, football, enjoying their retirement, etc. Not Richard. You’ll find him at City Council afternoon and evening sessions, at school board meetings, publishing Arlington Spectator, and helming AARG (Arlington Alliance for Responsible Government). Richard is not welcome at Mayor Cluck’s City Hall, where every effort is made to muzzle Richard and any other citizen who believes taxpayers should have a voice in government. Richard’s selfless effort is one of the things that inspired us to begin publishing Opinion Arlington.

Contact Information:

The Spectator or by email at ArlSpectator@yahoo.com

 

City Council grades

School Board grades

 

The Arlington Voice (online newspaper covering Arlington)

Opinion Arlington (comment on issues of Arlington)

The Texas Bond Review Board

City of Arlington website

Charlie Parker Blog

NW Arlington Newsletter

SE Arlington Blog

Texas Legislative Online

The Texas Bond Review Board

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