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Quotable Quotes

"Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.."
 - George Washington (1796)


"Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto."
 - Thomas Jefferson (1799)


"The ongoing migration of persons to the United States in violation of our laws is a serious national problem detrimental to the interests of the United States." - Ronald Reagan, 1981


"Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for?" - William J. Bennett in a lecture to the U. S. Naval Academy, Nov 24, 1997


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These are old entries from the main blog page


12-23-2009: MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Maria and I would like to wish you a safe and joyous Christmas Holiday Season (and Happy New year too)!


12-20-2009:  City Council Meeting 12-21-2009

  • There will be a Lewisville City Council Meeting on 12-21-2009.  Please look over the Agenda.   The Agenda Short Version and the Agenda Long Version with Backup Material.  I REALLY ask that you read ALL of this one.  However, here are a few items you grassroots watchdogs should at least read.  Please call me to discuss if you like:
    • Open Workshop Session:  If you are coming to the workshop session, it will start at 5:45 PM. The topic will be "Naming Rights Evaluation by Convention, Sports and Leisure (CSL) Marketing Group".  This will be a presentation.
    • Item 10:  Tax Abatement:  It is the last item on the Consent portion of the Agenda (see pages 7, 74-93).
    • Item 11: An Ordinance addressing the Day Laborer issues.  Agenda (see pages 9, 94-108).  I think this a great solution suggested by the Police Chief and City Staff.
    • Item 12:  Relating to Oil and Gas Ordinance.  Agenda (see pages 9, 109-113)
    • Item 13:  Relating to Lewisville Roadway Access Management policy. Agenda (see pages 10, 115-145)
  • Workshop Video recording update (see entry for 10-31-2009):  Since the City staff suggested recording using different methods, the first attempt was a stationary camera.  Our last City Council Workshop Meeting was recorded on 12-07-2009.  I reviewed the Video and it was fine but the audio was mostly non-existent.  Let's see how the next test works out...

12-17-2009:  Charter review denies Term Limits as a recommendation to Council.
     One of the Items that I wanted to introduce when I got on the City Council was Term Limits which I firmly believe in.  I was wanting to do something similar to Carrollton, Denton, Frisco, Grapevine, Highland Village, etc...  there are plenty of examples around.  There are several ways to bring this topic up:
     One, ask the Charter Review committee (which is appointed by the City Council) to review the topic of term Limits and recommend to a decision to council.   The recommendation will come up to a vote to accept or deny.  I chose this route to take hoping that these citizens would be in favor.  I told the committee that I would honor their decision.
     Two, ask for a vote on it at a Council meeting.
     Three, Start a signature drive for a voter referendum so that it could be placed on the ballot on the next election.  This is something that I will leave for a grassroots group to accomplish should they want to take on the task.
     Last month I brought it up to the Charter Review committee.  They City Staff compiled information about term limits which was fair enough.  In today's meeting, we discussed Term Limits and the consensus of the Charter Review committee members was that they felt it was not necessary.  They will be recommending that there are no Term Limits.


12-11-2009:  Debra Medina is in Town!  See her tonight.
     I have been watching and listening to this Candidate for Texas Governor.  I went and listened to her speak today and she also spent time with us afterward talking about the issues.  I still have some issues with some of her topics but she is the one that I think that has a great chance to make a positive change for Texas.  She is mostly what I have been looking for in a candidate!  Please visit her website at www.MedinaForTexas.com to read and watch her videos.
     Please come listen to her speak live.  The following should be free to attend but bring a check book in case you want to donate (no pressure):

  • Date: Friday, December 11, 2009
    Time: 7:00pm - 10:00pm
    Location: Ag Trading Post
    Street: 14540 East Beltwood Pkwy, Suite 200
    City/Town: Farmers Branch, TX
  • Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2010
    Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
    Location: Denton County Republican Assembly which meets at the Lewisville Chamber of Commerce Meeting room.
    Street: 551 N. Valley
    City/Town: Lewisville, TX

12-04-2009:

  • Holliday at the Hall (Christmas Holidays Celebration)
    Saturday, December 5, 2009
    Lewisville, TX (Old town area near Main and Mill)
    a wide range of free family events from 7 a.m. through 6 p.m.
  • There is a City Council meeting on Monday 12-07-2009 at 7:00 PM.  The Open Workshop starts at 5:30 PM.  Please try to make both.  Here are links to the Agenda:

12-02-2009: Meeting & Call to Action.

     I was in a meeting today at City Hall. We met with Ice agents to talk about 287g and available programs. Those in attendance were the Mayor, City Manager, Police Chief, Asst Police Chief, and two ICE Agents.  They stated that 287g has really been redefined and is really no longer the 287g that I have been pushing for - they recommended that we do not sign up for 287g at this time unless we can dedicate an officer to their taskforce (something that we should look at in the future as I think it will still be a benefit).  The recent 'cookie cutter' MOU from the current Obama administration made 287g program even more restrictive.  Let me clarify - It was a very good meeting!  I am excited about the programs that were discussed. 
     They recommended that we get involved with some of the ICE programs that have the benefits of the original 287g program.  The ICE agents suggested that we look at the programs like Secure Communities and Operation Community Shield.  One of the benefits of the Secure Communities program is the technology that is being used.  The computerized system (Fingerprint National Database) is a big part.   Chief Kerbow is already looking into the Secure Communities program and will take part in a meeting about this topic in the next few weeks.  I am proud of Chief Kerbow for his efforts in getting involved with some of these programs already.

     Call to Action:  Since my first meeting as a City Council Member (7-6-2009), I have been working to get the things done that I was elected to do.  Now, it is your turn to come show your support and get involved - come to the City Council Meeting - please save the date in your calendar and show up on 01-04-2010.  Be prepared to come to the Open Workshop (probably 6:00 PM) and the City Council Meeting (7:00 PM, fill out a card before the meeting).  Two of the items will be on the agenda:

  • E-verify requirement for awarded City Contracts:  Much like the Federal Government requires Contractors to have E-verify.  I have submitted that I would like to use a similar ordinance like the Mission Viejo, CA ordinance.
    • ICE also has an E-Verify program called IMAGE. By voluntarily participating in the IMAGE program, companies can reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents. The City Of Lewisville already uses E-Verify for hiring new employees and this program is a way to encourage other business to do the same.
  • The 287g related ICE ACCESS programs:  Secure Communities, Immigration Cross-Designation (Title 8) - 287g Program, Operation Community Shield are a few programs that are part of the fourteen programs under ICE ACCESS.
        The 287(g) program cross-designates local officers to enforce immigration law as authorized through section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  NOTE:  The 287g program has been changing even more in 2009.  The 287g program of 2010 will be quite different than the program has been in the past few years.  New programs that are basically sections and abilities available from the original 287g are easier for communities to adopt.  For now, we need to look at ICE programs and use as many as we can.
         Secure Communities: A Comprehensive Plan to Identify and Remove Criminal Aliens is a Department of Homeland Security initiative that improves public safety by implementing a comprehensive, integrated approach to identify and remove criminal aliens from the United States.
         Operation Community Shield:  In February 2005, ICE began Operation Community Shield, a national law enforcement initiative that targets violent transnational street gangs through the use of ICE's broad law enforcement powers, including the unique and powerful authority to remove (deport) criminal aliens, including illegal aliens and legal permanent resident aliens.

11-30-2009:

Here is a video of motivation about a man that did not quit... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcEx1FVEc_w


11-17-2009:

If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.  It is FREE and it only takes a few seconds.  Thanks for taking to time to support our military! http://www.letssaythanks.com


11-16-2009:

Get back up - Never give up.  A message of encouragement:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heKn4tQ_ivI


11-13-2009:  I went to the spur of the moment rally outside the office of Michael Burgess.  It was a counter protest to the protesters against Burgess.  Basically, in order to support Dr. Burgess.   There were a lot more against Obama's healthcare and to support Burgess' decision not to support the current health plan that everyone is calling Obamacare.   Here are the photos...


11-11-2009

Here is a very interesting 7 page paper. "Dallas Would-Be Bomber Hosam Smadi: The Case for 287(g) and Exit Tracking" By Janice Kephart (Director of National Security Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies). Also read the endnotes at CIS website version or PDF copy.


11-09-2009

Christian Citizenship - For several years I have been trying to get my fellow Christians involved in politics.  I kept hearing, "leave it in God's Hands."  Since it has been said that  'God helps those who help themselves', then we need to rise up and get involved.  Click here for more...


11-06-2009

  • It is just fun to do:  This is a little difficult but can be done. It takes a few tries for sure.  This is addictive.... TRY TO ENCIRCLE THE CAT WITHOUT LETTING IT GET OUT ! - Click Here.
  • Things are tough in Mexico:  Another Police chief murdered. We need to pray for that Country.  If you have not signed up for the Foreign Media (M3) Report which is provided by the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers,  you can Subscribe to the M3 Report by Email.
    • Reforma, El Universal (both: Mexico City)  11/5/09
      Just last Saturday, Juan Esparza, a Mexican Brigadier General and past escort for two presidents, took over as “Secretary of Security” [read: Police Chief] of the city of Garcia, a satellite community of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Yesterday (Wed.) he and four escorts were responding to an assistance call from the city’s mayor; on the way, they were ambushed by a number of killers in other vehicles. All five were killed in a torrent of assault rifle fire. Some 200 shell casings were later found at the scene. Afterward, the city’s mayor ordered the immediate relief from duty of all 70 city policemen and an investigation into their activities surrounding the killings. Military and state police took over law enforcement duties in Garcia.

11-05-20099:  

If you have not been to the NEW Lewisville Railroad Park, please go.  Because Bennet Lane is still under construction at the park road intersection, the best way to get to it right now is via Hebron Parkway and then north on the new Railroad Street.


11-04-2009:

  • Texas Constitutional Amendments Election results - they all passed - too bad.
    • Next Election is the Texas Primaries on March 2, 2010.
    • Then the City and School Elections will be in May 2010.  Yes, I will be running again - I do need your financial support. ( I hate begging - please don't make me beg - grin).
    • Then the General Election will be November 2010.
  • DNA tests on cold-case rape kits:
         570 KLIF's Jon-David Wells is staging a good old fashioned "bake sale" Wednesday (11-04-2009) afternoon to raise money for the Dallas Police Department. Seems the DPD doesn't have enough money to do DNA tests on cold-case rape kits! 570 KLIF is raising money 2 ways to help:
          1) The bake sale at 1300 S. Lamar in downtown Dallas Wednesday from 4p-7pm, and
          2)  by asking KLIF listeners to send Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle a one dollar bill and a note to ask him to re-start the rape kit testing.
          If you want to join KLIF in helping the DPD send your dollar to the Chief at 1400 S. Lamar St, Dallas, TX  75215...we sent our dollars yesterday...or join us and buy some donuts Wednesday between 4pm and 7pm and we'll pass the cash along to the DPD. Sexual assault victims are upset about the DPD's suspension of cold case testing...and so is Jon-David Wells and the 570 KLIF staff. Join us and send the DPD a message!!!

10-31-2009: 

  • There will be a Lewisville City Council Meeting on 11-02-2009.  The Agenda is a short agenda.   Please look over the Agenda.   The Short Version and the Long Version with Backup Material.
    • As most of you know, I went to these meetings for more than a year before I was elected.  I encouraged all of you to come to the Workshop meetings because much of the discussion about the agenda items are discussed there and then voted on in the taped City Council Meeting.  It was not on this agenda so I formally requested that it be on the next agenda to be discussed in the Workshop meeting.
  • If you have not signed up for the Foreign Media (M3) Report which is provided by the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers,  you can Subscribe to the M3 Report by Email.  The following is about Juarez which is just across the border from El Paso...  Narco Terrorism is an important issue...
    • “Joint Operation Chihuahua” deemed a failure - Nineteen months after the start of Joint Operation Chihuahua [the assignment of more than a thousand military to assist civilian law enforcement agencies in the area], the state of Chihuahua Secretary of Public Security now says that the war against organized crime is being lost. Since the start of the program, 3,670 persons have been assassinated. This includes 127 members of law enforcement, who are considered at a disadvantage because of being outgunned. The 1,200 soldiers currently assisting in patrolling the streets of Juarez will remain there until December 31.  - El Diario (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua) 10/29/09.

10-29-2009:

  • Last week those on my blog email list got this message:
    • My wife, Maria the Jokester, sent me this link…
      I knew it was a joke and I still jumped out of my seat.
      And yes, Maria laughed – a wonderful sound.
      WARNING:  Do not play if you have a weak heart….  Happy Halloween! 
      http://stuff.pyzam.com/toys/tictacscare.swf
    • Since then, I have had a number of comments about it.  I was asked how bad it scared me???  Well, I screamed like a little girl :-)
  • The TimberCreek Zero Energy House will be open to the public for tours on the following weekends:  Oct. 30th, Nov. 6th, Nov. 13th & Nov. 20th.
    Hours of operation will be 11 - 4 Fridays & Saturdays and 1 - 5 on Sundays.
         Parking will be at the Westside Baptist Church located at 900 W. Bellaire, Lewisville, TX. The church is located on the SW corner of Edmonds and Bellaire. We will have a complimentary shuttle bus that will provide transportation to and from the house.
    NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO PARKING AT THE HOUSE
    For more information, see http://www.timbercreekzeroenergyhouse.com
  • Don't forget the events on Saturday too:

10-23-2009:  PUT IT IN THE CALENDAR!

  • Keep Lewisville Beautiful Day Oct. 24 - VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
         On Oct. 19, the City of Lewisville City Council approved a proclamation making Oct. 24 Keep Lewisville Beautiful Day. In conjunction with the national effort of “Make A Difference Day,” Keep Lewisville Beautiful will hold its annual daffodil bulb planting on Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. until noon, along Fox, Edmonds, Summit and at the Lewisville Senior Activity Center. Supplies will be provided, as well as giving all participants a Keep Lewisville Beautiful T-Shirt and a pizza and soda lunch at the end of the event that will be held at the Memorial Park Recreation Center. The event is sponsored by the City of Lewisville, Waste Management, Awin Waste and Nest Floral Studios.
         Keep Lewisville Beautiful, the number one environmental organization in Lewisville, is committed to empowering the citizens of Lewisville through education to take greater responsibility for enhancing their community environment. KLB is an affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful.
  • FUN FOR THE FAMILY!  Saturday, October 31, 2009 - a full day of FREE FUN EVENTS!
    • 2009 Community Showcase presented by First Choice Power featuring the Medical Center of Lewisville's Health & Safety Fair and the Raising Cane's Taste of Lewisville. 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. FREE TO ATTEND. Lewisville High School east parking lot entrance.  Get more information at www.LewisvilleChamber.org
    • Trunk Or Treat!  Everyone's Welcome Come see the decorated trunks and enjoy fun & Games.   Free Hot Dogs, Nachos & Drinks. 
      5:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the Parking lot of the Garden Ridge Church of Christ at Main and Garden Ridge in Lewisville.  Get more information at www.gardenridge.org
    • Spooktacular Trails Extravaganza  - Lewisville’s Parks & Leisure Services will hold the Spooktacular Trails Extravaganza on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lake Park group picnic area, 100 E. Lake Park Road. The event is a free opportunity for trick-or-treaters to gather candy in a safe, outdoor environment. Local businesses will distribute candy to children. Hayrides will be available, as well as concessions for a minimal charge. Also featured will be carnival games, face painting, a kid-friendly haunted maze and a cakewalk sponsored by the Girl Scouts of America. Costume contests for different age groups begin at 6:30 p.m. No registration is required for the costume contest. Costume contestants will be limited to 50 per age group.  Media contact: Recreation Specialist Monica Winters, 972.219.5061.  Get more information at www.cityoflewisville.com

10-19-2009 - Lewisville City Council meeting tonight - See the Long Version of the Agenda for backup materials.  Here are some things that might be more interesting to those of you who are regular visitors to this blog or on the email list.  My after meeting comments are now listed at the end of these two items.  If you have a question as to why I voted the way I did, please let me know.  After deliberation, I did not vote contrary to what staff had recommended on any of the items on the agenda.

  • WORKSHOP SESSION - 6:00 P.M.   - See Item A and pages 10-15 of the Long Version of the Agenda.
    Item A. Discussion of Resolution Designating I35E as Liberty Freeway as Presented by the City of Farmers Branch (requested by Mayor Ueckert and Councilman Gorena).
    • The purpose is to "recognize the sacrifices that our military, past and present, have made to protect the freedoms and liberties that make America great.
    • On July 31, 2009, I sent an email to the City Manager and copied to the Assistant City Managers, and City Attorney about a conversation that I had with the Mayor from Farmer's Branch, Tim O'Hare, concerning a great concept to make I35 north of 635 to be designated as Liberty Freeway.  Much like the section of I30 called the Tom Landry Highway.
           I asked the City Manager to get some more information on what we need to do for our section in Lewisville so that we can present this to the council.
    • In the months of August & September, I tried to get this to move forward. On 9-22-2009, I asked that it be placed on the agenda.  It was mentioned to me that Our Mayor did receive a letter from Tim O'Hare (dated 9-4-2009, See page 10 of the Agenda) about the Liberty Freeway concept and that Farmers Branch will be voting on a resolution for the Liberty Freeway on 09-15-2009 (was actually voted on 09-01-2009 at the FB meeting).
    • See page 11 of the Agenda: October 14, 2009:  The City Engineer gives an update - here are two points to know:
      • Farmers Branch adopted the resolution on 09-01-2009
      • Carrollton Adopts a similar resolution and designates the section of I-35 in Carrollton as part of the Liberty Freeway on 10-06-2009.
    • See page 12 of the Agenda: An E-mail dated 09-09-2009.  The Bottom of the email states that an attachment was removed by me....  This happens when an email is not forwarded.  I just replied to the sender and that version is the one you see used here.   There were a few emails going back and forth as we were communicating.  By this time, the attachment had been seen by those on the original email anyway.
    • See page 13 of the Agenda:  The Farmers Branch version of the resolution that I want to adopt for Lewisville.
    • See page 15 of the Agenda:  The Farmers Branch Version of the Red-White-&-Blue sign topper.  In Lewisville, it will have our City Logo.
    • AFTER MEETING COMMENTS:  There was some discussion by a few members of the council about not doing this or changing to a different name or sign design.   I suggested that we put it on the agenda for a vote and stay with this concept and design to continue what Farmers Branch and Carrollton have started.  I wish more citizens were present.  This should be on the Agenda for the next Council meeting.
  • For those of you concerned about LISD...  Item 8 will be something to look at... with the background material starting on page 66. 
    Item 8:  "Consideration of Two Variances to Lewisville City Code, Chapter 6, Land Development, Section 6-144, Screening Between Commercial and Residential Uses and Section 6-57(f), Three Party Contracts relating to an Engineering Site Plan for LISD High School South Requested by G&A Consultants; and Authorization for the City Manager, or His Designee, to Execute the Three Party Contract."
    • AFTER MEETING COMMENTS:  There are two parts to this. 
      • Part 1:  The tubular fence to be a chain link fence in the gully area of the drainage creek.  I did not see a problem with this as it is at the southern corner of the east side of the property.  To continue the tubular fence would require extensive changes and a creation of an underground drainage.
      • Part 2:  to allow simultaneous construction of two phases.  Everything will be built according to ordinances.  

10-15-2009 - November 3, 2009 TEXAS Constitutional Amendment Election. Early voting by personal appearance starts October 19, 2009.  Click here for more...


10-14-2009 - 

     Gas Drilling - Lewisville residents may have the same concerns as our neighbors to the west..  "Flower Mound grapples with firm's request to conduct seismic tests on town streets"  Read the Full article

     On the immigration front - there are some things that I think you should be aware of....  The following articles are from http://www.fairus.org.

  • Congress Kills Permanent Extension of E-Verify - According to a document prepared jointly by the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, the conferees turned back the opportunity to permanently extend the E-Verify program and instead included only a three-year extension of the program.    Read the full article
  • DHS Weakens Immigration Detention System - DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton announced a series of new initiatives aimed at reforming the system to detain deportable aliens. Several of these initiatives have raised troubling issues and may actually undermine the enforcement of federal immigration laws.  Read the full article
  • Senate Rejects Immigration Amendments to Bill that Funds the Census Bureau and DOJ - Last week, the Senate rejected two amendments related to immigration during debate over the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2010, which funds agencies like the Census Bureau and the Department of Justice...   Read the full article
  • ICE Forces Sheriff Joe to Sign Weakened 287(g) Agreement - Last week, multiple media reports revealed that ICE has forced Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to sign a weakened 287(g) agreement. 287(g) is the federal program that allows ICE to train state and local law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of federal immigration laws...  Read the full article
  • Senators Question Napolitano on Possible Reduction of Border Patrol Agents - On October 6, eight senators sent a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, questioning her about media reports indicating that her department was considering decreasing the number of Border Patrol agents stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border in FY 2010.  Read the full article
  • FAIR Pulls Back the Curtain on the Tactics of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) - FAIR has published a "Guide to Understanding the Tactics of the Southern Poverty Law Center in the Immigration Debate." The guide was designed to help journalists better understand the unscrupulous methods used by the SPLC to discredit organizations and to attack the American people who support enforcing the immigration laws already on the books... Read the full article


10-09-2009:   Events and announcements

  • Fire Department schedules annual Open House
         The Lewisville Fire Department will hold its annual Open House on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Central Fire Station, 188 N. Valley Parkway. Activities will include demonstrations and displays, children’s activities, hot dogs, popcorn, and special appearances by Life and Fire Safety (LAFS) clowns. For information, please call 972.219.3580.  Media contact: LFD Division Chief Steve Carter, 972.219.3739
  • Old Town Farmers Market extended through October 31.
         The weekly Old Town Farmers Market has been extended through October, adding four more weeks for local shoppers to visit Old Town for fresh produce and other market items. Vendors have stocked up on pumpkins, gourds and other fall favorites. The market is open from 8 a.m. until sellout (about noon) each Saturday in Wayne Ferguson Plaza, on the north side of Main Street at Poydras. For information, call 972.219.3401.  Media contact: Marketing and Tourism Manager Jennifer Galante, 972.219.3710
  • The Actors Conservatory Theatre
    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    October 9th - 18th, 2009
    7:00 pm Friday & Saturday Nights
    Matinees 2:00 pm Saturday & Sunday

10-04-2009: Lewisville City Council Meeting Monday 10-05-2009 - The Agenda for 10-05-2009 - Short Version and Long Version with Backup Material.

  • The Open Workshop Session starts at 6:00 PM.  The Arts Center Design will be the topic according to the agenda.  There was no backup material or slide presentation information included in the long version of the agenda for the workshop on the Arts Center.  However, Item 12 (p. 10 of long agenda) does have reference to the Arts Center.  The background material for item 12 starts on page 239 of the long version agenda.

 

If you cannot make it to the Meeting, please make a point to stop by City Hall this week and visit the Denton County Veterans Memorial that is in the Foyer.  See the website at http://www.dentoncountyfallensoldiers.com.


09-26-20099:  Western Day Festival today!
     If you can make it to Old Town Lewisville today come and enjoy the Western Day Festival.  You can get more information and print your FREE tickets from these websites at  www.SoundsOfLewisville.com and www.CityOfLewisville.com.


09-21-2009:  Lewisville City Council After Meeting highlights - You can watch the council meetings online.   Please see the Agenda for 09-21-2009 for more information.

  • Workshop (not video taped):  About the Animal Shelter, if you were not present in the Workshop,  I stated that I like the larger facility for the Animal Shelter and adoption center.  The other two options did not have employee lockers and showers which I feel is a must so that employees can minimize exposing their families and pets to diseases that they encounter in their job.  I also suggested that the showers be of fiberglass design instead of tile.  The fiberglass enclosures are not only less expensive but they are easier to clean and easier to replace if needed.  The Larger facility is geared to be more of an adoption center and has a clinical and retail appeal.  There should be another meeting before bids go out for construction.  The money has been planned to come from the reserves over the last few years to replace the current 31 year old facility.
  • The proclamation mentioned in my last entry on 09-18-2009 about the proclamation of Appreciation and Support to the Family of Marine Lance Corporal Brandon Lara, Recently Killed in Action.  The Police Honor Guard presented the colors.  Other veterans were there and presented a plaque also.  It was a very moving event.  Our sympathy to the Family of Marine Lance Corporal Brandon Lara.
  • Item #2 was about spending $41K on rolled sod to get the dog park ready for opening next month.  See page 108 of the Agenda for 09-21-2009.   Due to delays beyond the control of the contractor, the area was not able to get the hydra mulch earlier this year.  We had two basic choices:  spend $41K to apply the rolled sod or leave the field as dirt until the hyrda mulch can be applied next season.  In other words, we would save $41K by delaying it until spring and the field would not be covered with grass until next spring unless something grew there in the meantime.   The council voted and approved to spend the $41K to apply the rolled sod.  I was the only vote against.  It will look nice for the grand opening though...  Just saying...
  • Item #8 was about approving and amending the fee schedule.  The discussion here was about the approved rate increase from the Budget Workshop on 08-08-2009 where we approved a 2.5% increase to cover expected increases.  It was discussed that after the budget workshop, Dallas adjusted the rate increase to 1.5%, however, there are lines that are in need of maintenance and repair and the 1% would help cover the expense.  After some discussion to leave it OR change the % to 1.5% or not...   The vote passed to leave it as it was at the Budget workshop with a vote of 3 yes, to 2 no.  I voted yes as the money will need to be collected to cover the rate increase from Dallas and help pay for some of the repairs that are needed.

09-18-20099:  Lewisville City Council Meeting - Council Meeting Agenda for 09-21-2009. (Note:  As I read through the agenda, this entry may be updated.)

  • Animal Shelter to be discussed at the OPEN Workshop meeting on 09-21-2009.  The Workshop session starts at 6:00 PM in the meeting room by the elevator next to the Council Chambers at City Hall.   The presentation will be on the proposed Options for Animal Adoption Center and Shelter Facility.  Please review the Agenda for 09-21-2009 (65 MB) and review pages 9 through 101 of the Agenda.
    • Usually comments are not made from citizens during the open workshops.  Comments can be made in the VISITORS/CITIZENS FORUM (Item D on the Agenda) during the Council meeting that starts at 7:00 PM.
  • I would like to point out the proclamation of Appreciation and Support to the Family of Marine Lance Corporal Brandon Lara, Recently Killed in Action.  (See the proclamation on page 103 of this agenda.)
    • Brandon Lara, the son of Shannon Martin of Lewisville, answered the call of duty by enlisting in the United States Marine Corp and proudly and honorably donned the uniform of his country; and,
    • on Sunday, July 19, 2009, Lance Corporal Lara was killed in the Anbar Province of Iraq while supporting combat operations; he was 20 years old
  • ALSO, Please review other items on the agenda which concern the budget. 

09-14-2009There is a Lewisville City Council meeting tonight. There are the two versions of the Agenda: Short Agenda and the Long Agenda (with backup material).

      The minutes from the budget retreat are not on the City website.  I had written a little about it on this blog on 08-08-2009.  The public hearing for the budget is item 3 and this is the time to speak up if you have a problem with it.

  • Item 3. Public Hearing: Consideration of the Proposed FY 2009-2010 Budget and Property Tax Rate.
    • ADMINISTRATIVE COMMENTS:
      In accordance with the City Charter, a public hearing is being held on the proposed FY 2009-10 budget and property tax rate to provide an opportunity for citizen comment. The proposed budget includes changes made by Council at the budget workshop held on August 8, 2009. A meeting to adopt the budget and tax rate is scheduled for September 21, 2009.
    • RECOMMENDATION:
      That the City Council conduct the public hearing and give staff direction.

08-21-2009:

  • Lewisville City Council Called – Special Meeting:   Discussion of Preliminary Concepts for Old Town Transit-Oriented Development, Mill Street, and Old Town Plaza. The Discussion is an open meeting.  Download the Agenda and the slide presentation.  The PDF file ...,  CLICK HERE FOR MORE ...
  • Foreclosure Prevention Workshop
         The City of Lewisville is partnering with the North Texas Housing Coalition to bring a Foreclosure Prevention Workshop to the City on Friday, August 28th. Homeowners are encouraged to attend if they are experiencing financial stress, are behind on mortgage payments, would like to learn more about home retention programs or are interested in meeting with a HUD-certified housing counselor or with their mortgage servicer (call the number below to see if your servicer is attending). A presentation on foreclosure prevention will be offered followed by time for individual meetings. The workshop continues into the evening for the convenience of working families. If interested in discussing their own situation, homeowners should bring their latest mortgage statement, two most recent pay stubs, a bank statement and budget of monthly expenses.
    • Friday, Aug. 28, 2009 from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.
      Lewisville Municipal Annex, Community Room
      1197 W. Main St.
      Lewisville TX 75067
    • Preliminary list of participating lenders:
      Bank of America, GMAC Rescap/ Homecomings Financial, American Home Mortgage, Chase (Chase, EMC, WAMU), Wells Fargo, Viewpoint, Saxon
    • For more information and a list of participating lenders, please call: The North Texas Housing Coalition at 214-540-6862

08-19-2009:  I35E Expansion Meeting was held today.
     I went to the meeting today about the I35 construction plans.  Still no real concrete answers (a pun is intended this time - why not).  The next meeting may be October.  The answer to the most asked question of when...  still the same....  unsure because of delays.... Acquisition for land should be around mid 2010.  Construction maybe starting 2011.  I did hear a figure that is may cost $6.8 Billion to build from 635 to where I35W and I35E meet.  they do not have the money yet.


08-18-2009:  NOTICE: Michael Burgess General Town Hall Meeting
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church
6101 Morriss Road
Flower Mound, TX 75028
NOTE: Because the event is being held at a church, Congressman Burgess reminds all those planning to attend to continue to be respectful.  No signs will be allowed inside the building, but there will be a designated area outside the entrances where people may display their signage.


08-17-2009: City Council Meeting (Short and Long Agenda versions).  You can watch the meeting online.

     The City Council meeting went quickly.  In the Workshop, we had two presentations:  Discussion Regarding Naming Rights Agreement and Discussion and Review of Trails Master Plan.


08-12-2009:  Lewisville Trails Master Plan Public Meeting (The following info is from the City Manager Weekly update)
     The City of Lewisville is in the process of conducting a trails master plan study. The Trails Master Plan will be discussed at the August 12th Park Board Meeting. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Glenmore Savage Community Room located in the Lewisville Municipal Annex at 1197 W. Main St. (Next to the Lewisville Public Library).
     Trails and greenways positively impact individuals and improve communities by providing not only recreation and transportation opportunities, but also by influencing economic and community development.

  • Some of the many trails and greenways benefits include:
    • making communities better places to live by preserving and creating open spaces;
    • encouraging physical fitness and healthy lifestyles;
    • creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation and non-motorized transportation;
    • strengthening local economies;
    • protecting the environment; and
    • preserving culturally and historically valuable areas.
  • The Goals of the Meeting will be to:
    • Identify predominant user types
    • Understand culture of use
    • Acquire user preference relating to:
    • Trail widths and material
    • Trail character
    • Identify primary routes
    • Identify potential routes
    • Identify access points / trail heads
    • Identify key hazard areas and obstructions
    • Identify key destinations
    • Identify connections with adjacent cities and beyond

Update: I went to the meeting tonight.  I do not know how the City will pay for this.   The Speaker mentioned grants but I think the Citizens would like about 20+ more police officers on the police force first.


08-11-2009:  You’re Invited! Get to Know Michael Williams Event (see Invite)
     Get to know ... Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, Candidate for United States Senate (website is http://www.WilliamsForTexas.com)
- Lunch @ Hannah’s; 209 W. Hickory #101 in Denton, TX
- 8-25-09 @ Noon - - Lunch is on your own
- Please RSVP araburn@texastopgun.com no later than 8/20

  • A note about Michael Williams by John Gorena:  There are only a few politicians that I support and Michael Williams is one of the few.  When he announced that he was running for Senate (Kay Bailey Hutchison's spot), I knew who I was voting for.
        When I first met Mr. Williams, it was after a very pointed speech about the issues.  Williams calls it as it is.  He is not shy and he takes a stand on the issues (he chose a side).  He even puts his views on the issues in writing on his website at http://www.WilliamsForTexas.com (click issues to see summaries).

08-08-2009:  Budget Workshop Session
    The newbies bring dessert.   There were two of us:  Brenda Martin (Finance Director) and myself (newly elected councilman).   Brenda made cookies and I brought the Ice Cream.
     The meeting started at 9:00 AM per the Agenda.   We listened to the City Staff as they went over the budget.  I was disappointed that there were only 2 people there that were not City Employees.  There were several votes that we did concerning the City budget.  The following is what I consider some key points of interest.  They should be voted on in the regular City Council meetings in September.

  • Major Cuts and other changes to meet the budget:  This passed with a  3 to 2 vote.  For: Gorena, Tierney and Durham.  Against: Watts and Thornhill.
         The City Manger (CM) recommended the following items that could be done in order to meet the budget or we could raise the property tax.  The jobs that were cut below were not filled and they were on hold since last budget.  The CM stated that we could possibly get a half percent raise for the City Employees. However, since the City salary is more than 3% below the average at this time, we made a few more cuts like postponing purchases that are not really needed at this time to get that up to 1%.  Here are a few of the items recommended:
    • cut the 390K for corridor beautification (plants and trees for major roads) - I do not think we really need to spend this money on trees at this time.
    • Animal control officer - on hold until we build the new animal shelter.
    • public street maintenance crew - Cut down to 1
    • Civil Engineer - The I35 expansion will not be for another 2-3 years.  We can wait on this for a year or two.
    • Change the Atmos Energy Franchise Fee from 4% to 5% - Of the 15 cities surveyed in the area, 9 have already changed to 5%.  This will add an average 50 cents to gas bills.
    • Computers and radios that can wait - The Fire and Police Chiefs both stated that the radios are in good condition and scheduled replacement can wait another year.
  • Property Tax Rate not changed:  Everyone voted to not raise the property tax rate (tax rate history click here).  Yes, we have been paying more taxes every year.  This is because the tax rate is based on the appraised property to reach the amount needed for the city budget.  Lewisville is currently the second lowest tax rate of the sixteen cities surveyed in the area.  Grapevine is the only city that is lower. There was some discussion that we could raise the tax rate from .44021 to .46 which would be about $35/year more on average per household and we could keep all the above items that were cut.  I was not in favor of raising the rate this year and several of those items could wait.
         The County rate and the LISD rate may change and we will not know until they do so.  Rumor has it that they will be raised.  The City Property tax rate may need to be raised next year.
  • Transfer money from the reserves of 390K for corridor beautification. - Yes, this was the same item that we cut above.  This passed 4 to 1.  I was the only one who voted NO on this item for the same reason I mentioned above.  Besides, I think we need about 20+ more police officers and maybe some Fire/EMS for the new fire station #8.

08-06-2009: Reminder and misc...

  • The City of Lewisville Budget Workshop is this Saturday at 9:00 AM.
        The Agenda is online.  As stated on my last post, your participation is encouraged.  Please come and listen to the presentations.  From the preliminary budget that you can see at the Library, there should be something about the needed Animal Shelter.
         On the Agenda you will see that Item 1 is going to be most of the day.  I do not see a time for citizens to speak openly but that may be after 1e.  If not, the next regular council meeting will have an open forum in the agenda.  Also, the agenda has other dates of Monday thru Wednesday listed if needed.  It is not expected that we meet those days.
  • Watch this:  I thought this was interesting about the Cash for Clunkers.  The website is exposed by Glenn Beck that when you accept the agreement you give up some rights...  Well Click here for the video.
  • Citizen Police Academy:  Registration is now open for the Citizen Police Academy. The free 3-month 14-session weekly program starts Sept. 10, 2009.  See the LCPA FAQ and have all your questions answered.
  • I35 update:   I went to the meeting today about the I35 construction plans.  I did not get any real concrete answers (no pun intended).  The next meeting is August 19, 2009.  To answer the most asked question of when...  As of today....  unsure because of delays.... Acquisition for land should be around mid 2010.  Construction maybe starting 2011.  The Presentation in PDF format.

08-04-2009:  Lewisville Update and notices

  • Resident Participation Sought for 2009-10 Budget Process (From the August 2, 2009 City Manager Weekly Update).
         Lewisville taxpayers will be able to participate in the city’s 2009-10 budget process during a City Council workshop in August before the budget and property tax rate are approved in September. The City Manager submitted his proposed budget to City Council on July 20. Copies are available for public viewing at the Public Library (reference section on 2nd floor), 1197 W. Main Street, and the City Secretary’s Office inside City Hall, 151 W. Church Street.
         A budget workshop will be held Aug. 8, 2009 starting at 9:00 a.m. in the Glenmore Savage Community Room of the Municipal Annex, 1197 W. Main Street. The workshop is open to the public.
        
    City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget during its regularly scheduled Sept. 14 meeting at Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church Street. A second public hearing -- required if the city rate exceeds a calculated rate as set by Texas law -- would be held during the regularly scheduled Sept. 21 City Council meeting. The council is expected to adopt the budget and tax rate at a special called meeting on Sept. 28.
         For more information on speaking at the budget public hearing, call the City Secretary’s Office at 972.219.341
    • My suggestion:  Please take an hour or three looking it over.  The first section is a very good summary and the following sections are the budget summary by department.  Please feel free to contact and let me know your concerns.  Thanks, John Gorena
  • IH 35E Improvements: from IH 635 to US 380 - Get the latest.

    Stakeholder Meeting No. 7
    August 6, 2009, 2:00 P.M.
    Lewisville City Hall Council Chambers; 151 West Church St.; Lewisville, Texas 75057.

 


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