Monday, December 8, 2014

TEXRAIL: BOON or BOONDOGGLE

Presentation for and against:

PRO - County Judge Glen Whitley

CON - Colleyville City Councilman Chris Putnam

Followed by presentation of a resolution for TCRA members about the project

Why You Should Attend----

  • Learn facts and figures about the project and the proposed routing.
  • Hear what the experience of other communities around the Country has been.
  • Understand the costs - both upfront and operational subsidies - to the taxpayers.
  • Question the presenters about any use of eminent domain.
  • Listen as the presenters discuss the alternatives to such a light rail project.
  • Enjoy some Christmas cheer with other TCRA members.

Glen Whitley is a CPA, now County Judge, who has been involved in the planning and development of the project. He will have data provided by the Regional Transportation Commission of the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Councilman Chris Putnam is a Senior VP with Synchronoss Technologies, a NASDAQ listed company. He has been part of the Colleyville community since 2006 and can present reasons why the project is of questionable value.

When: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Time: 6:45 pm Social - meet & greet
7:15 pm Program on TEXRAIL (15 minutes per side)
7:45 pm Presentation and debate on a TEXRAIL resolution
8:00 pm Christmas celebration - libations and light hors d'oeuvres

Where: Rose Room, Fort Worth Botanic Garden
(On the west side of University Blvd. about ¼ mile north of I-30)

Cost: Open to Assembly members and the general public at no charge

Friday, December 5, 2014

TRWD does business in a "walking quorum" 2 of 3 Justice's say it's okay...

Only in Texas.

The 2nd Court of Appeals voted 2-1 in favor of the Tarrant Regional Water District last week.

You can read the case here - and the FWST take on it here.

You can read tons about the Justice's online...

Justice Lee Ann Dauphinot disagreed in a dissenting opinion and said that the board’s two-person committee’s should be subject to the Open Meetings Act if they are effectively being used to conduct the board’s business.

“By allowing TRWD to have meaningful decisions take place in the committee meetings instead of in open board meetings, the majority approves of TRWD’s using what is in essence a walking quorum,” Dauphinot said. “In my opinion, Bennett raised a fact issue about whether TRWD conducts its business in violation of the water code and TOMA. I therefore dissent.”

Fell for Prop 1? Roads vs. Rail

Not all of you live in the 12 county Metroplex region, but all of you have your transportation policy determined by a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Ours in North TX is the largest in the state, and is called the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC).

And yes, they plan to spend $15.1 BILLION in North Texas on new rail, in addition to the $3.9 BILLION they've already spent. And yes, traditional roadways are the LAST funding priority for your federal, state, county and city tax dollars. Peachy, isn't it?

But the people are not powerless. The below two articles are information that most Texas State legislators are currently unaware of, and they need to hear from you.

Local Officials Are Funding Rail Over Roads:
"Citizens should demand vocal action from their state, county and local officials. After all, the RTC has been granted its power by the legislature. Residents should ask their representatives when roads, not rail, will become the top transportation priority before they attempt to “fix” the problem by recklessly throwing more money at it."

Full Article: http://www.empowertexans.com/features/local-officials-are-funding-rail-over-roads

Prop 1's Toll Prohibition Is Effectively Meaningless:
"Texans who voted for Proposition 1 in the hopes of stopping toll road expansion are in for a big disappointment. Without a statewide prohibition on toll roads, rail and other non-road projects that applies to all state funds, increases in state funding like Prop 1 will actually encourage more waste by the regional governments that ultimately control which projects receive funding...Don't take my word for it, the RTC admits this is true."

Full Article: http://www.empowertexans.com/features/prop-1s-toll-prohibition-is-effectively-meaningless/

No More Tolls!

Join FedEx, UPS, & McDonalds in opposing tolls

You may remember earlier this year that a new national group organized to oppose tolls on federal interstate freeways, the Alliance for Toll-free Interstates. Big names like Walmart, McDonalds, and UPS are FINALLY waking up to the economic destruction tolls across the nation will do to commerce and our pocketbooks.

SIGN THE PETITION TODAY! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Starting early

The TRV sent out their 38 page mailer praising themselves for all the things they are taking your money for. You'll have to wait till Spring (just prior to the election to receive the full color, glossy TRWD one).

We're told this didn't come before the TRWD board and Mary Kelleher has already requested the cost of the mailer...we're taking odds on if she gets that or not.

Read Durango's take on the propaganda piece.

YOU can't afford not to.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Turkey’s Ready…

The Fort Worth Weekly Turkey awards never disappoint.  We’ll let Durango tell you about our favorite one.

We’re still working on getting the new image of Dud Kennedy out of our head----

Kennedy donned his saddle shoes, ankle socks, pleated skirt, and FW-emblazoned sweater....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tarrant Regional Water District Pipeline in the "news" again

There's been a growing noise in Mansfield over the past several months...It's residents joining together to fight off the Tarrant Regional Water District.  The district well known for taking property for economic development and a $2.3 billion dollar pipeline.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram claims the pipeline will bring water to Dallas-Fort Worth, though the TRWD's own report on the IPL shows the water will be for Dallas.  Is there a new report somewhere?

A civil engineer whose property is in the cross-hairs presented an alternate plan that would impact less citizens (Hey, all you Trinity River Vision eminent domain victims - is this sounding familiar yet?) but the water district says no.  They say it will cost a million dollars more, though it sounds as if they have done no studies to determine that.  A million dollars...seriously? In water board money, that's chump change.  They spent $6 million on a lawsuit against Oklahoma.  And TRV is, at last count, almost a billion.

Below is Mary Kelleher's entire statement to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.   YOU should pay attention, because YOU could be next on their list.

 "When I listened to the residents in Mansfield tell their stories it sounded incredibly similar to the stories I have heard from other people devastated by eminent domain. Their stories sounded just like any average citizen being impacted by government; a litany of phone tag, unreturned calls, and empty promises of hope. I don't believe for one second the TRWD's claim they have chosen the best route for the pipeline. It is my opinion that once TRWD decides to take a property there is no room for discussion. I asked my fellow board members at the board meeting today to please arrange for a meeting with the Mansfield neighborhood but was told it may not be possible due to possible litigation. I don't hold out much hope for their situation, but they are a strong, community with great faith in God. May 2015 will be here soon enough and if this board doesn't do the right thing I have no doubt the people will vote to put directors on the TRWD Board who will."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

YOU are invited

Dear Friends of the Free Market,

On Saturday, November 22, a key meeting will take place in Wimberley south of Austin.

The two topics will be:

1. what changes should be made to Texas water policies, and
2. what tactics can be applied to bring change.

This is occurring in the aftermath of a big defeat on the San Antonio Vista Ridge pipe line decision that will send water from Burleson County to San Antonio.

Read about the water marketers here: http://independentleaguetx.org/vista-ridge/

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's about time

People are tired of the Tarrant Regional Water District taking land and blowing money with nothing to show for it except high water bills, deer leases and wakeboard parks.

Pay attention, you can't afford not to. YOU could be next.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Frack No!

On November 4, 2014, there was a historical vote in Denton, TX, which of course was when the residents voted to ban hydraulic fracturing within the corporate limits of the city.  This is a bit shocking considering the political make up of this area and the amount of funding that the industry sunk into defeating this measure.  Another interesting thing is the margin of victory for this measure, for all the money that was sunk into this election by the industry, they were not even close to victory.  What is also shocking is that candidate races in the area still went heavily to republicans.  In the Texas State Representative race for House District 64 which encompasses Denton, the republican Myra Crownover easily won with 64 percent of the vote.  So is clear that a large number of republicans supported this ban.

Many years ago, during a meeting with the industry, I voiced my displeasure with the manner in which they did business and told them that if they continued down this path, that no one would want this industry doing business near them.  I hate to so I told you so, but I did.  Now the question is will they ever learn, and the initial response is “no”, they will never learn.  After getting their tails kicked pretty badly in an election where they had all of the advantages, they chose not to change their business practices, and truly try to be the good neighbors they say they are on TV, but they filed a lawsuit.  This makes it clear that they’re never going to try and be a good neighbor.  Instead of running to make amends for their wrong doings, they try force their way into the neighborhoods, continuing to be bad actors.

At least in places like Denton, this probably could have all been avoided if this industry had one ounce of compassion for the communities they do business in.  However, they chose to violate the wishes of the community, resulting in the ban on a technique that was developed a few miles up the road from here.  Denton is also a town that has a large industry presence, with several of these companies having offices and other facilities there.  However, when you trample all over people private property rights, kill their property values, and destroy their quality of life, you should expect something like this.

Instead of trying to work with the communities that they were pissing all over, the industry runs to Austin for help.  To which the Texas Railroad Commissioners came running with bells on.  Unfortunately, the trio better known as the three stooges here in Texas, did nothing more than what the industry did, which was like pouring “gas” on a flame, and made the situation much worse.  Did anybody ever give those who were working on the ban any respect for their complaints?  No, they all just insulted them even more, accusing them being buddies with Putin, and other false and misleading statements, which of course didn’t work, but again fanned the flames.  

I was taught something at young age which was; when you find yourself in a hole…stop digging.  However, the oil and gas industry and their supporters must have missed that little piece of common sense.  The results are that they gave a couple goofballs $800,000.00, which turned out to be a big waste of money.  I know this may be a shock to those in the industry, but after years of misleading and lying to people, nobody trusts you.  Therefore, when you give money to someone that lies on your behalf, that makes them paid liars, and even a fool can spot a paid liar.

What is even more damning for the industry is that the paid liars are losing the battle in other areas as well.  A total of 4 bans on hydraulic fracturing were passed around the country.  And these bans were not implement with millions of dollars from Russian backed environmental groups, but rather by a small group of local citizens.  Normal people who have regular jobs, but are tired of seeing their property rights trampled all over by an industry who couldn’t care less.  One of my most trusted advisors says “there is a billion dollars beneath our feet and they don’t care who they trample on to get it”.  This is truly a case of Goliath being taken down with a slingshot and smooth stone.

Of course, the Texas Railroad Commission is not the only one running to the industry’s aid, the other prostitutes will come running with their aid as well. The Texas Land Office has joined the industry filing a lawsuit.  The Texas Land Office mission states: “The Texas General Land Office serves the schoolchildren, veterans, and all people of Texas by preserving their history, protecting their environment, expanding economic opportunity, and maximizing state revenue through innovative administration and prudent stewardship of state lands and resources.”  Not sure what makes them think they have dog in this fight, other than the fact that most of the Texas elected officials at the state level fight over the opportunity to pimp themselves out to this industry.

State Representative Phil King, of Texas House District 61, who serves on the Energy Resources Committee, has already committed to introducing legislation that removes a Texas municipality’s right to ban hydraulic fracturing.  Of course Representative King, is another who will fight for the opportunity to pimp himself out to the industry, and never look his citizens in the eye while doing it.  Texas House District 61 encompasses the Azle, TX area where they have had the rash of earthquakes caused by the fracking waste injection wells.  However, Representative King did not show up at the meetings held by the state, and has thus far refused to talk with his citizens about these earthquakes.  It must be noted that Representative King has multiple ethics violations and is therefore technically a “crook”.  He also refuses to look me in the eye when I testify before the Energy Resources committee; therefore, I take him as a coward.  He also refuses to take a stand to protect the property rights of hard working Texans.

It is strange that Representative King would choose to remove local control when on his website he states that “Local control and limited government must be the first resort not the last”.  However, it is clear that those positions go out the window when we are talking about the Oil and Gas industry.  When it comes to this subject, it appears that the Austin cronies are good with an overbearing state government, which takes away local control from municipalities.  It is also clear that the Austin Cronies like Representative King, are more than willing to ignore a valid election, and overturn the will of the people.  I guess when you are a prostitute for the oil and gas industry, things like local control and limited government, are just buzzwords.  

One thing that is missed in all of this by the industry and their prostitutes is that the people who are affected by all of this have property rights also.  Our private property rights start where our property line begins, so why doesn’t the industry consider keeping their noise, odors, bright lights, and hazardous chemicals on their side of the fence?  They trespass their crap on our property and expect us to take it.  The hardworking, honest Texans who voted for this ban don’t want a noisy, smelly industrial site, 200 feet from the backdoor, and those other than the industry and their cronies understand that fact.

The people of Denton passed an ordinance that would have helped protect people’s private property rights, and the industry ignored their wishes.  What exactly did the industry expect?  Don’t blame the people of Denton for this ban, blame the industry and the prostitutes who support them.  Common sense tells you that you cannot keep ramming this stuff down the throats of the people without consequences.  So if you’re in the oil and gas industry or are one of their elected prostitutes, it was you who got yourself into this, not environmental groups funded by Russia, but you.  The blame is yours, so take the whipping that you deserve.  
Calvin Tillman
Mayor Emeritus,
Town of DISH, TX
(940) 453-3640

"Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it"