Thursday, April 28, 2016
There goes another Fort Worth business because 'nothing was ever done and it just got worse'. It's the FW Way.
If you vote to give the Fort Worth council more money and a longer term, well you may just be as naive as they think you are.
See the goodbye note from Marshall Grain.
"Fewer and fewer of our customers are willing to venture into a neighborhood where the streets are roamed by panhandlers, prostitutes and drug addicts."
Fort Worth Store Set to Close on June 30.
A New Vision for Us Will
Benefit Our Friends and Family, and Make Us Stronger
For over 70 years, our Fort Worth location has served the city and surrounding area, and has played a vital role in making Marshall Grain Company a leader in organic gardening. Many of you have loyally shopped with us ever since our doors first opened on East Lancaster back in 1946. So we know that you will be disappointed to hear that our Fort Worth store is closing.
It was a difficult decision, but a necessary step toward a brighter future for Marshall Grain as a whole. And we want you to hear directly from us the reasons for our decision and our plans for our future.
Unfortunately, the neighborhood surrounding our Fort Worth store has been in decline for many years. Despite concerted effort by the residents and businesses there to reverse the decline, it has become gradually worse each year. Fewer and fewer of our customers are willing to venture into a neighborhood where the streets are roamed by panhandlers, prostitutes and drug addicts. Nor is it a safe area for our employees, suppliers, and others needing to do business with us.
Therefore, as of June 30, our Fort Worth location will close. All of our operations will move to our Grapevine location. Of course, Frosty & Callie will come to live with their cousin Marsha in Grapevine.
Marsha, Frosty, Callie & the rest of us here at Marshall Grain.
Monday, April 25, 2016
If you haven't been following the huge sinkhole issue in Dallas, you're missing out. The shot above is the BEFORE. The After is what should concern you. They only good thing (though not for him) is it is happening to our favorite Dallas reporter. At least you will get the truth on what's going down.
Hey, Reader. I want you to keep a link to this column somewhere so you can send it to the police if the city says an entire block of “known complainers” on Bryan Parkway committed suicide last night by blowing themselves into a sinkhole on purpose.
Yeah, yeah, I know. A 100-year-flood does not mean that these floods happen once a century. Per the United States Geological Survey:
The term “100-year flood” is used in an attempt to simplify the definition of a flood that statistically has a 1-percent chance of occurring in any given year.
This attempt to simplify does so at the expense of offering any meaning whatsoever. You could have 100-year-floods three years running. You could have two 100-year floods in a single year. Or you might go 300 years or more without a single one. Probability is weird like that. Also of note from a probability standpoint: if you gamble with a 1 percent chance of losing once a year for thirty years, you end up with a 25 percent chance of crapping out at least once. Think about those odds the next time you sign a mortgage for a house in what is reassuringly described to you as located in a 100-year floodplain.
- See more at: The Problems With “100-Year Floods”
Sunday, April 24, 2016
The upcoming May 7 election includes 11 propositions to change or clean up the city charter.
You heard it from Councilman Jungus Jordan. You heard it from League of Neighborhoods President, Libby Willis. Now you're hearing it from me, Clyde Picht, a former four term council member. When I was on the council we were paid $75 per meeting. To be on the council you don't have to leave town and you don't have to travel far for weekly meetings and you can still live in your own home and hold another job. It is a public service and it's an honor to serve. I differ with some in that I think two more council seat would be beneficial. So here are my recommendations:
VOTE YES to create two more council seats. We have had 8 council districts for decades and the city has grown to twice the size and twice the population that is was a mere twenty years ago. It's not so much because of population but the area has grown to over 325 square miles and extends into 5 counties. Many residents will never experience a councilmember being within miles of their house. It's not about ethnicity or race, it's about basic representation. An added bonus would be to create some suburban opposition to the stream of tax giveaways that favor downtown. While some say the council has too much to do, add two more council members to provide some relief.
VOTE NO to extend council terms. Usually council members are not even challenged unless their job is less than generally acceptable. To extend the terms just means less work for the members. The constituents may suffer if their council member isn't performing and has an extra year to slough off.
VOTE NO to stagger terms. I can't recall an election where all the members were replaced at once. It just creates an additional expense of an out of cycle election.
VOTE HELL NO on a pay raise to $45,000 per year. Council members hire four people: City Manager, the one really responsible for running the city (and paid well to do it); City Attorney to provide legal advice and represent the council and city staff; City Secretary who maintains the council agenda and provides administrative help to the council; and City Auditor who audits different departments and confirms accuracy of accounting processes. In addition the council makes policy. That's the way it has been for decades and sometimes they make good policy and sometimes it's bad. Of course they'll only admit to good policy. Sometimes council members will claim they work 40-60 hours a week. Don't believe it. They are obligated to council meetings and selected committee meetings. They also get plenty of perks. Some include overseas travel worth quite a lot. They also get free lunches, parties, retreats, and other fun things. If the same job was worth $75/meeting 11 years ago how can it possibly be worth $45,000/year now with no more work? We'll create a miniature congress where members stay for 40 years and do nothing.
VOTE NO to filling vacant council seats by appointment. The electorate deserves to pick their own person. It doesn't happen that often and it only matters in the council district where a seat is vacated. If the council can give away millions in development tax schemes they can surely find the money for a special election.
Do your fellow Fort Worth residents a favor and share this with them.
Friday, April 22, 2016
Seems there's yet another falling/failing wall in Fort Worth. And there's lots of finger pointing as usual. It's not a new issue, it's yet another one that's been going on for years.
No permits, substandard work, code compliance letters and homeowners caught in the crossfire. Sound familiar?
Read about it in the Fort Worth Weekly.
A Large Bill
“They did everything half-ass and as cheap as they could,” Strachan said. “This wall was built before any of the houses were built. My house was built in 2001, and this wall was already here. The city put it in our laps. The city allowed this wall to be built.”
We've gotten several messages from HC, and they all say the same thing - Keep Stephanie Davenport on the council.
She's the youngest member on the Haltom City council, she is also the only Hispanic member of council.
She was raised in Haltom City, attending David E. Smith Elementary, Haltom Middle and Haltom High School. She attended TCC and received her degree from UNT in political sciences. She is currently working on her masters in HR Leadership & Development.
Apparently the HC Firefighter Political Action committee, the entire council and many members of the community are supporting Stephanie Davenport and ask that you do too.
Early voting starts Monday!
Thursday, April 21, 2016
See what can happen if you do in this note from Council member Chris Putnam.
If there is a new city council next month we will get these outrageous water bills and rates under control including day one relief for homeowners.
* Water will go from being a profit center to a cost center. We will recover the hard cost of water and waste treatment and not a penny more from our residents. Water should be a basic government service and not run like a business for a profit as the incumbents up for re-election have done. They even brag about how they created a new source of revenue with these increases which basically amounts to a tax on water.
* We will immediately repeal last year's rate increase residents haven't even felt the effects of yet, and end the unfair so-called "progressive" tiered rate structure.
* We will join with other partner cities and negotiate better raw water costs from our sole suppliers the TRA and TRWD.
* We will demand that TRWD stop subsidizing Fort Worth's economic development with our resident's water bills, and we will aggressively pursue supplier alternatives including partnering with other cities to pursue alternative sources of raw and treated water.
* We will fight for Colleyville residents and not "get along to go along" with regional interests that are unfairly profiting off our residents on a basic service like water. Please vote Newton, Nakamura and Lindamood starting next Monday in early voting at Colleyville City Hall.
Skyrocketing water bills have North Texas cities double-checking meters
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Last fall, I was appointed to the interim Select Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
Our charge? To find meaningful property tax reform solutions that put Texas homeowners first.
Since the panel was announced, we've traveled the state holding public hearings and listening to citizen input about ways to improve the property tax system. That includes everything from simplifying the appraisal process to keeping more of taxpayers' hard-earned money in their own pockets.
On Wednesday, April 27th, the committee will meet here in North Texas, and I'd like to personally invite you to attend and share your story.
Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform & Relief
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 8:00 AM*
UT Arlington Campus
E.H. Hereford University Center, Rosebud Theatre
300 West First Street, Arlington
*Public testimony begins at 10:00 AM.
No RSVP required. General parking available in Lot 11.
Tarrant County residents in particular are feeling the strain with home valuations spiking through the roof. How is this issue impacting your family? What do you think should be done to fix it?
We hope to see you at the hearing. If you can't attend but would like to submit your comments to my office, please email me at email@example.com. The more Tarrant County conservatives get involved in the policy-making process, the better!
State Senator, District 9
9121 Belshire Drive, Suite 200
North Richland Hills, TX 76182
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, TX 78711
Brandon Bennett and I just spoke and he was very conciliatory. He explained how the notification letter evolved into what it is today, which is basically a catchall for natural disasters, neglect, fire and abandonment. He did admit the letter as is takes a too-heavy handed approach. I think it became a situation of being too close to the trees to notice the forest.
His staff is going to rework their procedures and create notices that are more specific to the situation. Home fire will be separated out and treated differently than the others. He asked that I participate in the process and give input into the draft of the new letter, which they hope to have in place in the next several weeks.
At this point I can only express positive feelings about the response from the city. Mayor Price acted quickly, there was no denial or pushback from any person involved, the situation was deemed serious and in need of resolution, and a process of correction is underway. I don't think one can ask more than that.
Most importantly, to me anyway, future victims of home fires will be greeted by a city government that truly cares about helping them get their lives back on track. I never envisioned that code compliance would become my cause celebre, but I guess we take them as they come. My only hope was that the city would be motivated to turn a negative into a positive and that's just what has occurred so, in that sense, mission accomplished.
Many thanks to all who expressed interest or became incolved in this adventure.