Tuesday, November 29, 2016
If you're not going to the JPS bond meeting Thursday night, go to this!
1985 - 2016
CELEBRATING OVER 30 YEARS ADVOCATING ON BEHALF OF FORT WORTH NEIGHBORHOODS
Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods
General Membership Meeting
Thursday, December 1, 2016
University Christian Church
2720 South University Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76109
Call to Action! JPS requires citizen input for proposed debt package.
POSTED BY JAKE THOMAS | NOVEMBER 28, 2016
The John Peter Smith public hospital district, more commonly known as JPS, proposed an $809,000,000 bond package last year without much citizen input. Overwhelmingly, the majority of the money was going to be spent only on the downtown facility in Fort Worth, with more than half being spent on a new inpatient tower. Meanwhile, there was minimal benefit for the rest of the taxpayers in other parts of the county who would also bear the cost of this nearly billion-dollar project. However, the bond never made to the November ballot this year. An active citizenry of concerned taxpayers raised questions and concerns about the direction and hidden costs of the bond, prompting the Commissioner’s Court to put it on hold. It will now face a “Blue Ribbon Commission,” in an attempt to calm those opposing the bond.
At the core of this debate is a choice we must face as taxpayers.
Detractors of the bond claim this package represents a philosophical change in the mission of JPS. A change from providing indigent care to that of becoming the “provider of choice”, to quote JPS CEO Robert Early. Do we want our public hospital competing with privately run providers of care, actively competing against them with their own tax dollars and potentially putting those jobs at risk? Or, should JPS’s focus be on taking care of those who are unable to pay and the indigent who simply cannot care for themselves? Let’s ask ourselves, what would be the wiser investment for the taxpayers of Tarrant County to make?
Preventative Care Instead of Emergency Room Care
If our focus is going to be indigent care and those unable to pay, it makes a lot more sense to focus on local clinics and prevention in those communities, rather than meeting them in the emergency room. It’s a lot cheaper to give someone an injection of insulin, than amputate a foot because the early stages of diabetes weren’t detected. Taxpayers then foot the bill for the difference. Insurance premiums rise to compensate for those who can’t pay and taxes increase to cover the uninsured.
These were among the chief concerns raised by Arlington & Grand Prairie residents at a town hall held by District County Commissioner, Andy Nguyen. Citizens & activists grilled JPS staff and JPS executive director Robert Early on how they arrived at their projections. Some, such as Ross Kecseg noted the numbers simply didn’t add up.
Kecseg reported that the debt proposal was riddled with far-fetched financial forecast’s and dubious assumptions. He showed that JPS officials were not being up front with the true costs of the project.
“FRG’s* “baseline” scenario for JPS represents the current financial trajectory if nothing is renovated, built, or added to the facility. It has 4% in unexplained operational efficiency gains imbedded in it, on top of the 3% they assume in their best-case scenario. In other words, FRG assumes JPS will find savings unrelated to the proposed construction plan, without explaining how or why. According to sources inside the County Court, when JPS approved plans for a new patient pavilion in 2008, similar efficiencies of 2-3% were promised that never materialized.”
The County Commissioner’s Court tried to rush this proposal onto the November ballot before citizens could see the full picture. But once taxpayers did, JPS officials quickly retreated. It was an active citizenry taking direct action that held back the bond. The fight is not over for taxpayers, however. The Court’s rubber-stamp commission will soon give the bond new life.
The citizens of Tarrant County have two clear options. Do we focus our attention and resources on reducing negative externalities such as high-cost emergency room care both our private and public institutions face, or try to compete with the private market, needlessly putting hard working people’s jobs at risk and wasting taxpayer dollars?
The best way to impact this process is to attend and speak up at this week’s forums.
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 Arlington Subcourthouse, 700 E. Abram St. Arlington, TX 76010
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 Lake Worth Activity Center, 7005 Charbonneau Road Lake Worth, TX 76054
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 Northeast Courthouse, 645 Grapevine Highway Hurst, TX 76054
*(FRG is a Consulting firm hired to do the projections)
The good news just keeps coming in. This morning Fort Worth City Councilman Sal Espino, a tight ally of Mayor Price, announced he will not seek re-election. Sal is at the center of what has been described as the largest voter fraud investigation the State has seen. Instead of facing voters again, Sal chose the easy way out, hoping to disappear into the shadows.
This decision, however, will not affect his criminal liability in the alleged activities being investigated. In October Direct Action Texas presented how Sal and his group have been illegally harvesting mail in ballots and how Sal stole his last re-election in 2015 where he allegedly won by 27 votes. It is well known in the Northside community that the race was rigged, which is why 3 challengers had announced campaigns by October of this year, something that is unprecedented. #bloodinthewater
This announcement comes on the heels of Tarrant County Elections Administrator, Frank Philips, resigning last Wednesday. In an odd move, Denton County has taken the failed administrator back, evidently they don't care about accurate elections.
Monday, November 28, 2016
The city council held a special meeting this morning concerning the clear cutting destruction of mature trees and under growth of vegetation along the cotton belt trail. Council is sending a request for additional information as to the plans that Dart has for clearing these areas and to stop work until we have all details. According to plans on the TRE web site, only a small area was to be cleared. Now during the holiday weekend, a surprise of additional work was to start today without the City having received a full scope of work intended.
We have instructed the proper people to take action to stop these actions, not only for the trees but for the safety of our citizens using the trail. Council has instructed law enforcement to patrol the area to ensure that work will not happen until we clear this mess up. Ordinances are set in place across the city for tree preservation and tree mitigation for every project including residents. In our opinion the city tree ordinances guide lines are as said and set in place. Just because you own the property in Colleyville does not give you the leverage to destroy trees without mitigation. Those who claim "It's their property and they can do what they want" need to brief themselves with the ordinances to which the city has chosen to unanimously uphold at this time.
Tex rail has made a statement of untruth saying Colleyville has given them the "OK" to proceed with the T project,. This is a false statement. As most know we passed a resolution against the train and it's intent last June. The city has also asked for documentation showing where exactly the city gave the "OK" to proceed, and asked for "face to face meetings" but that information and meetings have been denied. We have been asking for meetings for months and still asking as of today. The city recently received a letter back from TRE saying they had the "OK" and that's all they needed, they also refused to talk to us "face to face". Thus (today) prompting the city to direct our attorney to send another letter asking for such documents and additional meetings.
I would like to clear up a few things.
1) We were accused of having a quick emergency meeting on a Monday morning to disguise our intentions against TexRail.
As explained, the council found out the intentions at the last minute and we took action. The Mayor could have single handedly ordered all that was discussed today without the public, but he chose to have an open meeting. "Yes" the meeting happened on a Monday morning but, this is due to TexRail trying to start work today. We have always been transparent.
That argument is void.
2) A very small amount of people have said we are wasting tax payer money by fighting a fight that we "may" lose. In my opinion (only) if we lay down and let BIG government run over us, we will be nothing more than shown as weak and feeble. There are some who like to lay down at the mere mention of a scuffle, but I for one find it justified in standing up to fight for our great town known for its unique character. This may cost us a very small amount to proceed with letters and injunctions for now, but this will give us time to fact find and justify our motive moving forward. If additional action is required we will have another public meeting. The cost of a few letters from our attorney will pale in comparison to the loss of mature trees.
We are transparent.
I took an oath to support and lead with boldness for the people and our town. I along with many others on the council feel the same in our responsibilities to residents and we will stand firm. We never claimed to stop the train, but we will make sure they adhere to the rules of government engagement. A thought - David took on Goliath with a small stone and a sling shot. We may be working against a "Goliath" but we will use the resources to do what is right for our city. Unless we take a position and stand our ground, how will we know what we may accomplish! Maybe even stop a Goliath.
Bobby Lindamood Jr
Posted by The Star-Telegraph at Monday, November 28, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Scary problem with the gas company. Atmos has been digging up our alley all weekend because of water in their gas supply line. Our appliances – and those of our neighbors – keep shutting off because of intermittent supply.
Atmos comes back and vacuums out the water. It builds up again and our appliances shut off again.
That’s maybe OK with things like water heaters that have automatic shut-offs (thermo-couplers, I now know), but it does nothing to protect gas ranges with piezo lighters.
Sooner or later, somebody will turn on a burner and then walk out in the yard. If the gas shuts off momentarily, that valve will be open but unlighted – a fast leak.
The gas company lady just told me that situation will be OK because the people can smell the leak.
NOT IF THEY’RE NOT IN THE HOUSE.
She also had my records all totally wrong about when they had been here and what they had done. Each time one of us calls Atmos, it’s a fresh start and they treat it as a household problem. The Atmos lady also told me she had no way of seeing the complaints and calls from my neighbors.
It’s whack-a-mole meets groundhog day every time we call. No wonder houses blow up. We should all be on CNG tanks until hey replace their line for the whole block.
The Atmos crews have told me they can’t replace their line because there’s a big city water leak in the alley that the city won’t fix. One guy said, “You don’t have a gas problem, sir. You have a water problem.” I said, “No, YOU have a water problem,. I have a gas [problem.”
I can’t even tell you how many crews have come to the block in the last three days, but my water heater as off again this morning. One guy admitted to me that water had made its way through my meter into my household gas line, but he told me that was now my problem.
This is some Third World shit.
Posted by The Star-Telegraph at Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
And Durango fills in the gaps.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram Opines Boondoggle's Stalled Bridges Can't Be A Good Thing
The Star-Telegram says the Trinity River Vision may have more than its share of opponents. I don't think opponents is the correct characterization. I think it is more accurate to say that which used to be called the Trinity River Vision has a lot of people who have observed the "vision" and have been appalled by how badly the "vision" has been managed.
Defunct Wakeboard parks, floating beer parties in a polluted river, little progress, a project timeline which constantly shifts, an unqualified son of a local politician made the project's executive director, a public works project drastically changing the town, but the townspeople have never been allowed to vote on the project. And even with no public vote on a public works project, eminent domain being abused to take property, over and over again.
And it doesn’t look good when you attack citizen’s personally, nobody likes a bully.
Isn’t he up for relelection in May?
Should be fun to watch, or listen anyway.
Listen to the mayor here -
Arlington mayor questions intelligence of stadium opposition in secret audio recording