For too long candidates for public office have used phrases like limited government or fiscal responsibility as adjectives to get elected but few have demonstrated them as verbs once in Office. However, State Senator Bob Hall is different from most! By his actions, Senator Hall has demonstrated that there still exists statesmen who follow-through on their campaign slogans. Senator Hall is a hero to elected officials like me. I am both inspired and encouraged by his resolve to stand uncompromisingly on fundamental conservative principles. Ironically, Hall’s biggest obstacle to reforming government are his fellow Republicans, self-proclaimed conservatives, whose actions contradict the campaign rhetoric that got most of them elected, especially those who have been in office so long that they are described as pieces of the furniture by
MCVFD Fire Chief Robert Jones has reportedly backed off Monday’s bombshell announcement that the MCVFD members would be voting to cut off fire services to the City at tonight’s Member meeting (Tuesday, January 16, 2018). Rather than notifying the City directly, Jones chose WFAA Channel 8 to announce his intention to recommend that the MCVFD end fire service to the City, which makes up 1/3 of their fire district, but continue service to the remaining 2/3, which is unincorporated and includes his home. The Chief’s decision to publicly ambush the City was an escalation of a two-month campaign by the MCVFD and their supporters through the mail, social media and local press to instill fear and panic in M-C citizens that they will lose critical
I was taken aback during Tuesday’s Council meeting when someone I thought would have understood the term, “limited government,” stood to accuse us of working in contradiction of this principle. He said, “I’m really disgusted with the fact that you campaigned that you were all about small government, and all I see is the most intrusive hands-on government I’ve ever seen.” The comment was in reference to our efforts to bring accountability to the fire department, a private contractor that is not just hired to provide a public service to our citizens, but a service that is provided under our city’s name, by requiring the MCVFD to adhere to certain standards, which includes a contract that actually includes terms & expected outcomes, which has never
The MCVFD is a private corporation that operates as a contractor for the City. M-C makes up just 1/3 of the total MCVFD fire district and the other 2/3’s is outside the city limits. Well over half of all MCVFD emergency calls occur at locations outside of the M-C city limits (according to data provided by the Rockwall County Sheriff dispatch). 83% of MCVFD’s 2017 budget was funded by M-C taxpayers; the remaining 17% came from sales taxes collected in the unincorporated areas of Rockwall County and divided among all fire districts by the County Commissioners. Those in the fire district residing outside the city limits contribute nothing financially to their fire service protection. The MCVFD averages less than 100 calls per year inside the city limits, (according to data
Despite the fact that I have been a long-time blogger on my own websites, I’ve never jumped on the bandwagon of social media as a platform to advocate for my points of view. Instead, I prefer the passive nature of a blog like this, where people have control over whether they want to read what I have to say or not. For me, social media is a far too intrusive and in-your-face platform for unwanted public discord. This is especially true in community forums like Nextdoor.com (which I launched in my neighborhood of Quail Creek) or a neighborhood Facebook group specifically designed to help connect one another. Of course, some social media groups are specifically established for political, philosophical, and or ideological discourse, where like-minded individuals can
I’ve already prepared the staff and City Council for long agendas and meetings, which will be our new normal. State law prohibits the council from meeting outside of an official open meeting, so when we do assemble, I intend for us to take the opportunity to address as much as we possibly can. I’m excited that finally every member of our city council is aligned with the majority of citizens of M-C. All of us are solidly committed to limiting the size and scope of our city government while preserving our wide open spaces and more rural lifestyle that most moved here to enjoy.
On March 3, our city received a request (which is actually just a state-mandated legal formality) to create a $41 million Water District for property that exists in our city’s Extra Territorial Jurisdiction [ETJ], which began a 90-day clock for the city to respond (June 3 deadline). As a “General Law, Type A City,” we have absolutely no ability to stop or control developments that may be built in our ETJ. In fact, our city’s zoning rules and ordinances have no teeth, especially when a developer creates a “water district,” which provides the water supply and sewer treatment infrastructure necessary to sustain high-density housing, which includes apartments and businesses. Though all of our ETJ exists inside our fire district, those properties pay no city property taxes. Currently
The first city council meeting has been scheduled for this Saturday morning at 9 am. If I was uninformed about all of the facts that have led us to schedule this meeting for that time, I’d be a bit confused as to the reasoning. So to try and mitigate misunderstanding, here are the facts that led to this decision: First, it is important to understand that McLendon-Chisholm is a “General Law Type-A City,” which means that, unlike our neighboring cities that are “Home-Rule,” we are governed by the laws of the state, while they make many of their own rules through a City Charter. Therefore, state law dictates the manner in which we conduct city council meetings. State law establishes that our two newly elected
Voters also approved the sales tax-rate increase, bringing our rate equal to that of all our neighboring cities. While it’s not a huge benefit to the city revenue, a consumption tax paid by those both in AND OUTSIDE our city lifts some of the burdens off the backs of property-taxpayers. It can also bolster the city council’s ability to lower the tax rate, as property taxes continue to climb. This ballot measure demonstrates my commitment to letting the people give consent before raising taxes.
The Central Appraisal District has done it again! Most properties in Rockwall County saw another marked increase in the assessed value, which means another big jump in property taxes hence, more revenue to the County, City and School District. However, as Councilmen Wayne Orchard, Jim Herren and I have been emphasizing, our goal is not to grow our city government, but limit its size and scope. A government can’t grow when (1) funding is limited and (2) elected officials prevent deficit spending by staying on a budget. Thanks to Councilmen Orchard & Herren, we successfully changed inspection service companies, which will not only save the city money, it will actually increase revenue to the city as new homes continue to be built! For these reasons and more,