Last night, Scott Turnbull bested his opponent in a race that saw the lowest voter turnout since 2010. Though he captured 67.8% of the vote, just 147 voters turned out, compared to last year when Wayne Orchard and me were elected in a landslide with more than three times the turnout for a municipal election in the city’s history! Scott was certainly fortunate that Adrienne Balkum & Jim Herren (both unopposed) campaigned with him! I’m especially grateful that 72 of those that turned out to vote are supporters of mine who let me know they were supporting Scott! THANK YOU!!!
As an outspoken advocate for representative government, I generally support an appointment over either a special election or leaving a vacated seat empty. That’s because representative government means that those who are elected make decisions on behalf of the citizens that elected them, rather than a direct democracy, where the people vote on every issue that requires government action.
More importantly, I believe that those elected should truly act as representatives of the people whose actions reflect what they believe the majority of citizens would do if the opportunity to decide went before voters.
However, most elected officials act more as trustees, doing what they think is best, regardless what the majority opinion of the people who elected them think.
Exceptions to this Fundamental
I’ve been outspokenly unambiguous to highlight the exceptions to this fundamental principle, which includes when an elected body considers the following::
- raising taxes,
- taking on or growing debt, or
- taking away more of the personal liberties of property owners.
In these cases, citizens should first give their consent before elected office holders take any action.
For our city, consent of the governed can be accomplished either by a direct vote of the people in an election or via a citizen survey (the state actually prohibits citizens in “General Law, Type A cities” (like M-C) from voting on property tax-rate increases).
Appointing to Fill Vacancies Epitomizes Representative Government
So when it comes to filling the unexpired term of an elected official, when it is possible to do so, an elected body should appoint someone who they believe best represents the majority opinion of its citizens. Only when it is not possible to appoint with confidence, or in instances where there is significant division among an elected body, should the options of a special election or leaving the seat empty be entertained. Further, I don’t believe that the majority of taxpayers would support spending the approximately nine to ten thousand dollars that’s required for the city to hold a special election.
Despite arguments to the contrary, history proves that opposing an appointment by those elected to represent the majority opinion of the people in favor of a special election best serves those who make up the vocal minority of political activists who capitalize on the low voter turnout in these kinds of elections in hopes that they can bolster their supporters to show up at the polls and slide-in their candidate to an empty seat. Despite the fact that voters have twice rejected their plans to grow our government, amplified by the citizen’s survey, they care not for the opinions of the majority, only of themselves.
The vocal minority continues to use empty rhetoric deceitfully disguised as protecting the voice of the people in an attempt to undermine it.
The survey results show overwhelming support for the city to increase the sales tax-rate, which is why I made the motion to put this measure on the ballot for the voters to formally approve in this May’s municipal elections.
This fulfills my campaign promise that any increase in taxes should only come with the expressed consent of the people. The survey provides expressed consent, however placing this on the ballot gives voters full control.
That’s representative government!
- Should the city council sell the current city hall and 10 acres acquired with out resident consent to pay off city debt and rebuild the financial reserves.
- Should the city keep the current tax to save to build a more reasonable building which could house a larger fire department, meeting hall and a few clerk offices. (THERE IS NO NEED TO COUNCIL OR MAYOR OFFICES!!!!!)
- Should taxes be lowered once reserves are built and a reasonable city hall is built and paid for in CASH?
- Is it important for the new city building be built in DOWNTOWN MC? (It is to me!)
- Should the planning and zoning committee only be comprise of MC residents that have NO interest in land sales or development on those lands. (I think many would be furious to find out how the committee is built now.)
- Should there be a term limit for MC city council members and the mayor?
WWII Bomber pilots used to say that “you know you’re over the target when you start taking flack!” It’s an excellent metaphor that is guiding me as I work to end the corrupt power and influence that the former political elite has held for so long.
Last night, one of the former regime’s vocal supporters took aim and fired, ignoring the substance of my assertions to cast vitriolic ad homonym aspersions against me while ignoring the mountain of irrefutable lies employed by those he was trying to defend. After expressing his displeasure at me he pointedly noted that the election is over and I need to move on, which was an obvious and feeble attempt to revitalize the credibility of those whose words and deeds make them untrustworthy and establish them as bankrupt of integrity.
The fact is, the May 7 election established conclusively that the former political ruling class in MC is nothing more than a vocal minority. By attending and speaking out at the city council meetings they are trying to create the illusion of a majority opinion, despite the fact that the people have rejected practically all of their rhetoric.
As representative of the overwhelming majority of MC voters, I fight on behalf of that majority. I serve so that citizens can attend their children’s extracurricular practice and game activities or make family time a priority rather than waste time sitting through hours of excruciatingly dull government meetings. They elected me to represent their interests, which is centered on limiting the size and scope of the city government, protecting their liberty, and preserving the wide-open spaces and more rural environment.
Though I can be persuaded, especially where facts demonstrate that I am wrong about something, I stand on the conviction to never compromise.
The day I stop taking flack from the vocal minority is the day that I must re-evaluate my actions. Should that day ever come, it will mean that either I have changed the minds of those who now stand opposed to me or I have succumbed to their point of view. I pray for the former and ask you to pray for me that the latter of those two options never come.
The litany of lies and deception perpetrated on citizens finally caught up with MC’s elected officials and its political ruling class! In a record-setting turnout, the people, by an overwhelming margin, threw out incumbent Mayor Moody, Councilmen Hatfield and rejected Mark Kipphut, their hand-picked successor to 30-year incumbent Councilman Pullen, not to mention their PAC’s effort to thwart the tax rollback, which also passed overwhelmingly.
Throughout the campaign, as Wayne Orchard and I continued to highlight the evidence of the facts where we revealed how the public trust has been violated, those in power arrogantly packaged more lies & distorted truths in a campaign of empty rhetoric hoping that, as in years past, people weren’t paying much attention to the details.
But the people WERE paying attention and they ARE fed up!
This election helped to make it possible for MC’s government to be Of the People,” controlled BY the People, and is ultimately FOR what the MAJORITY of the people of MC want. Citizens who have been shut out, castigated, and vilified for speaking out against the egregious actions of the council are now solidly in the majority.
Simply put “We The People” demand the right to first give consent to decisions that may raise our taxes, put us into debt, take away our personal liberty about what we can do on our own property, and/or violate the standards of our city that are supposed to protect our wide-open spaces & more rural lifestyle!
June 14, 2016 is the first official meeting of our new city council. On that day a new mindset will guide our government where active transparency will help ensure that we stay accountable for the promises made to make our city hall OF, By, and FOR the people.
As Ronald Reagan liked to say,
“Government isn’t the solution to our problems, government IS the problem.”
I’m running for city council to bring a NEW MINDSET to city hall that is REPRESENTATIVE OF the people; not government.
I believe that the role of government should always be to do the most good, for the most people, at the least cost! No government, at any level, should be in the business of granting personal favors or providing special financial benefits for a minority interest to the detriment of the majority.
When you go and vote on May 7 at our beautiful new city hall/administration building, try to answer for yourself why it is costing us $2.125 million, not including the $260 thousand in land or the guaranteed minimum interest of at least $190 thousand (if paid off early).
It’s an excellent example of why our city leaders need a new mindset!
However, the only way to change the mindset inside city hall is to change the people who are elected into office! It’s why I’m running for city council.
A new mindset means that in the future when/if the city council believes that a tax increase is absolutely necessary, the decision to move forward should rest with taxpayers to give their consent. Any plan for our city’s future must begin by asking the people of MC what kind of city they want MC to become. No limits may be imposed that violates the personal liberty of what citizens may do on their own property, unless the people, through a vote, agree to do so.
The burden then falls on the mayor and city council to convince citizens that the path they want to travel is right, rather than putting the burden on taxpayers without their consent.
Alongside Councilmen Gary Lovell & Jerry Klutts (who are not up for re-election until next year), Wayne Orchard and my election will establish a new majority of four fiscal conservatives!
WITH A NEW CITY COUNCIL MAJORITY, THE FOLLOWING CAN FINALLY BE A REALITY!
Focus on Staying McLendon-Chisholm!
If elected, the new mindset of the city council-majority will turn its focus FROM “becoming the Highland Park of Rockwall County” TO providing essential city services as we preserve our rural community!
Prospective and incoming residents must understand that city leaders are committed to protecting the rural lifestyle punctuated by its wide-open spaces and low tax rate in contrast to what may be found in other cities like Heath and Rockwall. Our goal will be to attract families that prefer the more simple life to a high-end, government service-heavy environment.
It also means that we maintain and enforce the standards within our city that were adopted to protect this unique lifestyle. The problem isn’t that our city needs to raise its standards but those in power need to adhere to and enforce the standards already in place!
Make MC’s Essential Needs THE Priority
This new mindset establishes a renewed commitment to focus on needs over wants in much the same way that most families in MC must live.
This means that city leaders will no longer govern with the mindset that”‘if we want something that we can’t afford we simply generate more revenue by taxing the people.” The city council-majority’s decision to purchase iPads for the Mayor and 5 city council members, with full data plans (in a city with a population of 1,800) is just one example of unrestrained fiscal irresponsibility that must stop!
Instead, when the city has a genuine need, the council first asks “can we afford it and if not, how do we pay for it?”
It also means that decisions that either add debt, increase taxes, or take away the personal liberty of what citizens may do on their own property, are those for the people to decide. This of course will place a huge burden on the mayor and city council to convince voters that something like a tax increase is necessary, instead of placing the burden on taxpayers without their consent!
The Law Abiding Culture of MC
Our goal as a community should not be to create a police department, but should instead be on creating an environment where a city police department is unnecessary. After all, police don’t prevent crime, they enforce the law when it is broken. So when we know and watch out for our neighbors we then become less susceptible to crime.
City’s love police departments for one primary reason; revenue generation!
However, I don’t want to be like residents of Rockwall, Heath, Rowlett, or Highland Park who muse about the day one becomes a “bonafide citizen” is when they get their first traffic ticket!
Place Lasting Limits on City Hall!
To ensure that this mindset never changes, limits will be placed on what our mayor and city council can and cannot do without the people’s consent.
I believe that this is how any local government that is “of,” “by” and “for” the people, SHOULD WORK!
Never Violate the Peoples Trust
One of the things that drew our family to MC was our little city hall building located on 205.
It projected what I interpreted was a fiscally conservative mindset of government. Ironically, it led me to offer blind trust to our city leaders.
Like so many others I’ve talked to, my blind trust made me believe that it was unnecessary to pay attention to what was going on at city hall. After all, I was in a city with a population of less than 2,000, where everyone reportedly knew everyone, which is why I felt confident that city leaders would be sure to include taxpaying citizens like us in future decisions that might put our city into debt, raise our taxes, or limit the personal liberty of what we can do on our own property.
As so many other citizens have expressed to me about themselves, I was admittedly naive in making these assumptions.
We are all now paying the price for our unbridled trust and inattention, locked into a 20-year, $2.125 million bond debt (not including the guaranteed interest) for a city hall/administration building that’s better suited for Highland Park than McLendon-Chisholm, and poorly placed inside our city for convenient access.
Transparency will be the new watchword of a new council-majority with the mindset that citizens WILL hold us accountable to following through on the promises that we make!
MC City Governement Should Never Be Santa Clause
As your city councilman my goal is to provide only those city services that the majority of the people vote to pay for.
This is why I ask for your vote on May 7 to elect me as your City Councilman in Place 4.
Blessings, Robert Steinhagen
Candidate for McLendon-Chisholm City Council, Place 4, Co-Founcder of Citizens for Representative Government
The anti-rollback Political Action Committee, disguising itself as “Citizens for McLendon-Chisholm,” got “creative” again in making their latest case against the rollback. A litany of half-truths and outright lies “propagate their propaganda,” which has become their bred & butter!
Most notable is their repeated focus on a VISION for the city, which is NOT “OF, BY, and FOR THE PEOPLE,” but the current political establishment that they represent.
Outright Lie #1
“A few months ago our committee came together after realizing that the issues were critically important and there needed to be balance in the discussion.”
- Until I helped start Citizens for Representative Government of MC last year, there WAS NO BALANCE because those who were making decisions were also promoting their own actions. That’s not balance.
- Mike Donegan, the leader of this PAC, is the former mayor who set our city on a course that few, had they known about it, would have gotten on board with. Mayor Moody & Councilman Hatfield are simply continuing what Donegan started.
- The treasurer and secretary of this PAC are two long-time former city council members who were both booted out of office and they want back in!!!
- Mayor Moody has helped to ensure that there is only one opinion, that of the political establishment, that will be heard at open meetings. Learn more.
- Read more about why there is nothing balanced or objective about this PAC.
“There are no candidates on our committee.”
- Every donor of this PAC is a full-throated supporter of the re-election of Mayor Moody and Councilman Hatfield, and the election of their hand-picked candidate, Mark Kipphut. It’s no coincidence that the candidates and the PAC share some of the same donors!
“Our primary purpose is to present information to the voters so that you have critical information to decide the Future of MC”
- Their primary purpose is to stop the tax rollback! Their PAC filings prove this! View filing documents.
- Their actions prove the unscrupulous nature of their propaganda, bent on terrorizing citizens into believing that the safety of their families are in jeopardy. Learn more about the published actions of this PAC.
Half Truth #2
“A new city hall was a necessary addition to the city.”
- Only the voters should decide IF we “NEED” a new city hall!
- The new city hall was built to accommodate more city bureaucrats, not meetings, as town hall meeting-type of events will still require the use of separate facilities because the meeting space simply isn’t big enough!
- The order of priorities that should have come before building a new city hall are as follows:
- Survey the people of MC to learn about what kind of city they want MC to become.
- Develop a strategic plan for the city, with input and collaboration of citizens.
- Prioritize current and future “needs” of the city, including public safety, based on the strategic plan.
- Move forward, with consent of voters in an election, to tackle those priorities.
- INSTEAD, Here’s how our city leaders have gone about what they call “smart planning.”
- Form a committee of seven hand-picked people, including a major land owner/developer (who is not a citizen of MC), to make recommendations to the City Council to build a new city hall, based on a vision for the population to grow from 2,000 to 22,000. Read minutes of committee workshop and recommendations.
- Accept gift of two acres of land from Triple Creek Developer and, following a compromise by those who wanted another thirteen acres, purchase three more for $60,000 (despite the fact that the development agreement guaranteed that the city would be gifted 10 acres).
- When the two council members are out on vacation, vote to approve the purchase of ten more acres for $200,000 from the developer.
- Don’t send any information to taxpayers about the details of the proposed city hall, instead invite them to come to a meeting…since most won’t show up (less than 60 citizens attended). View meeting postcard invitation.
- Tell attendees that the cost is $1.5 million. Read Mayor’s letter to citizens where (6 months later) he admits this.
- Make it clear that the cost of city hall will not exceed $1.5 million!
- Don’t put this measure before voters. Read minutes of committee workshop and recommendations.
- On the day of the vote to approve the bond:
- Discover that the cost estimates were more than $600,000 too low, but go ahead and approve the bond anyway with the added $600,000+ and mail nothing to taxpayers about this for six months.
- Decide that the city needs a strategic plan, & hire a city planner. Shouldn’t this have come BEFORE building a city hall???
- Conclude that the city needs more money, in addition to the tax hike to cover the bond for the new city hall (even though the city plan won’t be completed for more than seven months) to fulfill the vision of the mayor & city council majority!
- Bring the fire department under the governance and control of the city, even though more than half of all calls fall outside the city limits and just one of the two stations is inside the city limits.
- Start a police department…after all, it will increase revenue and the people will think that it’s a way to make them safer.
- Replenish the capital reserve account that was depleted when the city council decided to purchase a total of thirteen acres for $260,000.
- Hand-pick a committee to help develop the city plan.
- Can you guess who is on the committee…? Many of the same people who are leading the rollback opposition PAC, who were also on the City Hall Committee, including the major landowner/developer who is not a citizen of MC!
- Keep drafts and iterations of the plan from the people (open records requests for this information were denied until last month).
- The week before early voting begins, publish the new city plan (almost a year and a half later)!
Half Truth #3
“Population Growth: The city is going to grow.”
- No kidding, especially because the establishment and this PAC are trying to accelerate both the city’s growth and density by pushing for continued violations of city standards that were enacted to protect our wide-open spaces and more rural lifestyle!
- This includes granting an exception to the Triple Creek developer to allow 1,867 homes on just 409 of its over 1,500 acres, which is projected to almost double the population of the Sonoma Verde development! Read more
“Forecast by the city planner indicate a city population of 7,891 by 2030, far below the 22,000 that has been described.”
The mayor and city council majority gave the City Hall Committee (read above in “half truth #2”) the charge to plan for a population growth from 2,000 to 22,000 (Read minutes from committee workshop). That’s not our number that we’re describing, it’s the establishments!
ANOTHER FACT MISSING: The city planner also projects that the added population growth of Sonoma Verde and Triple Creek will exceed 11,000!
Outright Lie #3
“The city acted to take funds out of reserves to fund the MC Fire Department.”
The funding for the fire department was paid based on the approved budget based on revenue, and was not approved to take money from any reserve account! If funds were taken from a reserve account, then it was either a temporary accounting decision, which will be replenished or the city staff has some explaining to do!
Smoke & Mirrors
The last two items on the first page that relate to the number of calls and the salaries of Volunteer Fire Fighters is more than confusing, it’s an attempt to distract away from the FACT that the budget that was approved for the fire department was based on the mutual understanding between the fire department and the city that the budget that they approved would not negatively impact public safety or compromise the level of service they provide.
Half Truth #4/Outright Lie#4
“MCVFD Negotiated a “One Time” deal with the city and eliminated $54k for equipment.”
The level of deception in this statement is beyond the scope of despicable and completely devoid of integrity.
I randomly asked ten different customers in the Starbucks on Ridge Road, which is where I’m writing this post, none of whom are citizens of MC nor do they live in the ETJ, how they interpreted this statement (I actually had them read the full paragraph from the letter).
One hundred percent interpret this to mean that the fire department decided to cut $54 thousand in equipment this year as a compromise with the city.
However, that’s not what happened here! The $54 thousand represents depreciation.
According to the fire department treasurer, they just recently (the last two years) began to incorporate the full depreciation costs into budgeting and accounting, though the fire department does not publish or disclose their audited financial statements. However, what’s important here is in knowing that all of the fire equipment is up-to-date, not to mention the fact that the department has a brand new fire truck, which was funded by a grant to the department.
If in the future the fire department includes depreciation costs and the city council can verify that the accounting standards are in line with equivalent fire stations (PLEASE NOTE that I am in no way insinuating that this is not the case) then the first priority that I will make as a member of the city council will be to fund the fire department. When cuts become necessary, the city council should look in places OTHER THAN the fire department. Finally, if there is ever good cause to increase the tax rate, it’s the city council’s responsibility to make the case to the people and get approval first!
Note too that the PAC doesn’t seem to want to tackle the FACT that over the last six months the city spent $61,559.74 on office furniture in a city that has just two employees! If your safety is in any way compromised by a rollback or on past approved budgeting then it’s not because the city doesn’t have the funds, it’s because those leading this charge have distorted values and priorities!
Half Truth #5
“Planned economic development (commercial/retail) is needed to provide financial support to the city.”
This is only true for those who embrace the establishment’s plan to turn MC into the Highland Park of MC! I’m not one of them! Isn’t it time that the people of MC get the chance to weigh in on what our city’s future should be?!?
Outright Lie #5
“RCH is raising water rates” and “local roads become more critical,” issues that “require experience, working knowledge of the County, and most importantly, the ability to be positive.”
- The chairman of the RCH water board is a 30-year incumbent city councilman in MC. How has his experienced helped our city? It hasn’t!
- MC has just three roads to maintain. Let’s keep it that way!!!
- Positive thinking??? How about fairy dust too? Can anyone read this in the letter and explain what on earth their talking about?
Half Truth #6
The rollback equates to about $13/month for a $400,000 home.
- This is how liberals (this includes Republicans) continually justify tax increases, by marginalizing the personal impact on taxpayers without focusing on their irresponsible spending habits.
- The current MC establishment believes that they know how best to spend your money, but FACTS PROVE that they DO NOT!!!
This election and rollback isn’t about a few pennies, it is about restoring the voice of the people and making city hall a government that truly is OF, By and FOR the people!
This is just another reason why I ask for you to vote the first choice on each of the items on the May 7 ballot! With Nathan Hodges, Wayne Orchard, and me in office, your voice will finally be heard!
Blessings, Robert Steinhagen
Candidate for McLendon-Chisholm City Council, Place 4, Co-Founcder of Citizens for Representative Government
In a recent letter to voters, paid for and mailed by Councilman Hatfield’s campaign, Judy Moss’ poison pen presents baseless ad homonym attacks against me under the pretext of highlighting a “few examples” of what are supposed to be false and misleading assertions made by me! Not surprisingly, nothing in her diatribe is supported by documented evidence (I hold myself to a higher standard), but FACTS ARE STILL STUBBORN THINGS! So here we go…
She writes, “Just like most bureaucrats who use misleading or deceptive language, Mr. Steinhagen is playing fast and loose with the facts.“
First, it might be helpful for Mrs. Moss to understand what a bureaucrat is, which is a government employee, in particular one perceived as being concerned with procedural correctness at the expense of people’s needs.
I am not, nor have I ever been a government employee!
Does she mean to call me a politician, like 12 year incumbent, Steve Hatfield, who likes to point out the procedural correctness of the city council majority’s right and authority to raise taxes, put us into long-term debt, and take away the personal liberty of what citizens can do without the consent of the people? Unlike the politician that she’s endorsing, I have never before run for public office!
Second, FACTS PROVE that Moss’s letter contains JUST ONE true fact, which is that I live on one acre!
EVERYTHING else in here letter about me is absolutely FALSE, which I will address point by point!!!
Following are the FACTS!
Mrs. Moss writes,
“Mr. Steinhagen continues to be deceitful about this [new city hall] project by saying it was approved behind closed doors. That is simply not true.”
FACT: I have continually asserted that the mayor and city council-majority neither mailed to citizens nor posted to the city’s website ANY information about the new city hall until six months AFTER the $2.125 million bond was passed. This is an irrefutable fact!
FACT: The price tag for the new city hall never deviated from $1.5 million told to citizens, until the evening of the city council vote, when they added another $600+ thousand to it.
FACT: The city council waited six months before mailing out scant information to taxpayers alerting us to the fact that a long-term debt-bond was approved for $600,000 MORE THAN they had been saying, to build a new city hall/administration building
FACT: Councilman Hatfield negotiated a compromise with Councilman Gary Lovell to agree to purchase three additional acres of property for the new city hall, instead of the thirteen that was being proposed. Weeks later, when Councilman Lovell was on a long-planned vacation with his family to Mount Rushmore and when Councilman Pullen was also absent (who was also reportedly in agreement with Lovell), Councilman Hatfield voted (3 to 0) to purchase the additional ten acres, from the developer of Triple Creek. So despite the fact that the Triple Creek development agreement promises the city ten acres, we got just two and paid $260,000 for thirteen more!
OPINION: In a city of less than 2,000, I would expect the city council to inform citizens when matters of importance, like higher taxes and going into debt are bing considered, BEFORE they take action.
Unlike Mrs. Moss, who believes that if citizens want to be informed, they must attend city council meeings, I don’t think any citizen should have to attend city council meetings to stay informed about those things that will impact their taxes or take away their personal liberty on their own property. Our community is filled with families that have young children, I have an 8 year old daughter, who SHOULD BE home with their children and not at a city hall meeting, which is often tantamount to watching paint dry.
If our elected officials acted with integrity to ensure that we were informed about the things most important to us, this would never have been an issue and I would not be running for city council!!!
On another note, Mrs. Moss says that she does not attend County Commissioner’s meetings, the state legislature or watch CSPAN to see what’s happening on Capital Hill. So would her voice of opposition be illegitimate should she ever disagree with a decision that they make, simply because she doesn’t pay attention to those activities? Of course not! She holds me to a different standard than she holds herself!
Mrs. Moss writes,
“In fact, public records prove that the final amount approved by the City Council for the City Hall building is exactly what was spent and not a penny more.”
FACT: Steve Hatfield is on record standing firm to “do what we say we’re going to do” by not approving anything that increases the cost of the bond above $1.5 million. Even the July 30 date letter from the Mayor admits this FACT! Steve Hatfield made the motion to violate the convictions of his belief, so to try and draw attention away from this by implying that my criticism is misplaced is not fast and loose with the truth, because there’s not a scintilla of truth in her accusation!
“When a vote on the proposed Sonoma Verde development went before the City Council, Steve Hatfield voted against it, yet Mr. Steinhagen falsely said Steve supported it.”
FACT: Fast & loose with the facts is truly on display as Mrs. Moss highlights “a vote” on an earlier draft of the Sonoma Verde Development Agreement, which was the precursor to the final agreement that Hatfield put up no opposition. The new and final draft was signed by the Mayor shortly after the Council voted unanimously to approve it. Mr. Hatfield also voted in favor of creating the Public Improvement District [PID] that helped the developer to secure a municipal bond, which was the only way that the project could find funding necessary to move forward. Had that not been approved, Sonoma Verde would have died on the vine, just as Triple Creek did.
Mrs. Moss also doesn’t address the Triple Creek Development Agreement that’s also highlighted in my letter, to which again Mr. Hatfield threw up no opposition, where just weeks before the Sonoma Verde Development agreement was approved, he voted with the majority to approve it too! That development would have allowed more than 1,800 homes on 409 build able acres (Sonoma Verde is putting 1,100 homes on 546 acres), but because the developer died shortly after the agreement was signed, our city was saved from the impact of that.
Mrs. Moss writes,
“With regard to population density, Mr. Steinhagen seems to be confused. He claims to oppose it, but both Steinhagen and one of the city council candidates he is endorsing live on lots that are under the 1.5 acres minimum he so “adamantly” supports.”
FACT: The home we purchased three years ago was built more than ten years ago and is in fact on one acre, which is interesting because the entire development in which I live (69 homes) are all on one acre and developed by one of Mrs. Moss’ cronies, a key political insiders in MC who, though he is not a voting citizen of MC, has been one of the longest serving members of the city’s planning & zoning commissions and he also served on the city hall building committee, where he is on record urging the city council not to put the city hall up for a vote. He’s also is a major landowner and as our city gets closer to becoming the Highland Park of Rockwall County, his future “payday” is looking better and better!
FACT: I’m endorsing Wayne Orchard for city council place 2 & Nathan Hodges for mayor. Wayne lives on seven acres and Nathan is on over ten. Fast & loose epitomizes Mrs. Moss’ rhetoric.
Even if what she was saying were true , it would demonstrate nothing contrary to my position that we must protect the 1.5 acre minimum per home site ordinance!
So what about that “liberal” senator to which she ties me?
FACT: The day I graduated Texas A&M University, I went to Nebraska to work the last three months of a US Senate Campaign for Republican Jan Stoney who was challenging incumbent Senator Bob Kerry. My first Sunday in Omaha, I met a girl at Christ Community Church, who became my wife. We lost the Senate race but I stayed there so that my wife could continue medical school at Creighton, where she was studying to earn a doctorate in physical therapy. I joined Republican Chuck Hagel’s US Senate campaign as his Press Secretary. I stayed with Chuck only a little while after he won because his definition of conservatism turned out to be MUCH different than mine!
Most conservatives recognize that my decision to stand by the conviction of my beliefs was informed by my compass of conservatism, but Mrs. Moss’ uses this to attack me by writing,
“Mr. Steinhagen is a Washington insider who worked for a liberal Senator.”
In light of all the FACTS, of which she is well aware, how do her comments reflect the nature of Mrs. Moss’ character?
Another problem is, I’ve never lived in Washington and, with the exception of that year and a half, I have always lived and worked right here in Texas. I was a political campaign consultant, based in Canton, Texas, for several years where all of my candidates had to know Christ as their Savior AND be guided by a compass of conservatism, both socially and fiscally.
She writes, “Steve Hatfield is a good man who lives, worships and raised his family in McLendon-Chisholm.”
Now here’s where I DON’T take issue with Judy! I actually like Mr. Hatfield and have not one ounce of animosity against him personally. I think he’s a genuinely nice guy!
In contrast, I don’t consider myself to be a good man because Mark 10:18 reads, “And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Paul amplifies this in Romans 3:10, “as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;” and Romans 7:14-25 and 1 Timothy 1:15 makes it impossible for me to even allow others to boast about me on my behalf. (I wrote the first sentence intentionally so that those who read this can see how those who oppose me will use the first part of my comment out of context…which will further illustrate how bankrupt of integrity the opposition really is!)
“Good” men make bad decisions all the time. This is why I believe so strongly in limiting government, to prevent elected officials from being led into the temptation of exercising power and authority that leads to bad choices. Our new Taj Mahal city hall is a great example of this!
One more thing about Mrs. Moss’ putting Councilman Hatfield on a proverbial pedestal, which begs the question, are churches in McLendon-Chisholm somehow more closely connected to God than say Watermark, a church that my wife and I helped start?
Additionally, I too am raising my eight year old daughter here in MC. Does Mrs. Moss wish to take exception with that too?
Mrs. Moss writes, “On the subject of taxes, Mr. Steinhagen conveniently leaves out some important details, like the fact that we still have an exceptionally low tax rate.”
Um, okay, “we have an exceptionally low tax rate.” There I said it. Conversely, Mrs. Moss fails to mention that Steve Hatfield just DOUBLED it…and he proposed a tax-rate increase that would have TRIPLED IT!!!
She adds, “Then he fails to mention the positive results of the rate change, which are enhanced fire and medical protection, infrastructure improvements and the City Hall building.”
FACT: We don’t need a tax increase to fund these “enhancements,” because the rising tax valuations on properties will provide more than enough additional funding. She knows this, but Mrs. Moss parroted back to me one evening a comment spoken by someone else that she agreed with, “We are the Highland Park of Rockwall County.” She clearly believes this is true and the only way for it to become her reality is for the government to get bigger, hence more taxes!
“The list of half truths alleged by Mr. Steinhagen goes on and on, but you get the idea. We don’t need a bureaucrat from Washington serving on the City Council in McLendon-Chisholm. We should not trust Mr. Steinhagen with our tax dollars if he is not going to be truthful.”
I want to thank Judy Moss for helping my campaign by showing voters of MC the kind of people who surround Councilman Steve Hatfield!
By her written words Mrs. Moss has demonstrated that she is a lying hypocrite who is willing to sink to the lowest levels of common decency to retain power for herself and the political ruling class that she runs with.
If empty rhetoric is what earns your vote, then I encourage you to please vote to re-elect Steve Hatfield. For all of you curmudgeons who insist on facts and truth, you’re stuck with me!
Blessings, Robert Steinhagen