City Hall Vote Was NOT Unanimous!

In his July 30 dated letter to citizens, the Mayor writes that “the Council voted unanimously in favor of a new City Hall.”  However, that’s simply not true, and we can prove it! 

In fact, the only two instances where Lovell’s vote of approval could even marginally be interpreted as support was his compromise vote to approve the purchase of three acres of land, as opposed to thirteen, on which a new city hall may someday be built and his vote to approve a contract with an architectural firm to design a new city hall.  However, nothing about these votes demonstrate unanimous consent to move forward with the building of a new City Hall.  However, Lovell’s votes and his recorded comments demonstrate empirically that he DID NOT then and does not now support the city hall project.

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VOTES BY GARY LOVELL REGARDING A NEW CITY HALL

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July 24, 2012 (See Meeting Minutes to Read Motion in-Context)

MOTION to approve “Memorandum of Understanding” to purchase land for future City Hall.  Motion passes 4 to 1, with Lovell voting AGAINST

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January 8, 2013 (See Meeting Minutes to Read Motion in-Context)

MOTION to purchase three acres of land for $20 thousand with an additional 2 acres given to us.  Motion passes 4 to 0, with Lovell voting FOR as a compromise instead of purchasing 13

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July 23, 2013 (See Meeting Minutes to Read Motion In-Context)

MOTION to purchase 10 acres for an undisclosed amount and reimburse seller/developer for undisclosed costs, plus $10 thousand.  Motion passes 3 to 0, with Lovell & Pullen ABSENT on Vacation

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September 10, 2013 (See Meeting Minutes to Read Motion in-Context)

MOTION to approve contact for OWT to design a new City Hall.  Motion passes 5 to 0, with Lovell voting FOR

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July 29, 2014 (See Meeting Minutes to Read Motion In-Context)

MOTION to move forward with the bond process & hold a town hall meeting.  Motion passes 4 to 1, with Lovell voting AGAINST

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August 12, 2014 (See Meeting Minutes to Read Motion In-Context)

MOTION to publish the city’s intent to issue a combined tax & take out $1.5 million in bonds.  Motion passes 4 to 1, with Lovell voting AGAINST

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December 9, 2014 (See Meeting Minutes to Read Motion In-Context)

MOTION to hire RAR as the general contractor to build the new city hall.  Motion passes 4 to 1, with Lovell voting AGAINST

MOTION to publish the city’s intent to issue a combined tax & revenue certificates of obligation for the bond.  Motion passes 4 to 1, with Lovell voting AGAINST

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January 27, 2015 (See Meeting Minutes to Read Motion In-Context)

MOTION to approve obligating the city for $2.125 million in long-term bond debt.  Motion passes 4 to 1, with Lovell voting AGAINST

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COMMENTS FROM THE WRITTEN RECORDS BY GARY LOVELL REGARDING A NEW CITY HALL

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May 8, 2012 (See Meeting Minutes In-Context)

LovellThe city of Rockwall, Rockwall County, & RISD are all in debt.  I am proud that our city is solvent with no outstanding debt.

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June 12, 2012 (See Meeting Minutes In-Context)

Mayor MoodyProgress is being made with acquiring property for City Hall.  

Lovell:  We need to go slow and get this right.  Our decisions will affect what the city will do.

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September 11, 2012 (See Meeting Minutes In-Context)

Lovell:  Slow & steady is the key.  I feel like it is my duty to represent the people who currently live here, not the future residents.

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August 13, 2013  (See Meeting Minutes In-Context)

Lovell: This brings to mind what happens incrementally.  You put an ordinance in and it doesn’t seem like much but then you find out there are consequences.  When I compromise with things then it doesn’t turn out that that is the end of it.  The land deal is an example.  The city was given 2 acres of land then we bought 3 more acres.  Now we are trying to get another 10 acres.  There is never a final deal.  (He’s referring to his willingness to compromise & approve the purchase of three acres, instead of thirteen (see January 8, 2013 Minutes), only to have the council go behind his back when he was on vacation & purchase the other ten (see July 23, 2013 Minutes)).  After you go after fireworks, then you move to firearms.  The problem is when you cram the houses together.  I don’t think that this economy deal is over with.  That is what bothers me about debt.

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August 27, 2013 (See Meeting Minutes in-Context)

Lovell:  I would like for city council to slow the pace.  We tend to treat non-emergency issues as emercencies.  The fireworks issue and the IESI contract are both examples of this.  I don’t understand how the payment will be made for the land, from where is that money coming?  I’m not completely sold on needing a new city hall.  We [should] do what we can afford to do.  Fifteen acres of land may be needed in 100 years.  We have citizens living on roads that need to be paved and those citizens would prefer their roads paved verses a new city hall.  The public safety issue is a fair amount for the fire department [but we must remember that] streets are a public issue too.  I’m afraid of dying a death of a thousand cuts.

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December 10, 2013 (See Meeting Minutes In-Context)

LovellI’ve pointed out several times that City Hall doesn’t have a use of T-1 lines.  City Hall is not a command center.

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January 14, 2014 (See Meeting Minutes in Context)

Lovell:  We need to discuss the density level that we allow in the city [and] talk the whole thing into view, [as we] can’t have developments started everywhere and none of them finish.  I encourage everyone to think about the agreement we have with the architect and [I also] feel that the money is too much.

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February 11, 2014 (See Meeting Minutes In-Context)

Lovell:  The proposed City Hall is a really nice building but we have to watch costs.

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June 10, 2014 (See Meeting Minutes in-Context)

Lovell:  The elephant in the room with all the projects going on is [that] we are in a deficit.  How are we going to pay for this?  People didn’t move to McLendon-Chisholm for higher taxes and to go into debt.  We need to have the money to build the city hall, not go into debt.  Use Caution.

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August 12, 2014 (See Meeting Minutes in-Context)

Lovell:  [I am] not comfortable doing something like this without putting it to the voters. This is a giant step into the deep water. We do not have any debt.