Saturday, February 4, 2017
While we are still working on our agenda for our next council meeting on February 14, there are a few items I am fairly certain will make it to the final draft.
I believe the council will be considering a case to rezone 5 acres of current commercial property to residential to accommodate 349 new apartments at 5015 Spectrum Drive.
I have asked that the staff provide an update and history on the park and playground in the Oncor easement near Dome Dr.
We will provide a full opportunity for your input on both of these issues, so I encourage you to plan to be with us on Tuesday evening at 7:30 at Town Hall to share your thoughts with us. While I believe it is our role as council members to listen, it is your role to tell us what you think.
I also expect the council to begin our process of selecting two new judges for our municipal court by beginning our interview process in Executive Session at about 5:00 pm. As other items are added to our agenda I will update this list next week.
Newsletter correction: Last week I mentioned our progress on bringing our compensation for our employees more into line with the market and in doing so I incorrectly said the compensation is based on a 40-hour week. That is technically not accurate for police and fire.
Our firefighter/paramedics work one day on (24 hours) and two days off. Typically that means they are on duty 10 days per month. Our police officers work three 12-hour shifts one week and four 12-hour shifts the following week.
The compensation numbers I reported last week, Addison’s midpoint of $78,707.00 for firefighter/paramedics and $81,893 for police officers, include pay plus employer provided medical benefits and employer retirement contributions.
Council member activities
Council member Ivan Hughes attended the First Wednesday of the month mayor coffee at Dunn Bros on Wednesday.
Ivan Hughes represented the mayor’s office and Addison at the City of Richardson State of the City address by Richardson mayor Paul Voelker on Wednesday evening. Richardson and Addison have worked very closely to advance our mutual interest in the Cotton Belt line, so I really appreciate Ivan’s attendance to express to the Richardson mayor and community our appreciation for their support.
4321 Airborn Drive in Addison, Texas is a pretty special place! Home to long standing Addison business Airborn, they make some very cool electronic components for lots of very special folks, including our own US Department of Defense.
Director of Economic Development Orlando Campos, Manager of Economic Development Drew Dietrich and I met with Vice President of Corporate Management Chris Wegmann to thank them for being such loyal Addison business owners.
Chris shared with us that AirBorn has interconnected expertise, complete electronic design and manufacturing services, as well as testing and certification capabilities, all in one convenient location. He raved about our paramedics and fire marshal who help keep their work environment safe for their 3 shifts of employees who make highly sophisticated components.
We are very happy and proud to have the AirBorn folks with us here in Addison. Chris also pointed out that they like being close to so many restaurants where they can take their clients out for lunch and dinner.
On Monday evening I was honored to welcome a room full of folks to the product launch for Earth Water at our Addison Conference Centre.
I shared with the crowd our Addison success story of 10 million square feet of office space that is very nearly full, which drives our Addison economy of 180 restaurants, 22 (soon to be 24) hotels, and our Addison airport. The Airport has 765 aircraft based with us, averaging more than one US Customs international clearance per day.
Earth Water, a business launched in Addison in November, 2014, is now based in office space on Midway Road and led by Addison resident and Earth Water president CJ Comu. They are a great symbol of our vibrant, diverse business ecosystem of entrepreneurs. Thank you, CJ and Earth Water, for choosing Addison as your business home!
Just a few days from their long awaited Grand Opening!
I stopped by to see new General Manager, Adrian Sugars, and her team of 22 employees as they prepare to open what they bill as “Home2 Suites by Hilton Dallas Addison Hotel situated near the Dallas North Tollway”. They are at 4875 Belt Line Road, west of Spectrum and just a little farther west of Quorum, behind Arthur’s restaurant and the new Thomas Printworks.
As you can see from the photos, this is a very nice hotel with the most modern conveniences and creative ways to make their guests’ experience very enjoyable. Adrian, assistant General Manager Raeanna Ybarra and Director of Sales Janet Stoltz gave me a tour of their beautiful 132 room hotel that is already fully staffed and very focused on customer service.
They are ready for their opening next week on February 7 with guests literally lining up to stay. As Adrian said, “We are excited to be the newest hotel in Addison. We look forward to cultivating new relationships within the community and delivering outstanding service to every guest.”
As you may recall, we switched vendors for our trash and recycling services over a year ago. We had been with the previous supplier for about 15 years, so when we rebid the contract we were very pleased to be able to reduce our costs and switch to a more customer-friendly supplier with great reviews from their current customers!
Looking around Town on Mondays and Thursdays, you can see that company is CWD, Community Waste Disposal, Inc. Greg Roemer, president of CWD, invited us to join him for his driver appreciation luncheon this past Monday to meet and thank those drivers who drive the big trucks around Addison picking up our garbage and recyclables.
Council colleague Ivan Hughes and I joined City Manager Wes Pierson, Deputy City Manager Ashley Mitchell and our Infrastructure Services department team at a very informal luncheon at Blue Goose to thank the crews that really get the hard work done.
It was an excellent opportunity for all of us to thank them and help them understand their connection to providing the Addison Way.
The Addison Legacy Foundation Board met the other day to continue their work on a number of projects, with the refurbishing of our old No. 30 Firetruck and our “Big Idea” connection of East and West Addison being at the top of the list.
The Board, led by Chair Blake Clemens and joined by board members JJ Horan, Tamela Thornton, Bob Heckman, Debbie Staggs, Chic Martin and Marlin Willisen, also focused on a process to add a couple of new board members. If you have an interest in joining this board please contact me or mayor pro tempore Bruce Arfsten.
Our standing room only crowd at our First Wednesday of the month mayor coffee at Dunn Bros on Wednesday, February 1, produced some lively conversation. Council member Ivan Hughes was in attendance.
I reminded folks that the deadline for signing up for our Addison Citizens Academy is upon us and the program will begin later this month.
I also gave them a heads-up to watch for our new K-9 Police Vehicle with the new graphics designed by our police officers. This first vehicle is a Chevrolet Tahoe and will be followed by 14 Ford Explorer patrol vehicles in March.
The balance of our conversation centered on playground equipment in the Oncor easement and the 349 new apartments proposed on the 5 acre site on Spectrum.
I explained the history of the requirement from Oncor to remove the equipment as well as my recently declined request to Oncor to extend the removal time.
I explained that I have requested the item be placed on our February 14 agenda for an update from staff and an opportunity by Public Hearing to give our community their input on this issue.
There was an extensive conversation about the rezoning of 5 acres on Spectrum to accommodate 349 new apartments and I encouraged folks to share their thoughts with my council colleagues between now and February 14, when I suspect the matter will be decided.
On Thursday evening I stopped in for a few minutes to give a quick Addison update to the Pecan Square HOA annual meeting at our Athletic Club. It was great to see so many neighbors and friends interested in all that is going on in our Addison.
I shared with them the latest updates on our reinvigorated Addison economy, project updates, and answered questions about playgrounds and more apartments, among other fun topics.
I really enjoy these opportunities to connect and be transparent about all that we are working on, so please do not hesitate to give me a call or email. I am happy to come share a few minutes with your HOA or neighborhood group.
Monday, February 6, Economic Development luncheon with the mayor and council at Cantina Laredo at 4546 Belt Line Road, 11:30 am-1:00 pm. Come join neighbors, hear about our economic activity and enjoy an old Addison favorite.
Tuesday, February 14, 7:30 pm, next Regular council meeting. Public Hearings on the 349 apartments and the Oncor playground.
I hope you have a great weekend and find a way to connect with your elected council representatives to let us know how you feel and what you think.
See you soon,
Headline photo: This extraordinary sculpture is John Baldessari’s ‘Beethoven’s Trumpet (with Ear) Opus #127’ in resin, fiberglass, bronze, aluminum and electronics. When a viewer speaks into the trumpet, it triggers a short musical phrase drawn from Beethoven’s Late String Quartet, reportedly written while the composer was completely deaf. Photo courtesy of Marian Goodman via Ran Dian.