Saturday, March 4, 2017
After a council meeting on February 14 that was filled with interruptions and personal attacks as to motives, I chose to add a council meeting agenda topic that would include a review of our council guidelines on meeting protocols and decorum to our agenda for February 28.
As a result the council spent 45 minutes or so reviewing every word of our 4 page City Council Procedures. We have linked the document here for your review.
Friday afternoon we learned that AMLI has refused the staff and council request to provide a copy of the Phase 2 Environmental report related to their proposed and recently approved project for residential development on the former Dow Chemical site at 5015 Spectrum Drive.
What do you think the council should do about that?
The highlights of the review included that “the Mayor working with the City Manager will determine what items of business should come before the Council”.
Council meeting procedures will use the following procedures, “the Mayor shall be the presiding officer at all meetings”.
“When an item is presented to the council, the Mayor shall recognize the appropriate individual to present the item. When two or more members are presenting an item, the Mayor shall choose which member is to speak first.
“The Mayor shall preserve order and shall require Council members engaged in debate to limit discussion to the question under consideration. The Mayor will give all members of the council a full opportunity to speak on an item. Members of the Council shall confine their remarks to the item under consideration and shall avoid references to personality, integrity or motives of any other members of the Council or Town staff members.”
Section 4 covering our “Code of Conduct for Mayor and Council Members” states: “During Council meetings, Members of the Council shall preserve order and decorum, shall not interrupt or delay proceedings, and shall not refuse to obey the orders of the Mayor or the rules of the council.
“Members of the Council shall demonstrate respect and courtesy to each other, Town staff members, and citizens appearing before the Council. Members of the Council shall refrain from rude and derogatory remarks.”
We reviewed the entire document and set aside for our City Attorney to review a number of words and passages to possibly clarify and expand the language to accommodate new technologies such as texting during our meetings.
I have not included a review of all of the document but rather the passages above that I felt needed to be reviewed and emphasized as a result of our meeting on February 14.
While there is no doubt that many of the questions I asked at the February 14 meeting were awkward, they were all relevant and in full response to the duty I feel in doing my job for our community.
I am guided by our Code of Ethics that states, “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the town that the proper operation of democratic government requires that Officials be independent, impartial and responsible only to the people of the Town …”
Other important items covered in our meeting:
- We recognized the outstanding 22 years of service of Judge U.H. “Woody” Specht who retired as our alternate Municipal Judge.
- We recognized the generosity of the Friday Morning Addison Rotary Club’s Foundation for giving to our Police and Fire Relief Fund the largest gift the Fund has ever received.
- We approved the Arbor Foundation’s public art plans for our new dog park in Addison Circle.
- We approved the purchase of new updated lifesaving equipment for our paramedics and new air fill equipment systems for our firefighters’ breathing apparatus.
The council swore in our new Associate Judge Robert Calloway who was chosen by the council with a unanimous vote from among a very large pool of qualified candidates. With the retirement of Judge Specht mentioned above, Judge Calloway will begin immediately helping our long time presiding Judge Dwight administer Addison justice in our Municipal court.
The council approved a zoning change that will permit limited medical and dental offices in the center located at 4021 Belt Line Road known as Belt Line Square, the longtime home of Lefty’s Steak and Seafood and more recently Rio Mambo.
The council voted to permit dental and non-surgical medical procedures and prohibit any 24 hour medical or any drug or alcohol rehab facilities. Voting in favor of those limitations were council members Wilcox, Meier, Angell and Hughes; voting against any limitations were council members Duffy, Walden and Arfsten.
The council approved a professional services agreement for the design of a storage facility for equipment at our Kellway lift station site and a professional services agreement to develop a plan for our required new US Customs building on our airport.
Since by this time we had been working since 5:00 and we still had executive session items to complete, I made a motion to table the remaining two very important items on our agenda until our next meeting. My motion to table was passed unanimously without debate.
While very important, there was certainly no reason to be in a hurry to review our current Ethic Guidelines and review our policy on Transparency. We will add those items to our agenda for our next Regular meeting on March 14.
During our Executive session before and after our Regular meeting, we covered the following topics:
- A review of the status of the dispute involving the complaints filed against Addison in Austin with the TCEQ related to work performed in the construction of the Vitruvian Park development
- Candidate Qualifications
- Real estate we own at 4460 and 4500 Belt Line Road
- Planning and Zoning Appointment
- City Secretary Evaluation
- And more work on filing our second Associate Judge position
Council member activities
Council members Al Angell, Paul Walden and Ivan Hughes joined me at the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce annual awards luncheon.
Council members Bruce Arfsten, Jim Duffy and Ivan Hughes joined me for the kickoff dinner for the new class of our Citizens Academy on Friday evening, 2/24.
Council member Dale Wilcox and I attended the three day conference in Downtown Dallas for the 5th annual Public-Private Partnership Conference and Expo that ran from Sunday, 2/27 thru Wednesday March 1.
Council member Ivan Hughes attended the mayor’s coffee at Dunn Bros on Wednesday at 10:00 am.
Council member Ivan Hughes joined me for the Addison Magazine Top Female Executive of the year award ceremony at Bent Tree Country Club on Wednesday.
Do you still have your record collection? If so, you may have a gold mine because vinyl is making a big comeback!
Director of Economic Development Orlando Campos, Manager of Economic Development Drew Dietrich, Marketing Specialist Crystall Cho and I visited one of the coolest new businesses in Addison that is riding the wave of the new enthusiasm for bringing back music and performances on vinyl records.
Located in an amazing facility at 16420 Midway Road north out by our airport Hand Drawn Records is producing up to 3,000 records per day with new technology that is catering to this resurgence of interest in “old” technology.
Possibly motivated by the desire to actually own and hold their music or the fact that the sound quality is far superior on vinyl, the demand for vinyl has spurred Dustin Blocker the Creative Director and CMO of Hand Drawn Records and his partners to invest in new equipment to meet the surging market demand.
We are fortunate to have this business with us here in Addison. Dustin and his team gave us a tour of their facility along with Todd Harmon of the Stephen Gould Corporation who is the landlord wise enough to find space for Hand Drawn Records in their facility.
Check out their website and all of the very favorable press that prominently mentions Addison!
I met last week with State Senator Don Huffines along with several other area mayors to receive an update on current legislative issues and to share our thoughts and concerns about this current legislative session.
While there are numerous areas of common ground and interest, there are at least two major areas of difference. In referring to the council’s approved legislative agenda, I stressed the importance of local control and the need for the State to avoid creating any more unfunded mandates that fall on cities.
I very much appreciate the Senator’s outreach and invitation to visit with him; I do believe more communication is far better than less communication. We will continue to monitor the current legislative session and do all we can to protect our Addison’s interests.
It was my honor to nominate and present the Rising Star of Addison award to our Director of Parks, Recreation and Landscape Development to our Michael Kashuba at the recent Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce 48th annual awards ceremony.
Michael has an undergraduate degree in biology from Dallas Baptist, and a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Texas in Arlington.
Michael and his wife Amanda have 5 kids and they live in Arlington. He joined Addison in 2013 and immediately made a very positive impact with his creative solutions for a variety of challenging issues as well as facilitated the completion of our recent trail improvements, installations of Public Art and new playground in Les Lacs Park, just to name a few.
Each day Michael demonstrates a full understating of the significant role our parks play in our overall Addison Brand. We are very proud to recognize Michael as our 2017 Rising Star!
We kicked off our Citizens Academy program on Friday night at our Addison TreeHouse with a brief introduction and welcome to the program from me, and then staff leader Caitlan Smelley led an introduction of participants in a get-to-know-each-other exercise and an overview of the Citizens Academy program.
Nicole Newkam provided a presentation covering the valuable resources and benefits Metrocrest Services offers including the opportunity to volunteer. The evening was completed reasonably early so that everyone would be well rested for the full day session on Saturday.
As you can tell from the photos the class was very busy on Saturday with hands on opportunities to see and learn what it takes to run a Town like Addison.
As mentioned above Council member Dale Wilcox and I attended the very interesting P3C Conference in Downtown Dallas this week.
This Public-Private Partnership Conference and Expo brought interested folks from all 50 states and 12 counties together to gain a better understanding of this process. With a principal focus on large infrastructure projects, the objective is for this process to be one of many project delivery tools.
During the conference a variety of best practices were explored to find better ways to do projects in a cost efficient manner to benefit taxpayers and get projects done.
Given the current financial challenges many local and state governments are facing, this process that incorporates design, build, finance and maintenance analysis including a life cycle analysis as part of the entire process makes a great deal of sense. An excellent conference that I believe will help us perform more effectively and efficiently in the future on our large capital infrastructure projects.
We had a standing room only crowd at our First Wednesday of the month mayor’s coffee at Dunn Bros this week. It was great to see so many neighbors out and interested in all that is going on in Addison.
We covered the P3C Conference mentioned above, and a wide variety of questions related to the recent approval by council of 349 apartments on Spectrum Drive. Most of the discussion on the apartments related to the lack of a transparent and inclusive process as well as a concern for the environmental analysis.
We discussed term limits and the perceived loop hole that may exist that permits those who have already served three terms to run again for the same office.
I also passed along the information that the annual Candidates Forum will take place Wednesday, April 12 at 7:00 pm at our Addison Conference Centre. We will meet again on the third Thursday of the month, March 16 at 6:00 pm for “After Hours with the mayor” at Lion and Crown in Addison Circle.
Monday, March 6, 11:30 am-1:00 pm, Economic Development Luncheon with the mayor and council at Skinny Pizza, 5026 Addison Circle. Come join us to hear an Addison economic update and show our support for one of our newest and most innovative restaurants. No politics, just good food and friendly conversation.
Monday, April 3, 7:00 pm, our annual Spring Town Hall meeting, Addison Conference Centre.
Wednesday, April 12, 7:00 pm, Spring Candidates Forum, Addison Conference Centre.
Enjoy your Addison weekend.
See you soon,
Headline photo: A record store in 1950s New York is bustling with activity. Thankfully vinyl is back again and companies like Addison’s Hand Drawn Records are helping a new generation discover the wonders of music on records.