Saturday April 8, 2017
Just a quick reminder that our Easter Eggstravaganza begins this morning at 10:00 am at Les Lacs Park across from our Athletic Club.
If you are even just a few minutes late, you will miss the fun. If you do, I will share some photos with you next week.
On Monday evening we had our most well attended Spring Town meeting ever with 265 folks in our Conference Centre to hear presentations from council members and be responsive to all Showingof our neighbors’ questions.
Council member Dale Wilcox began the presentations with the exciting news of our new Public Education Government (PEG) channel going on air Tuesday April 4 on AT&T and soon to follow on Spectrum. Dale also covered updates on other exciting technology developments and how they may improve our overall Addison experience.
Council member Ivan Hughes was next up with his presentation on connectivity that included an update on our Belt Line project and other important infrastructure projects.
Council member Jim Duffy brought us an update on our DISD school, the George Herbert Walker Bush elementary school, with a special introduction of Principal Carol Crowling. He also shared with us opportunities to become involved with the school’s journey to becoming an exceptional school.
Council member Bruce Arfsten gave us an update on the airport and new construction for the tollway.
Council member Paul Walden was absent; however, he provided his presentation with a previously recorded video reading from the annual report for the Addison Arbor Foundation and our Community Partners Bureau.
Council member Al Angell provided an update on our WaterTower Theatre, Sustainability and our new police cars.
I concluded our formal presentations with a review of our booming Addison economy that included:
- updates on Vitruvian Park,
- the new AMLI project,
- Addison Grove,
- a review of the status and important role of the 5 Pillars of our Addison economy
- updates on current projects that included the new Fourteen555 office development on the Tollway, the Tollway Center office development, and the Home2 Suites by Hilton hotels.
We showed a PowerPoint slide or two that I encourage you to check out. The first slide was a calculation that showed the benefit of all of our hard work in Economic Development that has raised our overall property values from $3 billion to now over $4.2 billion and trending higher, and showed that if we had stayed at the previous $3 billion, in order to raise the same revenue we would now be at 80 cents on $100 of appraised property value instead of our current 56 cents on $100.
The second slide shows that as a result of that improved property value, we have been able to increase many of the benefits for our whole Town, including raising our employee compensation an average of over 27%, (even more for police and fire), since 2011. Now I call that a great payoff for all of our hard work!
After the presentations it was on to the most important part of the evening: your questions!
I was very pleased to be joined on the stage by all of my council colleagues who were in attendance to answer any and all questions posed. I believe very strongly that, as public officials, being available for you and accountable to you is a big part of our job.
Since I was elected as your mayor in May of 2011, I have been open and available for questions at 12 Town Hall meetings, 60 Economic Development luncheons, and this last Wednesday made my 143rd coffee with the mayor.
At each and every one of those events I was available and responsive to your questions and comments. I am reminded of a recent editorial in the Dallas Morning News entitled “It’s Part of the Job, Y’all”. The editorial was in reference to members of Congress avoiding their respective Town Hall meetings. “Showing up to face the heat is a key part of the job.”
The editorial concluded with “No one enjoys public criticism, but lawmakers work for their constituents. Those who can’t muster enough courage to face voters for a couple of hours don’t deserve their seats.”
I was pleased that all but one of my fellow council office holders was in attendance to “face the heat” that was very respectfully delivered with some pretty pointed questions from our constituents.
If you were unable to be with us and would simply like to watch all or part of our meeting, just click below.
We had our brand new $1.2 million fire truck on display. Very impressive!
Our next Regular council meeting will be Tuesday, April 11, and I anticipate another packed agenda. I believe we will have a work session that discusses the need for a written transparency policy and guidelines of transparency for our staff-written Town newsletter.
We may discuss the distribution of Addison library cards.
We will also plan future council meeting dates for May, June and July, 2017.
Our Regular session will of course include our Public Comment opportunity, as well as an item adopting our Inwood Road Special Area Study as part of our Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
We also hope to consider a new ground lease that will form the basis of a major redevelopment in the South East Quadrant of our airport.
As you know, we are finally moving forward on the Cotton Belt commuter rail line coming to Addison and we want your input!
DART is putting together an Addison focus group that will help be the ambassadors for the project. We would like to have 14 volunteers start that group that will begin their meetings later this month.
If you are interested in being appointed to this Focus Group, please click here and I will get you more information.
Many of you were so supportive and helpful in demonstrating our enthusiasm for the Cotton Belt to the DART Board recently. It just makes great sense to keep all of our community involved in the next steps.
An update on the Joe Chow campaign use of emails controversy. Based on your feedback and requests, I have forwarded your complaints to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office and the attention of the Chief of their Public Integrity Section, Jason Hermus.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s office is currently investigating the legality of spam campaign emails and whether there was a criminal breach of city property.
If I receive any further updates I will pass them along to you as appropriate.
Council member activities
All council members except council member Paul Walden attended our Spring Town Hall meeting on Monday evening, April 3, at our Addison Conference Centre. This meeting date has been on the council calendar since August of 2016.
We returned to where we began almost 6 years ago. Shortly after becoming your mayor in 2011, we initiated a program to highlight our many restaurants in what is traditionally their slowest time of the month, the first Monday at lunchtime.
We began that fun way of being business friendly at Remington’s Seafood Grill at 4580 Belt Line Road as our first of what is now 60 luncheons celebrating the entrepreneurship and confidence in Addison that makes our restaurant industry one of the 5 main pillars of our Addison economy.
Remington’s is the longest same-ownership restaurant in Addison, celebrating over 38 years of continuous great service and cuisine. Our group of 23 filled every seat in the special dining area set aside for our Economic Development luncheon with the mayor and council and enjoyed a wide variety of the menu selections, as well as an excellent update from Director of Economic Development Orlando Campos. Orlando reported that we have only 7 of our 190 restaurants vacant, with an 8th being prepared for a new opening.
I love doing ribbon cuttings because they are such a visible sign of new beginnings, optimism and confidence in our Addison. On Monday I experienced a new kind of ribbon cutting!
Addison business super star Scott Everett and his team at Supreme Lending just completed a new 183 space, well designed, brick veneer finished out parking garage at 14801 Quorum Drive.
This parking garage expansion creates more space for the growing team of Supreme Lending, as well as more space for other businesses in that immediate vicinity, all of which helps to activate the retail and restaurants in the immediate area of Addison Walk on Belt Line Road.
No wonder Supreme Lending is one of the fastest growing businesses in our entire region. Look at the fun they had on the opening of a new parking garage and baseball season celebrated in one event!
Another ribbon cutting to start our Thursday morning! Council members Arfsten and Angell joined Economic Development manager Drew Dietrich, Tourism manager Alisha Holmberg, Marketing specialist Crystal Cho and I for the official Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting for the Lone Star Restaurant Supply at 14733 Inwood Road. Check them out for anything you may need in your kitchen–home or commercial.
One of my principal objectives as your mayor over the last 6 years has been to elevate the profile and prestige of our Addison. Being involved with various organizations that include the high level folks in various regional organizations has been very beneficial in achieving that goal.
Whether it be as president of the Metroplex Mayors Association, the Council of World Affairs, the various Chambers of Commerce, a Board member of the State Fair of Texas, friendships with local area elected officials, my associations with various other civic organizations or my 40+ years in the metroplex business community, I have drawn upon those relationships and friendships to continuously elevate the profile of and respect for our Addison. I believe that is an important responsibility in my role as your mayor.
I am so grateful to Elizabeth Mow and Carrie Rogers of the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) for providing Addison the recognition we deserve and have sought for the last 3 years on our Tollway exits! The NTTA team made a very special effort to celebrate our new signage on the Tollway last Friday. Thank you, Elizabeth and Carrie!
As you surely know, it is election season in Addison! And as has been the case for the last 7 years in Addison, there will be a free Candidate Forum on Wednesday, April 12, at 7:00 pm at our Addison Conference Centre.
Addison resident Bob Heckman has worked closely with all of the candidates to develop an informative and fair format. If you would like to submit a question for the candidates, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This event is sponsored by the Addison Business Association, Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, the Friday morning Addison Rotary, South & Western, the Nolan Family and the Mad Batters Bakery.
This is a nonpartisan event- -not aligned with, affiliated with, influenced by, nor supporting any political party or candidate(s). I have been informed that both mayoral candidates and all 7 council candidates have agreed to participate.
This is an opportunity for you to become more fully informed before you cast your very important vote. I hope you will take advantage of this special opportunity.
Last Saturday morning I was honored to be part of the second annual RESOLVE event that holds their Walk of Hope event with us here at Addison Circle Park to raise money for their mission to deal with the challenges of infertility. Last year we had about 250 registrants and this year, on one of the prettiest Saturdays of the year so far, we had over 400 registrants and likely will exceed the $20,000 goal!
We were back at Dunn Bros. Coffee on Wednesday morning at 10:00 am for our 143rd mayor’s coffee event during my terms as your mayor, with a very engaged and well-informed crowd of neighbors.
We talked about DART and their upcoming focus group opportunity and I took the opportunity to share factual Town information and my thoughts on the role of the mayor in Addison.
I emphasized the time I spent with CEOs and various business owners, encouraging their investments in Addison and supporting the very important 5 Pillars of our Addison economy that, since May of 2011, has grown from a $3 billion property tax base to now over $4.2 billion and trending up!
I also shared with my neighbors the traits, skills and qualities I feel are very important for any mayor of Addison in 2017 and beyond:
- have excellent communication skills, both verbal and written,
- be the moral compass for governing,
- set an example by his or her actions,
- be positive and caring at all times.
I believe that is a very good formula for success for anyone who wants to be Mayor of Addison.
Tuesday, April 11, Regular council meeting, 7:30 pm, work session, 5:00 pm. Town Hall.
Wednesday, April 12, Candidate Forum, 7:00 pm, Addison Conference Centre; FREE! Both mayoral candidates and all 7 council candidates have committed to participate. This should be very interesting!
Friday, April 14, “Bubbles, Burgers and Burn”, at the new JamBox Fitness (first class free), a unique workout party and event option! Check it out at their event Friday, April 14 from 5:30 pm-7:00 pm, located at 3965 Belt Line Road. See you there!
Saturday, April 22nd, please join us in Beckert Park, 5004 Addison Circle, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm for our first annual Addison Circle Art Festival.
The event will showcase more than 45 artists, music, and children’s activities such as a balloon artist. Art ranges from oil paintings, sculptures, photography to fine handmade jewelry. Several artists will be conducting a live painting demonstration.
Admission is free. Pick up a punch card at the MAA table and visit participating Addison Circle merchants and restaurants to be entered into the drawing for a free Fitbit.
Also, while in the Circle be sure to eat at one of the Addison Circle restaurants and participate in the Change for Change fundraiser benefiting Metrocrest Services, April 17th – April 29th.
For more information, please contact Barb at email@example.com.
I hope you find a fun way to enjoy this beautiful weekend here in Addison!
See you soon,