Saturday April 22, 2017
This last Easter Sunday after returning home from church, Nelly and I were out for a walk on our Redding Trail and Nelly took these great pictures.
Over the last almost 6 years Nelly has supplied dozens of beautiful Addison photographs, of kids, landscape, wildlife and so many things that make Addison special and certainly improved the readability and fun of this newsletter.
Our next Council meeting will take place on Tuesday April 25 at Town hall with an Executive session at 5:30 pm.
We will try out our new video capabilities in the living room of Town hall where we will hold a work session to discuss Underperforming Hotels at 6:00 pm.
Thanks to these new video capabilities, all of our future Work Sessions will be on video for you to watch live or to review at any point in the future–another important step in our commitment to continuous improvement of our Addison transparency.
Which reminds me: If you are an AT&T cable customer you can now watch our council meetings and work sessions live at home on your TV by tuning to channel 99. We are working with Spectrum and we hope to have that same service available for the customers of Spectrum very soon.
Our Regular Session agenda will include the appointment of 14 folks to serve on the new DART/Cotton Belt focus group. That group will work with the staff of DART to determine their meeting times and locations to suit everyone’s schedule and yet accomplish the important tasks of keeping us literally on track for 2021 or sooner.
Our session will include an important update on our Big Idea project of finding an effective way of connecting east and west Addison across the Dallas North Tollway.
In addition, the council will consider the formal adoption of our Library Card policy, Town standards of care for our youth recreation programs (both of which will be in writing), and the approval of the minutes from our last meeting, which of course are always in writing.
The council will consider approval of the purchase of IT upgrades for the North Texas Communication Center and a supplemental radio purchase as part of our agreement with Coppell, Carrollton and Farmers Branch.
There will also be a recognition of service for me as mayor since this will be my final Regular council meeting as your mayor. Up until last week my calendar had May 9 as our final council meeting, and I of course had every intention of attending that final very brief meeting.
However, the date change to May 15 made it impossible for me to change travel plans that had already been paid for and committed based on the May 9 date.
Council member activities
Council members Dale Wilcox, Bruce Arfsten, Ivan Hughes, Jim Duffy and Al Angell joined me on Tuesday morning for the ground breaking of the new office tower development called Fourteen555.
Council members Dale Wilcox, Bruce Arfsten, Ivan Hughes, Jim Duffy and Al Angell joined me for media day at our Conference Centre for Taste Addison at 11:00 am on Tuesday.
Only council member Paul Walden was missing from both Tuesday events.
Q&A with the Mayor
Q: Mayor, I thought we had term limits in Addison. It looks to me like a couple of current candidates are not eligible to run in this election?
A: I would put this question in the Frequently Asked Questions that have been asked this Spring, so I did some research.
1. The lawyer side of me directed me to research what our Charter says about term limits:
The primary provision of the Addison Charter pertinent to this matter is Section 8.04(h) which states:
“No person shall serve as Mayor for more than three (3) successive terms of office, and no person shall serve as a council member for more than three (3) successive terms of office. For purposes of this section, the phrase “terms of office” shall not include any unexpired portion of any two-year term.”
2. I also checked out our history. In our modern era and since the above Charter provision was adopted, no previous Addison mayor has ever served or attempted to serve more than “three (3) successive terms of office”.
3. In a recent interview with me and fellow council member Jim Duffy, reported to the entire council on March 14, 2017, the Chairperson of the Charter Review Committee that reviewed each and every provision of our Charter in 2010 addressed this issue. When asked, “Based on our Charter do we have term limits?” the Chair of the 2010 Charter Review Committee responded, ”Yes, 2 year terms with a maximum of 3 consecutive.”
Mayoral candidate Joe Chow has served three successive terms of office as mayor.
Council candidate Tom Braun has served three successive terms of office as a council member.
Based on our Charter, our history, and the very recent comments from our Chair of the Charter Review Committee, it appears that mayoral candidate Joe Chow may not be eligible to serve again as mayor, and that council candidate Tom Braun may not be eligible to serve again as a council member.
I am unable to find any provision in our Charter or Code of Ordinances that provides for an independent determination of a candidate’s eligibility to serve.
Given the seriousness of this issue I sought the guidance of our City Secretary Laura Bell, who is responsible for answering all questions related to local elections here in Addison. Her response is documented in an email exchange that was also shared with the entire council: ”Laura, do you do any independent due diligence to determine a candidate’s eligibility to run for or serve on the Addison City Council?”
Her response: “I rely on the oath by the candidate that the information they have provided is true and correct. There is an oath on the application that states the information is true and by signing, the candidate swears to that. The Oath of Nomination covers the qualifications required by the Town Charter and is signed by the candidate also. Any concerns regarding the validity of the information provided by the candidate on the application should be directed to the Texas Ethics Commission.”
Based on all of the information above, the eligibility of candidates Joe Chow and Tom Braun to serve may be in question and as a result may be determined by the Texas Ethics Commission or by you at the polls on May 6, 2017.
On a bright, beautiful Addison Tuesday morning we broke ground on the largest new office complex in Addison in many years! This 3-year-long process working with Cawley Partners and CEO Bill Cawley has finally resulted in a new building that is already filling up!
Joined by council members Dale Wilcox, Bruce Arfsten, Ivan Hughes, Jim Duffy and Al Angell, we celebrated with over 50 other folks that included the Wilkinson construction folks that did such a great job on the recent completed Tollway Centre office building just a block north from this site, and the top folks from Occidental Chemical company who plan to move into their new space, taking up just over 50% of the first phase of this project in November of 2018!
This amazing new complex will contain two 240,000 square foot, 6 story office buildings with high end finishes and an amazing amenity package for their tenants.
Between the two office buildings will be a courtyard and separate three story amenity building called “The Hub” that will contain a full service restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, fitness center, conference facility and an open air terrace with games and lounge seating on the third floor.
For more information and to see the beautiful renderings, go to this link: http://www.cawleypartners.com/fourteen555.html
What a beautiful morning to be coming to work in Addison! That was our greeting to the folks joining us for their work day at 5050 Quorum on Wednesday morning. Council members Al Angell and Ivan Hughes joined Economic Development Manager Drew Dietrich and me for our meet and greet event.
From early 7:30 through the morning rush at 9:00, we let folks know how much we appreciate their being with us here in Addison with smiles, granola bars, bananas and restaurant guides.
This program is now one of our traditions and part of our business retention program as a very effective tool in maintaining our high percentage of businesses choosing to stay with us in Addison.
On Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of being in a room full of energy and enthusiasm as entrepreneurs and interested investors came to our opening session of our Trep Expo at our Addison TreeHouse.
Director of Economic Development Orlando Campos opened the evening with an update on the many successes of our TreeHouse and a big thank you to all of our sponsors of this annual event.
I followed with a few brief remarks about our resurgent Addison economy and the enthusiasm we have for the TreeHouse and passionate entrepreneurs.
I was followed by 7 presentations from entrepreneurs with their “pitch” for funding of their startup businesses. The names alone of these new companies give you just a small insight into the creativity and innovation that abounds at our TreeHouse: Chariot Marketing, Fetch, MediBookr, Budgit, Roomored Vision, Snap Learn, UrComped.
No, my spellcheck did not stop working–those are the very creative names of their companies that give you some insight into the imagination of these folks. We are so fortunate to have this intellectual capital as part of our vibrant Addison business ecosystem.
Taste Addison is almost here! On Tuesday our awesome Special Events and Communications and Marketing team held a Media Day event at our Conference Centre to begin to ramp up interest.
With ticket sales already 18% ahead of last year, this year’s “Taste” looks to be our best ever. Thanks to Director of Special events Mark Acevedo and Marketing and Communications Director Mary Rosenbleeth for their excellent work helping to get Taste Addison back on track.
As you can see from the photos, there were lots of “bites” to sample from 12 of Addison’s 180+ restaurants, and great media coverage.
Special thanks to Table 13, Cantina Laredo, iFrantelli, Dickey’s Barbecue, Skinny Pizza, Public School 972, the Melting Pot, Mad Batter Baker and Thai Orchid for their support of this fun event.
This FREE preview will be open to the public from noon to 1:00 pm on April 25 at Addison Circle One, at Millennium Tower on May 2 and Addison Circle Park on May 9, all in preparation for Taste Addison May 19-21!
We held our final “After Hours with the Mayor” event during my terms as your mayor on Thursday evening at the Lion and Crown.
It was a packed house and fun crowd as we covered just a few announcements. Then I spent the next hour or so responding to questions from the very well informed group of Addison neighbors.
Council member Dale Wilcox attended, listened intently and stayed afterwards to listen and also be responsive to our neighbors’ questions.
I was disappointed that none of the other council members were present to hear some of the concerns expressed by well informed Addison folks.
One of the major topics of discussion was term limits, as mentioned above. The overwhelming consensus of opinion was that term limits are a good thing and we do have them in Addison.
The only open issue seems to be how we chose to enforce them.
Most of the conversation was focused on very positive fun topics with a bit of looking back over the last 6 years and lots of optimism for our Addison future.
Monday, April 24, Early Voting begins at Fire Station #1 on Addison Road across from the Police Station.
Monday, April 24, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm, Addison TreeHouse. The Town is developing an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan and we are holding a public workshop. If you are interested please come join us and offer your input.
Tuesday, April 25, Regular council meeting, 7:30 pm. Work Session 6:00 pm. Town Hall.
Enjoy your week here in beautiful Addison.
See you soon,
Headline photo: Just one of the renderings of the extraordinary Fourteen555.