Call for ideas

December 13, 2019

A reader named “Constructive” made this comment the other day:

Here’s an idea for a future post. Invite commenters to list the services and expenses local government should cut.

That could be a good idea.

Let’s think about it over the weekend and then respond.

We deserve better


Not really $100 million

December 12, 2019

The city is required to make certain disclosures when it intends to issue certificates of obligation.

This came from their notice of intent to issue $100 million in certificates of obligation:

In accordance with Texas Local Government Code Section 271.049, (i) the current principal amount of all of the City’s outstanding public securities secured by and payable from ad valorem taxes is $1,189,489,193.84; (ii) the current combined principal and
interest required to pay all of the City’s outstanding public securities secured by and payable from ad valorem taxes on time and in full is $1,818,279,445.84; (iii) the estimated combined principal and interest required to pay the certificates of obligation to be authorized on time and in full is $173,780,312.50; (iv) the maximum interest rate for the certificates may not exceed the maximum legal interest rate; and (v) the maximum maturity date of the certificates to be authorized is August 15, 2045.

According to the city the $100 million will turn into $174 million by the time we pay the bonds off.

We deserve better


Franchise fee my foot

December 11, 2019

City council is about to foist another tax increase on us.

As it is our city owned water utility is  being charged $3.55 million per year to use our city owned streets.

The charge is in the form of a franchise fee.  That amount gets passed on to the water utility customers.

The city wants still more money from us so they are going to up the franchise fee by almost $3 million next year.

The next thing we know they will be wanting to charge us rent to live in the homes that we own.

By the way I doubt that any of us knows what “INFRASTRCUTRE” is.  I guess that’s why this is an estimate.

We deserve better


City fines

December 10, 2019

I was curios about how many traffic tickets the police department writes.

Failing to find the counts on the city web site I did find a list of fines for various offenses.

Some interesting ones:

  • Animal not confined $95
  • Possession of fireworks $174
  • Watering on wrong day $145
  • Watering on [sic] wrong time $120

Vehicle fines

  • cell phone violation $114.10
  • changing lanes–failure to signal $158.10
  • cutting through property $143.10
  • disregard barricade $143.10
  • driving with bright lights $143.10
  • following too closely $158.10
  • jaywalking $65.00
  • straddling lanes $158.10

What’s with the dimes?

You can see the city’s fines here

We deserve better


You evidently don’t know what’s good for you

December 8, 2019

This slide shows what the recent bond issue looked like when it first was being discussed:

City council thought that was too much so they lowered their bond request to $413 million to fund the police and fire projects and eliminated the streets, public health, and animal services portions.

Gosh that was thoughtful of them.

One week after the voters passed the $413 million bond city staff brought council a request for $100 million in certificates of obligation to fund projects that were already being built but that most citizens did not know were not paid for yet.

They probably thought they would not get their $413 million if the public knew about the $100 million.

Now less than two weeks after springing the $100 million problem on us they are at it again.

In the Monday, December 9, 2019 special city council meeting they are going to ask for yet another $46 million in certificates of obligation.

What for?

Do you remember the $10.9 million they dropped from the July 22, 2019 plan?  That was for animal services.

Guess what?  It’s back:

They did not want us to vote on this so they will just issue certificates of obligation.

We deserve better


Open line Sunday

December 8, 2019

We wrote about Pearl Harbor in yesterday’s post so we missed open line Saturday.

What’s on your mind?

We deserve better


A date that will live in infamy

December 7, 2019

Our entry into world war two came after a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on this day (December 7) 1941.

On August 12, 1941 congress approved an extension of the selective service act by one vote.  The country was certainly divided on that issue and on the idea of intervention in the war that was going on in other parts of the world.

A short four months later, after the Japanese attack,  the pendulum of public opinion shifted and men and women voluntarily entered the military service by the millions.


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