However, the ex-city manager's dedication to her way of managing the city's affairs created a culture. I believe that culture still exists in Rowlett. I do not deny that that culture led to some dedicated and loyal employees and department heads. However, sometimes I wonder if experience was often sacrificed for loyalty. That doesn't make them bad people. However, I sure wish someone would ask questions more often. The threat of being fired for thinking should now be gone.
Would that culture hide things from the public? Would that culture deceive? When staff wrote that the City's investment in The Villages of Rowlett would be $6 million, but would be partially repaid by 380 grants, did anyone explain where 380 grants come from? When staff reported that the 15 years of tax forgiveness would be repaid from 380 grants, had you still yet not been told what 380 grants were? I, like all I have talked to, are simple civilian citizens. We assumed the 380 grants were state or federal funds. It was only a question in my mind about the general availability of such funds that even prompted me to ask some questions. I got a lesson from the State Controller. Didn't like the answer. Why weren't we told the facts? In my opinion, the staff report that went to the city council was nothing but a diversion.......a deception.
The staff report was nothing but a selling job. Reporting of salient facts was not even attempted. I supported, and still do, the proposed development downtown. But, Debby Bobbitt was exactly correct when she said on the dais that "it costs too much." I am nothing but angry about being lied to so much. It wasn't a little lie. It was a huge lie.
I want to know WHO said it was okay for 15 year tax abatement!! Who represented Rowlett at the negotiating table? Was it the ex-city manager? Was a deal struck before she left? Was it someone currently on council? Who was it? For crying out loud, be honest for a change. It seems to me that Rowlett "officialdom" is giving our money away, blocking development that should be made, and raising our taxes to make up the shortfall.
In my next post, I am going to get into what was reported to be our "investment" in the Villages, and what it is now beginning to look like it might be.