I have nothing against the mayor. At one time I thought we were good friends. I am not sure about that, now. I suppose he thinks I am totally against the City Council. Of course, that is not true. I posted my letter to the city council before I read the mayor's newsletter. Essentially, I said they were smart, but needed help. I haven't changed my mind.
I really don't know where to start on the mayor's letter. It rambles off in a lot of directions. Before I start, I would like to post a couple of comments I received from a reader. It is these type of comments that make me think I'm on the right trail. They are certainly flattering, but more importantly, I think I'm getting to the solid thinkers in Rowlett. The first is:
"Looks like the mayor has been reading your blog and is trying to address the issues you have raising! Keep at 'em as you have some very serious questions and I am not hearing about any of this anywhere else except right here!"
"Every time I read your blog I learn something new! I get fired up and then I get angry at the poor management by our city officials. They single handedly are giving away the goods for free. I am angry, but I don't know where to turn. I don't have the knowledge to fire up questions at our council members. I simply want to implore you to get your blog out on the Rowlett facebook rooms. There are many people there who NEED to read your posts and understand what is happening to our city while we are all sitting around and discussing the food at El Centro.
Anyway, back to the barn......."issues that have somehow been miscommunicated." I find this quote from the mayor's newsletter bizzare. He seems to be aiming at "others." Need I point out the "miscommunications" perpetrated by staff in my recent letter to the City Council? Citing statistics that are meaningless, co-mingling different populations in the same story (20 homeowners as North Shore acreage owners), referring to apartments as "residential" to achieve a more "palatable" sound, referring to "mixed use residential" as the term used to describe residential units containing "one bedrooms, two bedrooms, three bedrooms, etc. ," are all phrases that purposely or by accident disguises the truth. It starts in City Hall!
The answer about "mixed use residential" given by the city manager is technically correct. It does mean number of bedrooms. But, only kinda. What it really means is the type of residential units. Mixed Use residential developments mean single family detached, apartments, condominiums, and townhouses. As I said in my letter to City Council, how many one bedroom houses have you seen built lately? A mixed use residential project would have some mix of residential products. Often, in mixed use, you will find townhouses and single family detached homes in the same subdivision. I live in one. Less often, one might find condos and apartments in the same development, but this is a rare breed. Somewhat more often, you might find townhouses for rent, and apartments in the same development. Usually this if found in a development that is designed to start out as "for rent" projects, but designed to convert to a "for sale" project later. These "conversions" are usually built during a very strong rental market, but it is anticipated that the low cost entry level market will emerge shortly. Therefore, the units are designed with the "conversion" in mind.
My first response to the mayor is that if you want to improve misinformation and misrepresentation, start with City Hall, first. If ignorance is a cause, I would give a test. I would have everyone who comments in meetings write down on a piece of paper the difference between a condo and a townhouse. If they can't answer, fire them.
I was delighted to hear about Sprouts the other day. They will be a welcome addition to the City of Rowlett. However, the rest of the mayor's second paragraph was a "bust."
First of all, the first half of the second paragraph was a page right out of our ex-city manager's playbook. I have heard those same words so often that I get sick when I see them again. "Take the journey" are words I don't care if I ever hear again. "No diversity in housing stock" meant our ex-city manager wanted Form Base Codes and high density housing. It's right out of her playbook. Apparently the playbook is still around. Ugh!! "One shot (chance) to get it right" were words first used by me in a Dallas Morning News article I wrote in 2007. Once again, it seems that the mayor thinks Form Base Codes are the greatest thing since canned beer. Take time to read the below. Click on the link. It's good stuff.
Todd gets an F on the second paragraph.
Apparently, the mayor is upset with Facebook and the blogs in the area. He claims in the third paragraph that we are the source of all the misinformation that ails the community. I feel the need to point out that this is a blog site. However, in the interest of fairness, I invite the mayor to get all the staff he thinks he needs, a few consultants, a couple of real estate appraisers, a cost analyst or two, and a calculator. I would invite them to meet with me and discuss any differences or misinformation I may have put out. I will bring...................me. I have over 100 posts on this blog. It's easy to research my "stuff." All my opinions are backed up by facts......all of them. We could get together and "have a go." It would be fun. You could attend.
Now, according to the mayor's closing of his newsletter, you should now have all the questions cleared up.......right? Was anything cleared up? You know all about Economic Development. Right? You know the formulas for awarding incentives. Right? You now know everything. Right? Man......all that clarifying information and all on one page, too.