So.......they discussed the deal outside of the public observation. There are reasons for private, behind closed door discussions. I would like an opinion from the City Attorney that the discussion complied with the state law. Is that what the Attorney General had in mind? The courses I took didn't allow that. I will probably inquire with the AG's office.
I would urge all interested parties to view the City Council meeting on 10/14/14 and judge for yourself what was said. Go to: http://www.rowlett.com/ Then, in the upper right hand corner of the city's website there is an box called Live Streaming. Click on City Council Meetings, then find the date for October 14, 2014, and click on "view." When the video streaming starts, move the cursor at the bottom of the video to 1:10 (one minute and ten seconds). This is where the discussion of the subject land give away starts.
Read Rick's comments below, then my answer.
Thank you again for this email that you sent us. We covered all of it in the executive session and I was convinced that the http://www.rowlett.com/proper vetting was done on the applicants and their financial, as well as, restaurateur wherewithal.
I read you ramblings blog and noted that you mis-quoted me. I said that the city's investment was leveraged at over 11 to 1 based on the minimum investment that the applicants had to make according to the ED agreement. The land value of $50k - $75k was given to me by staff (you'll note I asked Grabenhorst that question).
I don't mind being quoted, just try to keep the context correct. Your sarcasm in delivering your message really does not do you justice. Your expertise would have been useful on the council, you should have gone for another term with all of the new investment coming ___________________________________________________________ Rick Sheffield | Councilmember, Place 5 City of Rowlett | 4000 Main St. | Rowlett, TX 75088 c 214-771-1762| email@example.com
I am more angry now than I was before Rick's email. Rick is unbelievably arrogant. Look at his comment: "We covered all of it in the executive session and I was convinced............." First of all, they covered all of what??!! How do you know what pertinent questions were asked or answered? As far as you know, they were telling jokes in executive session. That is why the State of Texas has certain laws protecting the citizens from insensitive or less honorable lawmakers. Rick says he satisfied himself........not that he felt the citizens were served. He is deciding what you need to know about your own assets and tax money. Where does he think he owes you an answer? He certainly didn't share any "back room" information with you. His little talk on camera was pure politispeak. There was no substance. But, boy he sure looked good.
I've got another couple of points. Another comment of Rick's: "Your sarcasm in delivering your message really does not do you justice." I get the feeling that Rick is distinctly talking down to me. That is probably a mistake. Anyone that knows me a lot better than Rick does would most likely advise Rick not to do that. There isn't much I like better that engaging in word warfare with arrogant, egotistical, self centered, pompous asses (in the biblical sense). I have absolutely no problem with people having differing opinions than mine. Debate is how you get to the best answers. It's the American Way. However, if I detect someone moving away from legitimate debate and is trying to strengthen their weaker position with elitist tripe, I can trot out the sarcasm. If Rick thinks he has seen my sarcasm, he is in for quite a surprise if he continues as a royalty act. If you're going to box me into a corner with elitist attitudes, you'd better have something bigger than a switch to keep me there.
Its beginning to look like "me" vs. "them."
Some better news.
Diane Lemmons, President of the Rowlett Chamber of Commerce sent a nice comment. I get the feeling she thought I had taken a shot at the Chamber. I didn't.
First, Diane cleared up a misconception I had. The Chamber of Commerce and the Rowlett Chamber Foundation are not the same things. I didn't know that. However, it didn't change my question. Being a real estate guy, I know the change of ownership drills. Since the land is owned by the City of Rowlett (citizens) and it is being conveyed to the restaurant developers, the city signs the deed, unless it is being placed in escrow. My questions was simply, how does the Chamber of Commerce get into to ownership chain, and therefore signs the deed? There is clearly a step in here that I don't know anything about and I doubt that many do. I just want to know. I want others to know. It should all be explained to us by Rowlett "officialdom." I want to know the particulars of the deal. I want others to be interested, also. I wasn't taking a potshot at the Chamber. I was just wanting to know how the deal worked. In the past, when I've sold land, I always conveyed title to who I wanted, not Fred and Ethel first.
Diane's a good lady. The Chamber is good people. No harm, no foul.
Another interesting comment has been made. Mike Lancaster has written a very interesting comment on Tough Job, my last post. You need to read it. It's a slightly different take on the land give away for restaurants. Very well written and thought out. He also makes some comment on the Blacklands Corridor (or the other name). It's a good comment. Well worth your time.
Oh, one other thing. After reading Mike's comment, it is Rick 1, and "others" 2.