There was a response that I didn't expect. I was told by a good friend that my writing of the post seemed to favor a more negative outlook of The Villages of Rowlett project. I disagree. I want The Villages to succeed. However, I have some disappointments in The Villages. I will admit to them on a post such as my last. You have to read the details. This is not a Facebook post. There is meat on the bone. I received a phone call from the mayor, and I was not surprised by a seemingly "distressed" conversation.
In that regard, people reading my last post had a tendency to read what they thought they were going to read rather than what was actually said. In my opinion, Todd didn't read what was there......only what he thought was there. Also, my friend didn't read what was there.......only what he thought was there. An argument could be made that I didn't write the post clearly. On the other hand, an argument could be made that I upset both sides of the debate, and I wrote exactly what was needed. That's how good conversational debate begins.
Kudos to the mayor.
I posted my last post on June 15. On June 17, the mayor called me referencing a letter from the President of the mortgage company that is making the loan to the developer of The Villages of Rowlett. The letter was dated June 15. I will reproduce the letter below, but will redact the personal information.
That is fast, under anyone's rules. That meant, Todd had to read the post, or have someone report it to him; contact the president of the mortgage company looking for answers; and the president of the mortgage company writing the letter. Of course, the mayor had the letter in his hands when he called me. He offered to send me a copy of the letter, which I then requested, and he did.
Folks, no matter how you slice it, Todd's actions in this matter were very mayoral. It ranks right up there with giving away puppies, which I think is very noble. Good people can disagree. Just because I take exception to someone's position doesn't mean I am against them in all matters. I tell the truth as I see it. But, I always have a little bit of Will Rogers and Mark Twain type sarcasm in my casual writings. I'm a big fan of theirs. It's up to you to decide if I'm wrong. I'm sure I'll tag Todd and others in the future. That's the American Way.
However, Todd's main concern seemed to me to be that he was distressed that a lot of the public would not know about the HUD program and he was worried about the "backlash." I agreed with Todd. I told Todd to reference the title of the subject blog post, "A preemptive strike.......kinda." Actually, I was trying to inform the public as much as I reasonably could, and keep stupid questions out of the discussion. I only wanted valid questions answered. Here's where I disagree with Todd. I'm sure he feels much the same as "officialdom" in general. That is, don't raise eyebrows among the public. My opinion of the situation is just the opposite. I wish to inform the public of the facts and point out the good points and the bad points. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe "officialdom" is right. Standing alone, opposition to my opinion doesn't make Todd bad. He has done right in this discussion.
What I've really written.
Will Rogers was once asked how many comedy writers he had. He said, "I don't need any, as long as Congress is in session." On this blog, I don't reach as high as Congress. Was Will Rogers a bad guy?
1. About HUD...(HUD as a project), "standing alone is no cause for alarm."
2. "Being a HUD project does not necessarily mean a subsidized program."
3. "Just because The Villages is a HUD project, it doesn't mean it is bad." (Italicized and underlined.)
4. "The public can be dumb if they want to."
5. "There are many, many good HUD projects."
The above are just some of the comments I made in the last post to keep uniformed citizens off "officialdom's" back. Regarding stoplights on GWBT and Lakeshore Parkway, I wrote regarding "officialdom": "although the above is not a part of their jurisdiction" ....to keep uninformed citizens from complaining to City Hall about their efforts to effect the awful traffic lights. I don't get any thanks from City Hall for these efforts to save City Hall from unproductive correspondence and phone calls.
Regarding the current discussion about HUD subsidies, up until we received the letter from the mortgage company (which is below), the only fact we had was that The Villages was a HUD 221 d(4) project. Nothing else.
1. Throughout several posts, I have written that we gave away too much money to the developer for development of The Villages. (My opinion)
2. We didn't know if there were any subsidized apartment units to be rented. (Fact)
3. Did the developer not inform the city about subsidized units? Yes or No? We don't know. (Fact)
4. Did the city know and not tell the citizens? We don't know. (Fact)
5. I have always felt the city's representation of the city's investment of $6 million was horribly understated, when considering the tax abatement and costs of moving the Chamber Building. The city is now an anchor tenant for the library supporting the developer.......costing rent we never had to pay because we owned the library building. (Facts)
Now......Tell me where I lied or misinformed the public. I helped the city with the liquor vote. I tried to keep undue complaints from "officialdom" because of the dreadful traffic lights, and keep people from asking uninformed questions about HUD projects. I try to keep from pointing fingers by using the term "officialdom." I never hear any thanks for these little things. However, I will hear if someone doesn't like what I write. That is because people read for what they want to read. Ignore the details. The story is in the details. Frankly, communication is not a strong suit of Rowlett's Officialdom.......reading or writing. (another jab).
Below is a reproduction of the Mortgagee's letter mentioned above. They are the lender to The Villages of Rowlett. You can scroll down the read the entire letter.
In the third paragraph, the writer gets off into the MPS (minimum property standards--how the projects are built) and the various audits they have, but I didn't think you would be interested in that and didn't write about it in an already too long blog post.
The main remaining question to me is are there any subsidized units allocated for The Villages? You must read the letter carefully. In the very first paragraph, the author writes of the 221D (4) program ".......it does not require any rent subsidy, nor does it require any affordable use component." Of course, the operative words are "does not require." I don't like that choice of words. I would have preferred a more definitive comment, like: Neither HUD nor the developer have requested that any subsidized units be included in the underwriting of the project. The underwriting of the project is where the cash flow of the project reveals any payments coming from HUD.
In addition, I have my own experts. Thru a favor of a bank president I know, I was connected to a developer that has done as many projects as the developer for The Villages. He tells me that, as a matter of routine, subsidized units are not routine in a 221 d (4) project. However, he further states that on rare occasion, subsidy units are either requested by the developer or imposed by HUD. It is that eventuality that I would wish to eliminate. I, too, was a development loan underwriter, and I would try to eliminate all possible risk that I could, ergo, a stronger statement from someone that no subsidized units are involved.
Now, after all the above has been discussed, I start to put the letter away from the President of the mortgage company and I notice the date on the front page of the letter is dated June 15, 2015, and the date on the second page is dated March 13, 2015. People, that really doesn't inspire confidence.