The City of Rowlett needs about $80 million a year to operate. When the tax bills go out and the checks come back in, that money belongs to you. You in turn, elect people who hire other people to look after those funds and expect them to spend the money in a judicious and practical manner. Both the elected officials and the hired employees have a fiduciary responsibility to protect and spend those funds appropriately.
Of course, the definition of "appropriately" comes into play, but that's not the question in this post. That's a whole different story.
Cities collect assets over time. They acquire fire trucks, computers, police cars, and real estate. The City of Rowlett has acquired a library. The City of Rowlett is about to give away the library in order to entice a developer into building 225 rental units downtown. This was a decision made by elected officials and the City Manager, who was hired by your elected officials. As to the wisdom of donating the library, other land, and other tax benefits, that discussion has been held by the elected officials and voted upon. The people you voted into office made the decision for you, as they are elected to do.
This post is not about the merits of what was done. You may be for or against the decisions made on the Village of Rowlett. But, the people you elected to office made the decisions they were supposed to make. If you disagree with them, that's another post.
The purpose of this post is to set out what I think the elected officials owe the citizens. We entrusted them with our money and assets. In return, they owe us a complete accounting of what they do. I am not talking about only accounting numbers, but dealings with others and the terms of those deals. They owe us the rationale used in making their decisions. The public discussions held about the Village was hardly an "in depth" discussion about why it was determined that $6 million in cash or kind plus 15 years of tax abatement was appropriate for this deal. Afterwards, and quite casually, I learned that our consultants were no longer with us and that The Villages could be placed on the tax rolls much earlier than reported. This information should have been shouted from the roof top of City Hall. This is the type of information the citizens of this city are entitled to know and should be duly informed.
It is the job of our elected officials to report important information regarding the use of our money and assets quickly and completely. Anything withheld and perceived as purposely withheld from citizens should be cause for recall. Everything should be transparent and without intrigue. Even a hint of chicanery should be eliminated. That would stop some of the "secret meetings" commentary around town. The citizens are owed that.