7/11/11 Meeting Recap
Last night’s meeting was exactly why I ran for office. Thrills, political intrigue, staying up past my bedtime. Ok, maybe not so much of the first two, but the late night discussing economic development was good.
Council approved Councilman David Thornhill to take on the role of Mayor Pro Tem, and Rudy Durham to take the role of Deputy Mayor Pro Tem. When the Mayor can’t make an event or run a meeting, these two roles become the #2 and #3 replacement. They also take on the role of Mayor in emergencies should the Mayor be incapacitated.
Before I get to the elephant in the room I did want to point out a couple of smaller items that were on the agenda:
We approved a request for reimbursement for over $6,000 for the library’s new interlibrary loan software. If you’ve not used the interlibrary loan system, do it. I use it frequently and get books from all over in a timely manner.
Approval of a CDBG street rehabilitation for $110,180.00 for three blocks of Edwards (Charles to Milton; Milton to Hatcher; and Hatcher to Cowan).
Declined increasing the Burger King sign on Valley Parkway to 50 feet from the existing 30 feet. I’m not a fan of seeing freeway style signs that close to residential, and if we did open that door we run the risk of a ‘signage arms race’ with other retailers asking for increased height so they can be seen on the I-35 Corridor.
We also requested control of Mill Street improvements be placed under the City instead of with TxDoT. That will allow us to more easily move forward with this plan for the corridor. This is a really exciting time for redevelopment of East Lewisville.
Last but not least was to allow the drilling of two new gas wells at 290 W. Southwest Parkway. Councilman Gorena abstained as he has signed a gas lease and would benefit financially from the drilling, however, legally he doesn’t have to since the monies received don’t meet the threshold set by the State for a conflict of interest. I commend him on his decision even though he doesn’t have to.
Since our ordinance requires 4 of 5 votes to approve a drill site under 800 ft from a residence or other protected use, that leaves council with the need for the four remaining councilmen to vote unanimously. Councilman Vaughn asked for more time to review the documents. Council approved extending the public forum until the August 1st meeting.
A gas well permit has well over 400 pages of documentation and with Mr. Vaughn having received his packet on Thursday last, I can appreciate his need for more time, especially since this was his first full council meeting. I would hope that in the future my colleagues on Council would extend me the same courtesy should I need more time to gather facts.
This also means that citizens have additional time to speak with Council, which is exactly why I ran: to listen. If you’ve got questions, concerns, and input please give me a call or email or facebook or whatever newfangled thing the kids are using these days.
One last note: I apologize for not being prompt in approving a couple of comments here as I was on vacation with my family and chose to cut the data umbilical. Now that I’m back expect to see a few changes in the website over the next couple of months.