Friday, August 31, 2012

First Week Of School Update

Ok haven't posted in a day or two.  Been a little busy.  Some people want to know where 1010 Collins is.  Well it is at 1010 North Collins, and if you haven't been reading the papers there was an event there that caused a real problem.  Over 500 kids were at this place when fights broke out and a teenage girl was thrown to the ground by a police officer.  The officer was investigated for excessive use of force, and as far as I am concerned he was well within the confines of the law in doing what he did.  If parents were a little more involved at home then the police wouldn't have to use force at all.  Essentially one Howard Beckerman is the owner of this establishment and he realizes that he made a mistake in renting to the kids parents for $4,000 for the evening because it has caused him major problems with the city that he doesn't want.  The city is working with Mr. Beckerman to ensure that he remains within the parameters of a banquet hall, which is how he is operating.  If he operates under the parameters of a nightclub then he has to get a special use permit or SUP.  That requres council approval.

Now I am also looking at a residence at 612 Crown Colony that is renting by the day on VRBO (vacation rental by owner).  This guy is ruining a neighborhood for a couple of bucks.  I have called the owner 3 times with no return call.  The Assistant City Manager has left 2 calls with no response.  Essentially we want this type of activity stopped and if we have to write an ordinance stating that you can't rent your house for less than 30 days, like Ft. Worth, then we will write the ordinance.

The movement of kids through Walgreens has been very good.  I talked with Mark Thomasson, the store manager, on Wednesday and he is very pleased.  For some reason parents still seem to think that it is ok to pick up their kid at Walgreens and the parking lot is full of cars driving through when school lets out.  I don't know why they can't figure out how to pick up their kids at school, or what makes them so special that they have to clobber the parking lot for about 15 minutes.  Anyway that problem seems to be working out ok.

Concerning the 100% inspection for the Forest Hills apartments.  Code Officers have found 3 buildings that might be listed under the Dangerous and Substandard Structure ordinance.  The end of the 30 day housing inspection result is coming to an end and David Zapasode will be back in the office next week to see where we are in that issue.

I am trying to get the parents of kids in the overlay apartments to get involved in their kids education.  In that effort I have asked Deanna Palla and Dara Wandel to approach apartment management to donate either funds or gift cards to kids that distinguish themselves in academics, citizenship and attendance.  There is a hiccup in the program in that the management teams that are in place in these apartments are very temporary.  That causes a real problem.  I am up for suggestions.

That's all for now, have a great weekend.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Day

Today I had an opportunity to have breakfast with Kathryn Wilemon and we talked for about 1:45 just to try and get to know each other.  She is a very nice lady and a genuinely good person.  After breakfast I had a meeting with a Mr. Beckerman from 1010 Collins.  Essentially he is running an establishment without the proper permits and he has gone out of the scope of his special use permit.  We came to a temporary conclusion to try and get him through the weekend and at that point he will have to revert to the banquet hall mode to continue his business.  He cannot operate as a night club or a bar.  This was all caused by the fact that he rented his facility out to a group of teenagers and fights and riots started.  This reflects poorly on the judgement of Mr. Beckerman, and the continued operation of 1010 Collins.

After that I went down to the Walgreens at Davis and Lamar and we had another good day of moving teenagers out of the store parking lot.  The store manager Mr. Thomasson is very pleased with the current situation.  We must be making a difference.  I told one kid to pull up his pants and he did it.  Amazing what a little guidance can do in a teenager's life.

Lastly I had to put out a little fire concerning some guys that work for the Veterans Administration and an incident that happened this weekend.  Really these guys are good people and they just need to get a little more friendly with the neighbors in the area.  Having four grown men live in a house is a little intimadating to some of the neighbors.

Tomorrow is another day with coffee with Deanna Palla, lunch at Grace Community Church, and then watching the Japanese all stars play a local team at Randle Mill Park.  Another full day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

28 August

Today was very interesting.  I got up this morning and started to get a few complaints concerning a house in the area that neighbors were complaining about the comings and goings etc.  I took care of this just a few minutes ago.  It seems the neighbors have concerns.  There are 4 middle aged to older men that work for the Veterans Administration living there.  They work very hard to try and help Veterans coming back from war to adjust and find a place in life.  The men work 16 hours a day 4 days a week and they sit in their garage with the door open and smoke their cigarettes because they can't smoke in the house.  They try to not to bother anyone but one of the individuals that doesn't live there went nuts and set fire to the Veterans Van.  He is in jail and going to prison for a few.  I had a good time at the Cowboys luncheon.  That was nice.  I went through about 10 emails concerning 1010 Collins.  I will be meeting with Mr. Beckerman the owner tomorrow concerning the proper permits required for him to continue in business.  I also stopped by the Walgreens on Davis to ensure that there was a even flow of kids from school to home.  We had three cruisers in the parking lot.  Everything seems to be progressing smoothly there. 


Well a lot of you have asked for a place to go where you can see what is happening in our community. This is what my neighbor and I have come up with. Since I can't even log in properly he has drug me by the nose into the computer age.
At the city council we are currently going over the budget, because it has to be approved before the fiscal year that starts 1 Oct. Ergo the town hall meeting tonight and the one last week. Essentially, your house value went down last year 1%, so your property taxes will be a little less. Unfortunately for business owners their values went up by 2 1/2%, so their taxes will rise a little. The big news is that sales tax has been remarkable. For the first time in Arlington history we will go over the $50 million range. As a matter of fact we are looking at $52 million in sales this year. So the budget has a 3% raise built into it for all city employees. I don't believe that they have had a raise in 5 years so it is well deserved in my opinion.
I am glad that you like the site and we will soon be able to post here and it will go to facebook automatically. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Welcome to the Arlington District 1 Blog.

This site has been set up to discuss the issues pertinent to the North District of Arlington and items before the City Council.  I will be able to monitor your comments and publish those of subjective content.  I look forward to posting information and keeping my constituents informed as best I can.