Thursday, November 1, 2012

Town Hall Meeting

Well the turnout was about 100 people and the people in attendance were very much involved in their community.  Chief Leland Strickland of the APD started the ball rolling stating that although crime was down in North Arlington there is still the problem with personal crimes in the neighborhoods.  That being the case he has instituted programs such as bike patrols, "walk the block"and increased the patrols in the problem apartments.  I must say that the combination of these efforts and that of code enforcement have put certain problem properties in jeopardy, and it is totally due to the the property managers inability to provide an acceptable place to live.  It is the difference between having quality managers and owners versus the opposite end of the spectrum.  Walgreen's was also addressed, and the fact that we have not arrested any kids yet is not an accident.  We have opened faith based organizations for use after school and given every opportunity for them to move from the Walgreen's property.

The Fire Fighters were there in force.  They brought bomb robots, a bomb sniffing dog, and went over the most recent fire in the Forest Hills area of Arlington.  Assistant Chief Dave Carrol did a great job and was very informative.  Mike Bass went over code enforcement and where some of the properties stood in the Dangerous and Substandard Structures and Nuisance Abatement Program.  He stated that the Forest Hills apartments currently had 5 structures that were under DSS consideration.

Lastly Kieth Melton with public works went over the Lamar repaving project, and stated that it was a 10 million dollar project to expand from 4 lanes to 6 lanes from Collins to Stadium Dr. and that the project was going to take about 2 years to complete.  He talked about several projects that were in the works and were going to be in play throughout the city. 

Lastly I tried to answer the question why don't we tear down the apartments and put up single family dwelllings.  I tried to point out that the reclaimation of property drives up the lot price so much that it makes the individual houses too expensive to buy.  They will simply move down to Viridian and buy a much bigger house for the same money.  I was cornered after the meeting by a lady that wanted to know why I didn't support the smoking ordinance.  She stated that I got more letters from those want smoking banned so why didn't I support her position.  I told her that I didn't want to remove someone elses right so that I could impose her views.  Business owners have rights also and to impose her views would remove their rights permanently.  She stated that I got more letters from people supporting the ordinance so what kind of a representative are you that you don't listen to the people.  I said I'm a representative that doesn't want to regulate everything and everybody.  Property owners have the right today to make their properties smoke free.  The Rangers have solved their smoking problem without the use of the ordinance change.  Besides all the letters were the same form letter simply forwarded.  They just had different names on them. 

I gave her the cat anaolgy.  If I go into her house or place of business and she has a cat, do I have the right to tell her to get rid of the cat because I have an allergy to cats.  It's a health hazard also.  She couldn't rebut that analogy.

Well that's it.  I think that the crowd was very involved.  Good questions and good answers throughout the night.

18 comments:

  1. Great turnout and well-planned Town Hall.

    -Zack

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  2. Zack considering that you have attended a bunch of these things, I truly appreciate the comment.

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  3. Smoking needs to be prohibited in all places in Arlington, without exception or exemption.

    If you will review the Arlington public referendum from 1991, you will find that nearly 75% of the voters wanted everything smoke-free - no exceptions or exemptions. And that was no "form letter."

    Neither Business owners, not anyone else has any "right" to smoke or allow smoking around others.

    And, please, the Rangers haven't solved the problem of tobacco smoke, as long as they continue to allow it anywhere in the facility. Again, you and the rest of the council should mandate that they go smoke free.

    This isn't about telling smokers where they can and can't go. It's about banning TOBACCO SMOKE, which has no rights and must be eliminated. It's about the health, safety and welfare of all of the people of Arlington. And protecting THAT is the obligation of all good governments, at all levels.

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  4. Hi, Charlie:

    This morning,I received an email from an acquaintance, telling me that you had compared smoking to cats. I thought they must have heard you incorrectly, but I now see that I was mistaken.

    Banning smoking in Arlington has nothing to do with cats or dogs, except that smoking should, of course, NEVER be allowed around animals, since that would be abuse.

    Banning smoking in Arlington is good for everyone and you should be behind that 100%. We need your help and support to ban smoking in the city, not making crazy comparisons to cats or anything else.

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  5. Here are two opinions concerning banning smoking in Arlington. They want to ban all smoking everywhere in Arlington. Well that is one side. But in order to accomplish this you have to take away the rights of others. I don't want to do that when the individuals have the opportunity to make their establishments non smoking right now. You don't need the city to regulate that, just like you don't need the state to regulate it either. The individual property owners have that right. To state that "Banning smoking in Arlington is good for everyone and you should be behind that 100%," shows intolerance and disrespect for others. That's your opinion and I get it.

    I talked with a lady after the Town Hall Meeting and she occupied 100% of my time to where I couldn't talk to anyone else. I was gracious and polite and stated my position on the subject. She on the other hand was intolerant and couldn't see the fact that we are regulated enough by government. We are told what trash bins to use, when to water and what light bulbs to use. Now she wants me to take away business owners rights, because she thinks it's her right to walk into some else's business and tell them what they can and can't do. Then she stated that she was a lobbist for no smoking in the state of Texas.

    The example of the cat was simply an example of how you would like me to take away the rights of cat owners, the same way you want me to take away the rights of business owners. Look, the form letters simply didn't do it for me. You don't want smoking anywhere. I get it. You think that clean air everywhere is your RIGHT. I'm saying that if a guy has his own property it is his right to have it smoke free or not, and you should respect HIS/HER RIGHT. You should be behind individual rights 100%.

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  6. David (Arlington Citizens for Clean Air)November 7, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    This isn't about "smokers," it's about tobacco smoke. Nothing I'm advocating says smokers can't go where they please; I and most other people in the city simply want our elected representatives to protect the rest of us from tobacco smoke, which is injurious to everyone. I dearly love animals, but if one of your "cats" attacked people and was spreading rabies, it would be euthanized under the health laws.

    You seem to have no problem wanting to further government regulation, when it comes to apartment owners. Yet, you want to ignore protecting the people of the city from tobacco smoke.

    We need to put an end to smoking around others, because others are injured and killed by it. There has never been and never wiil be any "right" to smoke around others. That's hogwash from the tobacco people. (What's next, telling us that people have a "right" to drink and drive?)

    Since you and the rest of the council don't seem to care about protecting people's health (and, yes, I DO have a long-standing right to smoke-free air!), why don't you put the issue on the ballot and let the people of Arlington vote on it?

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  7. "why don't you put the issue on the ballot and let the people of Arlington vote on it?" I have a much better idea. Why don't you start a petition, (a real one not a cyber one) and get a referendum on the ballot yourself? Your the one that thinks you should be able to walk anywhere in Arlington and not smell smoke. So you do it. I simply think that a business owner should have the right to do what he wants to in his business. That's his/her right, that you want to take away. My wife and I are non smokers and she has asthma. She is more at risk than you and she simply chooses not to frequent business that allow smoking. But that isn't good enough for you. Because you believe that you should be able to walk ANYWHERE in the city and it's your right to never sniff smoke. Well it is your right to not go places where business owner have decided smoking is ok in their establishments. That is truly your right.

    Now concerning your off handed remark about apartments and regulation. If apartment owners don't comply with the laws of our city then the laws will be enforced. Just like those that smoke in non-smoking areas. We have ordinances that should be complied with. That's the law. Just in case this isn't clear, if a business owner decides to make his establishment non smoking, then that is a liberty that the business owner is granting to you, not a right.

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  8. David,

    Folks who want to avoid smoke, can vote with their wallets by not going to businesses that allow it. Let the free market decide which businesses can survive a smoker friendly model. You do have no more right to demand a business ban smoking than you do demanding veggie places serve meat. I agree with Charlie on this, but I support your right not to enter establishments that allow smoking.

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  9. The Constitution forbids killing people without due process of law (charges, right to counsel, jury trial, appeal rights, etc.) The old pre-constitutional notion of being able to kill without due process was thus precluded. The Constitution ENDS the former "right" to kill without due process. Tobacco smoke kills without due process, hence, is banned under the Constitution. Please support the Constitution and its having ended the "right" to kill without due proces.

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  10. historiantorand, I simply wanted to publish your post because I wanted the rest of the people to understand that type of individuals that are aligned with the smoking ordinance and their collective thinking and what I have to contend with on a daily basis. Thank you. You're nuts!

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  11. Thank you Charlie! I hope he will post the text of the Constitution that supports his argument. From what I recall, Tobacco was a popular crop at the time of the writing of the Constitution. Kids at the time were given toys made of lead at the time as well.

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  12. David (Arlington Citizens for Clean Air)November 7, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Charlie:

    No matter what someone's comment is, you demonstrate a lack of ethics and professionalism when you tell him or her, "You're nuts!" I suggest you show a little more restraint in your replies. We expect better of our elected representatives.

    You've made it abundantly clear that you have very little knowledge about tobacco smoke and the many reasons it should be prohibited around others. Instead of ranting and raving against the people of Arlington, why not become a little more educated about the subject and maybe you will understand better how we are trying to prevent illness and save lives.

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  13. David (Arlington Citizens for Clean Air)November 7, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Charlie:

    Your comment that "why don't you put the issue on the ballot and let the people of Arlington vote on it?" ignored what another person stated in the previous comments: the people of Arlington have ALREADY voted on this issue TWENTY YEARS AGO and even then a 3/4 majority voted to prohibit smoking in all public places and workplaces. So, why should anyone want to put the city through the time and expense of another referendum on the very same subject?

    I am FAR from the ONLY ONE in the city who wants smoke-free air; the vast majority of the people support it, too. Many are the people whom you are supposed to be representing.

    By the way, first you state, "I simply think that a business owner should have the right to do what he wants to in his business," and then you close with, "If apartment owners don't comply with the laws of our city then the laws will be enforced."
    Well, which is it?

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  14. Smoking is a medically recognized mental disorder. The fact of smoking as a mental disorder is shown in the International Classification of Disease, 9th edition (ICD-9), page 233, "tobacco use disorder" in the organic brain damage section. This applies data on smoking as causing brain damage known for over four centuries in medicine. The high quantities of toxic chemicals damage the brain. At autopsy, it's long been known in medicine that all regular smokers' brains show damage.

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  15. Lonnie Carreau, my man, you have it backward. If smokers can't go without smoking around other people, THEY can vote with their wallets by staying home and not patronizing a business. As a former smoker, I now realize that I was wrong expecting other people to be around my smoke and I know that there aren't that many smokers around, anymore, so a few smokers who say they won't go to a business will be replaced by a greater number of people who like the air without the tobacco smoke. And I also now agree that our representatives should be voting to get the smoke out of these businesses, for the good of everyone.

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  16. David you ask which is it? Everyone has to comply with the laws of the city whether they are a business owner or apartment owner or whatever. One statement has to do with the existing law and the other has to do with the rights that business owners currently have. Certain business owners have the choice to make their establishments smoke free. Others have to make their establishments smoke free because of the existing laws. But you already know this and you also know that your statements concerning this subject, as other on this string, don't make any sense. You want me to put the item on the ballot and then when you are asked to do the same because it's your issue you say, it's already been on the ballot. I am going to close this string because for two reasons. 1. The comments have nothing to do with the Town Hall Meeting. 2. I think that I appreciate your position on the subject and others can't come to terms that there is another side to the argument. You have your opinion and I have mine. I respect what you have to say on the subject. I hear you and I get it. Enough said.

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  17. The lady stated that you got more letters from people supporting the ordinance so what kind of a representative are you that you don’t listen to the people? You said you believe that property owners have the right today to make their properties smoke free. Well then Mr Charlie, if the majority rules in your book (like when when you spoke about the Titan site, http://raglandroadchronicle.blogspot.com/2013/02/we-people-only-majority.html?showComment=1359921407454#c757007366254960132 then how come the majority doesn’t rule when it comes to smoking in publicly invited places of business? If you are so staunchly concerned about stifling individual’s property rights, then what about those very homeowers that want to be frack free? You are choosing to have mineral rights and smoking rights trump the rights to be smoke and frack free! You are a public servent of money sir, and your family should be ashmed of you. You take pride in deciding that the majority doesn’t know whats good for itself depending on if money is involved. Satan is so proud of you.

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  18. Is that how government works? The side with the most form letters wins. Where is fracking considered in the smoking ordinance? Where am I considering money in this equation? I work for nothing. Everything I make goes either to the Wounded Warriors or Fisher House. You on the other hand took the drilling bonus and then you mounted a campaign to stop them from fulfilling your contract. When I was speaking about the Titan site and talked about ethics, I was talking to you. It didn't do any good then and I'm certain that you spent their money. I'm not even going to comment on the rest of your nonsense. Take your dummy and gas mask and have a good day.

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