Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Well the weather outside is frieghtening, rain with a chance of snow.  But it is still Christmas Day and that means that it is special.  I don't know what your religious beliefs are concerning this day, but it is our tradition, at the Parker household, to surround ourselves with loved ones, eat, drink and be merry then we exchange gifts.  When I was in the airline industry, I worked almost all Christmas'.  So we celebrated on different days other than the 25th of December.  Our tradition was always to symbolize Christmas and in doing so to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and not just to have Christmas because it was Christmas.  Our gift giving was meant to embrace the spirit of the three wise men's generosity.  To me this captured the Spirit of Christmas, and I search for this feeling every year.

When we gather as a family this Christmas, my hopes are that you have the same blessing.  When you gather this year in the name of our Savior, please give thanks to those that are not as fortunate.  There are brave young men and women who are away from home this Christmas.  They are sacrificing so that your freedoms can endure.  These remarkable individuals are so deserving of your respect and recognition.  Please include them in your thoughts and prayers.  Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, and Happy Hanukkah.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last City Council Meeting of 2012

Tonight we voted on approving a new drill zone within the existing drill sites on two different well locations, both well south of district 1.  I visited both sites yesterday and noted that they looked like industrial complexes in a residential area.  I noted on the staff report that they were supposed to have masonry walls on both sites and there were none.  The reason for this is that they were operating under the old ordinance for gas well drilling in Arlington.  That ordinance stated that the masonry walls were to be constructed after all wells were completed.  Since they were requesting at rezoning for the drill site they now have to comply with the new ordinance that states construction of the masonry walls had to be accomplished before the first well is drilled.  I stated my concerns to Cliff McCoskey who was the spokes person for the gas company.  Luckily the operator was at the meeting and I had him state for the record that masonry walls on both sites will be constructed by the end of the first quarter, with drilling operations estimated in July.  Knox boxes were installed and I observed them on site, and surveilance cameras will be installed by the end of the week.  All of my concerns were met and I voted for the new drill zones to be approved.  The operator is on record and I believe that he will comply fully. 

The other concern that I had was with a zoning request by an existing apartment complex.  This complex was constructed in 1964 and the smaller of the buildings had burned to the ground.  He was not in compliance with current zoning because his building was built before this zoning was required, thus operating in a non-conforming status.  Essentially he was asking us to grant him privileges outside of the current ordinance.  We voted not to hear his request.  He should never have been before the council to begin with, and his request was simply wasting our time.

Lastly, several citizens voiced their opposition concerning a house located at 612 Crown Colony.  It is a seven bedroom house that is vacant and rented on short term options.  It has become animal house, with parties, drinking and behavior that is considered disruptive to the neighborhood.  The owner doesn't care and is unwilling to meet with the neighbors and discuss their concerns.  Bill Adams is the next door neighbor and he has lived there for the last 30 years.  He has had enough and will put his house on the market on 1 January.  Citizen outrage was obvious to the council.  They are appealing to the councils sense of decency to do something about this problem.  To this point I have carried their water and introduced the problem to the Community and Neighborhood Development Committee.  The next step will be a citizens initiative to circulate a petition for more participation on this issue.

Friday, December 7, 2012

48 hours

Yesterday morning I testified at a hearing concerning the Forest Hills apartments.  It was to consider 5 of the 10 buildings on that property uninhabitable.  The proceedings were over at 7:30 last night and they started at 11:00 in the morning.  I had to leave after my testimony because I had to drive to Round Rock for an energy symposium for this morning.  The ruling of Judge Milner is that 4 of the 5 buildings were ruled Dangerous or Substandard Structures and the owner was given 60 days to make the structures safe.  If not, then a demolition request will be requested.  We have made great strides in code enforcement and crime reduction.  Gangs have been relocated, bike patrols have been established and neighborhood crime is down because of the code enforcement officers and the police patrols.  If you see them be sure to thank them. 

The symposium was very informative.  It dealt with how power gets to cities and in what forms it takes considering the different types of power.  Wind, solar, nuclear, hydrocarbon and coal.  They all have different characteristics and different shelf lives. 

Now let me entertain some of the comments that are taking place on another media.  This blog is still taking comments.  I will not deal with certain elements that do not like my answers to them.  It is one thing to ask a question and receive an answer, but if the answer isn't one that you personally like I'm very sorry but that is still the answer.  Now I have explained in detail why it is impossible to reclaim an apartment complex and put single family homes in its place.  A certain individual simply doesn't have the capacity to understand this concept, no matter how many times I have personally explained it to her.  I have spent hours explaining this concept to her without success.  I have also spent an extreme amount of time explaining my vote on a development project in south Arlington.  She didn't like that answer either.  I will be more than happy to answer everyone else's questions on this blog, that is what it was made for.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dec 4th City Council Meeting

You may have noticed my absence at both the afternoon and evening City Council Meetings.  The reason for my absence was that I got something in my eye on Monday afternoon and for the life of my I couldn't get it out.  So the only time that the Doctor could see me was 3:45 that afternoon.  Now I feel like I have a log in my eye and everytime I blink, it feels like I'm scraping a groove in my eyelid.  I had attended a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce in the morning and all Committee meetings up to that point.  When I left for my appointment it was my intention to attend the evening meeting.  But the Doctor informed me that I had a metal sliver enbedded in my eye and he couldn't remove it at the office, so he sent me to the emergency room.  That is when I knew I was going to miss the evening meeting and I informed the office of such. 

Now let me inform you of the meeting at the Chamber.  An apartment developer from Jacksonville, Florida was in taking a look at our apartment situation.  Of course I directed him to the President's Corner area and he was very interested in the prospect of tearing down these apartments and building others.  I confessed that it was a challenged area.  He stated that, "where there are challenges, there are opportunities."  I like this guy!  There are several people just like him that are voicing interest in the Overlay Area.  You never can tell when something might just happen.