Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Christmas time is here and since America was established on Christian/Judean principals it is important for us to recognize that the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated throughout the world.  Sure the glitz and socioeconomic aspects of Christmas have grown to overshadow the true reason and spirit of Christmas, but let’s not be duped by Madison Avenue.  Don’t take the Jos A. Bank specials of buy 1 get 3 free to be the reason that you celebrate Christmas.  Actually if you look in your Bible in the book of Luke Chapter 2, verses 1-20, it will tell the whole story of the birth of Jesus.  This simple story has captured the hearts and minds of people throughout the world.  It is the beginning of Christianity and ignites the spirit of giving and good will toward others.  This Christmas Spirit is the celebration of the birth of the Savior of all Christians. 

Santa, his travels, and all his gifts are symbolic in that he gives to people he doesn’t even know because they are supposed to be good.  The Three Wise Men traveled following a star and gave their most precious possessions to a baby that angels professed to be the son of God.  The innocence of a babe lying in a manger inspired their generosity.  This is the meaning of Christmas as we know it today.  This celebration where we surround ourselves with family, over eat and over spend, also overshadows its true meaning.  Please take some time to lend some authenticity to the Christmas Spirit.

And if I might ask, while you are gathered round the table this Christmas, would you take the time for a small prayer.  All around the world tonight, there are young men and women who are watching over us to keep our freedoms safe and intact for future generations.  They can’t be with their families this Christmas.  Please ask that they be kept safe and returned home to their loved ones soon.

God Bless You and Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 22, 2013

700 Kyle St.

Anyone that lives near the Tree Top addition knows that the house at 700 Kyle burned several months ago.  Now it is an eyesore and people want to know what is being done about this problem.  Rumors were started that it was a Meth House and that the laboratory burned up.  This simply isn’t the case.  An addition over the garage was constructed, and the wiring was faulty and the house caught on fire. 

Code enforcement issued a citation concerning the house access and the owner constructed a chain link fence to limit the access.  Then months passed with nothing being done about the property.  Everyone thought that the insurance company was dragging its feet.  Apparently there is no insurance company.  Code control was prepared to issue another citation and the owner has simply vanished.  So the next step is a DSS hearing.  A Dangerous and Substandard Structure hearing is scheduled for 6 February and this property will be on the agenda.  This is the first step in the removal of the structure from the property.  It will take time but the gears are slowly moving in the proper direction allowing the property owner the due diligence that is required.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Student Housing

Last night at the Council meeting, something significant happened that you should be aware of concerning student housing at UTA.  Now let’s back up and get a little history on the Sapphire project.  Awhile back this project was touted as a luxury living apartment project.  Since they couldn’t get the financing for the project with that purpose in mind, they went the student housing route and got the dollars required.  Student housing is a hot comodity right now because it is recession proof.  Then the project was sold from a west coast company to a Dallas company, which is a good thing.  The problem is when you build student housing it is usually one door knob per unit.  Each unit will have a common room, four bedrooms and four bathrooms.  So the number of units is not the issue, it is the number of students per acre that is significant.

 Now the Arlington Lofts on Abrams street was defeated a few months ago because the density was too large, at 166 students/acre.  It just so happens that the Sapphire project between Center and Mesquite is also at 166 students/acre.  So the new density standard for the city of Arlington has been set very high.  Yesterday at the work session I asked John Hall the Director of Planning for UTA, “what is the upper number of density that he considers comfortable student living at UTA?”  He could not give me an answer.  When asked what the density is going to be for the new student housing projects on campus, he simply stated that the private sector is going to have higher density than typical university housing.

So last night’s vote was pivotal in the argument of what is the upper limit of students that can live on an acre of land.  The Council voted 8-1 to set the acceptable bar at 166 students/acre.  How high will it go?

Saturday, December 14, 2013


When I was running for office there were two proposals concerning the building of a new library.  One was a complete tear down and rebuild for $40 million.  The other option was a tear down to the skeleton of the structure and rebuild for $30 million.  Now there is a new proposal, which we will call the relocation proposal. 

The library is proposed to be constructed near the train tracks and where a portion of the current city hall parking lot is located.  Instead of the previous proposals of 100,000 sq/ft, this will have 85,000 sq/ft and the price tag is down to $20 million.  The plan would include a new city council chamber incorporating all the ADA changes that our current chamber would require.  The total cost of the project would be $26 million.  This to me seems like a common sense approach to solving the problems of an aging library that should be replaced and incorporating $3 million in ADA changes that have to be incorporated in the current chamber. 

Another positive to the project is that there is a developer that wants to build a multi-use facility on the current library site.  Retail establishments will be on the bottom floor and either lofts or offices spaces on the above floors.  This project will invest another $26 million in private money in our downtown area.  I get the feeling that most if not all council members view this project favorably.