Saturday, May 31, 2014

Liberal vs Conservative

In the last two days I have been called a “liberal” by two minor news outlets, which I find humorous and completely false.  It seems that my voting record of late is liberal in nature.  Interesting since these votes were all 9-0 votes, but my vote is singled out to be the liberal one.  It would seem that being a twenty year veteran, an avid hunter that has hunted in several different countries, gun owner and reloader, doesn’t count for anything any more.  They would have you believe that my eight years of service for I.C.E. in the fight against terrorism is something to be discouraged.  On the contrary, this is an effort to pigeon-hole me because I don’t agree with the ultra right wing.  Just because Attila the Hun and I aren’t bridge partners doesn’t make me a liberal.

I have stated before that I am for smaller government, fiscal responsibility, a stronger military, and I’m against anything Obama, Reed and Pelosi.  The fact that I don’t adhere to the theory that Secretary General Moon is knocking on my door trying to push Agenda 21, doesn’t make me a liberal.  Now certain elements of our community would love to paint me in that light, but it is for their own ulterior reasons that they do so.  It isn’t because it’s true or false. 

Now let’s examine this a little closer.  When I was running for office there were two options for the library.  One was $40 million and one was $30 million.  The option that I voted for was for $20 million.  The second aspect of that vote considered the Council Chambers.  If we kept the current chambers it would cost $3 million to bring it up to ADA (American Disability Act) standards.  This must be done because it is federal law, there is no choice here.  Let’s break it down further.  If little Johnny spent $40 million for a new library and another $3 million to refurbish an aging Council Chamber, that would be $43 million.  If little Joey spend $20 million for a new library and another $6 million for a new Council Chamber that would be $26 million, who would be showing the most fiscal restrain?  The vote was 9-0 and I’m the liberal, I’m also Joey, go figure. 

Now I have stood up to Open Carry Tarrant County.  This is a group that has been kicked out of Jack In The Box, Chick Fillet, and Chipotle.  They have been disavowed by Open Carry Texas, and distanced by the NRA due totally to their actions.  They have disrespected our laws, our Police Officers, and threatened several citizens to include a radio host.  My vote was to ban all weapons in Council Meetings and to not allow the distribution of literature in our busy thoroughfares.  The votes were 9-0 and 8-1 respectively, but my vote was the liberal one.  This post is simply an effort to illustrate that the press can print whatever they want and it doesn’t have to be true.  I am a Reagan Conservative, not a right wing whack job, and certainly not a liberal.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Council Meeting May 27th

Last night was an uneventful meeting in comparison.  All of the recently re-elected candidates were sworn in.  I was fortunate enough to have my lovely bride of 39 years at my side to celebrate the occasion.  It was also noted that a metal detector was positioned at the front entrance to screen people entering the Council Chamber.  This is a result of a group that wanted to bring guns to council meetings.  It proved to be a non event last night.

One item of note was the issue of red light cameras.  My personal opinion is that if a vote came up tomorrow to remove them from our city, I would support it.  But since we do currently have them, and if you are caught on video running a red light, then I believe that you should pay the fine.  I have been caught twice by these cameras and I paid the fine both times.  I didn’t think that I ran a red light but the video showed without a doubt that I did.  Therefore I paid the fines.  If you do the crime, then pay the fine.

Last night we voted 9-0 to block car registration if you have outstanding red light fines.  37,000 people have outstanding warrants for red light violations.  Although I don’t like the cameras, I cannot condone violating the law without some retribution.  That is why I voted in favor of this ordinance change.   

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Well today is Memorial Day, and it is always a very special day for me.  On this weekend 12 years ago I pedaled a bicycle from Austin back to Arlington, and in doing so celebrated our fallen heroes.  It is at this time each year that we salute those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we may enjoy the freedoms that make this country so remarkable.  I know we have plenty of problems here in America.  But I was free yesterday morning to attend the church of my belief.  I am free to speak my mind on any subject without the threat of imprisonment.  I am free to move about this great country without restriction.  And lastly I am free to pursue life, liberty and happiness, as long as I conform to the laws of the city, state and nation.  For some of you it may not sound like much, but imagine not having just one of those freedoms, much less having all of them removed.  That is why it is so important to take the time to remember our fallen. 

Memorial Day was first celebrated after the civil war.  Brother against brother for the purpose of gaining freedom for individuals that didn't have freedom.  Sometimes it's hard for me to imagine the rag tag Continental Army and our founding fathers deciding to fight the largest force on earth for the purpose of gaining freedom.  Then of course, consider the Greatest Generation coming together to beat back tyranny in WWI and WWII.  Korea, Viet Nam, Kuwait, Desert Storm I & II and now Afghanistan were all examples of America suiting up to preserve Liberty and the Freedoms of other people.  I am very proud to have served my country and when my time gets short, I would like to be surrounded by those at our National Memorial Cemetery in Grand Prairie

This morning at 6:00 my Rotary Club will put up flags to commemorate Memorial Day.  Police Chief Will Johnson and I put 61 flags in front of houses this morning and will take them down this evening.  This morning at Moore Cemetery on Davis, there was a very moving service.  I had the privilege to listen to Sgt. Stephen Jackel.  He told the story of how his Abrams troop carrier was hit by an IED and how he later lost both legs.  A woman once asked him, after suffering such injuries, would you let your son or daughter join the military?  He stated, “Why wouldn’t I?  To serve your country to preserve our freedom is the ultimate duty.”  What a remarkable young hero.  But heroism can be simply standing a good watch, because they are watching over us, and protecting us.  Do you ever consider that when we are having a lunch of BBQ or burgers, that there are troops standing watch in the middle of the night on the other side of the world?  Have you considered that there might be a firefight in the Hindu Kush or that Navy SEALS might be in the Crimea as we sleep? I hope that you take some time out of your day to attend a service or event, and remembered to say thank you for their sacrifice.  God Bless America.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Burton or Shelton

Been out of the country for a few days and I guess I should sit down and write this post.  We are in the middle of a run-off election for the State Senate race of district 10.  Your choices are Konni Burton or Dr. Mark Shelton.  I am endorsing Dr. Shelton and I will post several reasons why I have come to this decision:

Konni Burton supports Open Carry Tarrant County.  That’s right, the rifle toting right wing radical gang that goes around scaring everyone in Jack-in-the-Box, Chipotle, and Chic-filet.  They have disrespected our police officers, threatened their families, made remarks concerning my family, violate First Amendment right for others and disobeyed our laws.  She is also associated with the ultra right wing Tea Party.  Is this the type of reasoning you want to send to Austin?  Mark Shelton is not in support.

Konni Burton opposed the school bond issue that passed by 72%.  Do you think that Tarrant County will get any state funds and representation for educating our children? Mark Shelton is in support of education for our children.

Konni Burton is opposed to high speed rail.  She stated this on television.  10 billion dollars of private money will build this project and it will go from Houston to Dallas, but Burton will not support it continuing to Ft. Worth with a stop in Arlington.  No support from her here either.  Mark Shelton is in support of this project.

Konni Burton is against the 50 year water plan.  That’s right, people are coming to the metroplex daily and we are going to have to plan ahead to get water to them.  There is a pipeline from East Texas lakes to Tarrant County and she will go to Austin to stop its construction.  So much for forward thinking.  Mark Shelton is in support of this project.

Konni Burton, while being against encouraging economic development, and not supporting projects like AT&T Stadium and the Ballpark at Arlington, she holds out her hand to take money from Empower Texas PAC ($55,000) and Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($25,000) and Texans for Education Reform PAC ($10,000).  She has no problem taking PAC money from special interest groups.  If elected what do you think they will want?  Shelton’s money has come from Alice Walton (Sam’s daughter) and the Texas State Realtors ($25,000) each.

After the looking at the platform and the overall representational thinking of the candidate, I look at the campaign.  Shelton signs are down or missing all over the County but the Burton signs are untouched.  This is a dirty, cheap political trick.  Although it might not be Burton doing it personally, I’m sure that it is her supporters, and I can’t condone that type of behavior in Arlington or in Austin.

I’m going to the polls today and voting for Dr. Mark Shelton.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Council Meeting May 13th

Tonight’s meeting was a complete reversal of the one on April 22.  Last meeting was disrespectful, loud and obnoxious.  This meeting was subdued and polite in comparison..  First off I want to thank all the citizens that showed up to support the views of the majority of the residents in our city.  Your attendance in support was appreciated.  I removed the issue of the street’s ordinance from the consent agenda, so that Council could comment and also to force another vote on the issue.

My comments had to do with the reason why litigation is running rampant in the U.S.  It would seem that common sense is not common, and everything has to be on paper so the validity of a view can be challenged in a court of law.  Everything has to go to court these days, so that a judge can tell us what the prevailing sentiment is on a certain subject.  On April 22, Council had to legislate that if a hand gun is illegal to bring into a government meeting by law, then common sense would state that an AR-15 with three times the fire power would also be illegal.  Again, common sense is no longer common, ergo litigation.

This week we answered the question; is it safe for citizens to go into the street and have a conversation with a motorist, in traffic, and pass out literature with or without a gun.  The vote was 8-1 and now this is illegal in the City of Arlington.  The group “Open Carry Texas” thinks that this is a violation of the First Amendment.  The Council decided it was a safety issue.  There was only one outburst the entire evening.  That was by their leader, Mr. Watkins, yelling that the United States is not a democracy it is a Republic.  I believe that Mr. Watkins is inaccurate.  I think that there are only two Republics left in the United States.  That would be Oregon and Texas.  The group also read from the book of Luke, stating that Jesus Christ would be arrested in Arlington, and also hid behind charities not being able to collect funds in the streets.  They also stated that Firemen are in the streets collecting for Muscular Dystrophy.  I explained to them last week that city employees have a waiver signed my Governor Perry giving them an exemption.  The city cannot override state mandates.  I would also mention the eloquence of Councilman Jimmy Bennett for his comments concerning the mechanics of the Constitution.

But common sense prevailed at the end of the day.  The ordinance was amended and OCT threatened to sue and violate the legislation on the 24th when the modification goes into affect.  I cautioned them to obey the laws of Arlington or face the consequences of their decision.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Just a note to say that I appreciate your confidence in me to represent you for a second term.  As you know I have retired twice in my career, and therefore I have the time and energy to devote to the citizens of North Arlington.  I would hope that you have seen a difference, due to my efforts in the past two years.  If a change has not been apparent, then I have been remiss, so please feel free to direct my efforts in other directions.

During the last two years I have only voted for one apartment complex, the Arlington Commons on Lamar.  I believe that if we are going to have additional apartments in our city, we need to hold the developer’s feet to the flame, and get a good quality product.  In this term I have also discouraged three other developers not to approach us with apartment projects in the north.  One of those instances was as recent as last Wednesday.

I still have a vision for a retirement community in the Lamar/Collins of North Arlington.  This is my next project and I hope that I have the horsepower to get this accomplished.  This will be my prime objective for this next term.  The TXDot property is coming into play by local entrepreneurs, Mega Hotel on the cusp, Fortune 500 Company to settle in our district, and Glory Park discussions on the horizon.  All of these projects are exciting and viable possibilities for the future of our community.  Other projects are out on the fringe, and you have a group of remarkable people working to make North Arlington the place to live and play in the Metroplex. 

I feel very privileged and honored, that you have entrusted me with your representation of these vital improvements to our city.  I am humbled by your confidence and belief in my leadership capabilities.  I know that I can’t please everyone, but I sleep well at night knowing that I have served my constituents to the best of my capacity.  You have shown your trust and confidence in me by allowing me to run unopposed.  Thank you for the privilege to serve.