Thursday, May 28, 2015
Last Tuesday evening we had the pleasure of welcoming our new Mayor to Council by having him sworn in during our scheduled Council meeting. The chamber was standing room only, and there was a sense of excitement in the air. Justice of the Peace Mary Tom Curnutt performed the oath of office, and a new chapter was started for Arlington, Texas. I might add that all the incumbent Council members were re-elected and sworn in by the City Secretary.
As for me, I am looking forward to working with Jeff, and I think that a new energy will add some vitality to Council. Sometimes we need a different perspective and I hope that Jeff will offer his insights and experiences in the business and engineering areas where he has been successful.
I think that Jeff and I are very like minded, in that we want to accomplish the same goals for the City. At a lunch we had last week I outlined my objectives, and he was on board. I look forward to his support on establishing a state of the art senior center in Arlington. I am also looking forward to seeing what can be done about establishing senior living facilities in north Arlington where apartments are currently setting. It is our combined belief that we owe a debt to our seniors, and that there is a void in the services that we currently provide. So I am excited, and now that we are done with all the ceremony and celebration I'm looking forward to getting back to the job of building a better Arlington.
Monday, May 25, 2015
Memorial Day is very special to me. I am a Veteran, so was my dad and my son, and there is a day in November set aside for saying thank you for our service. But Memorial Day has a special reverence to it because it remembers those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, to preserve our way of life. There is a saying, “they gave away all of their tomorrows so that we could enjoy today.” That is so humbling to me that it shakes my core.
This weekend I was free 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 this 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.
When I think of all of my friends that went to Vietnam and didn’t return and some casualty’s names aren’t even on that wall, I stop and think. To this day, emotion overwhelms me when I stand at that wall. I find it interesting that there is only one memorial in Washington D.C. That would be Arlington Memorial Cemetery, all the rest are monuments. Even the word is preserved for something very special. If you have ever been to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, you will understand the word Memorial. The Old Guard has stood watch over the Tomb continuously since 1948, continuously! The west side of the Tomb reads, “HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD”.
America remains that beacon on the hill today, because of the sacrifice honored on this day, Memorial Day. Please take the time to reflect on this gift, and remember.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Yesterday was an interesting day for the city of Arlington. We started out the afternoon with an Arlington Tomorrow Foundation meeting. Now this meeting had two elements that I thought were of merit. The first was $4.0 Million to be granted to the new library from the fund. The remaining amount is to be issued in certificates of obligation. This is an example of a new library and Council Chamber that is to be constructed without the use of citizen tax revenue. That’s correct, there isn’t a burden to the taxpayer for these new structures. The second item of interest is the “Dream” sign that is to be installed near the Levitt Pavilion. Although this expenditure passed, I simply couldn’t bring myself to vote for it. The reason being is simply that I don’t think that it was a good idea to arbitrarily construct something of this nature. In short I think it will look “cheesy”. Now I have to print a disclaimer and state for the record that I am no authority on the arts. That being said I simply could support something of this nature.
Last night the vote was canvassed and became official. Mayor Cluck pounded the gavel for the last time. It was a very emotional event for the Mayor. You can either love the Mayor or not, but you can’t deny the fact that he has dedicated the last sixteen years of his life in the service of our city. During that time Arlington has evolved into the entertainment capital of the Metroplex. We, as a city, have thrived in a time where other cities have floundered, through an economic downturn. Arlington has more projects completed and underway than any other city in north Texas. Mayor Cluck has played a large part in making those project become reality. He can be proud of the work that he has done. So we said goodbye to him at a reception last evening. Where one door closes another door opens and new opportunities arise. I look forward to working with the new Mayor and setting out on new challenges for our city.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
While everyone in Arlington was going to the polls to vote on Mayor, Council, School Board and Prop 1, I was lucky enough to be removed from the process by attending my son’s wedding in Cabo. I was surprised by some of the results, especially in the school board races. I was not surprised by the Mayor and Prop 1 results.
School Board races gave me pause because this current School Board was voted Number 1 in the state, and the one race that kept Aaron Reich was within 1% of losing. Peter Baron was in the same situation with a losing result. I find this unwarranted due to the performance of the School Board over the last few years. I feel that these are good people doing a thankless job, to create a positive learning environment for our children. We will see what results can be achieved.
The Mayoral race I saw before leaving was a very close contest. Jeff ran a very good campaign and was simply rewarded with this victory. I spent yesterday with the Mayor at our Council meeting and he seems to be taking the defeat very positively, and in good spirits. It may have been time for a change and some fresh ideas, but Mayor Cluck’s body of work over the past 16 yrs. has been remarkable and good for the city. He can be proud of the accomplishments that he and past Councils have achieved with a good conscience. Isn’t that what we all strive to do in our lives?
Concerning the Red Light Cameras, the people have spoken, and my hands are clean. I have tried to educate the citizens on what will happen and we will see if accidents increase like in other cities. I have every confidence that the RLC company will sue the city and that the election will be ruled illegal, just as it has been in the other six cities in Texas. I can only hope that your loved ones will not be injured in the future, because of this poor decision by the voters.
Concerning my son’s wedding, it was beautiful. The groom was handsome, the bride was beautiful, the setting was remarkable, and I caught a 150 lb. striped marlin. This event was successful in removing me from the political process and enjoying the time with my family. I am blessed.