Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Opinion Arlington Question

Opinion Arlington is a cyber opinion piece that is the brain child of Buddy Saunders.  Mr. Saunder’s ideas are in direct opposition to progress in our city.  Both he and web-helper Richard Weber set a negative narrative to any improvements to our city and in the same breath fail to acknowledge the good works of Council.  I truly don’t know how people can go through life with such pessimism. 

Weekly they put out a question for candidates and it illustrates my point concerning their negativity.  Here is the lastest:

The Arlington Commons-Phase I is at 63 units/acre. In addition to the corporate welfare deal, the developer requested Lamar Blvd be changed in the TDP (Thoroughfare Development Plan) from a six-lane major arterial to a three-lane major arterial. What are your thoughts regarding the TDP? What are your thoughts regarding high-density apartments?

Here is my answer:  Your term “corporate welfare” isn’t accurate in any form.  The word is “commerce.”  Arlington has all the tools that any other city in the Metro Plex has, but when used in  conjunction with Arlington you deem them “Corporate Welfare.”  The Council has set the table with a 380 agreement in this instance. The same as it did with General Motors.  The result is commerce to our city that raises the corporate tax base and relieves our citizens of a tax increase.  The tax rate has remained the same (.648) since 2004.  What you fail to understand is that without this agreement the slum/crime infested apartments would still be there.  The 380 agreement in place allowed $250 million in investment capital to be put into the community.  This investment has already spurred $1 million in redevelopment to the shopping center across the street.  The GM “corporate welfare” will assure a $1.4 billion dollar investment in the Arlington plant while the newer Shreveport Plant will be closing.  Again this commerce will supply jobs and raise the corporate tax base for the next 40 yrs.

Now let’s talk about the Thoroughfare Plan.  In the original 380 agreement dated 2013, one of the attachments specifically shows that the linear park will run the length of the project from Center St. to Rolling Hills Country Club.  It clearly illustrates that westbound Lamar is narrowed to one lane.  The reason that the Thoroughfare plan was amended later  is that traffic studies had to be accomplished.  Then they had to apply for the amendment to the TDP.  It wasn’t because of parking required for the leasing office, as my opponent claims.  If it is found out that traffic is problematic then the city will require the developer to remove the parking and re-establish the second lane of traffic, at his own expense. 

Lastly, let me discuss the difference in my opponent’s views on this subject and mine.  A Town Hall meeting was held by Mr. Kembel, the developer of Arlington Commons.  Over 200 people attended and were educated as to his goals for the project.  At the end of the meeting over 150 people sided with the developer in a straw poll.  Then the next evening at Council over 60 people were in agreement with 3 against.  Council’s vote was unanimously in favor.  I listened to the people and voted accordingly.  My opponent would disregard the majority and vote as she pleases.  I refuse to participate in Mr. Saunder’s pity party.  He has already endorsed my opponent, therefore we know his allegiance.  I will answer the questions on this forum.   

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