Just learned yesterday that our Rockwall City Council voted 5-1 last week to spend $152,000 for decorative lights on the almost-completed Highway 205.
Can you believe that? I can’t.
At a time when the whole nation is concerned about unnecessary government spending, why would our Council members vote for something like this? Please enlighten me, somebody!
Cliff Sevier was the only Council member to oppose the idea. Hooray for Cliff!
I’ll be investigating the story this week to get the facts but I suspect I’ll be writing the full story and an editorial opinion against the lights this week for TheRockwallNews.com.
The Rockwall City Council unanimously approved the funding of $21,500 to the non-profit Rockwall County Committee On Aging for their Meals-On-Wheels program at the Nov. 16 City Council meeting.
The Committee is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, according to Committee Director Margie VerHagen.
But is such funding actually “against the law?”
Former Rockwall City Council member Bob Cotti wrote Nov. 26 as a comment regarding the boat docks on GlenFarris.com, that he agrees with Glen that it is not the responsibility of any city to ensure that non-profits thrive or even survive.
But he also added:
“I agree with Glen. Not only is it not the City’s responsibility, it is against the law for the city to use its financial resources for other than municipal purposes.”
I suppose the question would then be how to define “municipal purposes?”
What non-profit funding is permissible and what isn’t? We need to find out.
The Rockwall City Council also recently approved about $12,000 in funding to the non-profit Kaufman Area Rural Transportation (KART), which provides inexpensive bus transportation to citizens of Kaufman, Rockwall and neighboring counties.
I’m told the Council provided about $1,500 to the non-profit Hubbard Chamber Music Series, as well, of which Council member Matt Scott is listed as an Advisory Board member.
The Council also pledged matching funds to an area arts group one or two years ago to help build a statue in Rockwall. I don’t know the current status of that fundraising effort but need to find out. Please email me with details if anybody knows.
The Rockwall City Council honored the late Rockwall Police volunteer John Fitzwater and his wife at their meeting last Monday night when they unanimously agreed to rename the Police Community Service office located in the Brookshire’s shopping center in his honor.
He passed away Sept. 19, 2009. The Rockwall Police Officer’s Association requested the change.
According to police, Fitzwater donated 724 documented service hours – plus many more undocumented - patrolling neighborhoods and businesses, performing children’s puppet shows and training volunteers how to operate the Sky Watch crime prevention unit, which he often transported.
He began his service in 1998, when he attended the Citizen Police Academy. He then joined the Citizens on Patrol organization and was president of the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association from January, 2008, until his death.
Rockwall needs more unsung heroes like Mr. Fitzwater.
The Rockwall City Council unanimously voted down a proposal to extend mixed liquor sales until 2 a.m. at last week’s council meeting.
According to City Manager Julie Couch, there was no indication that any of the 31 license holders for the sale of mixed beverages in Rockwall would oppose the decision.
The proposal was first brought before the Council two months ago, suggesting that extending the sale would increase revenues for Rockwall restaurants and grocery stores, plus prevent traffic accidents by allowing Rockwall residents to drink closer to their homes.
The Rockwall City Council voted again Tuesday night to annex Lake Rockwall Estates by the same 6-1 margin as it did about two weeks ago.
The lone dissenting vote was cast by Mark Russo, who said one of his election promises was to try to keep city taxes low.
No other details are currently available.
Houses, mobile homes, autos and more are crowded into the generally run-down Lake Rockwall Estates area, located South of I-30 off Horizon Rd.
In an effort to clean up a generally run-down portion of the community where over 1,000 children live, the Rockwall City Council voted last night to annex Lake Rockwall Estates, 6-1.
More city services will now be provided to the area, plus police will add patrols to the area troubled by high crime.
Read the details on the blogs of two City Council members:
RockwallTalks by Glen Farris
There will be a new Tom Thumb food store coming to Rockwall soon.
Owned by one of the nation’s largest supermarket chains, Safeway Inc, the new grocery store will be located North of Rockwall at the intersection of State Highways 205 (N. Goliad) and 552, in the new Stone Creek retail center.
Hwy. 552 is the same road that Williams Elementary and Williams Middle Schools are on.
Tom Thumb was just granted a variance on the height of lights it wants for the interior of the parking lot by the Rockwall City Council last week.
For more details, visit http://www.rockwallrocks.com and see the headline at: Light pole height variance granted for shopping center at FM 552
The Rockwall City Council voted 6 to 1 Aug. 16 to approve the hiring of an architectural firm to begin developing a master plan for the the Hill above The Harbor.
According to City Council member Glen Farris, who wrote the story on his new blog “Rockwall Talks,” the hill is considered the most important undeveloped land in Rockwall, if not the entire metroplex.
The Council approved Talley and Associates, after the firm was recommended by a subcommittee comprised of Farris, Mayor Bill Cecil, and Council member Margo Nielsen after an extensive selection process during which five firms were considered.
“Talley and Associates will go through a fairly extensive process in order to identify the best mixed use recommendation for this piece of land,” wrote Farris.
“This process will be developed through brainstorming with the City Council and staff as well as working with a team of individuals, including a marketing firm and architectural firm, in order to arrive at the best concept plan proposal for development of this site,” he added.
“A market analysis would be conducted to identify market trends for the type of development that is most ideal as well as an associated estimate on the potential value of the land once it is developed. There will also be a set of design standards that would be brought forth for adoption by the City as well as a concept plan and parking recommendations. View corridor and graphic depiction of the proposed elevation recommendations would also be included in the concept.”
For more details, visit Farris’ blog Rockwall Talks.
After an all day meeting on August 15th, the Rockwall City Council agreed to a tax rate not to exceed 50.88 cents for the upcoming fiscal year.
For more details, see City Council member Glen Farris’ new blog “Rockwall Talks.”