Saturday, October 15, 2016

Distorting the Message

We recently had a very impactful vote on the Aubrey City Council.  This pertained to amending a previous development agreement on the Regatta development, located off of FM 2931.  There are multiple tentacles of this agreement, and there really is not a simple answer, but I will do my best to explain what actually took place and why.  However, to be clear, this vote only effected one minor section of the agreement.

Over the past several years, instead of using a fraction of common sense, Aubrey leadership has had a "take over the world" mentality.  They have been convinced that they would soon be the next Frisco, TX.  However, many people moving to Aubrey are coming from Frisco, TX, wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle.  The Aubrey leadership, never took this into account, and were more driven by their egos and legacies, and of course, they never asked the people of Aubrey what they wanted.

There were several development agreements signed with multiple developers around the Aubrey area.  As part of all of these agreements, the developer was forced to decertify the Certificates of Convenience and Necessity (CCN), of Mustang Water.  The CCN could most easily as described as the territory where the service provider has exclusive rights to provide water/waste water services.

Aubrey has reached out and annexed a large development off of FM 1385, some 8 miles from the city center.  The legality of this annexation could certainly be questioned, because of the distance from the city, it not being contiguous with the rest of the city's corporate limits.  Currently this development is an island of the city of Aubrey, which technically shouldn't happen.

This development was literally across the street from a Mustang water tower, which they had invested millions of dollars in.  Unfortunately, without ever contacting Mustang, this developer was forced to decertify from the Mustang CCN, and turn the CCN over to Aubrey.  The city never made any contact with Mustang during this process or tried work out a win-win solution.  

This winner take all approach, was essentially a declaration of war on Mustang, and a huge waste of tax payer money, because another water tower would literally be built across the street from the Mustang tower.  There was no negotiating with Mustang on the matter and there was input accepted.  This was accomplished under our previous mayor for the most-part.

Our current mayor wrote in a local publication that Aubrey was preparing to provide water service to all 42 square miles of our ETJ, sending a clear message that Aubrey was in fact looking to take over much more of Mustang's CCN.  For this reason Mustang took preventative measure to make it more difficult for their CCN to be impacted, and thus protecting it's massive investments.  Therefore, Aubrey will not be taking any more of Mustang's CCN without spending way more money than we could ever afford, and likely losing even if we did spend the money.

It is disappointing that we have gotten to this point, as I knew that Mustang would be taking these preventative measures to protect their investments.  Therefore, I suggested that we work closer with Mustang, and not continue the combative relationship with them.  However, the smartest people in the room, (who now are proven to be fools), would have none of that talk.  I was ridiculed by my peers for telling them exactly what was going to happen, which history has proven to be correct.  

During this same timeframe there was several concerned members of the Aubrey ETJ that were concerned about the legality of the Aubrey Subdivision Ordinance.  Therefore, they planned a meeting to get more organized as a group, when Mayor Janet Meyers attempted to force her way into the meeting, she was politely asked to leave; myself and councilman Chris Huber were invited guests to this meeting.  Her response to this was to immediately submit a letter to a local blog news site, and then go to my neighbors crying big girl tears, saying that I was making everyone hate her.  Not sure why she can't see that if anyone hates her, it's her policies that's causing it, not me.

The development agreement for the Regatta development also had the clause that required decertification from the Mustang CCN.  However, under the new scenario, the developer would likely have to go to Federal Court to even attempt this.  The proposition of going to Federal Court could easily cost the developer a million dollars, and probably more costly, it could take years to work through the court process, which would not allow the developer to take advantage of the current growth coming to this area.  However, our mayor and staff was pushing for us to force the developer to do just.

Fortunately for the people of Aubrey, there were some adults in the room that night to prevent this foolishness.  Unfortunately, after the council overwhelmingly voted to support amending the development agreement preventing costly lawsuit, we were criticized by our mayor and/or her husband on a local community website.  For saving the city a potential lawsuit, and not holding a developer hostage, we were criticized by the person who is supposed to the leader of this community.

The mayor of a town is comparable to the CEO of company, the CEO of Aubrey, TX is piling on unnecessary debt, trying her damnedest to get us sued, and encouraging holding developers hostage.  Frankly, the responses from Mayor Janet Meyers whenever she feels a little pressure, shows some mental unstableness.  If she's not currently on medication, she may need to look into it, because she is definitely not rational in some instances.

Another comment on this site also alluded that this vote would somehow raise taxes.  This statement shows the level of ignorance and misinformation that is being spread.  The fact of the matter is that we should have never passed the 5.5 million dollar bond package.  While it was not broadly discussed during the discussion of this foolish expenditure, the main reason that the bond package was so big, was with the intention of serving water to the Regatta development.  However, the majority of council would not be confused with facts, and therefore this unneeded expenditure passed.  This unnecessary bond package may cause a need for taxes to go up in the future.

It is unfortunate that there is such a high level of ignorance and that the people of this community believe what they've been told without first checking the source.  It is also unfortunate that the elected officials, will blatantly mislead and lie to the citizens that trust them.  I encourage all citizens to trust but verify with their officials.  I understand for the most-part local elected officials are volunteers, but that does not relieve them from the responsibilities of their office, or the oath they took.  


1 comment:

  1. I have seen some places use eminent domain to purchase the water company or sewage system normally the fight is not about if they can purchase it, but how much to pay for the facilities and the transfer of employee's. This is just doubling the facilities in the area that could be purchased many times for less debt than building new distribution systems and water towers. As for bond packages like that, all I can say is look what the SEC is doing to a place in St. Lawrence County NY, with pulling elected officials out of their homes in handcuffs. There was fraud at the root of the bond issues over the years. One thing I have learned in TX with friends that were in elected office at the local level or as judges and the same here in PA, but as an elected official. Most are just trying to do the best that they can for the people. Others, have no concept that they are servants and some of their actions just turn my guts.