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Is The Lubbock City Council Hiding From You?

12 Aug

This morning on the show we discussed how the City Council is looking to increase taxes without being tied to raising taxes. In a nutshell, the council wants to raise taxes from the bond election that was approved by voters a year before they start any of the approved projects. So your taxes will be going up because of the bond projects you approved, but we are at least a year away from starting those projects.

Instead the council will use that money to repaint City Hall, fix concrete at a fire station, and whatever else they want. Of course, they never mentioned any of this during the bond election and I’m pretty sure they knew about some of these projects back then.

Many people in Lubbock aren’t too happy about this. When I first heard this plan a couple of weeks back it was shady and I knew what the council was up to, and many of you have felt the same way. Many of our elected officials ran for office saying that they were against raising taxes. What they never said publicly was that while they are against raising taxes, raising fee’s however much they want is just fine. Now our elected officials are trying to pull a fast one on us regarding raising taxes due to the bond election. The council wants to do many things with your money, but they just don’t have enough to do it with. And of course they can’t be caught raising taxes either. So instead they plan on raising taxes, but blaming the bond election all while hoping that you don’t see this as a tax hike for projects you didn’t approve.

Like I said earlier, many people are upset about this and want to have their voice heard. Well lucky for you our council will hold two public hearings… during the morning hours. As Boortz would say, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!?!

Why is this council against holding important meetings at night? The council is going to raise taxes and they want your input, but only if you can skip work in the morning. By only having 2 meetings and only having them in the morning shows me that the Lubbock City Council doesn’t care about your opinion. They want to hide from you. They don’t want to be confronted and told that they are doing something wrong.

We have asked Mayor Tom Martin why they don’t hold council meetings at night and his excuse is that all meetings would last until 2am. Yeah, I don’t see that happening. Council meetings could start at 6 or 6:30pm and instead of doing closed door sessions after the meeting, they could hold them before. If the meetings were at night then more people could attend and get involved. I know it’s a radical idea and it might mean missing Wheel of Fortune, but if the council really wants citizen input they would hold meetings at night.

City Council meetings probably won’t change. I know that, but it should still be brought up and debated. What should change though is this unwritten policy the council has of holding public hearings in the mornings. Sure, have your morning public hearing, but let’s have a few at night too where more people would have the opportunity to attend and have their voices heard. Many on the council have said that they want more participation from the citizens, but it doesn’t seem like they really do to me.

More tomorrow on LFN. It’s an Open Line Friday so I encourage you to call in about this.

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Comments Wanted: Lubbock Water Rates

24 May

KCBD ran a story last night about water and the Lubbock City Council. The city wants to be able to cut-off your water if you don’t pay your other utilities. Lubbock also wants new people to pay a $75 tax deposit unless they can show proof of a good payment history. Here is the story from KCBD, please let me know how you feel about this. Some comments will be used on the show tomorrow.

via KCBD.com

New deposit required for water service if Lubbock City Council approves

Posted: May 23, 2010 10:23 PM
By James Clark | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Lubbock water customers might see some changes, if Lubbock City Council approves this week.  Under the proposal, water service will be disconnected if a customer fails to pay for other utilities (not just water or electricity).

A reconnect fee will increase from $44 to $55.  An after-hours reconnect fee will increase from $57 to $87.  New residential customers will have to pay a deposit of at least $75, unless they can show a good payment history with Lubbock or another city.  The cost of new water and sewer connections will go up to $400 each.

Mayor Tom Martin Endorses Delwin Jones?

7 Apr

Well, I hadn’t seen anything official on this, but according to the website for Delwin Jones, Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin has endorsed him. Martin has said many times on LFN that he’s the most conservative person out there. Well, that must not be true if he is in Delwin’s camp.

This won’t hurt Martin’s re-election chances, but I do think it will hurt him in the court of public opinion. Are you surprised that Martin endorsed Jones?

Below is a screen capture from the Delwin Jones website:

LUBBOCK MOONLIGHT MUSICALS ISSUES STATEMENT

29 Jul

The Board of Directors of Lubbock Moonlight Musicals, Inc. fully supports our executive director, Jill Kerns.

There was a concern brought forward by a patron.  That concern was addressed, and we consider the matter closed.

BEANE: “IT’S A BOLD-FACE LIE”

29 Jul

City Councilman Paul Beane is not happy with a certain morning show in town, and for once it’s not me. Yesterday I wrote a blog on why I haven’t brought up the Paul Beane/Moonlight Musical email that’s been going around. My competitors in the morning apparently received a phone call about the email during the show and decided to run with the allegations and talk about them for 2 hours. Problem is, they never had anyone on record. All they had was a phone call, email, and message board talking about the email. You can’t just believe everything you read on the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the email was 100% false or Paul Beane is 100% innocent, but at least we have people on record on both sides. Here is the article from FOX 34:

Beane: E-mail a Lie
City Councilman Paul Beane calls a widely-circulated e-mail critical of his behavior at a public event “a bold-faced lie”.

The original message, written by Moonlight Musical’s Executive Director Jill Kerns, addresssed only to her board members, generating two hours of discussion Tuesday on FOX Talk in the Morning on FOX Talk 950.

The e-mail recounts what is described by Kerns as “an ugly incident”. As production staffers were considering cancelling the outdoor performance underway due to an approaching storm, the e-mail says Beane created a public disturbance, repeatedly berating Moonlight cast and staff members with profanities, even after the show was stopped.

The e-mail states an L.P.D. officer working security intervened to calm the councilman. FOX 34 found no police report on record regarding the incident. Here is Councilman Beane’s response:

“My side of the story will be told very soon,” said Beane. When asked how he said “…oh, I suspect that RAMAR will hear from me very soon.”

When asked “are you not happy with what’s been said on the radio, Beane’s response is, “Absolutely not.” When asked what’s not true about what they say Beane says “all of it. It is a bold-face lie. And they know it. Because your television station checked on the authenticity of the story over the weekend and found after talking to the police officer that it was all a lie.”

We did contact L.P.D. Sergeant John Gomez. He says while the councilman was agitated, from his perspective, there is “quite a bit of embellishment in the e-mailed account.”

Sgt. Gomez further says he “witnessed nothing that rose to the level of any type of criminal complaint that needed to be addressed by a police official. Absolutly nothing that rose to the level of a disorderly conduct violation, which what was described, would have constituted”.

The author of the e-mail, Jill Kerns, refused comment to FOX 34.

We do know that the Moonlight Musical’s Board of Directors is adopting new policies, as a result of the incident. They address criteria for suspending performances due to lightning and guidelines for removing anyone for disruptive behavior.  (link)

Again, I’m not ready to say who is right or who is wrong just yet. I’d like to hear more from Beane and those involved in Moonlight Musicals who were there that night. More on this on Thursday’s LFN.

PAUL BEANE, MOONLIGHT MUSICALS, AND THE RUMOR

28 Jul

Since last week I’ve been getting emails from listeners and questions on message boards asking why I’ve been silent on the whole Moonlight musical rumor regarding City Councilman Paul Beane. Yes, I’ve seen the email that has been going around (everyone in the Lubbock media has) and yes I’ve heard it from multiple people.

HOWEVER, as of right now it’s all just a rumor. We at LFN have tried many times to get someone to go on the record about this, but no one has. In fact most people who are tied to the Moonlight Musicals won’t even call us back. So that’s why I’ve been silent on it. Trust me, I’m not someone who holds back from going after elected officials and most of you know that. While some radio shows have gone ahead and discussed this situation, we have not because I want to hear the facts. When I go after people, it’s not because of an email I got or because of what the latest chatter is on the message boards. It’s because they have done something and there is enough proof for me to talk about it.

Through the years of being on the radio and doing the type of radio I do, I’ve never apologized for something I’ve said. I’ve never had to and I don’t plan on doing it anytime soon. It’s not because I haven’t ticked off people… I have. It’s because when I go after them I’m not just making stuff up. I also don’t just accept what a caller, email, message board says as fact.

Having said all that…

Paul Beane needs to address this issue publicly. If Paul would like to be heard by a large audience he knows my phone number and when I’m on the air. Not only does Mr. Beane need to address it, but he needs to be honest about what happened. If the rumors are true, admit you made a mistake and the public will decide whether they forgive you or not. If all the rumors are false, fight them. By letting the rumors continue and the chatter to continue you are only making the situation worse. People will remember the rumors and that Paul Beane stayed silent, and that’s not always a good thing.

Now, when someone finally comments on this whole rumor, I will let you all know what I really think. Until then…

More on this on LFN on Wednesday.

PAUL BEANE FORGOT WHO HE REPRESENTS

17 Jul

I really would like for this whole balloon deal to go away and hopefully after this weekend I won’t have to bring it up again. Unless of course, people keep acting foolish on the City Council. In this mornings AJ we found out that Paul Beane brought up the ordinance banning balloon releases because of a promise he made to a rancher outside of Lubbock County. (link)

Beane is even quoted saying, “The balloon ordinance was not on my top-ten radar,” Beane said. “As a matter of fact, it’s not in the top 50, but a promise is a promise.”

I’ve posted the audio from my thoughts on this in the podcast section of the website (link) but I think this needs to be written as well.

Mr. Beane, you represent District 4 of the City of Lubbock. Not a rancher outside of Lubbock County. You were elected by the people of District 4 of the City of Lubbock. Not a rancher outside of Lubbock County. You serve the PEOPLE of the CITY of LUBBOCK. NOT a rancher outside the County. Do you get it?

If Linda Deleon or Floyd Price had made a promise to someone outside of Lubbock to make an ordinance affecting the citizens of Lubbock, many people would be outraged. And I hope you are now. Paul Beane tried to grow government with an ordinance that was unenforceable, and made Lubbock look bad all because of a promise to some rancher who has no vote in Lubbock, and pays no taxes in Lubbock.

Mr. Beane, you should only make promises to those you serve. You should concentrate on District 4 and the City of Lubbock, nothing else. You serve no one outside of Lubbock County. If you’d like to serve people outside of Lubbock and force laws on people and increase government then it’s time you leave City Hall and run for State Representative.

LUBBOCK BUDGET RAISES TAXE… FEES.

8 Jul

The city budget that was proposed today by City of Lubbock staffers keeps taxes flat, BUT would raise stormwater fees by 50% on homeowners and steep hikes to businesses to cover road maintenance.

The council will decide later on the budget and how much more (if any) you will fork over.

The word fee is funny. For some reason people are OK with fees, but not taxes. I hope people remember that fees ARE taxes! It’s just a nicer word than tax. We’ve all heard that some want to raise the gas TAX to pay for roads. Well if the City Council wants to raise your stormwater FEE by 50% to maintain roads, what’s the difference?

Fees=Taxes. Just remember.

BALLOON ORDINANCE PASSED BY THE LUBBOCK CITY COUNCIL

8 Jul

Library - 1217

Again, having solved all major issues facing the City of Lubbock, the council passed the idiotic Balloon Ordinance by a vote of 4-3. So who voted for it? Mayor Tom Martin, Councilman Paul Beane, Councilman John Leonard, and Council Todd Klein. Here was the proposed ordinance:

Sec. 23-34. Intentional Balloon Releases.

(a) No person shall intentionally release or cause to be released outdoors:

(1) any balloon made of a non-biodegradable material filled with a lighter than air gas;

(2) any balloon made of an electrically conductive material filled with a lighter than air gas; or

(3) more than 30* balloons made of a biodegradable material filled with a lighter than air gas at one time. **Klein amended from 10 to 30**

(b) Biodegradable balloons that are attached to any non-biodegradable material or electrically conductive material shall not intentionally be released outdoors.

(c) It shall be an exception to this section that balloons are released by a governmental agency for a governmental purpose.

So the 3 conservatives on the council, which they are proud to call themselves, just voted to increase government. Nice. They wasted time on an issue that even the Mayor said comes up about twice a year. I wonder when this council will get around to banning plastic bags from stores? There are many more bags flying around Lubbock. Who’s going to enforce this ordinance anyway? The city can’t even patrol the water ordinances and we expect the Police, who are understaffed, to deal with balloons?

Here’s a quote from the AJOnline and Floyd Price, “Balloons was today. What’s next?” Councilman Floyd Price asked later. “I think it’s time for government to back off and look at serious issues.”

So Floyd Price, who isn’t the most conservative, understands that government needs to back off, yet Martin, Beane, and Leonard don’t. Amazing.

Thanks for dealing with the real issues facing Lubbock council members! Pathetic. Oh, and about being mocked over this vote guys… you deserve it.

More on this later and on LFN tomorrow.

LUBBOCK CITY HALL NEEDS TO GET IT TOGETHER

5 Jun

Last night the City Planing and Zoning Comission voted 8-0 on new zoning restrictions. In large shopping centers the stores can be any size they want. In other locations they will be limited to 8,750 sq.ft. which is up from the original 3,000. I’m fine with these changes and I think most people will be as well.

The problem I have is with City Hall. Who exactly screwed this thing up? According to Thursday’s AJ, the owner of Pinkies went to Mayor Tom Martin in DECEMBER, EARLY DECEMBER, about this very issue. Martin got ticked and it seems like he refused to sit down at the table with Pinkies. Here’s part of the AJ’s story:

But Majestic Liquor Stores Inc. and Pinkie’s Inc. argued Lubbock violated state laws by setting stricter rules for businesses that sold alcohol than Texas allows.
Pinkie’s representatives said as much in early December, when the city gave final passage to the ordinance and the retailer warned they could “challenge” the size requirements council members eventually passed for the predominant retail zone throughout the city.
The warning frustrated Mayor Tom Martin, who opposed allowing the city’s ordinances on alcohol to fall apart like building restrictions in North Overton before the modern redevelopment project.
“I’m sick of this,” Martin said. “Somebody’s been going around trying to lobby for the whiskey zoning all over town, like we need to have it on every street corner.

That last quote sounds like something a member of TAAS would say, but remember the Mayor didn’t take a side. If Pinkies went to the Mayor in December about this very issue, why did he not listen? This could have been settled long before the election.

Now, lets take a look at what Randy Henson, the chief planner has to say about the Law in the AJ today. Remember the comission passed the new zoning last night.

Package stores could not compete in the same areas as grocery stores, which can soon legally sell beer and wine, under the ordinances, Majestic Liquor Stores Inc. and Pinkie’s Liquor argued in a lawsuit seeking the order.
The retailers’ filing also opposed size restrictions placed on alcohol stores not imposed on other businesses.
City attorneys agreed the objection had merit and will spend the summer changing their ordinances to comply with Texas law.


“It’s about the clearest piece of state law I have ever seen,” Henson said.

So it’s clear today, but in December it wasn’t? If it’s so clear then why did the planing and zoning comission and the City Council BOTH pass these regulations? Why did the Council pass something that was against the law?

I also don’t like the fact that the Mayor seems to be inviting lawsuits over this issue. Remember folks, if the City is sued, then YOUR tax dollars will be used. Shouldn’t the Mayor be saying that this is it and should result in NO lawsuits? It seems like everytime a mic is put in front of him lately he talks about “possible lawsuits”. This from KCBD:

Mayor Tom Martin says regardless of what the council decides there’s nothing stopping anyone from filing a lawsuit. “Whatever the council decides still could be challenged by this group of plaintiffs or any other group of plaintiffs. Hate to say it but, it’s almost a never ending battle because anyone who feels a grief can go pay their few dollars to file a suit. There is no magic bullet,” says Mayor Martin.

Mr. Mayor, many cities have gone through this and they can do it without lawsuits and without their Mayor thinking there might possible be a lawsuit. Why can’t Lubbock?

Someone is to blame for this issue continuing and the longer it takes, the worse it looks for City Hall. So who is to blame? I’m not sure exactly who and maybe (probably) there is more than one person to blame. Could it be that someone is deliberately holding up the process because of their own personal views on alcohol sales?

Another question to ask is, if the Council and Zoning comission folks knowingly voted on zoning that was against the law which meant putting a hold on the process, should they still be around?

Just a few things to think about. Leave your comments.