Monday, June 23, 2008

Does this mean FREE water for Chesapeake?

I noticed this long hose running from the drill site just of I30 in East Ft. Worth. I wondered where it lead from or to and what purpose it was serving. I happened to notice that it was hooked directly into the water hydrant as the picture above indicates. So, tell me, is Chesapeake paying for this water? What's up with this rigging on the fire hydrant? Ironically, I was down at City Hall today seeing how much it will cost me to get water available to a piece of undeveloped land, it will cost me $1950.00 to get a 1" water tap with 3/4" irragation meter. I happen to see on the City's price list that it cost $126,000 for a 10" (size may be wrong, but it was the largest one on the list that I saw). So why didn't Chesapeake just hook up a water meter at the drill site instead of the way we see in the pictures. Please someone help me out here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Irresponsible Parenting & City Councilmembers

It really interesting to pay attention to what our City Councilmembers do and don't do, attend and don't attend, what they choose to speak out on and what they don't, what they have passion about and what they don't have passion about, etc.

As I was listening to a pre-council meeting on our local cable channel, I hear Sal Espino (District 2 North Ft. Worth), say something along the lines of ...taxpayers need to pay for a JPS Health Clinic be placed in FWISD schools to help lower the Infant Mortality rates (since Ft. Worth has some of the highest in the nation). ( need to source this, I know, but you can research it yourself if you want proof, and I feel sure it will prove itself). In other words, disregard teenage (many times underage) sexual promiscuity, it's up to you the taxpayer to cover that tab. Mr. Espino also gave an example of a mother of three at 19 who's family had "kicked" her out so the taxpayers need to build four walls and a roof for this child and her 3 children.

What about Irresponsible Parents? Don't they have a responsibility? Aren't we going to hold them accountable to any degree so that they build some self esteem? How much can we as a Society really put on the taxpayer? IMO, we are at our limit. It starts locally. I don't see Councilmembers taking a strong stand and really reaching out to discourage teenage sex, etc. Our Councilmembers are too "safe" too "political" in Ft. Worth, IMO. Not enough guts for the people. Weak & meek and severe lack of leadership when dealing with "sensitive" race based or cultural based issues like Infant Mortality, Abuse of Dogs, Teenage Pregnancy, High School Dropouts, where the statistics represent a high percentage in their base constituency.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What exactly are our Ft. Worth City leaders doing?

After finding myself with a business right in the middle of the homeless shelters and really digging in to the issue, I found that the municipal courts were a inefficient, ineffective mess because the criminals running around town who declared themselves "poor," suffer absolutely no consequences, not even community service, nothing that would serve as a motivating factor to improve their lives. I wrote many emails to the Mayor and to the City Council members about this. I'm so glad to see the Star-Telegram reporting the sloppiness of our court system. And we wonder why our taxes are going up!! It amazes me to see the opportunities for good that politics in our City, block, and/or suppress. All but maybe a couple of our City Council members are so caught up in big money politics, redevelopment and personal political advancement that they are ineffective as a leader.

Posted on Thu, May. 29, 2008

Municipal fine collections not fine and dandy

Fort Worth's sloppy, inefficient municipal court system is sending a terribly wrongheaded message to people who receive tickets for offenses ranging from speeding to illegal dumping.
The message, in essence, is this: You're a chump if you pay your fine quickly. If you wait long enough, you might not have to pay at all.
Abysmal record
court system has one of the sorriest fine-collection rates -- 43.7 percent -- among Texas' biggest cities, according to an audit by the state comptroller's office.
A report by the city's internal audit office shows that the court system has management and operational problems, dating back at least three years, that have hindered its efforts to collect fines.
The system's worrisome warts were outlined in a
story in Sunday's Star-Telegram by City Hall reporter Mike Lee.
The city potentially is facing its toughest financial crunch in more than a decade as the City Council works in coming months to adopt a budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The city can ill afford reductions in revenues resulting from a haphazard, Keystone Cops fine-collection effort.
Revenue reversal
The city's internal audit report showed that, from 2005 to 2006, the number of citations rose from 366,000 to 423,000 -- a 15.6 percent increase. But the money collected from fines fell 2.4 percent, from $20.3 million to $19.8 million.
Thousands of people simply didn't pay after they had received permission to pay off their fines over time, the audit showed.
What's needed
City Manager Dale Fisseler and new court administrator Deidra Emerson (who replaced the retiring Elsa Paniagua last fall) must put a high priority on making the system and its employees function more effectively by keeping better records and aggressively birddogging those who don't pay fines on time. Emerson appears to be making some progress.
The City Council must ride herd on Fisseler and Emerson, requiring regular updates until operations are up to snuff.
Ironically, the system has had difficulties with a new $1.7 million CourtView system that was bought to improve operations. As an example, CourtView apparently was programmed improperly and therefore was miscalculating the amount that the courts owed to the state for its share of revenues from traffic cases. Better employee training appears to be needed.
The city needs to hire a law firm to go after those who haven't paid fines. It hasn't had such a collection agent since the city's contract with the firm of Linebarger Goggan Blair Pena & Sampson expired in 2006.
The city's 12 full-time and nine part-time municipal judges need to reassess the practice of giving people extra time to pay fines, because it obviously isn't working in numerous cases. If a person can't afford to pay, perhaps community service requirements could become a more frequently employed alternative.
Ongoing problem
The problem will only grow if more and more violators find that they don't have to pay their fines. They'll be more likely to continue breaking the law. Why play by the rules if there's no punishment for breaking them?
The court system needs a major overhaul, the sooner the better.

Posted on Sun, May. 25, 2008

Fort Worth issues more tickets but sees revenue drop
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

Fort Worth's Municipal Court has one of the lowest collection rates among big cities in Texas, according to the state comptroller's office, and a report from the city's internal auditor shows an array of management problems going back at least three years that have kept the court from collecting money it is owed.

From 2005 to 2006, the number of citations that passed through the court went up 15 percent to 423,000 from 366,000, according to the internal audit. The money collected went down 2.4 percent, to $19.8 million from $20.3 million.

Please email your Mayor and City Council members and ask them to do a better job at managing our court system and quit taking the road of least resistance by asking the taxpayers to foot the bill for their sloppy work.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Renewable Energy Roundup - Fredricksburg, TX

Might want to mark your calendar for Sept. 26 - 28th for this Green Living Fair -- music, beer, familiy activities, etc. 3 Day Affair.