Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Remembering Stephanie Tubbs-Jones

I loved watching interviews with the Congresswoman. I thought she was real. She was genuine. She was passionate. She had convictions. She was fair. She was one of the truly great politicians. I believe she cared for the people.....all of the people. No matter the color. I respect that in a person. I will always remember STJ. I will learn more about her and hope to carry out some of her ideas and ways of thinking right here in City Council District 8, Ft. Worth, Texas.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The delicate and lively

A gift from two very close friends/supporters of mine and the card reads as:
"In China, the delicate and lively goldfish is revered as a
symbol of wealth & good fortune - in fact, its Chinese name - jin-yu - sounds like "gold in abundance." Traditionally, eight yellow and one black goldfish are placed
in an aquarium to attract money. But having a school of our little guys in
the house couldn't hurt."

Oxford American Dictionary defines "fortune" as: "chance or luck as a force in human affairs; a person's destiny; predictions about a person's future."
I will treasure this through the year of 2009. I have a great feeling about 2009. It rates somewhere up there with self actualization. Yes, I am a big believer and proponent of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and I think we need to revisit it as communities. More on this topic later.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The money would be worth the home & backyard tour

The Owner/Designer of this home has volunteered to have a backyard fundraiser party for me. Such a wonderful place..check out the garland in the dining room that he designed and constructed. It is fabulous!! The tree and the wreath were done by him as well. It's a must see place. Donate $50 to my campaign for City Council, District 8 in Ft. Worth by January 3rd and I'll make sure you get an invitation.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Who has been held accountable for Ft. Worth's $1.45 MILLION dollar discrepancy? Where's our money?

Words below were taken from FW Weekly Article written in June 2007.
"From 1996 to 2005, the city received HOME allocations to build low-income affordable housing totaling more than $41.3 million but spent only about $29.6 million. The report also said that two nonprofits the city has been dealing with do not meet HUD guidelines — and the city not only has been ordered to immediately cease funding those two organizations but will also be required to pay back the money already granted to them.
HUD recently forced the city to set aside $1.45 million that may have to be used to pay back federal funds misspent between 1999 and 2004. The figure is based on a 2003 HUD audit that found discrepancies in the way the city housing department had accounted for federal dollars on projects such as the Mercado commercial development on the North Side and the Evans-Rosedale redevelopment project on the East Side. Both projects have cost millions, and neither has delivered the promised commercial and residential redevelopment of the surrounding low-income areas.
Because of housing projects, jump-started with federal funds, that are now being foreclosed on by banks. They include the Victory Arts apartments on Hemphill Street ($287,000), Women’s Second Chance transitional housing project ($61,000), and the Rolling Hills/Glen Eden housing development off Riverside Drive ($253,628.) The city housing department was also cited in the reports for failing to diligently oversee its contractors, failing to keep proper accounting records, and failing to follow HUD rules regarding the use of government funds that passed through its coffers from 1992 to 2006. "

1997 - 2005 Ralph McCloud, City Council Rep, District 8
Kathleen Hicks, Aide to Ralph McCloud (for about 8 of those years)

2005 - present Kathleen Hicks, City Council Rep, District 8

Talk about needed CHANGE. How about it?! Vote Suzette Watkins, City Council, District 8

Sunday, December 21, 2008

HUD Audit finds $1.45 MILLION dollar discrepancy with City of Ft. Worth's housing projects

Two projects mentioned were Victory Art Center (Southside) & Texas Housing & Economic Resource project (Southeast D8). Problem? Defunct/bankrupt projects, corrupt politicians, poor planning, oh and Affordable Housing requirements not met. And our politicians wonder why we question their decisions & honesty?
Below is a great example of why we should pay closer attention to what they do, what they say, how they vote, etc. It's time to bring some tax payer watchdogs to the City Council table in Ft. Worth, Texas. Elect Suzette for Council .
Donate here:

Here's the explanation according to CFW:

COUNCIL ACTION: Approved on 12/16/2008 DATE: 12/16/2008
SUBJECT: Authorize Use of Funds from the Custodial Account Established by the Custodial Agreement with Wells Fargo, N.A., for Resolution of Audit Findings from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
It is recommended that the City Council:
1. Authorize use of funds from the Custodial Account created by a Custodial Agreement executed with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., on August 7, 2007, City Secretary Contract No. 35607, to resolve any and all audit findings from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development;
2. Authorize the City Manager or his designee to execute any related legal documents with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and Wells Fargo, N.A., regarding payments to resolve audit findings from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; and
3. Authorize the City Manager or his designee to release funds from the custodial account up to the amount of $1,452,675.00 to resolve audit findings from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 2004, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) conducted a financial management review of the City’s grant-funded programs. This review resulted in an audit finding with questioned costs of $1,452,675.00 which could not immediately be resolved. As a result the City retained the services of the accounting firm Weaver Tidwell to complete an investigation and reconciliation of these questioned costs. To resolve the outstanding HUD findings, City Council in May 2007, (M&C G-15737) authorized creation of a custodial account at Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., in the amount of the questioned costs. These funds were to be held until HUD had reviewed the results of the Weaver Tidwell reconciliation at which time any costs that were deemed ineligible would be returned to the City’s Line of Credit for HUD grants. HUD has completed its review and to date has authorized the City to draw $266,190.00 of the $1.4 million in questioned costs. The overall repayment could be up to $440,731.00.Subsequent to the 2004 review HUD conducted an Affordable Housing monitoring review in February 2007, and a Comprehensive Monitoring Review in March 2007. These reviews resulted in findings of which certain ones can only be resolved through repayment of funds to the City’s Line of Credit for grant funding. Therefore, staff is recommending that the funds in the Custodial Account be used for resolution for all HUD findings.

The Financial Management Services Director certifies that funds are available in the custodial account established at Wells Fargo, N.A., for the purposes stated above.

TO Fund/Account/Centers

FROM Fund/Account/Centers
GG01 106000 0000000

Submitted for City Manager's Office by: Tom Higgins (6140)
Originating Department Head: Jay Chapa (6192)
Additional Information Contact: Jerome Walker (7537) Barbara Asbury (7331)

City of Ft. Worth, City Council D8 in the bubbles again.

More tax payer dollars bubbling from beneath the City Streets in District 8. This was outside of the Meadowbrook Neighborhood! Need I say more?
Vote Suzette for Council, District 8

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ft. Worth City Council Rep says that finding solutions requires "cooperation" from other levels of gov't. Who's not cooperating?

We want solutions, not excuses Ms. Hicks. Local paper here in Ft. Worth quotes my opponent as saying that she has worked on issues such as homelessness & gas drilling but that it requires "cooperation" from the County, State & Federal levels. Who's not cooperating? Perhaps my opponent is treating them the same way she treated me when I would walk into her office for a meeting. She would lambast you with several people in the room that you didn't know would be there, come in with a defensive, arrogant attitude, not give you eye contact when talking, and acting as if her time was so very limited and that she was really "above" this level of communication and didn't have the time nor real desire to discuss root causes and solutions of concerns. Out of 5 to 6 meetings I had with her, I found one to be somewhat productive....another waste of tax payer's dollars.

For the record. I have never served on any of Hicks' committees.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Taxpayers paying Ft. Worth City Staff overtime hours to put band aide repairs on City Council District 8's ignored aged water pipes

As promised, picture of staff working until 8pm last night to do what they do so often in District 8 -- stop the bleeding for the moment in Meadowbrook's forgotten infrastructure. We pay taxes, where is the money going? We have an elected City Council representative, what has she been doing? Here is a list of the Board of Directors on which she has sat or currently sits:

- Junior League of Fort Worth
- Girl Scouts
- Women’s Haven
- Chaired Fort Worth Commission for Women
- Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration Fort Worth
- AIDS Outreach Center
- Fort Worth-Dallas Birthing Project
- All Church Home for Children
- Presbyterian Night Shelter
- Red Cross – Chisholm Trail Chapter
- Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau

perhaps my opponent should concentrate less on resume building and more on the people and neighborhoods of District 8.

Elect me to the City Council seat for District 8 and you won't have to worry about me building my resume instead of paying attention to details and working hard for the neighborhoods in District 8. I'll be a workhorse for the District and together we will soar to places that East Ft. Worth has never seen. I promise you won't be disappointed. Right now I need money, please make a donation to my grass roots campaign Suzette for Council at

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ft. Worth Taxpayer's money bubbling from the street seams and going down the drain once again in City Council Distict 8

Above is what I saw mid day today. I dare somone to tell me that tax dollars are not suppose to cover the water system. I dare someone to tell me that this it is not the job of the seated City Council person to demand that tax dollar monies be allocated to maintaining the District's water system. Look at the picture closely...tell me you don't see black squares of fresh asphalt that shows that this very location as been "repaired" recently. Repairing things like this instead of expending tax dollars in an efficient and effective way regarding basic infrastructure is unacceptable! This is a waste of our tax dollars.
When I go home today, I feel confident that I will be able to take more pictures of City Staff working after hours to stop the water leak. However, the water has been known to run for days before being cut off. This is your tax dollars going down the drain. This is evidence of lack of care, concerned & focused hard work on behalf of the people by your City Council representative and previous incumbents of the office.

If for no other reason than to get an advocate for basic city services for District 8, vote Suzette Watkins for City Council rep for District 8. I'll be an advocate for putting your hard earned tax dollars to work for your neighborhood. I'll fight the good Quality of Life fight for District 8 in East Ft. Worth. I'll put my neck on the line. I'll be good for District 8. If for no other reason than to bring some business sense to the office of City Council for District 8, vote for Suzette Watkins for City Council rep District 8. All I ask for is your vote and a chance to prove myself! Donations accepted via the website below. $5 & $10 dollars welcome!

Is Chesapeake getting Free Water from the Trinity River? Are the taxpayers subsidizing it? Who is really footing the bill?

Chesapeake is pumping river water to their rig for fracing. Fracing process uses about 2 million gallons of water. Who is paying for that water? Is it coming out of a reservoir that supplies Ft. Worth taxpayers with water? If so, what is the price that Chesapeake is paying? Who is collecting the money and how? Here in Ft. Worth we hear our City Government telling us to conserve water, don't water during certain times of day, etc. We also hear that water is becoming a commodity that is harder to come by and in years to come we will need to pipeline it from Toledo Bend which is about 300 miles away from Cowtown. That says to me that our water rates will continue to rise.
Around Ft. Worth we see Chesapeake advertising board that read, "Together we all win." Well, if water is going to cost the taxpayers more because it is harder to come by locally, then shouldn't someone be charging Chesapeake Energy for using water out of the Trinity River? Perhaps they are -- I'd like to know how much? I did not see one meter along the pipeline from this pump site to the well head; that's not to say there isn't one at the site. I'm not sure who controls the water from the Trinity but I believe Tarrant Regional Water District has much to do with it. Here's what TRWD website says:

"a mere fraction of the water TRWD sells each year to its customer cities and industrial users. In fact, the amount of water sold to gas drilling operations in fiscal year 2006 only accounted for 0.25% of the total water TRWD sold that year."

"The North Texas area is growing very rapidly, and will outgrow its water supply. Additional reservoirs, along with increased conservation measures, will be needed to meet those additional demands in the future."

Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-drilling. However, as with anything else that our elected officials are involved in, ie. City Government, I believe everything should be on the up & up and that if you say we are all winning with gas drilling, prove it! I appears to me that Ft. Worth's City Council is allowing the tax payer's dollars to subsidize much of the cost and expenses for the gas drilling industry. Just my opinion from what I hear and see here in Cowtown.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Taxpayers are people too -- our politicians need to quit sucking us dry!

I've noticed that when one speaks up (or out) against unaffordable spending by our elected officials, you may get hit with, "But undocumented people are humans too, the poor are people too, the homeless drug addicts are people too, the homeless drunks are people too, the irresponsible parents are people too, the pregnant teenagers are people too, the drug addicted incapable parents are people too, the child abusers are people too, irresponsible pet owners are people too, police officers, Executives, criminals, politicians, and the list goes on and on.

I say, ABSOLUTELY.....ALL THE MORE REASON TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. All the more reason to start electing newbies to positions of decision making for your tax dollars, start electing people who actually are seated for the right reasons:

- care for people
- love of the City
- respect of the American dollar and hard work

Taxpayers are people too and our governments aren't running our businesses in a fiscally viable manner.

I say we start bringing some business sense to your investment in the community. We start bringing some new ideas, energy and commitment to tackling the money sucking issues affecting our pocketbooks. Elect me to Ft. Worth's City Council in May 2009 and you'll hear a vocal advocate for holding ourselves accountable to the City's, the taxpayer!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

East Ft. Worth's stray/loose dog problem is Out of Control

I know you are probably getting tired of hearing about the stray dogs in City Council District 8 in East Ft. Worth. Just think if you had to actually witness it instead of just reading about it? Today as I was traveling down I30, I saw two dogs running around near the Interstate. I stopped and walked toward them to see if they would come to me. Of course not, they ran away from the highway into a nearby neighborhood. I drove around and found them (white dog in picture). The red one came up to me and ate some food, but I couldn't get my hands on him. He had ticks all over him and a huge infected area on top of his head. As I was driving away, I saw 3 other stray dogs (above). I placed several calls to Ft. Worth's Animal Control which is overwhelmed with dogs and calls. (817-392-3737 - leave message, they check them!) All dogs were UN-neutered, UN-spayed (intact). Thank goodness for Humane Society of North Texas. They take all dogs. I was able to catch 3 of the 5 dogs that I saw and take them over to the Humane Society. That is 3 dogs unable to impregnate or kill another one. That is 3 less dogs for you to run over with your car. That is 3 less dogs to cause a car wreck, etc. They take in and adopt out an enormous amount of dogs and they have an adoption center.
Due to the fact that the City of Ft. Worth does not aggressively enforce the current dog ordinances and due to the fact that the Texas State legislators have not aggressively addressed the problem with irresponsible dog ownership, we have a problem here that is costing all of us millions of tax dollars to pay staff to answer the phones at Animal Control, drive around & pick up the dogs, shelter the dogs, euthanize the dogs, dispose of the dogs, pick up dead dogs on roadways, take dead dogs to city landfill, etc. Not to mention the thousands of dogs, mostly Pitt Bull dogs in East Ft. Worth that our FW police officers shoot and kill. I could go on and on and on about the ramifications and the price we, the taxpayers, pay for irresponsible dog ownership. It gets into a "property rights" argument so I say we need to consider moving dogs out of the category of "property" in the big picture of the issue.
Please write your elected officials and tell them h0w you feel about the problem of stray dogs running our streets, neglected, not neutered or spayed, etc. I would appreciate your comments below with your thoughts on how to solve this out of control, costly problem. I would like to see ALL the current City Ordinances enforced and some changed.

I feel the same way about dogs that I do children, if you choose to own one then it is your responsibility to love and care for them, not the taxpayer's. I think the parents of such should be held accountable.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Stray Dogs wondering the streets of City Council District 8 - Ft. Worth, Texas

I saw 3 stray dogs running around a concentrated area today in District 8. Low and behold, stopped and spoke with some people and found a female stray dog in heat which explained why all the male intact dogs were hanging around! Another problem in City Council District 8 that our current City Government has chosen to ignore until now. Another issue that cost tax payers millions of dollars. Another issue that local politicians won't aggressively & persistently address at a root cause level. Another issue that needs addressing at State level. Another sensitive issue that politicians don't want to touch due to the cultural differences of opinion in proper, responsible & humane care of dogs. You can count on me to address this issue if you will elect me to District 8's City Council seat in May 2009. District 8 is one of the top 3 districts in Ft. Worth for Animal Control calls and pick ups! This issue has not been a priority in District 8 and it is costing you money every single day! All of us are paying the very expensive price!

More evidence of City Government not working for the people in City Council District 8 - Ft. Worth, Texas

What has Ft. Worth's City Government been doing with our tax dollars? Why hasn't the seated City Council person, Kathleen Hicks, been speaking up and demanding that District 8's aging water pipes be properly maintained and/or replaced?

Elect me to the City Council seat and I can promise you, I will demand that the basic City Services be restored to the people of District 8. ALL OF THE PEOPLE OF DISTRICT 8 -- Black, Brown, White and all colors in between. I name the colors because I've been told, first hand, that many people of color don't think a white girl will fight for them. Let me tell you something...we will work together and get District 8 working for the people once again. We won't concentrate on only Big Business, Million dollar developments, and Big Ticket items while the neighborhoods suffer! You can count on a fighter for the people in Suzette Watkins. I promise! Give me one chance to prove myself! That's two years. If you don't like what I've done, boot me out. All I ask for is a chance to prove myself. .
If you will look closely at the picture above, you can see where they "fixed the problem yesterday and, broken again today." That's how one witness described it. Where are our tax dollars going? I say down the drain in District 8, East Ft. Worth! Disgusting in my honest opinion! I say it's time for a change! Vote Suzette Watkins for City Council, May 2009.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Quote I can't get out of my head

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
Thomas Jefferson

If you look close enough at local politics here in Ft. Worth, Texas, ask questions and listen, you will hear that the money came from "a Federal grant, The City, The State, a Federal Grant, grant money." At the same time you will hear, "they've lost their front yards to eminent domain, gas companies, the government, they lost their small business due to eminent domain for big business development, etc." If you turn on your TV, you'll hear all about our elected officials using hard earned tax dollars to BAIL OUT big businesses. Webs are surely getting more tangled in our governments. What are the taxpayers doing? My hopes are that they are paying closer attention to how their elected officials are voting, what they are saying and how they are using their power. We the taxpayers are the judges! Judgements are delivered via our vote. Make sure you are paying attention, make sure you vote.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

City Council Dist. 8 wasting your tax dollars. Not respecting your hard earned tax dollar!

So many water main breaks in East Ft. Worth neighborhoods. Today at 5 o'clock I saw multiple crews working on water main breaks in our neighborhood! This is unacceptable! Why? Because no one neighborhood should have a water main break every single day! I would be willing to bet that in the Meadowbrook Neighborhood, there has been between 300 - 700 water main breaks for this year. There is no other excuse for this other than our City Government not allocating enough funds to properly maintain our aging water pipes. Our tax dollars are suppose to cover the basics! What has your City Council person been doing? Not enough, if anything at all, in regards to making sure that your tax dollars get bang for the buck.

In my opinion, your tax dollars are suppose to cover:

water, sewer, fire protection, police protection, streets, neighborhood street lights, trash pick up

Those are a few of the most basic services for which your tax dollars are suppose to pay. I can promise you that as your City Council representative, you will hear me calling for BASIC CITY SERVICES in District 8!! Please consider donating to my campaign for City Council. I promise you I will be a strong voice for your basic City tax dollar services, I won't be afraid of the Mayor, I will be an advocate for all of the people of District 8 -- the color of your skin won't matter. We are all a part of one community. We will hold each other accountable, we will all work together. We will make District 8 a better, safer, cleaner place to live, work and play! Please donate to my campaign at I need the money. I am not a candidate that is bought and paid for by big business nor family money; nor am I a candidate who is running for office because my Mother wanted me to run for office; nor am I a candidate that is running for office because of my family connections to local politics in Ft. Worth. (I have none.) I certainly do not believe that my skin color entitles me to a vote from you and I hope that my skin color will not cause you to not consider voting for me. I am running for office because I care about this City and I care about the communtiy in which we live, work and play. I believe strongly and passionately that your tax dollars should cover the basic services for which we pay for and depend on. I am a candidate for the people - all of the people.

Please donate any amount of money you can afford. Five and ten dollar bills are welcomed! or mail check to Suzette for Council, 1801 Bomar Ave, Ft. Worth, TX 76103.

Flow Back vs. Produced water from Fracing

At the disposal stations, they charge a lot more $$ for disposal of flow back water due to the hazardous chemicals and such. When our municipalities speak of "salt water," they don't distinguish between "flow back" and "produced" water from the well. What are we doing here in our local governments? Who is paying attention? Who is making the money and to who's expense? Get involved in your local governments and watch your back!

Lewisville outsmarts Ft. Worth

"Drilling for natural gas hasn't started in Lewisville yet, but the city is taking action to protect itself. Inside city hall Monday night, council members voted 3 to 2 in favor of a resolution similar to one passed in Dish, Texas. The Mayor of Dish said he drafted it after pipeline companies "tore up his city."
"There's so many unknowns about this gas drilling. People are still very very concerned about it," said Lewisville Mayor Gene Carey.

Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Ft. Worth on the map because of oil & gas? Why wouldn't Ft. Worth "do the right thing" from the beginning and protect this beautiful, charming City and it's taxpayers? Some say it's because we the people signed leases, some say our City Council has indeed protected us by bringing $$ to some, some say it's because our Mayor has most, if not all, of our City Council members under his powerful thumb and they are scared to speak up for fear of losing their political careers. Good for Lewisville's City Council, they are doing the right thing and thinking ahead......planning, know those sorts of things that a City normally does for big ticket items that affect their taxpayers.