Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A letter of reference to an Attorney on behalf of an employee facing 40 years -- 3 felonies for drug possession

Below is a letter I sent to the attorney for my employee. It's very disturbing to me that we have violent offenders (killers) walking the streets of E. Lancaster that we can't keep in jail, but we can't get non-violent offenders (who are putting forth great effort to remain clean & lead productive lives) out of jail. I'm for change!

Dear Ms. _____ –

So n so has been a part time employee of mine since December 2008. I have known so-n-so to be a very hard worker with a compassionate heart. I knew when I hired so-n-so that she had a criminal record with drug use. I purposefully hire people with a non-violent criminal history because I believe it is important to give such individuals a chance to work and participate in a productive cause for their life.

My business is in the middle of the homeless shelters in Ft. Worth so I get a bird’s eye view of the product of our system -- people with criminal records not being able to find jobs. It’s something that cost us taxpayers enormously! I am a huge proponent of “helping” non-violent offenders – not enabling them, but actually “helping” them get their lives back together. I am also a huge proponent of early childhood intervention and development of “at-risk” children as I believe that irresponsible parenting is the cause of most of our drug, crime & homeless problems in society.

Please let me know how I can help with so-n-so's case. I have witnessed so-n-so put forth a tremendous effort towards a drug free, responsible, hard working, productive life in the past few months and hope that our justice system will invest in keeping so-n-so clean & productive, especially since she has the desire to participate in, and work for the betterment of such.

Feel free to contact me anytime.


Suzette Watkins

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Formal Code of Ethics Complaint filed on Ft. Worth's City Council incumbent, Kathleen Hicks

(Click on image for closer view) Section 2-236 of Ft. Worth's City Code states "public office and public employment are positions of public trust imposing the duty of a fiduciary upon all employees and officeholders, who are not to use their public position for personal gain."
Section 2-238 (5) states, "No city officer, employee or advisory board member, or their spouses, shall knowingly use one's position or office of employment, or city facilities, personnel, equipment or supplies for the private gain of the city officer..."

Remember back in November of 2008 when my opponent, Kathleen Hicks' & Company, had me escorted out of the Town Hall meeting on basis of Criminal Trespassing? http://www.fwweekly.com/content.asp?article=7307

My opponent's Mother, Maryellen Hicks, shouted to me that there is "No Campaigning in the House of God allowed!"
Funny my opponent, claimed expenses to this event on her Campaign Finance Report. She used lots of City personnel (tax payer dollars) to staff her campaign event, she used city postage to send out the information about the Campaign event, etc. As you can see above...that's unethical!
Sec. 2-248. Defense of official, employee or advisory board member by city attorney.
Sec. 2-249. Review of complaints by city attorney.
Sec. 2-251. Preliminary hearing.
Sec. 2-252. Final hearing.
Sec. 2-253. Oaths, requests for subpoenas and information.

VOTE suzette watkins for city council, DISTRICT 8! Saturday, May 9th.
(Political Advertisement Authorized by Suzette Watkins)

Friday, March 20, 2009

At local Candidate Forum last night in Ft. Worth

My opponent, Kathleen Hicks' Mother spoke for her, explaining how the "purse strings" had been cut at 17. Yeah Right, and you expect who to believe that statement?
Because I wasn't raised here in Ft. Worth and because I don't have family rooted in Ft. Worth politics, is an asset to my campaign! We need some new blood in Ft. Worth local politics. It would be good for the Eastside. It's needed. Too many tax dollars have been wasted and ignored on the backs of ...."the poor" and less affluent and less educated. It's definitely time for CHANGE! I am going to fight for it! http://www.suzetteforcouncil.com/
(Political Advertisement Authorized by Suzette Watkins)

Monday, March 16, 2009

More measurements should be done for each City Council District in Ft. Worth

Otherwise the Council members should be elected at large instead of by Districts. If I get elected to the Council, I will beg for code violations, crime (is currently measured by District), Animal Control calls and impoundments, sales tax income, expenses on repair of infrastructure, etc. to be measured by District. I want full accountability for my seat and my work while in office.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Homelessness is not a crime, littering is -- can we get some Accountability in Ft. Worth?

I love pictures, they tell 1 0 0 0 words! Can you spare a ten or twenty dollar bill? In order for me to have a voice on Ft. Worth's City Council, please, I need your help. I'll have 1/9 of a voice for a better Ft. Worth -- one that empowers by holding people accountable. It works -- we all know that, it's just that no politician has the guts to fight for it! Donate here http://www.suzetteforcouncil.com/donate.html

(Political Advertisement Authorized by Suzette Watkins)

"Littering in Texas can get you a $500 fine, it is a Class C Misdemeanor (If what was littered was less than 5 pounds). Littering over 5 pounds is a Class B Misdemeanor which carries a fine of up to $2,000. Texas motto "Don't Mess with Texas"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ft. Worth's City Council District 8 - Highest crime rate in entire City and has been for last 3 - 4 years.

Always a good feeling when you wake up to a Crime Scene truck and police car sitting in front of your house! What would I do as a Council Rep to fight against crime? Look at police records every single week from my District, ask questions of and work closely with the FWPD, find out where the calls are coming from, hold everyone involved accountable, including, but not limited to, the apts who serve as a nuisance for the neighborhood, FWPD including NPOs, Code Dept., Neighborhood Associations, etc.
Vote for Change in District 8! Vote for a New Beginning in District 8! Vote for Solutions in District 8!

Vote Suzette Watkins for City Council, Saturday, May 9th! www.suzetteforcouncil.com
(Political Advertisement Authorized by Suzette Watkins)

Interesting conversation about Industrial Uses on Cemetary Property in Ft. Worth

Ft. Worth City Council unanimously voted FOR Natural Gas Drilling Operations on Dedicated Cemetary Property. http://westandclear.com/2009/03/03/greenwood-waiver-goes-to-council-again/. I would not have voted in favor of that case until all sides were in agreement on either ditching the site or moving gravesites to allow for the Industrial Road through the Cemetary. To me, that is a vote of conscience.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ft. Worth Mayor Moncrief says, "help me keep the current City Council intact."

At a fundraiser for Sal Espino last night, Mayor Moncrief told the crowd that the current City Council has been doing the "right things for the right reasons" and that he'd like for them to help him "keep the current Council intact." He went on to say that he was sure everyone had heard that he had a couple of opponents in the race and he hoped everyone would help him "squash um like a bug."
(No, I didn't get any special invitation to the event, I responded to an invitational ad for the event in a local community newspaper.)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ft. Worth's Council District 8 Sierra Vista Housing Project

Three years ago, the taxpayers provided $3.2 Million dollars for the 232 unit Sierra Vista housing project at Berry & Riverside Drive in Council District 8. Ralph McCloud, City Council Rep for District 8 started the project. The current Councilmember Kathleen Hicks, served as McCloud's aide until June 2005 before she became the elected Rep for the District.

Of the 232 lots, only 80 houses have been built as of today. That's a mere 34% of sales in three years! The fields are empty around the fenced housing project and the project has not "spurred" ANY Economic Development around the area. Mayor Pro Tem Kathleen Hicks says, "Sierra Vista is coming along just fine." I disagree. I believe those $3.2 Million dollars could have remained in the people's pockets and never collected by the Government.

It's always interesting to me when Developers say, "Well, I grew up in Ft. Worth and I want to 'give back' to the community." "Give Back?" One would be "giving back" if they were investing their own money for a project and taking the risks as they will the "profits," as most of us business owners do. One is not giving back when the taxpayers are paying for the risks. That's what I call "taking", not.... "giving back."

In looking at the facts, Michael Mallick, (Vertex Investments) put in $3+ Million for the project; however, he turned around and sold all but 31 of the lots to History Maker Homes. So, in reality, he served as the middle man in the exchange of monies.

Below are some quotes regarding the project from years past:

"Vertex’s planned community, named Sierra Vista, will include the construction of 232 single-family homes, two outdoor strip-mall centers and a large grocery story. " (Hasn't happened.)

"“We are committed to ensuring an abundance of new economic opportunities such as new businesses, grocery stores and more commercial development in the area,” said Kathleen Hicks (Oh really? Where are the new businesses, grocery stores and more commercial development?)

"the project, which will serve as a neighborhood revitalization project." (Where is the revitalization?)


"Of all the urban revitalization projects under way in our city, one of the most astounding transformations will be the Sierra Vista project and the complementary activities at the intersection of Berry and Rosedale streets." (Complementary activities? Where are they?)

"It is anticipated that this project in conjunction with the adjoining Sierra Vista project will result in one of the most successful Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) districts in the country. " (Really?! How much money has the TIF gained because of these projects?)

Hicks "points to the two Mallick Group developments on the map. The Sierra Vista development will provide about 230 new single-family homes on the site of the old Riverside Village apartment complex, plus retail sites nearby. Hicks helped broker a deal earlier this year that created a tax increment financing district to include both Mallick Group properties. As tax income to the city increases because of the development, the extra dollars will pay for infrastructure improvements — perhaps one of the few instances when Fort Worth has used the TIF device in the kind of blighted area it was intended for. " (Really Mayor Pro Tem Kathleen Hicks --where are the extra dollars? We are still waiting!)

Briscoe, "The city gave Michael Mallick $4 million. Cash. They gave him money for demolition. We had demolition too. It cost us $300,000 to make our site useful." (So, what exactly cost Mallick $3+ Million?)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ft. Worth's Mayor Pro Tem, Kathleen Hicks, wants taxpayers to "step up" and make sure Development succeeds

IMO, making sure retail Developments succeed is not the responsibility of the tax payers. It is the responsibility of those who decide to take the risk and invest in the development. They, in turn, will make sure that their investments make sense and are profitable. Forcing the tax payers to socialize the risk is not what is best for the taxpayers. Hence, Sierra Vista Housing Project, Evans Rosedale Development and THER housing project that never got off the ground but thousands of tax dollars are gone and the taxpayers are having to repay right now. Thanks to Nehemiah Davis (President of THER, donor to Hicks Campaign and President of Ft. Worth's NAACP), Ft. Worth City Council members in 2003, 2004 & 2005 including Ralph McCloud (Kathleen Hicks was his Council aide) and others for allowing the thousands of taxpayer dollars to be given away.



Government needs to stick to taking care of basic services and quit playing Mommy & Daddy with the taxpayer's dollars and quit passing them out to their friends and supporters (in the name of helping the poor, of course!).

We the taxpayers have "stepped up" enough and bailed out every Tom, Dick & Harry. I say it's time that we elect someone to Ft. Worth's City Council who understands the value of a taxpayer's dollar and who's campaign IS funded by the people as opposed to Big Business. I say it's time that we elect someone to Ft. Worth's City Council who is not ethically challenged and who truly "cares" about The People, The Neighborhoods and Quality of Life here in Ft. Worth. http://www.suzetteforcouncil.com/

(Political Advertisement authorized by Suzette Watkins)