Keller City Limits

Discussion of Keller, TX politics

Browsing Posts published by Doug Miller

The End


2008 has been a year of abrupt endings for me, and to tell you the truth, I am glad it’s over.  It started nearly a year ago today when I lost one of my closest friends I’ve ever had to a heart attack.  Rich was a baseball dad like me, and our sons played together on the same summer teams since the boys were 12 years old and were college roommates and teammates at El Paso.  He came home from work one day and had a heart attack, we buried him two days before Christmas last year.  Rich was 48 years old.  I still pick up the phone to call him when Ohio State plays an important game, or last year during the baseball playoffs I caught myself scrolling through my phone to call him to discuss the outcome of a game.  It seems so odd that he is not there anymore.

In January I lost my son-in-law and granddaughter to a drunk driver, the toughest thing I have ever had to endure.  My granddaughter was our little angel and one couldn’t have asked for a better son-in-law.  We are all still in shock over our loss and it remains hard to even think about it.  My daughter is doing better and has moved into her own apartment and even though she and I don’t talk often, she seems to be doing as well as can be expected.

In May, my son came home from college and told me he was done with baseball.  On one hand I was relieved, on the other I was crushed.  So much of our lives have revolved around the sport since he was 4 years old.  He took a break and didn’t go back to school this semester, and I hope he gets his act together and gets back into school in the spring.  I love my son with all my heart, its just that he’s 20 years old and sees that love as something destructive rather than something positive.

In July, I lost my longtime companion Cutter.  He was actually Shannon’s dog, but I inherited him when she and I got married.  I miss sitting on the couch watching TV with him sitting beside me, and still every day I still look over to where his food bowl was on the way out the door.  I can’t bring myself to get another pet, Cutter was a special dog.  My dad, who doesn’t like pets even stated that Cutter was the best dog he’s ever been around.

In October it seems we lost our economy and the stock market crashed with fury not seen since 1929.  It didn’t affect our business until the last few weeks, but we are seeing the writing on the wall.  At the peak this summer we had over 100 employees and are now down to our core group of 30 trying to weather the storm.  I try to stay as upbeat as I can because I am the face for the company with our customers, and the last thing we need is pessimism creeping throughout the company. 

And now in December, we are losing this blog.  Jim has decided to end all new publications on KCL as it has taken a direction that he didn’t like.  I knew this day would come, but didn’t expect it quite so soon.  I will continue to blog, but at Beyond Right Field, a site I set up last summer.  If you have enjoyed my postings here, please add a bookmark to your favorites on your browser. 

As a way not to end this on such a drag, let me state that this year has also been one of the best ever.  My wife and I are happier than we have ever been, my step-daughter walked across the stage at Sam Houston State University last weekend with her degree, my nine year old is as happy and vibrant as ever. 

Shannon and I are truly blessed and wish to take this moment and wish everybody a Merry Christmas. 


Phillip’s Wish is a local charity formed by a young boy and his mom.  They give out blankets, gloves and other items to the homeless each year, and this year their sendoff is at Tom Thumb this Saturday at 10:00 am.

Stop by their site and offer your help if you can this Holiday Season.

I’m sure you have read the Headlines on Drudge or elsewhere about the Governor of Illinois getting arrested this morning.  For a local take on the situation, be sure to check out my brother’s blog here.  His site is getting hammered, so if it doesn’t load, try again.’

UPDATE:  My brother’s Chicago Sun Times Column on the subject.

Couldn’t sleep tonight, so I am up watching CNBC’s special on Saving GM.  What struck me as funny was that the program is sponsored by Mitsubishi.

From the ST:

A Keller family displaced from their flooded home will have a new home built for them this week by crews from the television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and Arlington-based Wall Homes.

Amber and Peter Augustin of Keller were told Monday morning that they would have their Keller Hicks Road home rebuilt for them this week and featured on the ABC show, according to a statement from the show.

In addition to construction crews from Wall Homes and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” hundreds of volunteers will descend on the property this week to build the home in 106 hours.

The Augustins’ home flooded in June 2007. They removed the rotten walls, but the family of five had to leave the home. City and county officials have told the family that the home must be raised one foot to be habitable.

UPDATE:  Actually read the press release and after looking on Google, the house in question is on Keller-Hicks road in Fort Worth, not Keller.  The house also backs up to the KISD Property that I talked about in this post.

Christmas Tree Lighting, originally uploaded by kellercitylimits.

Keller City Limits was born. Thanks again to Jim Carson for the effort.

Trey Garrison has this today:

  • The best hope from this story? The “new plan is too ambitious and, perhaps worse, too complicated to pass the Legislature.” Which is nice. Because as hard as it may be for the backers of mass transit schemes to believe, we might need those hundreds of millions a year more than they do. If your idea is so great, you pay for it. Don’t force the rest of us to.
  • Great photo by David Kozlowski

    Tonight, the City Council denied Waste Managements proposed rate increase.  With Oil Prices the lowest they have been in 3 1/2 years, it was poor timing on their part.  If they had brought this proposal last summer, when Diesel prices were $5 a gallon, I think it would have passed.

    While I was gone on vacation I got the notice that I was reappointed to P&Z for two more years.  The interview had a lot to do with this blog, and if I saw a conflict in me posting here and me serving on P&Z.  I encouraged the City Council to read the blog before passing judgement.

    I have stated that I won’t post my opinion on anything that is coming before the commission before I actually vote on it, and in the past year, I have lived to that bargain.  I will continue to follow that guideline going into this term on P&Z. 

    I also want to thank both the Mayor for speaking out in favor of me serving on the board, and to P&Z Chair Jay Brown for expressing his support for my reappointment. 

    From USA Today:

    Battered by record foreclosures and falling tax revenue, cities are laying off workers, raising fees and closing libraries and recreation centers.

    “Almost every city in the country is feeling the impact,” says Chris Hoene, director of policy and research at the National League of Cities.

    A survey in September found that city finance officers expect revenue from property, sales and income taxes to decrease 4.3% this year, Hoene says.

    The problem will be worse next year, he says, because there is a lag between current economic conditions and when they affect city revenue.

    “Local officials know that if things are tight now,” he says, “tougher choices are coming.”

    The survey found that 79% of cities expect their finances to worsen in 2009.

    With Keller’s large reserve fund and the City Manager’s knowledge of the possible upcoming problems, I’m hoping we are in a good position for next year.  I don’t have near the confidence in the School District.

    Update: I posted this from work where I’m catching up and forgot to post the most important part:

    Sally Reed of Friends of Libraries USA says cities are making the wrong cuts, closing libraries just as more people use their free services.

    “It’s really backwards thinking,” she says. “They’ve become increasingly important, and yet libraries are the first ones cut.”

    I stated basically the same thing during the Library controversy.  In 2002 when the economy fell off here, the first thing we cut was Library Service, but a couple of years later we were to believe that we could afford to build a $10 million Library without a tax increase.