Keller City Limits

Discussion of Keller, TX politics

Busy Week

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On Monday:

The Keller Economic Development Board and the Keller City Council will conduct a joint meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at Keller Town Hall. The meeting is set to discuss the goals and objectives of the KEDB, the City’s incentives policy and determine target businesses that the City would like to attract.

On Tuesday:

This past Tuesday, the Council met in a work session to discuss the proposed changes to the UDC in detail. The Council is planning to continue its review during a workshop starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, and will accept comments from the public during the regular session that starts at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday:

The public is encouraged to attend and participate in a second workshop meeting on the Keller Town Center Visioning Project at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Keller Town Hall. The focus is to help develop an updated plan to guide the development of the remaining parcels in Town Center.

All items above courtesy of the Mayor’s weekly update.

With the price of Natural Gas falling in the past few months, it may be time to look at changing your electric provider or at least locking in a new rate.  When going to Powertochoose.org today I found rates as low as 10.9¢ for month to month, or 11.3¢ for a six month contract.  If you think Natural Gas prices will continue to fall, you might want to lock in a shorter contract, if you think they will spike back up, now is the time to lock in for a long period of time.

My contract had expired with my current provider and when I happened to look at my bill, they had bumped up my rate to over 14 cents.

Maybe, according to Kathleen Pender:

Should you keep paying your mortgage?

If you have significant equity in your home, absolutely.

If you don’t, it’s getting harder to answer that question, especially when our government keeps giving people who owe more than their homes are worth so many reasons not to pay.

Last week, the government announced a program that will substantially lower payments for many homeowners who have little or no equity, but only if they are at least 90 days delinquent.

Critics say the plan, which applies to loans owned or guaranteed by government wards Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac among others, could encourage people to suspend payments.

But what about the moral obligation to pay off a debt?

Typical, if you do the right thing, you get run over by those running for a bailout.

Maybe it’s time to go John Galt….

Just finished watching his interview on 60 Minutes, and the closing question was on a playoff for Division 1 College Football.  He said that he supports it and will throw his weight behind the proposal.

All I can say is….Yes We Can!

Ft. Worth Business Press has a timely article on what different Cities are doing to attract retailers:

Wetzel said cities can begin the process of aggressively marketing to retailers by cleaning up their permitting process, which makes building new stores easier for retailers and developers alike, as well as creating an up-to-date inventory of all retail sites in the city and creating incentive plans, which don’t have to include tax cuts, to attract retailers to the city.

“All of these things let retailers know that you’re going to work with them better than the city next door and that’s the kind of thing that can make a decision for a retailer,” she said. “An incentive for them could be you helping them with an expedient permitting and code process. If you’re invested in streamlining your process, they’ll want to do business with you.”

Hey, in this job market, I am willing to use all available means.  My daughter is graduating from Sam Houston State in December and is currently looking for her first real job.  She has a major in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration.  She will graduate with over a 3.0 average and made the Deans List last semester.  She is a hard worker and has held a job since she was 14 years old.

If you know of any openings or have a lead, email me at doug at kellercitylimits.com.

From KISD:

KELLER HIGH SCHOOL THEATER

Keller High School is proud to present Jill the Ripper. Shows will be held tonight, Saturday, Novemeber 15th, Friday, November 21st and Saturday, November 22nd at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.00 and are available at the door.

Jill the Ripper is the story of a young girl who may finally know the true identity of the infamous London serial killer, Jack the Ripper.

*This production is not intended for young audiences.*

WOW

3 comments

From the Keller Citizen today:

The Keller Economic Development Board is eyeing an aggressive incentive policy that includes sales tax breaks and fee waivers for prospective businesses.

The nine-member board proposes waiving all construction-related fees and sales taxes over a business’s first three years. It would be a broad attempt to pump up the city’s lackluster commercial tax base.

My first thought was this was way too aggressive and the City Council will never pass it.  My next thought was with all the doom and gloom in the news, this may indeed have a chance of passing. 

What are your thoughts?


I’m too passionate about this issue to let my remarks languish in the comments. — Jim Carson

In my first city council goal setting retreat, I proposed that one of our goals should be the dramatic reduction, and ideally elimination, of impact fees.

Impact fees are substantial penalties imposed on developers under the pretense that the development causes an increased “impact” on city services like roads, police, fire, water and sewer. While it is certainly true that development does cause costs for these services to rise, that cost is more than made up by water and sewer usage fees and property taxes. In retail development they are also supplemented by sales tax. The idea that developers impose a net cost on a community is a despicable fraud. Just look at the near-unanimous call for MORE DEVELOPMENT for crying out loud.

Impact fees are hidden taxes promoted by cowardly city managers, self-important mayors and council members, and freeloading citizens who want ever more services and ever less taxes. Impact fees are a way of gouging the productive elements of society who often have no vote.

When we were prioritizing our goals, Steve Trine whined when I put three or four of my dots (votes of importance) on impact fee reduction, claiming that it wasn’t “fair” that I had gamed the system. Bob Kirk stated his belief in the lie that development is a net cost to a community, and the matter was dropped.

All that notwithstanding, I am still against the idea of granting breaks to selected businesses temporarily. Whatever happened to the idea of the level playing field? Better known as Equal Protection of the Law, as expressed in the Fourteenth Amendment.

I doubt there is a single person in Keller who would call for punitive taxes to be levied on small upstart businesses. But by imposing draconian impact fees on everyone, and then granting relief from these fees to a few larger, more legally sophisticated developers (like was done for Tabani/Stein Mart), we’re effectively doing the same thing.

As for “rebating” sales taxes — again for selected businesses — we need to remember that these taxes never belonged to the business. They belong to the people of Keller from the moment of the retail transaction. Returning sales taxes to a business is financially indistinguishable from the city endorsing your property tax check and handing it to the retailer.

The city council should abolish impact fees for all and “rebate” sales taxes to none. Fair’s fair.

Ft. Worth Weekly has a depressing (and poorly written) article this week:

Michael Berry, president of Hillwood Properties, which has built 2.5 million square feet of industrial, office, and retail space near Alliance Airport, was quoted recently by an online business publication as predicting that that there will be little or no new Hillwood construction for the next 12 months. “Even in our market, I can’t imagine you’re going to see much new construction,” he told the local chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association.

That will affect Alliance Town Center, which has 500,000 square feet of retail space that is 85 percent leased. But the next phases, which will add a million square feet, have been put on hold, according to several sources. “If we were trying to do that project today, we wouldn’t be building it,” Berry said at the meeting, according to GlobeSt.com.

Kipp Whitman, president of Rland Properties, which is developing several retail projects in north Fort Worth, said tenants aren’t pulling out of leases, “but they are pushing back their move-in dates. … It is too early to tell what will happen.”

RINO Hunting

1 comment

Got to love The Nuge:

Make no mistake, conservative values and ideologies are embraced by Americans. The polls all indicate Americans are fed up with the Pelosi-led, do nothing congress, and do not support more government programs and control. Sounds to me like we have a conservative revolution brewing.

Conservative leaders and thinkers such as Newt Gingrich, Jed Babbin, Governor Jindal of Louisiana, Thomas Sowell, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Governor Sarah Palin and others need to turn up the heat and bring this less government, more individual freedom and strong national defense revolution to a boil. It is time.

My specialty is making Fedzilla punks squirm and turn into a puddle of sweat and drool. Therefore, in the spirit of famous butt kickers Generals Chesty Puller and George Patton, I say we launch an attack on all fronts. Uncle Ted hereby declares it is open season on RINOs. No bag limits or permits required. Conservative ideas, arguments and votes are the weapons we will use. Hunt them down and shine a blazing light on these RINO turncoat cockroaches. Zero in the “we the people” crosshairs of your voting assault weapon and aim for the RINO pumpstation. Double tap center mass. Whack em and stack em, track em and hack em, pack em and give em no slack. Let’s do to the RINO beasts what we did to the passenger pigeon. Force out of the Republican Party out the subspecies known as RINOs.

We must not make the mistake of keeping the GOP tent so big that there’s room for RINOs. They are in the business of producing conservative defeats. Instead, join me in the new Conservative Revolution. Let’s go out and win another one for the Gipper.

So Says Camille Paglia:

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology… One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice…

As for the Democrats who sneered and howled that Palin was unprepared to be a vice-presidential nominee — what navel-gazing hypocrisy! What protests were raised in the party or mainstream media when John Edwards, with vastly less political experience than Palin, got John Kerry’s nod for veep four years ago? And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, for whom I lobbied to be Obama’s pick and who was on everyone’s short list for months, has a record indistinguishable from Palin’s. Whatever knowledge deficit Palin has about the federal bureaucracy or international affairs (outside the normal purview of governors) will hopefully be remedied during the next eight years of the Obama presidencies.

The U.S. Senate as a career option? What a claustrophobic, nitpicking comedown for an energetic Alaskan — nothing but droning committees and incestuous back-scratching. No, Sarah Palin should stick to her governorship and just hit the rubber-chicken circuit, as Richard Nixon did in his long haul back from political limbo following his California gubernatorial defeat in 1962. Step by step, the mainstream media will come around, wipe its own mud out of its eyes, and see Palin for the populist phenomenon that she is.

From Unfair Park:

By now, you’re probably aware that a week after Election Day, the dust hasn’t settled in Irving, where three-term incumbent Linda Harper-Brown and Democratic challenger Bob Romano are still tussling over who gets to rep Texas House District 105. Knocked out by a mere 20 votes, Romano’s seeking a recount: “In the coming days, my focus will be on doing everything I can to see that every ballot is counted and that every voter’s intent is known,” he writes on his Web site. The recount, which will settle once and for all whether the Republicans maintain their majority in the Texas House, ought to be completed by next week, give or take. Till then, the inevitable today at Dallas County Elections Department HQ on Stemmons Freeway: Protest!

I had a feeling this was coming……can anyone say “Hey, we found some missing ballots!”