Wednesday, October 3, 2018

CCR 10-03-18 Last Call For...

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

“Last Call For..”

   No, dear readers, it’s not the last call for alcohol, but it should be.  

   The actions of the city manager, mayor and at least four more council members are probably going to take should make all citizens, who are interested in the best interest of Irving, to reach for the bottle.

   In all actuality, this is the last call for — sense, sensibility, and doing what is right for the city by your elected officials.  And this will be proven at the Thursday, October 4, 2018, Irving City Council meeting.

   If you are tired of watching the TV antics and shambles the US Congress is creating to your government — under the guise of careful and thoughtful thinking — then tune to your local ICTV channel tomorrow night.  The council spectacle will be aired live.  And the usual cadre of paid protesters, speaking against the issue, will count as your entertainment for the night.

   You will witness how your mayor and council members attempt a Fred Astaire dance routine, replete with their political spin step, of substituting real facts from political babble and kowtowing to: crony capitalist, campaign fund financiers, significant personal and friendship relations with those who have their ears in this matter, along with all the drinking-buddies and noshing shindigs provided to them pro bono.

   The issue is still ARK attempting to obtain the $44M TIF funding legally due them.  
(And remember, this is not your tax dollars in action…unless you own a business in the Las Colinas TIF #1 district.)  

   And once again, the city council is prepared to throw ARK under the bus and create: more bad and poor PR for the city; establish grounds for a law suit being filed against them; and by acting on their personal issues with ARK instead of citizens’ interest.

   Here are some questions council members might want to review before making their decision to vote against funding ARK:

  • Did the babbling and friendship of the crony capitalist influence the TIF board members at the meeting on Tuesday?
  • Did the TIF board swallow hook line and sinker the tired and unproven talking points they heard by the crony capitalist at the meeting?
  • Why was the city’s letter wrapping up all of the nit picking and certificate of occupancy fulfillment issues not presented to the TIF board?  Who was responsible for this gross misrepresentation to the TIF board?
  • Wasn’t the matter of “fraud” clearly swept off the table by the city’s letter?
  • Has the city manager exerted information non-disclosure pressure on staff members regarding this issue up until Tuesday?
  • Does the city manager follow the prescripts of what the mayor wants to the detriment of other council members?
  • Isn’t their a realistic solution available which would allow ARK to receive the $44M funding with prescribed follow ups?
  • Has the mayor and city council listened to all of the involved citizens who believe their actions are in bad faith for the city by deny the ARK funding due them?
  • Are there those on the council, who are letting their personal animosity for ARK, fog their thinking to do what is right for the city and citizens?
  • What will be the mayor and council’s reaction if another law suit is launched for their disingenuous inaction to do what is right with their business partner, ARK?
   Of course, there are many other questions to be asked which would flood the swamp the mayor and council have created.  

   However, the national swamp fever is bad enough.  Irving citizens would need to have a  political-swamp booster shot if the council does not approve the ARK contractual agreement.

   Call or e-mail your elected representatives tomorrow (Thursday) morning and let them know Irving is supposed to be better than what is going on with the national political scene.

Irving City Council

Alan Meagher
(972) 313-0909
David Palmer
(972) 861-0112
Phil Riddle
(469) 781-7116
Rick Stopfer
(214) 876-7172
Kyle Taylor
(214) 641-9690
Oscar Ward
(214) 537-4944
Dennis Webb
(972) 849-9421
Al Zapanta
(972) 506-9199
John Danish
(972) 554-0500

Report any required corrections to Mark Holbrook

………………………………….Mark Holbrook

Monday, September 24, 2018

CCR 09-25-18 Clicking Is Risky

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

“Clicking Is Risky”

   The US Surgeon General will soon consider issuing the following public service warning for all individuals who use computers, smart phones, or any other social media device:

The Internet Is Hazardous To Your Health

   Reports, research and first hand accounts have clearly demonstrated the use of the Internet and various social media platforms have, and can cause serious health risks.

Internet Health Risks
  • Sad divorces when spouses’ read your text messages, or review your GPS locations
  • Shameful suffering when a recipient receives your e-mail — in error —  regarding their need to lose weight…which was also sent to many others
  • Rejected emotional ability to find accurate information — based on your political philosophy — using Google search
  • Robot Twitter-migraines designed to humiliate you for your political views, or opinions
  • A mental rash caused by an avalanche of bullying messages from local Flying Harpies on FaceBook
  • Acute insomnia from posting every daily activity on your FaceBook account page
  • Infectious ‘swamp disease’ when reading mainstream media reports regarding political issues
  • Political character assignation, which prevents you from serving on the US Supreme Court, due to unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations

Protect Your Health

  The US Surgeon General recommends you immediately disconnect and destroy all computer devices,  bury your smart phone, pick up a book, and enjoy time with your family to hopefully regain your health.  Additionally, following this directive might even restore a bit of your sanity due to eliminating the reading of all the obvious brain-dead posters and writers currently on social media platforms.

…………………………..Mark Holbrook

   This “short” report is dedicated to the Short Attention Span  Reader — IWJ.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

CCR 09-11-18 Swamp Overflow

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

“Swamp Overflow”

   Well, dear readers, the time is now to put the sand bags around your home.  This safety measure will be required due to the expected tidal overflow of the ‘political swamp’ created by the actions of the Irving City council.

   The ARK TIF funding issue has become a match between Irving’s Bumbling Bureaucracy (with consent of a majority of current council members) vs. Successful Business Enterprise (with an impeccable record of development).

Swamp Tide #1
   The city manager and council failed to pass the agenda item to pay ARK the $44M TIF funding due them, but did approve a new city ordinance. 

   The city council will now require a strict dress code for all those who speak before the council against the ARK funding.  Citizens will be required to wear a brightly colored clown wig and red rubber nose.
   This new citizen attire will be in keeping with -- what the city manager, mayor and a couple other council members have now turned your city government into — a circus.

   And what a circus it was at the last council meeting.  With highlighted talking points on document copies provided to them, in all probability, by Chris Allen, who spoke at the meeting and has a law suit filed against the city, the Crankies, Flying Harpies, Social Media Trolls, and, of course the paid agitator, Anthony Bond, lacked the proper, colorful decorum due the city council.
(Should citizens, being paid to opine on issues before the city council, disclose this -- much like a lobbyist would have to do?) 

   Perhaps, the most disingenuous moment, by a citizen, was when they attempted an exorcism by intoning ex—mayor BVDs mantra of “forensic audit.”  

   After all the drama by the city manager and council, regarding whether the council would approve the $44M TIF funding to ARK, the issue reached the swamp overflow point.  The funding item was pulled and was not voted on by the council.  This means the city has opened the flood gates and the reek of this decision, which is overflowing with political Torofeca considerations, could flow all over ‘beautiful downtown Irving.’

   What might be the final skirmish on the TIF funding will transpire at the October, 2018 city council meeting.

   Be prepared.  Protect your homes with sand bags.  Anticipate the possibility of outrageous legal fees…paid with your tax bucks.
Swamp Tide #2
   For those who thought they would obtain some tax relief from the city manager and council for the 2018-2019 budget year — forgetaboutit.  The city manager’s budget was presented to the city council based on utilizing the Current Tax Rate  of $59.4/$100 evaluation.

   This means tax payers have been taken advantaged of due to the higher appraisal values.  The budget will have an influx of more money than what will be collected during this current year budget cycle.  

   The Effective TaxRate of $58.2/$100 evaluation would have allowed only the level of income collected for the 2017-2018 budget.

   Additionally, the projected tax collections for the 2018-2019 budget will be set at a lower rate than what will actually be collected.  In essence, the city manger and city council will be getting a double dip of new income from your tax payments!

   This double dip will amount will be approximately $5M which is not currently budgeted.  Nice slush fund for the city manager and council to play with down the road. 

   Should you be surprised?  Probably not, as this is the way the city bureaucracy and council works...collecting your tax bucks and spending them like Monopoly money.

Swamp Tide #3
  Would someone please contact the Irving Animal Shelter and City Code Enforcers to ensure the goats, on the lot next to Councilman Meagher’s home in this residential development, are moved to safety and higher ground due to the impending swamp overflow?  After the swamp tide-surge subsides, should the goats be returned to this residential location?

   Even with cooler weather on the horizon, the reek of the swamp will be present when the next election cycle starts. 

   Isn’t it time for council members to start listening to citizens, and not kowtowing to special interest concerns, crony capitalist, and those wearing brightly colored wigs and red rubber noses?

………………………………..Mark Holbrook  

Monday, August 27, 2018

CCR 08-27-18 Sweet and Sour

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

“Sweet and Sour”

   While waiting to see if the city manager/city council places the $44M TIF funding for ARK on the September 6, 2018, agenda for approval, staff of the CCR will temporarily direct your attention to a couple items which might be of concern or interest to you.

   Remember, nothing changes if one sits on their posterior and fails to register their thoughts or opinions with the elected officials who are responsible for conducting city business…with your tax dollars.

”Shining Star”
   Recently, dear readers, staff of the CCR alerted you to the fact that the Irving Toyota Music Factory, developed by ARK, was ranked 9th in the world for amphitheaters.  Hold on to your seat.  There is even better news afoot!

   ARK has been informed they have been nominated as Amphitheater  of the Year for 2018 by the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA).

   The above paragraph was printed in larger type in hopes the apparent blind and mute city manager and council members could clearly see the chaos, bad press, and reluctance to act as a genuine business partner with outstanding firm that knows, better than the council does , how to run a business and be successful.

   Hopefully, the IEBA organization will not need to interview the city manager or council members before the finalist is named on October 2, 2018.  It would be another PR-tragedy for the IEBA group to hear the excessive whining, less than factual information, and bullying points the city manager and council members have concocted and spewed all over ARK.

   Congrats ARK…you deserve this recognition for all the good you have done for Irving and putting Irving on the worldwide map of venue success! 

“City Manager Honey Pot”
   The city council recently completed the initial budget discussions for 2018-2019.  While there will be more discussions before the tax rate and budget expenditures are approved, the time would be now to let them hear your thoughts on the upcoming tax rate.

   If you have not been keeping up with higher appraisal rate scenario and what this will mean to your upcoming tax bill from the city, then read the following two articles from the DMN.

   To quickly get to the point, the following chart, from the DMN, will provide a preview of what the city council will probably be doing. 

   Of course, the city council will be “crowing” that they haven’t raised your taxes should they maintain the Current Tax Rate!  While this is a “Fake Talking Point,” you actually will be paying more in taxes utilizing this rate…due to higher appraisal values. 

   Isn’t this clear?  If the city council maintains the Current Tax Rate ($59.4/$100 appraised value), then more bucks — 2.1% increasewill pour into city coffers due to these higher appraisal rates. 

   Should the city council utilize the Effective Tax Rate ($58.2/$100 appraised evaluation to garner the same revenue amounts as the current budget year, 2017-2018), then the city would collect an amount of tax bucks which shouldn’t scalp citizens.

   One has to wonder if the city council will even consider a tax rate lower than the Effective Tax Rate!  This would amount to a genuine reduction in the taxes you pay to the city.  (Please don’t hold your breath on this happening!)

   The tax rate setting is the first dollop of honey in the city manager’s honey pot.  The second dollop in his pot is even less complicated.

   While these numbers are churning in your brain synapses, the City of Irving will still be receiving a windfall of bucks, at the end of the year, due to tax collections for the current year.

   How is the possible?

   When the 2018-2019 budget is presented to the city council, the city manager will base his budget development numbers on an estimated percentage of tax revenues to be collected from residents.  This very low collection figure will probably be around 96% collections. 

   However, the city’s historical numbers would reflect the annual percentage of actual tax collections crank out to be around 99+ percent.  And, dear readers, this is a very large dollop  of honey to use for non-budgeted, future discretionary spending, and special crony project expenditures by the city manager and city council.  And these new expenditures, which were not considered or included in the original 2018-2019 budget, will allow the city manager and city council to spend more than what was originally budgeted.

   But then, with the city manager and city council’s current political bullying of ARK, maybe all these extra bucks will be required to pay exorbitant legal fees to defend indefensible actions?!

   Should you see a swarm of bees circling the city manager and city council members during their upcoming reviews of the budget and pending tax rate discussions, relax, as the bees are only attempting to collect what is rightfully theirs…honey confiscated from them.

   Isn’t it time you helped the bees return the honey to their hive before the city manager and city council members suffer a sugar shock seizure involving your tax bucks?

   Stat…first aid required.  Councilman John Danish probably needs to have first aid applied to his posterior.  While he has been sitting on the “fence” and sliding down from one side and then the other over placing the ARK TIF funding measure on the upcoming city council agenda, the mass of splinters he has accumulated must be very discomforting…even for a recognized fence sitter. 

   Once all the splinters are removed, staff of the CCR would recommend he enter a rehab center to take the 12-step program on how to make decisions without sticking his finger in the air to judge the political winds.  The rehab treatment would also reinforce his need to maintain any principles — of his ever present and unrelated rhetoric — and then stick with a decision once it is made.  Contact:

   Isn’t it amazing how some elected officials want to create rules, regulations and procedural processes, but due to their egotistical self-interest they believe these items are — for others, or the unwashed masses (their skewed opinion) — not for them to follow?

   The city council currently has a dais seating arraignment which is designated to be in order by the Place the council member represents.  For math deficient Aggies: Seats would be, in order, by Place 1, 2, 3, etc.  The exception could be made for the mayor and mayor pro-team’s seating.

   Would someone mind asking Councilman Alan Meagher why he might not want to sit by a particular council member?

    This seems rather rude for him to personally lobby (in smoke filled rooms/bars?) the mayor or any other council members to park his posterior on the “throne” of his choosing.  Really?!

………………………………………Mark Holbrook

Friday, August 24, 2018

CCR 08-24-18 Fictitious Factoids?

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

“Fictitious Factoids?”

   Well, dear readers, the city manager (is he approaching the status of being seen as a Tommy, Jr. by some?) responded (via a very high priced attorney hired by the city) to the demand letter from ARK regarding the TIF funding issue.  

   It could be asked, did the city manager actually approve sending this document apparently loaded and reeking of Torofeca and SYA-verbiage?

   As previously noted in the 08-22-18 CCR report “Sweating and Weight Loss,” ARK is demanding the city honor its obligation and agreement to pay the $44M TIF funds due them.  ARKs demand letter demonstrated all the hoops and hurdles, to accomplish what the agreement required and specified, have been met.

   Of course, the city manager wants to protect: this gross bureaucratic snafu which has been created; keep the tightly twined string-pulling donors of council members taunt; and relying on advice which wouldn’t make good sense in the real business world.  The city manager’s rebuttal letter now puts the city in the crosshairs of, yet, another law suit regarding the Entertainment Center.

   If you are not keeping score with the Entertainment Center, non-music activity, this will assist you with all the potential and upcoming legal action the city is involved in for this project.

Billy Bob vs. City of Irving
Chris Allen vs. City of Irving
ARK vs. City of Irving  (on the immediate horizon?)

   Treading on the fringes of offering a legal opinion  prediction, Dylan Westie, Executive editor, Part-time wordsmith and Social Media Troll for the CCR, will rely on his “legal” training (see pic) to shine a very dim light on how the city manager and city council is conducting your business…with your tax dollars.  

   Note: Dylan’s “legal” training was also utilized by a former city council member who was whole hardly supported by Crankies, Flying Harpies  and other assorted Social Media Trolls.
   Dylan believes: If Irving has to go to court against ARK, over the $44M TIF funding issue, the city will losePeriod!
   To the point. of this penning: The following represents the Torofeca-laced response to the ARK demand letter by the city manager and city council.  Dylan’s comments follow. 

   When reviewing the city’s response, the following reflects questions which flashed across Dylan’s fluffy bangs:
  • Has it come to the point that doing business with the City of Irving is at your own financial risk?
  • Does the city manager and city council realize they are in a genuine partnership with ARK?
  • Has the city acted like a duplicitous partner, or just a bullying political oligarch?  (Either answer is correct.)
  • Does the city council really understand the severe ramifications they are creating on this legal path?
  • If the city council does understand, why isn’t there leadership present to change this disastrous course to do what is right for the project and tax payers.
  • Does the city council believe they are immune from personal law suits, since tax payers will be footing all the legal costs?
  • Does the city’s response to ARK contain disingenuous, add-on items not relevant to the TIF agreement?
  • Does the city manager and city council fully understand there are three separate agreements to this entire project: Development, Lease, and the one currently in question — TIF funding?
  • Is the city council still attempting to hold out the TIF funds until satisfied their string-pulling buddies and campaign donors, Billy Bob and Chris Allen, have been taken care of?
  • Does the city council understand they are not responsible for Billy Bob not paying some of his sub-contractors?
  • Should some council members recuse themselves from voting on anything to do with ARK due to their personal and campaign funding relationships with parties in the current law suits against the city?
   While there are many other questions which should be asked, this whole City vs. ARK boils down to: the city manager and city council inflicting, on Irving, the possible destruction of all the good will earned by ARK to-date with the Irving Toyota Music Factory; the extremely negative PR which law suits bring; and the lack of consent by the tax paying public to be complicit in this bullying path against ARK…instead of doing what is right and just.

   But then, some presently on the city council went through all this with the original entertainment center developer (LCG), Billy Bob, et al.  (Bet you forgot that!)

   And Yogi Berra’s head is spinning out of control at the lack of unfettered leadership in this instance.

   Yes, dear readers, it’s “dèjá vu all over again” thanks to your city manager and city council engaging in political malfeasance!

…………………………….Mark Holbrook