Perhaps my post title should be Opacity in Government because the lack of communication and engagement by government with the voters.
Here are just a few examples:
1. Without public hearing, the city council dissolved the Crime Control Prevention District (CCPD) and took over their budget. This gave the city council control over the CCPD’s $50.6 million current budget and $28 million in reserve funds. This lack of transparency does not allow an independent third party to manage the budget of this very important organization and raises the risk of the city council diverting the money elsewhere.
2. Trinity River Vision Project (TRVP). There is a separate article for the Trinity River Vision Project here. But as an overview:
- Through SB2639 it gave the Tarrant Regional Water District the use of eminent domain, which it uses for the TRVP.
- The alternative Principles and Guideline (P&G) plan from the Army Corps of Engineers that would have not required the use of eminent domain was never presented to the public. See an alternative plan to the Trinity River Vision Project here which would cost 1/20th of the $909 million price tag and wouldn’t use eminent domain powers.
- The TRVP, in its current $909 million dollar form, has not been on the ballot for voters to decide.
- The plan does NOT include water cleanup. So we’re still stuck with the issue of PCBs.
- Jim Oliver, general manager of the water district, said he decided to hire J.D. Granger (son of Representative Kay Granger) without interviewing other candidates because he believes Granger is the most qualified person for the job.
3. To receive detailed information about the city budget, it requires a citizen submit an Open Records request. Why isn’t that all online?
4. The Fort Worth Gas Drilling Task Force voted to not record minutes to their meetings. You will find agendas, but not minutes.
5. The Ethics Panel found a conflict of interest having three gas industry members on the Air Quality Committee. How did we deal with that? We fired the Ethics Panel and brought in a new one that said there wasn’t a conflict of interest. Interestingly, city council members have the final say on ethics violations even when they are the ones being charged with unethical behavior.
When I asked my political opponent, Dennis Shingleton, at the Lake Worth Vision Project meeting at the start of this campaign, if he had a Facebook candidate page or website. He emphatically stated he was doing neither. I guess staying under the radar and being less than transparent remains “The Fort Worth Way”.
Early Voting June 2nd – June 10th
Even if you did NOT vote in the city wide election, ALL registered voters are eligible to vote in the runoff election.
Election Day – Saturday, June 18th
Office: (817) 754-0001
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