Paul Walden, Addison City Council, Post (Facebook)
December 15, 2016
I love serving the citizens of Addison but the city council didn’t exactly cover itself in glory by some of the actions taken at the Dec. 13 meeting.
The refusal, for the second year, to pay retired employees a Cost-Of-Living increase reflects badly on our community when 92% of cities in the state offer this benefit. How can we attract and retain quality employees when we aren’t competitive? The mayor and his followers took advantage of the drumbeat of local publicity regarding Dallas’ police and fire pension problems (NOT connected to Addison’s TMRS system) to scare Addison residents with huge, future liability numbers without explaining a variety of options that could be explored to resolve the concerns.
This action was compounded by a request seeking an attorney general’s opinion to allow the public release of the retirement payments to individual retirees. This appears to be a part of the mayor’s ongoing effort to damage specific, former employees by releasing their personal financial information. These are now private citizens and I oppose making public their personal financial information. The City Attorney stated clearly that the law protects their privacy yet the Mayor seeks release of this sensitive information for purely political purposes.
Scheduling this review of the COLA, to be followed by a discussion – yet again – of the housing policy – among the last items on a 27 item agenda indicates the mayor’s disrespect of Addison citizens. Making decisions on such important items near midnight hardly reflects the good government and transparency he so frequently espouses. As it was, he postponed the housing policy yet again.
His agenda management (he and the city manager schedule the items) also included allowing three speakers during the public comment section to speak on agenda items which is against the rules. Is it a coincidence that all three shared the mayor’s views on the issues? Probably not. So much for transparency.
The good news is that the council authorized expenditures for the next phase of the Vitruvian development though Tom Lamberth will not be shepherding these projects as he has for the entire life of the project. The council issued a proclamation thanking Tom for his work in Addison as he moves on to another city.
Many good wishes to you and your family during this holiday season.