Seeing Through Meier’s
Latest Fabricated Campaign Issue:
The War on AMLI
By Susan M. Halpern
Former Addison Councilmember (1992-1999)
Todd Meier is again misusing Addison’s council meetings to run a political campaign of lies. We saw this nonsense last year, when Meier concealed Lea Dunn’s critical memo in violation of the Open Meetings Act to pave the way for his shill accountant to attack prior management. I wrote extensively about Meier’s misconduct in 2016. 2017 brings us the same song, different verse.
Meier now claims (with no substantiation) that the site of the AMLI development (approved by council on February 14, 2017) has environmental issues. Meier doesn’t mention that in October 2014, the TCEQ declared that the site was safe for residential use. Nor does Meier discuss the strongly-worded letter from AMLI’s lawyer correcting his many misstatements. The truth has never stopped Meier.
So, Meier has again placed the supposed environmental issues on the council’s agenda, now with a proposal to spend money not in Addison’s budget. Here’s the thing. Meier has led SIX budget cycles. Not once in that six years has Meier suggested devoting Addison resources to a study of environmental issues in the Quorum District. And remember, AMLI brought a very similar proposal to council in 2014, so if Meier thought a problem existed, he certainly had the opportunity to address it. But he didn’t.
Here’s the other thing. Meier’s concern for the environment ebbs and flows depending on what he wants. Last year, Meier championed Addison Grove. Meier clearly wanted Addison Grove to be his “legacy.” Meier wanted it so badly that he even led the council to pay an astonishing $6.5 million of our hard-earned tax dollars to the developer of Addison Grove. And so, given his support for that development, he never once raised environmental issues, even though Sam’s had a gas station that used underground storage tanks (“UST’s”). There wasn’t a word of concern raised.
And so, it’s not hard to see through Meier’s sudden “concern” for non-existent environmental issues . . . Or his claim that they are suddenly “urgent.” At election time, of course.
It’s clearly a political ruse, the latest in a long line perpetrated by Meier. But here, the two developments – Addison Grove and AMLI – are linked. Here’s why: ADDISON Grove currently sits DEAD IN THE WATER. That’s right. No developer is interested in building apartments at Beltline and Midway. And without the apartments, the townhomes don’t happen. And so, Addison Grove is quickly turning into Meier’s Folly, and that has made Meier mad.
So, here’s what Meier did. Go back to the P&Z meeting in January and you’ll hear the AMLI representative mention a call he received from Meier. In that call, Meier apparently pushed AMLI to build at Addison Grove, not in the Quorum District. After all, that would fix Meier’s problem at Beltline/Midway. Watch the video for yourself. The AMLI rep describes telling Meier of the problems AMLI had with Addison Grove. And, he emphasizes that AMLI wants to build in the Quorum, not at Meier’s favored site, Addison Grove.
That didn’t sit well with Meier. And in Meier’s world, you either OBEY or you are attacked and punished. It’s a scenario to which Addison has been subjected again and again for six years. We have watched Meier declare war on Addison’s employees, police and fire departments, Addison’s former management, citizens, fellow councilmembers, neighboring communities, and anyone who doesn’t capitulate to Meier’s demands. Sadly, the list of Meier’s victims is long.
So, AMLI is simply Meier’s latest victim. AMLI didn’t capitulate to Meier’s demand, and so Meier is doing what he always does: attack and punish. Oh sure, disparaging a nationally established developer like AMLI is horrible for Addison. It has surely discouraged other developers unwilling to be subjected to such tactics. But Meier doesn’t care. His tenure on council has been all about him, not about Addison. So, when AMLI refused Meier’s demand to build at Addison Grove, Meier attacked AMLI, punishing its representatives at the February 14th council meeting, and falsely telling people that the AMLI site has environmental issues. It’s why the piece of land owned by Addison has suddenly become an issue.
It’s all a fabrication by Meier (a) to punish AMLI for not saving Meier’s Folly, aka Addison Grove, and (b) to create campaign issues for Meier’s chosen candidates.
The beauty of this issue is that you don’t have to take my word for any of it. Watch the January P&Z meeting and watch the February 14, 2017 council meeting. And when you hear Meier’s sycophants spew nonsense about supposed environmental issues, ask questions. And press for answers. Especially from his candidates.
Addison has suffered enough damage at the hands of Meier and his ilk. It’s time to forcefully reject his latest campaign of lies, so that Addison can return to the true Addison Way.