The Truth About the “Forum”: It Is Indeed Theater
April 13, 2016
The fact is that presenting rehearsed answers as if they were extemporaneous is deceiving the public. It is not appropriate in any circumstance. Period. It is dishonest. And by the way, the fact that it’s deceptive isn’t changed by the fact that these candidates supposedly don’t know which of their 4-5 submitted questions they’ll be asked. The format is a sham.
Regarding the date: Paul Walden, Jim Duffy and Al Angell weren’t consulted. Their first notice was a March 13, 2016 email announcing the date and format, which began: “As you are aware.” Well, since they hadn’t been contacted, they were obviously not “aware.” That’s factual, no “inference” required at all. But then, the email makes clear that someone was “aware.” So who was “aware?” Well, the only folks left are the incumbent candidates, and that makes it pretty darn clear that they were consulted.
The Kanter Saga Continues:
Addison Should Do What is Right,Not What it Can Get Away With
March 30, 2016
I can’t even buy “transparency” in Addison. Not that I should have to pay for it, I pay plenty of taxes, and my Addison tax bill has risen 28.8% in the five years since Meier has been mayor. You’d think an almost 30% rise in taxes would entitle me to some real disclosure. Not so. What I’m discovering is that my tax money is instead funding the elaborate cat and mouse game that has replaced the concepts of disclosure and transparency in Addison.
Is Election Fraud Occurring in Addison?
March 29, 2016
This sure seems to me that the election process is being manipulated in the most egregious sense I can recall ever seeing. I think this is a FBI matter or at least something the state or federal elections or ethics commissions need to investigate. There is something very wrong going on in Addison.
Political Incest in Addison
March 29, 2016
The “Unsolicited” Letter, Part 3
The Final Chapter: I STILL Smell A Rat
March 25, 2016
So the author of the letter has now confirmed that he indeed is a local yokel, not an East Coast big wig. And, he’s got lots of connections to Addison, and is indeed “linked” to one of the incumbents who is now a candidate. Good to hear that my investigation was spot on. And, I still smell a rat.
Overspending The Budget YET AGAIN
March 22, 2016
They’re at it again. Meier is about to lead this council to overspend the budget for the third year in a row. You see, they’ve painted themselves into somewhat of a corner with this whole Kanter fiasco. Now they’re spending our tax money for shamelessly political reasons.
3 Candidates Propose A Theatrical Performance
But Wait, They’re Calling It A “Forum?”
March 22, 2016
They will recite their prepared answers in the hopes of convincing the audience that they actually know something. In truth, the only thing that will be tested will be their acting skills. Join me in refusing to attend such a ridiculous event, and in demanding a real forum.
When I Demand Transparency and Truth
From My Government, It Should Not Be Labeled “Hate”
March 21, 2016
It is the responsibility of every citizen to fight for democratic principles, and I, for one, will continue to do so. Demanding accountability and transparency is not “hateful.”
The Deception of the “Unsolicited” Letter
I Smell Another Rat… Part 2
March 19, 2016
I didn’t find a disclosure statement anywhere in the publication. . . .
Isn’t it time for these people to cease this pointless smear campaign? Shouldn’t we be embracing Addison’s great past and working to make Addison even greater in the future?
Will We Hear the Other Side of the Kanter Story?
March 18, 2016
Citizens must be permitted to examine the underlying information – the facts – that either confirm or disprove the public statements of government and politicians. That is what “transparency” is all about.
“We” received an “unsolicited” letter? I Smell Another Rat…
March 18, 2016
Meier is so scared that Addison voters might elect people who are truly independent thinkers that he’s pulling all the stops out.
I Smell Fraud in Addison … In the Fraud Audit
March 14, 2016
“This smells like a witch hunt. The headline makes for good theater . . . . But I wonder if the forensic audit should rather have been on the Council itself. I don’t live in Addison, but this stinks. If there was something done wrong intentionally or fraudulently, nail them. However, the entire municipal family is damaged if this is politically motivated as it seems to be.”
Lewis Mclain is a highly respected consultant with an extensive background in fiscal management and municipal issues. His impressive employment experience & expertise can be viewed at http://citybaseblog.net/ .
The Kanter Web Is Unraveling
March 12, 2016
Sir Walter Scott was right: “Oh! What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
Kanter and Meier say whatever they want in their quest to disparage Addison’s staff and former management. Sorry, but that’s not transparency. It’s a web of deceit and slowly but surely, it’s beginning to unravel.
What Kanter Didn’t Tell You Changes Everything
March 2, 2016
The timing of Kanter’s presentation and his one-sided attacks on prior management can only be characterized as political, because here’s what you weren’t told.
The Prosecutor Strikes Again (with no Defendant or Defense Attorney Present)
February 24, 2016
Of course, we have no recognized processes in this country where only one side is allowed to present evidence. There are always procedures that allow for cross-examination and an opportunity to present other evidence, a clear recognition of the danger of hearing only one side of any story. Unfortunately, Meier and his cadre have taken Addison in a different direction.
Addison’s Council Considers BMW, Audi or Volvo Police Patrol Vehicles (What Are These People Thinking???)
February 22, 2016
At tomorrow’s council work session (February 23, 2016 at 6 P.M.), Addison’s City Council will receive a report from the staff – ordered by the Mayor – to regarding whether Addison can purchase exotic vehicles such as Porsche, Audi, Tesla and Volvo for police patrol units, rather than vehicles that are specifically designed, manufactured and tested to operate dependably as patrol vehicles. All this at a time when our taxes have risen almost 30%, we have had significant budget over runs, and Meier led this council to pay $6.5 million to the Sam’s redevelopment, with no idea where that money is coming from.
Problems with the Sam’s Vote and the Attempt to Discredit Serious & Valid Concerns
February 17, 2016
Recently, some of you received a letter from a councilmember who voted for the Sam’s redevelopment.
The author wrote that she received feedback on her vote for the project, describing that feedback as “misunderstandings” and “fear.” These themes parallel those used by the mayor, who has repeatedly suggested that opposition to the project could only be grounded in misinformation. These characterizations are unfortunate, and clear efforts to discredit the many serious and valid concerns raised by opponents, thereby avoiding the substance of those issues.
“We’re public servants and we serve the community. If we’re not listening to them, why are we here?”
January 26, 2016
Sam’s Site: Comments by Residents at the Public Hearing
January 17, 2016
You can view the video of those who spoke at the Public Hearing at the last Council meeting, at http://addisontx.swagit.com/play/01122016-1571 (agenda #14, 104: 35 [ie. approx. 104 minutes, 35 seconds into this clip).
Sam’s Site Update
January 15, 2016
After a marathon council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Council voted at about midnight to table the Sam’s issue for just two weeks. They will vote on it on January 26. Here’s a play-by-play . . . .
January 2, 2016
This plan does not represent mixed use development. It is a high density residential development that provides little benefit to the people that already live here. We have to take responsibility for protecting our neighborhoods. We will need to show up in force for the City Council Meeting on January 12th.
Longtime Employees Penalized Twice – Losing COLA and Social Security
December 31, 2015
The Addison City Council’s refusal to pay retirees a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in 2016 creates a “double whammy” to their pocketbooks, thanks to changes in Social Security benefit payments since the Town opted to join the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS).
Who Says Addison is Business Friendly?
December 21, 2015
The Planning & Zoning Commission didn’t evidence much interest in being business friendly to the owners of Antonio’s Restaurante at its Dec. 15 meeting.
Addison Residents Oppose Sam’s Club Redevelopment Plans
December 18, 2015
Nearly 100 Addison residents filled Town Hall to overflowing Tuesday night, Dec. 15, 2015, to register their opposition to the proposed redevelopment of the former Sam’s Club property at 4150 Belt Line Road with the Addison Planning & Zoning Commission.
Sam’s Site Plans Go to P&Z on Tuesday, December 15, 2015;
Park, Wall and Beltway Traffic Affected
December 13, 2015
ATTENTION RESIDENTS who live in Midway Meadows, Towne Lake, Pecan Square, Walnut Square, Les Lacs, Park Place, Waterford Park, and Addison Grand as well as anyone who uses Beltway Drive (Athletic Club members) regularly!
Mark your calendar to attend the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting this Tuesday, Dec. 15 at Town Hall at 6 pm to hear a discussion and VOTE on the Sam’s site. The plans call for removing the park wall on Beltway and opening a street through to the new development which will dramatically increase traffic on Beltway.
Irresponsible Budgeting Comes Home to Roost
December 9, 2015
During the past five years, taxes paid by Addison residents have increased 20% or more.
And the Meier-led council overspent last year’s budget by $915,000.
COLA’s Impact on Employee Purchasing Power
December 9, 2015
The Addison’s City Council’s acted in the fall of 2015 to deny COLAs for retired Addison employees. A number of questions regarding this action have come to light and pose concerns discussed in this, the 1st article in a series on the matter.
About Council’s “Unanticipated Expenses”: Is This How You Would Spend Addison’s Tax Dollars?
September 22, 2015
The Addison City Council spent almost $1 million of taxpayer money that was not included in Addison’s budget last year. . . . Addison’s savings account funded Meier’s campaign issue. Is this how you would spend Addison’s reserve account?
Where Oh Where Did My Tax Money Go?
September 8, 2015
Once again this year our taxes are increasing. That’s actual taxes, i.e., the dollars you actually pay (rate x value = $$$$ we pay). Meier is fond of just talking about the rate, which now increases from 56.18 to 57.19. Sounds modest until you consider the second half of the equation . . . .
Former Addison Councilman’s Message to Mayor & Councilmembers
July 22, 2015
“In my view the single most important attribute for our City Manager is a willingness to withstand the pressures of a council determined to cross the line between policy makers and operation of the city.”
The Exodus Has Begun
May 8, 2015
In Addison the past two years, we’ve lost two city managers, the communications director, assistant police chief, police chief, special events director, city attorney and more than a two dozen experienced, police officers and firefighters. Isn’t it time to stop and ask why . . . .
Letter by Addison Resident to Todd Meier
May 1, 2015
“Anger is a signal, and one worth listening to.” – Harriet Lerner, 1985
As election day nears, Addison residents voice concerns over City Council management
April 16, 2015
The Farce of Meier’s “Rising Star” Award
April 12, 2015
Addison is about to experience another Meier-orchestrated farce. This week, the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce is expected to name David Heape as Addison’s “Rising Star.” Except that it wasn’t the Metrocrest Chamber that chose Heape. It was Meier.
Their Way: “Our Way or the Highway”
April 6, 2015
The secret is now out – “The Addison Way,” which for decades has been the guidepost of our Town, has been redefined by the current Mayor and Council as “Our way or the highway” . . . .
Questions, We Have Questions
April 4, 2015
The Mayor said her resignation was sent to the city attorney on March 20. The Council didn’t know anything about it until their Executive Session on March 24 . . . . Why was the wording of the March 24 agenda item listed simply as a “personnel” issue?
(Answer: Since the Mayor approves the wording of each agenda item, maybe the real reason was to hide the planned Council’s action from the voters. But, according to the Mayor, he didn’t know of her resignation till the Council meeting that evening.)
March 29, 2015
“Another shameful example of Meier’s editorial style is the weekly newsletter, where he chooses to spend more print space praising the faux and/or inconsequential “accomplishments” of his councilmember allies than he does documenting the achievements and contributions of Ms. Dunn to the Town of Addison during her 18 years of service . . . . “
Fireworks erupt at Addison Town Hall meeting
March 29, 2015
Dunn, a longtime Addison employee who was previously city manager in Bellaire, was named to her post in early 2014 to succeed Ron Whitehead, who retired after a 32-year tenure. Her resignation has drawn fire from some residents and former council members who say they are disappointed in what they believe to be a forced departure. “I would call this similar to a scandal,” said Joe Chow, who was mayor of Addison from 2005 to 2011.
A Dark Time for Addison: City Manager Lea Dunn Forced to Resign
March 25, 2015
As noted by the City Attorney on the record at the meeting, Ms. Dunn had specifically requested that any evaluation of her occur in public. Nonetheless, the Council went immediately into executive session regarding the matter. When they came out of executive session, Mayor Todd Meier made a motion to accept Lea Dunn’s offer to resign.
The Continuing Deception of Campaign “Sound Bites”
March 01, 2015
In this feature-length article, former Addison Councilmember Susan M. Halpern discusses the misleading nature of Todd Meier’s campaign materials regarding the property tax rate. Halpern discusses the fact that property taxes have actually increased more than 21% since Todd Meier has been mayor.
Citizens Have a Need to Know
March 23, 2015
Re: “Let’s keep Texas government accountable — ‘Sunshine’ bills address technology changes that affect public’s right to know, says Kelley Shannon,” March 17 Viewpoints. The general public is blissfully unaware . . . .
Measure Fails to Unify Addison Zip Code
March 23, 2015
The recent failure to accomplish a cohesive zip code is best viewed with an understanding of the related history.
Before 1997, no one had an Addison zip code. Homes & businesses had zip codes of Farmers Branch, or Carrollton, or Dallas
Addison Council To Set New Policy for Open Records Requests
February 26, 2015
The Addison City Council is considering a new policy on open records requests after the City Secretary has received numerous requests for information.
Addison Council Work Session February 16, 2015: A Suggestion for Leadership
February 19, 2015
I suppose we’ve learned, again, that there is no leadership on this Council, just politicians playing “Gotcha last.” Is that what you voted for?
Addison Public Safety Exodus Continues; Situation Not Covered in Mayor’s Newsletter
February 16, 2015
In Finance Director Eric Cannon’s quarterly financial report to Council Feb. 10 there was even more disconcerting news about the continuing loss of Addison fire and police personnel. During the Town’s last quarter (October – December 2014) four more full time fire personnel left the Town as did five employees in the police department.
Addison CFO To Speak on Financial Transparency
February 16, 2015
Addison has earned GFOA awards for both budget and financial reporting for 27 and 28 years, respectively. For three of the last four years, the Town has been awarded the highest designation possible from the Texas Comptroller for financial transparency efforts.
“Watchdog: Who is good at open government? Who is bad?”
February 13, 2015
“More than 100 area governments put to test in extraordinary project that checks open records compliance.”
Duncanville City Councilwoman Expelled
November 22, 2014
“It was determined that Jameson violated two prohibitions of Section 2.10 of the Home Rule Charter: Council members causing or requesting that a city employee be appointed or removed from their position, and ordering or giving directions to city employees.” (See also our “Did You Know” page for Addison’s similar Charter provision. http://truthinaddison.com/?page_id=680 )
Town of Addison Officer Mike Hardin Retiring After 26 Years of Service
November 12, 2014
Mike came to work in Addison in 1989, after five years with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. He recalls that at that time, the APD was “the place to go,” and he felt honored to have been selected . . . .
Town of Addison Receives New Platinum Designation in Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle
October 24, 2014
Platinum” spotlights entities that go above and beyond providing financial transparency.
Carmen Moran, Noted Addison Planner, Dies at 58
October 2, 2014
She held many positions during her 30-year career with the town, where her work is showcased in Addison Circle.
Addison’s Meier & Council Majority Penny Stupid & Pound Foolish Budget: The Price of Their Politics
September 16, 2014
The budget adopted by Addison’s City Council left a significant part of Addison’s employee compensation problems unaddressed and unresolved. Specifically, compensation for non-sworn employees remains well below the average for similar employees in benchmark communities. As to these employees, Addison will continue its ill-advised non-strategy of trying to maintain its staff and fill vacancies with non-competitive compensation packages.
Councilmembers Didn’t Know There Was A Town Prosecutor? Give Me a Break!
September 4, 2014
One can’t help but wonder who scripted the charade that took place at last week’s City Council meeting (Aug. 28, 2014, item R-3, if you want to watch the video) regarding Larry McCallum, the Town’s longtime prosecutor. Maybe they need to find something else to do as script writing isn’t their thing.
Addison Utility Project Ready to Take Off as Part of Revitalization Effort
August 29, 2014
In this full page story from the Dallas Morning News Neighbors Go!, writer Julissa Treviño shares great news for our Town & helps clarify the cost issues associated with the utility project. She begins: “Plans are moving forward on a major project along Belt Line Road in Addison.”
Addison Tax Rate Truth!
August 27, 2014
Are our Town of Addison city services worth paying an additional $20 in 2015? That’s the basic issue that will be decided by the Addison City Council on September 9 when the 2014-15 budget is adopted.
Steve Blow of The Dallas Morning News
August 27, 2014
In his 2nd column about the situation, Steve Blow comments about Meier (& newly-elected Council members) supporter’s recent statements.
Facts: Budget Special Meeting & Work Session 8-18-2014
August 21, 2014
See the facts about: the Town of Addison tax rate, economic development fund, city reserves, and employee compensation.
NEXT BUDGET WORK SESSION: 5:30 pm Tuesday, August 24 at Town Hall
The Truth About the 2014 Financial Review
August 19, 2014
It seems a bit peculiar that a litigation oriented firm was chosen over a consultant familiar with governmental best practices, but that is what happened. Chris DeFrancisco and Margie Gunther voted against hiring Kanter.
Urgent Letter from Addison Firefighters & Police Assoc. Membership
August 9, 2014
“It is with great disappointment and dissatisfaction that we write this letter today, as the Addison Firefighters Association and Addison Police Officers Association we cannot endorse the proposed budget for FY2014/2015. The budget does not contain the funds to correct the significant disparity that exists between Addison’s Public Safety Employees and those of nearby and comparable towns.”
We Need to Get Compensation Right
August 6, 2014
Excerpt from Town Newsletter 7.16.2014 by Addison Councilmember Chris DeFrancisco . . . .
“We do a great job of recruiting qualified officers but we just aren’t keeping them, in part, at least, due to compensation.”
Sustaining the Addison Way with Exceptional Staff
July 20, 2014
Sustaining the kind of employees who provide the level of service we’ve come to expect in Addison means we have to compensate those employees fairly.
New Compensation Philosophy Makes Addison Less Competitive with Neighboring Cities
July 20, 2014
The Council on July 8, 2014 voted against assuring Addison employees a clear path to a long term career with Addison.
Editorial: Whole-Truth-Telling is a Very Positive Thing for Addison
September 1, 2014
“We say, don’t attack us, stand with us & demand more from our elected officials. Demand truth in dealing with issues, including our project. Because the truth here is that this fight is not about our reactions, but about the conduct that is causing us to react in the first place.”
Editorial: The Bottom Line
August 27, 2014
“This is a strategic political supporter of Mayor Todd Meier and his ‘transparency team’ of council members he actively supported in this last election, Janelle Moore, Mary Carpenter, David Heape. Along with Blake Clemons who appointed Hunse . . . .”