Addressing Real Issues with Real Facts

addison city council divisiveness strategy

Continuing Strategy and a Bit of New Business

in Economics/Infrastructure by

Late Friday afternoon, on June 3, members of the new Council, staff and a handful of residents gathered at the Addison TreeHouse for a Strategic Planning session. In addition to the Mayor, Council members attending included Bruce Arfsten, Paul Walden, Ivan Hughes and Al Angell. Jim Duffy was absent because he was in the hospital. Dale Wilcox missed because he was in Providence, Rhode Island, attending his son’s graduation.

Angell arrived about 10 minutes late saying, “Next time I’ll find my way here.” Apparently he didn’t know where the Addison TreeHouse was located and had a difficult time finding it.

A professional facilitator guided the process as they discussed the town’s pillars, which included such broad-based areas as transportation, public safety, infrastructure, branding, etc.

Regarding budgets, Ivan Hughes suggested that the Council begin now to think about and discuss what kind of landscaping is desired once the current Beltline undergrounding and overlaying work is completed so that Council and staff can determine exactly what is wanted, how the work is to be completed and what the costs would be and how the town will pay for it.   All members seemed to agree with this concept.

Although the session was to focus on strategy, Al Angell seemed to focus more on a tactical concept regarding the town’s branding. He suggested that signage be considered at all major entry and exit points of Addison that would welcome people to Addison on their entrance and thank them for being in Addison on their exit.

Little else of real substance seemed to emerge from the overall session. As it ended the Mayor suggested that rather than finalize any conclusions, the City Manager and staff come back and brief the full Council on what staff is currently working on and recommendations for moving forward since two Council members were not in attendance at this session. No specific date has yet been set for that session.

Special note

If you aren’t familiar with the Addison TreeHouse, it’s located in the Office in the Park development located just south of Beltway on Midway. It’s the same location that houses Addison’s Economic Development office. PICKUP, a company that provides on demand trucks to pick up and deliver items you may purchase but have no means of transporting, was recently launched from the TreeHouse and now offices in Addison. The company provides employment opportunities for military and firefighters in North Texas. The TreeHouse houses start-up companies and provides mentoring and other valuable services for early stage entrepreneurs.

Economic Development

The June Economic Development luncheon was held at Chow Thai on Monday, June 6. A large attendance of more than 20 people gathered at this Addison restaurant to mingle and hear about the latest economic growth announced by Economic Development Director, Orlando Campos.

Fact: A financial telemarketing company with 900 employees has relocated from Coppell into a 136,000 square foot building on Addison Road that has been vacant for some time. This will now be the second largest employer in Addison. Additionally, a New York-based software development company focused on the medical industry is moving into office space on Quorum. Once finish-out is completed they will be hiring up to 100 people.

Soon to be announced will be the ribbon cutting of the newest office building in Addison, located along the Tollway. That building is already 80% occupied.

Fact: Campos also announced that if you were unable to attend the recent June 2 Addison Annual Economic Development Luncheon, the presentation by featured speaker, Leigh Gallagher, an Assistant Managing Editor of Fortune magazine, has been videotaped and will soon be available on Addison’s website.

Ms. Gallagher’s presentation, “The End of Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving” gives new insight into the changing economic impact of small Metroplex communities like Addison. It is the subject of Gallagher’s first book, which bears the same title.

Editorial: The Unfortunate Beat Goes On

As positive developments like those above continue to unfold in our town and just when one begins to hope that civility will return to its leadership, former P&Z Chair, John Oliver magnifies the vitriol by broadcasting the news of a personal vendetta against the Mayor to the entire Dallas Metroplex by sending a disparaging letter to The Dallas Morning News. He disingenuously begins by writing about his so-called “respect” for the Mayor then quickly negates that with his real intent—all the while, failing to mention that he—along with his colleague and newly elected councilman Jim Duffy—filed Ethics Complaints with the Texas Ethics Commission stating the very same complaint about the Mayor’s newsletter. Apparently that wasn’t public enough for Oliver. He then goes on to “thank” the newspaper for informing “the public about this matter.”

Really? The public? Like the entire Metroplex of Dallas needs to be informed of his personal dislike and contentious actions which have now furthered divisiveness in a town that people once felt proud to call their home?

Oliver’s actions have merely fueled the division and people who normally prefer not to add to such turmoil simply feel compelled to defend the personal assaults…so they write rebuttals and thus the beat goes on. It’s time to grow up and get down to business.

Here’s the link if you care to read Oliver’s letter:

Photo courtesy of Sarah Horrigan via Flickr

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