Addressing Real Issues with Real Facts

Controversy Over Apartments and the Housing Policy

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The controversy over more apartments in Addison continued during the October 11 council meeting when councilman Wilcox questioned the appearance of rushing to push through an amended housing policy that he felt could leave the town at risk of having multiple people occupy rentals.  “We haven’t talked about the density of people in apartments,” said Wilcox, adding, “What if people decide to put ten people in an apartment and charge them all $300?   He also expressed a concern about commercial zoned areas being rezoned for residential.  As a result, Wilcox moved to defer the vote until after a work session to study all the ramifications and resolves.  Meier seconded the motion, which followed with an immediate objection from Duffy.

Eventually the motion passed 4-2 with Wilcox, Hughes, Arfsten and Meier voting in favor and Walden and Duffy voting against.  Al Angell was not in attendance at the meeting.

Since that meeting the whole issue of the housing policy and its importance to ensuring that Addison limits future apartment-only projects has become a hot issue among residents in both Midway Meadows and the East side of Addison.  In particular, several residents have told Facts Matter that they question why council members Walden and Duffy, who were so adamant about no apartments in the Addison Grove project—an issue they ran their campaigns on—have now turned an about face.

Interestingly, Walden, who was the most vocal during his campaigning about “no apartments,” sat absolutely silent during the entire housing policy discussion.  Yet he voted against any delay.  Duffy, whose professional past is in the construction industry, was the most vocal about wanting no delay, suggesting instead that the policy can always be revised as they move along the way.  The question on the minds of many voters is, what changed?  Why now is the building of apartments so important to these two?  Why did they so vehemently oppose apartments as part of a mixed housing development when they campaigned, yet seem eager to consider a housing policy that opens the door to apartment-only projects—even rezoning to accommodate them?  What is not being revealed?

Walden’s Fuzzy Math

While councilman Walden has expressed disdain for the Mayor writing an informative newsletter he has no qualms about using Facebook to write his own interpretations of meetings and information.  His latest involves some pretty fuzzy math.

Interestingly, while he ran his campaign on “fiscal responsibility,” he seems to do his best to justify the inaccurate costs for the Midway Road rebuild presented by former City Manager Ron Whitehead’s administration.  He writes, “It also occurred to me that construction cost increase of 1% a month could also explain a lot of the Midway Road cost increase.  Rather than trying to blame prior staff for a mistake, maybe we just need to do a little math.”  So Facts Matter did a little math and, as you will see, Walden’s suggested “math” of a 1% a month cost increase is not only fuzzy, it’s not even ballpark.  Using Walden’s 1% per month ($160,000 per month for all 12 months of 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 and the first eight months of 2016) doesn’t compute.  See for yourself in the following:

2012 $160,000 x 12 months  $     1,920,000
2013 $160,000 x 12 months  $     1,920,000
2014 $160,000 x 12 months  $     1,920,000
2015 $160,000 x 12 months  $     1,920,000
2016 $160,000 x 8 months  $     1,280,000
TOTAL 1%  $     8,960,000

$16,000,000 + $8,960,000 equal $24,960,000 versus current projected cost of $38 million.  Using Walden’s math, Addison is still $13,040,000 short of $38 million.

Doubling Walden’s percentage to 2% compounded monthly for the same period above still generates a woefully significant shortfall.

2012 $160,000 x 12 months  $     2,029,200
2013 $160,000 x 12 months  $     2,286,554
2014 $160,000 x 12 months  $     2,576,546
2015 $160,000 x 12 months  $     2,903,317
2016 $160,000 x 8 months  $     2,137,340
TOTAL Compounded 2%  $   11,932,957


$16,000,000 + $11,932,957 equal $27,932,957 versus $38 million and which is still $10,067,043 short of the current projected cost.  Cost increase no doubt plays a part of the shortfall yet the big question remains, where are the estimating work documents showing the methodology of how the figure of $16 million was originally proposed.  And, why is the Council not unanimous in finding out why no estimating documents exist and why such a huge money gap exists?  Where is fiscal responsibility?

The Mysterious Box

Still wondering what was in the mysterious safe deposit box or who was last to sign into that box and when?  Find out at tonight’s council meeting.  It’s the last thing on tonight’s council agenda.

The Facts Matter Website is made possible through the generous donations from Angels of Addison.

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