Addressing Real Issues with Real Facts

New Year, New Challenges, New Opportunities

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Things have been fairly quiet over these holiday weeks yet behind the scenes, everyday business has continued to go on. City Manager, Wes Pierson, announced that Olivia Riley has been hired as the Town’s new CFO, Judge Larry Dwight was sworn in for a new two-year term after having served Addison for 30 years, Addison’s Santa Cops delivered holiday joy and toys to resident children throughout the Town and all of the Town’s regular services continued as normal, including the fact that you still have today and tomorrow to have your Christmas tree picked up if you just lay it out at the curb. What a great place to live.

The fact that Addison is such a great place to live also means that it’s easy to get comfortable, thus complaisant and disengaged. With an election year facing taxpayers, perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions will be to become more engaged—even get involved—and do your part to ensure that Addison’s future grows in ways that protects our uniqueness, keeps us great and keeps us financially sound.

One of the first ways to engage is to take seriously the Housing Policy issue that will be on next week’s Council agenda and to take note of Council member’s response to the issue. Each Council member’s decision will clearly convey their purpose for serving you, the taxpayer: Are they serving the wants and needs of their elected constituents or are there other motivations determining their votes?

Some Pertinent Facts:

Most prevalent in Addison’s current Housing Policy (fully outlined in issue #56 of Facts Matter) is that it ensures that new housing should focus on fee-simple ownership versus apartments in any future mixed housing.

With limited land availability, fee-simple ownership housing provides not only the preferable tax base contributions to the Town but because of their ownership adds invested citizens to the Town’s population; citizens whose involvement and caring contribute to the community’s overall future and growth.

Numerous residents have expressed their views to Council members over the past few months that they do not want any more apartments in Addison. These expressions have come via emails as well as comments during the public comment section of Council meetings.

More than 55,000 apartments are currently under construction in the North Texas area according to The Dallas Morning News (Thur., December 29, 2016). The DMN also reports that Axiometrics and other industry experts predict a slowdown in rent growth and that already nationwide, apartment growth is slowing.

Councilman Duffy, a strong proponent of more apartments, has a long professional background favorable to apartment construction. He was the EVP of construction for Post Properties western markets and oversaw the construction in all the company’s western markets. Nationwide, Post Properties owns more than 35,649 apartment homes in some 103 communities according to a press release from the company.

Councilman Walden based his entire campaign for council on the premise that Addison didn’t need any more apartments as he campaigned aggressively door-to-door against the Addison Grove project, vowing to voters to never support any project that included low-income housing. It is illegal to deed restrict the usage of low income housing tax credits and low income housing subsidies (better known as Section 8 housing).

AMLI corporate policy requires that Section 8 or some form of government housing be a part of all apartments that they build. The property on Quorum (immediately north of the Marriott Courtyard) is currently zoned commercial. It is expected that availability of this property will be revisited by AMLI, which previously wanted to build an apartment building there. Previous Council believed this property was more ideally suited to office space, which fit into its current commercial zoning

SO………….

If you support the current Housing Policy and are opposed to the building of more apartments in Addison, now is the time to let your Council members know. Attendance at the January 10 Council meeting to voice or show your position is also a good option.

Now is also the time to watch the decision-making of your Council members to see if they are there to truly represent you and the best future growth of Addison or if they are driven by some other motivation. Listen for clear reasons of why each member votes as they do. Knowing why is important—it’s called ACCOUNTABILITY.

Unanswered Questions from 2016

FM readers point out that there are still some lingering questions from2016 and wonder if they will ever be answered. They are:

  • Why was that safety deposit box opened to begin with—what was it that needed to be stored off-site?
  • What does that key fit that Ron Whitehead said didn’t fit the safe deposit box?
  • Are there other safe deposit boxes since Whitehead said there were several keys on the key ring?
  • Where did the Midway Road estimate come from since the two sources named by Whitehead turned out not to be involved

Answers to these questions would go a long way toward starting the New Year with TRANSPARENCY—an issue that continues to elude some.

It’s been said that the way to make government accountable is transparency—something to remember as we enter a new election year.

Speaking of the upcoming election—January 9 marks the first day Council and Mayoral candidates can pick up their packets. January 18 is the first filing date.

See you at the Council meeting, Tuesday, January 10?

Photo Courtesy Edna Winti/Flickr

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

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