Monday, August 31, 2009

Las Charadas de un Corrupto el Gobierno

Over the next week I will be featuring portions of a brilliantly written, horrifically eye opening, and shockingly blood curdling letter, which was submitted to me ANONYMOUSLY!!!

*dun, DUN, DUUUUUUUNNNNNN*

Who could have written it?

Was is Javier? Perhaps Alberto? No, no, it must have been...JUAN CARLO!In the true form of any good, dramatic novella, each installment of this letter with be full of terror, corruption, heartbreak, and MURDER! (minus the murder....well... hopefully)

Now, without further adieu, our journey of intrigue begins....

To the Mayor and City Councilmen of the City of Richardson:

Over the years, honorable, fair, reasonable, and just fulfillment of your sacred vow to the people, as well as the City Government’s observation and enforcement of the provisions of the Charter and Ordinances, has been greatly compromised and undermined by the politically-minded and profit-driven corporate and individual power brokers and interests who wield an undue influence on the city’s affairs at the detriment of the individual resident/taxpayer.
Serious budgetary/fiscal concerns, wasteful and inappropriate spending, insider and/or above-market vendor contracts being awarded without competitive bidding, risky, costly, potentially unsafe and sound, and/or imprudent deposit, investment, and debt management practices, rampant conflicts of interest and ethical breaches, poor or non-existent independent audit and internal control procedures, questionable accounting practices, and the appearance of purposeful and willful and/or unjustifiably negligent violations of law, rule, statute, and ordinance, often in consultation or participation with the office of city attorney, are some of the many serious issues that have and are being brought to the city council’s attention with this correspondence. We strongly urge the city council to reassert the proper chain of command and authority over the city manager’s office to immediately address the issues being raised, some of which are outlined below, in a forthright, transparent, and open manner.
Top priorities should be to re-establish the rule of law, pass a fiscally-conservative budget without additional debt with controlled and efficient spending, eliminate the undue influence of for-profit corporate and individual power brokers involving city business by striking a proper balance between economic development/growth and provide for the basic home, community, and quality of life needs of the general population, while protecting and preserving individual property, civil, and constitutional rights.

Furthermore, we respectfully request a detailed, complete, and full response to the issues, concerns and questions noted herein with the allowance of free-flowing comments and dialogue between city council members, city staff, and all interested citizens of this city at the next scheduled budget hearing on August 31, 2009, and call for decisive and appropriate action to be taken by the city council before approval and enactment of the final budget on September 14, 2009.

Respectfully,

Honest, Informed, and Concerned Citizens of the City of Richardson

{Just a guess, but I think Juan Carlo might be a lawyer. Disclaimer: It was NOT SCHNURR, I asked, he said he's not the novelist behind this one, he gets paid by the hour...Ok, so now on to the tragedia....}

Major Bullet Points -

Multi-million dollar and increasing operating shortfalls with huge amount of undisclosed debt of the Eisemann Center;

Long-list of under performing projects with $5.7MM in developer incentives paid in 2008-2009 and an unknown amount in 2009-2010;

Proposed $700.0M in Chamber of Commerce contributions that are specifically designated for economic development, but with 80% of these contributions being diverted to fund payroll costs and operating expenses, which are typically funded by the private sector;

$31.6MM in defeased G.O. bonds and Certificate of Obligations removed from city books with unknown value of the monetary assets placed in a irrevocable trust and whether they are sufficient to fully retire the defeased debt;

$10.9MM in additional borrowings with (1.8MM) operating shortfall and apparent discrepancies between actual and projected annual debt service requirements for 2009-2010;

Unsafe and unsound placement of 98% of the cities unrestricted cash with two local banks and 44.2% of unrestricted investments in a complex Flexible Repurchase Agreement with high systemic risk and institution/security asset quality concerns and issues;
Privately-negotiated vender contract with the Sherrill Park Municipal Golf Professional without competitive bidding with an excessive salary at 3X the high-end for municipal golf professional salaries and other unfavorable contract clauses and no audit in 17 years;

Highly questionable hiring of a former legislator as a paid for consultant (i.e. lobbyist) to represent the city’s interests for $6,250 per month or $75,000 plus expenses per year, with this same individual having contracts with other cities/agencies totaling $600,000;

{Hmmm, perhaps we should put up a statue of Mr.Fred Hill at city hall, in honor of all the good stuff he must be doing for the city of Richardson at that rate}

$400,000 annual salary being paid to the Chamber of Commerce President without a contract;

{Holy Mackerel, Bill Sproull makes HOW MUCH?!?!?!}

$174.0MM in unfunded retirement health and pension benefits with an increasing shortfall and future debt burden on the residents;

($1.8MM) operating shortfall without a zero-based budget despite city councilmen advocating same during prior election cycle;

$448.0M or 1.9% increase in payroll spending after 3.0% increase in 2008-2009 that was well above the 1.8% increase in salaries in the North Texas Region per federal labor statistics including the private sector;

City expenditures are increasing by $3.3MM or 2.0% despite an economic recession and declining revenues, resulting in the above-noted operating shortfall and increased leverage position;

Total estimated salary and benefits per employee of $82,780, and after excluding fire and police personnel, the top 22 city officials make an estimated $169,721 per employee and the top 134 make an estimated $96,086 per employee;

Personnel overtime costs of $3.6MM in 2008-2009 and budgeted at $3.3MM representing 4.0% of total personnel costs in 2009-2010, with 66.9% of the total costs being allocated to three departments with insiders alleging the existence of substantial overtime abuse;

141 employees or 14.4% of employee base receive annual car allowances totaling $841,548 or $5,958 per employee, along with allegations or admissions of improper usage by family members and/or dual receipt of car allowances and use of fleet/city vehicles;
City Manager has unilateral discretion to cash out on accrued but unused sick days, a practice that is unheard of even in the private sector, and reportedly pocketed $250,000 in 2007 and unknown amounts in 2008-2009;

City Manager’s total compensation package estimated at $390,656 in 2009-2010 is the highest in the state on a per-capita basis;

{But c'mon, he has 7 kids...they have to eat}

Deputy City Manager’s total compensation package estimated at $282,478 next year is the highest in the state on a per-capita basis;

(But c'mon, look at that haircut, it can't be cheap)

City is proposing hidden tax increase with the creation of the storm water utility fund with existing general fund allocation of 1.0MM left in place to be given to developers per Mayor Slagel;

Listing of additional pork or questionable budget items include a new $5,000 furniture set for the Fire Battalion Chief, $889,050 in unallocated/unspecified expenses, $202,020 in library insurance costs, $595,500 in Economic Development Agreements, free Eisemann Center tickets to city council and senior city officials, and free golf rounds to city officials at the Sherrill Park Golf Course.

{I heard Mark Solomon abuses the free Eismann center ticket perk and gets 8 for every show, while the other councilmen only take 4, dun, DUN, DUUUNNNNN}

Proposed redirection of wasteful and extravagant spending to fund increased crime prevention, criminal investigations/narcotics, and related administration costs given increasing crime rate, recent delayed 911 response time incident, and anonymous insider reports of morale and dissension within the RPD apparently involving funding issues vs. policy directives and other serious internal matters.
Numerous alleged and/or suspected purposeful and willful or unjustifiably negligent violations of law, rule, ordinance, city charter, statute, act, and/or regulation, and suspected government waste, fraud, and corruption, are resulting in an increasing number of complaints, legal filings, and outside party investigations, and growing media scrutiny, all of which reflect very poorly on the city.

{that ought to be a line item....all these crazies and their photocopies are costing this city a ton....in comparison to???}


What will happen next? Will Rosalina ever come out of the coma? Will Fernando be able to stop the train in time? Will Senior Slago get away with the money??? Tune in next time to see...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The City of Richardson is Once Again Being Reckless With Our Seniors!

Did you know that seniors do not have to pay a pet registration fee in the city of Richardson? I have to ask, what type of behavior does this promote amongst our elderly? I will tell you. We are breeding (literally) a society of crazy, old, cat ladies. Bill Keffler, this animal's urine is on your hands!

And now, for some proof that I haven't gone completely soft...

From the camp of "one who did not receive Chuckle's smiley face of approval in his pre-election mailer this year," I bring you....

Proof that Chuck Eisemann leads to K.A.O.S.






Chuck Eisemann -->Bernie Kopell -->The Love Boat's "Doc" -->Get Smart's 'Fearless Leader' Siegfried, who, on that show, ran the evil organization....KAOS!!

Coincidence? I think not. Paranoid? Who's asking?!

We're Sorry, This Blog Is Currently Under Refinement...as is its Destiny


Over the past week, two different people have confronted me about the contents of my blog. They've said that certain things were juvenile and adolescent.

Now I will be honest with you, my first instinct was to tell both of them 'You know what, I'm 26, I hang out with kids all day long and I laugh when people burp, so the immaturity of this blog probably reflects that of its author!'

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I am a Christian...and as a Christian I should be held accountable. So thank you Rosie and thank you Rex. You were both spot on. I was going after cheap, inappropriate laughs which were juvenile and furthermore insensitive.

This blog is irreverent (hat-tip to Jeff), and I doubt I will stop using the word 'd-bag' or drawing devil horns on people, but at the same time if any of you feel that I am really crossing a line then please do let me know. I'd appreciate it.

{Clarification: I'm not saying I will change every little thing that ticks someone off. Heck, I may even start doubling the amount of slanderous things I say. :) What I'm saying is, if I post something outright unacceptable, bring it to my attention. I can admit when I am wrong, and I will change it if there's validity to your argument. That being said, I am RARELY wrong...that's why I handle it so well when I am. Lightening just happened to strike twice this week.}

Saturday, August 29, 2009

ATTENTION OLD PEOPLE, Bob Macy and the like...

THIS is a hyperlink. Go ahead, click on it, it won't hurt you.

I actually put these in my text a lot, but the fact that I've received a number of e-mails today because people do not know who the guy (below) with the devil mustache is in my blog, even though ALL of the words next to him are hyperlinked, is disturbing.

Obviously, many of you have only been getting half the effect of this blog so far. Because a lot of times, my jokes are in the hyperlinks.

Get with the program. If it looks funny (a different color), then click on it.

Capiche?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

From David to Dan w/ Love...

8/27/2009

Hello Dan,

I came by your office Thursday, but missed you. The subjects on my mind again were the water and sewer rate structures. Since it is budget time now, if there were changes to be made, now would be the time. I know I have had conversations with you about this before, but wanted to point out a few things I am sure you already know and talk about them. People who use small amounts of water put the least load on the water and sewage systems as opposed to high water usage individuals and businesses that put the most loads on the water and sewage systems.

At the budget hearing I brought this up to the council. I will be bringing it up again at the next budget hearing because I think the point was completely missed. After speaking, the only conversation the council had among itself related to "the gas company charges a minimum rate, the electric company charges a minimum rate and everyone else charges a minimum rate, so I guess it is ok if we charge a minimum rate too." That is rather irritating for an answer.

When I wanted to do something as a kid I would use the justification that "well so and so is doing it." The response from my parents was generally, " If so and so jump off a cliff, would you jump also?" This isn't kid stuff, and those are improper responses for these topics, in my opinion. Bob especially, and the rest of them too, just didn't get it the point of my question.

The way I see it, the effect of the rate structure is to severely penalize water conversation and reward water usage. Financially it is unfair to all low usage residents and ecologically it does not promote conservation of reasonably limited and valuable natural resource.

It is not uncommon for me to use 1,000 gallons every 2 months. That makes the effective cost of water for me somewhere around $16.95 per 1,000 gallons. A person who does not care about conservation of water and uses 40,000 gallons of water a month pays only $3.369 per 1,000 gallons, the cheapest possible rate throughout the water rate structure. The effect of the current water and sewage rate structure is to massively penalize anyone who conserves or just by nature, uses little water.

If you want, feel free to pull up my water bill for my home, 500 S. Waterview Drive as well as for my business at 3396 N. Plano Road. Both at home and at the shop, we have very low water usage. If I remember correctly in previous conversations, you had said the average water usage throughout the city was about 11,000 gallons per month. I don't remember if that was residential or residential and commercial.

The point I am still not clear on, why is it necessary to have the minimum fee on the water and sewer rate structure especially considering the abhorrent effects it has on those who use so little water? It would seem simple enough to restructure the fee to include charges for only water used and totally eliminate the minimum fee for all. Thus doing would make water charges exactly proportional to use, reward those who do conserve and put the bulk of the charge on the backs of those who put the highest loads on the water and sewage systems.

Is there a reason that changes cannot be done, other than because "that is the way everyone else does it, so we will too?"

Thank you for your time Dan, and I apologize if this is just too dumb of a question to ask. I seem to be the only person who does ask it, and that has me concerned. Why others wouldn't be asking the same thing is a mystery to me. It seems such a simple thing to understand and rectify.

Thanks again,

David Chenoweth

It took a lot for me not to photoshop a little heart around them...

Something about the way Amir is holding the umbrella over Ian is just so darn sweet.

Richardson Echo has the rest of the Routh Creek Ribbon Cutting photos and story.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bob Macy

....is not a good councilmember.

He is however, from what I hear, a devoted chaplain, a dedicated Stephen Ministry counselor and leader, and most importantly, a veteran. Not to mention, he's kind of an all around sweet man. He has given so much to our city over the past 4 decades in the form of volunteerism, and has been nothing short of a civic overachiever. For that, we all owe him a big thank you.

Now, things I don't like about Bob Macy:

1. He's not Pris Hayes.

2. He gave me a really dirty look one time when I had my nose ring in, but honestly who can blame him, it's disgusting.

3. I think we can all agree that even though he is a wonderful man, he has no business being on the council.

That being said, I get this strange feeling every time I make fun of Mr.Macy that Satan's measuring custom drapery in a special room being set aside just for me. He's the same age as my grandparents (+5) and with the way I slather myself in antiperspirants and drink from aluminum cans, I will probably start winding down a good 30 years before he did. And if some little cow-ring-wearing-punk were to come along and start bashing me on their 'blob' after all I had done to help them protect that freedom (and also the freedom to request open records) I bet I'd short circuit my pacemaker just thinking of the ways I'd kick their rear.

In conclusion.....making fun of Macy makes me feel like a d-bag(x10). And that level of d-bagness should be reserved for people like Chuck Eismann.

Item 5 (Part 2 of 3)

Hands down, the awkward moment winner for the week....
Minute 29:12

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why does Slag's name plate have his middle initial on it?


{Edit: Rex is right. I'm being immature. My grandmother would be disappointed...and I didn't even point out what his initials spell out...}

How come all of the good stuff from last night is missing?

BOGUS.

Back in my 'partying days'...

My girlfriends and I use to have a code word for whenever one of us was drinking a little too much and acting obnoxious. We used to say "jellyfish." Obscure enough that you always noticed it, but still somewhat easy to fit into an inebriated conversation.

I tell you this because I think it's time the council comes up with a 'jellyfish' for Mr.Macy. Maybe something along the lines of 'Jump'n Jupiter Bob!' Seeing as 'Riiiiight Bob' and 'Ok, Bob' does not seem to be obvious enough for him.

Plan B, rig a stunning device into the cushion of his council chair and give Keff the buzzer.

Awkward/Infuriating Moments

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand go.

Monday, August 24, 2009

E-mail worth passing along...

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers will be the first of two budget hearings regarding the city's budget. It might be interesting to attend because there will be a hearing and then the tax rate will be discussed.

They are not planning to raise the tax rate this year, but because many appraisal values have dropped during this economic downturn, they won't be bringing in as much money with the same tax rate. It's means we are facing a budget shortfall of approximately $1.8 million.

At budget workshops, they stated that they would be instituting some user fees at recreation centers and the Senior Center, raising the alarm permit fees for businesses, swim class fees, Wildflower Festival tickets, ambulance rate and mileage fees, pet registration fees, Civic Center fees, among others.

They will be eliminating the Sounds of Class and Great Fountain Plaza festivals.

Areas they are not funding are the $100,000 to replace the art work in the Civic Center and the $78,000 for a Superintendent of Urban Forestry; among others.

http://www.wfaa.com/video/?nvid=391184 is a link to a Ch. 8 news story last Thursday about the car allowances in Richardson....over $800,000 for car allowances in Richardson, compared to the City of Dallas which spends $58,000 annually.

Another area some people have been looking into is the overtime paid by the City. The most recent budget year showed over $3 million spent in personnel overtime costs; and the new budget allots about another $3.3 million for 2009-2010.

If you can't make the meeting tonight, it should now be televised and streamed on the computer. If you go to the City's website www.cor.net, you can click on a link on the left side of the page about the meetings being on line. You will just have to click a link to watch it. You can also click a link to see the briefing materials online that the Councilmen review before each meeting.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.

Thomas Paine


When the people are sheep, the government is always a wolf.

Theodore Parker: May 7, 1856

Friday, August 21, 2009

Job Description

Position: Richardson City Councilman

Requirements: Must have an oath of allegiance to Bill Keffler on file. Photocopies will not be accepted, as DNA from the blood signature cannot be duplicated if ever a clone needs to be produced. Previous experience with incestuous business practices is encouraged but not required.

Education/Experience: Must be proficient in raising right hand.

Areas of Responsibility: None. (We'll take care of that for you.)

Essential Functions: You will be required to participate in holiday parades, cut ribbons, and attend musical productions at the Eismann Center©. *At no point will you be asked to hold the city manager accountable, regardless of what you have heard other cities do.

Our Motto: When in doubt defer to Gary!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

$850K car allowance for Richardson employees questioned - By CRAIG CIVALE / WFAA-TV

CLICK HERE to link to the WFAA site

RICHARDSON - At a time when budget woes are causing many cities to sacrifice services and layoff employees, the city of Richardson is being questioned about its car allowance policy that costs taxpayers more than $850,000 a year.

The program also includes a sweet perk for Richardson's city manager.

Richardson's library director gets $482 a month to use a car for city business. A producer for the city gets $313 a month. They are among 141 employees the city pays $850,000 a year to get around town.

"It's a serious expense, but at the same time it involves a significant number of our people who we feel do a better job and are more efficient in their work as a result of managing their our car business," said Bill Keffler, Richardson's city manager.

Keffler is in a class of his own when it comes to the program. Richardson gives him a package worth $20,000 a year, which pays the lease on a SUV and pays for its fuel, maintenance and insure for his entire family on the vehicle.

"The council has been generous with me to have this ability to have a leased car," he said.

It's a perk that has been called into question at recent budget meetings. Residents have voiced concerns over why salaries and raises have been frozen and cut as perks for a man making $240,000 a year have not.

"How is it the public got into the position of buying personal vehicles for public employees?" said Nathan Morgan, a Richardson City Hall watchdog.

Richardson taxpayers have also been paying for Keffler and others to use a city-owned fleet vehicle for whatever they want.

"I use a pool vehicle on a number of times over the course of the provision of the benefit," Keffler said.

The city manager said he has checked out the car while his family used the leased car.

"There is no question about their double dipping," Morgan said.

Due to backlash, the fleet car is no longer being used.

"I appreciate that point is fair and we've eliminated the car," Keffler said.

Arlington spends $120,000 a year on car allowances for 24 employees. Fort Worth, which is seven times larger than Richardson, spends $643,000 on 154 employees. Dallas' city manager doesn't get any money at all for a car. In total, city employees get just over $58,000 a year in car allowances.

"We've chosen to provide that for a larger number of employees than other cities do, but we think there's a cost benefit to that," Keffler said.

Keffler said there are no plans on changing the policy or giving back any portion of $20,000 perk.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

Channel 8 News

Tonight @ 10.

Got a text Keffler's being interviewed regarding the car issue.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shabby Chamber, Spivey Sense and Townsend Sux It

So now that our council meetings are streaming all across the world wide web, I've started paying a little bit more attention to the chamber room. I remember some talk about replacing everything with gold before they would ever stream meetings at one point (ok, so maybe it wasn't gold, but the price tag certainly made you think it was), and I am in no way advocating that. At the same time, if my lawn looked the way this chamber room looked, Tyler Heskler would be all over my mail with citations. It's nothing a pair of scissors and a coat of paint couldn't fix....just looks sorta raggedy, ya know?


Onto a more positive note, Monday night Jim Spivey was sworn in as the new Police Chief, and the force showed up, well, in force. (So, FYI, if you're looking for the optimal time to commit a crime, either do it on Neighborhood Night Out, or when a new chief is getting sworn in.)

And then finally, as I was staring off aimlessly during the meeting, I noticed this weird patch of carpet on the side of one of the podiums. I guess some of those comic con goers were equally as bored listening to Dean stockwell and they had doodled some designs in it with their fingers. *lightbulb*
So after the meeting I went up to encode something of my own when Mr.Bobby T. walked up. *second lightbulb* So I doodled 'Townsend Sux It' into the carpet and asked him to pose next to it. What happened next was fabulous....
Good, but no bird....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Forget the Code of Ethics, let's focus on a Dress Code instead.

The worship team at my church does this too. Cute.


This is how I imagine the conversation went:

Gary: Ok team, this Monday, no more black suits....people are perceiving us as the "bad guys" and so we need to work on our image.
Amir: I say we go with grey.
Mark: But I don't have a grey suit...
Keffler: Dang it, me either, I let my son borrow my grey suit and the city's pool suit is checked out right now.
Gary: Okay, okay, calm down fellas. Wear whatever you have, just no black, alright?
Mark: Sweet! seersucker it is......

Hi Gala! Hi David!

Omgosh....this live streaming is so creepy/awesome/super voyeuristic!

Richardson City Council Work Session, this one's for you...

Steve Mitchell's looks have taken a Quantum Leap...

Yikes!

Chief Spivey's Going To Be Sworn In @ Tonight's Meeting

City Council Meeting Tonight

Friday, August 14, 2009

I've Never Been to the Eismann Center....

My mother keeps talking about going to see some musical about menopause (woo-hoo), but now I have another excuse to go instead:

SAVE THE DATE

U.S. Congressmen Barton, Johnson and Sessions to host
Congressional field hearing on healthcare solutions at the Eisemann Center in Richardson


On Monday, August 31st at 7:00 p.m., U.S. Congressmen Joe Barton (6th Dist.-Texas), Sam Johnson (3rd Dist.-Texas), and Pete Sessions (32nd Dist.-Texas) will host a congressional field hearing on healthcare solutions at the Eisemann Center in Richardson. The free event will be open to the public and the media.

There will be parking but people are encouraged to take DART.

The Eisemann Center’s location, just south of the intersection of Central Expressway (US 75) and the President George Bush Turnpike (Hwy. 190), is easily accessible by car. Just a few hundred feet from the Eisemann Center’s front doors is the DART Rail’s Galatyn Park Station on the Red Line.

*The event is free and open to the public. There will be parking but people are encouraged to take DART.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Amanda Tackett Addresses Bill Keffler's Auto Expenses

With friends like Chris Davis who needs $250 bucks?

I. Love. Chris. Davis.

Ok, so I had just walked into David's shop and he was telling me about the repairs he did to Abe's car. He said that the other shop had agreed to replace this one part which they were responsible for but that they wanted David to get it second hand from a salvage yard.

Turns out the salvage yard didn't have this rare piece and so David was going to have to get it from the dealership for a whopping two-hundred and fifty bucks. He said that the other shop was probably going to be peeved about it but that he thought they'd still pay for it.

And just then my phone rang...

David: It's ok, go ahead and get that...
Me: Oh! It's Chris Davis!
David: Oh, I love Chris...
*answers phone*
Me: Hel...
Chris: HEY GIRL! Just calling to tell you that I saw your blog about Spring Valley Muffler, and I called up there and left them a message and said 'I just want you guys to know that I will NEVER be bringing my car to you because I saw how you guys operate on Destiny's blog and you will NEVER get any of my business!'
Me: ......Hey David, go ahead and add that part into my quote, thanks.

Hahahahaha!

CHRIS DAVIS IS THE BEST FRIEND A GIRL COULD HAVE! Even my normally...uh....frugal husband laughed when I told him this, and then said 'Chris Davis is Awesome!'

I second that, Abe, I do.

I think Gary Slagel is trying to kill me...

Ok, so remember a few weeks ago when Abrahm was in that minor car accident and so I had to miss the council meeting? Well we took our car in and had it repaired. And then a few days later as Abrahm was driving down Coit the wheels comes completely off and flies across the intersection at Arapaho.

We towed it back to the shop, where they swore they WERE NOT the last ones to touch our car. (I know, I know, they were just trying to avoid any liability, I'm no dummy) So I asked the guy, 'if you were not the last ones to mess with the wheel, and I had taken it somewhere else, why would I be bringing it back to you, instead of taking it to them' to which he replied, 'I honestly don't know, that's what I'm trying to figure out, all I can tell you is someone has been messing with this tire and it was not us.' (uh-huh) I decided to take it one step further and ask him what exactly he was implying, and this is what he said 'look Destiny, I'm not even saying it was another shop, I know this may sound crazy, but I've heard of it happening before....are you sure there's nobody out there with a vendetta against you?'

(omgosh, GARY SLAGEL'S TRYING TO HAVE ME KILLED!)

'Umm, no, nobody that I can think of....'

I hung up furious about the fact that this shop is totally screwing me over, but did have to laugh at the thought of the Slag out in my drive way in the middle of the night with a ski mask on loosening my lug nuts....

And just so that you know, this story has a happy ending. Our car is now in very good and trustworthy hands. David Chenoweth, a frequent contributer to this blog is fixing it up over at North Haven Auto.

So Gary, just wanted to let you know that we're on to you buddy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ok Barb, I get it, you're sick of me always talking about Amir Omar...

Let me tell you what you need to do.

You need to take me to a neutral environment, like a Friendly's. Or a Perkin's. You need to sit me down. You sit me down and tell me right to my face...you say this....

kewl it.




(sorry....I know that was a stretch. I just needed an excuse to post this. HILARIOUS!)

High Spirits

Between Presidential Beer Summits, BloggerMouse Brewing Beer in a shed in his Richardson backyard and Bob Townsend, well.... just Bob Townsend in general (something about that man makes me want to buy him a Scotch), I got to thinking, which Richardson city council member would you most want to sit down and talk local politics with over a beer?

Poll's to the right ------->

Gushing Maternal Pride All Over the Unsuspecting Citizens of Richardson

(My apologies for posting something completely un-Richardson-Politics related, but I know if any of you had an Eddie turning 1 today you'd probably do the same)

This time last year, I had just celebrate my 25th birthday while 41 weeks pregnant, was going on +9 days of baby over-baking, and basically loosing my mind all the while decorating my bump with Richardson's finest cicada skins.
And then suddenly out of nowhere, just like in the movies, my contractions started....*it should be noted that by 'suddenly out of nowhere,' I mean I went in for an induction scheduled the day prior, and now that I think about it, it really wasn't anything like in the movies, but oh well...either way, on that fateful day, my life changed forever, and in honor of this momentous occasion I just wanted to say...

Happy First Birthday Eddie Kazu!

This year has flown by, but it's hard to remember life before you, baby girl. You have completed our family and bring so much laughter into our home!

And now for a montage....

*opens virtual wallet and according style photo holder unfurls*







See this is why I had a big birthday party this year. I am well aware that my birthday will no longer exist except for with the DMV, until I am 45 (at least). Having a birthday within two days of your child is like being born on Christmas Eve. From here on out, our celebrations will revolve around Ms.Edna Kazu, princess themed decorations, tiaras, pink boas, and miniature pony poop in the back yard. This year, luckily, we can still get by with a basic cupcake and a candle. But I entertain no delusion that next year will follow suit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Awkward Moments - First Installment


Ian and I both agree that one of the most excruciatingly entertaining things about city council meetings are the awkward moments. And because Ed has so much fun with his series, 'where is', I've decided I will start one as well, called 'Most Awkward City Council Moments.'

After each meeting I will post what I consider to be the best awkward moment of the evening, and because it always seem like there are a few to choose from I will challenge y'all to top that moment by telling us of another, more awkward moment, in your own words.

The winner will get a shameless plug on Conserve & Protect for their Business (Mark, start submitting), Blog or a NonProfit of their choice. (please, no anonymous submissions)

So start attending meetings if you don't already, or at least make sure to watch closely once they begin streaming 'em.

Ok, so my first entry goes a little something like this...

Mark: I would just like to make a comment...{which by the way WTHeck? Do we really needed to make this 4 hour long meeting any longer by pointing out obvious facts that the city staff already knows?}

Mark (cont.):...anyway, for a city our size, I just want to say that we're doing pretty good without having our own sewage plant, ya know?....{puzzled looks b/c the comment is so far from out of left field--Mark panics}...I mean, we don't have one, right?

Whole council in unison with the exception of Macy: No, we don't have one.

Keffler starts to chimes in: There are actually only f....

Bob Macy shakes himself awake: WE HAVE OUR OWN SEWAGE PLANT!

{Like, literally, 8-10 seconds after everyone had confirmed that we don't.}

Gary whispers: No Bob, we have our own... (something or other, couldn't make it out)

AWKWARD.

Davis Asks Some Tough Questions

(Presented to the council during the visitors section of last nights meeting)

Gentlemen,

Below is the information I presented during the visitors section at last night's council meeting and the questions that I posed. I meant to have a copy for you last night.

Richardson is a wonderful place to live and I know we all want it to continue to be just that; as well as being an open, transparent city government that works for the benefit of the taxpayers and gives them the biggest bang for their buck. I know that you all take your fiduciary responsibilities to the taxpayer very seriously and want to make good on the promises and initiatives discussed during the campaign forums.

I look forward to hearing back on the questions below...

The Hotel/Motel Tax Fund incurred an estimated operating shortfall of (457.6M) in 2008-2009 and has a budgeted operating shortfall of (151.6M) in 2009-2010.

On a stand-alone basis, the Eisemann Center and parking facility generated an estimated operating shortfall of (1.9MM) in 2008-2009 and has a projected operating shortfall of (2.0MM) in 2009-2010.

This follows an operating shortfall for the Eisemann Center and parking facility of (1.5MM) in 2007-2008, which is before debt service and indicates a growing cash drain on city finances.

How much has the city invested in the Eisemann Center and parking structure vs. private sector investment in these projects?

How much public debt is outstanding involving what specific C.O. issuances on these projects?

What are the annual debt service requirements for these projects?

Given 5.7MM in total developer incentives and infrastructure improvement rebates in 2008-2009, an unknown amount in 2009-2010, and in recognition of tax abatements granted on the still-vacant TI plant, the Palsul Development-related below FMV land swap, the Eastside developer land give-away, the much-chronicled StarTech Joint Venture, along with other ED projects....

When can the tax payers expect to see sufficient positive economic returns on THEIR sizeable investments in the Eisemann Center and these other investments?

Thanks,

Chris Davis

Read 'em & Weep...

*you can click on the image below to enlarge it.

Yes, the marionette program is exactly what you think it is. I asked. Had they advertised this gem a little better, I bet I would've gone to see this mini production.....even though Murphy said it's too violent for the modern day family.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Official


...I'm skipping tonight's work session for a special birthday dinner with the fam.

Anybody want to moonlight on Conserve & Protect as a guest blogger? Sherri maybe?

Is anybody else having trouble opening the agenda?

By the way, no streaming video tonight, as I posted over a month ago here.

But it sounds like it should be ready soon...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Anybody up for a game of Telephone?

Here, I'll start:

Destiny: My mother went to college in Albuquerque ---> Suzy Q: My mother went to college with a turkey ---> Bobby B: My Brother pays homage by eating jerky ---> Kathy J-N: Almost all of Amir Omar's political contributions came from out of state, and he then used them to fund the campaigns of other Richardson Coalition candidates...oh, and by the way, he never really graduated from A&M.

I have to tell you, I'm not really a big fan of this game and I don't think I want to play anymore.

Upon pulling the public records (because these allegations just sounded too darn juicy to pass up), I came to find out that only 5 of Amir's one hundred and seventeen contributors were from states outside of Texas, some of which were relatives.

Furthermore, after a very detailed account of how some politically prominent, amateur private eyes uncovered the shocking fact that Mr.Omar did not graduate from A&M, I was able to get a picture of his degree...


So seriously, enough of this. Please quit trying to make a sucker out of me.

We get it, he's Muslim and that's scary.

I didn't vote for Amir for that same reason. But now that I see him doing such good things in Richardson, and not just on Monday nights either, but in his spare time as well- walking neighborhoods, meeting with citizens, trying to find out how to make their quality of life better- I am very impressed.

If you really need to bitch about someone, and it has nothing to do with ethnicity, then why not start gossiping and making up stories about some of the other councilmen, the ones who aren't actually going out of their way to make Richardson better.

Honestly though, if we as Christians want to play by the rules....I think I recall something being etched in a tablet once about 'bearing false witness,' and how that's a 'shalt not.'

Barb, your rebuttal? :) ...please, please, please mention Amir's futon and the hatchback again. I really enjoy that one.

I am blessed to have met so many different people all because of this little ol' blog...

I had a great birthday, thanks to you all!

The love of my life....and Abrahm. (just kidding, Abe) The always delightful David Chenoweth stopped by!Mr.Meer, as Eiffel calls him.The other Birthday Girl! My Eddie Kazu will be 1 on Wednesday!!!"fake candid"The smelliest birthday gift I've ever gotten... :) Thanks Mr.Omar!Bloggermouse is there on the right. He dazzled us all with his home brewed beers, which were de-lish-ous!Mrs.Davis...always talking about something important.The irony of this picture gets me. Here stands Mr.Chris Davis (AKA Gary Davis), on the right, who lived in the house we're now in for 16 years. He's the one responsible for constructing the cabinets which he's standing here in front of, that are held together by a ridiculously rare and impossible to find piano hinge. Obviously. Eiffel, my 3 year old ripped that sucker off and we have yet to figure out a way to reconstruct it) Every time I look at that gaping hole in my kitchen I curse Gary Davis' name! j/k Gary....lots of the things that you put into this house are broken, no hard feelings :)Me and the old man (I know, grammatically incorrect)And Linda Sue, you'll be happy to know that part of your gift has already been put to good use...
(almost) All photos courtesy of Place 7 Photography.