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 Updated 08/20/14 02:59:06 PM

Colleyville, TX August 20, 2014
Heated Discussion at Pre-Council Fails to Rescind Resolution Supporting Tex Rail Through City of Colleyville
New City Councilman Chris Putnam Called on Council to Rescind the Resolution
"I can't be the only one with an opinion on Tex Rail"


Mayor David Kelly

Responding to Councilman Putnam's request to rescind the 2009 Resolution, Mayor David Kelly said there was no reason to address the Resolution because a public vote would be required by the citizens of Colleyville. 

Putnam explained his request stood for a Resolution on behalf of the City taking a stand on a Tex Rail project that will, "damage property values and change the very ambience of the City of Colleyville with as many as 60 trains per day and heavy freight running through the city."  He concluded, "I can't be the only one with an opinion of Tex Rail."

On another recent matter, "Quiet Zones" voted on by City Council, Mayor Kelly stated the projects at the railroad crossings in Colleyville will cost more than $1 million.  "The City only had to put up $20,000 of that amount," said the Mayor. Putnam corrected the Mayor saying, "$20,000 is only the start, the annual maintenance is $50,000 and the grant applications to get these funds also required the city to acknowledge the purpose was because of heavy rail traffic created by Tex Rail."

The mayor countered that the gates would also work first with the Tarantula tourist train from Grapevine, that makes very infrequent trips through Colleyville.

Concerning the Tex Rail project, Councilman Mogged said he had spoken to Congressman Marchant about it.  "The Congressman said  he would oppose legislation that had any $450 million earmarked for the rail line."

Mogged also said the best way to "derail the rail" was to speak to state and us representatives.  He followed with a question to the City Attorney about the request by Councilman Putnam to extend the moratorium Resolution that officially just expired concerning the Rail Station in Colleyville.

The City Attorney said the Resolution stated for at least 5 years and without further action by council the Resolution continued as the official position of the city.

Putnam commented the Rail Station was a secondary consideration, that his goal was to get a Resolution that clearly stated the City's official position was in opposition to the Tex Rail project.

Councilman mike Taylor responded, "We have been clear we don't want the rail."

Then Taylor continued to say, "However, I have a big concerned about how many people are retired. Everyone does not drive an expensive car to get to work.  In Colleyville, we want waiters to serve our tables but they don't have a way to get here."  Taylor said to Putnam, "In reality you are trying to get people mad about something we can do nothing about." 

"I don't play games, nobody says what we can do to negate the rail,"
he concluded .
Putnam responded "I am asking as a council that we rescind this resolution and instead state there is not support in Colleyville for this rail, however, I can only conclude that, like Councilman Taylor, who represents the city on the RTC, there is support on this council for Tex Rail."

 

 Then an exchange between Councilman Taylor and Councilman Putnam incurred. Taylor said, "..if a resolution was passed, we are only 1 of 16 cities and all the others are in support. I will take the resolution to the group, however I have to get on their agenda.  He continued, "You know however, the further you get away from these tracks, the more people in Colleyville want the rail."  But Taylor continued, "There will be no rail Station in Colleyville."  Then Taylor followed apparently contradicted his statement saying, "I don't know why anyone would want to support this boondoggle (Tex Rail). We are safe  if no one votes tonight, if we passed resolutions every time we didn't support something we could paper city hall." 

Continuing, apparently still confused over the Putnam effort to adopt a resolution clearly stating the city council of Colleyville opposes the rail project, Mayor Kelly stated, "I haven't heard from anyone in town still worried about a rail station. However, if we want to do a political statement to satisfy one council member, well ok," the mayor concluded.

Putnam retorted, "Again the rail station is a secondary consideration. You are dealing with a tempest in a teapot as a political issue. When trains come thru the city, then multiple trains with as many as 60 daily, it'll be too late." 

Taylor said, "I'll support you on this, but I understand the law, while you just want to stir people up. Let them talk to their State and US Reps.  I don't like this "whisper crap" that is going on because I understand the law. You have nothing to put in front of the people. " 

Putnam responded, "I am not a professional politician like you." Taylor shot back, "I go to things that none of the rest of you do. I just don't go on websites and try to get people stirred up" 

Putnam responded, "Unlike you, I am attempting to protect the rights of my neighbors.  I am not the "Regional Representative that you apparently are.  Now with all your grandstanding, it underlines even further, that I don't want you as the Representative to the RTC going to meetings representing that the citizens of  Colleyville want this Tex Rail intrusion. It will change the very fabric and ambience of the City of Colleyville, property values will plummet, citizens will be stuck behind gates trying to get to work, school or the grocery store and be stuck up to 60 times a day with high speed trains not to even mention freight trains that will be dramatically increased." 

Mayor Kelly joined in by saying, "Yes, we will take a look for ways to protect our citizens if Tex Rail becomes more of a "probability." A piece of paper now won't make a difference."

The Mayor's position seems somewhat reminiscent to a similar position when Nancy Pelosi stated, "...you have to vote for it to see what's in it?"

Taylor responded to Putnam, "I want to see you stop this train when the US Rep says he can't stop it." 

Putnam responded, "We have an option to have a voice,  to do nothing is tactically supporting Tex Rail. To continue to bloviate by you does nothing in the cause to protect the people in Colleyville." 

Taylor directing his comments to Putnam said, "You are good at walking the dog around the park!"

Putnam interjected to Taylor, "Why are you then, unwilling to take a public stand, one position, not all positions, and vote publicly  to take ONE STAND, that you don't want the rail and you will no longer support it at RTC. A resolution is doing something which is better than doing nothing."

Taylor interrupts and states, "I was here long before you came around."

Putnam responded, "I have been here 5 minutes and you have been here a long time and the last time this rail was talked about on council was 5 years ago. So I believe it is time the city takes a public position on the rail." 

Taylor changed the subject and retorted to Putnam, "I want you to correct statements made on your blasts and websites."

Putnam responded, "I have not misrepresented  and I will say whatever I please." 

Taylor chimes in, "Our neighbors (other cities) want the rail because you can't slice out the portion in Colleyville. We are the most affluent and educated citizens in the nation. It hurts us (the council) when you use this distraction with people, when they thought this matter was put to bed." 

Councilman Short addressed Putnam,"...will you agree not to be accusing others of not speaking factually?"

Mayor Kelly interjected, "We work as a team, when you speak you speak for all and when you speak about me you speak about us all." 

The ongoing attempt at diversion and charges of misleading the public incensed Putnam to respond, "I don't need your permission to speak on issues and I am not asking for it.  As a reminder the city staff works for us and I represent citizens." 

Which clearly sets the stage for more discussion on the rail and calls for council members to make a public declaration of where they stand on Tex Rail.

The city manager ask for instructions from the council to set up a future public meeting with Tex Rail. The date and time to be announced.

 LNO has covered city politics since 2000.  As such, the following are in response to Councilman Taylor's comments, "I have been around here a long time." A few articles and columns concerning Mr. Taylor's service over the past few years.

 

Nelson Thibodeaux, Editor
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