Emails to the Editor Page
Updated   03/07/06 04:15:47 PM

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February 28, 2005 @8.15 pm
Dear Editor:
Please accept my heartfelt appreciation for your assistance in bringing my Cocker Spaniel, Chester Collingsworth, safely home. Your response to my frantic call for help was quick and decisive. In a very short period of time you had posted a picture of Chester, his description, and details of his disappearance on LNO. Knowing that this information would reach thousands of people gave me a great deal of comfort and allowed me to focus on other details to ensure his safe return home.

I have long found Local News Only to be factual reporting with a wealth of civic, political, social, charitable and educational information. However, my appreciation has never been as profound as when you came to my aide and the aide of a beloved animal. In this instance your "Pet Corner" served as a great public service to me and my family.

Again, I am so thankful for your kindness and for your assistance in bringing "my boy" home to me.

Bonnie Carroll

P.S. Many thanks from me too. I have learned that there is "no place like home."

Chester Collingsworth Carroll
February 24, 2005 @11.45 am
Is there a link I can look at to see the information about the Colleyville City Council/Mayor candidates?

Kim Hamilton
For the area page listing area candidates, Click here.
February 23, 2005 @ 11.51 am
His dog wasn't there
Maury's dog wasn't at the P&Z meeting that Ken Sapp wrote of; however, I
was. As is typical, Ken Sapp plays loose with the truth.

 In Maury's article, he mentions the P&Z "nearly dropped the RV parking restrictions," and Sapp responds as if this were false. It is exactly the truth. Although the P&Z did indeed pass the amended amendment, it was only by a 4 to 3 majority, and one of those 4 personally told me that she would have preferred to have smaller distance restriction, but it wasn't offered. 

Even without that comment, the fact remains exactly as Maury presented it - one vote is about as "nearly" as one can get.

It is interesting also, that Sapp talks about parliamentary procedure. I approached him after the meeting to mention that the motion that was made was for an amendment. Sapp then made a motion to amend that. I pointed out that I believed that was against parliamentary procedure (amending an amendment). Sapp stated that the city attorney was there, and allowed it, so it must have been according to procedure. The minutes
from that meeting may be found here.

I think it's also worth mentioning that even P&Z Commissioner Bill Schopper felt that Sapp was "hanging his hat" on the "safety issue" in order to ban RV's because they were objectionable, and said so.

But wait, that's not the end of that story. When the measure was brought before the entire city council, a motion was made to accept P&Z's recommendations (including the distance restriction as modified by Sapp). City councilwoman Jo Cox then moved that it be amended from 9.5' to 5.5'. Mayor Trevino asked Councilman Metts if he would accept the amendment, who declined. No such "parliamentary procedure" was offered during the previously mentioned P&Z commission meeting, even though both groups are supposed to follow Robert's Rules of Order. Now, I can't say for sure which procedure was done correctly, but it's pretty obvious (possibly even to Maury's dog) that it can't be that BOTH were correct, even though they were both watched over by the same attorney. Maybe our
city attorney was taking one of his infamous naps during one of the two. The minutes of that meeting can be found here.

Sapp talks about mitigating risks, yet the ordinance specifically allowed that motor vehicles under 7' tall be allowed in the 9.5' "safety zone." Maybe Sapp can explain to Maury, Dog, me, and all the rest of us, how a car in this 9.5' zone is safer than an RV. Keep in mind, that by the P&Z's definition, my small utility trailer that is 3' high is an
"RV" that is not allowed in that 9.5' zone. Reality is that the only "safety factor" involved was that it would offend a much smaller number of voters to ban RV's in that zone, but still allow cars and trucks.

Here's another example of Sapp playing loose with the truth. Sapp asserts that the group that Maury is a member of praised the P&Z for the effort. That is true, but to state that "It is not clear if it is Dog or Maury that disagrees with their position" is false and misleading. Our group took no official position on the final ordinance. To have done so
would have been pointless until a new council is seated. I'm vice-president of that group, and my estimate is that the vast majority of the membership opposed the setback restriction. As a matter of fact, many of our members were part of the dozen or so speakers and 133 letter writers that protested AGAINST the 9.5' restriction that Sapp foisted on the ordinance at the last minute. Of course, all the letters and the protests were ignored, the council did what the mayor wanted, they banned those "monstrosities" that Trevino stated he wouldn't want in his neighborhood.

The fact of the matter is that no size restrictions were brought into the P&Z discussions until Sapp's last minute amendment. To the contrary, those attending were told from the outset by those on the P&Z that size restrictions would be inappropriate. Yet, Sapp introduced them in a last minute amendment that either hides behind safety, or ignores the safety hazard that cars and pickup trucks presents.

The initial goal of this ordinance was exactly what Maury presented, to get rid of RV's. While the protests by RV owners (and others) severely diluted the initial attempt by the council we had at the time to ban RV's, the council majority still succeeded in banning some.

Sapp goes on to talk about no petitions being presented to the city council. I suggest he has made the same error he accuses Maury Siskel of making in a previous column with the word "forum". Maybe he should look up the actual definition of "petition", and then examine records of city council meetings to see how many times citizens came forward asking (petitioning) the city council and city manager to act on the issue. The requests to the city manager were ignored, he would not place it on the agenda for discussion. Finally, when we got new city council members in place, it was acted on.

Finally, Sapp talks about our group's "supposed support of free speech" as if our opposition to a vote was an affront to free speech. Quite the contrary, we knew from the numbers of people in the city that voted to allow such an election that it was obvious that the majority of the voters wanted the tax freeze. Sapp and those that with him tried to
convince voters to vote against it stated several times that this was not the will of the voters. That "intelligent" voters would defeat the freeze. He was wrong. The freeze passed by a 2-1 margin. The city could have been saved a costly election had the majority of the council members been in closer touch with their constituency, and realized that the people did indeed want the freeze.

Sad that Sapp resorts first to berating Kerry West for being a "disciple" of his own father, and now a retired senior citizen who wistfully, and quite humorously, includes "Dog" in his writings. If Sapp would read to understand rather than to berate, maybe he would have
noticed this in other writings by Mr Siskel.

One final note, Sapp asserts that "Contrary to the accusations of some, however, the Council does not march to the beat of my drum." Ken, I don't think many people are asserting that the Council marches to the beat of your drum. Realigty is that many of us believe you are merely the mouthpiece for the old-guard council majority and Oscar Mayor of bologna fame. Maury has his pet dog, and the mayor has his "lap dog." Fortunately, it looks like things may soon change.

Herb Parsons

February 22, 2005 @ 4.54 pm
Gave full address
You folks probably already caught this, but the obits for 2/21 included
full street address. I think you folks usually 'x' out the last two
digits of street address for privacy sake. Just for future

Bet you've gotten dozens on this already! Or I could be making a
presumption on something you've been given authority to publish.

I do enjoy your publication, though. Keep up the usual good work.

Gini Parsons
North Richland Hills
Editor's Note:  You are right, one of our readers had originally suggested redacting part of the address, this was an oversight. Thanks for bringing to our attention it has been corrected.
February 23, 2005 @11.33 am
Councilman Skinner's response gets "ugly" 
Click here for email from Skinner

Dear Editor,

It is with deep regret that I feel compelled to address this matter with Mark Skinner. I certainly do not need the grief or the aggravation. This all started as a simple matter when I raised a legitimate complaint about girls softball players having fair access to the new Reagan Park baseball/softball fields. My girls team was chased off the girls field on Sunday by the baseball association even though we were occupying the field first on what had been communicated to CGSA as a first-come-first-served system on Sundays. Rather than create an embarrassing situation by causing a commotion in front of youngsters, my girls and I left Reagan Park and the boys occupied both fields and both batting cages for the rest of the afternoon. 

As a concerned citizen, I wrote what I thought was a "private email" to the Mayor and City Council in which I complained about how my girls team had been bullied off the softball field. To make a dramatic point, I referenced the Jim Crowe era in which supposedly neutral laws and policies were used to keep minorities in their place. I suggested to the Council that they needed to review the rules and policies that applied to Reagan Park to make sure the girls were not being shoved to the "back of the bus." Mr Skinner responded to me by saying I should have been smart enough to follow the rules like the boys. I responded to him that we did follow the rules [first-come-first-served] and I further asked him whether he was not in the least concerned that our young girl athletes could be disadvantaged under current rules and policies. 

That is when things really got ugly. I received the "personal attack" email from Skinner that you published. Subsequently, I learned that Skinner had widely distributed my original complaint email to City Council as well as his vitriolic response to me. Apparently he has a secret email list. It was my fervent desire to keep this matter regarding softball/baseball within the confines of the Council and the Parks Department. As I write this letter, I have already been assured that the matter is being addressed and I have complete confidence that a fair solution will be worked out. So the question I have is what is Mr. Skinner's motivation to make this dispute a huge public issue? Is he trying to embarrass me, the girls organization or the Parks Department? And why did he get so mean-spirited in his response to me?

There is also a greater problem in the actions of Skinner. It is the "freezing" impact that will cause citizens to be fearful to seek redress from elected officials. Citizens in Colleyville should be encouraged to write letters and emails to the Mayor and Council regarding City issues and concerns. We should be able to do so in a free and open manner knowing that we may not always get the answers we want but that at least we have the right to express our opinions. However, in Mr. Skinner's case, citizens will need to think twice for fear of being subject to an unwarranted personal attack, having their volunteer positions jeopardized or threatened and having their private communications dispersed to an unknown list. And at least in my case, there appears to be some direct attempt to try to embarrass me. Because this "freezing" impact can be so damaging to our open democratic government, I hope someone asks for an opinion from our new City Attorney whether it is legal for an elected official to in effect "selectively publish" without permission citizen complaints. 

So the bottom line is this uproar all started because I complained to City Council about my girls team being booted off a public park. It is interesting that not once has Mr. Skinner indicated an iota of concern about the possibility the girls in our City could be disadvantaged and discriminated against. This is a man that has spent a great deal of time and energy trying to convince the citizens of Colleyville to spend millions of dollars to bury utility lines along HWY 26. I have been told that the best measure of a good politician is a person with a "good heart." This is just my opinion but a person who is more concerned about burying power lines than the potential discrimination of our City's young ladies does not seem to pass the "good heart" test. 
Keith Staudt
February 19, 2005 @11.33 am
A lawyer, now I understand

Of course!
I see now why the difference in our respective point of view regarding Councilman Skinner's bad tempered outbursts. You are a lawyer. 
I expect you legal professionals listen to so much similarly delivered discourse that you have become calloused as to what truly is "inappropriate" or "misguided."
And as for the laugh you requested; I hear the same syndrome is also found in New York cabdrivers! 

Merri Lee
February 17, 2005 @9.51pm
Her Judge was banging the gavel and no one was shouting!
Dear Merri,
Here's my email address. Please feel free to send your inappropriate and misguided comments to me directly. I can always use a good laugh.. 

Dear Nelson,
Banging a gavel does not necessarily mean that a shouting match has ensued. Sometimes, it is merely a signal that the person with the gavel wishes to say something. Just the other day, when I was in court the judge was busy banging the gavel but no one was shouting. Really, you must know that your "interpretation" is editorializing and not news. But certainly, since it is your website, you can interpret all you want. My only point was that you cannot pass your interpretations off as news.

Annette Kasparian
Editor's Note: Our "interpretation" of the news is often accompanied by the documents, or in this case the streaming video.  Every news article ever written required the "interpretation" by the journalist, some more than others.  We are comfortable that our presentation of news, unlike local newspapers, is different in that it gives the viewers the opportunity to explore the event much more in-depth. As such, we provide the viewer a unique perspective to determine for themselves their own interpretation, as you have.  Others see it differently. 
February 16, 2005 @8.36pm
Response to: ‘Bond results/Foster leaving’ from Keith Staudt. 
“It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.” Disraeli 

It is with some regret that I must cut short Keith Staudt’s laughter with a dose of reality. I hate to do it since laughter is in such short supply these days with the defeat of Prop 3 and 6 and the guaranteed negative ramifications of such short-sightedness. 

In reply to Mr. Staudt’s statements regarding myself…“Mr. Whitman is a developer that has property interests along HGY 26. So the fact that he is in favor of getting taxpayers to finance underground utilities and landscaping along HGY 26 should not be surprising.”…represents his assumptions and lack of research…rather than the facts. 

Yes our company owns land on Hwy 26 but he’s wrong to assume my positive position on Prop 6 is to have the citizens of Colleyville pay for the burying of the overhead utility lines at our development. He does not know what he talks about. 

In 1998 we negotiated a deal with TXU (when it was a whole company) to bury the overhead lines in front of our developments on 26. The agreement stipulates that when we develop the remainder of our land they, TXU will bury the lines…FREE…in exchange for committing our electric use to TXU. If one looks at our earlier developments, the Phast Phil’s and Cleaner locations…one would not find any overhead electric connections! The poles are still there…but they will come down when we or another concludes the development. 

Regarding Prop 3…the landscaping on 26 was for intersections that TXDOT and the city control, not developers…intended were bricked crosswalks at the major intersections, trees, bushes and flowers in the raised medians that TXDOT will build along 26, in our city….but as a result of the defeat of Prop 3…those medians may all end up to be filled-in with cement…to avoid the ugliness of that situation was the goal and pure intent of Prop 3. 

The true intentions of propositions 3 & 6 were unfortunately never presented correctly…the negative aspects, which are pretty minor compared to the benefits, were blown way out of proportion…every person of any intelligence knows that to sustain a value of any tangible item(s) they must be maintained or they lose their value. To maintain Colleyville as a superior city it has to be maintained…which significantly includes the aesthetics; the curb appeal and without great curb appeal the whole neighborhood loses value…it is a bottom line issue and a simple unarguable fact! 

Mr. Staudt…your assumptions and or facts are single focused and single sourced and poor ones at that.

Kipp Whitman
February 14, 2005 @7.35pm
Skinner was verbally haranguing Dolan and Ayers in video
Like Annette Kasparian, I viewed the new video of Councilman Skinner at the Council table, as well as the previous one where he shouted at Councilwoman Dolan regarding email. 

I'm not sure if Ms. Kasparian is indicating that she has a higher level of tolerance about who she permits to speak to HER in such a manner, or if she is just that beat down in her own life that the exchange seemed courteous. But if she believes Mark Skinner wasn't verbally haranguing Elaine Dolan and then Jon Ayers in a very raised voice, then she needs help. 

That guy needs to go to Anger Management classes.

Merri Lee 
February 14, 2005 @5.04pm
Not shouting, but unprofessional 
I agree with Annette’s comment about Skinner’s performance at the council meeting. I think unprofessional and antagonistic would be more accurate descriptions but not shouting. I enjoy LNO.
Delanie Alcorn-Jones
February 14, 2005 @10.33 am
Viewer says Skinner's "tone of voice" in video was "normal" or
"Biased reporting masquerading as news "

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! You continually rant that the Courier needs to separate editorials from news. However, you appear to be completely unable to do the same. I read your headline about a shouting match at Colleyville City Council and then listened to the video. I was amazed that you thought that Mark Skinner speaking in a normal tone was somehow a shouting match. Not only does your spelling and grammar need improvement but your judgment about how much “spin” you should put on articles is terribly flawed by your dislike of certain people. I can appreciate that you started LNO so that you would have a forum for your views but do not call yourself a journalist or your publication “NEWS” if you cannot report fairly and accurately. LNO is not a media outlet when it becomes nothing more than your personal soapbox to be used to launch personal attacks.

Annette Kasparian
Editor's note: If one listens to the video carefully, Mayor Hocutt can be heard (and seen in the top right corner) banging his gavel (to restore order) during Councilman Skinner's "normal tone" of voice when speaking to Mayor Pro Tem Jon Ayers.  Typically the mayor does not bang his gavel to restore order when members are speaking to each other in "normal" tones. We interpreted that as a "shouting match", unlike other media, we are providing a video of the actual event so viewers can make up their own mind.
February 13, 2005 @11.58 am
LNO keeping locals readers informed
Thanks for helping keep us updated on the recent election. Had we not read
LNO, this election would have skipped under the radar of many of us. Good

February 08, 7.25 am
Bond results/Foster leaving

Dear Editor,

I couldn't help but chuckle when I read Mayor Hocutt's comments about Ross Foster this morning in the Dallas Morning News. Mr. Foster apparently asked for an 88% increase in pay [from $95 to $175 per hour] so the Council by a 5-0 vote decided to open the job up to bid. Foster declined to participate in the bid process. Now Mr Hocutt feels sorry for Ross and says the Council acted "arbitrarily" when it posted Mr. Foster's City Attorney job after 25 years of service. I wonder if that is how Mr Hocutt operates his own business. If an employee [even a darned good one] asks for an 88% increase, does he just open up his check book or does he search the marketplace? Seems to me that the Council and particularly Elaine Dolan is acting prudent with taxpayer dollars and the Mayor is acting fast and loose. Had Mr. Foster asked for an increase in the 10 to 20% range, I don't believe the job would have been "posted" to use the Mayor's words. So it is time to stop shedding crocodile tears on Mr. Foster and simply thank him for his service [for which he was nicely paid] and wish him the best of luck.

I had an even bigger laugh when I read the Courier's Editorial Page and saw Kipp Whitman recommending yes votes to Propostions 3 and 6. Mr. Whitman is a very engaging individual and I personnaly enjoy listening to him. However, Mr Whitman is a developer that has property interests along HGY 26. So the fact that he is in favor of getting taxpayers to finance underground utilities and landscaping along HGY 26 should not be surprising. Typically developers pay those type of expenses but if I was in his shoes I would try to get taxpayers to foot the bill as well! 

Finally, now that the taxpayers have soundly defeated [with the exception of a needed new fire facility] the bond package, what will Mr Skinner say about the "voice of the people?" His communications constantly refer to following the will of the majority of Colleyville citizens. I think the citizens have resoundingly replied by saying don't ask us to pay for utility company and developer boondoggles and don't expect us to float bonds for road maintenance that should be paid from general funds. And perhaps taxpayers were even telling you to think long and hard the next time you turn away a developer that promises to increase our tax base by over a half million dollars per year. Let's hope that Mr. Skinner shows that he can listen to voters as well as he reads emails.

Keith Staudt 
February 06, 12.47 am
If you pay $10,000 per year in taxes, what's a little more?
Please remove me or unsubcribe my email from your "Local News Only" email alerts as of today.

I have read enough of the information that you put out and see clearly the pattern of negativity. Your information is counterproductive.

You should be ashamed of yourself for actively discouraging residents of Colleyville from making improvements and investing in their city because it will increase taxes. If you pay nearly $10K a year in total property tax already, is a dollar extra a day going to be too much to have a better, safer streets and sidewalks? One sidewalk needed desperately was the right down Pleasant Run Rd that leads to the Village. Guess Moms with strollers can just do without, and drivers speeding down Pleasant Run can just not think twice about the residents walking along the side of the road. No nice Senior Center? Irving has a very nice one, guess our residents can drive there! Haven't been in the TARA subdivision lately but I can bet they are not happy with the poor turnout and results of the bond election.


Anne Dyson
Editor's note:  Perhaps a majority think paying $10,000 a year in taxes is adequate and government should work harder at fiscal responsibility. Use existing taxes to fix the needs of the city versus simply asking for more money.
After all, even it is more city taxes, it is still the citizen's money.
February 04, 11.01 am
No to Prop 6 in Colleyville
I am writing in opposition to Proposition 6. While the City of Colleyville has many needs, in my opinion, burying the utility lines along SH 26 does not make the top ten. The 13.7 million dollars proposed for this project alone is more than the city's budgeted general fund expenditures for 2005. To put it into prospective, the City of Dallas, with general fund expenditures of over 800 million dollars is struggling to fund 23 million dollars for a new signature bridge across the Trinity River that could have a significant impact on the city's appearance. Furthermore, I don't think the citizens of Colleyville should have to pay for the project when the city has not been willing to require new developments to bury utility lines and has rejected development proposals that have been willing to bury the lines.

Jody Short 
February 02, 9.02 pm
Politics everywhere
I am enjoying the banter about the bond issue. Looks like city politics are about the same everywhere. The only thing changed is the cast of characters. 

Ken Sapp
February 02, 2005 @8.47 pm
More reaction of Ken Sapp column

Ken Sapp is becoming a parody of himself. To offer that someone is a
"disciple" of another, simply because they hold similar beliefs is
interesting to say the least. However, Mr Sapp, as is typical, didn't
bother checking his facts. Whether it's the same "old tired rhetoric" or
not, Maury Siskel did not learn his opinions, or even his tactics, from
Ron West. I knew Maury well before I ever met Ron, and before they knew
each other. Maury was then, and is now, very much his own man. Not to
say that being a "disciple" of Ron would be a bad thing. There are lots
of saps out there that Maury could chose from that could be far worse

But let's look further at Sapp's allegation (oh my, I made a pun back
there, didn't I?). If Sapp is asserting that because one holds similar
beliefs to another that makes them a "disciple", than maybe Sapp himself
is a disciple of Mayor Trevino. They certainly seem to espouse many of
the same attitudes and opinions. They were even seen meeting together
privately shortly before the last city council meeting, where Sapp made
an appeal during the citizen's presentation to the mayor and council to
respond to one of Ron West's on-line articles. I don't know what they
were talking about - maybe a disciple/master meeting about the subject
matter, or maybe a quick kiss for luck before he spoke - who knows, but
I'd say there was at least as much fodder for that disciple/master
relation as what he implies (implies Ken, NOT "infers") there is between
Maury and Ron.

Sapp, according to a previous article, was "amused" that Ron West
disagreed with the two council members that he "supported." I find this
confusing. If someone agrees with Ron on everything, it's a discipleship
issue, if not, it's "amusing". Like I said, Sapp's become a parody of

In a prior article, Sapp states (of Ron West) "Unless West is
clairvoyant or a behavioral scientist, perhaps he should refrain from
such a critical judgment", but tells readers (again, of West) "He, no
doubt would have been more satisfied if the unauthorized use of the
Steven's property had been curtailed at the outset", and "Perhaps West
believes that only his view can be correct", and now offers that Maury
Siskel is a disciple of West's. Maybe it's Sapp that's attempting to
practice clairvoyance.

I'm not going to list all of Sapp's accusations individually, this
little note is already getting too long, but let's look at the political
sign issue. Here's some facts. Ken Sapp's PAC that was opposing the
Senior Tax Freeze put up signs that exceeded the size limits set by city
ordinances for political signs. This means that he was required to get a
permit before erecting those signs. He did not. I'm not sure if he got
the permits later, but that's a moot point, the signs were in fact,

Sapp makes much of his support of tax exemptions, and even talks about
private behind the scene agreements about them, but the fact remains,
the city council had the opportunity to place such exemptions in place
months before the tax freeze was voted on, and they did not. So, no such
tax exemptions were "on the table", they only existed in Sapp's
imagination. Again though, it's all moot. Sapp made his views known, the
people heard, and the people voted for what they wanted. So, in spite of
the fact that Sapp believed that the exemptions he had in mind were what
were "best" for those involved, THE VOTERS DIDN'T. I know, I know, it's
hard for Sapp and Trevino's other disciples to understand that just
because they "know better" what's needed for people, they don't always
get their way.

Finally, Sapp makes dire predictions about the outcome of some unnamed
events coming up in the near future. It reminds me of similar dire
predictions he made late last year. He insisted that those seniors HE
knew didn't want the tax freeze, and insisted that the those against it
would prevail. He was wrong. Of course, when his position lost by better
than 2 to 1, he attributed it to the notion that "more seniors must have
voted than non-seniors" (according to the Ft Worth Star-Telegram).

Like I said, Sapp's rants are descending into a collection of parodies
of himself. His butchery of the language, his posturing that he's
somehow better than others, and his duplicitous requests for "civil
discourse" while he personally attacks and accuses anyone who disagrees
with him is becoming a joke. Maybe we should bestow upon him the "honor"
that has been given to Donald Trump, and just refer to him by one name.
I think "The Sapp" fits well.

And yes, that's just my opinion.

Herb Parsons
North Richland Hills
February 01, 2005 @11.07 pm
I see where Keller DWI arrests are double over last year. It seems to me that this increase tracks with recent decisions to sell alcohol in Trophy Club and perhaps some other locations. I would like to urge you to research this and develop this story. A lot of communities are going wet based on an increased tax benefit rationale, which ignores the harmful effect of alcohol on our society.

Thanks for doing such a good job keeping local citizens aware of what's going on in our community.

J. C. Bullard
Editor's Note: LNO has emailed Scott Bradburn of the Keller Police Dept. and asked for any comment on your observations.
January 29, 2005 @ 7.02 pm

Against all bond issues, with reasons....

Some of the Colleyville bond propositions are "good ideas", some are not.
But this is not the real issue here.

I am opposed to funding Colleyville city regular maintenance projects
through special bond propositions that wind-up as significant and permanent
property tax increases. 

Typical maintenance items like these should be funded out of the city annual

Planning for these might require the city to think ahead more than a few
weeks at a time. Colleyville needs to begin analyzing forecasted street
maintenance and facilities needs weighed against funding Assistant City
Manager salaries, pee-wee football lights, denying revenue generating retail
developments along Hwy 26, and the like. We do this when managing our
grown-up business and personal budgets. Be creative and think years in
advance, not just year-to-year hoping for a bail-out at taxpayer expense.

This a bond proposition is a band-aid for poor financial planning, and I'm
opposed to it in it's entirety for that reason.

D. Williams
January 29, 2005 @ 8.14 am
Skinner should not be criticized...

I would like to comment on your story criticizing Councilman Skinner. Have always found Mark to be a great attribute to our City, and he sure doesn't deserve your harsh words. He stood with hundreds of us citizens who opposed the gas/tire store at the corner of Hwy 26 and McCain Rd. It was him, Councilman Tigue, and Mayor Hocutt, who wanted to kill that project in Spring '04, but instead we wasted Great American's time and money, and another 6 months of Council time. Thanks to Tom Hart's deciding vote on that one, we moved on. 

Like Skinner says, I too was thoroughly disgusted with the Colleyville Can mailing I received this week. It reminded me of the stuff I got before the last May election. Whatever your thoughts are on the Bond election, I think has been well explained in the papers. And thanks to the Courier, I found out that Colleyville Can was founded by Mr. Thibbodeaux. Since he is so good at telling us who invests in the Courier, maybe he will tell us who contributes to Colleyville Can.

Respectfully submitted,
Mel Manuel

Editor's note:  I am NOT THE FOUNDER OF COLLEYVILLE CAN, I don't know how may ways I have got to say that simple fact.  I am a charter supporter of the group's civic activities and political positions. I have never held myself out as the spokesman for CAN, never acted in a capacity as the leader of the group, never chaired a meeting of CAN, and never acted as a moderator for CAN. If you want to know who "invests" in CAN, the group is a PAC and files the appropriate information available to the public.  I do not know who all the contributors to CAN may be since I am not the treasurer.  Finally, should you pull the public records to date, I believe you will find my financial contribution has been limited to the purchase of a couple "Support our Troops" magnetic ribbons.  If you are relying on the Courier for your facts, then I recommend you expand your horizon of research.

Nelson Thibodeaux, Editor

January 28, 2005 @ 7.49 am
What about the trees if the bond passes?
One of the bond propositions involves replacing the retaining wall on Bedford Road near Saddlebrook. Its my understanding that trees will be removed in the process. I think the trees make this road one of the prettiest in Colleyville. Is there any way to find out how many of the trees will have to be removed? I asked one of the homeowner association board members in Saddlebrook and she didn't know any more than I did. I'm afraid that the cheapest and easiest way will be just to cut them all down and I sincerely doubt that they would be replaced with trees of comparable size. My lot backs Bedford Road, so you can imagine my concern.

Thanks for checking it out,
Mindy McClure
Editor's Note:  Colleyville City Manager Bill Lindley said that there is a substantial possibility the trees will be lost.  Lindley said that until work progresses there is no way to know what root damage may occur in the repair work, should the bond issue pass.  Lindley said that while the City will do everything possible to minimize the damage that some trees likely be lost and potentially all the trees.  
January 27, 2005 @ 2.32 pm
John F. Kennedy would probably Vote YES for Propositions 3 and 6. 
I write this letter as a founding and now former member of the SH 26 Advisory Committee which was established by the Colleyville City Council in 2000. 
The Committee was conceived to research and develop commercial design guidelines (Market Street, the Villages), propose changes to the appropriate city regulations in order for the Council to improve existing codes, work with TXDOT to accommodate commercial issues, suggest highway enhancements, and consider modifications to the overhead power/utility lines. Unlike other street projects – unlike other towns – the SH 26 Advisory Committee was charged with ensuring the reconstructed SH 26, our Colleyville Boulevard, would not simply be a street construction project but ultimately a Colleyville enhancement project.

As a third generation developer, I have traveled throughout the country and have seen other great cities, large and small, go by the wayside when the citizens had little or no concern towards the appearance of their city. Without due consideration of the consequences of a “no” vote, the future Colleyville will stutter and ultimately go into decline. This scenario is almost guaranteed as it has played out time and again all over the country. 

Basically, the cost to us, the residents of Colleyville, is about $0.06 per $100 of valuation; this means that a house valued at $400,000 would add approximately $240 per year – only $20 per month – to maintain our great city and retain our home values. If we expect to preserve Colleyville’s reputation as a high-end city, this is a relatively small amount to invest in our future.

The opposition to the SH 26 decorative and utility issues (Propositions 3 & 6) is being led by a very small vocal group of disgruntled, self-serving individuals, including some current and former politicians, who have no vision outside of power to satisfy their own personal needs. The future survival of Colleyville’s growing commercial structure lies in the creative ideas and upgrades to SH 26 
– our Main Street – and specifically, the removal of the overhead power/utility lines. For our commercial areas to thrive, Colleyville’s portion of SH 26 must stand out from the portions in our neighboring cities. Most of those who oppose Propositions 3 & 6 are also those who promote shopping in Colleyville while they themselves do most of their shopping outside the city. A very confused group indeed! If you don’t believe me, go ask the Colleyville retailers.

We are experiencing tremendous population growth in this region. And, as we all know, a major reason that any family decides to locate in a particular city – or remain residents of that city – is largely predicated on the aesthetics of that city, what that city has to offer, and future anticipated home value. For a high-end residential city such as our Colleyville to sustain itself as a ‘quality of life’ city on into the future, our Colleyville must continue to improve itself, plan for the future and take advantage of its assets – especially when the timing is right – and the timing is right – right now! 

True … the aggregate cost of Propositions 3 & 6 are expensive; however, those opposed lack the understanding to realize that it is less expensive to make these enhancements to Colleyville now as any future attempt would be cost-prohibitive … again, now is the only time or these enhancements will never be done.

John Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”…and that’s why I believe JFK would vote “yes” for Propositions 3 and 6. The same rationale can be applied towards our city residents regarding Propositions 3 and 6 …and the call to the residents to Approve Propositions 3 and 6. Let’s ante up the extra $20 per month and keep Colleyville a strong, beautiful and desirable city into the 22nd century.

Vote YES on Propositions 3 and 6.


Kipp Whitman
January 27, 2005 @ 2.24 pm
Senior Center shouldn't be sacrificed because of power lines 
Dear Nelson
Thank you for that article. (For column, click here)

I don't like what I read in the Courier from time to time. We are in complete agreement with you on burying the utility lines. It might be nice but it is certainly not necessary and that money could well be spent on more important things. 

We do hope you are in favor of a new Senior Center which is long overdue. I am very unhappy that they put the McPherson Dairy project on the same Proposition as the Senior Center. I know why they did it but it could well cost us a new Senior Center. And that would not be fair. WE have been shoved to the back burner for too long.

Connie Hampton
January 24, 2005 @ 8:00 am
Big Announcement when bicycle tour announced, "nada" when cancelled, 
Have you heard any updates on the United (Market Street) Tour of Texas bicycle race that was scheduled to begin in Colleyville this fall? I was out in Lubbock last week and read that it had been cancelled. I was curious to see if there had been any updates. 


Thomas Cicherski

Editor's Note:  Thanks for the heads up, the event has been cancelled, LNO will carry a notice today.
January 11, 2005 @ 7:43 pm
Ref:  Harold Moore Article
Why isn't this guy in jail?! Suspending his driver's license would be ridiculously inadequate; it won't stop this kind of guy!

Jan Howe
January 9, 2005 @9.35 am
LNO will post but good luck with the other media!

The following is a full copy of an email sent to the Fort Worth Star 
Telegram regarding a lead article in the Star on Sunday 1/9/05. 

Apparently - even when real injustice is underway, you can write 
incomplete information to mislead as much as possible. In the Stevens 
article, you paint Ms. Stevens as fighting back but she has fully 
acquiesced to the city's unfair demands. You fail to point out that she 
has been paying property taxes on the acre where the RV's were stored at 
commercial rates - not agricultural as you present. You fail to mention 
that NRH has happily been spending these taxes since 1994.

You then quote Kristi Tefertiller as "living in the sub-division" which 
is incorrect since TAD records show her address as "vacant inventory". 
She must be part of the developer organization that wants to force the 
move of the RV's to help the sales of all their vacant new homes 
adjacent to Ms. Stevens' property. Incidentally, you might have noted 
that Ms. Tefertiller has very favorable valuation of her $200,000 vacant 
home on the rolls at less than $50,000. (Check this out for yourself on 
TAD rolls.) When I drove the sub-division in early December, I could 
find NO residents the any of the brand new homes.

You quote JoAnn Stout but fail to request copies of the complaints which 
we believe to be nonexistent. Her quote ignores the facts relating to 
the Mayor when 22 residents complained before the placement of a cement 
mixing plant on public lands in the middle of the city but the city 
allowed it anyway. You do not report that Ms. Stevens asked the city 
(in a letter) for a variance for the remainder of her life to help her 

While coverage of Ms. Steven's plight is appreciated, full and accurate 
reporting would be more of a credit to you and the Star Telegram. Ms. 
Stevens deserves more consideration from the city so
your picture and publication of the issue - inaccurate and incomplete as 
it is - may help.


Ron West
North Richland hills
December 22, 2004 @ 6.51 pm
All he wants for Christmas is Eminent Domain to Disappear

Dear Editor,
Would it not be a true gift to residents of NRH if the City Council 
would pass a Resolution to forswear the use of eminent domain laws for 
any taking of privately owned property in order to transfer it to any 
other private owner? Might even be another opportunity for the use of 
the notorious Non-Binding Resolution!

"... nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process 
of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just 
compensation." Amendment V, Constitution of the United States of America.

Let no one misunderstand the potential for this process to destroy well 
established, neatly maintained neighborhoods of individual families.

Over the years, all levels of government have expanded and courts have 
supported the current meaning of "public use". "Public use" includes 
not only highways, schools, and so on. It now is a public use when 
government condemns your property and conveys it to another private 
owner who will pay higher taxes to that government; i.e., you can be 
used publicly and not even be kissed!

Recent examples of this process have and are being performed all over 
the nation. The process was used recently in Dallas, Hurst, Duncanville, 
and Ft. Worth to cite only a few examples. Can anyone doubt that the 
present NRH prevailing group will follow suite? Even including our 
distinguished Mayor who asserts that he has never suggested any such 
maneuver. Tee hee ....

There is some light down this tunnel; the federal Supreme Court has 
agreed to hear a case on this specific issue being brought by the State 
of Connecticut and a private property owner. There are extensive legal 
arguments on both sides and there is little basis for assuming how the 
Court will rule in a year or so. In the meantime, there can be little 
doubt how the NRH Council will lean. Changes in the Council composition 
next May can go far to remove this threat to property owners. (Also 
might even bring some sense to NRH business signs and residential 
driveways.) It is not too early to begin thinking how you might vote in 
May 2005.

But anyway, Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year to all 
three sides of the argument...
NRH TX 76180
December 17, 2004 @ 1.39pm
In the category of "that makes sense but really hadn't thought about it"
Good info if you don't already know it.

A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago and totaled her
car. A resident of Kilgore, Texas, she was traveling between Gladewater
& Kilgore.

It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to
hydroplane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously
injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence!

When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened, he told
her something that every driver should know -NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN
WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON. She thought she was being cautious by
setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in
the rain. The highway patrolman told her if the cruise control is on and
your car begins to hydroplane -- when your tires loose contact with the
pavement-- your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed and you will take off like an airplane. She told the patrolman that was exactly what had occurred. We all know you have little or no control over a car when it begins to hydroplane. You are at the mercy of the Good Lord.

The highway patrolman estimated her car was actually traveling through
the air 10 to 15 miles per hour faster than the speed set on the cruise control.

The patrolman said this warning should be listed, on the driver's side
sun-visor - NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE PAVEMENT IS WET OR ICE, along with the airbag warning. We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed, but we don't tell them to use the cruise
control only when the pavement is dry.

The only person the accident victim found, who knew this (besides the
patrolman), was a man who had had a similar accident, totaled his car
and sustained severe injuries. If you send this to 15 people and only
one of them doesn't know about this, then it was all worth it. You might
have saved a life.

Dennis Johnson
December 15, 2004 @ 9.02 pm
About Mayor Trevino, NRH appointment of Suzy Compton

Since Mayor Trevino knew he could not get away with appointing his henchman in the anti senior citizens tax freeze, Mr. Sapp he likely appointed a like minded person to fill Mr. Metts seat. When is our Mayor going to get it? We want open government and fewer lawsuits against the city caused by incompetent city employees and department managers. 

While we spend hundreds or thousands to create entrances to our city like North Tarrant Parkway and Davis Boulevard our residential streets are in great need of repair.

I walk my dog every day. There are no sidewalks. I walk in the street. Curbs are heaved; patches are patched. I live in the Foster Village area. Apparently the money is being spent in the more affluent areas.

We need single member districts so the council members will be held accountable by their constituents. Under the current system the average taxpayer has no voice.

It is time to have our voice heard.

Andrew Wolff
North Richland Hills
December 15, 2004 @ 3.38pm
This writer comments on " understanding" in NRH!

II have been following the writings of the citizens of North Richland Hills with interest. Shortly after an article by Herb Parsons that was written as a letter to the Editor and posted on Local News Only, Mr. Sapp, wrote, "It may be easy for some to follow Herb Parson's line of reasoning in his recent letter to the editor but I cannot."

I know both of these gentlemen well enough that I would not question either persons intelligence level or IQ. I enjoy their articles as they keep me aware of the differing opinions on issues that face our city. I would however like to make two observations. The first thing that entered my mind was that I must be at least as intelligent as Mr. Sapp as I had no trouble following the line of thought of Mr. Parsons. Secondly and of much more importance is the fact that it does not matter if Mr. Sapp understands or not. What is more important, is what does the general public and citizens understand and with which do they agree. I am suspicious that Mr. Parsons did not write that article to gain the approval or understanding of Mr. Sapp. I hope both gentlemen keep writing.

Roy D. Sculley
North Richland Hills, 
December 14, 2004 @ 4.13pm
Meandering thoughts and getting the last word?

It may be easy for some to follow Herb Parson's line of reasoning in his recent letter to the editor but I cannot. I suppose, therefore, that his statement indicating "this is his last writing on the subject" (what ever that subject is) should provide comfort to those attempting to grasp the context of his meandering thoughts. 

Ken Sapp
December 12, 2004 @ 9.15 pm
Blogs, West, Sapp, Parsons, Christopher, and positive leadership in NRH

I don't want to engage in an "email to the editor" debate with Ken Sapp, so this will be my last email on this topic. However, I DID feel that some of is statements deserved additional response.

I take issue with the arrogance in his "seemingly intelligent" statement. Ironic, isn't it, that he follows it up with "Clearly I was not inferring that his site is a Web Diary of the sort the Acronym applies to." It's interesting for a couple of reasons. First, BLOG is not an acronym, it's a shortened form of weB LOG. Second, Sapp misuses the term "infer" when he stated "I was not inferring that his site is a Web Diary ..."

People sometimes confuse infer with imply, but the distinction is a useful one. When we say that a speaker or sentence implies something, we mean that information is conveyed or suggested without being stated outright: When the mayor said that she would not rule out a business tax increase, she implied (not inferred) that some taxes might be raised. Inference, on the other hand, is the activity performed by a reader or
interpreter in drawing conclusions that are not explicit in what is said: When the mayor said that she would not rule out a tax increase, we inferred that she had been consulting with some new financial advisers, since her old advisers were in favor of tax reductions. 

Just so Sapp doesn't accuse me of plagiarism, the above came from a web
and is an online version of the American Heritage Book of English Usage.
While it's a fairly common mistake, one would think that someone
speaking of the failings of "seemingly educated people" would know the

Sapp went on to say "It is indeed laughable to assert that a response to a scathing allegation is deemed an 'attack.' A 'counter attack' is a more accurate definition." What he fails to mention is that the "scathing allegation" he refers to was sent in a PRIVATE email to him. Hardly an attack. His PUBLIC "counter attack" was indeed the real attack. He also fails to mention, and failed to publicly accept or acknowledge, that I apologized for my comments, explaining that I was given misinformation. The person that gave me the wrong information even apologized to Sapp. It also bears mentioning that my apology was written
and sent before his column appeared, yet he never mentioned it in his
attack in LNO against me.

Sapp asked "Is it possible that Siskel and Parsons view only their positions as responsible civic response and only opposing opinions as 'attacks?'" I'll answer that one directly. No Sapp, I don't consider any opposing viewpoint to be an attack. I do consider the following samples, what was the term you used - ah yes, drivel, to be examples of attacks:

"Bumbling Ludicrous Outrageous Gobbledygook" to describe Ron West's
activities. Ironic though, that Sapp headed a PAC to defeat the senior tax freeze, and Ron headed the move in favor of the tax freeze, and the tax freeze passed. Not bad for "bumbling", huh? But, I digress. More examples of attacks from Sapp:

"These folks are doing nothing more that exploiting the sensitivity of  some seniors out of revenge for prior political encounters." speaking about those that supported the tax freeze and fought for it.

"Jumping to inaccurate and emotional conclusions is something Mr. Parsons has a habit of doing. He claims to be an honorable person who tells the truth." Sapp never even acknowledged (even though he had first hand knowledge to the contrary) that I didn't "jump to any conclusions", I was given inaccurate information by someone that was there.

"North Richland Hills has its share of arm chair lawyers who attempt to
try cases in the media." in reference to Suzette Christopher expressing
her opinion about the legal happenings in our city.

Seems that it's Sapp that holds the view that it only his position (and those with similar position) is responsible civic response, and all others are worthy of derision.

One of the things Sapp said that I DID agree with was "The zeal to create a more sensational and eloquent 'gotcha' has increased the tendency for participants in the debate to stray from an acceptable standard of positive and ethical behavior. This needs to end." He then went on to say "When is the best time to start setting positive leadership examples? How about now?"

Unfortunately, I guess he was talking to "them", and not himself.

Herb Parsons
North Richland Hills
December 12, 2004 @ 3.45 pm
Bond Issue needs sanity check

I am opposed to the bond issue for a number of reasons.

The city and council have done the usual job of obfuscating this issue.
Much like the city budget and "budget review". 

If the bond issue were fully disclosed to a thinking citizenry, I believe it
will die a natural death. But that's not likely to happen - the city will
try to slide this one through with slight-of-hand.

Spending money burying power lines along Hwy 26 and millions on
"beautification" is money wasted. The law of unintended consequences is
looming to drive existing business and potential new businesses further away
with any construction along this corridor.

Efforts to reposition Colleyville's "downtown" to a retail center overlooks
the inescapable fact that our location will always work against us. We
don't sit along the a major highway interchange and never will. It's just
the way it is. Retail businesses thrive where the traffic is high and draw
is from every direction. Colleyville draws from a segment of Colleyville's
residents and businesses - and that's about all we can ever hope for. A
successful business plan needs to be based on this fact. Money poured into
window dressing will not change this. Hwy 26 is littered with dead,
terminal, and struggling businesses that cannot generate traffic for a
viable long-term business plan. These tend to serve as warning buoys to
prospective businesses. Buried power lines and flowers won't change this
one bit. 

Location, location, location - and we don't have it as far as big retail
business is concerned. We need to face up to this fact. Our property taxes
are sky-high already. We'll never pull revenues from DFW Airport or the
Mills, like Grapevine does, and we won't ever have the commuter
through-traffic like Southlake. I'm as optimistic as anyone, but it
important to visit the real world periodically. Working in big retail for
30 years has driven this point home.

Colleyville is indeed a great community in which to live and work. We need
to make sure that we first carefully fund and maintain the roads and
infrastructure we already have, live within our fiscal means (it does not
take a rocket scientist to conservatively project this). After this is done
then we might fund the city & council's pet projects... "nice-to-haves",
once they've passed a real sanity-check, from our believable and foreseeable
revenues - all without creating debt burden for years to come. 

Name withheld by request
December 12, 2004 @ 10.27 am

REF:  NRH Council member wants to know why press knows before her!
In 1983, I was living and working in another state. Upon arriving at work one morning I found my coworkers standing in a group with downtrodden expressions. The morning newspaper was thrust into my hand. That was how I found out my job was moving to Dallas: the press.

It continues to be the press that keeps me informed as a NRH Council member. Long before my I get a call from City Hall, if I ever do, the phone rings and it’s the press. Sometimes I find things that happen in my city online before I get an Official Notification. 

When I took office in May, I thought that only the citizens were kept in the dark about the things that go on. I have been unpleasantly surprised. I, too, am left out when I need to know something important. Perhaps the reason is so I will continually have to say, "I don’t know." Or maybe so I will have to keep repeating, "Where did you hear that?" There appear to be people who want me to look ignorant of the important issues facing the citizens of our city.

Should it have been the press that told me:

A warrant was thrown out in an appeal in a criminal case?

The city was accused of destroying evidence in a civil trial? 

A council member is resigning?

The Police Chief was stopped for driving erratically?

The Police Chief was suspended from his position?

Or any of the other matters on which I have to rely on the press for information?

Is this the Open Government so many of our citizens have been asking for? It’s certainly not what I am seeking. 

Nancy Bielik
NRH City Council
December 11, 2004 @ 11.22 pm
Ref:  From the number of Emails to LNO that are cc'd to Council Mark Skinner, it seems unlikely he can again say, "I've never received any emails opposing the bond issues."
Editor: cc:
Mr. Skinner and City Council Members,

I'm sure that you saw this coming, but this is probably not the first email that you've received on this subject since Tuesday. If it is, then, here it is--the first and I'd be surprised if its the last. I am opposed to most of the items and the amounts in this Feb. bond election. I am not supporting the addition of unnecessary debt to the taxpayers at this time. Until it is proven that the city and council are doing all that they can to generate tax revenue by bringing in new, responsible businesses, I do not support any more tax burden put onto the residents. I have not sent any previous emails on this subject, but everyone that I talk to in this city is very concerned with this upcoming bond, the amount, and what it will really do to our taxes that we pay. The most talked about issue--the burying of the lines along Hwy. 26 and its large price tag.

I have read all of the items and I am for the issue of the fire station (as long as we can get a fair price for the land) and citywide emergency/weather warning system and the improvements of our existing roads and drainage ditches. Our wonderful firefighters that are stationed at Station 1 deserve much better housing that what they are now living in on Hall-Johnson. And several of the drainage ditch issues could be a liability with heavy rainfall in the case of a car accident, along with the need for the reconstruction and overlaying of some of our two-lane roads. I'm also concerned with the question, "can the infrastructure (roads, sewer system, water system) handle all of the high-density subdivisions that continue to be approved?" If we can find it in the budget to support a library, then we should first find the money in the 'normal' budget (not from a short-term bond) to maintain and repair our roads and drainage/water/sewer systems.

Other than that, I lack total confidence in this city in the running of the budget and spending responsibly to approve any of the other items at this time. Chalk that up to the actions of the last two terms of our former mayor, and others. I see heavy tax increases coming for the residents if this bond is completely approved and I am amazed that in almost the same breath that this council turned down the Pecan Creek development, they would then ask for this large bond package within two weeks time. We should be looking for developments that take some of the burden from the residents. Instead, the council turned down a good opportunity to open the door for responsible development in Colleyville. I believe, with the help of a small group of opposing residents that were given the suggestion to rally troops from all areas of Colleyville that would oppose the Pecan Creek project , this council slammed the door in developers' faces for at least the next five years due to the denial of the Pecan Creek development and the upcoming reconstruction/widening of Hwy. 26.

It is irresponsible to expect the residents to pay for the burying of the power lines and then to expect the businesses along Hwy. 26 to increase their budgets to connect to these buried lines if needed. I do not see this as a part of the residents' vision for this city. The vision is that we want good, responsible, tax revenue generating businesses in Colleyville that will take some of the tax burden off of the residents. But, you should already know that by sitting in a city representative's position for the last 1 1/2 years. That vision does not require buried power lines. If the power company or TXDOT wants them buried, let them pay for it. If the businesses are wanting this, let them pay for it (I doubt they can add that into their own budgets). Don't ask the residents to pay for this unnecessary luxury, since most of us don't live near the power lines and we don't even notice the ones that are above ground now as we drive Hwy. 26. Power lines are not buried along most of 1709 and Southlake seems to be growing and dealing with it just fine. 

I also think that it is a good idea to put the City Attorney position under the microscope at this time. Twenty-plus years is a long time for anyone to be in this kind of position of authority, and council (attorney) needs to be objective, consistant, and unbiased in the opinions that it gives to the city. Before any pay increase is approved, a review of all matters concerning the position and the guidelines for this position should take place. Thank you Ms. Dolan for not being bullied into 'falling into line'. 

Thank you for your time, and I hope that council members will act responsibly and in the best interest of the taxpayers in this matter. I ask that everyone stop playing politics (I realize that your term, the mayor's, and Ms. Dolan's terms are up this May), really be objective this time, and let's get down to the real business at hand--being responsible with and being honest and held accountable to all of the residents with our tax dollars that we already pay each year to this city. I'll be following through all of the media/communication choices available to us. Again, thank you for your time.

Lisa Bernardo
Colleyville Resident 
December 11, 2004 @ 6.59 pm
NRH resident guessing who will replace Metts
Two items in today's Star-Telegram disturb me. The first is the behavior of our police chief in NRH and the response by our city manager and mayor. They praise him. It is against the laws of Texas, apparently the mayor and city manager do not know this as well as the chief of police, to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs, legally prescribed or illegal. Apparently he does not feel this applies to him or does not know the law. Either way it is scary since he is our chief law enforcement officer. Just as scary is our mayor and city manager jumping to his defense. If you or me had done this I think we would have been booked and have to make bail. When you relate this to the situation with Mr. Metts who was involved in an accident where someone was killed and no ticket was issued nor charges filed there is an appearance and evidence that we have two levels of justice in NRH. I am mad as H and hope enough others are to clean house and get rid of the "old guard" who want to run this city as a "plantation" 

The other issue that concerns me is that Mr. Metts is retiring. This is a good thing. The downside is that the mayor gets to name his replacement. My bet is that it will be Ken Sapp. We already know he will join the old guard. My only hope is that the seniors whom he fought on the tax freeze will remember and make him a short term member of the council.

Andrew S. Wolff
North Richland Hills, TX 76180
December 11, 2004 @ 10.37 am
Colleyville resident questions accuracy of Journal about City Atty.
Man, Colleyville has 2 weekly newspapers spouting out uninformed gibberish.
Take the newest entry underwritten by the Starlegram, the "Colleyville Journal". The "Staff Writer" reports on the City Attorney "Proposal Approved" at last Tuesday night's city council meeting.  I especially like the part where she writes about the current City Attorney Ross Foster, "He was not at the Tuesday meeting." Potentially this new in-depth reporting source might learn who the Foster is, since he most certainly attended Tuesday's city council meeting, as he has for 25 years, as accurately reported by LNO.  Keep up the good work, maybe some of the cubbies could take lessons from you fellows.

Billy Casper

December 10, 2004 @ 6.27 pm
Ken Sapp responds to Emails to the Editor

It is amazing to me that seemingly educated people can fail to grasp the point I made about Ron West's BLOG. Clearly I was not inferring that his site is a Web Diary of the sort the Acronym applies to. This is just another attempt to insult my intelligence. 

My intention was to deem West's writings as Bumbling Ludicrous Outrageous Gobbledygook? They accuse me of being inadequate in my research. I assure you I gave great thought to selecting those words as an appropriate description of his musings.

It was suggested that readers go back and read my negative attack columns. I hope they do and that they also read the drivel that precipitated them. It is indeed laughable to assert that a response to a scathing allegation is deemed an "attack." A "counter attack" is a more accurate definition. Is it possible that Siskel and Parsons view only their positions as responsible civic response and only opposing opinions as "attacks?" 

I was criticized by Siskel for not taking a position with him on an issue that was before the council as we spoke and for which I did not have adequate facts to appropriately respond. He may find this frustrating but taking positions on issues "off the cuff" without proper vetting may be his practice, it is not mine. 

I have never implied that our city is perfect and my perspectives on certain issues may differ from city practices. When these differences occur, my methodology is to use diplomatic methods to influence a more desirable outcome. This contrasts with the tactics used by those who seek instead to defame individual character and criticize virtually everything. We will see over time what NRH citizens see as the most acceptable approach. 
Ken Sapp
North Richland Hills
December 10, 2004 @ 6.20 pm
In Reference to the recent article Colleyville City Councilman Mark Skinner challenges Council member Elaine Dolan the following email was sent.

Dear Mr. Skinner: 

I would not normally send an email to you relative to an item such as the bond issue but after reading the exchange between you and councilwoman Dolan (no relative), I felt I should point out the fact that I am totally opposed to the bond issue and believe there are several issues surrounding this particular bond issue. 

First, I do not believe that the city council did even an average job of reviewing the city budget before approving it. There are monies allocated in the approved budget that should have been questioned long and hard before the budget was approved. 

Second, on the proposed bond issue, I am totally against spending a dime on burying power lines along Hwy 26/Colleyville Blvd. The fact that TXU, Verizon and any cable carrier have power lines above ground is reason enough to believe that the lines are doing their job. Buried cable is a nice touch but not a necessary expense. 

Third, Colleyville is a great community to live and work in and as a resident I am primarily concerned about the city and it's ability to provide the kinds of service the citizens have every right to expect from the city. Our roads definitely need some attention, several of us are still fighting the sanitary issues associated with failing septic tanks in periods of heavy rain. Many of the areas of the city need upgraded water lines and so it goes. Developing a constructive plan to upgrade and improve the infrastructure of our city and specifically our city services would be a far better use of the bond monies.

Forth, our police and fire personal do a wonderful job and are there whenever they are needed. I am not positive but I believe they haven't had a decent pay raise in 2 or 3 years. Entry level public servants in several other cities begin at a higher initial salary and I think we may be losing talent to these other cities. 

Finally, I am speaking out now as a private citizen even though I am currently a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. 


Thomas D. Dolan
December 10, 2004 2.05 pm

Having watched the video of Skinner berating Elaine Dolan at a recent CIP meeting, I would like to weigh in on the subject. Skinner can count on me as an opponent of the proposed bond issue.

I sincerely want to hear Skinners rational as to the affordability of burying power lines in front of The Villages and Town Center only, along with the landscaping combined at a bond issue cost of $16 mm. He should do the math and attempt to identify the cost of these projects on a per residence/commercial entity basis. Personally, I am not willing to spend my pro-rata share of between 2 and 3k for this undertaking, and I do not think the citizens will agree to do so either. Clearly Skinner doesn't understand the concept of fiduciary responsibility of an elected official.

Can anyone explain the benefits afforded Town Center, The Villages, or Colleyville citizens as a result of these projects? Will it attract more visitors to their centers? NO! Will it bring sales tax dollars to Colleyville? My answer again is a resounding NO. Will it be more aesthetically pleasing.... perhaps, but not to me! 

I suppose grass will need to be replanted after power line excavation and this task could be accomplished with a few hundred pounds of Bermuda seed for a few hundred bucks. That issue alone is for 3 mm to be spent on landscape. Ludicrous, and Mr. Skinner  should get his aspirations in concert with tax payers needs. 

Were it not for the expenses of the library, we would not need to float a bond for street repairs. This is a normal, reoccurring expense of any city and should be funded with revenue income from water/sewer utility, Ad Valorem taxes, and sales tax revenue. Unfortunately, those dollars are now being spent in support of an unaffordable library, thanks to Skinner and his former council cronies. 

A special thanks to Ms. Dolan for taking her elected position as a serious responsibility.
Dennis Johnson
December 10, 2004 11.14 am
Subject: Holiday Eating Tips 

Holiday Eating Tips
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.
Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly.
Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even
rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it.
That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone.
Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes.
Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother?
It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to
control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between
now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you
have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention.
They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost.
I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the
party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: 

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!" 

And oh, by the way Merry Christmas ! 

Morris Usry
December 10, 2004 11.11 am
Re: "Ron West BLOG by K. Sapp" 

I see Ken Sapp has done his usual level of "research" for his column.
"BLOG" is a shortened term of "Web Log", and is not a derogatory term.
Without going into the validity, or even lack of validity, of Ron West's
web site, it is NOT a BLOG.

Maybe it's time for LNO to consider renaming Sapp's column to the
"Here's To Those I Don't Like". Seriously, go back and look at the last
several columns. An attack against me, several attacks against Suzette
Christopher, and several attacks against Ron West. What do we all three
have in common? We all three belong to NRH Citizens, and we all three
are outspoken about how our city is being run.

Our mayor failed to file property taxes in NRH, and Sapp came to his
defense in a column, justifying it as being part of the way the company
does its books. Since then, the Mayor paid the taxes in NRH as required.
Nary a word from Mr. Sapp.

Our city is being sued in several for millions by different people for
different (alleged) offenses by city management. Not a peep from Sapp,
except against those that dare speak of it.

Our city was ruled to have illegally destroyed evidence in one of those
above described cases. Again, only a passing mention from Sapp as he
blasts a critic of the action.

A city councilman was responsible for a traffic fatality, and never even
received a traffic citation for it. Sapp remained silent on the matter.

Our city attorney was reported to have been sleeping during a council
meeting, and Sapp never writes a word about it.

Exactly who IS Ken Sapp writing for? Looks to me like his goal is to
attack those that dare speak up agains the existing city leaders. I
suspect we'll soon see what his "reward" is.

Herb Parson
North Richland Hills
December 10, 2004 5.42 am
Re: "Ron West BLOG by K. Sapp" 
These column replies being composed by Ken Sapp are amazingly devoid of substance. Sapp refers to blogs as though they are some kind of an odd incongruous creature. A blog is literally a web log -- an internet space to accommodate any thoughts one might wish to express in public.

Sapp speaks of fables, honesty, failures to correctly name literary creations, his own idiosyncratic definition of BLOG to ridicule West's writings, spewing vitriol, implied complaints filed with an ethics commission, and so on.

West has previously, openly detailed the ethics complaint about the election signs West paid for and put up by himself. But Sapp emits an accusation stream claiming slanderous and incorrect statements, defaming the honesty and intentions of people who disagree with West, how West's credibility has reduced his voice to a whisper in Grand Canyon, and so on. But Sapp never specifies what the slander, incorrect, defamations, 
reduced credibility, etc. of what?

What exactly is Sapp complaining about; what exactly are his allegations? Sapp provides almost no information about what West supposedly has done or written. Amazingly poetic rhetoric, but Sapp never describes what West has written that might substantiate the rhetoric. The charges are plentiful, but to what behavior by West or 
Lieber do they pertain?

Perhaps some suggestion of Sapp's thinking can be illustrated by a somewhat unrelated face to face conversation I once had with Sapp. He was unwilling to even express an opinion to me as to the legality of a city official amending (clarifying?) a city ordinance by simply adding the official's own private footnote to that ordinance; no discussion and 
no vote by the council -- the official just adds his own "clarification footnote" and publishes the ordinance. Does Ken Sapp really not even know the proper procedure for amending a city ordinance? He was unwilling to express an informal opinion. This kind of lapse is not very promising for an NRH city official. I suppose he proposes to serve on 
the city council sometime in the future. What dubious qualities will he add to his already flawed 'service' on our P&Z Commission -- just what NRH needs -- one who is not willing to understand the impropriety of such willy nilly personal, private amendments to city ordinances. I hope we will do better. Maybe I could drop by City Hall and write a few ordinances ....
The only way to make sure that city officials don't abuse their power is 
to not grant it to them in the first place.

Maury Siskel
North Richland Hills
December 9, 2004 8.46  pm
Colleyville City Councilman Mark Skinner challenges Council member Elaine Dolan

Mr. Skinner; cc: LNO

We are sending you this e-mail just so you know that there are people opposed to the bond issue. We are opposed to this foolish bond issue. We are particularly opposed to using our money to bury the assets of TXU. We give them enough money as it is.

Alice & Clif Holliday
December 9, 2004 7.12 pm

Congratulations on your award. I am pleased that law enforcement recognized the work you do and equally pleased they chose to publicly recognize LNO and you. Again, congratulations on a job well done. 
Tom Dolan
December 9, 2004 @ 4.27 pm

Thanks for the great Car Show and display area on Dec. 04. A good time was had by all. 

Morris Usry 
December 9, 2004 @ 9.56 am
Dear Editor,

In your December 09, 2004 article titled "Colleyville City Council jettisons Ethics Ordinance, puts out RFP for City Attorney" you used the an acronym, RFP. Can you tell me what RFP stands for and what it is.

Jim Sherrill
Editor:  RFP is an acronym for  Request For Proposal
December 8, 2004 @ 8.52 pm
Dear Editor,

A kinda' nice passing thought in the ongoing teapot of acrimony .... 
Thought you might like to just stick the quote in someplace where it 
might fit -- no need to attribute it to me -- just meant to be shared. 
Merry Christmas to you and your excellent staff.
Maury Siskel
North Richland Hills

"This is a wonderful, decent nation, brimming with millions of people 
who take people as they find them and do what is right because that is 
their character. Moreover, the United States is chock-a-block with
institutions, customs, and most of all families that encourage and 
foster good character as an end in itself." --Jonah Goldberg
Editor:  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
November 19, 2004
Dear Editor,
Who pulled the plug on last night's replay of the Colleyville City Council meeting? At 9:00 p.m., just when the the Council was going to discuss the $34 million bond package, the tape suddenly stopped. I hate to be paranoid but this was probably the only chance citizens could see this issue discussed in prime time. It is doubtful most people stayed up to watch the original proceeding on Tuesday which lasted to midnight. So most folks missed out on hearing how the Council called the approximate $14 million proposal to bury electric lines along Hwy 26 a utility line "relocation." And I guess the Council should also consider calling the resulting tax increase an "income reallocation." Finally, has anyone noticed what Colleyville business would be the biggest beneficiary of having utility lines buried along 26? That would be none other than Bluebonnet Hills. No disrespect intended but I suspect its customers do not really care whether utility lines are buried or not.

Keith Staudt
November 18, 2004 @7.44 pm
A reader writes;
isnt it illegal to put information about minors on your website? November 13, 2004
Colleyville Police Arrest Grapevine Youth for DUI and Drugs
Nathan Voss McCraney, 17, of 2416 Blair Court, Grapevine. Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Tobacco-minor, Driving Under the Influence, minor/alcohol. Offense Occurred at 7200 State Highway 26. Charged by Officer Bob Etheridge at 12:38 AM on 11/07/04. Bonded out on 11/09/04.

Editor's Note:  Regarding these type of convictions, 17 years old is the age that police release information, under 17 years old is considered a minor and redacted from reports.  LNO continues an aggressive campaign to report on drug or alcohol related offenses the occur locally.  We are aware of at least one case when the parents were unaware of the violation.  In any event, it is our hope that the exposure will give pause to youngsters, or adults for that matter, to think before they drive under the influence or participate in illegal drugs.
November 15, 2004 @10.32 am
This is an amazing story you have reported in LNO............ great coverage on this very serious matter. You seem to have uncovered a serious lack of adequate representation for the City of Colleyville. I think after 25 years as City Attorney, it is time for Ross Foster to be replaced as quickly as practicable.

Michael T. Muhm
November 8, 2004 @8.04am
I see where we have another business added to the ash heap of projects that wanted to do business in our fair city. 
I am sure Skinner, Ayers and Hart considered the tax loss when they voted to deny the Service Star Pecan Creek Project. 
All Service Star has to do now is move north a few yards and Grapevine will welcome them with open arms. 
Morris Usry 
November 6, 2004 @5.50pm
Please post this reply to the email to LNO on October 10, 2004 from Garland Moore--Dallas, TX. 
Mr. Moore, Plans are underway for a Colleyville book. This book will chronicle just such things as motorcycle racing at Ross Downs. Any information you, or others, can contribute to the history of Ross Downs will be greatly appreciated. Please send your information to as we hope to incorporate the many histories of Ross Downs in this upcoming book. For additional information call Lila Coley, 817-605-3205

Let our heritage not be lost...
Lila Coley
Colleyville, TX
November 5,  2004 @8.01 am
What happened to the Golf Course?
Almost 2 years ago, Colleyville's P&Z Commission approved Raman Chandler's
Town Home Development on McDowell School Road. A 9 hole golf course was
part of that approval and the developer had 2 years in which to construct
it. Can you advise the status of that golf course project? Thank you.
Jim Nadeau
Editor's Note:  The City Council approved Chandler's high density housing development with a promise by the developer to build a golf course, however did not require the developer to follow through, as noted in the following from Clayton Husband, City of Colleyville
The zoning case you refer to was approved in August 2001. The request changed the zoning to PUD-R for the Rosewood Villas project (called Westgate Villas at the time), and changed the remainder of the property to CC2 Shopping Center Commercial. There was discussion about building a golf course on the commercial portion of the site, but there is not a requirement in the ordinance that the golf course be constructed. Golf courses are allowed as uses by right in the CC2 district, so special approval is not required. No plans have been submitted for golf course construction on the site.
One can only conclude that the 2001 city council, with all five members allies of ex-Mayor Donna Arp, were "easily" persuaded by their mutual friend Mr. Chandler to believe he would build a golf course, therefore offsetting the highest density development approved in the history of the city..
November 2, 2004 @ 10.24 a.m.
I want your job.

Stan Cook

Editor's Note: You  Probably don't Stan, this was a once in a lifetime fluke!
October 31, 2004 @8.27 pm
North Richland Hills RV ordinance
"Is there a height restriction for trailers and RV's in your own drive way or is it only the 9'5" back from inside your curb restriction that indicates whether or not you can keep your RV or trailer in your own drive? 
John Burross
North Richland Hills
Editor's Note: 7" height restriction only applies when the vehicle is parked within 9 1/2 feet of the curb. Complete details of the ordinance can be obtained from Joann Stout at the city of NRH, 817-427-6000.
October 31, 2004 @8.17 pm
Dear Mr. Tibodoe:
In regards to the Ethic commission article, a correction needs to be made...
My last name is spelled LISLE.
Tom Lisle
Editor's Note:  apparently we spelled it phonetically one time in the article, kinda like Thibodeaux!
October 23, 2004 @7.48 p.m.
Thanks very much for your fine news site.

Maury Siskel
North Richland Hills
October 23, 2004 @7.48 p.m.
Thanks very much for your fine news site.

Maury Siskel
North Richland Hills
October 22, 2004 @ 2.42 p.m.
Can you please post where and when early voting and regular voting is for 
Colleyville, Southlake, and surrounding areas. 

Thank You.

Editor's Note:  Here you go..Click Here.
October 22, 2004 @ 2.12 p.m.
LNO has been a great source of information with the recent crime spree in Colleyville and some of our surrounding cities. Initially upon seeing the BULLETIN heading this afternoon I was hopeful that there had been a development in this story that has left our city feeling vulnerable. Instead I found my hope dashed by the following statement “Another tragic teen suicide in Colleyville this morning”. Quickly following my disappointment was a sense of grief for this family that is now confronted with the sudden loss of their child. The magnitude of their bereavement is something I cannot comprehend. What I do feel is the regret that such tragic information was blasted to the LNO subscribers. I have tried to understand the thought process behind this and regrettably only see this as a bad judgment that risks exploiting the suffering this family is now faced with. Our city has seen suicide impact too many families in 2004. In the future perhaps LNO would consider sticking with the informative approach that is more helpful and hopeful. I respectfully ask you to please reconsider future sensational stories that primarily stand to exploit a family tragedy.

Elizabeth Mattson
Colleyville Texas
Editor's Note:
Sometimes the news is tragic, therefore it may not always be considered "hopeful."  We strive to report the news not "sensational stories," and it certainly does not rise to the level of "exploiting the suffering" of the family.  To not report would simply leave open rumors and speculation. We agree that there has been too many families touched by this type of tragedy.  However, ignoring the fact is not likely helpful to anyone.   Hopefully, the news of such a sad event will have families talking about healing and how to help others. 
October 22, 2004 @ 8.41 a.m.
We too have the 'Phantom" tradition in our neighborhood, but we've decided to also write on the note for parents to please give the home you're spooking a courtesy call before ringing the doorbell or deliver in the daylight hours.

Hope this is helpful, as this tradition is great fun for the kids..

Lisa Bernardo
Caldwell's Creek
October 21, 2004 @ 7.07 p.m.

You guys are awesome!! We don’t subscribe to the newspaper because we don’t have time to read it. Thanks to you guys we have been keeping up on the home invasions.


Debbie Hedges
October 21, 2004 @ 1.34 p.m.
Well, I had the same experience as Mr. Willis last night. Someone rang the doorbell and I called 911 before opening the door only to find a nicely wrapped bag of treats for my children on my doorstep. At first, I was extremely 
embarrassed ...wasting the time of our limited number of police officers in order to safely retrieve this bag of goodies. But then I was reassured by the officer that it was okay to be leery,cautious, borderline cowardly. Until these criminals are apprehended, I will be on guard, living the life of a combination 
Paranoia Polly & Gladys Cravats in my nice neighborhood. 

I look to LNO for local updates and think you have done a fabulous job -- (I don't have to wait until the mail delivers the Colleyville newspaper on Friday) .....keep up the great work! thank you.

Debi Vandiver
October 21, 2004 @8:59 a.m.
I just wanted to say thanks for the updates on these thieves.

Someone rang our doorbell tonight, we could see no one at the door, and we
called 911. We did not answer the door until the courteous Colleyville
police officer arrived. At this time, we confirmed what wife suspected, and
I had not even considered.

There is a tradition in our neighborhood (Pebble Hill) where kids (we have
two) leave candy at the front door of a friend, ring the doorbell, and then
run off before the door is answered. A letter is included which explains
that you have been 'booed', and you should pick two friends to likewise
'boo' with candy within one day (like a chain letter, except you are
delivering the payoff - candy - in advance). We have always participated in
this in previous years, and it is great fun for the kids. Once you have
been 'booed', you display a sign 'We've been booed' so kids know not to boo
you again - but they do it anyway to their friends. So our doorbell is
constantly ringing during Halloween, with no one at the door.

Given the situation you have reported with the thieves, this 'boo candy'
tradition has taken on an unexpected danger this year, and we will not be
'passing this on' as we have in previous years. While this is a fun
tradition and the intentions are good, this game could not only expose us or
our neighbors to danger, but it also diverts our police department from
finding the burglars.

Randy Willis
Subject: FW: Butterfly Flutterby 04
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 2004 14:35:34 -0700 (PDT)

Where can we see a list of winners and photos from yesterday's event?
Click Here
October 18, 2004 @6.23 p.m.
Copyright Law and “Fair Use” Exceptions or Eminent Domain – What is the REAL issue?

It seems that Suzette Christopher and others may be hitting a nerve whenever this topic is brought up and senior NRH City Council members try to divert the attention of “the little people” to something for which they believe we should have more outrage. I believe her first article could fall under “fair use” as per West’s Business Law text, Ninth Edition (2005), page 146, under the section captioned “Further Developments in Copyright Law” and further explained at

Is the question, did the use of portions of Robert Hellem’s 1988 article on Eminent Domain by Suzette Christopher constitute a breach of copyright laws or was it an honest use of the “fair use” exception? I believe “fair use” could be applied, in my layman’s opinion.

But honestly, the REAL question is regarding the use of EMINENT DOMAIN by municipalities for the promotion of private use ownership for monetary gain by the private owner and/or the municipality. Monetary gain -- for the private owner in income, return on investment, etc and the municipality resulting from any sales tax, property tax, or other fees. The text cited above defines eminent domain as, “The power of a government to take land for public use from private citizens for just compensation.” On page 914, it continues to read, “Property may be taken only for public use, not for private benefit. For example, when a new public highway is to be built, the government decides where to build it and how much land to condemn.” 

I agree with the valid uses for eminent domain, such as the widening of 820. But I sure am glad I don’t live within spitting distance of an expanded Loop 820 or other property these council members and/or private developers feel would benefit them more than my family occupying our small home. Regarding the case of Southwestern Illinois Development Authority v. National City Environmental, L.L.C., where a taking of additional land to expand parking for a racetrack in Illinois was attempted through eminent domain, the above referenced text further states on page 917, “The owner of the adjacent property challenged the taking, contending that it was for private, not public use. Ultimately, the Illinois Supreme Court sided with the property owner. According to the court, the power of eminent domain is to be ‘exercised with restraint, not abandon,’ and it was a ‘violation of the constitutional public use limitation for a government agency to take unoffending property in order to convey it for the expansion of parking of another private business.’ Other courts in the early 2000’s have reached similar conclusions in cases involving takings for purposes that are not clearly in public interest.”

With comments such as those recently made by Councilman John Lewis and others of his opinion, I think citizens of NRH may have another issue looming on the horizon that goes far beyond what can be parked in one’s driveway or whether there should be a senior/disabled tax freeze. We must be careful that our attention is not redirected.

Gini Parsons
North Richland Hills, TX
October 18, 2004 @ 2.40 p.m.

Your October 18 column about a potential big tax increase should be a wake-up call to everyone in Colleyville. Your points about squandering our TIFF money, wasting thousands on wildflowers and spending millions to bury electric lines along HWY 26 raise serious questions and you are doing the citizens a great service by bringing them up. In fact, it reminds me of what Harry Truman once said when reminiscing about his 1948 Presidential campaign and the "give 'em hell Harry" slogan. Truman's response to the slogan was this, "they wanted me to give 'em hell but I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."

Keith Staudt
October 18, 2004 @9.58 p.m.
Regarding L Bernardo's email dated 10-10, any chance LNO can do a follow up to determine what the actual usage of Webb House has been? I agree with the email that in the time it has been open, there has been minimal use of the facility. Just curious.


Thomas Cicherski
Editor's Note:  I have asked the City Manager and the Chairman of the Historical Preservation Committee for comments.  The Historical Committee has requested to be placed on the agenda approval to designate Bransford Park with the Webb House a Historical Park, therefore allowing the Historical group to have additional authority over the plans and utilization.  The lack of use of the Webb House was recently a topic at the Historical Committee meeting.
October 13, 2004
Ref:  Three Families Robbed in Colleyville
Well, that puts an end to the evening walks!

Holly Newsom Bush  
October 10, 2004 @ 2:54 p.m.
Can someone please tell me why in the world would we want to spend one more dime at the Webb House? They've already spent $400,000 that's right--$400,000.00 of our money to renovate the historical site. I have only seen one group of people there on one evening. I'm all for saving history, but at what price? I would like a little justification of it's purpose and uses and what did the city gain in return of spending $400,000.00? What does the city do with this site anyway? Was it another of an insider's pet project? 

The last time I looked, wildflowers come back every year--so why the expense of $5,000.00 to seed? I'm sure that we can do better with donation packets available for purchase by citizens at local nurseries and then spread them and let them multiply over time. Our Camp Fire Girls group did this when I was young at the area camp with bluebonnetts. Didn't cost very much to do it that way. Enough of the Chamber--they should be held accountable for every dime that they've requested from the city in the past and going forward.

Thanks for keeping the city informed on all the stories that confront Colleywood. 
L Bernardo, Colleyville resident
October 10, 2004 @ 2:47 pm.
This morning over my coffee and perusing thru my old motorcycle magazines, an article about Ross Downs found it's way under my eyes. I plugged Ross Downs racetrack into my search engine and found the article about the old horse racing track. The old quarter mile short track build at Ross Downs for motorcycle racing found some of greatest motorcycle racers in history graceing it's surface. I can remember Friday nights at the track watching my friends race. the track holds a history that should not have been overlooked in the article. Professional racers from all over the country came to race on the "fastest" short track in the United States. Just ask Mike Kidd and Brian Patrick, Tommy Blue, Teddy and Terry Poovey and many other local racers who participated. I wanted to bring this to your attention. Many of the young men who raced at Ross Downs went on to have great careers in motorsports.

Thank you and Best Regards, Garland Moore--Dallas, TX
October 3, 2004 @ 10:55 a.m.
In reference to the question by NRH citizen John Burross, shown below:

There has been no talk of removing the present Tax Exemption level for Seniors or Disabled and I would not support such a direction. The ordinance is not confusing and although there are some Grandfathering aspects of the ordinance, basically if you are not parked in the 9.5 foot area with anything taller than 7 foot, you will be ok. You can call City Hall and talk to Jo Ann Stout and she would be more than happy to go over their specific question.
Mayor Oscar Trevino
North Richland Hills 
October 3, 2004 @ 10:55 a.m.
In reference to the question by NRH citizen John Burross, shown below:

There has been no talk of removing the present Tax Exemption level for Seniors or Disabled and I would not support such a direction. The ordinance is not confusing and although there are some Grandfathering aspects of the ordinance, basically if you are not parked in the 9.5 foot area with anything taller than 7 foot, you will be ok. You can call City Hall and talk to Jo Ann Stout and she would be more than happy to go over their specific question.
Mayor Oscar Trevino
North Richland Hills 
October 3, 2004 @ 10:09 a.m.
In reference to the question by NRH citizen John Burross, shown below:

These are my thoughts, and how I intend to vote:

The seniors and disabled should not lose their current exemptions, and the exemptions should be carried forward into the future. In other words, there is currently a 15% homestead exemption and $36,000 senior/disabled exemption. From now until forever, these amounts should not be reduced.

In regards to the parking ordinance:
Yes. Here's how it breaks down. Except for the distance from the curb, if it was legal before, it's still legal. So, if a homeowner had a camping trailer and a jet ski in their driveway, and both are more than 9 1/2 feet from the curb, they can keep it that way. If they sell the house, the new owner, however, would have to choose to keep either the jet ski or the camper in the driveway. (One RV in front of building line.)

Please let me know if you need more information.

Nancy Bielik
NRH City Council
October 2, 2004 @ 9:14 a.m.
The tax freeze passed in the NRH voting. Will the city now remove the senior citizen/disabled tax break off their taxes? 

Also, the parking ordinance is kind of confusing....Can citizens keep their own trailers of any kind in their own driveways as long as they comply with the distance from the curb?
John Burross
September 30, 2004 @ 2:14 p.m.

Thank you very much for running the story about Crown of Life Lutheran Church's Friends and Family Day. It was a great success - we had an estimated 742 folks show up along with a live broadcast from KLTY and even the KLIF van was there handing out voters registrations. We appreciate
the fact that you were able to get the word out, many people mentioned your site specifically. Thanks again,
Roger Wallace
September 28, 2004 @ 9:48 a.m.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to run the ad for Peanut. As of last
evening, she has been adopted by a wonderful lady who found her in your
on-line news! She fell in love with Peanut at first sight & Peanut loved
her too!

I am a daily/avid reader and will continue to tell my friends and co-workers
about LNO!!!!

Thank you again!

Pam Misialek
September 27, 2004 @ 6:31 a.m.
Thanks for the nice mention in LNO, Nelson! I appreciate it...I'll be out there in Southlake for the wiener dog races Saturday.... hopefully NOT in any rain! Rebecca Miller NBC 5
Editor Note:  Rebecca will be at the Southlake Town Center for the 11:30 am scheduled race.
September 21, 2004 @ 11:37 a.m.
Southlake Mayor Andy Wambsganss comments on LNO's new video presentations.

I pulled up the video from your site--  it is great.  Thanks for providing this special and unique service to our area.  Take care--

 Andy Wambsganss.
September 16, 2004 @ 9:36 a.m.

Dear Editor:
Thank you so very much. Words cannot express our appreciation.
Billye Westin-Flores

Editor's note:  LNO put the author of the email below in touch with a number of options.
October 3, 2004 @ 4:04 pm

Thanks for the great article and explanation about the Pecan Creek development at John McCain and Hwy 26. The other objection that keeps coming up about the project [again courtesy of Dana Feldman] is environmental concerns. In light of these concerns, I did some research which is presented below. Thought you might want to share it with your readers.

Keith Staudt
7208 belle Meade

Re: Environmental Impact of Proposed Shell Station at McCain and 26

Several citizens have raised questions regarding the environmental impact of the Pecan Creek gas station and its proximity to Bear Creek. Similar questions were raised with Service Star this summer and they responded that all layers of state and federal regulations are scrupulously complied with as the last thing a major company such as Shell wants is an environmental mess. I understand their motivation to be a good corporate citizen in this regard; however, I wanted to independently verify with outside sources if any unique problems were apparent when underground petroleum tanks are installed near a creek or other water source. Here is what I found out.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality [TCEQ] has regulatory authority in Texas for everything connected with the installation, monitoring and removal of underground petroleum tanks [UPT]. TCEQ regulates and licenses [and has authority over] contractors who must be approved by TCEQ inorder to install and remove the tanks. TCEQ also has the authority to fine and penalize companies and individuals for non-compliance and other violations of its rules. You can visit TCEQ at It has a very comprehensive website. 

I spoke with Rashonda Mayes, an Environmental Investigator with TCEQ, and this is what she told me. The focus of TCEQ with underground tanks is a five point program: corrosion protection, release detection, spill and overfill prevention, financial assurance and self-certification. She explained what that means as follows.

1. Corrosion Protection. The concern here is that the underground tanks are not subject to corrosion as this is the greatest source of leakage from UPT. According to Ms Mayes, older tanks are generally constructed of steel which has been shown to corrode over time. Newer tanks are constructed of fiberglass which does not have the same susceptibility for corrosion. In fact, there has not been a single case of a fiberglass tank leaking due to corrosion.

2. Release Detection. All tanks have a self-monitoring sytem that should detect any variances [thus,detect a leak] on a daily basis. Using the data from the daily monitoring, the stations must provide TCEQ with monthly reports attesting to no leaks being detected.

3. Spill and Overfill Prevention. The concern here is to make sure that when filling the tanks, adequate safeguards exist to prevent spillage. Thus, the UPT installers need to utilize "spill buckets" or over-fill systems to prevent environmental problems when tank trucks refill the underground tanks.

4. Financial assurance. Any entity that owns a gas station needs to maintain $1 million in liability coverage just in case a problem occurs. In certain cases, entities can avoid the liabilty coverage if they can establish a significant financial reserve in excess of the afore-mentioned coverage.

5. Self-certification. Every gas station must go through a certification process every year in order to be eligible to continue to receive and sale gasoline. The certification process goes through the TCEQ. The contractors that install the tanks must also continually go through a recertification process.

I specifically asked Ms. Mayes if any specific regulations or procedures needed to be followed when UPT were installed near a creek or other water source. She replied that no such special rules applied or existed and that they would follow the normal rules which are designed to prevent leaks and spills in any situation. She did mention, however, that secondary containment systems have been installed when some of the older UBT were placed in proximity to a major acquifer. The decision to do a secondary containment system would be up to the contractor. She also mentioned that some companies now routinely install secondary containment systems in any event.

I also discussed the issue of installing a UPT near a creek bed with a contractor licensed with TCEQ. He replied that if something were out of the ordinary due to to the creek and soil bed, he would hire a licensed structural engineer to make a report that would be forwarded to the TCEQ. However, he had never had any situatuion that had ever caused that to occur.

Both the contractor and Ms Mayes agreed that the the major oil companies are best in terms of compliance with all TCEQ regulations. They all agree that the bad press and clean-up is so expensive that it is clearly understood by the majors that prevention and compliance is by far the best [and least expensive] alternative. 

I hope this information will be helpful to all the people who have raised questions concerning the proposed Shell station at John McCain and Highway 26. 

Keith Staudt
September 14, 2004 @ 8:22 a.m.

I am writing regarding my grandson, Gary Wayne Davis, Jr., who has a longstanding history of treatment at Cook's Children's Hospital in Fort Worth. He was born January 16, 1979 and had to be rushed to Ft Worth from his hometown of Mineral Wells to the Neonatal ICU there in Fort Worth under the treatment of Dr. Hudson Allender, who now is working in the CICU there as a pediatric cardiac intensivist. When Gary Wayne ("Wayne") was born, Dr. Allender was in private practice and attended him in the ICU and for many years thereafter.

The primary reason for my writing is to try to inquire if there are any physicians who specialize in the treatment and care of congenital heart disease in "adult children", a relatively new demographic group of patients.

Wayne was born with Tetraology of Fallot with its many inherent complications. At his "adult" age he is still being treated by a pediatrician there in Ft Worth, a Dr. Lai and when in the hospital from time to time another heart surgeon is consulted. 

Do you know of any treatment facilities, support groups, practitioners etc., in the Ft Worth Area who deal with these "adult children" with congenital heart disease. 

It has been prayer and medical science, along with expertise in the practice of medicine that have kept Wayne alive. His quality of life is poor from that standpoint of his stamina, his developmental delay and inability to attend school as a mainstream student. He did "graduate" high school with most of his classes being taught by a tutor who would visit the home there in Mineral Wells. This was mostly for his "self-esteem" and of little-to-no value in the full quality of life or in the field of gainful employment. 

Wayne wants to work and has frustrations when he tries and cannot. Also, there is a great stigma attached (and understandably so in view of liability issues) with these children. Each one really needs to be analyzed on a case by case basis and not in generalities. The SSA doesn't know what to do with him in terms of supporting him. He was on SSI until the magic "adult age of 18" and now has no financial or medical support.

His family are on poverty-level wages and cannot afford to give Wayne the things he desparately needs. He is still being seen, however, by physicians and has scheduled check-ups. I and my family get the feeling that Dr. Lai is put in an awkward position and is at a loss in what to do with Wayne. I have no idea how many others are in Dr. Lai's care that would be comparable to Wayne. 

Please feel free to share this message with any and all others who may be able to render some assistance with our dilemma. This child has lived to be 25 for a reason, and we're so happy for that. But, we'd like to see him get the finest available care and resource assistance that is due him and children in his demographic age group.

In general, it seems to me that these children who have lived to and through adolescence are in a difficult situation in finding the right specialists and specialty healthcare facilities peculiar to their situations.

Any advise you can give us will be so much appreciated. Thanks for indulging me in this lengthy e mail inquiry. This is a very emotional to me and his mother especially.

God bless,

Billye Westin-Flores, grandmother 
Editor's Note:  Viewers with information can respond to: for forwarding.
August 13, 2004 @ 8:54 pm
This is an open request from any viewer, the posting is from a long-term reader of LNO and an avid historian and genealogist.

Dear Editor:

Do you have any old-time photographs of a lady wearing a white ribbon on her blouse?

The chances are that she was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. The WCTU was founded in1874, and the white ribbons were popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In later years the ribbons were replaced with a pin that was a replicate of the white bow. For more information on the organization and its members, contact the Frances E. Willard Library at WCTU headquarters, 1730 Chicago Ave., Evanston IL 60201.

T.G. Van Camp
Colorado Springs, Colorado

August 4, 2004 @ 8:54 pm

Thank you so very much for the coverage of today's New Teachers'
Luncheon hosted by the Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation. 
Your efforts to publicize our community's unified support of
education in the GCISD are very much appreciated.

Janice Kane, Executive Director
Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation
August 2, 2004 @ 9:30 am
RE: Colleyville Tennis Courts.

The tennis courts were paid for with Colleyville taxpayers' money, that would most definitely include my tax dollars,   I have every right to expect to walk up and get a tennis court IF the alternative is allowing one non-resident virtual total control of 5 out of 6 tennis courts in the name of a tennis program.  The same "pro" also was paid a commission of more than $4,500 in June for booking lessons on the courts.

The recent Email to the Editor stating that "I would imagine that he reserves his courts just like everyone else" is way off base.  In fact, the "Pro" doesn't reserve courts, he has access to 5 out of 6 to hold lessons for individuals and receives a 95% commission of the funds paid.  Since the city is subsidizing the lessons for her son, I can see why the writer would think $20,000 (and control of the city's courts) is a fair price to pay. 

The scale has been unbalanced in Colleyville for years in favor of organized sports versus the ability of citizens simply to enjoy the open use of their parks.  This has been necessary because of the lack of facilities and the large amount of recreational participants, understandable.  That is NOT the case with our tennis courts.  Council should take steps to keep at least this one park asset from being dominated by some organized effort, where additional monies are paid, in lieu of allowing a rational open use by citizens.

A summer tennis program for children should be structured during times and at an amount as not to monopolize the use to the detriment of citizens at large.  Since LifeTime Fitness in November with a large number of tennis courts, it would seem that private lessons could be paid by private citizens at that facility and allow citizens to use their own courts.

Jamie Thibodeaux

July 31, 2004 @ 9:52 am

Thank you so much. It is exactly what I was looking for. Maybe it will help refine my search.
Please accept my thanks once again.
Doris L. Gracia wrote:

This appears your stepmother's information.

Lyons Betty Estelle 06-26-1986 TARRANT

July 30, 2004 @ 7:33 am

In 1985 or 1986 my stepmother was killed in a horrible car accident. 
Since then, I have wanted to visit her gravesite at Bluebonnet Hills 
Memorial Park. I have researched their website and nothing comes up with 
her name. I was only fifteen or sixteen at the time, so I really don't 
know if she went by another name. She was a real estate lady, her name 
was Betty Robson Lyons ( I thought). She was killed by a hit and run. I 
think in February 1985 or 1986. She had two daughters, one still 
attended at Grapevine High School. Her name was Christy Robson. Is there 
a website or archives of your paper that has Obituaries from that year. 

Thank you for your effort.
Doris L. Gracia

Editor's Note: Thanks to Colleyville Councilman Tom Hart for his assistance in helping this viewer.
July 30, 2004 @ 8:29 am

I want to speak up in support of Dusty and the use of the tennis courts. A few years ago, my son took group tennis lessons with Dusty. My son is not a sports lover and would rather sit and play video games. However, Dusty has the ability to engage the kids and keep their interest while teaching them the skills for Tennis. A couple of times someone would substitute for Dusty and it just wasn’t the same. My son would lose interest during the lesson and I would have to urge him on. 

Since there is a reservation policy in place for the tennis courts, it seems unreasonable for someone to expect to walk up and get a court. Since there are few courts in Colleyville and we do have an excellent Tennis program, it’s understandable that the courts would be hard to come by. 

Dusty is a valuable asset to our youth in Colleyville. I was glad to see that they offered him a contract to continue teaching in Colleyville. I would much rather have our kids working out with Dusty than sitting in front of the TV. I would imagine that he reserves his courts just like everyone else and that’s the fees that you see paid to Colleyville. In exchange, Colleyville gets to advertise an excellent Tennis program for group and private lesson for their parks department without spending $20,000 to keep tennis pro on staff. Seems like a good plan to me. 

Delanie Alcorn-Jones
July 28, 2004 @ 8:32 am

I was quite surprised after reading the article on the tennis courts that the city was in the business of providing the facilities for personal gain to selected individuals. Doesn't seem to make too much sense that citizen tennis players have a difficult (at best) time of being able to play on a city court. I always believed that city funded facilities were for the benefit and use of its citizens, not those who had to pay a third party for the privilege of being able to make use of them (i.e. through lessons, associations, etc). 

Maybe now we can look forward to Jerry Jones refocusing his search for a new Cowboy stadium from Arlington to Colleyville!!

Michael T. Muhm
Colleyville, TX
July 27, 2004 @ 10:22 pm

I am just curious. I just read your article about the tennis courts in Colleyville and I am a little confused. In order to reserve a court, aren't you supposed to pay $2 per player at the Parks office to guarantee your time to reserve a court. When you pay to reserve a court, you are given a piece of paper that has the court number, date and time of reservation and if anyone is on the court, they would have to leave. By reserving a court, you would know that there is actually one available to use. I have done this only once in the past and am not sure that this policy still exists. It seems to me that the instructors should be paying that same fee to the city. This would reserve the court for their use whether it be lessons or for personal play. (I think that the fee is 2.50 if you are a non-resident.)

I would love to know if reserving the court for $2 is still the policy. 

Editor's Note:  The Summer Park's brochure states that residents of Colleyville may make a court reservation for $2 per person per 1.5 hour session per court non-residents $4 with same provisions.  However, reservations are subject to availability and the brochure also states that "city tennis programs receive priority over public play."  The Tennis Pro's contract allows him to utilize 5 out of the 6 courts for lessons etc.  There is nothing on the courts to indicate that the has been reserved by any party.
July 27, 2004 @ 8:40 am

I say leave the rooster alone, we have loved hearing him crow for many years. He also crows at daybreak. Guess the female at 5616 Bransford Rd is not awake to hear that. 

Brings back great memories of my childhood and being at my grandmothers farm in TN.

Also let the developer build his development. It could be called "Roosters Roost".
Lila Coley
just off Bransford Rd.
July 23, 2004 @ 5:00 am

RE: Mircea Volosen
"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men.
We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

-Immanuel Kant-

The quote speaks for itself.

Thank you.

Christine Cattell
Plano, Texas
July 22, 2004 @ 11:01 am
Dear Editor,

"School Superintendents Paid to Hobnob With Vendors" is the frontpage headline of a Dallas Morning News article (July 18, 2004). The article focuses on conflict of interest and lack of oversight in public education.

It's curious how one competitor newspaper substantiates the value and insight of another's staff. Fort Worth Star Telegram columnist Dave Lieber broke this story months ago when writing about a school board trustee who was criticized for asking tough questions. The updated article builds on Lieber's work, describing a national problem with references to local school district superintendents including Grapevine Colleyville, Northwest, Plano, Dallas and Carrollton.

Why the Star Telegram and local media didn't continue timely coverage and research on this issue is mystifying. Later than expected, the Morning News article is appreciated. Bottom line, we must ask legislators for stronger ethical guidelines and laws -- to ensure financial accountability from school leaders who manage million/billion dollar budgets annually. 

Bill Barzelay
4508 Alexandra Drive
Colleyville, TX 76034 
July 20, 2004 @ 10:33 am

I just wanted to thank you for including the press release about Colleyville Public Library's closing celebration in today's news. I truly appreciate your support of our community.

Carol Wollin
July 16, 5:05 PM

My friend wants to receive LNO. Will you please add her address to your list? Please add:

I am pleased to be able to read and know what is going on in my area.

Thank you.
Mary Coe
Editor's Note:  Your friend has been added.  To subscribe, a viewer can simply go to the opening page of or http:/
/ , put a valid email address in the space provided and then click on read news.  As set out on this page, this automatically adds one to the opt'd in list for future headline alerts. 
July 13, 2004 @4:41 PM

Dear Editor,

Justice has been served by the conviction of Dr. Volosen although I
do not feel that it warrants spending time in jail. We all love our pets and
they are part of our family. Whatever caused the doctor, especially a vet
to do the heinous crime is unimaginable, but it happened.

How about community service hours at the local humane society where
instead of being a ward of the state and a liability, he becomes an asset to
the community and allows him to start to feel good about himself again.

Everyone deserves a second chance.!!!!

From a lover of all pets, 
July 13, 2004
The following email printed by permission of the sender, Captain Lauren Dowless sent to Lila Coley of Colleyville concerning the July 3rd Parade.
Congratulations!  Thank you for inviting me. I had a good time and it was nice to see a community come together to celebrate our country and our military. I love the USA. Many people will never realize what a great place we live in until it is gone. Can you please send the picture again. It did not come through. Thanks again Lila. Hope I can be of assistance to you again in the future. 
Respectfully, CPT Dowless

Capt. Dowless represented the Army on the float and can be seen behind the flags.
July 8, 2004 @ 7:30 am
The events of July 03 in Colleyville including the car show were a lot of fun and we all look forward to next year. Plus you fed us twice !

The food was great. Thanks for your effort . 

Regarding the car show photos, under Usry Morris ( ? ) the car is listed as a 1955 Plymouth. Please change to read as a 1949 Ford and Morris Usry. Thanks for posting the photos. 

Thanks again, it was a blast. 
Morris Usry 
Editor's Note:  Sorry about the mix up, fixed it on the cars page.  Enjoyed all the car show participants that brought out their works of art on a hot day.  Remember, plans are to do it again during Celebrate Colleyville on December 4th. 
July 7, 2004 @ 9:03 am
Thanks for all of your efforts in making Saturday a great day for our citizens & our city!

Mayor Joe Hocutt

Mayor Joe Hocutt, (center) and the City Council rode in the July 3rd parade.
July 6, 2004 @ 10:37 pm
Do you have any information regarding the adoption of these horses? I
would like to contact the agency handling them and perhaps adopt one. 

Jamie Burton
Editor's note: According to Ashleigh Douglas of the Southlake Police Department,
The horses have been placed in the custody of the Humane Society of North Texas (as per the municipal court order). The Human Society should be able to assist anyone with inquiries regarding criteria for adoption. 
June 29, 2004 @ 5:17 pm
What happened to the appeal of Karen Lucchesi? 

A Brown

Editor's note:  You ask and we deliver.  Check out the new article of Lucchesi,
Click Here.
June 24, 2004 @ 1:31pm

Just some advice. You stated that the upcoming tennis tourney you have in Southlake "attracts players ranked between 100 and 300". No player ranked in the 100's in their right mind would go to that tournament with a prize of 10k. That's $1,300 to the winner. More like 300 to 1000 rankings. You are a newspaper that should correctly research and print news, not just throw out numbers to make your little town look good.

Editor's Note:  Well alrighty then!  The information came from City of Southlake.  LNO has forwarded your observations and requested their comments.
June 3, 2004 @ 8:49 a.m.
From your story on LNO today: 

Tigue pointed out that she was "sorry for the personal attack
politics in Colleyville and that it was not good for the city." 
Tigue's spouse, Joe Tigue, later told LNO that, "I am glad that Ginny
is no longer serving on city council, I mean we have Skinner, Hocutt
and the Clampetts."

Well, at least we don't have to listen to "Joe Greed" and wife
anymore. Looks like Ginny should talk to Him about personal attacks,
huh. She must be pretty sorry about him!! 

Glen Lavender
May 23, 3004 @ 5:34 p.m.

I read your response (and the Courier's version of reality) regarding
the unnecessary lambasting you received from the Courier. Sour
grapes and yellow journalism are much too nice of terms for that
article. Like the Courier is a solid news organization. It ain't
the New York Times........... well maybe it is after all............ 

I very much appreciate the alternate news and views you espouse. 
Your clarity is welcome, particularity when I want to get the "rest
of the story" as Paul Harvey sez.

Keep it up!!

Michael T. Muhm, Colleyville
May 23, 2004 @ 1:06 p.m.
Letter to the Editor:
I've lived in Colleyville over 20 years.   During the past 5 or 6 years it seems that local politics has gotten out of control and has been taken over by a small group of self-serving individuals.  I'm delighted your paper is representing my interests on a very fair and objective basis.  We can not afford to have our local community politics controlled by a small group of this nature.  I've read both of the
Colleyville newspapers as you referenced in today's issue.  I appreciate
your honest perspective.
Please continue to represent the interests of those residents that
aren't part of the "In-Crowd"!
Dan McMahon
May 23, 2004 @ 1:05 p.m.

Dale Robertson

Movie and TV star, WWII Veteran, cousin of Editor's wife!

I was casting about for further info on Dale Robertson. I had heard a while back that he was on Gen. Geo. S. Patton, Jr's staff in WWII. Somewhere I found an email address of Mr. Robertson's and inquired about this rumor. He was gracious enough to answer, saying that he was not on Patton's staff, but was in the Engineers who led the way for Patton!!! I wonder if Mr. Robertson would mind me communicating with him again? Is he still well enough to do this? I would not want to impose.

Thank You,

James Boatwright
Selma, Alabama 36701
Editor's Note:  Dale has retired and no longer is involved with the Little Known Facts Radio and Newspaper syndicated programming.  Your inquiry has been sent to Dale.  Side Note:  Dale Robertson is the cousin of this Editor's wife Jamie.
May 21, 2004 @4:32 p.m.
A special thanks to Nelson T. and all the staff for keeping us informed of
actions within the local city hall and city council. Keep up the good work.
We support your efforts in keeping the facts before the public.

John Gaston
May 21, 2004 @ 4:10 p.m.
Please remove me from your mailing list.

Anyone But Bush 2004

Debbie Young
May 21, 2004 @ 3:00 p.m.
I have followed your LNO articles and I want you to know that I appreciate being informed about my city. For the first time my wife and I felt informed about the candidates. Apparently others were also. I now feel that the citizens are beginning to regain control over the city.

Thanks for your continued service to our community.

J.C. Bullard
Colleyville, Tx
May 20, 2004 @4:31 p.m.
I was alerted to this morning's article in the Northeast edition,
"Colleyville trims it's wish list for possible bond vote" and read it on
your Internet site.

I had to read this article on your Internet site because my wife Linda
cancelled our subscription to your paper. The e-mail below that I sent to
Dave Lieber last night is the last of several we have exchanged about why
Linda cancelled our subscription. The article referenced above is a perfect
example of what I was talking about in my exchange with Dave. It represents
how the Star Telegram does a disservice to the citizens of Colleyville by
writing in a way that adds to the existing political divisiveness by not
presenting all the facts.

A major campaign issue in the recent Colleyville election was the
consideration of a possible 40% tax increase over five years. This mornings
article by Ellen Schroeder has an incorrect statement, or at a minimum a
misrepresentation of the facts, that will only confuse citizens and be used
as political fodder to create an even more divisive environment. Both of
these are BAD for Colleyville.

Mrs. Schroeder states in her article:

"The city staff estimated that a 3.5% percent tax-rate increase would pay
for almost $16.9 million in capital projects, while a 7 percent tax rate
increase would pay for about $40.9 million in projects."

The city staff has presented charts and tables that show it will take a tax
rate increase from $.3474 in 2004 to $.4126 in 2009 to pay for $16.9 million
in capital projects and a tax rate increase from $.3474 in 2004 to $.4872 in
2009 to pay for $40.9 million in projects. The math is real simple, that's a
7% tax increase EACH YEAR for five years making the total increase 40% to
pay for the $40.9 million.

Colleyville citizens are very interested in this as they demonstrated in the
recent election, but your paper has not told them this or given them
information to educate them on the issue. The article comes across as a
means to cover the political backside of the individual that your paper
recommended to the voters a year ago.

Please do the right thing and provide a more in-depth article or editorial
that corrects this error by presenting all the facts to Colleyville

Please attempt to provide full disclosure to Colleyville citizens, not just
political sound bites.

Richard Newton
May 20, 2004 @ 1:00PM
 Letter to Star-Telegram concerning Schroeder Article.

Dear Editors:

After attending the council meeting Tuesday night at Colleyville City Hall, and then reading the article concerning the CIP issues as written by Ms. Ellen Schroeder in today's Star-Telegram, I am amazed that a news-source such as the Star-Telegram would be so inaccurate, and frankly bias in their reporting. The tax increase in question is in fact 40+ percent tax increase when you do the math. Compounding a 7% increase over a 5 year period results in a figure greater than 40%. Unlike what you reported, Mayor Hocutt is responsible for the 40% tax issue. The other obvious misrepresentation in Ms. Schroeder's article implies that the winners in the local council election last week were somehow wrong in using the 40% figure in some of their campaign literature. A retraction of this erroneous piece of literature would seem to be appropriate and an apology to the successful council candidates would go a long way to ensure the Star-Telegram's errors were unintentional.


Tom Dolan
 May 20, 2004 @ 12:20PM
CC: Letter sent to Star-Telegram 

Dear Editor:

In the Thursday May 20th NE Tarrant Edition an article by Ellen Schroeder is misrepresentative and misleading concerning tax-rate increases under discussion at the City of Colleyville.  The article is written in such a manner to debunk the claims concerning a 40% potential tax increase in Colleyville. After Schroeder writes that Mayor Hocutt denounced the 40% as "lies," she then writes:

"The city staff estimated that a 3.5% percent tax-rate increase would pay for almost $16.9 million in capital projects, while a 7 percent tax rate increase would pay for about $40.9 million in projects."

Ms. Schroeder has totally mislead the public to believe that this percentage is correct to achieve these capital expenditures.  What Ms. Schroeder incredibly FAILS to write is that the percentages are EACH YEAR FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.  Therefore, the 7% compounded would be a 40.2% tax increase, over current rates, at the end of the five years.

The chart (Click Here), provided by the City of Colleyville, and available in the CIP workshop packets states that fact in clear terms below.  The fact Ms. Schroeder either did not avail herself of this information or simply misunderstands the tax impact, her article is misleading and misrepresents a critical element in the tax increase formula.

I respectfully ask the Star Telegram to print a correction immediately to this article that explains the tax increase is every year for five years and the compounded interest rate increases in Scenario B below "7% Tax Rate Increase", that lists the potential bond capacity at $40 million AND provides a chart showing the increase is EVERY YEAR for five years. 
Clif Holliday

May 20, 2004 @12:05 pm
Ref: copy of letter sent to Star-Telegram about today's article on tax increases in Colleyville.

Although I no longer read your newspaper since canceling my subscription in February, I received an email this morning alerting me to the erroneous information about potential tax rates in Colleyville in today's article by Ellen Schroeder. This is a perfect example of why I cancelled my subscription.

After reading the article on your web site, I am disappointed that more effort did not go into the preparation of this article to ensure that the facts presented were correct, especially due to the sensitive nature of this subject in our community. No matter what any politician says, the data prepared by the City of Colleyville used at the CIP meeting shows a potential tax rate increase of 40% over the next five years. 

Colleyville has many needs. Some can be fixed with money (streets, parks, etc.), but others will have to be fixed by ALL community activists, both elected and volunteer, telling the truth and working together to move Colleyville forward. I served on the city council from 1989 to 1991. During that time we passed a significant bond election, the benefits of which all Colleyville citizens enjoy today. We did it by including anyone in the community who wanted to serve, and we let the citizens create the wish list and budget. We would not have succeeded if we had tried to pit one element in the community against another, and any public official who tries to do that today will ultimately fail.

The Star Telegram can and should play a role in delivering accurate, pertinent information to Colleyville citizens. Today you played a role in delivering false, divisive information. Whether that was intentional (and I don't believe it was) or accidental, you have a responsibility to correct it quickly and in a manner that will be noticed, not buried in a "clarification" statement somewhere three weeks from now. A follow-up article would be appropriate. Please step up to the plate and do what's right, not just for Colleyville, but for your own reputation as well.

Thank you.
Linda Newton
May 18, 2004 @7:32 a.m.

I understand from your lno site that Colleyville City council is televised locally.
You seem to be up on this - I've searched elsewhere and not found the answer.
Can you tell me what channel and/or the schedule if they are not live?


Editor's note:  The Colleyville City Council is broadcast live on Comcast Cable on the first and third Tuesday of each month on Channel 16.
 May 17, 2004 @ 11:53 a.m.
Letter from Christopher to Trevino in NRH

During the campaign I tried at all times to run my campaign with dignity, ethics and character - based on issues - not on personal attacks. I never personally attacked you or the other incumbents at any time. I told myself that these people have families, children, and/or grand children and I would not want them to be hurt by something I might say. Treat others as you would expect to be treated.

On election day you made this personal by your attack on my mother-in-law, Patricia Christopher. She is a very dear lady who would never attack or hurt anyone. She is a dear grandmother who lives for baking her grandchildren their favorite cookies. She lives for her family, her children and grandchildren. On election day she worked the Dan Echols center as did your brother-in-law. She struck up a conversation with him and became pleasantly acquainted. She approached you on election day at Bursey to sincerely wish you well and let you know she had met some of your family and that they were very nice and gracious. You then attacked her. You yelled at her. You yelled that you had nothing to say to her, that she had done enough. When she said that she had done nothing to you , you stated “The newspaper, my business.“ Scott Turnage then spoke up and told her you weren’t having a good day. There is no excuse for your behavior. You owe her an apology. You berated her in public the least you could do is sincerely apologize to her in public. I find it hard to understand a person who would bully someone else - especially a “man“ berating an elderly woman - this shows a strong character flaw - weakness! I believe your reaction is a direct reflection of the true Oscar Trevino. I also find it unacceptable for someone who is supposed to show leadership qualities behaving this way, especially in public. I can only hope the others who witnessed your actions are equally ashamed of the person they have elected to be Mayor of the city.

When a child gets angry because they get caught at something they shouldn’t be doing they misdirect the anger to the parent. I would have to believe this is why you reacted the way you did. You are angry because you were caught. You were caught using the email addresses for personal gain, you were caught not paying taxes. 

I will not stoop to your level of low moral character and inappropriate behavior. I will continue to tell the truth. I will end by paraphrasing Harry Truman...

We didn’t give them hell. We told the truth and they thought it was hell.


Suzette Christopher
May 14, 2004@ 1:17 p.m.

Two patrons of the GCISD made inaccurate comments about the rebuttal I wrote on May 7th in their letters to the editor in the Fort Worth Star Telegram NE section on May 13th. One writer either did not do his homework or did and chose to make false statements. His first obvious mistake is he insinuates that the relationship between TASA and CMS was not disclosed at the time of the audit. On page 4 of the GCISD audit it details the relationship between TASA & CMS. His second mistake is he implies Kevin Singer works for CMS. Dr. Singer is a voluntary board member and does not receive compensation from the CMS board. His third egregious error is the accusation that the auditors did not disclose working relationships with the current superintendent. On page 6 of the GCISD audit, the audit team wrote they were acquainted with the superintendent and it had no impact on their judgment. 

At the July 23rd, 2001 trustee meeting, all of the relationships and associations about the audit firm and the superintendent were very clearly and fully disclosed. The CFO of GCISD, Hank Johnson, and the Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Singer, both made statements that contradict every misrepresentation made by this writer. Why didn't this person check the public sources before making these untrue statements? My belief is that perhaps it is his intent to perpetuate a deceptive myth. The second writer attempts to generalize the statements made in my May 7th column as 'allegations'. My rebuttal is fact based and I am not ashamed of the truth. Let me reiterate even more strongly, I can defend my statements in court.

In my opinion, these letters shows the desperation of the campaign they are waging for their candidate. A writer who fails to investigate or substantiate his public remarks, I believe, shows a darker side as to the intent. An individual who is deceptive and dishonest has no place on the board of trustees. That is why I am vigorously campaigning and supporting the election of Lisa Hall to the GCISD board of trustees. 

Mark Born
Former GCISD Trustee and 
Board President 2001 to 2002
May 14, 2003 @11:00 a.m. 

This is another important election for Colleyville. We need representatives who will listen to and serve all of the citizens of Colleyville. We also need representatives who care about Colleyville and understand how a city works. I believe Rich Hendler, Jon Ayers and Tom Hart are the best choices for Colleyville. 

Rich Hendler has put in countless hours over the last ten years working to improve the city. Our park facilities are a shining example of his success. Jon Ayers is a life long resident of the area and has been a voice of reason on the council for the past year. His personal investment in the city is proof of his dedication to making Colleyville a great place to live. Tom Hart has worked to make Colleyville a better place for over ten years by serving on bond committees and the Planning and Zoning Commission. I had the pleasure of serving with Tom on the Planning and Zoning Commission during a time when the city revamped its commercial zoning ordinance to protect our neighborhoods and implemented an American Planning Association award winning ordinance that has improved the appearance of new commercial structures built in the city. Tom is fair and even handed and would be a great addition to the city council.

Please join me in supporting Rich, Jon and Tom on Saturday.

Jody Short
May 13, 2004 @ 2:19 p.m.

All elections are important and it is a privilege, no a responsibility as Americans to use that right to vote for who we believe is the best candidate, or at least the candidate that best represents our views. Your next opportunity to use this cherished right is this Saturday, May 15th when we elect governmental leaders and possibly even more importantly, our school board leaders. These individuals will be directing our children's education.

I believe that Bob Crane, who is running for Place 3 on the GCISD school board would be an excellent choice. I have known Bob and his family for over 18 years and have worked with him at a major corporation in the area during that time. He has been directly involved in the decision making process for hundreds of millions of dollars and programs that affect numerous employees. Bob has always been determined to understand the details behind the processes and digs deeply, until he is satisfied that we have a win-win solution. 

Given today's tight budgeting responsibilities, Bob is our guy, as he will certainly challenge the when, where and why, as it relates to how the district plans to spend our finances. He is also a forward thinking individual that will bring new and exciting ideas to the table. Bob Crane is the right man for the job - - - he WILL Make it Happen!

Ric Carlson
Grapevine, Texas
May 13, 2004 @ 1:50 p.m.
 Highway 26- Left Turns-Colleyville 

How many times have you sat on Highway 26 (Colleyville Blvd) wanting to make a left turn on to Brown Trail, Glade Road, Centerpark, Main Street / Thompson Terrace or Hall-Johnson (with no oncoming traffic!) but could not because of the idiotic “Left Turn on Arrow Only” signs? These signs are ridiculous and need to be changed to the “Yield on Green” signs. If you are tired of waiting at these lights please let the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) know about it as well as the Mayor, City Manager and City Council Members of Colleyville.

The person and address for the TXDOT official is: 

Mr. Wallace E. Ewell
Director of Transportation Operations
Texas Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 6868
Fort Worth, Texas 76115 


Tom Lisle
Colleyville, Texas 
May 13, 2004 @ 10:10 a.m.
Colleyville has an important City Council election taking place this Saturday, May 15th, with three council place elections. The Colleyville City Council which has long been plagued by tremendous divisiveness, controversy, and the inability to fairly address issues that effect the majority of citizens, has changed.

Over the past 2 years, the voters elected Council members Jon Ayers, Elaine Dolan and Rich Hendler. Because of their diligent effort, Colleyville finally has been able to move forward in a positive manner. These dedicated people listen to what the citizens say and formulate policies that benefit Colleyville today and for the future. Additionally, there is an open seat to help with this progress. Tom Hart has made many sound decisions regarding the city's future while on P&Z and has earned the opportunity to serve in a higher capacity. 

With Saturday's election, the citizens again have the opportunity to decide how the city will proceed - down the road to a prosperous future or back into time.My vote is to move forward.

Re-Elect Jon Ayers and Rich Hendler and Elect Tom Hart. These fair-minded individuals will work hard for all of Colleyville, so we can continue to move forward. 

Michael T. Muhm, Colleyville
May 13, 2004 @9:29 a.m.

 We have known Bob Crane and his family for many years. In our opinion, the GCISD is very fortunate to have someone of his caliber and integrity to be willing to give of his talents and time to help us with the challenges that we are facing. We need School Board Trustees that have the business and financial backgrounds to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely and we need people with experience in management oversight to ensure that what has happened to some of our neighboring school districts does not happen here in the GCISD.

Bob Crane is a man of principal, is a good listener, respects differences of opinion and can bring consensus with complex issues. He is a proven leader in business and is dedicated to improving the GCISD where his two daughters go to school. We encourage you to join us and vote for Bob so together we can make a positive change to our school board. 

George and Charlotte Curry, Grapevine
May 12, 2004 @ 9:06 p.m.

 We have been following the articles in the newspaper and have tried to keep abreast of the issues with our school district and was very impressed with the answers and composure that Bob Crane demonstrated at the public forum last month. We think that he provides us with the opportunity to positively change the make up of the school board without the usual bantering and politicking that goes on. Bob Crane brings the education, experience and management know how that is needed to over see a school district as large as ours. It is not intuitive nor does it make sense to believe that just anyone has the background to manage a budget and revenue stream in excess $80M annually. Though we have some very well meaning people that also want to serve their community we want our representative to have the skill sets required to do the business that they are elected for, to have the courage to ask pertinent and relevant questions and to have proven leadership and decision making ability to represent the best interests of all the parents, students, administrators and tax payers in our district. We urge you to join us and vote for Bob Crane - Trustee Position #3.

Jim and Jill Wagner, Grapevine
May 12, 2004 @10:27 a.m. 

Dear Editor,

In the GCISD Place 4 race we have read that Fiona Sigalla understands the trustee’s role of accountability and that she asks tough questions. If we hold others to a certain level of accountability and infer that if someone makes a mistake, that they are most likely hiding something, then we ourselves must be held to that same standard. In other words, we are judged by the same standards by which we judge others. 

In reviewing the Campaign Finance Reports filed by Ms. Sigalla, there are numerous items that the Texas Ethics Commission requires to be completed, that were omitted from the forms. The telephone number of the Campaign Treasurer, the purpose of all campaign expenditures, and the date of one campaign expenditure were not completed. Granted these are minor items, but if this same type of information were left off a report she received from the Administration, would Ms. Sigalla have required more accountability? 

To infer that only those that stand apart and cause division are the responsible trustees and that they are the only ones that ask tough questions is a false and unfair assumption. I believe that all of the GCISD Trustees are honest, hard working individuals who really care about the greatest asset of our district, the students. For any organization to be successful, be they our families, our companies, or our Board of Trustees, the members must be able to work together. Working together does not mean they cannot disagree, but they must always maintain a mutual respect. We are past this point in our Board of Trustees and it is time to make a change so that we can get back to the important task of educating, supporting, and encouraging our children. I encourage you to vote for Lisa Hall in the GCISD School Board Election on Saturday.

Carl Ball
Colleyville, Texas 76034
May 12, 2004 @ 9:37 a.m.
 First I'd like to thank all the candidates who have chosen to run for the
Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School Board. Serving in one of these
unpaid positions is a thankless job.

Most of the letters to the editor I have read want to characterize the
issues facing the GCISD as "personality conflicts."
In my view, the real issues are;
1. How do we insure that the children of the district receive the education
they must have to be successful in life?
2. How do we pay for that education?
3. How are the citizens/tax payers assured that the proper controls are in
place to prevent the kinds of abuses we have read about in surrounding
school districts?

The role of a Trustee is very similar to that of a member of a public
company's Board of Directors. (In the case of the GCISD that is an $84
Million dollar business that derives the majority of its operating budget
from local property taxes.) Trustees should NOT be involved in the day to
day operation of the school system. That is clearly the superintendent's
job. -Working with the administration the Trustees must develop and approve
a long term plan for the system (which the GCISD does not appear to have.)
-Approve and strenuously monitor the operating budget.
-Listen to the concerns of parents and citizens.
-Develop and submit for citizen approval any future Bond packages that may
be required.
-In the case of the GCISD, hire a new superintendent (Chief Operating
-Set performance goals and monitor the superintendent's performance.

To successfully accomplish these goals we must have QUALIFIED Trustees who
know how to ask the right questions and propose good alternatives. My
friend Bob Crane is such a person.

I had the privilege of working closely with Bob for 20 years. When I had a
particularly tough issue Bob was the first person I went to for ideas. Bob
has a unique way of looking at issues and while we did not always agree, the
value of the discussion and different perspective was always beneficial and

Bob's opponent is running on her record of volunteerism in the local schools
and while commendable, in no way prepares nor QUALIFIES her to make the
kinds of decisions expected of Trustees.

I urge you to vote for Bob Crane for Place #3.

Joe Buchanan
Colleyville, TX
May 11, 2004 @ 11:32 p.m. 
You must have something against Lisa Hall because your candidate page STILL SAYS THAT SHE HASN”T RESPONDED. SHE DID RESPOND. YOU PRINTED A CORRECTION EARLIER BUT NOW IT’S GONE.

What’s the deal?
Delanie Alcorn - Jones
Editor's Note: "our bad", Ms. Hall did respond and we did post a correction on the front page. Either because of technical problems experienced over the past 4 days or just our oversight, the information lead in on the profile page was not changed, it has been updated. Thank you.
May 10, 2004 @ 4:56 p.m.
Dear Editor,

As a taxpayer in the GCISD for 37 years, a parent of two Grapevine High School graduates, and grandfather of an O.C.Taylor K1 student, I am thankful for the devotion, experience, commitment and knowledgeable oversight provided by Fiona Sigalla. Her leadership on the Grapevine Colleyville School Board is providing the quality of education that I want for my granddaughter.

Fiona Sigalla's experience as an experienced economist is exactly what we need for oversight of a budget more complex than that of most businesses. Her skilled insight and ability to ask the right questions is not only bringing about fiscal responsibility in our district but improving academic performance by our students.

I would ask all that desire the very best for the children of GCISD to join me in voting for Fiona Sigalla and supporting her efforts to improve the future of our schools.

Gary R. West
Colleyville, Texas 76034
May 9, 2004 @ 10:10 p.m.
Dear Editor,

As a parent of a young child, I appreciate the prudent leadership of Grapevine Colleyville School Board Trustee Fiona Sigalla. Decisions made now will determine the quality of education my daughter has when she enters elementary school.

As an economist and former legislative policy advisor, Fiona has the experience to analyze complex issues including oversight of GCISD's $100 million budget. Not afraid to question the status quo, Fiona has recommended ways to lower "Robin Hood" payments to the state and offer cost saving solutions that support teacher salaries, classroom instruction and extra-curricular activities.

Fiona's dedication to improving academic performance, strengthening math and science, and promoting a solid foreign language program are important to those of us who want our children to have a world class education. Please join us in voting for Fiona Sigalla, a trustee who will make a difference for our children's future.

Katri Laurimaa
Colleyville, TX 76034
May 9, 2003 @ 11:46 a.m.

Dear Editor:

Parents and taxpayers can be grateful that Fiona Sigalla, candidate for the Grapevine Colleyville School Board, is the real thing. 
An economist with the Federal Reserve Bank, Fiona is recognized as an expert on the Southwest economy, quoted in national and local media -- including the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. 
A dedicated mother and school volunteer on three PTA boards, Fiona has coordinated talent shows, DWI prevention programs and district-wide friendship chains sent to Austin. As a trustee, Fiona has fought for smaller class sizes, stronger math curriculum, and reading, gifted and foreign language teacher positions lost in budget cuts. 
Fiona understands a trustee's role of oversight and accountability. Fiona's education, graduate degrees and professional experience provide her the ability to analyze a $100 million budget and recommend ways to minimize state "Robin Hood" payments. 
How fortunate we are to have Fiona Sigalla! Please join other smart and conscientious voters and re-elect Fiona Sigalla to a second term on the GCISD School Board.

Joan Shaw
4504 Alexandra Drive
Colleyville, TX 76034
May 7, 2004 @10:40 AM

Dear Editor:

Fairness in judgment, open mindness to new ideas, and a proven track record of experience are qualities most of us want to see in our elected officials.  Dana Feldman, Colleyville City Council candidate, has demonstrated these qualities and her ability to work cooperatively with citizens to achieve common goals.

Serving on the Colleyville City Council two years ago, Dana Feldman was a leading advocate for building a new public library.  With a graduate degree in library science, Dana was dedicated to providing a library filled with books, staffed by professionals, with substantial research and reference services and children's programs.  

Dana, an attorney specializing in real estate and corporate law, was part of a hard working team that encouraged significant quality development. The result is destination shopping including Market Street, Town Center and the Villages of Colleyville.  We now enjoy many new restaurants, cafes, shops, as well as a beautiful new City Hall and Justice Center in the center areas of our city.

Running for a second term, Dana is focused on increasing quality commercial development to Colleyville to further support our tax base.  She continues to be concerned with improving infrastructure, including street intersections, drainage, expanding athletic facilitates and park areas.

Help us elect Dana Feldman to Colleyville City Council who will remain a responsive and respectful city representative for all of us.

Rosina Volpicella-Ludwig
May 7, 2004 @ 10:38 AM
Letter to the Editor:

It's election time again in Colleyville! The following are my selections. I
urge everyone to vote and I hope you can see fit to support these

Rich Hendler - Anyone concerned about the future of our youth sports
programs must vote for Rich. Without him, we may loose entire sports
programs. Rich has also been instrumental in economic development.

Jon Ayers - Jon single-handedly (almost - he had great help from
councilpersons, Hendler and Dolan) has gotten Colleyville back on the track
of sensible, quality commercial development. He wrote the Resolution that
formed the Economic Development Task Force, and he has been its guiding

Tom Hart - He has served with honor, integrity and distinction as the
Chairman of P & Z before that body had all the troubles it now has. He will
bring rock-solid stability, class, and fairness to the Council!

The opponents of these candidates are a very different picture!

Rich Hendler's opponent doesn't know or care about youth sports. She has no
experience in city government (or any other kind for that matter) and is
beholden to the Chamber of Commerce and to our Mayor.

Jon Ayers' opponent was on Council, and lost her re-election bid by one of
the largest majorities in the history of Colleyville. We don't want another
two years of her.

Tom Hart's opponent has had some very hard times in his life, and I do feel
sorry for him, but that is no reason to vote for him! He seems to continue
to make bad judgments, his latest being voting for a tire store/gas station
on Colleyville's northern entrance. Bad judgments are not a good
qualification for Council.

Most of all, the opponents of Hendler, Ayers, and Hart are all 'in the
pocket' of our mayor/king. They will support his continued vetoes and they
will support his 'secret' (its no longer secret, Joe) 40% tax increase!

Elect Hendler, Ayers, and Hart to really move Colleyville forward and to
stop King Joe from enacting his secret tax!

Clif Holliday
May 6, 2004 @ 8:36 AM
Fiona Sigalla
Dear Editor, 
I'd like to urge everyone in the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD to vote in our school board election on May 15 at the Grapevine Activities Center or vote early at the GCISD Administration building by this Saturday, May 8. Two of seven trustees will be elected to help support our district during a period of significant transition. I am an executive committee member of a local private college and I know from my experience that all education systems perform better with the support of an active board of trustees who provide critical oversight of decision making and spending. 

With this in mind, I urge everyone to vote for incumbent Fiona Sigalla for GCISD Board place 4. I have known Fiona for over 12 years and have observed her performance on the GCISD school board of trustees over the past 3 years. She asks reasoned, logical, and necessary questions and exemplifies the type of trustee that my own experience in education has led me to expect. Sometimes these are difficult questions because they are complicated issues. But we, as taxpayers and parents, need for our board to take an active role in ensuring quality oversight to our schools. 

All districts in Texas are undergoing significant financial challenges with our ongoing struggles to devise a fair and effective means of public school funding. I know that I am among many parents in GCISD who acknowledge that even though our district is one of the best in the state, we can and we must continue to improve. Our goal must be to provide our children with the foundational skills to succeed in their post-secondary education and professional and vocational careers. Fiona Sigalla is a trustee who can help us accomplish this goal!

Thank you, 
Steve Rushton 
Grapevine, TX 
May 6, 2004 @ 7:47 AM
Fiona Sigalla
Dear Editor,

In light of the New York Stock Exchange, Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia and many other corporations, it is very apparent that few board members are willing to take the heat for asking tough questions. Grapevine Colleyville Trustee Fiona Sigalla has demonstrated over her past term that she is willing to stay in the batter's box and stand up for fiscal responsibility and high academic standards. 

Fiona has developed good working relationships and support from other trustees that believe active oversight is not micro management. As a highly regarded economist with the Federal Reserve Bank, Fiona knows how to research and analyze important issues. Fiona consistently takes the time to review material thoroughly, pursue additional information if necessary, and communicate her findings to the rest of the board. 

Fiona is an independent thinker with no hidden agenda other than improving our school district. As a parent of three children attending GCISD schools -- as a volunteer on three PTA boards -- Fiona knows first hand what it's like to be "a customer" of this school district. Fiona has been an advocate for small class sizes. Concerned that some children may be excluded, Fiona has challenged expanding student fees. Working with teachers and parents, Fiona has been a positive voice for improving math, reading, foreign language and gifted programs.

Oversight of a budget of almost $100 million and new legislative proposals for state funding are two important reasons to re-elect Fiona Sigalla. An economist and former legislative policy advisor, Fiona is the right person for the right time. A voice, not an echo, is what is needed to do the job.

William Barzelay
May 05, 2004 @8:56 AM

May 5, 2004 – A Response to Mr. Ken Sapp’s Campaign Letter of May 4th.

Mr. Sapp, who I previously labeled a “spokesperson” for the incumbents, has now shown that he is indeed a spokesperson for the incumbents. He may even be campaigning for the next election for city council in NRH. Certainly with his campaign efforts and distortions, he would be qualified for the job. The following are excerpts from his letter – followed by my responses.

Ø What type of government do you want?

Responsive, responsible government that treats the citizens with courtesy and respect. 

> A central issue spurring this opposition slate is citizen's property rights. The passage of an RV
> parking ordinance last fall gave rise to protest from RV owners and a rallying cry to "kick out" the
> existing representation. Since it's passage, the ordinance has been referred to the Planning and
> Zoning for possible revision. 

In reality, the council referred the multiple parking ordinances back to P&Z to defer the wrath of the voters until after the election. Our understanding is that there is to be very little change and the existing enforcement date is set for October 1, 2004. All of the obnoxious ordinances are in full effect on that date. 

> While the opposition cites "individual property rights" it is unclear as to what this means. Some
> insight into how to bring about governmental can be gleaned by viewing the website . Mr. West is a
> trustee of an organization called Texans Against Intrusive Government and strongly supports civil
> activism to limit Government. 

Civil activism is running for office to change the things you do not like. The current council calls me a “radical” because I question and challenge the actions of the council. The TAIG Website referenced by Mr. Sapp was used to fund a lawsuit in an attempt to remove the requirement for a Social Security Number for Drivers Licensing. The site was created and supported by one of my sons that I am very proud of. I supported his efforts by handling the contributions to pay the legal fees associated with the lawsuit. The organization is now disbanded and their cause was lost. 

> While we could all cherish our freedom, this does not mean we can live without some rules to guide the
> achievement of a productive and civil society. The balance between government and personal freedom is 
> a tenuous one and the methods for achievement of that balance are important to civilized government. An
> important factor to be considered by every voter during this election is if the techniques suggested
> by Mr. West's organizations are the correct avenue to accomplish it. 

The dispute with the existing council is the question of whether we need 2000+ ordinances on the books of the city to govern every aspect of our lives. Further, we question the authority of the council to take control of all private property in front of one’s home and – if you live on a corner lot – the property from the side building line to the street. We question their right to rule all pole signs as “eyesores”. We question their arrogance. I personally support the theory that the less government required – the better for everyone’s freedom. 

> In selecting leaders we should recognize that leadership requires that tough decisions be made
> decisions even in the face of opposition. It is also important that we realize that possible errors in
> judgment can be made and that it is a person's character that will determine the best corrective
> action. North Richland Hills needs leadership that recognizes change is inevitable and responsible
> leadership is needed to guide a 50 year old city that has grown from a prairie town to a city of
> 60,000 residents. It is for the voters to decide who has the qualities. 
We agree completely with this paragraph with the addition of verbiage that indicates that real leaders listen to their constituents and seek their input. Our current leadership does not seek this input and treats the citizens who voice any opposition with utter disrespect. We also would question the use of elective office for personal gain such as contracting with the city to build streets or gaining free use of BISD land for a cement mixing plant over the objections of residents.

> In addition to "individual property rights," the campaign literature of Christopher, Bielik, Cox and
> West favors age 65 tax freezes and reduction in excessive city spending. The incumbents claim
> responsible financial management and suggest waiting a few months until the Governor Perry's tax
> proposals are vetted before making irrevocable changes to the city tax structure. 

This “excuse” did not keep them from issuing over $7 Million in new city debt to be paid back over the next 15 years at the council meeting before last. Responsible financial management has not and does not apply to their runaway spending – only to keeping the taxes at the highest legal rate possible without a roll back. The current council is already planning to spend your tax increases for all years in the future.

> Lower taxes are a hot topic and serve as a motivational campaign theme. The question is what
> are we willing to give up in exchange for lower taxes? Just stating "better management" is
> inadequate evidence to deliver lower property taxes. Careful budget management and controlled 
> spending is required but the opposition has been unclear as to what specific items they would eliminate. 

> Do you want to live in a city with asphalt versus cement roads? (Do you mean asphalt like the nice new Glenview Drive between Grapevine Hwy and 820?) How about fewer parks, older fire
> trucks, a rusting water tank, no golf course or water park? Certainly there are some areas where
> discretionary spending could be eliminated but each of these areas typically has a support from the
> members of the community who benefit from it. 

This is a real red herring if there ever was one. Isn’t this the mayor and city council that just spent a couple of hundred thousand on the pavilion at Iron Horse but made the decision that we only had the money to staff two of the three ambulances owned by the city to serve our needs? The city council that is spending over $600,000 on a ground level water tank, part of which is to sand blast lead based paint off of it? Do we want our taxes to double over the next 7 years because of runaway spending? The challengers are simply talking about REDUCING the RATE 
Of GROWTH of our local GOVERNMENT – not CUTTING anything other than future runaway spending.

> Most residents also do not realize that it is more than spending that affects property tax. There are
> other components. Only about a third of city revenue comes from property tax. Fees and sales taxes
> compose the other two-thirds. With this in mind, we have to be cautious to build an infrastructure that
> will support an established property and sales tax base to sustain the city in the future when growth
> will no longer fuel revenues. 

Most of our citizens do realized that all fees, sales taxes, fines, impact fees, water bills, sewer charges and everything else the city council looks at – have gone up dramatically over the past 10 years. If spending doesn’t impact taxes – why do they need so much money?

> Each of the incumbent council members has put in years of voluntary service to gain experience in
> city operations by serving on Boards and Commissions. The opponents contend that just makes
> them insiders but this is a very obtuse view of public service. Government of a city the size of NRH
> is a complicated process and requires vision as well as prudent management. My observation of the
> existing council is that they are committed to the future of NRH. 
Unfortunately, all members of all boards and commissions are hand picked and appointed by the Mayor and City Council. The current council votes 7-0 on virtually all issues. This would lead one to believe that a) they are in the pocket of the incumbents just waiting their turn to rubber stamp current activities, or b) Mr. Sapp is starting his campaign for a council seat early.

> I applaud anyone who seeks public office, but the third largest city in Tarrant County is not the
> place to put on the "training wheels." This election seems as much about style as substance and I hope
> all the candidates and citizens of NRH will benefit from this election experience. 

Citizens are already reaping the benefits of opposition as evidenced by Mr. Sapp’s last column on LNO. For the first time in some time, the council took some time to try to justify the extraordinary expenses associated with the water tank reconstruction. I would take exception to the “style vs. substance” statement since all challengers have clearly stated issues facing the city. So far the incumbents haven’t talked about issues, they only say “re-elect me”!

Ø Clearly there valid points of consideration in each of the candidates campaign positions. ….

Now – if we could just get the incumbents to address any of the issues brought up by the challengers – the voters would have real information to select their government from. Whatever training the existing council may claim, it must have lead them to believe that they were royalty deserving of adoration and praise from the serfs of the city. That must change. The voters are the owners of the city and the council and mayor are supposed to be public servants – not public masters.

Everyone should remember that 
“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.”
Author: Andrew Lack
Please make YOUR voice be heard by voting for the candidates of your choice.

Responses by: Ron West, Candidate for NRH City Council – Place 4
May 05, 2004 @7:54 AM

Editor of LNO

I really do not wish to engage in a "war of words" through emails to the editor, so this will be my last comment on this. Actually, my original response was mostly to redirect readers to our real web site, not the one that Mr Sapp was leading readers to believe represented our group.

Mr Sapp is correct, I did not go into any of the details about the meetings that the P&Z have been holding concerning the parking restrictions. I avoided doing so primarily because that was not the thrust of my letter, but also because it had already gotten so long.

Yes, all were allowed time to speak. I don't know that I would say "ample", a single opportunity of 4 minutes is a very short period, and more than one person was cut off (myself included). Issues brought up after a person speaks cannot be re-addressed by that person. City representatives were under no such restriction.

And, our group HAS praised the meetings. That can be seen on our website, and by talking to members. However, there are some concerns, caused by the statement by Ms Stout that the city intends on keeping the ordinances "largely intact", and by Don Bowen's (the P&Z chairman) statement that the ordinances would not be repealed, a statement he's made before the hearings were even completed. We're also concerned when we've seen the 17 people who spoke against the ordinances closely questioned by the panel, and the 1 person who spoke in favor of them not questioned. These actions make it appear that those making the "decision" already have an agenda planned.

It is still the belief of many in our group that the referral back to P&Z was a political ploy. The clearest indication of this was the council refusal to repeal the ordinances. A moratorium can end with the ordinances still in place. The city council did not want to repeal the ordinances, because they were well aware that those opposed to them were now awakened, and would immediately begin the process for a referendum if new ordinances were passed.

Mr Sapp mistakes my concern for anger. I'm not angry over all of this, I don't own an RV, and my boat trailer (and my boat) are at Lake Grapevine. I'll even extend an open invitation to take Mr Sapp sailing sometime. No, I'm not angry - I am, however, concerned about the level of openness of our current city government. People have been denied the opportunity to speak at city council meetings, while those that are hold the "party line" of the mayor have been allowed. Requests to put issues (not only THIS issue, but others) on the agenda have been ignored and denied. The mayor and city council members have incorrectly cited the open meetings act using it as a shield to avoid answering questions at meetings. All legal, but hardly fair. Mr Sapp spoke of "training wheels" in his previous email, and unfortunately, that is the pervasive attitude of the current city council. Now that they're "trained", they no longer need to hear from the public, they know what is best for us, without consulting us.

My Sapp may be right, the electorate may choose to continue with what they've got. We have a city of 60,000 citizens, 32,000 of which are actually registered to vote. Less than 2,000 of them showed up at the polls at the last city election. Our group is working to change that, to make people more aware of what's going on. If we have 30,000 votes at this election, and the current council stays in place, that would thrill me more than if we have 2,500 votes, and we replace the incumbents. 

I think though, that those that are expecting politics in North Richland Hills to be "business as usual" are in for a surprise. Even if the election doesn't come out the way we hope, our city has already begun to change.

Herb Parsons
NRH Citizens
May 05, 2004 @ 5:48 am
To the Citizens of Colleyville and Grapevine,

I would like to relay a story to you about the giving of one’s self without expecting in return. I was selling candy at a dance last year at Cross Timbers. A group of sixth graders came up to purchase some candy. One young man gave me a dollar and proceeded to walk away without selecting a piece of candy. I reminded him that he had not picked out his candy and he replied, “that’s ok.” Again, I reminded him that he had paid and was entitled to select a piece of candy. Again he replied, “no thanks, I don’t need it.” He walked away like it was no big deal. The student was young Ben Singer, the son of Dr.Singer. 

I have been fortunate to witness the integrity of Dr. Singer on many occasions, as I serve on the Parent’s advisory committee.

When I attended the next meeting, I told Dr. Singer what his son had done. He did not seem surprised, responding that his son was well aware of the financial situation in the district.

I know how hard it is to teach your children to be less self absorbed and more giving, especially in a community where wealth prevails. I do not believe that a child learns good values by accident. I believe that Ben Singer has learned his values from his father and mother. On every occasion that I have been in the presence of Dr. Singer I have seen a man with great integrity.

It saddens me to know that there are people slandering his good name even after we will no longer be receiving the benefits of his service. I ask readers to seek out the truth and see whose integrity is clearly faulty. I do not believe attacking another person publicly for one’s own gain shows integrity. 

I believe that these attacks have increased because school personnel had the courage to inform the public about the reason for Dr. Singer seeking employment outside our district. If you vote for a person who drove our superintendent out, you will not be voting for a person who is supported by our teachers. Dr. Singer was very clear about his wishes to support our teachers through pay raises. 

I will be voting for Lisa Hall and Nancy Copeland. 
Signed, Kimberly D. Roney

May 04, 2004 @ 8:22 pm

A Response To Herb Parsons

Mr. Parsons is correct to state that citizens were not allowed to speak at the city council meeting about the RV ordinance. The matter is before the Planning and Zoning Commission of which I am a member. 

What Mr. Parsons did not state is that generous time is being provided to members of his group to provide testimony to the P & Z about their concerns relative to the ordinance. Every attempt has been made to allow testimony and to secure the information required to make a recommendation on this issue. These hearings are conducted the first Thursday of each month and the public is invited. I do not believe anyone has been denied the opportunity to present their thoughts on this matter. More importantly, the P & Z recommendation is only that, it is not a final ruling. After the proposed ordinance has been referred back to the council, they will have an opportunity to deliberate and have further hearings on the draft before they take final action. This process is a lot more open than the impression provided by Mr. Parsons.

Members of the Council have stated on several occasions that their passage of the ordinance was perhaps too hasty and they did not realize the full impact it would generate. To get this issue out of the sensitivities of the political realm, the Council referred the issue back to P & Z for a full investigation. We were told to take as much time as needed but to do what we thought was in the best interest of the city of NRH. A similar approach was used to redraft a controversial ordinance governing above ground utilities and the outcome was very positive. I believe the Council was attempting to learn from their prior experience. 

I appreciate Mr. Parsons' concern over this issue and respect his activism. I do not know what the final outcome will be for this ordinance since a discussion of a draft recommendation has yet to occur. I can assure him this, however, it will be only after a great deal of investigation and considerable thought that a recommendation will be made to the Council for their action.

He can maintain his anger on this issue during the interim or wait until he is sure he has something to be angry about. I recognize that our government is not perfect and we must weigh the overall merits of what is best for NRH in the long term. I believe the sitting council to be the best choice on the basis of their overall leadership, not a single issue. I believe the electorate will uphold my recommendation between now and May 15. 

Ken Sapp

North Richland Hills
May 04, 2004 @ 1:56 PM

This is in response to Mr Sapp email to the editor.

Mr. Sapp is right about one of the central issues spurring the candidates was the so called "RV Parking Ordinances." It should also be pointed out, that when these ordinances were passed in October, our group began to form to oppose them. We attended meetings to show our disapproval of the ordinances. Our intention, from the outset, was to change the ordinances. At the first city council meeting I attended as part of this group, we were told, by our mayor, from his chair at the city council meetings, that the ordinances were here to stay, and that if we didn't like them we could work to change the city council at the elections. We've answered that challenge. For Mr Sapp, a sitting member of the current city administration, to now act as if we're some sort of wide-eyed fanatics because we've done so, I find distasteful.

I'll also point out the ordinance was passed in October, and immediately found opposition. The referral back to P&Z only occurred after weeks of regular protests from our organization. Even after it was sent back, the mayor, and his representative at the P&Z meetings JoAnn Stout, steadfastly maintained their position that the ordinances should remain "largely intact." Our group believes that the referral to P&Z was a political ploy, and only occurred because the elections were nearing, and the referral to P&Z effectively silenced all discussion at regular city council meetings. As a matter of fact, at a recent city council meeting, a report was scheduled, but only the P&Z spokesman and JoAnn Stout were allowed to speak. NONE of the "regular citizens" that oppose the ordinances were allowed to speak, because it was not an open hearing. Further evidence that the referral was a political ploy can be found by Ms Johnson's comment that the challenge candidates were campaigning on an issue that's "no longer there" (from an article in the Star-Telegram). Ms Johnson would have had readers believe that the ordinances are gone. They're not. The sitting council refused requests to repeal them. Instead, they implemented a moratorium on enforcement. Yet, Ms Johnson stated they weren't there anymore.

Mr Sapp pointed readers to a website run by Mr West, but Mr West is not a representative for our group, nor is he even a representative for the other candidates. He has been endorsed by our group, as have the other candidates. A much better representation of our group's intentions and history would be found at WEB SITE LINK 

I will also state here that these candidates all filed after being requested to do so by members of our group. To point to any other group as representative is misleading.

On the issue of the senior property tax freeze, I find it interesting the Gov Perry's special session is regularly referred to by the current council, as well as Mr Sapp, but reality is that the issue was brought to the city in October, well before the special session called for by Govern Perry, and our group's request was regularly refused. No reason was given, we were just refused.

I disagree with Mr Sapp that the current slate "deserves another term". I'll give an example of why I feel they DON'T deserve another term. At a city council meeting I attended 6 weeks ago, I gave a presentation on 7 steps I felt the council should take to make city government more open to the citizens. After the presentation, the mayor instructed the city attorney to respond to my requests, as some of the requests involved open meetings requirements. At the end of that meeting, Mr Sapp approached me, and told me that it was a good presentation, politely given, respectful, and well presented. He mentioned that he too had brought up several of the issues to the mayor and the city council in the past.

Two weeks later, I got a response from the city attorney. He ignored two of the seven issues I brought up. One of the two that he addressed, he completely mis-stated my position. On the one issue, my request that the mayor and the city council stop using the open meetings act as a shield when citizens request facts during the citizen presentation portion of city council meetings, he stated that I "demanded" (I didn't, I requested) that they do so. He went on to state that the city council would continue the practice out of caution. I'll point out here, as I did then, that the open meetings act specifically allows such responses. I didn't even ask that the mayor answer such requests, only that he stop misleading people by saying that he's not permitted to answer by the open meetings act.

This type of response is why we need change in North Richland Hills. It's time we got "old-school" politicians out of office, and brought in people that are open to citizen input. The current council has repeatedly shown they do not wish for their agenda to be disturbed by those that disagree. "Public hearings" are held, then the pre-printed responses are read by city council, clearly indicating that decisions were made prior to the hearings. If two years of "training wheels" are what are needed to get the current unresponsive city council replaced, then I, for one, am all for it. North Richland Hills citizens need to wake up, and make their voice crying for change be heard, by voting for Jo Cox, Ron West, Nancy Bielik for City Council, and Suzette Christopher for Mayor.

Herb Parsons
NRH Citizens

May 04, 2004 @ 8:15 am

What type of government do you want?

The citizens of North Richland Hills will answer this question between now and May 15 through the election of a Mayor and three council representatives. 

Mayor Oscar Trevino, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Tolbert, Councilman Scott Turnage and Councilwoman Joann Johnson are facing opposition from a slate of political newcomers. Opponents include Suzette Christopher who is campaigning for Mayor while Nancy Bielik, Jo Cox and Ron West are competing for the respective council positions. 

A central issue spurring this opposition slate is citizen's property rights. The passage of an RV parking ordinance last fall gave rise to protest from RV owners and a rallying cry to “kick out” the existing representation. Since it's passage, the ordinance has been referred to the Planning and Zoning for possible revision. 

While the opposition cites “individual property rights” it is unclear as to what this means. Some insight into how to bring about governmental can be gleaned by viewing the website . Mr. West is a trustee of an organization called Texans Against Intrusive Government and strongly supports civil activism to limit Government. 

While we could all cherish our freedom, this does not mean we can live without some rules to guide the achievement of a productive and civil society. The balance between government and personal freedom is a tenuous one and the methods for achievement of that balance are important to civilized government. An important factor to be considered by every voter during this election is if the techniques suggested by Mr. West's organizations are the correct avenue to accomplish it. 

In selecting leaders we should recognize that leadership requires that tough decisions be made decisions even in the face of opposition. It is also important that we realize that possible errors in judgment can be made and that it is a person's character that will determine the best corrective action. North Richland Hills needs leadership that recognizes change is inevitable and responsible leadership is needed to guide a 50 year old city that has grown from a prairie town to a city of 60,000 residents. It is for the voters to decide who has the qualities. 

In addition to "individual property rights," the campaign literature of Christopher, Bielik, Cox and West favors age 65 tax freezes and reduction in excessive city spending. The incumbents claim responsible financial management and suggest waiting a few months until the Governor Perry's tax proposals are vetted before making irrevocable changes to the city tax structure. 

Lower taxes are a hot topic and serve as a motivational campaign theme. The question is what are we willing to give up in exchange for lower taxes? Just stating “better management” is inadequate evidence to deliver lower property taxes. Careful budget management and controlled spending is required but the opposition has been unclear as to what specific items they would eliminate. 

Do you want to live in a city with asphalt versus cement roads? How about fewer parks, older fire trucks, a rusting water tank, no golf course or water park? Certainly there are some areas where discretionary spending could be eliminated but each of these areas typically has a support from the members of the community who benefit from it. 

Most residents also do not realize that it is more than spending that affects property tax. There are other components. Only about a third of city revenue comes from property tax. Fees and sales taxes compose the other two-thirds. With this in mind, we have to be cautious to build an infrastructure that will support an established property and sales tax base to sustain the city in the future when growth will no longer fuel revenues. 

Each of the incumbent council members has put in years of voluntary service to gain experience in city operations by serving on Boards and Commissions. The opponents contend that just makes them insiders but this is a very obtuse view of public service. Government of a city the size of NRH is a complicated process and requires vision as well as prudent management. My observation of the existing council is that they are committed to the future of NRH. 

I applaud anyone who seeks public office, but the third largest city in Tarrant County is not the place to put on the “training wheels.” This election seems as much about style as substance and I hope all the candidates and citizens of NRH will benefit from this election experience. 

Clearly there valid points of consideration in each of the candidates campaign positions. While the existing Council has some areas for improvement, they deserve an additional term of working together to achieve it. Vote for Trevino, Tolbert, Turnage and Johnson for another term. 

Ken Sapp
May 4, 2004 5:44 AM
Now that I've read Ms. Sigalla's response, I totally understand.
The whole "band" is out of step, not her.

Danny Holifield
April 29, 2004 @ 7:29 PM
GCISD Trustee Disputes Claims

My opponent, another trustee running for re-election and their supporters say they want a "positive" school board, yet they have set to work spreading misinformation about me, and some of it is pretty mean-spirited. I thank all of you for staying positive. 

Many of you have known me for years. You know that, as a trustee, I have always focused on the issues. At board meetings, I have always been professional (the tapes of the meetings prove this). I have never criticized other trustees in the press or at board meetings (as they have me). My goal is to discuss and understand the issues, and then do what is best for our schools. Why do people take that so personally?

The latest accusation is that I drove Dr. Thompson away. Dr. Thompson resigned about six months before I was elected. When I joined the board, the district had already chosen a search firm; the search firm had conducted the search and presented candidates to the board. The school board had selected three finalists by the time I was elected! 
Many of you are telling me there are people in the community who have only heard one side of this and other stories. So here is information that will help you tell them "the rest of the story." 

Did you "run off" Dr. Singer?
No, he's an adult and is responsible for his own decisions. Dr. Singer's job was to oversee a $80 million-plus, taxpayer-funded business—our school district. I am only one of seven trustees. He made a career decision to move on. Six members of the GCISD board gave him a nearly 10 percent raise, but he declined it. I wish Dr. Singer well and thank him for the good work he has done here.

Why did you vote against the nearly 10 percent raise for Dr. Singer? Wouldn't it have been less expensive than a search firm to replace him? 

Salaries must be set based on what is appropriate for the market. In my opinion, the superintendent's salary is appropriate, based on his years of experience as a superintendent and the size of the district. Also, Dr. Singer's salary includes a sizable benefits package that makes comparing salaries to other districts difficult. For example, after the nearly 10 percent raise that was offered to Dr. Singer, his salary would have increased from $151,000 to $160,000, but his total compensation would have increased from roughly $177,000 to $193,000.

While Dr. Singer’s decision has led to a regrettable situation for the district and the need to hire a search firm, at the end of the day, this was his decision. As with any company that loses an employee, the district will find another capable leader. I did not believe it was in the best interest of the district to increase the salary of an employee that has indicated a desire to leave, merely to avoid the cost of searching for a replacement.

Why do you ask so many questions?
For me, the question is why isn't everyone else asking questions? The majority of GCISD trustees have a record of agreeing with the superintendent probably 95 percent or more of the time. So, I guess it is out of character for a GCISD trustee to ask questions and sometimes vote against the superintendent's recommendation. But I am asked to cast votes, and I am committed to casting the best vote I can every time. I carefully review and often research the issues facing the board and am happy to explain every vote I take. Our district deserves no less from its school board. 
Many times, the questions I ask have been posed to me by parents/teachers/taxpayers. As a school board member, I feel it is my responsibility to fairly represent the views and concerns of those I serve within the GCISD community. 

What do you see as the role of the school board?
The school board is charged with setting the goals of the district. The board is responsible for assuring that the administration meets the needs of all the students and puts processes in place to implement district goals. The board approves all policies and the budget. This approval process is crucial for proper oversight of the district. The board must be sure that budget allocations are in the best interest of students, parents and taxpayers and advance the goals of the district. 

Are you responsible for canceling Baccalaureate? 
Baccalaureate is alive and well and will be held for both GHS and CHHS this spring. The school board did not consider or approve any decisions regarding Baccalaureate. I, as an individual trustee, cannot instruct the superintendent to do anything and would never have asked that this service be cancelled, particularly since my son, as a graduating senior, will be participating this year. 
The school district can no more cancel Baccalaureate than it can legally operate it. Some parents contacted Dr. Singer because they were concerned that the district might be breaking the law by having employees help organize Baccalaureate. Apparently Dr. Singer agreed, as he implemented steps to make sure that district staff members follow the law and not participate in Baccalaureate.

What do you think of the athletic program?
Athletics teach our children about a healthy lifestyle, teamwork and competition, all life-long skills. I benefited greatly from participating in athletics throughout high school, earning a letter in swimming. During college, I was a proud member of the Seattle Rugby Team. I continued to play rugby in graduate school. 
I believe that GCISD athletic programs are among the best in the state and should stay that way. I also believe that they should be continually reviewed, along with other programs, to be sure that we are being as efficient with our tax dollars as possible. I was saddened when we implemented pay-for-participation because I believe our programs should be equally accessible to all children. 

What are some of the issues you've asked questions about?
They include: 

ROBIN HOOD: Under "Robin Hood," we pay more to the state than we have to. For example, when we carry too large of a fund balance, we have to send more money to Austin. It also increases our Robin Hood payment to buy buses from our operating budget instead of our capital budget. This year, those actions cost us roughly $3.5 million. 

TEACHERS RETIREMENT FUND: Last year, the district hired a company, Total Compensation Group (TCG), to advise us on setting up an extra teachers' retirement account, much like a 401(k). A proposal was bid, and only one firm responded: TCG. The district put part of the teachers' salaries in this fund, forcing them to use TCG and a committee made up of district administrators as an investment adviser. In my opinion, this plan has higher fees than necessary and doesn't give employees enough control over their money. Other things about TCG raise red flags for me. If you want to know more about this, ask me; I've done a lot of research on it. 

SALE OF DISTRICT PROPERTY: Three times, I have objected to district proposals to sell property without a current appraisal and when the buyer's and seller's agents were the same people. 
CURRICULUM AUDIT: I questioned why the full board and the public were not made aware of Dr. Singer's relationship to the firm that conducted the GCISD curriculum management audit in 2001. At the time, the public and the newspapers—as evidenced by the stories they were writing—were told that TASA (Texas Association of School Administrators) was conducting the audit. The contract was signed by TASA and the audit report indicates it was conducted by TASA. 
More than a year later, I learned the audit had been done by Curriculum Management Systems (CMSi), on whose board Dr. Singer is a member. In fact, Dr. Singer was a vice president of the firm and worked for it (doing an audit in addition to being our superintendent) while the GCISD audit was being done. Additionally, the chief auditor of the audit report is an owner of the company and was on the board of directors with Dr. Singer.
I believe these relationships violate the "principal of independence" that is vital to the audit process. 

One of the audit's recommendations was that the district conduct training, and soon after the audit was complete, the district hired CMSi to conduct that training. The school board was unaware that this company was being used for training and did not approve funds for it; rather, the money was taken out of individual school's campus funds. 

Fiona Sigalla
Place 4 GCISD Board of Trustees
April 29, 2004 @7:07am
Dear Editor: 

I enjoy some of your humor, but am growing very weary of your continued trashing of Mayor Hocutt, and Council Members Skinner and Tigue, It's a wonder anyone would want to seek office when they have to put up with the wrath of the Ragin' Cajun and other residents who don't appreciate what they are doing for our city. 
Having lived here since '85, I have been pleased with the new businesses that have opened recently. I attended the last 2 Council meetings, and appreciate the comments of the Mayor, Tigue, and Skinner, along with the masses of residents who spoke out against the possible gas/tire store wanting to build at the North Entrance on 26. Personally I think a few of Hocutt's opponents who don't live near there, gave this developer a false sense of reality over the past year or so. I really don't see why we are wasting the developer's time and money by letting them come back with a new plan. Sure we need tax dollars, but not from
these guys who haven't been able to maintain the vacant gas station they own across the street. Hopefully the developer will sell the properties to someone who will use it wisely.

Only Council Member Dolan and resident Dudziak who would admit to wanting the gas/tire store. We'll see if there are any other supporters.  I am looking forward to the upcoming election and urge everyone to get out and vote. Whatever happens, I appreciate the efforts of the current Council Members and those seeking office who are trying to make our City better !!!


Mel Manuel

Editor's Note:  Anyone in public office is subject to the "wrath" of opinions from residents that may not always agree with their stand on any particular issue, e.g. you sir on the gas/station tire store.  I am well aware of how the system works since I have served on City Council.  I am not sure what "trashing" you refer, however given specific information LNO will be happy to post the correction upon receipt to clear up any facts overlooked.  LNO carried a very critical article on the proposed gas station/tire store.  Based on the comments heard by council members, I am not aware of anyone that was in favor of the project.  The developer can always come back with another plan, regardless of the outcome of the vote.  The "with" or "without" prejudice difference simply allows the developer to present an alternative plan, if any, without having to wait 12 months.
April 28, 2004 @ 9:27am

Mr. Editor....After watching the great job our Colleyville Heritage HS Debate Team did for us on Wednesday night, a revelation hit me. We now have our own local Hillary.....Any of us who watched the last State of the Union Address by President George W and the motions and facial expressions of discuss and/or confusion by Senator H Clinton as she was closely covered by the national TV could see less polished but similar actions being played out right here in Colleyville......and not by the kids on the stage . Ain't it a shame.

Hank Smyth

April 21, 2004 @ 9:51 pm

To the Editor,

In response to the council meeting on 4-20-04 and the Cantrell subdivision, I agree that the council should have been more stringent with the density of this project. One of my concerns, and I'm not up on all of the procedures, is that this plat made it through P & Z without an engineered design and a developer that is not sure where he'll put the drainage water. Without a good plan, it will certainly create more of a drainage problem for someone, but no one knows where that will be yet. 

And I am concerned with the traffic issue and the emergency access issue between Colleyville Elem. and Colleyville Middle schools to Bogart. If an emergency occurs during the morning or afternoon rush, the emergency vehicles will have to wait in line to get onto this access road. 

The other concern that I have is that the developer used school attendance numbers that GCISD uses district wide, but Colleyville Elem. does not fit the 'normal' numbers. The school population has grown by 130 students since May 1999--29 of those just since Aug. 2003. The district is now faced with an overcrowded issue at this school that is going to require an approval of a future bond package by the voters that will address the issues of the number of classrooms this school needs. But to say that this subdivision will only bring in 13 students to attend ALL schools (K - 12) is absurd. Anyone that looks at the characteristics of this subdivision of 32 lots should know that it will be filled with families with school age children, many more than the 9 elementary age students that the developer suggests.

I believe the council should work more directly with the school district AND the administration at CES when it comes to getting the realistic facts and not rely solely on the developer's presentation for future subdivisions in this area of Colleyville. This area is the last frontier of Colleyville land and the development of it will greatly impact our schools, roads and infrastructure in this area. It's important to have a good business relationship with developers, but when it comes to this particular city business, the actions of those voting ( P & Z and the council) should reflect a long-term responsibility to the city and citizens of Colleyville.

I challenge this city council and the next council to begin standing firm on the density and open space guidelines set in the land developement code. They not only have been set in such a way to try to preserve some of the things that make Colleyville a nice place to live, but I'm sure that our water and sewer lines and their capacities have been installed with regards to those guidelines. I ask that the P & Z and city council think about the long-term effects that their continual exceptions to this matter will have on our city and our schools. 

And in defense of Mayor Hocutt, I think it was Mayor Pro Tem Tigue that 'rattled off' the physicall improvements that were necessary. This developer had no idea of the 'little things' that he was going to do in this subdivision. And frankly, if it's not on paper, you can't hold them to the probably will do and the promises. If they were going to approve this project, then I'm glad that they did require some of those things, like the masonry fence between the homes and the school. And Mayor Hocutt did have a legitiment concern over the numbers that were being used for the school impact. 

I also challenge the elected officials in this next year to put ALL politics aside, and start working together and moving forward. I think that we have a few that try, but we've got to get rid of the Camp A and Camp B sides and come together like mature adults that are here to make a positive impact. And let's get a P & Z that makes good decisions about the projects that they approve for future hearing by the council. I don't care if they've served the city before or not. If they're willing, qualified and have a genuine interest in helping the citizens and this city, then approve them and let's get on with business. 

Thank you for the opportunity to voice an opinion on this matter.
Lisa Bernardo
April 21, 2004 @ 10:58 am
To the Editor,

I just happened to catch the end of last night's Colleyville City Council
meeting on TV. The item that I saw (most of) had to do with a proposed
residential development off Rt. 26 near the schools and Hall Johnson. Gary
Cantrell was the developer proposing a plan that would have allowed the
construction of 32 homes on the site. His proposal was before the Council,
so I take it that it had passed P&Z. Make no mistake, I am neither for nor
against this proposal, and Mr. Cantrell and I are barely acquaintances. It
is the way the item was handled that I am writing about.

I listened in fascination, as our Mayor reeled off a long list of dress-up
items he would like to see added to the development (none of them required
by the city' zoning ordnances , nor our Land Development Code). His
top-of-the-head listing was done after a long monologue (from the Mayor)
about the problems of having temporary classrooms units at the nearby school
and how G-CISD should do something about that, and about the traffic
problems in the surrounding area and how TX Dot (or somebody) should do
something about that. Our Mayor Pro-Tem chimed in with the need for a
masonry wall around the entire property (later agreed to by all as
ridiculous), and Councilman Skinner tried to do the landscape architecture
work from his seat on the Council. Before the 'discussion' was over we even
heard our Mayor (expert at everything, I guess) dispute the growth equation
used by the local school system.

There was a significant issue about Mr. Cantrell's proposal and that was the
density question. This issue is reflected in our zoning ordnances, but the
Council gave very little consideration to it. Instead they focused on the
pretentious extras, ignoring the issue with substance. Frankly, regarding
the extras, I would far rather trust Mr. Cantrell to develop something that
will be attractive enough to sell, than to rely on this bunch of amateurs.
The Council should have been doing their job examining the pros and cons of
making a density exception, rather than trying to tell this professional how
to make it pretty.

It is exactly this kind of treatment that repulses developers from our city.
The recent Economic Development Task Force pointed this out as one of the
major impediments to responsible development in Colleyville. This
micro-management is paralyzing to anyone trying to work with our city. Of
course, this Council has been so paralyzed itself by our Mayor's continued
vetoes of P & Z appointees that nothing has been done regarding the Task
Force report.

We must develop a more professional approach to the government of our city.
This current blatant ineptitude is an embarrassment to us all. This Council,
or the newly elected one, should take the EDTF Report a first priority item.

Clif Holliday
The following emails to the editor were posted out of order due to a mail server receipt error.

April 8, 2004 @5:21 PM

I searched for red truck and found the link to the article of the guy in a red truck that tried to pick up a little boy in Southlake Hills neighborhood. When I click on the link it takes me to the incorrect article. Can you please send me the link so that I can publish it in our neighborhood newsletter?

Publisher's note: the link appears correct, LNO has sent the specific reference.
March 29, 2004 @1:53 PM

Thanks for the pictures of opening day of Colleyville Baseball! :)
Great job!!!! 
Debbie Vandiver
April 16, 2004 @ 7:52 pm

Letter to the Editor,
 Subject: Sound Financial Planning saves NRH Tax Payers Millions 

Nearing the end of my first year as a Councilman in the City of North Richland Hills, I had the unique opportunity to assist in presentations, along with Mayor Oscar Trevino, Councilman Frank Metts, City Manager Larry Cunningham and staff, to the Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. and the Standard & Poor’s Rating Group. The purpose of the presentations were to seek favorable ratings by the two firms in order to finance various projects approved in the 2003 Bond Election and to refinance current debt from previously approved Bond Election of 1994.

Having had much experience in finance, both in the “Corporate World” and as an “Entrepreneur” who founded, grew and eventually sold a successful manufacturing business, I already had a sense of the fine job our City Government and Staff do in managing city revenues and expenses. But participating in the bond rating meetings brought a new appreciation of current funding policies. I learned at these meetings what an important part “Reserve Funds” played in gaining a favorable bond rating. Both rating services, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s stressed that our policy of maintaining a health level of reserves made possible their recommendations to maintain our rating of Aa3 and AA- in spite of the reduced revenues experienced by NRH during the economic downturns of recent years.

These ratings afforded NRH a “True Interest Cost” of 4.073% for the 2004 Bond Sale and refinancing of current debt. The savings to our taxpayers alone on the refinancing is $783,621.69. You can quickly see, with this savings, along with the favorable bond rates earned through our fiscal policies in years past, how millions of dollars of interest expense have been saved. It comes then at no surprise that NRH Credit Ratings were ranked in the top 2% of municipalities in the State of Texas and the top 10% nationwide. 

John H. Lewis, NRH City Council Place 1
April 16, 2004 @7:48 pm
Just a heads up. MC means "Master of Ceremonies" it's not "emcee" as stated in the article about arbor daze. Whoever decided to coin that spelling is wrong. and people wonder why kids can't spell. 

Great site though. I love it. Keep up the good work.

April 16, 2004 @4:36pm


I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. 

Contrary to recent unfounded and false accusations by a fellow trustee, I do not have a conflict of interest—real or perceived—between the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and my current employer, Peoples Publishing Group. I have attached a copy of the letter from my employer, Peoples Publishing Group, dated September 30, 2002, to Dr. Kevin Singer regarding a product mailing that was sent—in error—to the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. 

Please note paragraph 3 of this letter that states: “Please understand these mailings are automatic in nature, and we had every intention of pulling the mailing for your district. Although we wish to ensure that this does not happen again, we want you to know that Jesse does not receive economic gain that may result from any of your educators purchasing our materials. There is no benefit, either direct or indirect, that is awarded to Jesse for such transactions. In fact, Jesse has not only requested that he not be included on such mailings, but that we exclude him from any economic gain he could possible get from purchases that are made independently from your district.” The financial restrictions outlined in this letter are still in effect today. Please feel free to print this letter in its entirety because it is indeed a public document and is a matter of public record.

I have gone to great lengths to be completely above board regarding my role as the Regional VP for my company as well as my role as a GCISD Board Trustee. I have filed the affidavits as required by law and have abstained from voting on items that directly pertain to Peoples Publishing Group as well as my wife’s company, Pinnacle Education Associates. 

I pride myself on being open, honest, and fair. I will continue to strive to excel in my efforts to do what’s best for our children, our schools, and our school district. I have not and will not take my responsibilities as a Trustee lightly nor will I use my position for monetary gains. 

Anyone wishing to discuss this matter with me may do so by contacting me at (817) 707-7600. 


Jesse G. Rodriguez
GCISD Board Trustee

The following was provided by Mr. Rodriguez as a copy of a letter sent by his employer to Superintendent Singer:
September 30, 2002

Dr. Kevin Singer
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
3051 Ira E. Woods Ave.
Grapevine, TX 76051

Dear Dr. Singer:

You and a number of your educators recently received a mailing of our Measuring Up materials with a letter stating that Jesse Rodriquez is the contact person for those who may wish to purchase our product. We sincerely regret that this letter went out to your school district as it may have caused some concern that Jesse Rodriquez is an employee of ours while serving on your school board. 

Jesse is a highly valued employee of ours. We also know that his board work with your district is very important to him on a personal level. We sincerely apologize if we may have raised a concern or created any inconvenience to you, your staff, the board and others who may be concerned. 

Please understand these mailings are automatic in nature, and we had every intention of pulling the mailing for your district. Although we wish to ensure that this does not happen again, we want you to know that Jesse does not receive economic gain that may result from any of your educators purchasing our materials. There is no benefit, either direct or indirect, that is awarded to Jesse for such transactions. In fact, Jesse, has not only requested that he not be included on such mailings but that we exclude him from any economic gain he could possibly get from purchases that are made independently from your district. 

I am especially sensitive to this situation as I too was on a school board while working in my current capacity. So we respect the need to avoid even the appearance of any conflicts. 

Please accept our apologies. We will make every effort to avoid this situation again. 

Kind regards, 
Matti Prima
President, Educational Development Division

April 7, 2004 @ 3:39pm

In all the years I served on the Colleyville P&Z, I was always told that the members of P&Z, like all city appointees, serve at the pleasure of the City Council and that the Council could remove anyone whenever they wanted. I can assure you that the former Mayor and Council wouldn’t have hesitated in “un-appointing” anyone. I seriously doubt that the rules have changed. The Charter hasn’t been rewritten. However, I note that it does say that the attorney should not only be licensed but competent. 

Bottom Line -- We are bordering on the death of common sense here. What a bunch of hoo-ha! 

And while I’m at it – 
Reading the story about Councilman Skinner releasing privileged information was like deja vu. 

The last time a member of our esteemed City Council released privileged information it cost us a City Park and the original Trail System. What’s it going to cost us this time? 

With several highly contested elections right around the corner, I would like to hear from area citizens about what they believe good city government is. Perhaps LNO would consider running a forum. I’ll start by saying that to me one component of good city government is leaders who have no intention of receiving personal wealth through their service to the city and its citizens. 

Luann Edwards
March 30, 2004 @8:08 pm
Did you publish an article regararding the 99 Cents Only Store opening in
We heard there was an article in a "paper" regarding the Grand Opening and
was unable to locate the article in the local pubs. If you could help me
locate the article I would certainly appreciate it.
Guy Thornberg
Director, Customer Relations
Westwood Contractors
A December 19, 2003 article was posted, Click Here to read.
March 30,2004 @10:23 am



March 29, 2004 @ 10:15 am
Ref:  Colleyville Crime Report..What is Citrine?
Citrine is a orange colored stone (birth stone of October)

Jane  Boyd
Vice President, National Debate Coaches Association
Director of Forensics
Grapevine High School
March 27, 2004 @6:18pm

Ref:  Positive Campaign Response
A Column by Ron West

Mr. Ron West recently stated that I am the spokesperson for the City Council and Planning and Zoning commission. I am unsure if his statement is intend to imply that these persons are not capable of speaking for themselves or that I am unable to develop MY OWN thoughts and opinions. Either way, in both instances he would be incorrect. 

A common tactic in politics is to present personal opinion as fact. With our knowledge of this, it is good to recall the old saying "everyone is entitled to their own opinion but they are not entitled to their own facts." His statement, I have to assume is an opinion, since there is no factual basis to support it. 

Perhaps Mr. West could avoid confusion if he clarified what is fact and what is opinion. In a previous column he stated "while we disagree with him (Mr. Sapp), we strongly support the right to express his opinion." Now, in a change of direction, it appears he believes my opinions are not my own but those of the sitting City Council.

I do not have an issue with Mr. West personally, I do not know him well enough to make that type of conclusion. I just do not agree with taking a negative approach to everything and everyone. Am I to assume that because I disagree with him on his style, I am now to be his next target for public defamation?

Leadership involves making tough decisions even when there is personal or political risk in doing so. Leaders make mistakes, they are not infallible. What is important for us to evaluate, however, is what they may learn from these mistakes and what they do to correct them. 

Since Mr. West has no public record for us to review under the cold light of history, we cannot evaluate the decisions he might have made and the circumstance under which he made them. We can only assume what type of leader he might be based on his credibility and demeanor. Whether he is on the right side of the issues and if he is using the correct tactics to present them will be decided on May 15. However, that's just my opinion.

Ken Sapp
North Richland Hills
March 27, 2004 @5:54pm

Hi this is Jay Armstrong. I saw your notice about the Lion's Club scholarship on LNO. I just wanted to touch base with you, as I was a recipient of your fine offering 2 years ago. Just wanted to drop you a quick note and tell you again how appreciative I was of receiving this award. At that time, I entered TCU and went there for a full year and left with a 3.43 grade point average. At which time I decided I would like to transfer to The University of Texas. Luckily, last fall I was accepted, and currently am in the middle of my first semester here at UT. Living in Austin is very different than living in Southlake, but I love it here. 

I thank you once again, for selecting me two years ago and just wanted you to know that it helped me start on the right road to college. I know your new receipients will feel as grateful as I was for your assistance. 
March 26, 2004 @9:08 pm
Ref:  Colleyville Crime Report..What is Citrine?
Citrine is a semi-precious stone which is yellow or orange in color. It's not terribly valuable as a gemstone, but is gaining popularity in jewelry designs.

Linda Morgan
March 26, 2004 @8:58pm

Hello Editor
I was wondering if you have a face painter for the festival this year?
I am an artist and face painter, and I am interested in painting at the festival if there is a place for me.

Thank you,
Karen Weiss

We have forwarded your email to the Southlake Women's Club

March 26, 2004 @ 5:56 pm
Ref:  Mark Jones Removal

There should be no question or discussion about whether Mr. Jones removal from the P&Z. He has lied on his application. If he had applied for a job with the city and left this event off his application, he would be terminated for lying on his application. How the city attorney issues an opinion that a recent DWI and hand gun violation is not subject to the moral turpitude provisions of the city ethics ordinance is beyond belief. I strongly believe it is time to review the City Attorney's performance and terminate him!!! 
March 24, 2004 @ 8:51pm

Dear Publisher,

Regarding the "moral turpitide" issue involving Mark Jones and his obligation to disclose, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The same Council that passed a resolution condemning Janet Jackson's breast exposure at the Super Bowl evidently can't quite figure out how to deal with a P&Z member [and City Council candidate] who drives drunk, causes an accident, leaves the scene, and continues to drive recklessly while in possession of an armed handgun. On top of that, the guy is affiliated [either by stupidity or on purpose] with a fringe extremist group that on its website promotes a book called "The Myths of Slavery." Folks, Colleyville doesn't need this embarrassment. The good people in this town don't need a lawyer's opinion on "moral turpititude" to know how to deal with this. This is a simple right and wrong. It was wrong to do the offense [by the way, community standards on drunk driving today are much different and far less tolerant than in 1967--the case sited by the City Attorney] and it was even more wrong to hide the crime from the citizens.

The citizens of Colleyville need to trust the judgment of our public officials. It looks to me that Mark Jones has three stikes against him on this count -- [1] the crime, [2] the non-disclosure and [3] the connection with the fringe group. In my game, three strikes and you're out. There are decent people in this city that can replace Mr. Jones. I urge the Mayor and Council to use common sense in determining what offends community standards. If they do that, I know they will do the right thing.

Keith Staudt

March 24, 2004 @12:16am
Letter to Mayor Trevino:

I  read with interest your new campaign letter, where you state "I remain
responsive to all the citizens of NRH and make it a point to respond to
and communicate with all that contact me on any issue."

I previously sent you an email, to which (in spite of the above statement) you never responded. I will repeat the questions I asked:

Have you filed any business personal property tax returns for the equipment located on the (JL Steel's) concrete processing plant?

Have you paid those taxes?

Did you file any personal property taxes for the heavy equipment located in other locations in the city of North Richland Hills?

Have you paid those taxes?

You apparently chose not to answer these questions when I asked them
approximately a week ago. In light of the claims in your campaign
letter, maybe you will respond to this citizen now.

Herb Parsons
March 23, 2004 @ 8:56 am

Hi Ken,

While I strongly disagree with your latest column in LNO, I would like to redirect you to the Open Letter sent to Mayor Trevino.

In the heat of a campaign - facts often get lost.

Please note, that as of this date, Mayor Trevino has not seen fit to 
produce the requested proof of payment of the taxes in question.

Please also note that not a single member of the City Staff nor the City 
Council has responded in any manner.

Please note that the "sweetheart deal" with BISD gave Mayor Trevino a 
significant advantage over all other bidders for local contracts and saved him significant money for the rebuilding of all projects he wished to bid due to the
proximity of his cement mixing operations to the jobs.

Please note that over 20 citizens of NRH protested the plant on BISD 
land but were totally ignored by the Planning
& Zoning Commission as well as the City Council. (Minutes of the 
meeting are available for your review.)

Please note that the "BISD Foundation" is chaired by C. A. Sanford, who 
was the campaign manager for Bob Griggs campaign for State Representative. Does this indicate a favor for favor situation? Bob Griggs initiated the request
to allow Trevino to use the BISD land (that Griggs did not own).

Please note that if our facts are correct ( and we have done extensive 
research on them), then Mr. Trevino or his company owes the City of NRH a significant sum of money for business personal property taxes. 

Please also note that if our facts are correct Mr. Trevino owes BISD 
significantly more tax money than he "paid" as a contribution to the BISD foundation.

Please also reconsider your comment about "what other companies do". 
Would it make it right for our Mayor to violate the law and ignore taxes just because other companies do so? If  anything, our Mayor should be held to a higher standard because he has both tax and spend authority.

Lastly, please note the reference to the City Charter which is quite  clear. If the Mayor owes taxes - which in this particular case would be by his failure to render business personal property as required by State Law, he is ineligible to serve as Mayor or run for the office of Mayor in the upcoming election. All 
businesses in Texas were given an opportunity to place business personal property on the tax rolls with an amnesty through December 1, 2003. Mr. Trevino apparently ignored this opportunity to do the legal and right thing.

Please think again your comments in LNO because it is truly an open forum that allows differing opinions to be seen by the public. LNO does not edit nor distort the facts to appease or please anyone. The headlined article in the Star Telegram must have been heavily influenced by the Mayor because it had little to do with our Open Letter. I am most hopeful that the Star Telegram will do a better job of reporting on this situation in the 
very near future.

Our questions are not rhetorical - and they would have been asked 
whenever we uncovered the facts mentioned above. 


Ron West
March 22, 2004 @ 8:36 am

Ref:  Mark Jones DWI
Dear Publisher,

Your disclosures on Mark Jones regarding his criminal history is serious stuff. The charges are bad enough but the fact that he has not disclosed this while serving on P&Z and running as a candidate for City Council is outrageous. We are not talking about something done a long time ago during one's youth--rather this happened only 5 years ago! In fact, he accepted his P&Z appointment while he was on probation. Crashing into a car in broad daylight while drunk, leaving the scene of the accident, driving recklessly [all the while in possession of hand gun] and deliberately concealing your past are not the type of qualities that befit a leader of our community. It is very fortunate no one was hurt in this incident.

I know Colleyville leaders have differences on issues facing our city but this is one subject where the city must be united. I call on Mark Jones to immediately resign from P&Z and to drop his City Council race. If he does not do so, the Mayor and Council should ask for his immediate resignation. Yes, good people make mistakes and can be forgiven but forgiveness requires some act of contrition. If ever a person has effectively disqualified himself from public service, it is Mr. Jones. The City of Colleyville deserves much better than this!

Keith Staudt
March 22, 2004 @8:32 am

Ref: Donation of Railroad Cart to Colleyville
Dear Editor,
This is the project of Councilman Hendler. I have been deferring the need for change to Mr. Hendler. I'm not sure what motivated his activity, other than a perception that the overall donation policy of the city needed refining and updating to comply with legal requirements of permanent transfer of ownership. Based on what I was told the policy needed minor adjustments. I don't believe Mr. Hendler is unnecessarily burdening the council or staff with this request. 

In addition, should a unique opportunity present itself, please be assured that the City Council is capable of reacting on short notice and need.. 

If you have other issues with the policy I respectfully suggest that you speak with Mr. Hendler personally to clarify the issue.

Mark Skinner
Mark Skinner is Colleyville Councilman Place 1
March 19, 2004 @4:00am


I was happy to see the letter from Mr West concerning Mayor Trevino's
unpaid business property taxes. I too had been looking into this issue
for a couple of weeks, and independently found much of the same
information. However, Mr West gives Mayor Trevino's company too much

Mr West's letter stated "... We have also found that Tarrant County
taxing entities do not receive revenue transfers from Denton County
where JL Steel has filed and paid taxes." The truth of the matter is
that J L Steel still has not FILED a personal property tax return in
Denton County. Rather, they paid the estimated assessment given them by
the appraisal board.

This may sound like a minor issue, but it represents an attitude. This
is a man that is entrusted to run a city whose primary income is from
taxes paid by businesses and citizens, and yet the company he partially
owns and completely runs pays none of their share of taxes in North
Richland Hills, and fails to file the proper returns in either Tarrant
County or Denton County.

I suspect that J L Steel chose to pay the assessed value because it was
lower than the real value. Maybe they'll file, and we'll know the truth,
or maybe Mayor Trevino will continue to place his interests above that
of the citizens he is supposed to serve.

Herb Parsons
Vice President - North Richland Hills Citizens
March 18, 2004 @ 2:27 pm
Dear Editor,

We filed this letter to all addressees on Tuesday, March 16th. Click Here to see the letter.  We validated the data with Tarrant Appraisal District by two separate calls to appraisers. We have found that JL Steel has paid no business personal property taxes in Tarrant County since 1996. We have also found that Tarrant County taxing entities do not receive revenue transfers from Denton County where JL Steel has filed and paid taxes. Tarrant Appraisal District is "investigating" but we have received no report back from them.

Unfortunately, the Fort Worth Star Telegram has choosen to neither report the call for the Mayor to withdraw from the race by virtue of unpaid - thereby deliquent taxes to the City of NRH - nor to investigate the validity of our assertions. I am hopeful that you will see fit to alert the citizens of NRH that significant tax revenues have been lost to the city, Tarrant County College District, Tarrant County  Hospital District, Birdville ISD and Tarrant County by this failure to render and pay business personal property taxes.

This liability is most likely in the thousands of dollars. I have photographs of the cement mixing plant located in NRH along with some of the rolling equipment that has been there for at least two years. This could have quickly been dispelled as an issue if the Mayor had choosen to refute any of our assertions by the production of receipts for taxes duly paid.

Unless such proof of payment does exist, and is presented to the public- this will be an issue that will be presented to all potential voters  contacted for the upcoming election.


Ron West
March 15, 2004 @ 8:49 am
I used my Sprint PCS phone's directory assistance to get the phone number
for the Colleyville City Hall. The address they still have is Bransford Rd
and the phone number is (817) 577-7575. I went to their web site after the
fact and determined that both of these items (especially the address) are
incorrect. I would appreciate it if you could pass this on to the
appropriate department in City Hall...

Jeff Miller
Colleyville, TX
Editor's Note:  Your request has been passed directly to Bill Lindley, City Manager of Colleyville.
March 5, 2004 @4:31pm
CC of letter to Star-Telegram
Mr. Smith:

Your column on "Let It Be" is badly misinformed at best. I thought that a columnist would at least consider the real facts before writing such an article.

Why don't you check out the amount of increased property taxes the City of Fort Worth is already collecting verses say 5 to 7 years ago. Calculate the percentage growth. 

Then check out the population growth. Calculate it in percentages.

Then check out the expenditures (budget) the council has voted each year over the past 5 to 7 years. Calculate the increase in percentages.

If you actually do any homework, you will find that our elected officials are spending more and more money - much, much faster than population growth would indicate. Budgets are growing faster - much faster and taxes are growing at an annualized rate of 8 to 10% by property valuation increases. Some cities are budgeting 8 to 10% or more increases in future revenue from increased property valuations alone.

Check out Chief Mendoza's needs for the rapidly growing population by comparing percentage increases in his budget against percentage increases in expenditures.

Now, if you accept the challenge of truly finding the facts, consider the following. Freezing taxes for seniors simply fixes their property taxes as long as they stay in their existing house. (The house continues to face ever upwards appraisals just waiting for the next occupant.) There is NO loss in revenue only the Loss of INCREASED taxes from the seniors house. If this is not accomplished, then seniors, facing a minimal 8% valuation increase each year, will see their property taxes DOUBLE over the next 10 years.

I don't think you were writing about an issue of fairness and I doubt that any of us can truly afford the status quo as you suggest. If we do, we will be like the frog placed in cold water that is gradually brought to a boil. The real problem you should be writing about is runaway government spending.

I doubt that you will do the homework above - but if you do, I would issue a challenge to really tell the people the real facts about the "Status Quo".

In 1997 the City of Fort Worth collected approximately $100,070,018 in property taxes.
In 2002 the City of Fort Worth collected approximately $ 202,595,163 in property taxes
This is a growth in the property taxes of 102.45% or about 17% per year.

Compare that to population growth which I believe is less than 3% per year for this period. (You should have access to the actual %)

I am not privy to the City of Fort Worth's budget - but I bet if you take the time, you will see that it is increasing even faster than the property tax revenue due to many other sources of income that they have increased such as water, sewer, fees and fines.

If you really believe what you wrote - then join the other frogs in the pot. Government wants to spend your money too.


Ron C. West
March 05, 2004 @4:30pm
Please add us to your distribution list.  Our e-mail address is
 _____________.We enjoy your local news coverage.  Good job.
Clifton Duke
Editor's note:  You have been added.  To receive headline alerts simply go to or and type in your email, then click on read news.  The emails are automatically added.  Note, if you are an AOL customer and your headline alerts are sporadic, check your spam filter and be sure LNO is cleared.
March 05, 2004 @ 11:37am
What does the Colleyville city council have to do with what happens at the Superbowl halftime show? There are many other things to focus on that pertains to the city of Colleyville. Janet Jackson exposing her chest on National TV is a concern for a completely different level of government. It is definitely not any business of a tiny North Texas community and its snobby city council. I know that was what the article was alluding to by mentioning the empty P&Z seats. I just get so tired of people who abuse what little (if any) authority that they have. He’s probably a cheap tipper who believes in the death penalty too! I didn’t care to e-mail Joe Hocutt because I still drive through Colleyville on a regular basis. I would hate to get pulled over every time I enter the city because I think the Mayor is a joke. 

Keep it up LNO. I do like your articles. 

J. Edwards 

Feb. 29,  2004 @2:46pm

Please be careful with this one.  Salvant is a good judge, and one of a dwindling number who doesn’t see himself as an extension of the district attorney and police.  There aren’t many judges left in Tarrant County who aren’t scared of making right decisions because of political fears of being seen as “soft”.  You no doubt appreciate judicial impartiality, and the presumption of innocence, in a way that most of us never will.

Michael Brinkley,

Editor note:  We are certainly aware of the role a judge can play in a trial. LNO posted an article on Mike Deegan as part of our coverage of this area, he is a resident of Colleyville. Deegan also has political ads on LNO. There is still time before the election should Mr. Salvant care to purchase an ad as well!
February 25, 2004  @5:29am
After reading Local News Only, I get the opinion that you and the city manager do not exchange jokes over the internet. 

Next we are going to push to get rid of the horses and chickens in the town. We moved to the town to be in the country without all of the country sounds and smells.

Have they asked you to join the Colleyville Womens' Club? That is the thing to do because once you get the women on your side their husbands will vote for anything.
Ed Barsachs

Reply from Linda Baker:
Mr. Barsachs humor is always welcome!
In actuality, City Manager Bill Lindley and I, as well as the Publisher of LNO, have always had a good relationship. That is what makes unique-we all are able to speak freely in this forum and still enjoy each others' opinions, whether we agree or not.
(Mr. Barsachs knows I am a horse person and a poultry enthusiast!) 
February 24, 2004 @3:26pm

It's too bad that Belinda is unhappy with your reporting. Although I'm not interested in all of the articles, at least I can find things that do interest me about NE Tarrant County. In addition, I do respect the fact that it's not always going to be unbiased reporting. I also have the option of setting up my own
website to give differing opinions if I so choose.

I will admit that my favorite area is the crime report; the reporting can brighten up an otherwise bleak day.

Keep up the good work.

Doug McDougal
February 23, 2004 @ 7:20 pm
Dear Editor/Publisher,
I am removing my userid from your updates feature. I have tried to read this publication to learn about news in Colleyville. I know that this is a local publication but it doesn't need to be so opinionated and vicious. The irony is that I tend to agree with some of the "articles". And I appreciate the local coverage. But the editorial response to the letter from the Colleyville City Manager was way out of line. I don't want this kind of material in my inbox.

Belinda Isham
Editor: LNO provides a conduit of local news, some of which viewers may not like or disagree with editorial comments of LNO.  LNO has enjoyed a good working relationship with Colleyville City Manager Bill Lindley and, in general, is a supporter of his leadership and style.  However, LNO considers open government to be a top priority.   LNO will continue to be critical of circumstances where the accuracy of information from any city governments is suspect. Only informed citizens can make informed choices. 
February 23, 2004 @5:58 pm

I read with interest this afternoon the article written by Linda Baker concerning the posting of the agenda for the P&Z Commission for this evening. While it is correct that we had an incorrect link for the tonight’s meeting, it was noted and corrected by staff early this afternoon. We do take pride and make it a priority to provide public notification of meetings. I know you can appreciate the difficulty in links working correctly since I have noted to you a few times of “dead” links or wrong links for previous LNO articles. 

Regarding the bulletin board location, we actually have two bulletin boards for posting of public meetings (not just one as referred to by Mrs. Baker). Each bulletin board is located adjacent to the public entrances to the City Hall. Meeting the state requirement, staff posts all regular Board and Commission and City Council meetings at least 72 hours in advance of a meeting. In addition to these public notifications, staff also sends letters to property owners within 200 feet of a proposed zoning change. Along with this direct public notification effort, we also post a sign on the property that is visible from the street. In the case of the Shelton Road zoning case, we have received several letters from property owners and even a petition provided for Commission consideration. 

Thank you,
Bill Lindley
City Manager

Editor's Note:  Thank you for correcting that there are now two locations for the bulletin boards.

However, the posting on bulletin boards is an archaic tradition that started well before the instant communications of the Internet. Ms. Baker informed staff last week of a similar error on the city's web site.   While correcting the link is good, it would seem to LNO correcting the information a few hours before the actual meeting is hardly adequate. As the Editor of LNO and a citizen of Colleyville, I would be much more comfortable with an answer less defensive and more determined to correct lingering errors of this nature.  As you well know the margin for error by a city staff member is very small.  Errors by city staff can create substantial problems for everyone.  For example, LNO received incorrect information from the City Secretary's office on attendance records of P&Z members in the past. 

While I appreciate your attention to LNO broken links, LNO is not the official site of the City of Colleyville. Regardless, we will continually strive to improve and welcome the opportunity to correct our oversights.
While the article was clearly identified as Linda Baker's perspective, I believe she made some important points that should be considered.
February 21, 2004 @1:41 am
Dear Editor,

The tradition of self serving lobbying groups lining their pockets at the expense of the poor and working class is alive and well. The new lobby kingpins are none other than our own parents and Senior Citizens. The powerful and well funded Senior’s groups ran the Senior tax freeze OPTION passed the Texas Constitution with not a word of public discussion in the press. Now they are ramming it down the throats of local City Councils and even the Tarrant County College District. They will not stop in their efforts to brow beat the elected officials throughout this State. The language of the writer of yesterday’s editorial and letter to the Council in favor of the freeze makes one thing very clear. The same language was used in Bedford against the Council members who choose to not implement the TAX Freeze last month. The Seniors are acting like a bunch of two bit thugs on the waterfront. Mr. Wood’s comments to his elected officials were,” There are a lot of seniors in NRH and they are motivated to vote. If you are comfortable with your current record then I am sure you can disregard this request.”. I might remind the writer that elected officials are duty bound to protect the interest of all the people. They are to protect the Citizen and the non-Citizen, the voter and the non-voter, the young family struggling to make their rent payments as well as the well to do Senior Home owner.

The Senior Tax Freeze is a tax saving for the wealthy landowner at the expense of the poor. The proponents of the Senor Tax freeze have continually failed to bring accurate numbers to the discussions. They don’t want to let the public at large know the overwhelming effect that this law will have as the Baby boomers swarm into retirement age. Those cities, such as Bedford, that were wise enough to review the budget effects will join them in denying this ill conceived law. When the budget short falls mount it will be these same Seniors that will pack the polls to install new bond issues to shore up needed services such as streets and police and fire service. Remember they will not have to pay for bonds or the rising tax burden that comes with them. Their taxes are frozen at this dollar amount.

This phase in the supporters letter ,”from this group of people who have already paid more than most”, I call the free lunch clause. Of course they paid more than most. They also used more than most. They have also earned more than most. They have savings more than most. And the list goes on. Every year that you paid a tax you got a service. Now you want the service without paying the bill. You want representation without taxation. 

Wood’s final comment ,“Seniors deserve not to be taxed out of their homes “ deserves the full and undivided attention of every citizen in this County. Those words have been echoed throughout the land. They infer that we throw old people out of their homes because of taxes. Simply not true. I defy Mr. Wood to find the Senior that had their homestead taken for taxes in Tarrant County. There are a multitude of safeguards to prevent just that. To imply in any manner anything different is nothing more than fear mongering in the lowest form. 

There is a vacuum of factual information on this subject. That is what the supporters of this law are betting on. There are no organized groups for the poor and working class families of this community. There voices have been drowned out by the time-rich and well-funded senior lobby groups. We have assembled, using actual facts and figures from the Tarrant Appraisal District, a series of overviews on this subject. You can find many more points of discussion about this matter available on the website, Click Here. The forums and editorials and graphs are filled with information that you should consider before making your decision. 

It is a bad law. You should not implement it. Do not quietly give in to the threats. Represent all the people. 
Ray Ecklund, Haltom City    
February 20, 2004 @ 1:49 pm

Dear Mayor and Council Members,

Last night, Tarrant County College District voted to freeze the taxes 
for Seniors under the new State Laws. Other cities in our area
have taken similar steps. In the city of NRH, tax valuations have 
increased 62.2% in the last seven years. The current exemption
for seniors in NRH is one of the lowest in Tarrant County.

Freezing taxes simply insures our seniors that their taxes will remain 
constant from the time they reach 65 until they dispose of their
property. It does stop both the council and the city bureaucrats from 
counting on continual INCREASES in taxes from this
group of people who have already paid more than most. Please remember 
that our seniors continue to pay taxes to the local
school districts long after their children are usually grown and out of 
school. There is no "issue of fairness" that would argue against
freezing taxes.

Now is a good time to act since the sitting council has voted to hold 
the rate on property taxes for the last 11 years thereby raising
taxes by 62.2% (not to mention increases in fees, fines, water and 
sewer rates, etc.). Since some members of the council are now
up for re-election - quick consideration and positive action by the 
council on this matter might create a more favorable platform for
the upcoming elections in May.

There are a lot of seniors in NRH and they are motivated to vote. If 
you are comfortable with your current record then I am sure
you can disregard this request.

Seniors deserve not to be taxed out of their homes - I hope that you 
will consider the freeze.


Ron C. West
North Richland Hills
February 19, 2004 @9:01 am
What an embarrassment to live in Colleyville with such ignorant and unprofessional people representing our local government. With televised meetings, we all now see what really goes on at this level. Shouldn't these "children" take their toys and go play somewhere else? By the way, the pony tails on Mr. Tigue and Mr. Jones are real "cute" but hardly are representative of the conservative, entrepreneurial types that generally live in Colleyville. We would all benefit if they would move to a place where they better maybe Key West, FL!

Bob Salter
 in Colleyville
February 16, 2004 @ 2:50 pm

One part of my job is to respond to complaints from citizens about what we do. I may be crazy but I enjoy addressing the complaints because it gives me the chance to communicate with our valuable citizens about their concerns and perceptions. While we receive very few complaints considering more than six thousand contacts our officers have with the public on a monthly basis, I still receive the occasional complaint about our enforcement of the traffic laws. The complainants believe we should be catching "the big" criminals instead of stopping people for traffic violations. I call to their attention the recent murder case of the retired Texas Christian University professor. An alert officer on a routine traffic stop apprehended the suspects in Oklahoma City. Furthermore the City of Irving has reported having no fatality accidents since October 1, 2003. During the same time period a year before they had experienced 20 deaths due to traffic accidents. They claim increased traffic enforcement as the factor. So we will continue to do our job of enforcing traffic laws in a compassionate value-driven approach as it makes Keller a better place to live, visit and conduct business. 

We continue to appreciate your support and we are here to serve your law enforcement needs in a professional and value driven approach.

Mark R. Hafner
Chief of Police Keller
, Texas
February 16, 2004 @ 11:49 am

February 13, 2004 @ 9:39 am
Why is the recycling company that Colleyville contracted with last year (IESI)no longer picking up corrugated cardboard for recycling? I am an avid
recycler and am disappointed that the city would allow them to stop picking up corrugated cardboard. A letter was sent to all residents with the new guidelines for recycling and it states that corrugated cardboard can
not be put out for recycling.
Vincent Kijowski
Editor:  We have forwarded you question to Colleyville City Manager Bill Lindley and requested a response from his office.

February 16, 2004 @ 11:49 am
IESI’s mailing incorrectly stated that they do not collect cardboard material. As part of our recycling program this type of material continues to be collected. We have directed the company to contact our customers to correct this incorrect information. 
Bill Lindley, Colleyville City Manager
February 13, 2004 @ 10:10 am

Dear Editor,
To you and all your readers, I'd like to invite you to an art show. The
Bear Creek Quilt Guild of Keller with members throughout this N.E. Tarrant
County area is presenting a quilt show February 20th and 21st, 2004 at the
Grapevine Convention Center, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. I am sure many of
your readers would take issue that a quilt is not a piece of art. They
would be wrong. The quilts that you will view at this show are not your
great grandmother's quilts. Not to say that grandma's quilts were not
art--they were and are. What you will see will be new interpretations of
the art form using different fabrics, dies, machine skills, needle skills
and the creativity of a new generation of quilt makers.

In the early 1970's there was a renewed interest in quilt making, since
many felt that we were losing these skills. The old skills of hand
quilting, appliqué' and piecing are still honored, researched and preserved
by today's quilt guilds. However, like any art form, it evolves. The
creativity of the artist changes and alters the form to his vision.
The Bear Creek Quilt Guild will display over 200 quilts most of which have
never before been on view to the public. There is a small admission fee of
$5.00. Don't let that stop you from treating yourself to a day of quilt
art, meet some of the creators and see for yourself how this old art form is
evolving in today's society.

Linda Basden, member and exhibitor
February 13, 2004 @ 9:39 am
Why is the recycling company that Colleyville contracted with last year (IESI)no longer picking up corrugated cardboard for recycling? I am an avid
recycler and am disappointed that the city would allow them to stop picking up corrugated cardboard. A letter was sent to all residents with the new guidelines for recycling and it states that corrugated cardboard can
not be put out for recycling.
Vincent Kijowski
Editor:  We have forwarded you question to Colleyville City Manager Bill Lindley and requested a response from his office.
February 12, 2004 @ 4:25 pm

I have recently noticed the old Payless Cashway building is being renovated. Do you have any information on what what is happening and what will the building and back area will be used for


LNO posted a story on Dec. 18, 2003 that revealed the the "99cents Only" store apparently was the next occupant of the store. Click Here.
February 10, 2004 @ 9:38 am

Do you have a web site for Market Street listed. 
Tom Cartage
Yes Sir, Click on the logo below!
February 10, 2004
My name is Regina Isbell and I am the Administrative Secretary at the
GCISD Administration Building.  I have also sat on the Colleyville Pee Wee
Football Board for the past 4 years which is were I first heard of LNO and
have been an avid reader for about 2 years now.

My reason for contacting you is that I also work in the Education
Foundation department here at the GCISD Administration Building.  We are
having our Annual Foundation Golf Tournament on April 26, 2004 at Sky
Creek Ranch in Keller, Texas.  Knowing that so many others in the
surrounding area read LNO I was wondering if it would be possible to have
LNO post some of the information about the event and possibly a link to
our GCISD website.  If you are interested please let me know and though I
am not a wiz at the world of the internet myself I can have our website
specialist, Verone Travis, contact you to discuss the details.

Regina Isbell
Administrative Secretary to the Superintendent and
Education Foundation

Editor's Note:  Verone is a wealth of information for GCISD and LNO will look forward to receiving additional information.  In the meantime, your email is your first posting notice to viewers!
February 9, 2004 @ 11:33 AM
Dear LNO Editor,

Seldom does Dave Lieber's column recognizes deserving individuals in Colleyville. However, yesterday's column caused me to choke on my bagel when reading praises for our former Colleyville Mayor Baker. Dave recognized his efforts in organizing and spearheading  the project to widen state highway 114 several years ago. His skillful efforts came to fruition yesterday with the grand opening of the newly completed widening project. 

Colleyville residents continue to enjoy many contributions made by Mr. Baker. We are fortunate to have had his leadership at such a crucial time in our history. Fact is, this gentleman continues to be a great ambassador for Colleyville even though no longer serving in an elected office.

As a resident, I am very thankful to have had his visionary leadership. I would be remiss without  also expressing appreciation for Dave's recollection of the Mayors pivotal role in highway 114. 

Perhaps this new stretch of roadway should be named Ed Baker Expressway!

Dennis Johnson
February 8, 2004 @ 10:58 AM
Dear Sirs:

Often when I take up my keyboard to write you, it is in complaint about (at
least my perception of) your bias in our local politics, issues, and
affairs. This time however, I am writing to thank you for publishing Dave
Lieber's column on Sunday February the 8th. In that column, Lieber reminded us of the instrumental role that Mayor Ed Baker of Colleyville took in leading the effort to widen Texas 114. It seems that the current leaders have forgotten who stood up and contributed his time, leadership, influence, and credibility to the movement to get the badly needed improvements to 114.

It is not too much to say that without Mayor Baker's (and his army of other
nearby Mayors) efforts then, that road today would still be a clogged

Thank you Dave for remembering his work and the others (Mayors Fickes,
Bradley, Lee, and City Manager Hawk) that were leaders in it then. Thank you
Ed for the great work you did on this and for all the other wonderful things
you have done for this part of the world!

Clif Holliday
February 7, 2004 @7:50 PM

Ref: Internet Scams Article
A few days ago, I received this e-mail. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

Dear Higginbotham, I am Barr. Williams Musumba (SAN) personal attorney to Engr. Jim Higginbotham, a national of your country, who used to work with Eleme Construction & Development Company here in Nigeria herein after shall be referred to as my client. My client with his entire family (The wife and three Children) were involved in the explosion in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 27, 2002 which, claim many lives and property. Unfortunately, my client and the family lost their lives in that disaster that needed not to have happened. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you. My purpose of contacting you is to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client prior to his death before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the company where this huge deposits were lodged in, where the deceased had an account valued at about US$10.2 Million dollars. The company had issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account confiscated within the next 14 official working days. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over one year now I seek your consent as the next of kin of the deceased since you have the same last name/surname so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$10.2 million dollars can be paid to you. I have all the necessary official and legal documents that can be used to back up your claim. All I require is your honest co-operation to enable me as the legal attorney to the deceased in seeing that you receive your inheritance fund. I guarantee that this will be executed legitimately to protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me by my email address above to enable us discuss further. Best regards, Barr. Williams Musumba (SAN) 
Otis Higginbotham

February 05, 2004 @ 1:15 PM

Wow you went after Lieber.  Are you disowning him as your son?

I don't disagree about Lieber's hypocrisy related to our former mayor.

One thing bothers me though in Freda Ward's response that you printed. 

She completely missed a major point.  It is a conflict of interest for
her to promote her companies products in GCISD facilities while she is on the school board.  I've only read about it, but I thought it
admirable that Jesse Gonzalez sought to make full disclosure about the sale his company made to GCISD.  From what I've read the sale amount was small, just over $1000, and came through a request from a GCISD employee not a solicitation by his company.  Let's face it this purchase was an
insignificant amount to GCISD and Gonzalez' company.

Jim Graham
February 2, 2004 @ 10:47 AM
a column by Nelson Thibodeaux or Things that chap my butt

Good for things that chap your butt, complimentary to Editor from Joe Tigue

Contented Boudreaux user
Good column. Serving on city councils and school boards may be the most
thankless tasks in politics. You notice very few of them ever get
elected to anything else.

I forwarded the front page to my daughter and son in law. They tell me
they actually use Boudreaux's Butt Paste on our grandson (They say it's great for a chapped butt.)

James Ellis
Humble, Texas

January 30, 2004 @ 4:37 PM

What is the latest news on Karen Lucchesi, did she get her delay?

A Brown

Publisher Note:  Ms. Lucchesi's appeal to remain out on bond was rejected by Federal Judge John McBryde around 6:30 PM on Thursday January 29, 2004.  Lucchesi surrendered to Federal U.S. Marshals at 2:00 PM today (Jan. 30) in Fort Worth.  There has been no confirmation of where she will be sent.  The family plans to keep pursuing a full appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans.

January 19, 2004 @ 3:03 PM

Editor:  Ref: Pit Bull put down

You are so one sided, you make me sick! You can only sell news stories with blood, guts and violence. You make money on other people's heartaches. There is no such breed as "PIT BULL". This is the label you news media freeks have given any dog that looks like an American Pit Bull Terrier. This was not a registered dog, it was a mutt of some sort. This dog was only 1 years old, you said it was 5. It was Mr. Garvey's family house pet. It had NEVER bitten anything. Mr. Garvey is one one who caused all this, NOT THE DOG! He is the one that was irresponsible by removing the leash in a public place that caused this chain of events. If the dogs punishment was death, what should the irresponsible person's punishment be for causing this? A little dinky $175.00 vet bill payment? Have you visited the horse since the vet did $175.00 worth of work and washed the blood off? Where is the follow-up story on the horses injuries? Oh, but that does not sell any papers, the truth, does it? You continue to cause more damage for our breed than you will ever know because you choose to print and ad-lib to stories like this. 

You make me sick! Missy, Owner Lover, and Defender of The American Pit Bull Terrier

Editor Note:
The Pit Bull was reported exactly as the Animal Control Officer and Police Incident Report dictated. The owner of the pony declined to speculate publicly on the long term prognosis for the Shetland, as it is his daughter's beloved pet.

January 7, 2004 @ 2:01 PM

The Arp/Myers money machine NEEDS to be investigated
by the FBI. (it will be forthcoming soon) The whole
situation reeks of illegal payoffs. They think they
are above prosecution thru all the shell companies
created for The Village of Colleyville

Randy Ward
Colleyville, Texas
January 7, 2004 @ 4:50 AM


I have done my best to stay out of what passes for politics in this town. But today, Donna Arp has spit in my face, and slapped it. A few short years ago, she stated that she would not accept a job from Richard Myers. It would have been a "conflict of interest". Well guess what princess. It was a conflict then, and it still is. She sits on the TIF board of this town, she pushed for the 7.5 million to be gifted to Richard Myers for her "crown jewel" The Villlages. Her group even had the audacity to compare it to the to the Square in Southlake. Our town hall was relocated to this new location, as was our library. Nice concept, one problem, it's a flop. The streets are too narrow, there isn't near enough room, and there isn't enough parking. From what I have seen, we are on the verge of having our first Apartment complex here in Colleyville. The proposed living spaces above the shops will soon have to be used for something else. More money will obviously have to be poured into this project, and I, for one, am not comfortable having Donna Arp having any part of the decision making on this concern. 

It is obviously time for a wakeup call here in Collywood. Elected officials are elected to represent the citizens. Not private investors, not their own financial gain. Simple rule of thumb. If it is not to the benefit of the majority, it becomes special interest. And if it's special interest, it goes against what is best for the majority. And if an elected official gains from that process, it is downright wrong. What has happened here is just that. It is the epitome of what is wrong in politics. And the fact that she still holds a hand in this game is criminal. I live in Colleyville, I pay my taxes here, I go along with the majority, like it or not, and I have been quiet, til now. This was a dececeitful, dishonest, disgusting, open handed slap in the face to this town. I hope the present mayor and council are paying attention. This is just plain wrong. 

Thanks for letting me vent. Trip Baker Colleyville
January 6, 2004 @ 8:46 PM

Is anyone really surprised by this? If they are, then they've been living with the wool (or should I say, the fur) over their eyes for the last 3 - 4 years. 

I am requesting that the whole mess with The Villages, the 'land donation', the increases of TIF money awarded, the moving of City Hall and Library, and the obvious 'money under the table' deals between Arp and Myers should immediately be investigated and possible litigation by the city and the citizens. Who do we contact to register a formal complaint and request? I don't want to pay for this man's gain--what happens since he is not fulfilling his part of the deal (return of tax revenue)? I say we ask for a return for a portion of the money from him immediately since he has broken 'contract' with the city and the planned use of property, and hasn't held up his end of the bargain. 

I, for one, am tired of seeing Donna Arp's picture in the paper every week. She may be involved in a number of 'charitable' organizations, but I think that her favorite charity is herself and what benefits her first and formost. Thank goodness that she's gone from public office (let's not support another future political run for this woman), but we now have to live with her poor handling of city affairs and our money. 

And I don't want to see any more pictures of Richard Myers with any other implications that he's done so much for this city. Wait until the repayment of the funds is demanded and the tax revenues haven't supported the amount needed, guess who will be paying--the taxpayers.

Colleyville, WAKE UP!! I urge everyone to take notice and really look at the issues, the people, and their qualifications and character in this next election in May. It's time for a new camp in town!

Also, thanks to LNO for always telling it like it is. If we only had the other local newspaper, the truth would certainly not be told. I know that there is some history between both owning parties of the local paper and LNO, and people can say what they want to say about motivations. But, the truth will always come out at some point of time, and it's usually found on LNO.

Anonymous (Someone That Never Bought Into Their Game) Colleyville Resident
(email verified to author and valid address)
January 5, 2004 @11:49 am

Could LNO please provide more information on rezoning at The Village? (1/2/2004 Editorial -- Birkes)

City Staff knows nothing about this.  Tom Miller is apparently working on development adjacent to The Village but it is not part of The Village proper.

Luann Edwards

Editor Note: LNO has no independent knowledge of the rezoning, this was an email not an editorial, as such we do not know the writer's source of information.
January 02, 2004 @ 7:15 PM

The Village is a great concern. The TIF money was established and given to the developer of the Village to develop new Commercial Business in Colleyville but it quite obvious that this development is struggling to get established and now it looks like what was to be Commercial Businesses is now having a zoning change to high density multiple family dwellings. This will not bring the anticipated tax revenue to pay back the money that was given to the developer.

Maybe I am not aware of or do not have the facts straight but I remember that the funds that were to be paid out of the TIF were to re-generated with new tax money with the new businesses. I do not see that happening.

Do I have it wrong?

Jerry Birkes
Colleyville, TX
January 02, 2004 @ 6:14 PM

Nelson, Congratulations on hitting 800,000! That is remarkable. What a great
job you all have done in making this a truly significant news organ in
northeast Tarrant - tomorrow the world!

Bye the way, it seems that while we are celebrating the finish of the
improvements to Rte. 114, we should take a minute to thank then mayors Gary
Fickes (Southlake) and ED Baker (Colleyville) for being in the vanguard of
the original driving force (at great political cost to both of them) behind
getting this project moving.

Clif and Alice Holliday

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