News

Show Up Bastrop County!

SHOW UP, Y’ALL
Bastrop & Cedar Creek residents!

Have you witnessed or been part of traffic accidents in this area of Highway 21 and FM 812?

We request your attendance
at this urgently important meeting!

Monday, Sept. 18, 7 pm

Cedar Creek High School * This meeting was called by TCEQ

A permit application is on file with the TCEQ  (Texas  Commission for Environmental Quality) for a Hazardous Waste Transfer Station in much of Cedar Creek’s floodplain and is very likely to be a traffic hazard! This area of Highway 21 (near FM 812) is already known as dangerous.

It is imperative that Bastropians show up to share your concerns and ideas or you will not be counted.  Please come and bring family, neighbors and friends! Heck, bring your enemies — they all count!

Read this Fact Sheet about the Proposed Cedar Creek Transfer Station

You can sign this informal petition to the TCEQ here but real people being there and speaking directly to officials is imperative!

Independent Texans, it’s redundant!
Sign up to receive our email alerts * email: info@indytexans.org * or call us 512-535-0989

Share

We have enough natural disasters, please don’t add man made ones!

WARNING!
Bastrop County & Cedar Creek Residents!

A permit application is on file with the TCEQ for a Waste Transfer Station in much of Cedar Creek’s flood plain and could be a traffic hazard!

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is considering granting a permit requested for a Waste Transfer Station to be placed near the already dangerous intersection of Highway 21 near FM 812 and in the flood plain of Cedar Creek.

Bastrop County Residents:
We request your attendance
at two urgently important meetings!

* Meeting #1: This Thursday, Sept. 14, 6:30 pm
Bastrop Fire Station ESD #5,
1525 FM 812, to prepare you for Meeting #2.
(Please bring a folding chair to this meeting!)

* Meeting #2: The following Monday, Sept. 18, 7 pm

Cedar Creek High School * This meeting was called by TCEQ

We will prepare you at Meeting #1 with more information about this project and what you can do to have your voice heard at Meeting #2.

It is imperative that we have a big turn out for Meeting #2, so please make every effort to attend this meeting whether you can be at meeting #1 — or send someone to represent you at either meeting.

Independent Texans, it’s redundant!
Sign up to receive our email alerts * email: info@indytexans.org * or call us 512-535-0989

Share

Breaking News in Bastrop!

The City of Bastrop just filed an amended agenda item for tomorrow’s

City of Bastrop, Texas

(Tuesday, August 15) meeting at 6:30 pm at City Hall.

THE Bastrop City Council will hold an Executive Session to deliberate on the possible reassignment, disciplinary action or dismissal of the City Attorney. Whether this has anything to do with the Ethics Ordinance changes is something that we do not know.

There is also a budget workshop tomorrow night. Bastropians need to pay attention to the possibility of a tax increase. The Bastrop Advertiser, in it’s August 10th edition, did this very helpful review of a long presentation by City Manager Lynda Humble.

Got questions? Call us or see you there tomorrow. You should also be able to watch the proceedings on the City of Bastrop’s Facebook page.

YOUR CALENDARS! The Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will hold a meeting on Monday, September 18 at 7 pm at Cedar Creek High School about the proposed Waste Transfer Station slated for Highways 21 and 812 in the Cedar Creek Area. We will be calling a community meeting soon to prepare for the TCEQ meeting. For more information, please call Steve Chamberlain at (817) 360-0678. You can also read more about this and sign a petition online here.

Share

Ethics: City of Bastrop Test Case

Ethics Reform, Not Deform

Our commentary below is in today’s Bastrop Advertiser and is an important update on the battles over the Ethics Ordinance in the City of Bastrop. Please read and share it, and post a comment if so moved.

We hereby urge your attendance at Tuesday’s City Council meeting starting at 6:30 pm at Bastrop City Hall, especially if you are a city resident.

The significance of the ethics battles in the City of Bastrop is beyond the city’s borders. It matters to everyone living in Bastrop County because what the city does impacts on the quality of life and cost of living of all.

The Bastrop Ethics Ordinance could also become a great test case for citizens working to rein in local government from the “good ole’ boys” — aka cronyism that taxpayers can no longer afford. This is especially true in cities and counties experiencing fast growth like Bastrop and struggling to meet the infrastructure demands (roads, water, schools, etc.) for new residents. Bastrop has the extra added asset (and pressure) of an aquifer currently under the eye of private marketers and municipalities as far away as San Antonio.

In 2012, to its credit, the city of Bastrop passed a very good ethics ordinance. It wasn’t perfect — no new ordinances are. Only one complaint has ever been filed under the ordinance. The complaint was  filed last October by then Council member Kay McAnally against two other members of the Council — Gary Schiff and Deborah Jones.

It seemed to us that McAnally’s complaint was a “no brainer” test of the ordinance. Anyone who follows any city hall in Texas knows that when members go into Executive Session to discuss litigation against the city, members are not to share that information with people who are suing the city. Both members did so claiming they had permission to do so. When the Ethics Commission deliberated it was presented with a dated Attorney General opinion and a set of facts. The Commission decided to call it a draw.

What happened after that is of most concern today as the Bastrop City Council proceeds with revamping the ordinance. Jones and Schiff have been quite vocal about weakening the ordinance, along with City Attorney David Bragg. Bragg has clear ties to the “good ole boys” in Bastrop who have been ethically challenged for years — some of them even attending Council meetings under the influence.

If you cannot make the meeting on Tuesday, please consider calling or emailing the Mayor and Council membersclick here for all their information. It’s a simple ask.  Ask them to please not weaken the ethics ordinance and to make sure that the Ethics Commission’s independent authority to police — and even to recommend removal of Council members — stays in place.

Here’s our commentary — enjoy:

Commentary: Bastrop Should Tread Cautiously in Rewriting Ethics Rules

Click here for the redlined comparison between the original Ethics Ordinance and the changes released earlier this week.

Share

Nip it in the Bud, Bastrop

Nip it in the bud, Bastrop!

Is the Bastrop City Council fast tracking a major revamp the city’s Ethics Ordinance?

We sure hope we’re wrong, but that is what it feels like to us. A  “final draft proposal” is on the agenda of the full Council meeting tomorrow night. It starts at 6:30 pm at Bastrop City Hall. You can also watch it on the city’s Facebook page.

At the last Council Ethics Workshop held on July 11th, City Attorney David Bragg brought up two important issues. In laying out one of them he said, “I’ve never encountered the ‘good ol’ boys’”. Mr. Bragg proceeded with a suggestion that the statute of limitations for filing an ethics complaint be reduced from 1 year to just 6 months.

We’re here to tell you that Mr. Bragg has apparently never looked in the mirror. Everyone in town knows he’s a poker buddy of former Mayor Ken Kesselus.

We’re considering bringing a very important proposal to be added to the Ethics Ordinance tomorrow night. Don’t you think that Council members who come drunk to meetings should be subject to ethics sanctions? Those of us who have witnessed this for the last few years know exactly what I’m writing about.

The remainder of this is background for you…and a little entertainment.

Soon the city is going to ask an attorney to rewrite the ordinance. We already asked that the city not spend money cutting up a perfectly good ordinance and only pay for review and “tweaks”.

The good news is this. Citizens still have the option to do a petition drive to put a citizen’s ethics ordinance before the voters. We here at Independent Texans will help make this happen, if necessary.

Unfortunately, we got an uncomfortable feeling about this at the Ethics Workshop held on June 13th when Councilmember Deborah Jones called the ethics complaint against her (the first in the city’s history) “a fiasco”. Excuse us, but when a member of the Council shares with the opposing side of litigation that the city is engaged in, information learned in an Executive Session, this is clear grounds for an ethics complaint. Moreover, the Ethics Commission ruled it a draw – nothing close to a “fiasco”. That the complainant was not present made Jones’ rant, in my mind at least, just one more ethical breach.

Then came Councilmember Gary Schiff who repeatedly complained about not being allowed to share information from Executive Session with others. Why would the City Council hold an Executive Session if not to protect the city when it is facing litigation? Folks, this is a no-brainer for anyone who observes any city hall in Texas. And, please do not forget that last September Schiff tried to access over $100,000 in Bastrop Economic Development Corporation funds, that was in our view a MAJOR ethics violation. He pulled it back due to citizen outcry.

You gotta hand it to the GOBN — at least they’re entertaining.

Nip it in the bud, Bastrop! Share this message and we’ll be back with a report soon.

Submitted by Linda Curtis

 

 

 

Share
Upcoming Events

Austin is Not Developers’ Monopoly Board

Sign it, if you live in Austin

Austin is Not Developers' Monopoly Board

Dear Mayor Adler and Austin City Council Members:

[signature]

Why don't you share this with your friends, please:

  1. National Voter Registration Day!

    September 26
  2. National Voter Registration Day – Bastrop County

    September 26

Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose

Archives
Share