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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

 

 

 

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Call off the hogs! Legislative Update & Action & Bastrop/Lee Meeting Notice!

What’s the difference between a feral hog and a water marketer?  The hog only wants what he can eat.

The Texas legislative session is down to the wire — May 27th is sine die (the last day of the session).  Will the legislature provide any protections at all for Texans and their land, water and roads?  Or will they fail us again, like so many times before?

Let’s just spell it out for them and see if they can get their priorities in order these last few weeks.

ON WATER:  Tell your legislator that you want protections for aquifers and landowners living over them.  House Bill 3250 should move out of the Natural Resources Committee NOW!  Everyone — including “Big Ag” and Big Cities — needs to conserve now, before they move water and drain rural Texas dry.  Click here for details.

ON EMINENT DOMAIN/PIPELINE REFORM:  Read this, just in from Debra Medina and We Texans — then, call the Calendars Committee about this eminent domain reform bill.  If all the lege can do to reform the Railroad Commission is a name change, they should all be put to pasture with the feral hogs!

ON PROTECTING SMALL FARMERS:  Read this, just in from Judith McGeary and Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance — stop the despicable attempts by agribusiness to crush their small farmer competitors with these absurd regulations!  No matter where you live in Texas, call your Texas House and Texas Senate members now!!!

ON ROADS:  Boy howdy, hallejuah, State Senator Eltife has been honest with us about road funding.  He says we need to go back to pay as you go and ask the citizens for tax money — and stop hiding it in mountains of debt.  Read this!  

Will the legislature put a plan to move $5.7 billion from the Rainy Day Fund on the ballot in November for roads, water infrastructure (including pipelines to move our groundwater) and a pittance to public education?

This should just about make everyone’s day for the 2014 statewide election.

Keep calling y’all!

BASTROP/LEE COUNTY MEETING NOTICE:   Independent Texans will hold an important strategy meeting for Lee and Bastrop County residents on Wednesday, May 8th, 6-7:30 pm at the First National Bank in Elgin, 1312 US 290, map here.

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How Combs Cooked the F1 Books

Richard Viktorin is a CPA and forensic auditor and a former Director at the Texas Commerce Department who worked in economic development.  In his testimony before the Austin City Council last week, Viktorin shows how Comptroller Susan Combs “cooked” the books to try to justify giving taxpayer dollars to Formula 1 racing.  Just one more reason why Combs should resign.

Click on the link below to watch the video:

Forensic Auditor, Richard Viktorin, F1 and Texas Comptroller Combs

Austin voters just tossed an incumbent City Council member, Randi Shade, and elected Kathie Tovo, in part because of Shade and other’s support for a city subsidy of F1.  If the Austin City Council signs off on the deal, it will trigger the release by Combs of a $25M+ subsidy per year for 10 years of Formula 1 racing in Austin — owned by billionaires Bernie Ecclestone and Red McCombs.  For more go to ChangeAustin.org.

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We Don’t Have to Enjoy the Rape

This session is a Claytie Williams session for sure.  But we don't have to enjoy it.   

While lawmakers are arguing about who gets cut, there is no plan for shared sacrifice that overnight would create huge revenue.  Our evidence?
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May Day for Texas Independence!

The "regulars" in both major parties continue to push an incredibly costly special interest agenda, despite the major cuts affecting ordinary Texans.  This is a $4 billion loss in revenues in under-valuations for high-end commercial and residential properties, and massive infrastructure giveaways the both state and city government are responsible for.  Check it out:

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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:

Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose

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