It's not surprising that we have such a dysfunctional council. We have a clown for mayor and magic tricks taking place at city hall. That's right, our money is magically disappearing and they hope you don't know how they are spending it.
Meanwhile, in realityville, where the rest of us live, we're complaining about high-density apartments, traffic, overcrowded schools and high taxes. In case you didn't know, Wylie is still the highest taxed city in all of Collin County.
Oh, it's coming. Our taxes will begin increasing again because:
- The city has taken a hit on retail sales tax recently
- They are giving money away to developers"because WEDC Executive Director Sam Satterwhite says so"
- They are sneakily issuing certificates of obligation, ie. taking on debt to upgrade the "public safety building" without taking it to voters - by claiming public safety is at stake. Ya, while our population increased and the crime rate went down yet again
- They are spending millions of dollars upgrading PD to the Taj Mahal, matching employee retirement funds three to one, paying $1500 monthly car allowances, and depositing tens of thousands of dollars into the city manager's retirement fund approved through consent agenda before they even met in executive session to discuss renewing her contract. You know, stuff like that.
Well, someone has to pay for it, especially since they so generously reduced our tax rate by nearly 7 cents in a shocking move to shut up complaining taxpayers last year. That, despite the know-it-all council members vehement claims they only had two cents to give back.
Now wait until you get your appraisal in the coming weeks, and City Manager Mindy Manson sings that sad old song again as we enter budget talks this year. Oh, it's coming. The reasons why they must tax and spend will return. They have done it for many, many years. You can set your clocks by it.
Blaming the Shrew
What the heck was wrong with Wylie Councilwoman Diane Culver at last night's city council meeting? Plain and simple, she was out of control.
Culver literally yelled at the developer and belittled a citizen who came to speak against the WEDC funding a high-density apartment developer using taxpayer funds. Her shrill behavior last night was appalling.
What's worse, that citizen she denigrated from the pulpit is Wylie council candidate Matthew Porter, who is running for her seat in May. With that disgusting broomstick display, thank God she's out of here in two months. Good riddance.
To think I used to support that against the better judgement of some of Wylie's strong conservative voters. I talked them into voting for Culver over the Good 'Ole Boy incumbent some moons back. Who knew the Good 'Ole Boy would become the Good 'Ole Girl, with Culver's mouth flapping incessantly from the dais, and Mayor Hogue working the puppet strings?
Some council meetings it's a wonder if Culver hears what anyone else had to say. What with her premiere and syndication of the Diane Show, and all. Sad thing is, nobody sitting on council is willing to cancel that flop because meeting after meeting she proves herself to be council's useful idiot - the very thing she fought against when she ran.
Too Big for Their Britches
Culver's totalitarian behavior stems from years of stroking egos like WEDC's Satterwhite. She used to call him, "The devil we need." Now she's angling for the other "devil we need" in her specially hand-picked replacement Steve Wright. Not surprising, from his Facebook page labeled "Steve Wright Wylie City Council", it appears he all but thinks he owns the seat already. Because Culver specially selected him to run as she vacates her seat in May, she thinks all her "supporters" will plump for him.
Except, when Culver ran, she barely took the seat away from Carter Porter, by maybe 35 votes (NO RELATION TO MATTHEW PORTER CURRENTLY RUNNING). Had I not pushed conservatives her way, it is doubtful she would have won that election. Though to hear her talk about it now, she seemed to do it all on her own.
When Culver ran again, the other candidates running against her had some serious PR issues. Truth is, there really wasn't a viable option that anyone was left with, but her. She used to listen to the people, now not so much.
Frankly, the whole broomstick charade by six of the seven last night was a culmination of council's frustration that a citizen would dare question their governance. Obviously all but Dr. Wallis seem to be mesmerized by Satterwhite's golden flute and snake in the basket routine. After all, their premise over giving money to a developer is that Sam Satterwhite knows better than they do. If that is truly the case, what the hell do we need them for?
The immaturity, pettiness and back and forth last night shows the ginormous egos that every council member has, except for Dr. Wallis, who was pushed and prodded by the others but said his peace and refused to engage in the childishness. Unfortunately, it also shows just how out of touch these bullies are with the people of Wylie. Clearly, they aren't listening and they haven't bothered to find out what you think either.
Candidate Porter has been an outspoken supporter of the citizen's wishes at council meetings over the past year. Spending his own personal time studying the budget, CAFR and agenda packets, it has become clear that he knows more than the average bear. In fact, Porter is merely expressing the same exact opinions that the majority of taxpayers have been sharing all over social media. Porter has explained numerous times how council's actions are increasing traffic, causing overcrowding in schools and predominately focused on tax and spend. Porter has laid out the logical steps in how our council's crappy decisions are causing unhappiness in their constituents. All one need do is kick around online and pick up the phone and chat with taxpayers. But council still lives in the stone age where people came to council meetings to complain. Um, the year 2018 called and they want you to know that people are using communication technology like social media.
We Don't Need Another Country Bumpkin on Council
Methinks she doth protest too much and it isn't helping Culver's candidate at all. Clearly, if Culver is so enamored with her choice in council candidate Steve Wright, it stands to reason we are going to get pretty much the same out of him. It's not very difficult to make the connection, especially when someone behaves like she has since the first time Porter came to a meeting and dared speak about our high taxes.
Let's face it, the unruly bunch of characters we have on council at the moment (outside of Dr. Wallis) are a bunch of country bumpkins. And Wright's claim to fame is "experience" from serving on council in the late '80s and early '90s when Wylie was a three shack, one pony town with a teeny budget. Give me a break.
Perhaps that is why council members like Diane Culver and Mayor Eric Hogue have resorted to intellectually dishonest tactics like using the bully pulpit to "inform" citizens on what their opinions actually should be. Perhaps that is why mayor routinely breaks into the three minutes citizens have to speak during public input in order to eat up their time by asking staff for "clarification". Or maybe it is why Hogue and Culver butt into citizen concerns during work sessions in order to shut down input and information they want to keep out of meetings.
A council that admonishes citizens from the dais, and tells them they don't know anything because they don't belong to the elite club of seven sitting up there, clearly has something to hide.
Everyone can witness this for themselves from the likes of Steve Wright who pulled the same "admonishment from the pulpit" tactic the one time the Ethics Committee he "serves" was called together. Pretty sure he did the same on any other committee he served on as well, because a leopard doesn't change his spots. I guess he learned from the best.
This leaves me wondering exactly what is going to happen at budget time, with a woefully ill-prepared and uneducated council full of bumpkins who don't understand the totality of how all their decisions have been contributing to the increasing taxes, traffic and overcrowding in schools? While Porter is concerned about all of these things, Wright is stuck on traffic and all his experience on council during the back-slap good old days. Right.
Not one of them has studied the budget and CAFR to the degree that candidate Matthew Porter has. Porter fully understands how non-profit entities work - cities are not for profit. He has studied how cities are supposed to work. He has studied the WEDC. He has studied taxes. And he is running for the people, not for some other intangible catchphrase we keep hearing from candidates that is quickly ditched as soon as they step foot in council chambers. I'm still waiting for that fiscal responsibility and measured growth so many of them promised. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
They're Not Listening to the People
What exactly happened to "listening to what the people want"? Clearly the elected know-it-alls like Hogue, Stephens, Dahl and Culver, the clueless like Arrington, and the underwhelming like Forrester have forgotten to listen to the people. A lesson that has shown for quite some time - they all are contributing perpetrators making crappy decision after crappy decision that has led to Wylie being the highest taxed city in all of Collin County, for years on end.
There's no telling why we saw such dysfunctional attitudes and juvenile behavior at last night's meeting. I do know this: a council that stops listening to the people and verbally vomits on citizens who bring the people's message to them, means they are incapable of governing in the best interest of anyone but themselves.