Wylie's Dysfunctional Council

Hogue's Magic Tricks at Wylie City Hall
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.

Noble Misrepresents Laubenberg Connection

I'm calling out Candy Noble for sending out a mailer with Jodie Laubenberg's photo on it over the weekend.

It was a kabuki marketing ploy designed to capture those precious 2-3 seconds available to grab an audience member's attention, whereby the audience is fooled into making assumptions that Laubenberg endorsed her as the mailer hits the trashcan. 

This is a full-out visual misrepresentation, as Laubenberg has not endorsed that race.

What's more, my understanding is that Laubenberg did not provide approval for the use of her photo in Noble's campaign material.

Noble needs to apologize for the use of that photo and visually implying a connection.

Mess 'O Thoughts - March 4, 2018

School Zones 

Someone made a remark on social media about people speeding through the school zones on 1378/Country Club. In actuality, we're blessed that most people in Wylie do obey the traffic signs. There's only a few bubbacracks that don't.

If you want to see mayhem, you should try the school zone in Dallas on Frankford. Let me preface that by saying, it's not for the faint of heart.

Some days the going school zone rate is 45 mph with a scant 40% slowing to 20. Just the other day I saw a man whiz by a group of kids, who were about to cross with a guard, doing well over 50 mph. Yesterday, a woman old enough to know better was zipping through at a cool 45 mph, that is until she got stuck behind someone doing 20 and she just about bust a lug nut trying to get around them.

Unfortunately, this road borders Plano, Dallas and Richardson so I'm guessing the police don't care to patrol it. I had some genius hit me as he tried to squeeze around my car, apparently because he was too special to queue and felt he needed to be in the left turn lane, even if my car was in his way.

After he scratched my car with his side view mirror, I blocked him so he couldn't leave because he refused to give me his insurance information. Knowing it would be a cold day in Hell before the police showed up, I called the accident in and made him sit there. After 40 minutes of police cars driving by and not one stopping, he finally relented. Let me tell you, his little scratch on my Volvo wasn't cheap, either.

The point of this whole story is that this scenario would never have happened in Wylie. Not in your wildest dreams would one of our finest drive past a couple of cars stopped on the side of the road without finding out what was going on. Our PD are some of the best in the area, which is why I generally support their needs, unless our city administrators and council go a little too heavy on the powder.


Was it me, or did Tara Lipinski annoy the bejeezus out of anyone else? Johnny Weir would paint these beautiful images of butterflies and white, puffy clouds, and then give us that cute little wrinkle nose and eye-squint with a smile only to have Lipinski come pounding in, like a stompy-foot, doom and gloom, heavy-handed eye makeup villain. I cannot even tell you how many times I told the TV to shut that thing up. Weir may have been part of the "dream team" but Lipinski was the nightmare that couldn't stop talking.

Gun Grabbers

My friend Wade Miller, an incredibly well-versed man in the Constitution, has been publishing his thoughts about gun-control on social media. Though everyone will jump on that crazy train after a mass shooting, I think what his statement was most poignant. In his latest post on the Second Amendment he wrote:
"The founders considered these natural rights to be so empirically logical that many of them, knowing that the Constitution was a document limiting the powers of government, thought it would be unnecessary to even have a Bill of Rights."
The arguments of our forefathers about the Bill of Rights are well documented. But those who wanted it surely guessed the concept might be confounding for a few dimly lit bulbs. They recognized there would always be someone willing to mislead them for their own gain.

As society has progressed, in some ways we've digressed when it comes to our God-given rights. There are some who have no idea that the purpose of the Constitution is to limit the powers of government, not bestow powers upon them.

This is when those shallow liberal thinkers exclaim, "How did Jesus give you a right to have guns, back then?" Well hold on there, Moses, while you spend the next 40 years wandering. 

Our God-given right is to be able to protect ourselves by any means necessary. From cavemen carrying clubs and rocks to modern men and women carrying guns, the premise is no different. 

Then there's the liberals who pretend that arming our schools means putting a gun in every teacher's hand. That's just 50 shades of stupid. It is, however, up to our schools to protect those students, especially if the government is unwilling to do anything about the mental health issue in this country. We don't have a gun problem, we have a mental health problem. 

Whatever that protection looks like, it should be up to the school districts. But it is unconscionable to leave our schools unable to protect our children because a group of people oppose guns. With the shear number in Texas alone, if guns were the problem you would most certainly know about it.

The Bridge to Nowhere

At last week's city council meeting, a random woman, who is in support of building the bridge across Lake Lavon and the freeway through town, wants the city to amend our resolution to add the NCTCOG freeway and bridge. If you recall, Wylie's taxpayers already emphatically stated they don't want it and the city supported that sentiment. She's from Copeville. Go figure.

People, if you were foolish enough to move to BFE and are mad that your commute is so long, you don't get to force Wylie's citizens to give up their homes to eminent domain just so you can get to work faster. The woman was citing complaints from people in Nevada and Josephine who can hop on I30. You don't get a say in Wylie's decisions if you don't live here. Get a life.

Green Arrow

This is what it looks like in the mornings trying to turn from 1378 onto 544 now that the green right turn arrow has been removed by the geniuses at TXDOT. We can waive at the workers in city hall.