Clinton's Charity Banks Bundles During Uranium Deal

What does Hillary Clinton's foundation have to do with Russian nuclear corruption and a racketeering scheme, complete with money laundering, bribery and extortion?

Dating as far back as 2009, the FBI knew Putin's energy business was benefiting as the the Russians compromised commerce and began an extortion scheme in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act while infiltrating the highest levels of US government and compromising our national security.

During this time, Bill Clinton doubled his speaking fees to $500K to the Russians and the Clinton Foundation received $145+ million dollars in Russian donations from nuclear officials while Hillary and then Attorney General Eric Holder served on the Obama Administration's Committee of Foreign Investment, which gave a nod of approval for Obama's Uranium One sale to a Russian-held entity. 

Let me repeat, the FBI knew about the Russian nuclear expansion inside the US since 2009 and the highest level of government officials in the Obama administration hid this information while they allowed Putin to navigate the entire scheme from within the US. 

Conveniently, none of this racketeering evidence was aired before the Obama administration approved the sale of 20% of America's uranium to the Russians, placing it under Putin's control. We can thank the Obama administration, Holder and the  Department of Justice for undermining national security as they withheld the Russian corruption scheme while the controversial Uranium One deal was being approved.

Why haven't we heard about any of this before? The mainstream media remains eerily silent as they point out squirrels to their followers who are not known for much in the way of intellect or naturally inquisitive predispositions. And a quick Google search shows the usual liberal suspects having rejected Trump's claims of Clinton's involvement for months. Meanwhile, it's not difficult to see why the Democrats have been hyper focused on trying to place President Donald Trump in the middle of Russian involvement in the election process, of which there is no evidence. 

Say what you will about Trump, aren't you thankful that the coagulation of evil Hillary Clinton did not win the presidency, bringing her despicable brand of corruption to the oval office?

Image credit:

Hollywood Wein-ing

Harvey Weinstein. Now there's a name that will make you roll your eyes in disgust.

What is it with these liberal Democrat men with last names that start with Wein, who just love to play with their, um, weiners? All I can think of is that the name must affect proclivity at some sort of subconscious level.

First, there was Anthony Weiner, who was married to Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff and more recently Vice Chair for her campaign. He could not seem to stop himself from sexting with anyone sordid enough to accompany his imperialist wet dream. Last month he was sentenced to 21 months in jail for sexting with a minor. One can only hope he becomes someone's personal pole dancer while serving his time.

If you think Weiner was bad, he's just the monkey to Weinstein's organ grinder. Apparently, there is no end to this man's charms as he's been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting women for decades.

Once the crazy train left the station, some big names in Hollywood are finally coming out with complaints for being "Harvyed". In fact, he is so well known for teasing the trousers down around Hollywood, that they named it.

Though these women are being hailed as heroes, I cannot help but think they are part of the creation of such a narcissistic, misogynistic douche bag, by ignoring the behavior in favor of the starlet climb. Oh yes, lets applaud their efforts, it only took some of them them 20 years to grow a pair.

Turns out, there is just no end to what some women will subject themselves to in order to get their name to roll in the credits, and it has only now become a source of contention for them, after it is safe to put on a conscience.

Ah yes, liberal women. You know, the ones who walk around with pussy hats on, doused in blood and claiming the moving creature in their womb isn't really alive until it moves out of the vaginal canal. The ones who pitch a fit because Trump was overzealous in his verbal appreciation of women. Even the one who ignored her philandering presidential husband who was molesting a young intern in the oval office, among others, yet exclaims in the harshest of terms that Weinstein is the Devil himself. Yes, them, the morally ambiguous.

Clearly I feel no pity for these women. Why? Because here in the real world where people actually have to work for a living, many of our youth view them as role models. When crap like this comes out, it's truly pathetic to see the reality of liberalism.

So after dozens of women have suddenly found a value system, what is Weinstein's  response? The Democrat mega-donor for Hillary Clinton's campaign has conjured up an act of contrition that channels liberal angst towards the NRA and President Donald Trump. Now there's a fine specimen for multiple logical fallacies.

Indeed, Weinstein vows to take the NRA and Trump down, now that he has nothing but time on his hands. Hollywood's liberals actually think the answer to all of their bad behavior is blaming the right. Oh brother. Let's face it. The man is emotionally colorblind. 

So in the coming days, while Weinstein totes himself off to a country club rehab, we'll get to hear more pearls of wisdom from him as to why the right are at fault for all the evils in liberal Hollywood. Get your popcorn ready for more Hollywood make-believe.

Image credit: Pastemagazine

Proposed Corridor Plows Through Lake Lavon

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the land grabbers are at it again. This time, they want to put an eight-lane highway rip-roaring over Lake Lavon, and it has the "No Bridge" folks off their laurels for a third time in a decade.

That's right, the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) are at it again and the body of bullies has banded together to push through yet another lake-destroying idea. Who comes up with this stuff, anyway? Seriously, it's getting rather tedious.

The NCTCOG, or as I like to call them, the North Central Texas Collusion of Gangstas, is attempting to foist a lake corridor transportation plan on the area, seemingly because they can.

To combat them, an active citizen group has resurfaced, which was effective in their "No Bridge" fight in 2010, and abolished the Blackland Tollroad a scant few years ago in 2013. Yet, here we are again, you could almost set your watch by it.

Some citizens have written to Mayor Eric Hogue about the proposed Lake Corridor. Here is his response as posted on the Save Lake Lavon - NO LAKE CORRIDOR Facebook page:
The Wylie City Council has NOT voted on any roadway plans. All we have done is a resolution stating we support the need to look at future traffic needs in Collin specific roads.
There is a study underway by the North Central Texas Council of Government (NCTCOG) called the Collin County Strategic Roadway Plan that is looking at transportation needs for the entire County. The study is looking at ALL future growth in the County as well as both existing and future transportation challenges going both North/South and East/West. There are many, many different solutions being analyzed, but NO RECOMMENDATIONS or DECISIONS have been made regarding size, capacity or location.

The City is staying involved and keeping a close eye on the discussions to ensure that
NCTCOG Proposed Lake Corridor
Wylie’s best interests are protected. We have been clear that we would not support anything that might bisect our community, but with all the growth coming to the county in the next 20 years, we do have to look at our options for our potential transportation needs (proposed growth is a population in Collin County of over 3 million people…today the county has less than 1 million).

There are all sorts of rumors out there and someone is trying to scare the public that we are going to put a road right through people's backyards. Please know the city council has not even seen any details on any actual roads, only lines on a map with traffic counts. And the "favor" you may be seeing from NCTCOG paperwork are notes that simply state that the city staff recognizes the need to explore potential north/south and east/west options with the proposed growth.

This is going to be a long process in which the cities, the county and the state will be involved. This is just a first step to look at where the traffic is flowing.

Eric Hogue, Mayor

Here is another sage response from the "enterprise" that is Eric Hogue, this time on Twitter.

To be honest, he seems a little snippy, while he plays the semantics game. It's a shame he didn't take the opportunity to show he cares about the homeowners in the area who have watched lines on a paper sway back and forth like a pendulum. Instead, his piqued response is to point fingers at the group, claiming someone is fear-mongering and that they a bit premature in their concern.

That probably explains the sentiment on the Facebook page, where they aren't buying Hogue's response, some even finding it a tad "peculiar".

Poor Hogue, he gets a little huffy when his authority is challenged, so I suppose he felt the need to point fingers at what he deemed are "rumormongers" instead of actively looking into the matter that is concerning his constituents. Old habits are evidently hard to break. I only wish someone at city hall would take citizen concerns seriously, and at least put a work session on the agenda, so people can feel heard.

Then again, this is the same mayor who sat fat and happy at city hall, rubber stamping the excruciating tax and spend that went on over the past four years, while homeowners' wallets were physically assaulted.

I said it before, they had seven cents they could give back to taxpayers, and for years they feigned impossibility, with a back of hand to forehead for dramatic effect. So while the know-it-alls sitting on council poo-pooed us for four years, claiming taxpayers, "Don't know what they are talking about," in the end, they were forced to lower the rate. We were right.

Ah yes,but that was a separate group of protesters. Now Hogue has a different set to deal with, and I gotta tell ya, he's not handling it very well thus far.

Still, if you think Hogue is in the mood to do us a favor, you would be sadly mistaken. Wylie is still the highest taxed city in all of Collin County, even with the near seven cent decrease. My take on the Lake Corridor issue is that he will sit on it as long as possible, because he really cannot afford another black mark on his legacy, with the high tax rate being the first deeply-carved notch. Imagine what a highway over the lake would etch for him.

One must wonder, who exactly benefits from transporting goods, and the eventual tolling of what should be free roads, 'cuz you know that will happen if they build this thing. They were behind the successful tolling of formerly free 75, with an HOV lane instead of alleviating traffic. Oh yes, they want you to pay for it.

Even the NCTCOGs 2040 projects do not show any compelling need for the Lake Corridor in this area. So, who is benefiting offering up Lake Lavon as a sacrificial lamb?

I asked just that, and the NCTCOG master of knowledge, Ann Lieber who has been watch-dogging the NCTCOG, Collin County Commissioners Court and toll roads in the area for as long as I can recall replied, "boards and councils of appointees." Yes, member cities, their board members, council members and their employers, benefit by trucking as much crap through the area as quickly as possible. These roads are not being planned for the altruistic purpose of helping people get to and from work easier. Please.

The issue here is the COG, which has no official authority or government capacity, whatsoever. They are just a bunch of member cities pushing policies that ultimately benefit themselves.

So if a corridor through the lake is not needed, according to NCTCOGs own long-term plans, why are they pushing this issue instead of fixing what is already there? In fact, why is their first inclination to public domain people's property and put up a toll-road, like the Blackland Corridor we fought and won a couple years ago?

Follow the money trail, which is sure to unfold as we watch a rather active and organized group go up against the artificially conflated authority of the NCTCOG.


Some time ago during the Target bathroom controversy, I wrote Confessions of a Conservative Shopper. In that post I explained why I simply could not quit Target.

It seems history is repeating itself, well, sort of. This time with Magnolia Market, and my favorite Christian design couple Chip and Jo Gaines. Evidently some conservatives are having a hissy fit that the Gaines signed a line with Target. Gee, if you can't trust the Gaines, who can you trust?

Give someone a mobile device and they cannot stop themselves from bitching incessantly. Now fans are pointing fingers at how the Gaines' could claim to be good Christians yet sign with the devil that allows men and women to tinkle in whatever bathroom they identify with.

Applying this logic, I can't help but wonder what was the purpose behind the Christian baker hoopla, then? For conservatives, they applauded Christian bakeries that made the business decision not to bake gay cakes, but Target should be stopped from making business decisions about their bathrooms.

Now, don't get me wrong here. I'm not in favor of Target's decision and I said as much. But lets not mistake this issue about civil rights, or LGBTQ or even Christianity, because its not.

This is merely a symptom of a much larger problem.

This issue is about businesses having the right to make their own decisions, and the power behind the fickle buyers holding the purse.

As a conservative, I am for business autonomy, generally free from interference in making their own decisions. More important, I believe the people hold the power of a free market by making their own decisions about where to spend their money, or not. It's really that simple.

I don't care what the liberals are doing. It's what conservatives are doing that is helping fund their well-organized activities.

I challenge every conservative to stop being a hypocrite as you buy those football tickets even though you're pissed about overpaid, privileged black idiots taking a kneed during our national anthem. Stop being a hypocrite as you pay to sit in the movies, though you complain about those Hollywood morons who feel free to dispense political and social advice when most have a barely passable IQ. Stop being a hypocrite when you park your car outside Starbucks, who has had unisex bathrooms since dirt was created, yet complain about Target's potty policy.

 If you don't like Target's policies, don't shop there. If you don't like the Gaines' decision to partner with Target, don't buy their stuff or watch their show. If you don't like the unpatriotic NFL players taking a knee, stop watching and buying their crap. If you don't like being forced to hear the twisted value system of Hollywood, stop paying for their garbage. But commencing on a virtual bully campaign while cherry-picking which principles to ignore, makes you a hypocrite. And before you get all bent out of shape, I am just as guilty.

Quitcherbitchin already and do something about it. It would be so simple to bankrupt Hollywood, or even the NFL if every conservative just stopped.

Just stop.

Stop watching their crappy, liberal shows. Stop paying for movie tickets. Stop shopping at places that do not live up to your principles and see just how fast they change their tune. We already saw this when Target took a massive hit on their profits and changed up some of their leadership.

It's not rocket science, but it does take commitment to your principles. The question is, what is more important - your entire value system or just cherry-picking principles?

Photo credit: Lowriders

Wylie is a State of Mind

Remember when Alicia Keys sang about New York being a state of mind? Ffffftttt. New York isn't a state of mind, it's a loud, crowded and dirty playground for adults. In fact, the same can be said for most big cities. Oh sure, you can take the drive to a theme park and spend the day having fun, but what about spending every day of your life having fun?

My husband grew up in NYC. His childhood consisted of drab, grey concrete, being chased by gangs if he went into the wrong territory and being robbed of his brand new bike, you know, the cool 70s one with the banana seat. His childhood existence was devoid of the small, daily activities that made childhood fun and memorable, and I mean memorable in a good way.

As "the blogger", I have spent a lot of time ragging on the political activities of the adults. But I was reminded as I shared breakfast at Country Club Cafe with my husband and youngest son this morning, that the adults are not the most important part of Wylie. The kids are.

Thankfully, I have my wonderful son to remind me of that which I had nearly forgot. Shame on me.

I remember the first time I took my husband into Wylie High School when my oldest son was about to enter. The PTA held a parent meeting in the library and I dragged the hubster along so he could see where the final four years of his son's childhood would be molded.

He stood in the entry, in wide-eyed wonderment, taking in
the massive cafeteria, mural walls
and stairwell. It was unlike any school he ever went to. For his childhood there was no such thing as school sports teams, and certainly no such thing as school dances let alone prom. I reveled in watching him experience the same exciting events as my son, both of them for their first time ever.  

Photo credit: Paul Brooks
This was what he wanted for both of his sons. This is what he worked so hard for. This is what moving to Wylie enabled him to give them.

Wylie is not about Broadway musicals, sterile subways and moving masses of people that are blind to you among the other moving masses. Wylie is that Wonka Factory for young families.

I recall when we moved here in 2001. We dressed our sons up for Halloween and took them downtown to the Boo on Ballard. Back then, we wandered around from table to table and collected candy. Now it has grown into a shoulder to shoulder event.

Even today, there is a guy in our neighborhood who hooks up his Boo Choo Train each Halloween so he can transport the costumed kiddies around the neighborhood. Seriously, how cool is that?

I recall the concerts in Olde City Park with my youngest sliding through a muddy ditch, only to stand and say he was now camouflaged. Even today, we have the highly successful Bluegrass on Ballard festival every year, and there is always, always, always something for the kids, from pony rides, to face-painting, to petting zoo.

I remember standing in a cold line of people many Christmases ago, waiting to enter the Holiday Express train  that makes its way into town dressed up similar to Thomas the Tank Engine. We marveled at the Christmas decorations as we made our way through the train to see Santa.  

Even the schools make Wylie special, with activities, proms, football games and graduation.

I remember my sons getting to have tea in Brown House. I remember sitting in the stadium and watching football games and clapping along with the class song. These are things my husband never had available to him in New York. These are the things that make Wylie a state of mind, more so than New York ever could.

This small town is for the kids and we prove it at every turn. There are pedal car races and a lively library that is tailored to the youngsters, with more story times, comic-book events and activities than Harry Potter can shake a quidditch stick at. Even the rodeo is tailored to kids of all ages.

For any family that is lucky enough to live here, they should count themselves blessed for all of the wonderful memories they have been able to make for their kids. I know we do.

Does America Really Need Another Gasbag in DC?

I suppose it had to happen. I mean, if we can have a movie star in President Reagan, and an unsophisticated loudmouth businessman in President Trump, I suppose Michigan can have their beloved musician Kid Rock as their Senator, even if I kind of question his intellectual stamina.

Though it's not official yet, the man is contemplating whether he has what it takes to change what's going on in DC. Pshaw. He even stopped his recent show in Las Vegas to see how a little political speech might run up the flagpole.

I suppose if your eardrums have been violently assaulted for an hour while getting a contact high, anything sounds good.

I cannot help but wonder if this stellar prose from that speech is what we have to look forward to from a rock and roll senator:
"If you want to take a knee or sit during our Star Spangled Banner, call me a racist because I'm not PC and remind me that Black lives matter. Nazis, XXXXXXX bigots and now the KKK. I say XXXX all you racists. Stay the hell away." - Kid Rock
Except the man is loved. He's dearly loved. Those Michiganian fans are all over this nonsense, and they might just be crazy enough to put this man into office. If you thought a President Trump (R) was bad enough, wait for rude, crude and obnoxious Senator Rock (FU). Good grief.

Just when you thought we might be able to move on from Trump's bombastic stupidity on the campaign trail, Lord have mercy, we may have to listen to the badly aging rock and roller and his salty language. Lovely.

Photo credit: Twitter

An Open Letter from Texas to Charlie Hebdo

Facebook: Brent Webster
Hey, Charlie Hebdo. As socialists, I wouldn't expect you to comprehend the indomitable Texas spirit. Clearly, you would rather spew hatred and ignorance around the world, than help your neighbor.

While everyday heroes, that you generalized in cartoon as self-serving, gun-loving, bible-thumping white supremacists, took time off of work, loaded their personal vehicles and drove their trucks, boats and box trailers to Southeast Texas to help hurting people of all colors, religions and identities, you sat cackling behind your poisonous charcoal stub, sketching out an overwhelmingly clear image of jealousy and pettiness. You truly showed a lack of quality in your character. Definitely not your finest moment.

That's OK. We don't expect you to get it. Texans don't sit idly by, wringing our hands, waiting for government handouts and protection from harm. Rather, we spring into action to help our brothers and sisters in need. It is the very spirit behind Americans rebuilding your country after WWII. To thank the US, you continually nip at our heels like a pesky Chihuahua.

Facebook: Brent Webster
Facebook: Ken Emanuelson
We don't expect a neutered, neurotic Poodle to understand why Texas strangers heeded a call to help others by loading donated supplies and driving hundreds of miles to Houston. With such powdered behinds, you couldn't possibly understand why strangers helped each other launch hundreds of bass boats to rescue random men, women, children, pets, cattle, horses and even a deer from the putrid, killing waters. Obviously everyday bravery is lost on such panty waists.

Bravery is what we do here in America, and we do it rather well. Though a biased and misguided media may highlight our worst hours, thankfully social media highlights our best. We lead with photos of Americans spending time and money to help, rather than hurt Texans, while you were spending your time trying to hurt, rather than help.

In case you were wondering, this is what the average, God-fearing Texas hero in a bass boat looks like. It's certainly a far cry from the rather rare and elusive skinhead you painted.

Facebook: Brent Webster. From left: Brent Webster, Brandon Brickley, Brad Bromlow, Ben Meadows and Mike Meadows
Facebook: Ken Emanuelson
That's OK. We forgive your ignorance. We don't expect you to look beyond your free speech attempt to mangle our free will. Still, if I had to place my bet on a society, it would be on ours, rather than whatever it is yours has become, that can so easily kick people while they are down. Your ignorance and stereotypes harm you, not us.

I invite you to put down your flimsy drawing tools and join us in Texas to do some real work, as everyday heroes move from saving people's lives to helping people rebuild. Who knows? Maybe you will learn a thing or two about the people who once chanted, "Je Suis Charlie" in solidarity with you. Maybe you will finally overcome your close-minded pettiness and see exactly what makes the Texas spirit so indestructible and resilient.

Cover photo credit: Facebook

The Texan Conservative Does Liberal California

While I was on walkabout in my 80s California stomping grounds, I traipsed through San Francisco on a hippie love tour, wandered through Carmel, whale-watched in Monterey, rode a horse through the San Luis Obispo hills, shed a tear at President Ronald Reagan's burial site, beat feet out of that armpit known as Hollywood as Tamer Hosny stepped into the cement as an Arab instead of an artist, visited Queen Mary, hopped the 26 mile ferry to Catalina, dined in San Diego, stuck my toes in Carlsbad State Beach and visited every mission I could possibly cram into an already filled schedule. I need a vacation from my vacation.


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Why Are People So Angry?

Well, I did it again. Another year, another vacation under the belt.

While I was gone to the land of nucking futs, otherwise known as California, it seems that society went to hell in a hand basket. Turns out, you cannot leave the kiddies home alone to play nice.

I leave for ten gloriously sunny and temperate days and people are tearing down historical artifacts and rioting. For the love of God, grow up.

There's seriously something wrong with people's brains
When I returned, my highly inquisitive and rather astute son wanted to know how I feel about dismantling confederate statues. The long answer - I am not a revisionist. My take on this whole debacle is that as a society, how will we ever learn from our mistakes and provide teachable moments to future generations if we erase things we don't like? When people want to erase our worst hours because it hurts their fragile feelings, they are ensuring that, without historical reference points, we are apt to repeat history. The short answer - it's dumb. People's brains are clearly atrophying.

Why are people so angry?
How can people be so darned angry when we just came home from a trip to that slick, colorful brochure that is prissy, sissy and delicate Niceville?

It's because the liberals simply don't care. They reside in a fairyland, far away from that thing called real work. They sit commune style in open-air rooms with their flip-flops folded criss-cross-apple-sauce under the floor pillow and wander around their campus with a no-fat, no sugar added mocha frappuccino with garbanzo aquafaba cream and pretend they are clearing some sort of cobwebs from their slack, medical marijuana glazed brains. And they get paid big bucks for this liberty. They stand for anything and they stand for nothing. They are happy to jump a train and happy not to. It doesn't really matter to them one way or another. They think nobody should give a crap, and if you give a crap, surely you are oppressing, xenophobing or homophobing someone, somehow, somewhere.

Juxtapose that with people in the red states. These people give a crap. They work hard for everything they have, while the jet set call them those pesky flyovers. You know, the ones who make this country possible by paying taxes and working hard. They don't get to show up to work in flip-flops and cut out early for a hang-ten before they make their way back to their personal air-compressed sleep chamber for the night. They are pissed off that all their hard work and taxes are being pilfered away by a bunch of amoral twits in DC who are supported Hollywood half-wits.

You pay money to watch the Hollywood types. They clearly don't give a crap what you think because you keep paying to watch them pretend to be you, or someone you hoped you could be - just so you don't have to work that hard. They spout off nonsensical crap because they have to if they want to remain employed by the nutters holding the money, and it angers you but you pay for their TV shows and movies anyway. Poor thing, people like Naomi Judd have it so hard. You know, being looked at and all. But hey, you just keep paying them to spoon feed you nutter-speak and hope that your brain will not somehow be fundamentally changed by group-think.

Hollywood 2.0
You send good, hard-earned money to a candidate, which sends him to DC - the other Hollywood, and then suddenly they stop giving a crap. Rep. Pete Sessions the Repete kid is a prime example. If you sent him money to help close the borders or stop Planned Parenthood funding, as was pimped last season, that is old news. Like the taboo of  wearing white after Labor Day, his focus changes the day after every election. Good luck getting these people to listen, let alone hear.

Hollywood 3.0 
While you are busy watching Hollywood and ignoring 2.0, a new breed has emerged, which is even more dangerous than the previous two. These hollymaphrodites are toxic combinations of Hollywood starlet and politician. They are better known as the media. These slick little suckers are so deathly afraid of unemployment and new media bloggers that they stoke the fires for a living. Don't confuse them with their extinct counterparts who actually worked for the publics instead of the almighty liberal dollar. Their stake is that controversy, whether real or fabricated sells, and indeed, follow the money trail. As long as you feed the beast, they keep getting fatter.

This circle of life continues and those people paying for it all keep getting angrier.

As confederate history is completely eliminated, and the statues are all torn down, they'll have to start on names next. Watch the City of Tyler for a name change soon, considering their namesake is the slave-owning President John Tyler who owned 70 slaves. Will we ban the word "Washington" because he owned 317?

My prediction is the idiocy will continue because liberals brains are getting tinier. That's what happens when you buy into Hollywood and don't exercise them.

Image credit: Twitter

In Bold Move, Wylie Proposes Lowest Tax Rate in Years

Congratulations to the City of Wylie, Mayor Eric Hogue, city council members and the City Manager Mindy Manson for somehow finding enough money to give us a 6.7 cent tax rate decrease, when all along they said they couldn't, shouldn't, wouldn't go with more than a 2 cent decrease. 

It's amazing how the money just finds itself, but for now I will put the snarky in the pocket for a moment and thank them for realizing how much they have been hurting Wylie's taxpayers. They finally listened to us.

I will also take back calling our Mayor the tax-whore, because he worked to lower our rate, not just to the effective tax rate, but slightly lower than that. This is finally good news and taxpayers should celebrate heartily. 

That said, I can explain how easy it was for them to make this shocking move. 

Firstly, they discovered that the double-digit appraisal hike we received was near embarrassing at nearly 14%, especially considering the city manager proposed the budget based upon a 9% increase. Secondly, based upon that massive increase, the city stands to make a bundle off all those poor suckers who are buying new homes in Wylie. Finally, because the city was getting mighty tired of having their reputation mired by all this tax talk. It's looking like they will not be the highest taxed city in Collin County anymore, and for that I am fairly certain they are breathing a sigh of relief.

Now let me allay some fears about "future increase" chatter that always seems to make the rounds when talking with ill-informed people. The effective tax rate is a two-way street. When a city lowers their tax rate to meet that, the total tax payment homeowners make stays relatively the same. Should property values decrease, they can increase taxes to the effective tax rate and guess what? The total taxes paid will stay the same. That's the beauty of of the effective tax rate. 

Not only did the city determine that they could meet the effective tax rate, but they are attempting to beat it as well. Isn't it funny how much of a difference two weeks make when council claims they simply cannot lower taxes more than two cents, and suddenly find 6.7 cents to give us? Kind of makes you wonder why they have been sticking it to us for so many years in the first place, but I digress. 

The point of this post is that we the people should be jubilant today, for we are winning. Now if only the other taxing entities would fall in line, that would be great. But in the meantime, the city of Wylie is doing their part to make Wylie one of the best places in all of North Texas to live. Well done. 

Befuddled Rankings for Wylie City Council

Based upon the tax increase proposed by every city council member at the last budget work session, I decided to rank the council members based upon how well they listen to citizens, represent their concerns and how much they involve their own egos in votes.

Below are some surprising and not so surprising ranking results:

1. Councilman Toby Wallis - a DVM with cogent thought or two
This newbie is the best we've got and that's a sad statement considering he's only been on council a second. It should be no surprise that Councilman Wallis resides at the top of my list. He hasn't had time to make any ripples one way or the other. Still, his behavior so far has been exemplary, and it is obvious that he is paying attention to citizen's cries for help on our taxes. He made it clear from the start that he wishes to do what is in the best interest of all of Wylie's citizens.

His platform was "I believe that there are 3 S's that constitute a successful city: Stewardship- we must take care of what we have for our children, Service- we are here to serve the community as a whole, and Strength- one of our greatest strengths is our sense of community"

This is a refreshing perspective as long as he remembers that a strong community spirit is what makes a community great, not dispiriting them by increasing taxes and forcing them to move from their homes. If he lives up to this platform promise, it is certainly a far cry from the six other robbing hoods currently sitting on council. But this platform remains to be seen so I proceed with cautious optimism.

2. Councilman Jeff Forrester - underwhelmingly unoriginal
Without a viable opponent, Forrester was elected a couple of years ago. Though I had been warned that he was bffs with Mayor Pro Tem Keith Stephens, I felt he would be a conservative councilman willing to take the heat on behalf of citizens. Over the past two years he has proved neither. Instead, he stands with the Mason brethren and hasn't offered anything terribly useful. He certainly isn't backing the fight to lower our taxes.

He ran on conservative principles, fixing the roadways with common sense solutions (that hasn't happened) and as a good steward of the citizens, "By ensuring that they are heard and that they feel represented". Do you feel represented by him when he suggests a tax increase when polled? Um, no. Voters were looking for something new, fresh and sexy out of a councilman willing to stand up to the dais bullies increasing our taxes every year but instead, he brought his Z game. Truly disappointing.

3. Mayor Pro Tem Kieth Stephens - a confounding leader
This man is probably the most shocking of all because it originally seemed as though he was on council to side with the people and "make Wylie the best city to live, work, play and grow." He even stood up against a push by one former councilman to enforce a smoking ban on business owners, saying he was opposed to legislating business owners and that the people should have the right to choose businesses they wish to support whether they offer smoking or not.

Looking back, Stephens walked on council without an opponent for two elections and during that time it has become apparent that his overarching interest is in siding with the Wylie First Baptist Church (FBC) which he attends.

Probably to his credit, he was not at the last council meeting where members were polled as to the tax rate decrease they were in favor of, so we will never know if he officially wishes to increase our taxes this year with a paltry two cents, but past records show he voted for tax increases year after year.

That is an interesting dilemma for him, because he ran on, "Working to reduce the tax burden" according to his platform published in the League of Women Voters guide for May 7, 2016.

The real reason Stephens has dropped in my estimation of him is because of his votes against alcohol, based upon his religious beliefs and not based upon helping to lower that tax burden listed in his platform.

Regardless of what anyone thinks about drinking, enticing pubs and sit-down restaurants, like those in downtown McKinney and Plano would not be that difficult if the FBC folks got out of the way, but Stephens (and also Mayor Eric Hogue) routinely vote against anything that has to do with alcohol.

Wylie Mayor Pro Tem Keith Stephens
It's no secret that the FBC is an issue in the ability of businesses to get liquor licenses in the area surrounding them.

When the city stopped supporting the downtown area some years back, in favor of building the 544 discount shopping and fast food corridor, the downtown merchants had to form their own association and support system while struggling to remain in existence.

Without a lively nightlife, they will never be able to revitalize downtown Wylie to its former "Wide Awake Wylie" days.

Though Stephens will not vote to support alcohol in the city, I was sent this image of him drinking the signature alcoholic drink of the evening, a S'mores Martini, at a Collin County event earlier this year.

I have to wonder about the duplicity this image presents when it comes to his votes on alcohol, which would dramatically increase foot traffic and tax revenue for the downtown merchants, and help him live up to his promise to reduce the tax burden on citizens. With years of tax increases, Wylie is definitely not the best place to live or play in as he promised when he ran for council.

4. Councilwoman Diane Culver - can't hear us over her gums flapping
Back in the day, many people told me they didn't like Culver because she was loud, crude and rude. My estimation was that she was the breath of fresh air that the stale old-school clique of long-time Wylie residents sitting on council needed. At the time, she ran on conservative principles, so I supported her. Since then, her love affair with talking seems to have colored her common sense.

It's true, through the years she did some wonderful things on council, like getting the Code of Ethics passed, though it certainly didn't hurt that a couple councilmen made some bonehead mistakes, or that my continual blogging embarrassed the city to the point that mayor finally hopped off his picket.

Mayor was of the mindset that the city's charter was enough to keep leaders in line, and they didn't need no stinking code of conduct the blogger and Culver were pushing for. But Culver ran and won on fiscal responsibility and a code of conduct and contrary to her public statement that she got the code put into place, it would NEVER have happened without the deeply embarrassing antics of former Councilmen Bennie Jones and Nathan Scott, my continued blogging to get the word out and the newspaper finally acting like the informer of the publics they are supposed to be, after ignoring the Scott situation for over a year.

Culver was even honored by receiving an official endorsement from Empower Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, who provide that distinction to those who are recommended and make it through the interview process showing they are fiscally conservative. I made the recommendation and the rest was up to her, so why she has been voting for tax increases to citizens, despite a rather healthy budget  that would have supported adopting the effective tax rate the past several years, is perplexing.

Culver supported the small, tax rate decreases and, according to her candidate Facebook page, she claims the tiny decreases to the tax rate were done so that the city could continue on with expanding services. This is government speak for tax and spend, and pretending that established homeowners need to pay for the new people moving into the city, despite the fact that their homes are worth more and thus taxed higher. It's crazy talk because all those new homeowners for the past several years are now more than paying for their share of growth.

Clearly this is a difficult concept for all of our council members to grasp. Growth does indeed pay for growth, or at least it should if the city is well run.

Despite the small tax decreases Culver claims are the highlights of her seat, each year they still amounted to overall tax increases thanks to the city's unwillingness to offset the tax burden of increasing property values. She has never taken up that effective tax rate cross for citizens either.

I guess she is under the misconception that our taxes should increase each year to help pay for all these wonderful things we are getting in Wylie, though citizens are still at a loss as to exactly what they are.

Yet Culver even stated rather emphatically at last Tuesday's council meeting that contrary to popular belief, growth doesn't pay for growth. Facepalm.

Uh, I suppose new growth doesn't pay for new growth if you're Wylie and you are run by a group of useful idiots.

If the city is still running in the red after near build-out for a handful of years, then it is seriously mismanaged. Is she really publicly announcing that the city is losing money and needs to increase taxes every year for five in a row just to cover their debt and expenses? Truly embarrassing.

What's worse, the woman who used to be horrified at our mayor's egocentric license plate that read "Wylie One", now glances at him throughout the meetings for affirmation that she's on the right track.

It seems that the city pumps her with nonsense, knowing they can lob and spew with her incessant need to talk during council meetings. This was evidenced in the last meeting where she barely took a breath, even speaking on behalf of those presenting, such as the Animal Shelter and even the city manager.

5. Councilwoman Candy Arrington - the get along gal
Then there's Councilwoman Candy Arrington. She's smart as a whip and is probably one of the only ones up there that understands a bit 'o finance, but I'll be damned if she doesn't go along to get along on every vote.

Her platform when running? Your guess is as good as mine.

This about sums it up:
Texas League of Women Voters
I guess that's one way of not letting people know what you stand for. I supported her in a runoff, but the lack of rank is a direct result of her asking important questions, and then still voting with the herd. She is frustrating at best, and if she votes yet another year to increase our taxes, I suspect she'll have a formidable opponent next year, and we'll be bidding her adieu.

6. Councilman David Dahl - the yes man cometh
Oh man, no. When I poll greeted during the primaries in March 2016, Dahl stood outside of the polls and told me that we'll have to vote on a bond soon to pay for road improvements. But he's always been a tax and spend kind o' guy. It's no surprise his platform was built on taxing and spending. At least he made no bones about it. Well there's that.

He routinely sits on the fence on nearly every topic, seemingly grateful when he doesn't have to vote first on something. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to see him have any conviction whatsoever on any topic; his finger votes with mayor's finger virtually every time, especially when it comes to tax and spend.

The only person with a larger picket impression on their backside than mayor, is Dahl.

7. Mayor Eric Hogue - the tax and spend whore
What can I say about mayor? He's the media Hogue. He's even his own enterprise! No seriously, go read all about his spending highlights and then make your way back here.

In my opinion, he has turned into the Worst Mayor Ever. For all the good he did in getting Wylie's name on the map, he's undone five-fold with years of tax and spend that are now causing  "his people" financial hardship. 

So much for the servant/leader attitude he claims to have as part of his candidate platform. As a representative of the people, he claims to, "listen and work to meet the needs of a growing community".

Listen? Has anyone got that out of his votes over his four terms? Oh sure, he listens, and then he charges forward doing what is best for the Eric Hogue Enterprises - motivational speaker extraordinaire!

I suppose that's one way to get yourself some tax write-offs.
Eric Hogue, in his Clinky the Clown costume. (Eric Hogue)

If you are wondering why the realty market has slowed down in Wylie, look no further than the tax and spend magician who is making your money magically disappear from your wallet.

Oh, he's witty, cute and kissable sometimes, but that has clearly worn off according to taxpayers. He's pretty well disliked now, which seems like the perfect time to groom someone to run against him in three years.

It won't be difficult to beat him, especially when you see what people think of him:
"How do you get rid of Eric hogue? He has all his yes people around him and no one will run against him"
"That is horrible that we have 3 more years of him"
"I guess it's time to clean house and vote in a mayor and city council that will listen to the citizens. Same goes for the school district.Everyone I know in Wylie is fed up with the taxes. Many are moving out of Wylie because of the taxes. Time for change and lower taxes"
"Seems to me some of the people running the City need to be voted out."
"I've been participating in Wylie city elections for 15 years. We need a new option for 2018 city counsel seats."
"The appraised value is not the problem, it is the ridiculous high city and school tax we pay in Wylie. Wylie's city council and Mayor are out of control and yet we just re-elected the mayor without any opposition. Go figure."
"How can we do a recall of Eric and the bobble head council? We have lived here for more than 10 years. My son and Eric's were in band together. I have known the man for years. I wouldnt give him the time of day now. They are NOT listening to the people. Remember Dr Fuller @ WISD?"
Oh yes, I remember Dr. Fuller all too well, ramming bond after bond at voters, and when we declined, he repackaged it and rammed it at us several more times. Hell to the yes, he even rode from school to school in a caravan of shame, showing voters broken door locks, bent lockers and stained gym floors that should have been part of general school maintenance, certainly not a bond.

The point is, he wasn't listening. All the money he wanted from taxpayers was about building himself a "legacy". He even went so far as to have WISD purchase land across from his Seis Lagos neighborhood for a third high school!

The scary part is, Fuller sounds eerily similar to Mayor Hogue. Do you ever wonder if we'll soon be visiting Hogue City Hall?  I shudder to think, and you should too.

These rankings were a long-time coming, but I feel there is no time like the present, especially when another year of tax increases is staring homeowners in the face. 

Wylie Council Lie About Representing Citizen Wishes

I've heard it said by Mayor Eric Hogue before; when nobody shows up at council meetings, it must mean they are happy with the direction council is taking. 

Except we did show up. 

People showed up and told them in May that they were unhappy about our taxes, and we asked them to lower them by adopting the effective tax rate. 

The fact is, we have told them what we want, and tonight, they just told us they don't give a rat's cheek about representing us, and certainly not the full rat's ass. 

At the end of the day, our council, who we voted in to represent our wishes, capitulated to a 2 cent decrease in our tax rate (except Councilman Wallis who suggested 3.5 cents). This number is by no means firm yet, but the very fact council wasted three hours of time nobody can ever get back again, asking questions of City Manager Mindy Manson, only to go with whatever she presented anyway is a total mystery.

There was lots of talk about spending, and then more talk about how to spend more later. Absolute dipshizzles. 

The outcome of tonight's budget work session is certainly no surprise to me. They do the same thing, like clockwork, every year. And you know what they say about doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. The meme above says it all.

Even if council comes up with another 1.5 cent decrease to total 3.5 cents by the public hearings next month, it will still be a TAX INCREASE. 

Why? Because next week the effective tax rate is announced by the Collin County Central Appraisal District. Adopting it would mean the city would keep our taxes the same as last year. 

Gee, they didn't seem to have any trouble working within last year's budget. They added headcount, gave raises, bought stuff. and put money in the bank. They even took in more sales tax and property tax revenue than their budget estimates. But this year momma needs new shoes.

This is the crap they pull year after year, all in the name of being conservative with your money. Meanwhile, you are stuck with increasing taxes and mortgage payments because your escrow payment increases to cover the higher taxes and insurance costs. Your city cannot stop taxing you because they cannot stop spending. This is evident by the ridiculous amount of money the city owes. 

Some Wylie homeowners even complained their payments went up $300 and $400 dollars this year. That is clearly of no consequence to the city council. They don't care; they just can't wait to spend your money on new toys.

So if I had to place a bet on the effective tax rate, I would guestimate it to be around 5-6 cents, but I will report it here as soon as I find out what it is. Yet council walked away from the budget work session tonight thanking themselves for going with a conservative 2 cent decrease. 


As fiduciaries of our tax dollars, why council and mayor think increasing our taxes and spending the money like it's going out of style is a conservative use of our tax dollars is beyond me. Meanwhile, they are vigorously patting themselves on the back tonight for pretending to represent our wishes. 

Well they didn't.

Image credit: Quickmeme

Wylie Takes Taxpayers for Chumps

Here I sit, writing this blog instead of doing my homework. I suppose the Master's can wait a few hours while I attend to the other, more pressing master - taxes.

Welcome All Chumps
It may have taken me a couple months of breaking down the tax information for everyone, but now I am going to show you how the city is playing us for chumps.

In last year's budget work session, the budget requests were not much unlike this year's.

The 2016 Budget Matters in 2017
Listen closely to this video. You'll hear City Manager Mindy Manson asking council not to reduce the tax rate because she has to pay for everything presented. The main takeaway here is that every year, at every initial budget work session, Manson comes to council presenting a virtual doomsday scenario that requires every penny available to cover expenses. Not to mention the increasing tax revenues they are sure to get above and beyond the "conservative" estimates presented. I say not to mention, because they sure don't.

I know, I know, 2016 is so last year, so why am I going over this now? As we dig into the requests presented in 2016, we can begin to see the picture of how the money flows at city hall.

Staff Pay
First, I'll point out that I have no problem paying staff salaries that are in line with other similar communities with similar budgets. I believe staff do a great job representing this city. Just look at City Secretary Carole Ehrlich alone, she is a massive fount of information and even if she cannot stand the blogger who has at times made her life hell, she always has a smile for me. I don't want the city to become a training ground for youngsters who turn around and leave for higher paying city jobs. That just creates lost revenue and productivity.

I agree that every person working in the Police and Fire departments deserve to be fairly paid as well. They hold jobs I certainly wouldn't want to do. I am grateful for every one of them, every day, because we have had to seek their help in the past. Like when my father-in-law had a massive heart attack and they were at his house a block away from mine within four minutes. Also, every time I have had to call the police to report the activity of the highly popular drug dealer on my street, they have been super helpful. These blog posts are not aimed at staff in any way, they are aimed at the executive city leadership and Mayor Eric Hogue, who are playing everyone's emotions while they build a Monopoly empire.

That said, a complicit council has gone along for the ride, certainly for as many years as I've lived here. I have yet to witness any sitting council that has the ability or intellect to understand how budgets and city finance work. Their questions about the budget through the years tell me they are without a clue. That's not to say there haven't been council members who get it, because there have been, but they are beaten down year after year. We saw this with former councilmen David Goss and William Whitney, and now we will begin to see this with Dr. Toby Wallis. As long as the Mayor and Mindy tag team are running the show, nothing is going to change with our taxes. Nothing.

If you want something to change, vote mayor out in three years and demand they fire the city manager. Don't say I neglect to present you with solutions.

Playas Playing
I blogged about this almost one year ago to the day in Wylie Tax Rate Kept Artificially High.

An example of the players can be seen in the video above. Mayor and Mindy bantered back and forth about how a 1/2 cent decrease in our tax rate would only result in a measly $20 decrease. At one point Hogue completely dismisses it saying it's "nothing" for taxpayers and Manson agreed, stating how harmful a decrease in tax rate would be to the budget.

The reality is that the decrease was worth far more than their fictitious $20 when applied to my own property value increase. That alleged $20 turned into a $135.11 increase last year. And over, and over, and over again, each year my taxes to the city increased, totaling $561.75 since 2012. You can see from the taxes on my home below where they got really greedy starting in 2015, but it didn't become noticeable to taxpayers until 2016, when escrow notices started arriving in the mail.

Mayor and Mindy's flippant attitude is precisely the problem with this city.

After the budget was initially presented in the video above, they conveniently modified it. With those modifications, they lowered department expenditures and provided a 2 cent tax rate decrease by the time September rolled around and council voted to approve the budget. After all that they still took in that massive $2.9 million tax revenue windfall.

Rainy Day Fund
Note that in the last budget work session in June, Manson claimed that the city needed to keep 30% of the total budget in "reserves", which must be their fancy new name for the "rainy day fund". Back in 2011, an independent auditor told them they needed between 20-25% of budget in the rainy day fund, in order to keep our high bond rating. Suddenly, Manson is suggested that the city needs 30%. I'm calling BS on this one. That is nearly 1/3 of our entire budget and in the current model of dramatically increasing property values, I cannot image the necessity of nearly 1/3 of our budget to hold our bond rating steady. That's preposterous. What's worse, I cannot believe she dared say that with a straight face, or that nobody on council said a word about this ludicrous claim.

Police Headcount
When we compare the 2016 budget to the  CAFR that was officially audited in January 2017, we can see that the city spent considerably less in certain departments and used the money in other departments.

Notice that public safety, otherwise known as police and fire with a little bit of animal control sprinkled in, was provided with $18,180,607 in the final approved budget, but actually used $17,534,893 under-spending by $645,714.

Also notice that general government expenditures, also known as the city manager's kitchen sink, conveniently overspent by $428,141.

So the police headcount of 61 the city so desperately wanted for the 2015-2016 budget meant the city manager could pilfer a line item she knew full well would never be spent in it's entirety. How did she know? Because there is a clear record of what the city is asking for in headcount and what they actually fulfill each year.

In 2014 alone, the city budgeted 15 new headcount for PD. In September 2014, city council voted to approve a budget with 61 total officers, yet they only had 46 at the time, and they only added 7 of the 15. Obviously the funds "allegedly" available for PD to add headcount were used elsewhere.

Notice, in September 2015 when the 2015-16 budget was passed, they had 53 officers and held eight slots open for the budget for a total of 61. You can see by 2016 they only filled two slots. THIS a game the city manager and Mayor Eric Hogue are playing with OUR money. And this is just the PD's budget. I wonder what FD headcount would look like if I put in the same information request for them?

This is NOT the fault of PD or FD. THIS IS the fault of the city manager and mayor who are playing games and pilfering funds from emotion-based departments in order to have some mad money lying around throughout the year. If they are doing it with PD and FD, they are surely doing it with other departments. And the city council members just bobble their heads in approval. It annoys me greatly that the chiefs of police and fire are being played.

Tugging Your Heartstrings
Our city gets away with it because they tug at the heartstrings of a benevolent taxpayer base, who want to see police and firefighters get what they deserve. I mean, how can we tell them no? Just as our council members stumble over themselves while ingratiating Mayor and Mindy's backsides, they believe they are altruistic in the money grab.

Meanwhile, Mindy and Mayor NEVER intend for the money to go entirely to public safety. The excess funds are always spent or moved elsewhere, like the $645,714 under-spent in public safety, which was then clearly overspent in $393,124 in an ambiguous line item called "combined services general" for 2016.

So, what about that tax revenue windfall of $2.9 million last year? As a taxpayer, wouldn't you expect them to return your money back to you? Nope, they included it as part of the $3,151,965 put in the bank last year, as you can see from the ending fund balances below.

Enter the Hailstorm
Which takes me to the final part of this 2016 video, which played out over the past year. What started out as repair and remodel of the public safety building after the hailstorm, has turned into a full remodel and expansion as heartstrings are tugged at yet again, this time by hail.

The public safety building was damaged by the hailstorm and insurance paid what it would cost to repair the building, roughly $1.2 million plus a yet undetermined recoverable amount. Normally the city would come to us with a bond to build such an expensive building, but how can they? Our taxes have been going up and people have been pitching a fit over it. They certainly can't increase our tax rate without rioting in the streets. So how are Mayor and Mindy going to pay for their expensive building and get away with it?

Had the hailstorm not occurred, rest assured, the city would have come to us for a vote. Instead, when they have so much excess tax revenue coming in and they are stockpiling money, they have no problem paying for not only a repair and remodel, but a $7+ million dollar expansion reported in The Wylie News on May 17th of this year.

You can view the presentation on the total overhaul of the public safety building here. In this meeting that took place May 9, 2017, council voted in favor of ADG architect firm at a cost of $943,880 just for the design plans. That doesn't include construction.

Oh sure, the weepy saps around Wylie are nodding in unison that the PD deserves a nice building, and they do. But nobody came to us to ask if they could use our money to do it. It's just going to be done because that's what Mayor and Mindy want.

What Mayor and Mindy want, they seem to get, even it it means taxpayers lose their homes over it, which is what is taking place as people are moving out at high rates since May. Sadly, people can no longer afford their house payment because of the dramatically increasing property values, coupled with the city's obstinate refusal to adopt the effective tax rate. So as a homeowner, why not take the increase in property values and beat feet out of the highest taxed city in Collin County? It seems our city leaders think that's just a casualty of all these "services" they claim we are getting with the luxury of paying the highest tax rate.

How will the city be paying for these new police digs then? If they combine last year's tax revenue windfall that was put in the bank, with the insurance payout that will total more than $1.6 million, as well as any tax revenue windfall they can scrape off of our backs this year, voilĂ !

Every story has an end
The moral of this story is that on July 18th, at the next budget work session, we'll be lucky if the city adopts any tax decrease at all. Instead, they will fling the back of their hand to forehead and tell us, just like in past years, that the thought of adopting the effective tax rate is simply too much for our budget to bear. What with all those wonderful services we are getting, and all, like a larger library (the 80s called to say there are now actually things called preschools and handheld readers!) and a rec center that has never operated in the black since the day it opened (um, Ballys is calling and they want to run it for you), and all those roads they are building, yup they intend to push for a bridge over Lake Lavon yet again (yawnsville).

Oh, and good luck trying to tell Mayor and Mindy what they can cut from their precious budget. Yup, we're pretty much chumps when only a dozen people can bother themselves to complain about our taxes at a council meeting.

Now back to my schoolwork, for which I am also paying a mighty price.

Wylie PD Officer Headcount vs Budget Requests

If you recall, at the budget work session earlier in June, several city council members shut down a concerned citizen during his time to speak. Mayor even pushed a mic grab by pulling Chief Henderson up to the podium.

During that rude orchestration, a comment was made by one of the council members that they had witnessed how devastating it was for a recruit to make it through our system, only to be turned away because there was not a budgeted position available. That statement is an outright fabrication.

I submitted an information request to the city, asking if they had to turn away any recruits since 2012. Here is the response which shows the number of sworn police vs the number of headcount available. At no time did they have to turn away anyone.

Also notice that PD has been given plenty of funds toward headcount each year, but they have not filled the positions for one reason or another. It is unfathomable that in 2014, when there were 46 officers on the day the 2014/15  budget was approved, city council approved an sickening 15 slots in our budget. Do you have any idea how much money that represents per person, when the city pays for a recruit's training, salary, overtime and benefits? 

When the current budget was approved last September, there were 55 sworn officers and 6.5 headcount built into the budget. But when former Councilman William Whitney asked to take a second look at that headcount request, he was virtually steamrolled by Mayor Eric Hogue. 

The "overtime" excuse does not hold water. I defy you to take overtime pay away from police and see how happy they remain. They want overtime pay because it bumps up their salary considerably.

The "low pay" excuse no longer holds water, as the city has been providing market increases every year during this period. A market increase bumps up salaries to meet those of nearby cities of similar size or budget.

What this means is that year after year, the city council is pushing through a kabuki dance of numbers that is emotion-based, instead of reality-based. This emotion appears to flow into every area of the budget, and the taxpayers have provided them with an open wallet.

What council members and Mayor Hogue have not done is provide taxpayers with relief from the increasing property values, because they have continually voted to increase our taxes the past four years, while pretending they are lowering our taxes with a smoke and mirrors tax rate numbers game.

All we are asking for this year is an adoption of the effective tax rate. It's really not that difficult for them to give us that, by holding to last year's rather healthy budget.

It is a total mystery to me as to why our city leaders think this is rocket science. It's not.

Image credit: City of Wylie