a Column by LNO Editor Nelson Thibodeaux
I relocated to Colleyville in the early 1990s and began to pay attention to Colleyville Politics in 1997. I have seen, been a part of, been a victim of and participated in hard-hitting local politics.
During this time there have been issues that stirred the flames of Colleyville neighborhoods. For example, while serving on City Council in 1999, I take full responsibility for my efforts to change the two lane sleepy Hall Johnson Road into a 4-lane thoroughfare. I anticipated the business growth, now seen at the corner of Hall Johnson and Hwy 26, would not take place without the ability to provide an East-West corridor through the City of Colleyville. In my opinion, Colleyville needed the sales tax dollars to keep city property taxes in check.
Based on the facts in front of me and for the benefit of the entire City, I remained a stalwart of the plan and it passed City Council on a 4 to 1 vote. However, I was the only Council member up for re-election.
During the consideration of the plan, it should be noted that there was no attempt at deception of the residents along Hall Johnson. The plans were laid out in full view, numerous meetings were held, everyone was allowed to speak. Television stations showed up to record packed City Council chambers during council consideration.
However, there was no eminent domain or threat thereof to build the road, the right of way had already been established. Even better the taxpayers of Colleyville paid approximately ten cents for every dollar spent to build and landscape Hall Johnson. Sensitive to maintaining the beauty and rural feel, $600,000 was allocated on the landscaping one sees today along the corridor.
However, there were a lot of angry citizens who did not want the road expanded. They felt that Colleyville’s rural feel would be disrupted, home values would plummet and the road would be dangerous for children. In a light voter turn-out the passionate folks prevailed and I was defeated by an individual who months later had to resign from City Council for failure to pay his city property taxes.
However, when ask if I would have changed my vote to have been re-elected, the answer is no. Dave Leiber of the Star Telegram described me as a rising star who flamed out. I call it being honest with the citizens. I currently live just off of Hall Johnson.
On the other hand, we have a MUCH different scenario on Glade Road in Colleyville. So much different in fact that deception and misdirection is the main theme of those who want to sustain the status quo on City Council. Simply examine the photo below and ask yourself, “How can this NO Vote campaign that will turn over the fate of Glade Road to build an expanded road AND 10 ft trails be accomplished WITHOUT EMINENT DOMAIN?” When they told you there is no plan to do just that, simply look at this 10 ft “trail” already constructed on Glade. Now examine the photo and ask yourself HOW they can expand the road AND continue this trail construction WITHOUT the use of eminent domain and taking of property. When they tell you there is no eminent domain planned, this can only mean that all of these homeowners are expected to agree to sacrifice their beautiful trees and a major piece of their private property to Colleyville City Government.
The Vote NO proponents and Vote NO Candidates tell you there will be no major tree loss and NO EMINENT DOMAIN. In other words, when looking at the 10 ft trail THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN LAID IN TWO LOCATIONS, don’t believe your lying eyes! Simply look at the photo, this is not an illusion, the trees, as far as the eye can see, will be gone, so will be private property and/or at best the trail would literally be a few feet from these homeowners front door.
Further, you are told, if you vote YES, that nothing will happen on Glade Road. Any effort to overlay the road, put in turn lanes or make any improvements will be stopped by the Thunder and Lightening of the passed Proposition. The VOTE NO crowd lovingly endorse Nancy Coplen and Mike Taylor, two relics of elections past. Futher, their mailer claims they are NOT “Single Issue” candidates and have no “Conflicts of Interest” with their homes or business.
So this begs the question, if there is NO conflict with Taylor and Coplen’s homes, why are they so fervently and admantly opposed to those who are stakeholders trying to protect the property of all homeowners on Glade? Very simple, a coalition built to keep the status quo of today’s council. These candidates have sold out residents along Glade to get elected. This is NOT Hall Johnson.
This is an effort to leave a legacy by the Mayor of Colleyville to build trails (not sidewalks in this case) and medians. To accomplish this he needs his loyal subject council members . There is simply no question, from reliable sources, that Nancy Couplen was approached by the Mayor to run for City Council in his desperate attempt to maintain control of the voting decision.
These so called candidates without conflict and NOT “Single Issue Candidates” seem very single isse when it comes to the Proposition on Glade Road because they think they can ride the deception to victory in the Colleyville City Council election. Note the close ties of the mailers, as well as the candidates signs actually on the same posts as the Vote NO signs.
The existing power structure of City Council; e.g. the Mayor’s loyal subjects, are desperate to keep the lack of transparency in voting and discussions in place. No better example that Councilman Chuck Mogged, who obtained his seat without an opponent, seen putting up Vote NO Against the Glade Road Proposition all over the city. Above he is seen removing the sign at the behest of the landowner.
The NO VOTE proponents remind me of the movie Something’s Gotta Give. Trying to assure a skeptical Erica (Diane Keaton) that he has feelings for her, love-averse Harry (Jack Nicholson) earnestly declares, “I have always told you some version of the truth.
Regardless of how you feel, or vote, on the Glade Road Propostion, there needs to be new voices and a balance on the Colleyville City Council. The deliberate deception to confuse the Colleyville Voters is perhaps the worse I have ever witnessed in almost 20 years. Their apparent backing by the Battle Ground Texas folks in the quest to “elect more moderate candidates,” is also of concern.
Remember Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid repeatedly — and falsely — claimed that Mitt Romney “hadn’t paid any taxes in 10 years.” But, usually, politicians’ prevarications have some connection, however sketchy, to the truth. In politics, lying by distorting facts takes many forms. A common tactic is to pull a remark out of its original context and depict it as meaning something the speaker never intended. As Colleyville Voters, we have a responsibility here too. We have to impress upon those who would lead us that we do care about truth and honesty and that losing our trust is an unacceptable cost of deceptive politics. And they should NOT get our vote.
Speaking of Harry Reid a constituent of Reid in research discovered that then Congressman Harry Reid’s great-great uncle, Remus Reid, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.
When she inquired to Reid’s office; Believe it or not, Harry Reid’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch: “Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”
Sounds sorta like the City Attorney’s “Priveleged Correspondence” to City Council concerning his opinion of Glade Road. Somehow this was released to the public and the Star Telegarm and used in the political deception of the NOers. Somebody had to have approved this release of privileged information, but guess what, no NOer on City Council member has stepped up to take responsibility. Something is wrong in City Goverment when Executive Session deliberations, by law have to be held out of the public view, are used as political fodder in a campaign.
I urge you to vote for Bobby Lindamood and Liz Zeitlin, to join Councilman Chris Putnam on City Council, if for no other reason to demand transparency and open discourse on City Council. Members of the present council have referred to their “Pre-Council” meetings as where they “make sausage,” too gruesome for the public to see. Seems to me their “sausage making” has turned uglier than anyone realizes. Only you as a Colleyville voter can make a difference.
L to R: Editor Nelson Thibodeaux, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Jamie Thibodeaux
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