Thank you to our entire staff and the many volunteers, suppliers and our restaurant and hotel partners who made our 22nd annual Taste Addison very successful. The weather cooperated very nicely and while our attendance was a bit lower than expected, it is still too early to provide a financial analysis. From all of the reports I have heard, lots of folks had great fun and we continued to build our Addison brand in a very positive way.
The big news this week occurred on Tuesday evening, May 17 at 5:30pm as the outgoing Council met to canvass the election results of our recent May 7 Council election for three Council Members. Here is a tabulation of the returns showing the total votes received by each candidate:
Mary Carpenter: 702 votes
Janelle Moore: 739 votes
Paul Walden: 839 votes
David Heape: 733 votes
Al Angell: 799 votes
Jim Duffy: 775 votes
The motion to approve and second the results of the canvass was unanimously approved by the Council that included Janelle Moore, David Heape, Bruce Arfsten, Ivan Hughes, Dale Wilcox and Todd Meier. Council Member Mary Carpenter was absent due to illness.
After the canvass, Council Members David Heape and Janelle Moore each made very gracious comments expressing appreciation for the opportunity to be of service to our community, admiration for our staff and respect for their Council Colleagues and our entire community. Each received thanks expressed by each of their Council Colleagues and very warm applause from the packed crowd in the Council Chambers. Mary Carpenter was unable to attend as I mentioned above since she had just been release from the hospital after a 16-day stay related to emergency surgery she had in April. The entire Council also expressed very positive comments about Mary and expressed appreciation for her service to Addison as well. Her recognition was also greeted with very warm applause.
Please check out this link to the video, I believe you will be impressed with the quality of women and young folks we have had on our Council who are willing to serve. Maybe it will even inspire you to community service!
For our next agenda item I administered the oath of office to newly elected Council Members Paul Walden and Jim Duffy. Al Angell was out of town and we will swear him in when he returns for our meeting in June. Paul and Jim both expressed appreciation to their supporters and a commitment to work respectfully for the good of Addison. Their comments were met with enthusiastic applause from their many supporters who came to the event.
Our very first order of business as a new Council was the selection of our Mayor Pro Tempore and Deputy Mayor Pro Tempore. I followed what I believe to be the Town’s tradition, that the Mayor nominates the Mayor Pro Tempore and Deputy Mayor Pro Tempore who are ratified by the Council’s vote in accordance with our Charter provision that the City Council elects its officers, and nominated Dale Wilcox as our Mayor Pro Tempore and Bruce Arfsten as our Deputy Mayor Pro Tempore. Council Member Wilcox seconded the motion and it failed by a vote of 2-4. Voting in favor of the motion were Todd Meier and Dale Wilcox, voting opposed to that motion were Ivan Hughes, Bruce Arfsten, Jim Duffy and Paul Walden.
Council Member Jim Duffy made a motion to appoint Bruce Arfsten as Mayor Pro Tempore and Ivan Hughes as Deputy Mayor Pro Tempore. Paul Walden seconded that motion and the motion passed 5-1. Council Members Jim Duffy, Paul Walden, Bruce Arfsten, Ivan Hughes and Todd Meier voted in favor and Dale Wilcox voted opposed. I think it is fair to say we are off to an interesting start.
We adjourned our very brief meeting at about 6:10pm.
Our next Council Meeting will be Tuesday, May 24 beginning at 6pm with a Work Session to review our Public Art Policy and the placement of new public art.
Our Regular Session will be packed with several very interesting topics including the discussion and consideration of the termination of the Mayor’s newsletter, which will include a Public Hearing section for you to offer your input to Council, and a discussion and consideration for the reimbursement and assumption of legal expenses for the Mayor’s defense of complaints filed with the Texas Ethics Commission that the Mayor’s newsletter is “political advertising.” We hope to also address the release of previously requested documents related to the work Larry Kanter did for the Town, an update on the utilities undergrounding project on Belt Line Road, several Public Hearings on revisions to the development standards and permitted uses for UDR and their Vitruvian Project and discussion and possible action approving the first phase of the Addison Grove project that includes 57 new townhomes, in addition to a variety of other important subjects.
We will also have our Public Comment Section at the beginning of our Session. We will have a very busy evening of work.
Great news this week! Our bond refunding has been completed with results even better than we anticipated. As our City Manager Wes Pierson reported to the Council last week:
Bond Refunding: I am very happy to report that we had a phenomenal result with the sale of our refunding bonds on Thursday, 5/12. You may recall that we initially estimated that we would save approximately $2.8 million in savings over the life of the bonds (a net present value savings of approximately $2.2 million for an average annual savings of approximately $165,000).
The actual results of our bond refunding are as follows:
Total savings: $4,082,050
Total net present value of savings: $3,276,549
Average annual savings: $240,100
I want to congratulate each of you for making this decision. This is truly a fantastic result!
As a result our costs to fund our current outstanding debt will be reduced and that may be reflected in a reduced property tax rate for next year.
On numerous occasions I am invited to come by the Addison Conference Centre to thank our customers for selecting our Conference Centre as the place for their event – just a good business practice. On Wednesday afternoon I was honored to make just such a visit with the folks from Credera who use our Conference Centre monthly for various company meetings and events. Five years ago when we began our economic development department and a very successful outreach effort connecting with our business community, one of our very first visits was with the newly relocated team from Credera. Credera is a full service management consulting, user experience, and technology solutions firm located on the third floor, and soon to expand to the 4th floor, at 15303 Dallas Parkway. They have grown remarkably since that initial visit, well beyond our expectations, with over 300 employees in Addison, plus smaller offices in Denver and Houston. A company culture based on innovation, creativity, superior customer care and high integrity, the parallels with our Addison culture are obvious. We are very proud to have Credera call Addison home.
On Thursday, June 2 our Economic Development Department will be hosting its third annual ED Luncheon together with the Metrocrest Chamber and the Addison Business Association at the InterContinental Dallas. This year’s keynote speaker is Fortune magazine’s Assistant Managing Editor Leigh Gallagher who will speak on “The End of Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving.” It should be a great presentation and you can purchase tickets here.
It is always great to watch a dream come to fruition! On Thursday morning Council Colleague Dale Wilcox, our liaison to the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, and I joined with Metrocrest Chamber President Erin Carney and her team to celebrate the opening and cut the ribbon for Dr. David Bynum and his new Bynum Chiropractic clinic. The new clinic has a great location at 4833 Keller Springs Road near the Addison Road intersection, on the north side of Keller Springs, right across the street from many Addison residents in the Addison Loft apartments. Right before we cut the ribbon, Dr. Bynum shared with us his story and journey to the chiropractic profession and how it has helped shape his practice. It really is an inspiring story that I encourage you to go by and hear for yourself. Their phone number is 972-733-1014 or check out their website at www.DrBynumChiropractic.com. Welcome, David, we are proud to have you with us.
On Wednesday afternoon I spent time with the juniors at Greenhill School in Director of Academics Jason Yaffe’s government class. We talked about the importance of local government and how we interact with state and federal branches of government. I then did the best I could answering their thought-provoking, well-informed questions. These students had done their research by watching past Council Meetings online, reading the newsletter and other Addison materials and thoughtfully discussing issues in the classroom before I arrived. Their impressive questions included wanting to know more about our Addison TreeHouse; how our “legislative process” works; how we keep a balance between commercial and residential issues; how we maintain our Addison “personality;” and how our Council effectively represent the very diverse Addison community. Once again I was very encouraged by the intellect and curiosity of the young folks in our community. Hopefully some of them will be inspired to find a role serving in local government at some point in their life. Maybe we can find a way to have these students participate here in Addison!
Last week you should have received a postcard notifying you that the Town is switching providers for emergency notifications. This new system allows you to opt in to receive notifications regarding changes in trash collection, mosquito spraying and other non-emergency, town-related announcements as well. Our contract with Code Red has expired, so in order to get both emergency notifications and these new notifications, you will need to register at AddisonAlert.com. The new system also allows us to notifiy you by email, text or phone – you pick how you want to be notified and in what order. If you have any questions or need help registering, please contact Mary Rosenbleeth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972.450.7032.
We had another very informed and fully engaged group of Addison residents at our Third Thursday of the Month Coffee with the Mayor at Sidewalk café in Addison Circle. We heard lots of questions about policy issues related to our new Council that I obviously could not answer and which will be addressed over the coming weeks by our new Council. Council Member Ivan Hughes was also in attendance. Everything from the termination of this newsletter to our compensation policy to a new dog park for Addison Circle were queried and only time will tell. We also shared the news about the success of our bond refunding and details regarding our new Summer Series which is beginning very soon. Sidewalk Café owner Sue Richter and her team treated us so well that we will be back next month on the Third Thursday of June, the 16th, at 6pm.
Special thanks to the Addison Rotary Club, which meets early every Friday morning at Lawry’s at 14655 Dallas Parkway, for honoring our entire police department and their families with a “Back the Badge” event on Thursday. Addison resident Chick Martin and numerous fellow Rotarians of their club organized and raised the money for the event which included prizes for every one of our officers. I was honored to have a few minutes to share with the group how much our entire community appreciates all that our officers do and thank their families for their support. It was an excellent event that I hope we can help support and repeat each year.
Just today, the Addison Arbor Foundation installed our newest art piece by Lubbock-artist Jim Eppler in Oaks North. While the name of the sculpture has yet to be unveiled, it was donated by the Addison Arbor Foundation and family and friends of former Council Member Roger Mellow. The doves, which are five times life size, are cast bronze and sit atop a stone that came from Santa Fe. Many thanks to the Arbor Foundation for their continued support!
Here are some more great Taste Addison photos!
Now that Taste Addison is successfully in our rearview mirror, we are planning lots of fun during our Summer Series once again sponsored by our Addison-based Fiesta Restaurant Group and their local Pollo Tropical. The Summer Series will return to Beckert Park, right in the heart of Addison Circle, every Saturday night from 8pm to 10pm, beginning June 4. Visit AddisonSummerSeries.com for details!
I hope you have had a chance to watch the fairly brief video of the Council Meeting that occurred on Tuesday, May 17. I believe you will enjoy a look back at the comments of outgoing Council Members Janelle Moore and David Heape and their sincere thanks for the opportunity to serve Addison. You will be introduced to our new Council Members Paul Walden and Jim Duffy. Addison is a very strong community. All is well in Addison Texas.
Thank you for the honor of being your Mayor,