Fall is in the air and I wish that I could share some good news with you with respect to your city property taxes but unfortunately, that is not the case.
Despite the many residents who spoke at several City Council meetings demanding some tax relief, the City Council voted 3-2 to leave the tax rate unchanged which means your taxes will go up.
As you know, the Dallas Central Appraisal District sets property valuations. They have been rapidly rising and the only way for local municipalities to offset the rise in valuations is to lower the tax rate. Councilmen Jackson and Roman were in favor of lowering the rate. Council reps Merritt, Driskill and Williams voted to keep the rate the same, which was supported by the mayor.
At a time when revenue to the city is at an all-time high, several council members decided not to listen to residents and instead passed a budget which will give the city even more money in order to fund the following:
- $230,000 additional contribution to Metrocrest Services for rental assistance (that equivalent to 3 police officers)
- $200,000 Neighborhood Investment Program
- $150,000 Neighborhood Repair Program (managed by Metrocrest Services)
- Funding for the construction of an events center (aka “barn”) at the Historical Park – $1.2M from general fund + $1.2M from hotel/motel fund + $1.4M from a federal grant (I am opposed to paying for this out of the General Fund unless taxpayers get to vote on it)
- One additional code enforcement officer and vehicle (we need to see a neater, cleaner city as a result of this)
Additionally, the new budget will pay for:
- Changing from a 25-year retirement city to 20-year retirement city ($3.6M)
- 7% base salary increase for all “step pay” public safety employees (police & fire), plus a 2% bonus paid in two 1% installments over the next year
What the council did decide to do for residents was:
- Reduce the base water rate by 50% for the next 12 months ($10.99 per household, per month)
- Issue a “Dividend” payable to all property owners equivalent to a 2₵ tax rate reduction by 12/31/2022 (residents had asked for as much as a 5₵ tax rate reduction)
It is important that residents continue to come to City Council meetings and voice their opinions. The City Council and Staff work for you. Speaking directly to them is the only way to make sure your voice is heard.
As a reminder, I will be running for Mayor of Farmers Branch next May. Please consider supporting my campaign with a donation at www.ElectTerryLynne.com. There is more on that below. I need your help to make a difference!
Feel free to stay in touch with me if you have a question, comment or concern about things happening in our city.
National Night Out will be observed in Farmers Branch on Tuesday evening, October 4th.
Neighborhoods are encouraged to spend the evening outdoors, interacting with your neighbors and presenting a united front against residential crime.
Please turn on your front porch light that night as a display of support for our police officers
Anyone planning a National Night Out party is encouraged to call the Farmers Branch Police Department at 972.919.9304 to register your event and request city officials to stop by.
OCTOBER CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS
Upcoming City Council meetings for October are scheduled for Tuesday, October 11th and 25th, at 6pm, in the City Council Chambers. The meetings are open to the public. The Study Sessions will take place at 3:00pm prior to each meeting in the upstairs meeting room.
Citizens are always welcome to address the City Council on any topic during the Citizen Comment portion of Council meetings or on agenda items at the proper time during a Council meeting provided they have signed-up in advance per the mayor’s order. Citizen Comment Forms must be submitted no later than 5:30pm on Council meeting days. Citizens are given 3 minutes to speak to any topic as long as they are cordial and don’t make disparaging remarks to Council or staff. This is your time to bring issues to the attention of Council and the City.
The agenda for the Council Meetings and Study Sessions may be found by clicking on AGENDA.
Call 972.919.2503 for more information about speaking.
CONGRATULATIONS TO FIRE CHIEF DANIEL LATIMER
At the September 20th City Council meeting, acting Fire Chief Daniel Latimer was promoted to Fire Chief Latimer in a deeply moving ceremony that was attended by an entire shift of Farmers Branch fire fighters in a standing-room-only chamber. Daniel was also awarded his 15-year service pin that night. Congratulations, Chief Latimer!
GREEN GRABBER PICK-UP SCHEDULE FOR BRUSH AND BULK
The week of October 3rd will be Bulk Item Pick-Up Week. The Green Grabber will pick up BULK items on the same day as your recycling bin pick-up. Bulk consists of furniture, mattresses, appliances, etc.
The other weeks of the month the Green Grabber will only pick-up BRUSH.
Please do your part to help us save our landfill by separating your brush and green items from bulk items and put brush out the remaining three weeks of the month.
Residents may call for a “special bulk pick-up” by The Green Grabber. Special Pick-ups are done on Wednesdays. Call 972-919-2597.
FREEBIES FOR ACTIVE ADULTS AT THE BRANCH CONNECTION
The First Monday Breakfast for October takes place Monday, October 3rd, at 8:15am at The Branch Connection and will be limited to the first 100 active adults. Free for TBC members and $5 for non-members. Come join us for some good food, meet new neighbors and see what all is happening at TBC!
Join The Branch Connection today and take advantage of these and so many more fun activities! Click NEWSLETTER for The Branch Connection Newsletter
Friday, October 21, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm at The Branch Connection
FREE for TBC Members, $5 for Non-members
Come enjoy a hot dog with all the fxins’ hosted by The Senior Advisory Board
The City of Farmers Branch will hold another FREE document shredding event for residents on Saturday, October 29, from 9a-Noon, at City Hall.
Document shredding is limited to household documents only. Please, no commercial or bulk business documents. Documents will be securely shredded by a professional shredding company on-site.
One of the most important things I did while serving the last six years on City Council was to make myself available to my fellow residents and to LISTEN to what they had to say. As an elected representative, I believe that I work for you to be your voice and advocate at City Hall. Your opinions and ideas matter and you should be able to be heard with courtesy and respect.
With your support, I will work with the City Council to eliminate wasteful spending on pet projects. I will work to take care of needed infrastructure and public safety needs first. “Want Items” that only serve select groups will be thoroughly vetted in an open and transparent forum.
Please consider supporting my campaign by going to www.ElectTerryLynne.com
County and State Elections
• 10/11 – Last day to register to vote
• 10/24 – First day of early voting
• 10/28 – Last day to apply for mail-in ballot (received, not postmarked)
• 11/04 – Last day of early voting
• 11/08 – Mail-in ballot deadline
• 11/08 – Election day
• Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, go to DallasCountyVotes.Org
MARK YOUR CALENDAR…HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION EVENT, NOVEMBER 12TH
Saturday, November 12th, from 9am till 3pm, at the Farmers Branch Service Center, 13333 Senlac Drive
Free Household Hazardous Waste Disposal of the following items:
Chemical products for home use
Paint and home repair products
Lawn & garden chemicals
Craft & hobby supplies
Cleaners & polishes
Batteries of all kinds
Automotive fluids & oil filters
Fluorescent light tubes
Computers and cell phones
Please help us save our landfill and dispose of these items properly at this event… Never in your garbage. Thank you!
REDISTRICTING…LOOK FOR MORE DISCUSSION OCTOBER 11
May residents have asked me, what is redistricting and why do we have to do it? Allow me to explain as simply as I can….
Because Farmers Branch has council districts, we are mandated by federal law to look at the size of each voting district every 10 years and re-balance districts to make sure we have approximately the same number of residents in each district. In addition to the number of residents in each district, we have to look at the ethnic composition of the city and make sure that all residents are represented equally.
A number of years ago, the federal court ordered that Farmers Branch have one minority-majority council district. That became District 1, which was comprised of primarily Hispanic residents. Today, Hispanics live in many other parts of our city as well, but many still live in District 1.
How are Districts formed?
The process began earlier this year with the formation of a citizen-led Redistricting Committee. The Committee, comprised of two representatives from each council district, used the latest census data to review where residents live, as well as other information. This was done on a street-by-street basis to get to the eventual goal of having equally balanced districts. The Committee then submitted their recommendations to the City Council. One goal of Redistricting is to try and preserve neighborhoods as much as possible and not split representation within neighborhoods.
Does the City Council have to accept the Committee recommendation?
No. The City Council has the authority to accept or reject any recommendation by the Committee. They can even create their own plan. The process does need to be completed by October.
Where are we now?
Several members of the City Council did not like the proposed redistricting maps put forth by the Committee. What they noted was that many neighborhoods were going to be split or divided, which is not the goal of Redistricting. Some felt that district lines were going to be moved indiscriminately and that in some instances, would cause them harm by losing too many voters.
One example of a district being split is on the West Side or Mercer Crossing area. The committee proposed to split Mercer Crossing into two districts. The current representative for the area would lose half of the area to someone who is not familiar with and has never met the residents of the area. That’s not the goal of redistricting.
A number of maps have been presented. Unfortunately, it looks like partisan politics are affecting how the new lines will be drawn. Please plan on attending the next discussion of this at City Hall.
CURRENT DISTRICT MAP
Click here for the full report on REDISTRICTING. Click on 2022 Final Report to see entire report.
MAKE PLANS NOW FOR….
Tickets for one the hottest bluegrass festivals in the nation are now available. The Bloomin Bluegrass Festival will be October 15 & 16 at the Historical Park, 2540 Farmers Branch Lane.
We’ll have two stages and two days of traditional and progressive bluegrass along with offerings of Americana and country sounds. Impromptu jam sessions are also common throughout the festival grounds.
Click BLUEGRASS for complete information.
As you can see, there’s lots happening in our city… Click on the following links to see what else is going on:
Please let me hear from you regarding any questions, comments or concerns you have about our great city. Thank you again for allowing me to be of service to you.
Candidate for Mayor of Farmers Branch