A sincere wish to all for a very Happy New Year.
With my Council term winding down, I want to make sure that you continue to be informed about issues that affect our city and your quality of life.
There are some very important special meetings taking place in January that all residents need to be aware of. I have listed them below.
Additionally, the mayor has denied my request to speak about a very important issue that has been a growing concern in our city… the parking of Boats/Campers/RVs on residential property. More on this below.
I would urge you to attend the council meetings and the scheduled special meetings to learn what the future holds for our city.
MAYOR DENIES DISCUSSION REGARDING BOATS/CAMPERS/RVs
For the past couple of years, our city has seen a growing number of boats, campers and RV’s parked on residential property. Many times, these vehicles are parked in the front driveways of homes. Some are even parked on front or side yards in full view of other neighbors. These vehicles effect the aesthetic beauty our city.
After receiving numerous complaints about this from residents, I brought this up to Council and asked that it be put on the “Future Study Session Items Agenda” to have an open discussion on the issue. I needed time to investigate and see what other cities have done to deal with this issue.
After doing my due diligence on the issue, I asked that this topic be placed on a January Study Session Agenda as I have information to present and a number of residents who want to speak to this issue. I was told by the City Manager that the Mayor has said “No” to this discussion. “He is not going to allow it, claiming it is too political and to close to an election”, said the City Manager.
Does the Mayor not think his ideas like Road Diets, wanting to take traffic lanes away from our major thoroughfares or allowing ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Units) which is a fancy term for backyard living quarters used to house more people on residential property in neighborhoods that are already overcrowded and have on-street parking issues are not political issues? Not to mention the whole library fiasco.
We have an election for a council seat every year, so when is the right time to discuss this? Every decision the Council makes has a political element to it.
Therefore, if you have an interest in this item being discussed, please come and voice your opinion at the next City Council meeting and send a note to your elected representatives and let them hear from you. I have listed their emails below.
Mayor Robert Dye, firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilwoman Cristal Retana, email@example.com
Councilman Michael Driskill, Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilwoman Traci Williams, email@example.com
Councilman David Merritt, firstname.lastname@example.org
JANUARY CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS
The City Council meetings for January will take place Tuesday, January 4 and 18, at 6pm, in the City Council Chambers. The meetings are open to the public. The Study Sessions will take place at 3:30pm on January 4th and at 3pm on January 18th 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 or send an email to Amy Piukana at email@example.com for more information about speaking.
CITY COUNCIL / PLANNING & ZONING JOINT MEETING SCHEDULED
Saturday, January 22, from 8am till noon, at City Hall, the City Council and P&Z will have a joint meeting to hear about the following topics:
- New Urbanism
- Complete Streets / Road Diet Concept
- Accessory Swelling Units & Attainable Housing
- Comprehensive Plan & RFP
As always, all meetings are open to the public and I invite you to attend.
CITY COUNCIL RETREAT SCHEDULED
On Wednesday, January 26, starting at 9am, at Fire Station #2, the City Council will have a planning retreat to discuss the following items:
- Critical Business Outcomes
- Resident Survey Response / Action Plan
- Citywide Performance Measures & Objectives
- Capital Improvement Program
- Parks Discussion
- Comprehensive Plan Prioritization
As always, all meetings are open to the public and I invite you to attend.
If you have not already done so, be sure to download the new Farmers Branch app, FBTX Connect. It’s a free mobile and web-based app that allows residents to report non-emergency issues to City staff. Users can upload pictures, videos, and provide detailed descriptions of city concerns. Issues are automatically sent to the department that will perform the work and users who set up an account can track requests and receive status updates.
Residents are highly encouraged to download the mobile app to their phone so that they can use their phone’s camera and GPS location to easily submit issues.
This system should not be used for emergencies or for concerns that require immediate attention.
For fire or police emergencies, please call 9-1-1.
FBTX Connect can be used to address the following and more:
Report a code violation
Report a traffic or street concern
Report a parks concern
Report a dead animal concern
Report a water meter concern
Schedule a special trash pick up
Sign up for Emergency Alerts
Contact the non-emergency police line
FBTX Connect is easiest to use on your mobile device. Download the FBTX Connect App for FREE from your app store!
FREE MEALS FOR SENIORS
The First Monday Breakfast for January takes place Monday, January 3rd, at 8:15am and will be limited to the first 100 people. Free for TBC members and $5 for non-members.
See all of what is happening by reviewing The Branch Connection NEWSLETTER.
The City’s Finance Department is currently in the process of an upgrade to the online utility billing feature on the City’s website. This upgrade is expected to be complete in February of 2022 and will provide an easier and more secure way to pay your utility bill online.
During the migration process from one vendor to another, online utility payments cannot be accepted during the month of January 2022.
Any City utility bill received by a customer on or after December 21 will need to be paid either by phone, by mailing in a check, by making the payment in-person at City Hall or by initiating a one-time payment from a bank.
The new system will be available starting February 1 and more detailed instructions on how to set up an automatic payment account will be provided soon.
Thank you for your patience while we upgrade our process and protect your online security.
If you have questions about your bill or the Utility Billing upgrade, please call 972-919-2525.
CITY TO START REDISTRICTING PROCESS
How do you want to be represented for the next 10 years?
It’s required by our City Charter, which mandates that the Council appoint a Commission of citizens to modify the existing District boundaries after each U.S. Census so that each District includes an equal number of citizens. The most recent U.S. Census estimated the City’s population to be 35,770, meaning each District should have approximately 7,154 residents.
Council members have each nominated two citizens, who are now being screened for eligibility to sit on the City Redistricting Commission. As nearly as practical, appointments will also reflect the racial and ethnic makeup of the City, which is now 36% Anglo, 43% Hispanic and 21% Other.
The Redistricting Commission will meet from January through May and provide a final recommendation to the Council in June. At that time, the Council will review the proposal and vote on June 21 whether or not to adopt it.
WHERE DO YOUR CITY TAX DOLLARS GO?
Many residents have asked me, Where do our tax dollars go? Below is a snapshot of how our tax rate breaks down.
If you would like to see the entire City Operating Budget, Click BUDGET
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 represent you.