Last night a thread went up on Nextdoor from Bobby about his run for Mayor. I asked him some questions as a taxpayer and still those answers haven’t been given. Bobby, Andrew & James all chimed in and yet pretty words don’t equal facts.
After canvassing and speaking to hundreds inside Jersey Village as either myself or my representatives I can tell you the vast majority (all but a dozen at most) disagree with the trajectory of city councils stance on building across 290 & making City Hall a pillar over there.
I’ll include photos of the conversations that way everyone can see where I am coming from. Again I am all about facts. So if someone could please show me the facts of why my opinions are wrong I would be glad to reconsider. Here are my questions & statements.
Question 1 – A report paid for by the City of Jersey Village showing the potential infrastructure need across 290, it was estimated that approx $20 million would need to be spent in order to develop. Who pays that, Collaborate the developer, or you and me the taxpayer? Bobby said he thought most of that was completed already and would be glad to look at the study I read. I’ll wait to see if he corrects me that the study is outdated or not. (Here is the 3rd party report I referenced. https://www.jerseyvillagetx.com/page/open/1499/0/2015%20Water%20and%20Wastewater%20Impact%20Fee%20Study.pdf)
Question 2 – What facts convinced current council that moving City Hall across 290 was the best idea? Telling us that Collaborate did market research isn’t good enough. I’d like to see the tangible facts. I have spoken to two council members who have told me during executive session they changed their minds, what facts made that happen? We, the people, deserve to know.
Statement 3 – The money stockpiled by the city was initiated almost two decades ago for flood mitigation because the citizens voted to lower the 65+/disabled exemptions with the promise of it being given back in a few years. So why is it the belief that the vast majority of citizens want that stock pile spent on developing in a warehouse district? Why couldn’t that money go to elevating the houses on East Jersey instead of tear down and rebuilds in a TIRZ3?
Question 4 – Citizens keep asking for a list of stores across 290 that will join our city, where is the list? In the March 18, 2019 city council meeting the developer said that list would be here by summer time, 2019. Two years later, where is the list?
Statement 5 – I want to protect the citizens of JV by cutting wasteful spending, especially in a pandemic. How is authorizing and seeking out multimillion dollar expenditures the right course of action? JV has thrived in this close knit community for decades and the majority of people like that we are a “Mayberry” atmosphere. So where is the justification? I do think long term. I think about wanting crime to stay low, first responders response times 1-2 minutes & keeping the values in place that founded this city. Not every place needs these types of developments and when we can’t keep tenants in the current shopping center we have, why do we think adding so many more will work?
Statement 6 – The leadership in the city has failed to maintain the buildings it was given, so why are we rewarding those failures with new multimillion dollar complexes? More importantly why have we not made much needed maintenance corrections to these buildings as they are still housing workers? Why are we allowing our employees to work in buildings with mold?
Question 7 – What are the plans for expanding police and fire departments to maintain coverage of residential Jersey Village as they grow Village Center out? 1-2 minute response times save lives. In a stroke or heart attack every minute matters. This should be an easy answer for council to give because I know they would want to protect each and every citizen.
I personally feel, as do quite a number of people, that before we spread our resources out and expand our city we should take care of what we already have. The heart of Jersey Village is at Lakeview & Jersey. Moving City Hall across 290 will change that.
I implore all of city council (or former city council) to please show us the facts on why moving city hall is a good idea & why spending millions across 290 is the right decision. I will be glad to change my mind with facts, not pretty words.