City Council Preview – November 18, 2014

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It’s another long day at City Hall as your City Council kicks off it’s Works Session at 1:00pm, followed by a 6:30pm Regular Session. It’s a packed agenda, so go here to see the entire list of topics.  Here are some items of interest on today’s schedule of discussions and decisions:

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
We’ll continue our discussion and review of the final draft of the Comprehensive Plan. If you haven’t yet taken a look at the latest document, go here to read it and learn more.

DOWNTOWN PARKING CHANGES (or “Back it Up, Back it In”)
You might recall last February the council made the decision to make “back-in” parking a part of the Hickory Street redesign. Click here for a great refresher on the entire project, including concept designs and several slides on the topic of parking options in downtown Denton.  The benefits of back-in parking include a great number of parking spaces along the street, easier and safer return back on the street for car drivers, and greater protection for pedestrians and cyclists, a population that is already plentiful in this area. As construction has already headed in this direction and spots will soon become available, we are being asked to put back-in parking as part of our downtown parking ordinance. While we are at it, we’ll be cleaning up some language relating to compact cars to better be able to enforce our ordinance.

On this note, while there is much construction activity going on down there and it can look uninviting, all the businesses along East Hickory and Industrial remain open for business and many have great deals to bring you in during this construction phase. Already this week I’ve eaten at Andaman’s and Rusty’s for lunch – go give them your business!

SETTING OUR LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
The 84th Texas Legislature is kicking off and we’ll be discussing our legislative agenda, highlighting issues and topics of importance to our city and citizens. We’ll be headed to Austin in February along with representatives from the county, Denton ISD School Board, and Denton Chamber of Commerce to jointly lobby the legislators on behalf of the city’s interests. Go here for a draft copy of our legislative program and chime in on any of these issues or other issues that you think ought to be included.

We have yet to fully elucidate the city’s position on oil and gas development as it relates to this legislative session. No doubt, due to recent events and votes, that topic will be at the center of Denton discussions in Austin, so some of our discussion today will involve hammering that out. I have posted some of my own ideas on how the state might fix some of the issues relating to fracking in this article.

CANVASSING ELECTION RESULTS
The council will officially canvass the results of the November 4 election at tonight’s meeting.  If you haven’t yet seen some of my analyses of the November 4 election results, check out the following.

SEVERAL ZONING CHANGE ITEMS
There are 6 Public Hearings tonight relating to zoning issues/changes, including changes that impact distance requirements for liquor stores, an SUP for a electrical substation, and an application to turn 1108 Congress into a Denton Historic Landmark.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 940-206-5239 or email me at kevin.roden@cityofdenton.com.

3 Comments
  1. Russ Linton says:

    “Oppose legislation that further restricts a city’s ability to implement a photographic red light enforcement system to use cameras at traffic lights and impose a civil penalty for running the light.”

    Councilman Roden, please comment on this. Why would the city continue to bankroll a corrupt, foreign corporation? Why would they continue to support a program based on misinformation and outright lies?

    The city has continued to say this is about “safety” without addressing the fact that the intersections with cameras for which we have complete data have nearly -doubled-. They continue to support the false claims that accidents have decreased which were made by comparing 18 months of pre-camera installation data to 12 months of post camera data.

    The city has lied to the Denton Record Chronicle reporting the program is about “Safety” while providing a series of inconsistent and inaccurate statements. Statements refuted by fact and emails between the Denton Police Department and the corrupt corporation, Redflex, who benefits from this scam. Statements which prove this is a profit-driven venture seeking to milk money from our citizens and rotating student population.

    Both of the signatories to the Redflex camera contract with Denton, Aaron Rosenberg and Karen Finley have been found guilty in a wide-ranging bribery scandal that reportedly reaches into Texas.

    None of this even touches on the trampling of constitutional rights for profit. An assumption of guilt written into a law – a denial of due process – all so that a foreign corporation can pocket half a million dollars plus each year from our city while the City and the state take their cut, with the State’s cut presumably going to a “highway accident victims fund” but really being used as general funds to pay for politician’s mistakes.

    WHY do you continue to support this issue? You owe an answer to the people of Denton.

  2. Jennifer Lane says:

    I agree with Russell Linton on this. Denton needs to get rid of this. I do see that the State of Texas does need to be fought off in terms of telling Denton what to do on this, as the same arguments can then be made for any of Denton’s ordinances. With home rule respected, Denton’s City Council should then immediately separate Denton from Redflex and its ilk.

  3. Pingback: As local red light camera debates rage, Texas bill seeks to hit the brakes « Watchdog.org

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