Chad’s Morning Brief: Glen Robertson Sworn in as Lubbock Mayor, Bush Returns to the White House, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 21, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.
1. Mayor Glen Robertson (link)
Glen Robertson was sworn in Saturday as Lubbock Mayor. According to reports, City Hall was standing room only as Robertson took his oath. Robertson will continue to appear on LFN on Friday’s after City Council meetings from 7-8am. It’s a great tradition that gives you even more access to the Mayor and the City Council. We have had Mayor Robertson on the show before including the Monday after the election and I like what he has to say. Of course, as with all office holders we will be there to make sure they do what they said they would do and to provide you an outlet to sound off on what is happening in Lubbock.
Robertson also gave a speech on Saturday. Here is what he had to say:
Thank you all for taking time this morning to honor Councilwoman Latrelle Joy, Councilman Floyd Price, Judge Doty and myself with your presence. I want to start by thanking my wife Karen, and my entire family for all of their support and help during the campaign. I also would like to express my gratitude to Tom Martin and Jim Gilbreath for their service to our city.
I am humbled by the voter’s trust in electing me to lead this city as Mayor. I take this job seriously with just one agenda: to lead our city in a manner that will provide better services for the health, safety and well-being for every citizen of Lubbock.
I would briefly like to discuss a few hopes and goals for the next two years.
First to my fellow council-members:
I look forward to the opportunity to serve with you. I pledge to listen to your ideas and work with each of you to accomplish what your districts need, which will in turn make our city a better place to live,work and play.
My hope is that this Council will listen to and respect each other and our staff, working through disagreements in a calm and professional manner.
Next, to the city staff:
Let me start by thanking you for your public service. One of my sons is a city employee and I am proud that he has chosen this career.
I know that your job is often made more difficult by public criticism from citizens, media and council-members. By accepting a job with the city you’re held to a high standard. When you work hard and commit yourselves to providing the best possible service to our citizens, I will be your strongest supporter. I will encourage my fellow council members to join me in creating an environment where innovation and great service is rewarded.
But I do offer staff this reminder: we are one organization. No matter what you do, your job is no more or no less important than any other city employee. I am challenging our city manager and all staff to restore organizational cohesiveness and pride, so we can spend our time where it should be, providing the best and most efficient services to our citizens.
Regarding taxes, fees and the budget:
Our city has made great strides in funding core services, but it has come at the cost of high fees, crumbling infrastructure and the costly practice of financing routine maintenance.
Our city is drowning in debt and city voters have expressed their concerns at the polls.
We have a tremendous challenge to hold the line on new taxes and fees, and I would like to challenge my fellow council members to the following six goals for the next two years.
1. No net fee increases next year’s budget. For any fee that requires an increase, I want to see an offsetting reduction in another fee.
2. Have open and honest discussions about what should be a tax, and what should be a fee, and set policy guidelines for these and other budgetary priorities for staff.
3. Take a hard look at every city departments budget to find areas that we can cut without a loss of needed services. After talking to hundreds of taxpayers in the last few months, I can tell you that they do not believe that the city is operating as efficiently as it can. If they are right, we need to fix it. If we find the city is operating as lean as possible, then our job is to prove it.
4. Work with our state and national leaders to fight new regulatory mandates and protect our natural resources. Businesses are drowning in regulation and I believe it is our job to constantly be diligent in our attempt to be heard at the state and federal levels.
5. Create a plan that reduces all of our current routine maintenance debt to zero in five years.
6. Finally I want to make our city decision-making process more transparent. Everyone pays lip service to transparency, but with the councils help, I want to make it a reality. I would like to see all city council meetings move to nighttime meetings so that more citizens may participate. I would like to see more boards hold their meetings on the city’s television network. I would like to see our city’s website upgraded and made more user-friendly, allowing for citizens input through the site. And I want to have more in-depth debate on the issues held in public rather than private meetings.
Thank you for your time and I hope that all of you will do your part in letting us know what you believe we need to be working on, and that you will always hold us accountable.
I will be calling on many of you for guidance and service on boards and commissions, and I thank you in advance for your help.
Working together as one city, we will succeed.
That was taken from the new Mayor’s Facebook page. By the way, it’s good to see the new Mayor on social media. It’s a great and free way to keep in touch with people.
2. George W. Bush Returns to the White House (link)
No, it’s not to rescue the United States but George W. Bush and his wife Laura will return to the White House later this month.
George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are expected to return to the White House later this month to be honored by President Barack Obama with the unveiling of their official portraits that will hang at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The White House confirmed on Friday that the Bushes are slated to revisit their Washington home of eight years on May 31 for a rare joint appearance between the current and past president.
Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said, “The Bushes are looking forward to being back in Washington and seeing some of their friends. They appreciate the Obamas’ hospitality in hosting the portrait hanging.”
I have got to wonder how awkward the meeting behind the scenes will be. Of course, it might not be that awkward. Remember, Clinton and George H. W. Bush have become friends since leaving office. As of now, I think the only former President that everyone stays away from is Carter.
3. Leppert Touts Mayoral Record (link)
U.S. Senate candidate Tom Leppert is touting his record as Mayor of Dallas while campaigning lately. According to the Texas Tribune:
Echoing his mayoral campaign, Leppert is promoting his businessman’s perspective as the linchpin of his Senate bid. Before entering politics, Leppert held top positions at several companies, including a stint as chief executive of the New York-based Turner Construction. Ignoring the backgrounds of some of his opponents, he has described himself as “the only businessman in this race.”
Yet Leppert would probably not be a contender for the Senate seat if not for his time as mayor, which followed the tumultuous five-year tenure of Laura Miller.
From the start, many people welcomed Leppert’s measured demeanor and overt disdain for drama. For the first time in years, meetings started on time. Public spats were minimized.
“When he took office, there was a great deal of rancor in City Hall,” said Donna Halstead, the president of the Dallas Citizens Council, an influential business group. “Tom was able to really just pull everybody together.”
Leppert campaigned on reducing the crime rate, which was the highest among the country’s largest cities, according to one report. During his time in office, the city added hundreds of police officers and the crime rate plunged. Leppert also rallied the city to his side on two contentious referendums.
One involved a revitalizing of the Trinity River. Leppert supported a planned toll road, which was to be built as part of the river project. Opposition to the road prompted a ballot referendum to try to halt the project, but Leppert prevailed and the referendum was defeated.
During the debate over the referendum, Leppert and his allies implied that the United States Army Corps of Engineers were ready to approve the project. Reports later revealed that the Corps was perhaps not as supportive of the road as Leppert and his allies had led many to believe.
Leppert was also responsible for the City of Dallas now owning a hotel. Leppert claims it’s good for Dallas, but was it the most conservative thing to do?
4. Planned Parenthood vs. Texas (link)
The hearing is set. Planned Parenthood v. Texas is set for October 19th.
With lawyers from the state and Planned Parenthood in his Austin courtroom, Yeakel set oral arguments for Oct. 19, with each side given one hour – though more time could be requested if needed, he said.
Planned Parenthood is challenging a state rule that bans it from seeing patients under the Women’s Health Program, which offers birth control and health care to about 130,000 low-income Texans each year.
Yeakel issued a preliminary injunction on March 31 that stopped Texas from dropping Planned Parenthood from the program, saying the rule would violate the organization’s free speech rights and place thousands of women in danger of losing vital health care. Yeakel will decide whether to make the injunction permanent after the Oct. 19 arguments.
Texas has appealed Yeakel’s injunction, and the judge acknowledged that the “landscape” of the case could change depending how the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules. The appeals court will hear oral arguments on the matter in early June.
5. Dumb Story of the Morning (link)
Millionaires making fun of the rich. How ironic.
On Friday, CBS Late Show host David Letterman mocked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wealth despite being worth $400 million
DAVID LETTERMAN: I was talking to Mitt Romney earlier today, and he and his family got a big two day weekend planned. They’re going to hike to the top of his money.
Not even a funny joke really.
A third grader and his friends gave more than $600 to help wounded veterans today.
Jake Sullivan organized a walk-a-thon for the Semper Fi Fund, which helps injured and ill Marines. The nine-year-old and three of his friends walked a track around the playground to raise the money.
Jake said he’s thankful for the men and women who serve our country and glad he could help.
“I think they do a great job helping the wounds and the people that get hurt,” he said.
John Spring suffers from traumatic brain injury and PTSD. He gave Jake and the other boys special coins to thank and honor them for their help.
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Tuesday May 29: LIVE Broadcast from Good Brews Coffee & Tea Lounge 7-9am
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These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.