Chad’s Morning Brief: Imagine Lubbock Together Experience, Lubbock City Council, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 14, 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. Imagine Lubbock Together
Last night I attended the final town hall meeting of Imagine Lubbock Together at Coronado High School. It was very well attended and people were ready to share their ideas.
They started off the evening with a short introduction and history of the Imagine Lubbock Together initiative and then we broke into small groups. When we broke into small groups we were all encouraged to share ideas and goals for the City of Lubbock. No idea was turned down and no parameters were set. No one ever suggested that the City of Lubbock foot the bill for the ideas. In my group, no one had any outrageous ideas. Festivals, development of the Canyon Lakes system, and low taxes were discussed.
Another part of the small group time was devoted to pointing out on a map the great parts of Lubbock and the weak parts of Lubbock. The favorites areas of town didn’t shock me, nor did the weakest areas of town. Texas Tech, Kingsgate, and the Canyon Lakes/Mackenzie Park areas were the favorites. North and East Lubbock and along I-27 were the least favorite or weakest spots in town.
What will be the outcome of all this future planning? Who really knows. I am interested to see what the favorites were of all the nights.
Did you attend any of the meetings? What did you think?
2. Lubbock City Council (link)
Last night the Lubbock City Council met and passed a budget. It wasn’t without some disagreement though. According to KFYO News:
At their meeting Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council gave final approval to a tax rate increase and the budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The 2012-13 tax rate has been set at 49.211 cents per $100 of home valuation, a 3.95 percent increase from 2011’s rate of 47.4 cents per $100 valuation.
For a home valued at $100,000, the homeowner will pay around $18 more in property taxes.
The upcoming City of Lubbock budget, which will begin on October 1st, includes a three-percent across the board pay increase for City employees, coming out to around $3.8 million dollars. Overall, the upcoming budget includes about $27 million in extra expenditures.
District 5 Councilwoman Karen Gibson offered an amendment to the budget, which will fund the City’s street maintenance program from tax-supported revenue certificates of obligation, as opposed to out of the stormwater fund, where it had been funded out of since the fund’s inception in 1992.
Moving street maintenance away from the stormwater fund will likely equal almost a one-cent tax increase in the Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget, though it will leave the 2012-13 budget unaltered.
Mayor Glen Robertson, the lone vote against this amendment, agreed with moving Street Maintenance away from the stormwater fund in principle, but disagreed with the timing.
“The reason I am very uncomfortable with this is because it is raising your taxes next year, and this is the first time you’ve heard about it, and that’s not right,” said Robertson. “I don’t want to spring a one-cent tax increase on the public without them having lots of opportunity to have input.”
District 6 Councilwoman Latrelle Joy offered an amendment which would have offered a three percent pay increase to City personnel, except for those that received any form of pay increase within the last fiscal year, including an increase for being promoted or increase of duties. Joy said her amendment would save about $70,000 in the budget. Her amendment failed 4 to 3.
Mayor Glen Robertson will appear on LFN today from 7-8am.
3. NYC Bans Supersized Sugary Drinks (link)
The NYC Board of Health voted yesterday to ban drink sizes larger than 16 ounces. According to the USA Today:
The measure, which goes into effect March 12, places a 16-ounce cap on bottled drinks and fountain beverages sold at city restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts.
It applies to sugary drinks that have more than 25 calories per 8 ounces. It would not affect 100% juice or beverages with more than 50% milk or milk substitute.
In New York, hundreds of soft drink makers and sellers, trade groups and community organizations banded together to fight the ban, forming the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices coalition. That group includes companies and associations such as Coca-Cola and the National Association of Theatre Owners, as well as small mom-and-pop food sellers. Funding comes from the American Beverage Association.
“This is not the end,” said Eliot Hoff, spokesman for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, after the decision was announced. “We are exploring legal options and all other avenues available to us.”
The New York State Restaurant Association and the theater owners’ group also spoke out against the controversial ban.
“Proposals like the soda ban discourage new business and hurt our reputation as the dining capital of the world,” said Andrew Moesel, spokesman for the restaurant association. “Reducing obesity is an important goal, but we want to partner with government to come up with effective ways to confront the problem.
“What we don’t need is more burdensome regulation making it harder for businesses to function and skewing the competitive landscape.”
Not surprising that this passed in NYC. I am a little surprised that so many New Yorker’s are okay with this type of Nanny-state government.
4. No Live Ammo for Marines? (link)
If true, this was a huge mistake.
U.S. Marines defending the American embassy in Egypt were not permitted by the State Department to carry live ammunition, limiting their ability to respond to attacks like those this week on the U.S. consulate in Cairo.
Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson “did not permit U.S. Marine guards to carry live ammunition,” according to multiple reports on U.S. Marine Corps blogs spotted by Nightwatch. “She neutralized any U.S. military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the US Embassy.”
U.S. officials have yet to confirm or comment on the reports. Time magazine’s Battleland blog reported Thursday “Senior U.S. officials late Wednesday declined to discuss in detail the security at either Cairo or Benghazi, so answers may be slow in coming.”
If true, the reports indicate that Patterson shirked her obligation to protect U.S. interests, Nightwatch states.
“She did not defend U.S. sovereign territory and betrayed her oath of office,” the report states. “She neutered the Marines posted to defend the embassy, trusting the Egyptians over the Marines.”
It would not surprise me if this was true. Probably to be politically correct.
Other Top Stories:
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.