Michelle Bliss “letter to the editor”

Link to article: http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/letter-councilman-endorses-bliss-for-bee-cave/nXfPw/

Austin American Statesman
Posted: 4:48 p.m. Thursday, May 2, 2013
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
LETTER: Councilman endorses Bliss for Bee Cave

By Bob Dorsett
Special to the View
Bring Bliss to Bee Cave – Michelle Bliss for Bee Cave City Council.
I am writing the editor asking for Bee Cave voter support for Michelle Bliss in her run for Bee Cave City Council.

When I first decided to run for Bee Cave City Council in 2009, Michelle and I determined that if I were elected, she would serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission (each councilmember can appoint a Planning and Zoning Commissioner).

Over the past four years, Michelle has taken her Planning and Zoning role very seriously and deliberated on each issue. She currently serves as chairperson for the commission.

For the most part, Michelle and I have agreed on the outcome of most agenda items. However, there were items that we differed on. I believe this is important because it confirms that Michelle thinks for herself and is persuaded only by her passion for this community, its appearance and its people.

I believe she brings the perfect mix of experience and a fresh outlook to the council.

I endorse Michelle without hesitation, and I hope you will join me by voting for her on May 11.

Bob Dorsett Jr.
Bee Cave councilman

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Bee Cave Candidate Forum Responses 4.25.13

The following questions were directed to the City Council candidates by members of the staff of Community Impact. The questions were written by members of the audience. I did my best to take down the crux of the candidates’ responses so please understand these are not verbatim responses, simply paraphrase. If you have questions about the responses, please contact the candidates directly as they are all willing to address further questions. Also, the candidates and their responses are listed in the order questions were asked, for no other reason.

-Opening statement

a)How did you (or would you) vote on allowing the signs on the roofs at the Shops at the Galleria?

b)What is your view of the comprehensive plan and its guidance for variances against ordinances and zoning?

c)How do you feel about expanding the Bee Cave Library?

d)What are the plans for traffic along Bee Cave Road, 620 and 71?

e)How many Council meetings did you attend in the year before filing? Did you address Council?

f)What can be done to make the City more efficient and accountable?

g)Would you support leaving the LTYA Field of Dreams as zoned “public?”

h)What is your guidance to the LTISD School Board?

i)How do you envision the growth for the City of Bee Cave?

-Wrap-up

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Chad Wilbanks- A resident of Bee Cave for 10 years with 3 children, married for 18 years. A member of the Lake Travis Leadership through the LTISD and Leadership through the Chamber of Commerce. President of LTYA building over $500,000.00 in the past two years. Supports trails, maintain low taxes, help small businesses. Benchmark and measure city services for accountability.

a) It doesn’t help to have vacant buildings. Regarding signs, we need to help the businesses when possible, but not in glaring, obnoxious ways. Small businesses help keep our taxes low; without small businesses, the big businesses don’t make it.

b) The comprehensive plan is a good document that is over 10 years and a lot of change has occurred. You need to take matters on a case by case basis.

c)Favor expansion of the library. However, it may not fall just on the City. There can be private/public partnerships with the community. Libraries are about community involvement and they encourage a life long habit of learning.

d)Bee Cave is at a crossroads both literally and figuratively. It is more than about fixing pot holes. We have to use ingenuity. Both TxDOT and the County Commissioner have been working out here to expand our roads and we must ensure the roads remain safe.

e)I have attended Council 6-7 meetings this year to discuss Hill Country Indoor Sports and LTYA issues.

f) Going back to my opening statement we need to benchmark city services. I don’t think businesses necessarily like to come here. Permitting is difficult. We need to listen to issues being raised by the small businesses.

g)That piece of land brings the entire community together as it is. In an ideal world keep it zoned public. However, we have to make sure it doesn’t become something such as apartments. Maybe we need a moratorium on apartments. If the Field of Dreams does sell, we need to address any potential zoning change with the residents of the Homestead.

h)The School Board is doing a good job right now.

i)The Council has done a good job so far because Bee Cave is a family friendly place with dark skies. Trails tie communities together. When I envision the growth, we need to make sure that Bee Cave keeps families together with parks and trail systems. Lets also encourage the right type of businesses to come here.

Wrap up- There are a lot of issues before city hall. Will we become a city of concrete or maintain our hill country views? We have to partner with federal and state to protect our traffic infrastructure. I joined this race to ensure that our town remains family friendly. I am excited about what we’ve done and our promising future. Going forward, we need to take a business approach to government with accountability and benchmarking.

***

Jack McKool- Resident of Bee Cave for 13 years and on Council for past four years. Has always believed his votes are for the sensible reasonable. We have a shopping destination that needs to remain vibrant. We run a $6,000,000.00 dollar business. Two big issues: a lot of concern about development in our extra territorial jurisdiction and its resulting traffic. Believes his experience in how the City operates will assist in introducing home rule.

a) This issue goes back a while. Initially, he was against the signs and he was asked to remove his political signs from the property owned by the Shops. Then lately, he has learned the business end of the Shops and learned that anchor stores need the smaller stores and vice versa.

b)In the last 6-8 months the citizens have come forward and forced the City to look at the plan when making decisions. It is easy to make decisions when the seats are empty, but those who show up at the meetings help. The plan needs more work and needs to be more specific.

c)The City should be proud of the library and I would like to see it expanded. We need to know how big it needs to be in order to serve the community.

d)The City should commission an engineering study to determine what can be done about traffic. This is the biggest problem in West Travis County.

e)Has missed two meetings this year.

f)This is being addressed through contracting. It is a tough topic.

g)Keep it public, but we aren’t the owner.

h)Concerned about traffic.

i)I would be happy to see no more major developments. I would like to see small estates and the things happening out Hamilton Pool Road. Assuming home rule passes, we need to protect the neighbors from adverse development and land use. We aren’t in the land business.

Wrap-up- I would like to focus on where we are. People are coming. Falconhead West sold out quickly, one of the fastest in central Texas. People want to be here. The library, school district, shopping. We have problems, but we live in a great town with people making the best they could with difficult situations. We pushed the limits to get what we think the people need. We have a nice City.

***

Bill Goodwin- has lived in Bee Cave for 15 years and been on Council for 8 years. Has been in the voting minority for all 8 years. He does not want to vote with the group or figure out how to make a project work. He wants to work on behalf of the entire City. It isn’t fun, nor is it easy. He is a reluctant candidate, but believes he is valuable to the Council. The confidence of the Council is indicated by his appointment to the PUA. The comprehensive plan is a key issue.

a)I voted against the signs. What was promised was no signs. These signs will stand out like a sore thumb when they are built. It was 4-1 vote in favor of the signs. I spoke against it and would do so again.

b)It is old, but its visions are coming true. Decisions made on an ad hoc basis are disasterous. You need to have a plan and consistent strategy.

c)Against many things, but big supporter of the library.

d)This is hard to answer because these aren’t City streets, they are state highways and we have limited control. We have control over the developments that spill on to the roads and that is a place we can focus. The outlook isn’t bright.

e)I attended Council meetings regularly prior to running 8 years ago. That is why I was hesitant to run to begin. It looked like a boring job.

f)Our staff is fantastic and handle a tremendous work load.

g)I would like to see the Field of Dreams remain public, but we don’t own it. We will have proposals given and we will have to chose the closest thing to public.

h)No particular advice to the school board.

i)Not sure what the question means- Bee Cave will continue to grow. The Council has some limited power to control growth, but the Council is more reactive in nature. The Council reacts to the projects that come before us. If the projects meet our requirements, we have little power to control them.

Wrap-up- I have witnessed unbelievable growth. Making promises is easy, standing up to pressure is not and we get a lot of it here. Do the candidates have the fortitude to stand up for those who aren’t here? I probably vote in favor of more variances than against, but I have a reputation of being against them. We have become possibly too liberal with our decisions. I know everything is not black and white. We need people on the Council who can say “no” under pressure.

***

Michelle Bliss- is a 15 year resident of Bee Cave, married with two sons in the school district. She has a professional background in Quality Assurance.  She feels like she has watched the community grow up. She served on the March of Dimes, her neighborhood HOA, volunteering at the school (Lakepointe Elementary mascot).  She has served on Planning and Zoning for 4 years and can immediately assist in City decisions. She researches projects and makes the best choice for the City. She is concerned about the LTYA property, the property behind and adjacent to the Bee Cave Baptist Church and unwanted uses that are threatening our neighborhoods.   She has asked staff to include on the agenda transmittals to Planning and Zoning whether items comply or don’t comply with the comprehensive plan. She believes strongly in the community, farmers market, the Galleria amphitheatre, the library, parks and trails.

a) When the signs originally came through Planning and Zoning we knew that we had previously been told that you would not be able to see the shops through the trees that were supposed to be transplanted from the construction of the Galleria. But that did not happen. The trees did not grow because of the drought. Since then, you have seen the owner paint the backs of the buildings at the City’s request. I voted to approve the signs so that people could identify the stores in exchange for the owners making the presentation nicer.

b)The plan is a guide and some sections are more specific than others. Regarding variances, we should be careful, but if they meet the criteria and it takes us to something less dense it may work. We need to help small business when possible.

c)As one of the first members of the library when it was at the old City hall, I am concerned about the need for growth. If expansion can be made at reasonable cost, we should try to make it happen.

d)I had a conversation with a friend from Lakeway the other day. Traffic is a bad situation for everyone because all of the traffic is coming through Bee Cave. We need to focus on what can we do to improve it.

e)I have attended most Planning and Zoning meetings over the past four years and all Council meetings regarding the home rule charter. I have been attending meetings off and on since 1998 and attended all of the meetings regarding the Galleria, Kwik Kar, Planet K, Covert and other hot issues.

f)I believe that city staff is stretched thin at times, however over all they do a great job. As far as accountability, if we adopt home rule, it will take a vote of 4 to pass anything.  This will foster more discussion on the issues and lead to more consensus. Change it only if the Homestead residents think it should be changed.

g)I would love to see the Field of Dreams remain public. If any change would occur, we should certainly consult the residents of the Homestead and make sure it is a good fit for the City overall.

h)Like the others, I am concerned with traffic. There are way too many multi-family locations with transient type residents that the school must plan for.

i)Trails are important for growth. Regarding looks, we need variation, texture and color.

Wrap-up- I am running for Council for the right reasons. I care about what happens to the City and I have no irons in the fire. I am very approachable and happy to speak to residents about issues as they arise.

***

Kara King- Has spent her recent life traveling with her husband who was in the Marine Corp. She has many experiences from many towns and she and her family chose Bee Cave because it reflected the values their family sought. They wanted a community where people would look out for each other. She believes that the City is traveling “off-base.” She can listen and compromise and help the Council through the growth.

a)She would listen to both side of the issue and consult the comprehensive plan. She would try to have the parties reach agreement. People who are out shopping need to know about the stores inside the Shops. They may not know about the smaller shops.

b)The Council that you elect will appoint the committee who will look at the plan in 2014. The plan should be their guide that isn’t being followed as of late. We have granted variances, but I need to know intent of the ordinance.

c)My choice within the budget would be to expand the library, but also look at its design. The restrooms are outside of the library where kids have to go outside where people are waiting to go to Court. This isn’t really safe.

d)Served on LTISD Bond PAC and was proud to make the decision to move the elementary school on Highway 71 due to traffic concerns and then was frustrated when we saw Cielo come in across from Falconhead. We can be proactive as a City.

e) Attended many meetings this year regarding Falconhead West issues, Covert and the home rule charter.

f)Our staff is overworked. Our Councilmembers are volunteers. We need more staff.

g) Unless the Homestead residents all tell us to change it, I absolutely would not vote to change the zoning from public use.

h)Concerned with traffic and growth.

i)This is the most passionate part of my compaign. Our growth will change a lot in the next 5 years. We have to protect the nature, synergy and aesthetics of our town. This must look like a small hill country community that is authentic.

Wrap-up- I am not a politician, but I am running because I care. I put my own needs aside to help people who need it. To be proactive, you must have energy and drive and I have both.

***

Paul Kline- Has been here for four years. He and his wife have 6 children and is very reliant on our schools. He has lived in multiple locations across the country and abroad. He is here long-term now and interested in helping the City manage the growth that is coming. Texas is a great place to live and Austin and the surrounding areas like Bee Cave are growing. More and more people want to live here or past us to the west. The key is how we manage this. His observation is that we have been micro-focused and may have missed the bigger picture. Home rule is a good example of how the City is behind. We could have moved to home rule faster, but we weren’t proactive enough.

a)He was not involved in that process. It is hard to second guess what was done. We have a major shopping center in the middle of the community. It was probably a hard vote for some that have lived here a long time, but easier on those that moved here later. We have to keep in mind that some people moved here because of the shops.

b) I believe the plan is vague and needs to be more specific. As an example, the plan references the “walkability” of the City. If there is a plan around that, we need to figure it out. We need to adjust or figure out what it means.

c)I do not like spending money. I would like to minimize our expenses that we spend. Can we cooperate with another locale? We may need to spend the money somewhere else.

d)There isn’t much to do about the traffic situation. Is concerned about our ratio of growth and multi-family and we need to watch what is happening in the ETJ.

e)Was involved in home rule discussions. His purpose is not to solve the Covert problem, but to ensure we don’t have the problem again.

f)We need more folks on our staff.

g)Short answer is yes. But we need to engage the people that live there. Are there other options that are good for everyone? You can’t take an existing piece and surprise the neighborhood with something radically different.

h)Moved here because of the school system.

i)Our boundry is restricted. The key is figuring out the right mix from a development stand point. Limit severely the multi-family. Be responsible with the areas that are going to grow.

Wrap-up- it is easy to arm chair quarterback the decisions on the Council. I know there are a lot of people who can complain. There are a lot of good things that have come about. I think pro-activity is missing with individual businesses- but how can we drive development. We can do better at this. The fact is that we should have seen the home rule issue before we did. The high density housing in the ETJ effects what happens in the City. We don’t have enough people on staff. I can help add a proactive nature to the Council.

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Bee Cave City Council 4.23.13

1) A proclamation was issued recognizing the LTYA’s 35th anniversary. Chad Wilbanks, David Sewell and Ken McCann were present accepting the proclamation.

2) The CVS site plan and NPS plan was approved as previously approved on November 24, 2009.

3) Council discussed a site plan amendment for Sleep Experts, located at 12400 Highway 71 West (near HEB).
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Veronica Putney- wanted to know if any trees were being removed or changed. The applicant answered that it does not involve landscaping.
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Concerns were made regarding the recent signs that have been approved and that it was hoped that more sublte signs would be used in the future.

4) The Dog Park and sidewalk extensions were discussed. Joseph Jarrett, landscape architect, has a rough proposal for additions and re-location of the dog park to the south side of Bee Cave Parkway. This would require additional parking spaces (15). The proposed location is to the north and east of the small pavillion, but south of the sports field area. The Council discussed moving forward on a step-by-step basis beginning with surveying.
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John Stephens, Chairman of the Board of the Friends of Bee Cave Dog Park thanked the Council for listening to their concerns. He introduced John Kolhman, Susan Pierce, Andy Mitchell and others….strong belief that “if you build it, they will come.”

5) On August 14, 2012, Council had authorized City Administration to approve “minor amendments to concept plans and site plans” for the adjustments or relocation of individual single family lots of water quality non-point source best management practices such as vegetative filter strips. Recently, the City has been receiving requests from residents in the ETJ. An amendment to ordinance 119 was made allowing the administration to make the adjustments administratively.

6) Household hazardous waste day has been ongoing. A permanent site on General Williamson Drive has been located and the Lakeway MUD, Hurst Creek MUD and WCID #17 have joined forces to create this opportunity. The City of Bee Cave is being asked for $15,000.00 toward the construction of the new facility.

7) Bella Colinas (formerly Masonwood) sought an extension for filing of final plat.

8) After executive session, the following resolution was entered and staff was directed to contact the PUA Board members and legislators carrying the PUA bills:

“For the past several years the City of Bee Cave has been involved in the West Travis County PUA and its formation. Bee Cave carried a lot of the water through the rate case litigation with the LCRA and our citizens carried a lot of risk. The City approved the original language in the West Travis County PUA legislation as originally proposed. However, the proposed changes in the bill’s language, currently before the legislature, are not indicative of the language this Council approved on December 11, 2012 (as motioned by Councilman Braasch and seconded by Councilman Dorsett) and therefore, we cannot support the bill as written.”

 

Bee Cave City Council Meeting 3.26.13

Bee Cave City Council Meeting 3.26.13

Items 9 & 10 were pulled from the agenda (Cielo Apartments).

1) Citizen Comments:

Scott Moreledge- Ash Creek Homes. Provided an update on the Bee Cave Hike & Bike trail along with development of Morningside. The green and pink flags stake out the trail which can be followed to show the path.
They met with a hike and bike trail coordinator from the City of Austin. The trail must be 10 feet in width and must be alternative transportation method. This City uses 35,000.00 per mile for granite and 3500 for concrete.

Monte Parker- speaking as to Cielo Apartments and his concerns. He is the V.P. of the Enclave. He spoke to Gerald Daughtery. They had purchased 80k premiums for unobstructed views that will now be obstructed.

George Gerkin- also from Alta Vista. Concerned about 500 units that will have a car and a half each.

Veronica Putney- from the Homestead wishing to speak on the comprehensive plan. Believes that developers come every meeting and ask that the rules be changed. Those that wish to develop here should play within the rules. She believes that those who don’t live in Bee Cave attempt to line their pockets without worrying about how they upset the residents. Bee Cave is a popular place now, they come from all over the country. Many developers say that they court the Council and the residents. Fair weather friends will come and go and not remember you. Please say no to zoning chanes unless it is a win-win situation for all.

Lawrence Walters- Cielo is advertising their backyard as the preserve land. He paid a premium for the view and it isn’t fair.

Item 6- Public hearing regarding Ordinance 140 relating to an amendment to the existing Morningside PDD. The issue is that they claim they cannot build their bridge connecting to highway 620 until they excavate their property from the rear and move it forward to 620. They are offering that there will not be conflicting traffic when school buses are present.

Veronica Putney heard one of the residents speak at P&Z who was concerned that her life would be destroyed. She lives at Spillman Ridge and is adjacent to the location where this road would go.

Travis County Sherrif
Fiscal Security
Primary access for multi-family will be 620
Developer will approach Home Depot to attempt to approach from their property.
Controlled access with a back gate following construction of 620 access.
COO’s not issued until any road repairs are completed
Dumptrucks will only use the cut through for the single-family construction

The amendment passed allowing construction traffic with all in favor except me.

Item 7- Hill Country Galleria Rezoning Request

Add the VFW tract to the Galleria zoning. It is zoned public, but was used as a bar-b-que restaurant through federal law under the VFW laws. They envision a retail/entertainment site.

Los Cucos site added to the Galleria site. They purchased this a month ago and removed the margarita glass immediately. They intend to save all the trees and have created a site plan adding 6 parking spots.

Amend development standards of the Galleria. They want to build a hotel. The Galleria had neighborhood meetings and asked what people wanted. The project will be just short of 30 million dollars. This is not a site plan application, this is just a zoning change request. On April 8 at Chisos they will host a neighborhood planning session. They want the hotel utilized.

- building height- the 60 foot height will be measured from the road. The height is the limiting item, not the number of floors.

- sale of alcohol- if you sell next to a church or hospital, you measure door to door. For daycare’s however, it is 300 feet from lot line, to lot line. It is 3000 feet from door to door. The daycare center is in favor of the hotel.

- Water ponds- Asked to be given impervious cover credit for ponds that are not required to be lined, but are for aesthetic reasons. This frees up the credit to make the hotel possible.

- Clarify amount of glass- the current standard is 30%. In office, this is easy because there are solid pieces between floors. In hotel, you go floor to ceiling. The site plan is still controlled. 30% does not allow a window in every room. UP TO 50% SUBJECT TO SITE PLAN APPROVAL

- Bar-b-que place on 71 and Bee Cave- Not subject to 380 agreement. Schmidt Family Bar-B-Que. The plan will be before Council in a couple of weeks.

- Allow for lights to stay up on Main Street- white lights withdrawn.

Dean Appelling- from the Homestead. Reminded us on the comprehensive master plan. There are times when exceptions should be made when for the greater good. He believes the zoning requests make sense.

Dan Myrick- appeared on behalf of the Shops at the Galleria and the Avante Hills Apartments at the Galleria. Both are in support of the items.

Kerel Killebrew- Asks that the Council stick with the master plan absent a compelling reason to vary. Suggests that if the Council is going to change zoning that it be done accurately. Regarding the hotel, he supports it. However, concerned with elevation- where exactly is it measured from. Seems like it is somewhat left to interpretation. Regarding the bar on the top of the hotel, is the bar and its cover within the same elevation. He would object to the lights being on non-stop. If we are going to be a dark skies community, we need to be that at every opportunity. The 70% glass is too high.

Michelle Bliss- P&Z wanted him to come back with amount of glass needed as opposed to open ended amount.

Kara King- A hotel is a positive thing for Bee Cave.

Suzy Schmidt Franks- one of the owners of the proposed Bar-B-Que restaurant. They knew they wanted a small town environment. There have been so many challenges and they have been through 16 sites.

Veronica Putney- she thinks the project sounds nice. She suggests to not change zoning lightly. When is enough development enough.

John Coleman – supportive of the hotel at the Galleria. Has a problem with the glass variance. We are standing at the entrance to the hill country. We should not be looking to build an extension to the Lakeway Regional Medical Center. It needs to be in theme with the existing Galleria.

Mike Murphy- No great objections as to what Mr. Overstreet wants to do. Will leave it to the Council to tell him what to do. Thinks we need the hotel.

The items passed unanimously. I left after this item to be with family who is in town for my grandmother’s funeral tomorrow.

 

Michelle Bliss posting for Bee Cave

Hello Neighbors, Friends and Family,

As many of you know, I have been serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission for 5 years, currently serving as chair. I have decided it is time for me to serve our city in a greater capacity and am running for city council. I would love to have your support and help in this effort. Here is the link to my website where you can read about my experience and my beliefs for our city…..

www.beecavebliss.com

I would also love the opportunity to meet with you in person or even by phone. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Michelle Bliss

 

Kara King’s election site is up and running

Dear Friends,

Today my campaign website for a place on Bee Cave city council has gone LIVE! www.karakingbeecave.com
This has been so exciting for me! I really worked hard on every aspect of the site, and wanted everything from the color choices to the content to show my enthusiasm, my energy and my vision for Bee Cave.
Whether you are a long time Bee Cave resident, just moved here, or are a resident of a neighboring community, I hope you feel inspired about what I can do to make Bee Cave better. I am asking you to share my message and my site with everyone you know in Bee Cave.
I am not a politician, nor do I have a big budget. I am counting on those of you that know my work ethic and dedication to help me be a new member of the city council. My grass roots effort starts with you! If you are able, please consider donating to my campaign (the link is on the site.) I have spent a lot of money already ordering many large signs, yard signs, car magnets, and soon ordering shirts. I also need to do a mailing. A donation as small as $10 can make a difference! (The largest any one person can donate to a campaign is $2600.)
I plan on working very very hard to get elected. Anything you can do is very much appreciated!

Thank you my friends!

Vote Kara King
for a Balanced Bee Cave
www.karakingbeecave.com

 

Bee Cave City Council meeting 2.26.13
Citizen comment:

Eileen Depew- requests that speed limit signs get posted on the parkway.

Courtney Bunting from the Hill Country Galleria- Eat, Drink and Shop pink will be at the Hill Country Galleria next Thursday, March 7, 2013.

Dr. Suess event this Saturday at the Bee Cave Library.

Richard Gambltees- agrees that speed limit signs are needed on the Parkway.

Consent agenda- passed.
Police report
Library report- with questions from Bill Goodwin.
Financial report
Appointment of Heather Cadenhead in place of Gary Cadenhead for the Charter Commission

Item 10) Charter Commission Report and Ordinance calling election on the matter for May, 2013.
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Mike Murphy- Said the entire Charter Commission is present, so if something different is required, they are available.
Major items:

1) Power of annexation
2) Council-Manager form of government
Department heads- consent of Council
3) Maintains current terms of Council and Mayor. Mayoral election requires majority vote rather than plurality
Right to vote to Mayor
Criteria of removal of Mayor and Council
Formalizes procedures to fill vacancies
Abstentions count as “negative” vote
Recusal- not an abstentio
Cannot be hired to any City job until one year expires from your last term
4) Can set up taxation division of the City
5) Initiatives, referendums and recalls- procedures implemented
6) Allows Council to call referendums to the citizens
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Paul Klein- applauds Council for courage in not “putting this off.” The amazing thing about the process is that people came focused to work and understood the gravity of the situation. Also suggests that Patty Akers was instrumental in getting this done. Regarding the healthy skepticism, we all learned that home rule charters look roughly the same. There is no reason to believe that it would have looked different with more time and thought.
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Heather Cadenhead- Vice Chairman of the Commission- discussed the process of the Commission and how the Mayor picked a broad cross-section of the electorate. She also appointed a diverse group of people.
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Councilman McKool- very impressed with the preparedness of the Commission.
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There was lengthy discussion regarding the topic of annexation, the complexities of the documents and the speeed in which it was prepared. It was confirmed that existing ranches with agricultural exemptions are protected from annexation by signing a statutory agreement that will be provided if the charter is approved by the Bee Cave voters. The Charter was approved by Council.

Agenda item 6 & 7- The City approved an item for Mountain Laurel placing plat in escrow pending closing and posting of fiscal.

Agenda item 8- final plat for Ladera was approved.

Agenda item 9- site and NPS plan for Hill Country Indoor and a variance to fill in some dirt to complete a road.

Item 11- Michelle Bliss was appointed to Chairperson of the Planning & Zoning Commission.

Item 12- The Council chose to suspend rates for Texas Gas Service for 90 days.

Item 13- The Council approved lighting at the Bee Cave Police Department parking lot.

Bob Dorsett, Jr.
Bee Cave City Council

 

Home Rule Commission Appointed – 2.16.13

Bee Cave City Council 2.16.13- Special Session

1) 5000 Inhabitants- 5,371 specifically. The City began with view of aerial photography; site visits; TCAD data; calls with homebuilders for number of residents; permit and occupancy data and apartment complex data. Then applied an occupancy rate. The data follows:

Single family- 1315 units- 3,906 population
Mobile homes- 19 32
Apartments- 850 1,401
Assisted living 32
Total: 2184 5,371

2) There was heavy discussion as to whether a charter can be drafted in the time required to get the matter on the May ballot.

3) The following citizens were appointed to the Charter Commission:

Jack McKool
Michelle Bliss
Mike Murphy
Scott Lineberry
Patrick Flores
Sumit Date
Kerel Killebrew
Joe Cook
Kara King
Nell Penridge or designated person
Gary Cadenhead or designated person
Paul Klein
Michelle Williams
Jim Miles
Steve Albert

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Mike Murphy- Process of government is supposed to be slow by design. There are many specific items to consider; places or seats?; Mayor vote? how do we vote? power of referendum; power to recall;

Kerel Killebrew- Concerned about perceptions created during the process of preparing the charter. Suggests posting meetings daily. Suggests that the elected officials should be the last people on the charter commission.

Paul Klein- Not a question of if, but a question of when. Concerned that we are here late to the dance. The process should have been started earlier, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start the process now. It cannot be that difficult. Encourages the Council to make the attempt.

The first meeting of the Commission will be Wednesday, February 20, 2013 and continue nightly through Friday night.

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Bee Cave “Home Rule” – Opposed

Details: Bee Cave City Council:

My concern and Greatest fear may be the only one you recieve like this on the \’Home Rule\’. I am against the Grumbles Ranch becoming part of a \’Home Rule\’.

The Grumbles Ranch has been in our Families over six (6) generations. My Husband (RIP) and I and now our Son, his Family and myself are still maintaining the Grumbles Ranch. We are a \’for real working ranch\’ where we are still raising cows, goats, maintaining pasture fences and continuing be the best Stewards of our own land, etc. The Grumbles Ranch is part of our livlihood, our welfare.

My concern is the fact all the \’new\’ people in, around and surrounding us have decided they want a \’Home Rule\’ immediately and to have the Bee Cave City Council take over the land/ETJ surrounding their homes/lots by May, 2013.

This is NOT in the best inerest for the Grumbles\’, nor the Grumbles Ranch property which, like I said, has been used as a working ranch for over 6 generations. This \’Home Rule\’ of taking over our Ranch threatens our livlihood, our way of life and our deep respect and good Stewardship of our property. The only way we have known to live all our lives is the freedom to farm/ranch.

I know the Grumbles Ranch is just one property within the ETJ, but I ask for the Bee Cave City Council to not include our properties within a \’Home Rule\’ law. Our \’way\’ of living and carrying on our heritage will be changed forever, absolutely destroyed/ruined if this is allowed to happen. We do not/have not bothered anyone, any neighbor and are excellent, good residents of our heritage. Bee Cave has been my home for over fifty (50) years. I am 68 now.

We, of all people, having lived/owned this property for over six generations, have been good Stewards and who else would take better care since the property has and does hold a Special place in all our Hearts? Do not \’Home Rule\’ our land.

There are three (3) generations who live on this property now. I am now 68 years old and still ranching, our Son ranches/maintains the Ranch and now his two Sons, 15 & 17 years old work the soil, raise the animals, maintain the daily chores of our Grumbles Family Ranch.

I do not know what to say to the Council, nor how to explain the deep hurt in my Heart when I think of the Grumbles Ranch becoming part of City rules. We have, through the generations, contributed and bettered the Bee Cave areas. We are a \’working ranch\’, not a hobby by no means, and becoming part of the City of Bee Cave and having City rules would/could not be in the interest of the City of Bee Cave, nor the new residents in subdivisions, houses, etc. best interest, nor would those same people have the same thoughts/ideas of ranching vs. city interests. Certainly, not the best interest for the working Grumbles Ranch.

I would ask (beg/plead) with the Bee Cave City Council to not place our Grumbles Ranch in a \’Home Rule\’ status. I like my neighbors/area Friends, but this letter I am writing is going against being in the \’Home Rule\’ will make them mad at us for not joining in their petitions, letter writings, meetings, etc.

Please share your thoughts with me. Like I said, I do not know how to word this to you, but please consider what a \’Home Rule\’ would do to our daily living, our quality of life as we know/enjoy living, working and our six generations of heritage of love, sweat, toil of the land.

Thank you for your patience and time,
Carolyn Crumley Grumbles
Grumbles Ranch

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Bee Cave “Home Rule” -in favor

Dear Mayor Murphy and members of the Bee Cave City Council,

I am writing to you today to request the city council move forward on the Home Rule in time for the May election. It is imperative that the city council moves as quickly as possible as we do not want Highway 71 to become the next “Motor Mile.” It is bad enough that Covert has purchased the land and is moving forward with their plan despite the many protests of the Bee Cave City Council and members of the Bee Cave community, but what if the Home Rule is delayed until November and other dealerships such as Lexus decides to purchase land and build a dealership on 71? This would be horrible! Just think of the traffic dangers that currently exist. By adding the Hill Country Golf and Guitar destination restaurant and Covert dealership as well as who knows what, Highway 71 could be known as the “Accident Mile” or worse. We must stop them now. Please do what you can to get have the Home Rule placed on the May ballot.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Kristen
Resident of Falconhead West

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I was as the city council meeting last night and was very encouraged by what I heard. I urge you to move ahead with all due haste to get the numbers to show that we have reached the required 5000 inhabitants, form a charter committee and “seed” it with a charter template as discussed in the meeting, and make every effort to get it done in time for the May election. It doesn’t appear that this, in and of itself, would halt the planned Covert dealership, but it certainly could impact those that would inevitably follow. Act quickly before others “vest” in the ETJ areas along 71.

Morris Moore

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Mayor and City Council-

I am concerned that the City may be acting in haste in calling for a Home Rule Charter Election May 11th. I think you will find it very difficult to follow the letter and intent of the law in the timeline being considered.

Equally important, I’m not convinced the powers under Home Rule envisioned by the community (especially annexation) will be great enough to satisfy the citizens of Bee Cave.

The intent of a Charter Commission is for concerned citizens to develop an important document, one the City can live with hopefully for 50-100 years. My hope is that the Bee Cave City Charter can be more like the US Constitution and less like the Texas Constitution which is amended every two years.
An independent group of citizens needs to consider all the standard terms of a Charter including:
1. Composition of the City Council, term of office, term limits.
2. Role of the Mayor
3. Compensation of the Mayor and City Council
4, Role of Staff
5. Planning and Zoning (including a comprehensive master plan)

This barely scratches the surface of potential items to be included in a Charter.

If the community isn’t 100% behind the process moving forward…we risk organized opposition and to have a Charter refuted by voters is the last thing anyone wants to see happen.

In closing, my hope is the City will move forward with a November election. Should you choose to do so I would consider it an honor to serve on the Charter Commission.

Thank you.
Steven F. Albert

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Mayor Murphy,

I’m writing to ask you to do all you can to expedite the move to Home Rule. Based on the testimony at the last City Council meeting, we can make the deadline to have this on the May election. But time is of the essence. If we fail to hit that timeline, our next opportunity will not be until November. By then, much more of the ETJ could be in a “planning” stage and all zoning will be grandfathered. We simply can’t wait that long. The risk to our community is simply too great. We will have plenty of time to make tweaks to the city charter in later elections, but the most important thing is to become a Home Rule city so we can control what gets built in our area.

Thanks
Naduni Salgadoe

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Dear Mayor,

Please do everything in your power to get the “Home Rule” status on the ballot for the May elections. Also, can you please forward this email to the City Council Members of the City of Bee Cave? This is a VERY important issue and all of the citizens of Bee Cave are counting on you to do your level best to represent us and our property values on this issue. Thank you.

Nancy Leigh Warren

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Dear Mr Mayor Murphy,

Please move forward on Home Rule in time for the May election.

Thank you,
Amanda Hunziker

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I would like to add my name to the growing list of concerned and rather upset citizens of Bee Cave about the prospect of Covert Auto coming to put a dealership on Highway 71 West.

I reside off of Highway 71W just east of the Pedernales River. I have lived there for 38 years and have seen a great many changes. I drive that road every day at least twice a day traveling to and from work in Westlake. After I pass through Bee Cave proper and the 620 area on my way home, it never ceases to amaze me at the beauty of the Hill Country. Development has had an impact, but that is to come without doubt. A huge auto dealership would absolutely pollute the area with traffic, noise, light and make it feel so commercial. I believe, that all Bee Cave and beyond residents have a responsibility to protect the Hill Country!

Safety is another huge factor. I am certain that everyone remembers Hwy 71 West being named the most dangerous road in the Austin area. I have seen too many tragic traffic accidents and lost my son-in-law in one of those Hwy 71 accidents. I believe that automobile shoppers pulling in and out of a dealership, test driving in those neighborhoods close by is not a safe prospect.

I urge you to move forward on the Home rule in time for the May election. I ask that you share this e-mail with members of the Bee Cave City Council.

Sharon Coleman

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