How a $30 increase to car registration can cost you more than you think.

May 17, 2013

This is a lengthy diatribe and I apologize, but I was asked if I seriously thought that $30-40 could cost someone a car.  I do, and I think it could cost them a lot more.

 I think by increasing state registration by 60% could  have an adverse on part of the population that don’t necessarily have an extra $30-40 laying around, one month a year.  Yes, you and I, and most of the folks who will read this can absorb an extra $30-40 but I think there are a lot of people you interact with daily that can’t.  I believe there are people who will read this who will find it hard to find another $30-40.

 

I have children (more than 1) who are of driving age.   I see them trying to find enough money for routine vehicle maintenance, along with state registration and vehicle inspection.  Yes, they have been taught how to budget.  They have to drive to work, as work is to far to walk or bicycle.  If they don’t find that money to register their vehicle, they run the chance of getting a ticket that they will have to pay within 10 days and it is more than the cost of the registration.  This starts a vicious cycle that can be hard to get out of.

 

I ask people I interact with at the barber, retail stores, etc. what part of town do they live.  Most will say some place other than within the boundaries of the NFWA.  There are many reasons to this, but they do.  The only way these people can get to and from their employment is by a registered motor vehicle.  They have to drive because they are trying to be conscious of their income/expenditures and simply cannot find housing within their means in the area where they work.

 

There are a lot of unemployed and under-employed people in the state.  To ask them to find another $30-40 per vehicle could be the last tax that puts them in a position that renders them incapable of paying a much needed life bill.

 

If you add another fee, that seems doable in our minds, it could really have an adverse affect on others that we may not be thinking of.  If a person loses their transportation over an increased state tax, and the state, county, city, does not offer another means of mobility that is wrong.

 

80% of the population lives within the Texaplex, www.texaplex.com.  Asking the farmers and ranchers and folks who live in rural Texas, whose transportation infrastructure needs are primarily met, to spend another $30-40 to help build infrastructure that they may rarely or never use is wrong, in my opinion.  Seems like fleecing to me.

 

Do we tax those of us who live within this “Texaplex”?  I think it will cost an adverse effect to our employment numbers.  I don’t have the answer, but I believe the state needs to look at a bigger comprehensive plan and one that does not hurt Texans who are doing their best with what they currently have.

 

With the state need, there is also a big problem at the city level.  We have over a $1B in road maintenance needs that we can’t meet, and that gap is growing every day.  The city has been looking at ways to close that gap for a few years.  It seems that “the best” solution is to charge each user of city services (read new charge on your water bill) a usage fee, that is in the realm of this state registration fee.  I think $30-40 is tough, but if we double it, it makes it even worse for some.

 

If we upset the apple cart, it will have a negative effect on development and then we have to start wondering about an increase in property taxes.  It is a house of cards and every move can topple the whole thing.

 

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Marketing gone wrong or something more underhanded?

May 28, 2012

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Every year Keller, Texas has a festival or two celebrating something or other. Good for them, I support that.  Lately they have been posting a sign announcing at least one of these festivals about a half mile from my house, in the median of the road.  It is a very high traffic area, as my part town has been on of the fastest growing areas in the region, state and country for several years.  Who wouldn’t want to target the motorists and residents around my neighborhood? I have a few issues with this sign.  Some noticeable and some not so noticeable.

First, let’s start with the obvious. It is really poorly installed.  Come on, One would think that a chamber of commerce representing the 7th best place to live in America would know how to plant a sign. Now I am sure I will hear it could be several issues as to why this occurred from, the increased winds we have experienced this weekend, the ground was too hard, to we hired documented Americans who have less experience. To this, I would argue, here in north Texas the wind blows this time of year, the hard clay hasn’t changed from last year, and thank you for hiring an American.

Second, we have a bandit sign ordinance in this part of the world. Again, I would hope that the Keller Chamber of Commerce knows that in order to post temporary signs they must obtain a permit.

Third, and probably my biggest issue with this here sign is the motto on the sign.  I know you can’t read it, but if you search Kellerfest in your favorite web search engine, you will find that it is “Our Hometown Celebration”. That’s really pretty cool, and who wouldn’t want to celebrate our hometown.  I know I would.  So, what’s my grief?  Keller is NOT my hometown.  The city limits between Keller and my hometown of Fort Worth is about 8,000 ( about 1.5 miles) as the crow flies east of where this sign is installed.  Yes, this sign is in the city limits of Ft. Worth.  To the chambers defense, most of the people they are marketing to don’t know what city they live in either.  Ft. Worth council member for this district has been working hard over the past several years to fix this, but it is a really long fight. (I wonder who keeps taking down the City of Ft Worth signs at the shared boundary with Keller.)

Apparently the City of Keller doesn’t appreciate fielding calls from non-residents, as seen posted by one of their city council members in February of this year. Doug Miller, Keller city council member place 6, had blogged on Beyond Right Field: “…Fort Worth brought the problem on themselves by allowing developers to build subdivisions without ever having a plan on how they were going to provide city services to them and I feel that they also made out well by letting their own citizens feel they live in Keller or Haslet. Those citizens then demand services from the city where they think they live, rather than calling Sal Espino’s office every day.”

Now, with respect Councilman Miller, I hope you can see that there are many reasons why the busy residents of Ft Worth have an identity crisis about where they live, from the paper that they receive on their doorstep every week, “The Keller Citizen; the school district in which they live, Keller ISD; busineses with Keller in their name; ie. Little Tykes of Keller and Mama’s Pizza Keller just to name two.  You see, your marketing arm is perpetuating the issue.

Bad mistake or underhanded marketing to increase the perception of Keller.  You decide for yourself, but I don’t think the Chamber of Commerce for the City of Keller is that ignorant, rather resourceful in the absence of a city, and their chamber, when it comes to promoting themselves to their residents.  

I would hope that the City of Keller would kindly have their marketing arm keep their signs on their property and that my city would find a way to engage it’s citizenry in a way to promote Ft Worth and increase the pride we should have in OUR HOMETOWN.

 

 


When in Rome, carry your papers!

November 22, 2011

As I travel to Canada monthly for work, I know that I have to carry my passport with me everywhere I go.  It is a no brainer to make sure you carry all documentation necessary.

 

In this article, a German business executive was arrested in Alabama as he did not have any documentation proving that he was in Alabama legally.  He was detained in accordance to the law.

 

I applaud the law enforcement officers in Alabama and lawmakers for creating the law that will help illegal aliens understand they need to get legal or leave.  The more news about these detainments, proper of course, should help alleviate the over population of illegals and hopefully return some of tax dollars and services back to the citizens.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/11/21/373334/german-mercedes-benz-executive-arrested-under-alabamas-immigration-law/


Keller school district earns top rating for costs efficiency

September 16, 2011

You may or may not have been keeping up with the budget woes in the Texas education system, but locally my school district has been met with a dwindling state budget and a slowed population growth coupled with a decrease in property values.   This has created a cause for heightened awareness of the ISD’s budget and spending.  The Keller Independent School District has a five star-rating for “achieving success in the classroom while holding costs down.”  I am sure this will get the ire of some folks who will read the Startlegram or the local rag, but I am sure most in the district will never see or hear of this news.  Why? Apathy, but that is another conversation.

I applaud the district administration and the trustees for working diligently to keep this rating, the only district in Tarrant County, after achieving it last year.  Several residents will be and are upset that they pay school taxes and then are now being charged for their children to ride the bus.  While I spur one trustee on about this, I applaud the trustees for focusing their spend in the classroom.  I do feel their are cuts in high school administration that could help put more money in the classroom.

I am glad to see that Keller ISD, while stepping up and trying to get more funding from the property owners, still find a way to maintain that 5 star rating when other comparable districts in the area are losing stars.

Keep up the good work, Dr. V and the trustees.  Keep the eye on increasing our state academic ratings and test scores and spending taxpayer’s money in a responsible fashion.  Some of us are still rooting you on.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/09/15/3370422/keller-school-district-earns-top.html


Forgive me for my being today

September 11, 2011

Forgive me for my being today.  I am extremely torn with feelings of joy and sorrow and grief.  While it is the 10 year anniversary of that horrific day on American soil that killed thousands and has changed the history of the world every day since; thousands of my veteran brothers and sisters have paid the ultimate sacrifice to bring justice to those that have brought this upon us, my baby turns 16 today.

I was the soldier.  I served eleven years in the United States Army.  While serving in a job field that kept me from serving in hostile environments (not that I didn’t always have some munition targeting my workplace, generally from our side) I continually volunteered to go the theater where Americans were protecting our interests and constitution.  Why? Because I swore an oath that I would.  I never made it into theater, but I definitely supported efforts of my brothers and sisters that wore the uniform and put their lives in harms way.

For the last 10 years, on this day, I have had to try to answer the question, “Why today Daddy? Why do I have to share my joyous day with such a terrible event?”  How do you answer that to a child that should be able to see the joy in the eyes of others when she is in public.  I am sure, she mostly sees grief and hurt.  How hard it has to be for her.  16 today. How special is her day going to be with every thing she will see on TV or hear on the radio is about the devastation and the remembrance?

April 19, 1995 – my wife worked the Oklahoma City bombing.  She was a young nurse and was called downtown to work triage.  The things she has seen, the sounds she has heard and smell that accompanies such events can never be shaken.  Today will be hard on her and every first responder and their families today.

I have great joy in my heart, for I do have a little princess that is 16.  She, along with her elder brothers and sisters are outstanding young people all living their lives and chasing dreams that are only possible to chase in a free society.  All five are healthy, intelligent and mostly make the right decisions!  I hope you, my princess to have the best Sweet 16 you could ever dream of today.

I have great joy for I have a wife that is selfless in her love for her family. She never tires, or doesn’t show it, in her role to make our world better.  I never tell her enough how much I appreciate her, and I try to remind her.  She isn’t one for seeking praise from others and I feel she feels a little embarrassed by the adoration, but she truly deserves every compliment that we can give her.

While I chose the path to defend, and did not get to fully serve as I wanted, my family has been directly scarred by significant events. I know these are things that I have less than zero control over, but as a man, husband and father, I feel my badge of protector is tarnished.

So for these few reasons, please forgive me today if my mood swings a little, and my thoughts are either a little dark or full of sunshine, for you see today is a tough day for me as dad, husband and American.


DALLAS FED CHIEF SEPARATES “FACT FROM FICTION” ON TEXAS JOBS

August 22, 2011

 

 

 

Interesting read as there are a lot of comments that Texas’ job growth is just minimum wage jobs being filled by illegal aliens.

 

http://www.thecypresstimes.com/article/News/National_News/DALLAS_FED_CHIEF_SEPARATES_FACT_FROM_FICTION_ON_TEXAS_JOBS/49477

 

 


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August 19, 2011

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