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Getting Kids Active In The Outdoors

November 4, 2011

Computers and video games are turning our kids brains into a fine paste. Have you ever seen two kids sitting next to each other texting one another? Is there a point to that? Why is it that kids will spend six hours inside playing a video game of golf, but when you suggest they actually go out and play golf they look at you as if you swung at them with a nine iron? You’ve got to find some way to get your kids outside during the day and out in parks, where other kids are – well a few other kids. You know how I get my kids outside? I run an Orienteering event that kids out and running in the outdoors.  What a great feeling to see adults and kids enjoying a day in the woods.  If it is not at an Orienteering event, we go out and do Geocaching!

There are easier ways to get your kids to go outside in the sunshine to prevent them from Vampire complexion.

  • Discipline – You’ve got to set limits on how long is acceptable to play mindless video as a form of relaxation. Give them a few hours  of video games and then take the system away if you have to. Lock it up somewhere so they can’t get at it until the little junkies are allowed their next fix.
  • Outside Time – When I was young, if I didn’t have a job my mom used to tell me I had to be out of the house for 8 hours a day. I could come back when that 8 hours was up. You can use the same principle, but not so extreme. Make it a rule that your kids have to be out of the house in the sunshine for 2 hours every day doing something active. Of course, be sure they tell you where they are going so you can keep tabs on them.
  • Go Along – The older kids get, the less they like you tagging along with them, but if they’re young they won’t mind. Go along for a trip to public parks or water parks where they can actually socialize with something other than a machine. They’ll get to meet new friends and talk about how horrible it is that they have to play in the sunshine. They’ll have lots in common.
  • Positive Reinforcement – Studies have shown that positive reinforcement is much better at producing results than negative reinforcement. Actually, random reinforcement like gambling produces the best results, but we’re not going to go there. Instead of punishing your kids for playing video games too long or watching too much television, after they have played outside for 2 or 3 hours, reward them with a half hour or an hour of video games. Trust me, it’ll work better than you think. Eventually, they’ll just go outside to play because they know when they get back ‘Blood Gushers Apocalypse’ will be waiting for them when they get back. Well, maybe not that game.

Exercise for kids is so important in their younger years because it is a habit that’s going to transfer into their adult lives. Give these few tips a shot and see what happens. See what works best for your kids. Get creative and learn to cater to their personalities. You’ll get the hang of it.

City Council Meeting November 1, 2011

October 31, 2011

 

Sorry for the late update, but I had some problems with the computer

 

 

 

I have entered my comments in GREEN so that you can follow the updates. 

 

I first would like to say thank you for all people that came to the meeting (I know why most where there), but I enjoyed seeing over 45 people at the meeting and letting the council know that there are people watching. So on with the updates.

 

Hello Everyone,

Here is the agenda for the next City Council Meeting.  Several  interesting things.  The $600 funding for sprinkler  system is back on the Consent items ( I have included a link to this document), and the action dealing with the force retirement of  the Police Chief.  This could be a short meeting or long, but I will let you know after tomorrow evening. There are a couple of items dealing with the two major projects being worked on here in the City.  One being the Baker.    Also, the 1 million project that will be starting soon.  You will need to read the council packet (I have a link to this document). There is ton of information in the packet and if you want to be informed…sometimes I have the deer in the light look!!

Hope to see some of you there!

NOTICE OF MEETING

(Note:  Disabled persons requiring special assistance are requested to notify the City of Mineral Wells 24 hours in advance of the meeting by calling the City Clerk’s office at 940.328.7702)

The Mineral Wells City Council will hold a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at the City Hall Annex, 115 S.W. 1st Street, Mineral Wells, Texas, to consider the following agenda:

Call to Order/Invocation/Pledge of Allegiance

CITIZEN COMMENT 

No one was there to speak (I believe they were, but some comments where made that they would be able to speak on an agenda item, but that did not happen!)

Citizens must provide information required on Speaker Card.  The Speaker Card must be given to the City Clerk before the meeting starts.  The Council requests that comments be limited to three (3) minutes.  The Texas Open Meetings Act provides the following:  

(a) If, at a meeting of a governmental body, a member of the public or of the governmental body inquires about a subject for which notice has not been given as required by this subchapter, the notice provisions of this subchapter do not apply to: 

(1) a statement of specific factual information given in response to the inquiry; or 

(2) a recitation of existing policy in response to the inquiry.  

(b) Any deliberation of or decision about the subject of the inquiry shall be limited to a proposal to place the subject on the agenda for a subsequent meeting.

CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Consider approval of minutes of meeting(s) held on October 18, 2011.
  2.  Consider approval of budgeted expenditures over $500.
The $600 dollar from the previous meeting was placed back on the budgeted expenditures and passed for except for the councilman that caused for this item to be reviewed.  The councilman did not vote but abstained from the vote for all the items on the budget and shows to me that the councilman cares more about their company than the people of Mineral Wells.  Let’s punish the new companies that are coming into the city and protect the old companies.  

Items over $500 link to the PDF file

ITEMS FOR INDIVIDUAL CONSIDERATION

The City Packet for the following items are located here with this link.

  1. Discussion and advice from the Council as to the initiation of an inquiry pursuant to Section 39 of the Charter of the City of Mineral Wells concerning the actions of Councilman Bennett in possible violation of Section 28 of the Charter of the City of Mineral Wells preceding the forced retirement of former Police Chief McAllester.   Sec. 28. – Council not to interfere with appointments or removals.
    This item was handled very well by the Mayor in my opinion.  The Mayor appointed a two member committee to review the actions of Councilman Rick Bennett.  The Mayor would hope to have the findings and report back to the council in two weeks.  The two members are Mike Allen, the Mayor, and Tammy Underwood, Ward 2 councilman.  This passed 6-0-1 with councilman Place 2 abstaining (interetesting)
  2. Consider resolution authorizing execution of a Community and Economic Development Agreement between the National Development Council (NDC) and the City of MineralWells, and an Agreement for Payment of Professional Services between the City of Mineral Wells and the Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce.
    passed 7-0
  3. Consider resolution authorizing execution of First Amendment to Operations, Maintenance, and Disposition Agreement for former Armory property.
  4. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance of the City of Mineral Wells, Texas to tax tangible personal property in transit which would otherwise be exempt pursuant to Texas Tax Code, Section 11.253 (also known as Super Freeport Exemption).
  5. Consider approval of Contract for Engineering Services with Schrickel, Rollins, and Associates Inc. for the 16” Water Line Extension project on U.S. Hwy 180 West.
  6.  Adjourn

Time is getting close to Vote!!

October 21, 2011

Voting On Election Day-  Exactly where Do I Go To Cast My Ballot

Your ability to vote in elections is one of the greatest freedoms that we have in this country, and choosing public representatives from a list of candidates on the ballot and constitutional  amendments is some thing that not every single citizen within the world has the luxury of performing. If you are not a registered voter and are old enough to do so, then you ought to make a point of making your voice heard by taking part in nearby elections.

For individuals who are new to voting, nonetheless, the approach of registering and then obtaining the polling place where you’ll want to cast your ballot on election day may possibly be a bit confusing. Luckily, almost each and every state within the union has made it really simple for you to register to vote, and you ought to have no trouble performing it so long as you might be at the least 18 years of age and you might be not a convicted felon.

The truth is, in most states it is as simple as going to your nearby DMV or bureau of motor vehicles to obtain a voter registration card to fill out. Take care, although, you are just not allowed to register to vote on election day. There’s generally a cut-off point for new registrations that is many weeks or months before election day, depending on exactly where you live.

You’ll find typically two different ways that you simply will probably be in a position to cast your vote on election day: either by way of the mail in what exactly is known as “absentee” or “provisional “voting, or by going to your local polling place to cast your vote in individual. To discover exactly where your nearby voting poll location is, contact your county board of elections, city hall or one more entity with political details.

In most instances, your voting location will most likely be located at a church, school, recreation centre or other public venue. Following you’ve cast your vote, tell the rest of the world how proud you might be for having taken component in such an excellent privilege by wearing an “I Voted” sticker or bragging about it on social media websites. You’ll be creating our country an even greater location to live for future generations! 


City Council Agenda for 10-18-2011

October 14, 2011

Hello Everyone,

Here is the agenda for 10-18-2011.  It will be a short council meeting, but I will post back about the out come of all items.

If  you are interested in the Council Packet that supports each item below, please let me know and  I will be glad to send to you the information the Council gets to make their decisions.

Thanks,

Clif

 

NOTICE OF MEETING

(Note:  Disabled persons requiring special assistance are requested to notify the City of Mineral Wells 24 hours in advance of the meeting by calling the City Clerk’s office at 940.328.7702)

The Mineral Wells City Council will hold a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at the City Hall Annex, 115 S.W. 1st Street, Mineral Wells, Texas, to consider the following agenda:

Call to Order/Invocation/Pledge of Allegiance

CITIZEN COMMENT 

Citizens must provide information required on Speaker Card.  The Speaker Card must be given to the City Clerk before the meeting starts.  The Council requests that comments be limited to three (3) minutes.  The Texas Open Meetings Act provides the following:  

(a) If, at a meeting of a governmental body, a member of the public or of the governmental body inquires about a subject for which notice has not been given as required by this subchapter, the notice provisions of this subchapter do not apply to: 

(1) a statement of specific factual information given in response to the inquiry; or 

(2) a recitation of existing policy in response to the inquiry.  

(b) Any deliberation of or decision about the subject of the inquiry shall be limited to a proposal to place the subject on the agenda for a subsequent meeting.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

  1. Consider approval of minutes of meeting(s) held on September 20, 2011.

 

  1. Consider approval of budgeted expenditures over $500.

 

ITEMS FOR INDIVIDUAL CONSIDERATION

 

  1. Conduct public hearing and consider replat of Lots 2 through 7, Block 4, Miller Addition to the City of Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto County, Texas.

 

  1. Conduct public hearing and consider replat of Lots 7 through 10, Block 1 of Wolters 500 Industrial Addition to the City of Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto County, Texas.

 

  1. Consider resolution authorizing City Manager to implement Stage 1 of the City of Mineral Wells Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plan and further implement and curtail sprinkler lawn watering to one day per week.

 

  1. Mayor to announce selection of Chairman of Planning and Zoning Commission.

 

  1. Adjourn

 

 

 

Water Rate Deffered!

September 21, 2011

The following is a letter I wrote to the City Manager about the proposed Water Rate increase that was in the new Mineral Wells Budget.  After receiving my E-Mail, Mr. Lance Howerton called me on the phone and explained how the City will be handling this proposal.  His reply is after the letter.

———————————————————————————————–

Hello Mr. Howerton,
 
Again, thank you for taking the time to speak to me about the concerns I had with the upcoming year in Mineral Wells.
 
I would like to clarify the conversation about the water rate increase you stated that would NOT go into effect at this time.  If I remember correctly, you said this rate increase could be reviewed  in January.  I appreciate your leadership in this matter and your concerns for the Citizens of Mineral Wells in this time of economical turmoil as I was disappointed that no member of the City Council even questioned this rate increase and that two of three new members of the Council had promised no new increases.
 
My question is that since the rate increase decision was not mentioned at the previous City Council Meeting (9-20-2011), the people that followed your opening statement in the beginning of your presentation about the upcoming budget do not know that this item has been tabled; does it need to be stated for the record at an upcoming City Council meeting that the rate increase was not enacted ?  Should the Mineral Wells Index be notified so the Citizens can know the excellent job you, as the City Manager,  have done to keep their cost of living from going up? Can I also mention this on my Blog to allow my followers know about your decision?
 
Which leads me to the next question.  If the City decides to place the 3% rate increase into effective, will it be presented to the Council at a future meeting for approval, or is it just placed into effect without any discussion?
 
Thanks for your time.
 
Clif Wright

———————————————————————————–

Mr. Howerton called me back and explained that every year the City looks at the different rates and they make their decisions on the happenings of the summer usage and amount of rain fall.  He also stated that they will review the status in the second quarter of this budget year and will determine the status of the rate increase.  He states he understands the different hardships the citizens face on a daily basis and he works at keeping cost down.

He also stated that he would be getting in touch with Mineral Wells Index and explain in detail the process.  I am hoping that the Editor will put a small article in the paper and on the Webpage and their Facebook page to help inform everyone about how this process works.

Just a note to everyone that reads this blog.  I am always asking questions about how the City works and the different projects in the works.  The City Manager has always taken the time to either speak to me, call me, or reply to my messages and answer my questions to my satisfaction.   At this point, I have learned a ton of information.  If you are informed, you have power and with power when you vote you can change the world.

 One thing I would do is encourge everyone that needs any information, help, or something explained…give Mr. Howerton a call.

I hope this has answered the question about the Water Rate proposal.

So, let me know what you think and if you are not a friend on mine on Facebook send me a request and tell your friends about the blog.

Clif

 

2011-09-20 City Council Agenda

September 16, 2011

Hello Everyone…I have updated the Agenda from the actions take last night 9-20-2011 (Tuesday).  My comments are in RED

Hello Everyone,

Here is the Agenda and the Packet for the upcoming City Council Meeting on September 20, 2011 at 6:30pm.

There are several important items on this agenda and would hope people would attend this meeting.

The major one is the recognition of the Police Officers and the Communication Officers in saving a kidnapping victim earlier this year.  It would be nice if the citizens of Mineral Wells would turn out to support these brave and finest of the Police Department.  Also, this is the first time the citizens in a long time have the option to speak to the Members of the Council without being on the agenda.  The only thing I do not believe is good idea is the 3 minute limit, but at least it is a start.  So, if you have anything on your mind…here is your change to speak and be heard.

Also, the budget will be approved for next year.

Again, I would like to thank the City Staff Members for suppling me with the packet used to support the agenda (It can be found at the end of this Agenda with a link to view).  I would like to encourage people to read through the information to see where your money is going, what changes are being done to different business, and how your government is run.  Just to let you know, I know no other city that has this in an electronic format.  If you where to go to the City Clerk and ask for this, it would cost you to have it copied.  This saves money, time, and we go green.

As always, at the end of the meeting, I will post the results of each item.

Hope to see you at the meeting!

City of Mineral Wells

P O Box 460, Mineral Wells, Texas 76068

Telephone: 940.328.7700   Fax: 940.328.7704

NOTICE OF MEETING

(Note:  Disabled persons requiring special assistance are requested to notify the City of Mineral Wells 24 hours in advance of the meeting by calling the City Clerk’s office at 940.328.7702)

The Mineral Wells City Council will hold a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at the City Hall Annex, 115 S.W. 1st Street, Mineral Wells, Texas, to consider the following agenda:

Call to Order/Invocation/Pledge of Allegiance

CITIZEN COMMENT

This was the first agenda where a person could speak to the Council without being on the agenda.  Of course, there was no one to speak plus the Mayor Pro-Temp skipped the item before a couple of Councilmen remained her about it.  It is all new and hopefully we will have people use this item in the future. ( I know I will be using it…)

Citizens must provide information required on Speaker Card.  The Speaker Card must be given to the City Clerk before the meeting starts.  The Council requests that comments be limited to three (3) minutes.  The Texas Open Meetings Act provides the following:  

(a) If, at a meeting of a governmental body, a member of the public or of the governmental body inquires about a subject for which notice has not been given as required by this subchapter, the notice provisions of this subchapter do not apply to: 

(1) a statement of specific factual information given in response to the inquiry; or 

(2) a recitation of existing policy in response to the inquiry.  

(b) Any deliberation of or decision about the subject of the inquiry shall be limited to a proposal to place the subject on the agenda for a subsequent meeting.

CONSENT AGENDA

All consent items where approved 6-0 as the Mike Allen, the Mayor, was not present at this meeting.

  1. Consider approval of minutes of meeting(s) held on September 6, 2011.
  2. Consider approval of budgeted expenditures over $500.
  3. Review City of Mineral Wells Investment Policy.
  4. Consider approval of School Resource Officer Program Agreement between the City of Mineral Wells and the Mineral Wells ISD for the 2011-2012 school year.
  5. Consider an Interlocal Agreement (amending the 2008 original agreement) between Palo Pinto County and the City of Mineral Wells for the joint use of the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter.
  6. Consider approval of agreement with Keep Mineral Wells Beautiful, Inc.
  7. Consider approval of a transfer of City-owned assets at the Hilltop Water Treatment Plant to the Palo Pinto County Municipal Water District No. One and Water District assets to the City.

 ITEMS FOR INDIVIDUAL CONSIDERATION

  1. Recognize the efficient and expedient action of Telecommunicators Marshal Davis and Christina Martinez and Sgt. David Clemens and Patrolman John Liszeo on June 1, 2011 which save the life of a kidnapping victim. (This was a very nice presentation by the Chief of Police for the above officers.  These people put their life on the line everyday.  Job well done and we are all proud of your service!)
  2. Conduct public hearing and consider approval of a final plat of Lot 1, Block 1, DaVault Retail Plaza Addition to the City of Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto County, Texas. (This was approved 6-0)
  3. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance to change the zoning on Lot 1, Block 1 of the DaVault Retail Plaza Addition, City of Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto County, Texas from Light Industrial to Commercial. (This was approved 6-0)
  4. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance to change the zoning on SE 100 x 85 of Block 23 in the Wiggins Addition to the City of Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto County, Texas (1001 N.W. 1st Avenue) from Single Family (SF-6) to Local Business (LB)(This was approved 6-0)
  5. Consider an ordinance adopting the 2011-2012 Budget for the City of Mineral Wells. The 2011-2012 Budget is a 6.22 percent increase in the amount budgeted for all funds from the preceding fiscal year.(This was approved 6-0)  I also will be posting a letter that I wrote to the City Manager about the Water Rate that was proposed for this year)
  6. Consider an ordinance levying ad valorem taxes on property in the City of Mineral Wells for 2011.(This was approved 6-0)
  7. Consider approval of new/revised job descriptions associated with fiscal year 2011-2012 budget. (This was approved 6-0) Councilperson Ms. Underwood commented on the about of detail that was used in this process.
  8. Conduct a public hearing and consider approval of the 2011-2012 Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce Tourism Division budget. (This was approved 6-0)
  9. Consider approval of the Palo Pinto County Municipal Water District No. One 2011-2012 Operations and Maintenance Budget. (This was approved 6-0)
  10. Consider adoption of an ordinance approving the resolution by Palo Pinto County Municipal Water District No. 1 (PPCMWD No 1) authorizing the issuance of Palo Pinto County Municipal Water District No. 1 Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2011; establishing procedures for the sale and delivery of the bonds; providing for the security and payment thereof; approving amendment of the Water Purchase Contract with the District and a Continuing Disclosure Agreement in connection with such bonds; and resolving other matters relating to the subject. (This was approved 6-0)
  11. Consider appointment to Planning and Zoning Commission. (The former Councilman and Local Builder and Long time resisdent of Mineral Wells Bill Terry was appointed to the Commission.  Approved 6-0)
  12. Adjourn (In record time this was approved 6-0)

 

The City Councilmen Packet used with the above Agenda

City Council Meeting 09-06-2011

September 3, 2011

The following is the City Council Meeting for Tuesday.  There is an item on the agenda that has been talked about for the last 2 months.  It is dealing with the “Public Comment” option being placed on the Agenda so that a citizen can walk into a City Council meeting and express their thoughts before the council. 

This I feel is very important.  Just think …. It has taken this long to either pass or not pass a simple concept.  Ever wonder why it take so long to change things here in Mineral Wells? 

I would like to quote Joe Bramblett that runs the Blog for Stephenville called “Stevenville Politics and Issues””:

” hope that some of you will take the time to attend local government meetings, learn about the processes involved in city, county and school district business, and share the information you obtain with others, but mostly I hope that you will all seek out information about local candidates for these offices, and will use that information to participate in your local government in the most important way; by being an informed voter.

I hope some of you will attend the City Council Meeting and let the Council know that you would like to be heard.  This is just 1 hour of your time to particpate in your government.  If you can not attend, please E-Mail your Council person and find out where they stand on this issue.  (I would be really interested in how many even get a reply).  Copy me on your E-Mail to your Council person and I will take it to the Council and have your voice heard.

Thanks and hope to see you at the meeting!

Clif

NOTICE OF MEETING

The following Link will take you to the Councilmen’s Packet that work with during the Mineral Wells Council meeting.  Just click on the link and you will have a PDF of the Packet.

http://www.box.net/shared/3z9s6d92d9nydikgabey

The Mineral Wells City Council will hold a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at the City Hall Annex, 115 S.W. 1st Street, Mineral Wells, Texas, to consider the following agenda:

Call to Order/Invocation/Pledge of Allegiance

CONSENT AGENDA
  1. Consider approval of minutes of meeting(s) held on August 16. The minutes can be found in the above link.
  2. Consider approval of budgeted expenditures over $500.
  3. Consider approval of financial reports for month of July 2011.
              PASSED 7-0

ITEMS FOR INDIVIDUAL CONSIDERATION

  1. Conduct public hearing regarding City of Mineral Wells 2011-2012 proposed annual budget.
             THERE WAS NO PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED ANNUAL BUDGET, SO ALL NEW RATES AND BUDGET ITEMS WILL BE PLACED FOR APPROVAL AT THE NEXT COUNCIL MEETING.
  1. Consider resolution authorizing execution of Economic Development Agreement between Southwire Company, Inc. and the City of Mineral Wells.
             PASSED 7-0.  THIS IS THE THIRD EXPANSION OF BUSINESS IN MINERAL WELLS IN THE LAST 3 MONTHS.  I APPRECIATE THE EFFORTS THE CITY STAFF HAS DONE TO HELP GROW MINERAL WELLS.
  1. Consider a resolution that amends the City of Mineral Wells Personnel Policies Manual by adding a paragraph regarding Administrative Leave and Administrative Duty for the Mineral Wells Police Department and Fire Department, and approving the provided policies from each department.
              PASSED 7-0
  1. Conduct a public hearing and consider an ordinance temporarily closing certain downtown streets for Crazy Water Festival.
              PASSED 7-0.   THERE WILL BE A FENCE COMPLETELY ENCLOSING THE CRAZY WATER FESTIVAL THIS YEAR.  THERE WILL BE A $2.00 CHARGE OR DONATION OF CAN GOODS PER PERSON (THAT IS WHAT I HEARD)
  1. Consider discussion and possible action regarding City Council’s policy for public comment at City Council meetings.
              PASSED 7-0.  I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE THAT WAS THERE OR WROTE AN EMAIL OR CALLED THEIR COUNCIL PERSON ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.  I ALSO WANT TO THANK THE MAYOR FOR HIS HARD WORK IN COMING UP WITH A PLAN THAT WILL WORK FOR THE CITIZENS OF MINERAL                                                       WELLS.  I HOPE PEOPLE WILL USE THIS FORUM TO EXPRESS THEIR OPINIONS…AND REMEMBER THERE ARE RULES.
  1. Adjourn
              PASSED 7-0
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