On November 13, Coupland Mayor Jack Piper officiated the swearing in to office of three people. Sarah Torluemke began her duties as a new Alderwoman, replacing Eldridge Tidwell, who chose not to run for a second term. Barbara Piper and Susan Schmidt were also sworn in for a second term. Additionally, during the meeting, Ms. Piper was elected by her fellow Alderwomen to serve as Mayor Pro tempore for another year.
Click on the link below to download a PowerPoint presentation prepared by the Lower Brushy Creek WCID regarding their proposal for a 2% maintenance tax. It’s about 37 MB because one of the slides is a short video.
Click here for a much smaller PDF copy without the embedded video. Slide 14 will be black.
Here is a related story: A Case for Saying No
. . . check out the 2014 VOTERS GUIDE from the League of Women Voters of Texas and the League of Women Voters in the Austin Area.
Click here to view or download it.
Be advised that ALL of the incumbent Senators and Representatives for both the Federal Government and the State Government did not respond to the questions submitted to them by the League of Women Voters.
- Federal Senator John Cornyn
- Federal Representative John Carter (District 31 – for most people in the Coupland area)
- Federal Representative Bill Flores (District 17 for some Coupland area voters)
- State Senator Charles Schwertner (District 5)
- State Representative Larry Gonzales (District 52)
Evidently, our County Judge, Dan Gattis, and our County Commission, Ron Morrison, are concerned enough about keeping their jobs that they took the time to respond to the League of Women Voters’ questions.
Submitted by M. M. Marasco
With the November 2014 election rapidly approaching, you may have seen a recent advertisement in the Taylor Press newspaper soliciting votes for the passage of a tax in the amount of $.02 per $100 property appraisal value for maintenance and upkeep of the rural floodwater retarding dams on Lower Brushy Creek. There was also a notice of an October 21, 2014 public meeting in Coupland concerning the same subject. In nut shell: These dams were originally funded and built some 50+ years ago by the USDA’s Soil Conservation Service (now, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)) with the alleged stipulation that local funds would be secured for the upkeep of the dams. A few years ago, this maintenance and upkeep tax issue came up for a vote among all those in the Brushy Creek watershed. Real estate developers in the upper reaches of Brushy Creek built houses below some of these rural dams and, with concern over liability in the event of a dam failure, they pushed to have the dams upgraded and have the taxpayers along all of Brushy Creek pay for it (i.e., bail them out). The taxpayers in the lower part of that watershed said no and the Lower Brushy Creek Water Control & Improvement District (WCID) was formed as a consequence.
The solicitation advertisement is misleading on several counts: It’s subtitle is “our rural dams are old and out of shape” and shows a photo of what appears to be a much smaller breached dam in a California desert-like landscape setting — certainly not southeast Williamson County. The dams were funded and constructed by the USDA; however, the implication of the advertisement is that they were built with non-taxpayer funds. Wonder where the USDA got its funding if not from the US taxpayer (you and me). These dams may be 50+ years old but not one of them has ever been breached and most have not even had water flow over their emergency spillway. WCID states that its dams require $6.8M for maintenance and upgrade and that the WCID has secured $6.5M in Federal and State funds, needing only a small amount of local money to round out the cost. Actually, it turns out that receiving the $6.5M is contingent upon having the missing $300K made up from local “matching” funds. Hence, they haven’t secured any funding, they just have a pledge that if WCID comes up with about 4% of the “needed” $6.8M, then they’ll have access to the $6.5M — bit of a shell game. And for a lot of taxpayers, the claim that the tax will only amount to a “pizza a year” is also a grossly misleading statement. That figure came from the city of Taylor’s current average home appraisal of around $100K. That is an average, which means for many the tax will be much higher. Continue reading
September 30, 2014 (Williamson County, TX) – The deadline to register to vote for the November 4th Election is fast approaching. Voters must be registered by October 6, 2014, to be eligible to cast a ballot in the November 4th Elections.
Once again, Williamson County will be hosting mobile EIC (Election Identification Certificate) teams from the Department of Public Safety and the Secretary of State. If a voter does not have one of the 7 acceptable forms of identification, they may qualify to receive a free EIC. The mobile EIC teams will be at:
- Thursday, October 2, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm, Leander Church of Christ, 300 Crystal Falls Parkway, Leander, TX 78641
- Friday, October 3, 9:00 am -4:00 pm, Taylor City Hall, 400 Porter Street, Taylor, TX 76574
Submitted by Jennifer Dollins:
The Coupland Civic Organization will hold its monthly meeting on Monday, September 29, in the Fellowship Hall of St. Peter’s Church of Coupland. Jim Clarno, district engineer of the Lower Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District, will discuss Coupland’s high hazard dam and the November election to fund a two-cent per $100 maintenance tax for the repair of the district’s dams. The Civic Organization board will host a spaghetti supper at 6:30 p.m. The program will begin at 7.
Three Alderman positions are up for consideration in November. Interestingly, this is a majority of what is formally known as the Board of Aldermen, which — together with the Mayor — form what we know as the Coupland City Council. So, if you like the course of the city government so far in its young life, this is your chance to keep it moving in that direction. If you’re not happy with its performance to date, this is your chance to make a change. Regardless of where you stand on the issues faced by Coupland as a community, get informed and get involved. The city council needs your input and your participation to have a fair chance at representing all of Coupland.
The Aldermen whose terms expire in November responded to a questionnaire sent by The Coupland Times. Here are the questions:
1. Do you intend to run for a second term as an Alderman? If not, please share your reason for not running.
2. What would you say was your most important contribution(s) to the City in your first term?
3. If you intend to stand for re-election, what issue(s) do you propose to focus upon in your second term?
Here are their responses, in the order received: Continue reading