On Tuesday evening the members of the Forney City Council voted unanimously to approve the official minutes to their January Council Retreat, without requesting any additional information be added regarding the actual conversations that transpired during the two day retreat.
However, Forney voters may find interest in the attached video clip in which Councilman Shaun Myers ask Interim City Manager Paul Stevens, during the City Manager's Report portion of the meeting, about when the “document the facilitator is putting together to review the stuff from our retreat will be ready."
Comically, this retreat was on January 26 and 27, 2018. Forney’s Public Information Officer was present along with the council, the city staff, all the members of the P&Z Commission and the Parks Board.
However, the taxpayers who will be expected to pay for this latest big ticket pie in the sky development deal with the Hunts, are apparently not intelligent enough to grasp this futuristic plan through a press release or web-blast but instead need it presented to them within a power point presentation designed to highlight the project in an upbeat, positive manner.
At the January 2017 Council Retreat which was held at the Forney Justice Center, Council Member Robbie Powers was quoted as saying “It’s about how we act and the information we put out to the different sources that determined how it is received by the community. It’s all about how we present it, that gets the citizens to buy into it.”
So the voters of Forney need simply prepare themselves to hear another presentation that will assure them that the Hunts and the Council are in negotiations to build a “sports arena” within the Gateway area.
Forney Council Retreat Minutes Keep Council Intentions Quiet
With Lady Quorum staring straight at an important council election, The Post recently reported that it was unlikely that the Forney Council would be open and forthcoming about their futuristic intentions when they returned from their two day council retreat in Frisco, Texas.
Simply check out the un-official minutes for their retreat, which the City Council plans on approving at their upcoming meeting on Tuesday night.
As suspected, voters will find no reference to what was actually discussed in regard to the direction this council is taking.
Thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent hiring consultant, president and CEO of the Elm Group, Mike Conduff, and arranging for guest speakers Henry Hill, the Deputy City Manager of Frisco and John Lettelleir, City of Frisco Director of Development Services.
However, by eliminating the content dialogue of the discussions that transpired the citizens of Forney are locked out of reading about what was discussed in regard to the future of their city.
There is absolutely no mention of the content of any of these discussions within the official minutes that the Council intends on approving.
Very conveniently, the members of this council seeking re-election will not have to stand up for their ideas, suggestions or future intentions if the voters have no knowledge of what these elected officials said.
Mayor Rick Wilson, all members of the council, all upper management staff and all the appointed members of both the P&Z Commission and the Parks & Recreation Board were required to schlep out to Frisco for this retreat, and thus far no effort has been made to inform the taxpayers about what was discussed regarding their future.
City Information Officer Kyle Rouvaldt was apparently present however he has not issued a press release or website blast on the retreat. Instead all the public has been furnished is two sentences describing the meetings, written for council approval, by City Secretary Dorothy Brooks.
City Secretary Dorothy Brooks graciously supplied the taxpayers of Forney with these two sentences describing the retreat;“General discussions on the direction of the city were held and the Council discussed Strategic Prioritization for the fiscal year. And the Council further discussed the direction of the City with the members of the Park and Recreation Board and the Planning and Zoning Commission”.
Reportedly discussions transpired on business and residential housing development, parks, roadway and water infrastructure projects, on annexation plans and on at least two different tax bond packages that will be proposed for roadway repairs and for the building of another community park to be located on the north side of Forney.
The image several council members are seeking for Forney, especially in association with making the downtown area into an entertainment venue similar to Deep Ellum or the Bishop Arts District, is possibly the reason for the councils hush-hush attitude regarding their retreat discussions.
The audio recording and or handwritten minute notes obtained during the 2017 City Council Retreat, as well as all the receipts associated with the cost of these public meetings, are by law public records which may be procured by any citizen who submits an open records request to Forney City Secretary Dorothy Brooks.
The above photographs are from the 2017 Council Retreat which was held at the Forney Justice Center in Forney.
Writtten by: Denise Bell