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Thursday, April 12, 2012

District 8

In the popular novel, The Hunger Games, heroine Katniss describes District 8 "as an ugly, urban place stinking of industrial fumes, the people housed in run down tenaments, barely a blade of grass in sight."   ~  Sound familiar?

As Arlington, TX  turns into an industrial zone, we'd like to introduce you to a candidate who is running for the At-Large Council seat in our very own District 8.     

Frisco resident Charla Hawkes Vinyard running for Arlington, TX City Council?? 

First, let's talk about that proposed zoning change for Overcoming Faith Drill Site which is still tabled ~ most likely until the elections are over.   Mind you, it is crystal clear that a gas drilling site is not compatible with the vision for the Tierra Verde overlay.  A future development for high-end exclusive homes is planned for that area.  Nevertheless,  here is how Frisco resident, Realtor,  and Arlington Planning & Zoning member, Mrs. Vinyard, voted on that case:

Also in question is her eligibility to run for Arlington City Council when she has dual residency.   Even if she is eligible, we question 1) Is this ethical?  and,  2) Will she be able to focus on Arlington's complex issues when she lives in Frisco?

Here is what the Fort Worth Star Telegram says about Charla Hawkes Vinyard:     

"The Star-Telegram reported late last month that Hawkes Vinyard apparently violated state law by claiming two homestead exemptions."

"One of the homes is at xxxx Bever Blvd. in central Arlington. She lists that address on her voter registration, her professional real estate licenses and her application to be placed on the May 12 general election ballot. The home is valued at $141,000."

"She has also taken a homestead exemption on a house valued at about $610,000 near Lewisville Lake, according to public records."

"David Weaver, a commercial and bankruptcy lawyer, said reports that Hawkes Vinyard previously claimed two homestead exemptions -- for homes in Arlington and in Denton County -- raise questions about where she really lives... "It's not about me. It's about the process and whether the city is going to follow it or not."

To read the full story click on this LINK.

Perhaps Mrs. Vinyard spends the majority of time by her Lake Lewisville home because she doesn't like living in Arlington's industrial zone.  We don't either.  We wonder if there is an extra guest bedroom for our Fish Creek neighbors when Chesapeake starts the fracking nightmare all over again.

Casting your vote does make a difference. 

When you cast your vote think about whether your choice of candidates will help beautify this city or slowly transform it into a post-apocalyptic scene like that in the Hunger Games.

For voting information click HERE.
For additional voting information call (817) 831-VOTE (8683).


  1. Had some lower income resident ran for office with proof of nonresidency, I believe they would have been disqualified....not that a person without money has a chance to win anyway.

    1. Cronyism. Working strategically at a grassroots level can make all the difference for a smart person of little means to win that seat.

  2. Not sure about the comments so far. All I do know is that it is very important to vote. Finding your precinct on Election Day may be the biggest challenge this year. Voting early is a good option.

    If I lived in Arlington, I would be casting my vote for Faith Chatham. Her name alone signifies a positive way forward. She's brilliant, too. VOTE for Faith!! Amen.

  3. I hope the attention will move from the residency case to how each of the candidates will approach government if elected. If I’d been on P&Z, I’d have voted with Charla (against high density apartments which are set too close to the street and have too many units per acre) band I would have voted differently on most SUPs for Natural Gas Wells. Charla’s voting record on P&Z and my statements in opposition to SUPs for Natural Gas Wells (Special Use Permits for exceptions to planned zoning) at City Council Meetings is on the City of Arlington’s archives (See City's website). Of all 5 District 8 candidates, I am the only one who consistently urged a cautious path in issuing SUPs for gas drilling. A voter has the right to prefer someone who lives in their community, but it is fair to recognize that residency laws for campaigns is purposely vague, and Charla is entitled to be on the ballot despite her dual residency. Though less common in local races, state and federal candidates frequently maintain dual residences. President George Bush rented a suite of rooms in the Houston Holiday Inn for a minimum number an election cycle to qualify as a Texas Resident when running for VP and President. He lived in Washington D.C. and Maine. Incumbents are "gerrymandered" out of their districts and rent apartments across district lines until after the election. Charla did not sell her Arlington home or change her voting residence when she married a Frisco resident. Rather than relying on the courts, I think it is important for voters to examine us (District 8 candidates) and weigh our vision for Arlington and our history on issues. Vote for the person you trust most. I am the District 8 Candidates consistently on the record urging caution in issuing special use permits for Natural Gas Wells. I believe any community which habitually issues Special Use Permits for exceptions to planned zoning is one which says we are too ignorant to get it right in the first place. Zoning is a trust between the home owners, business community and the City. People deserves to know what will be allowed adjacent to our home or business. Zoning is either a mark of integrity or an indicator of corruption on the part of public officials. Granting 350+ special use permits for exceptions to planned zoning in five years is absurd! The City Council, TCEQ, Rail Road Commission, and EPA fail in protecting the health and safety of the residents and in safeguarding people’s economic investments. I get no answer when I ask EPA, TCEQ, RR Commission or the City Council about the “CUMULATIVE impact of air and water pollution or water depletion”. I get no answer when I ask: "What is the number of permits between zero and infinity where their cumulative impact reaches the threshold which a geographic region can sustain?" Last week at a meeting of the National Field Directors of the EPA Water Program, I asked about the “cumulative impact of gas drilling on ground water” and got no response. Until we know the cumulative impact of permits for Natural Gas Wells which have already been issued, we should halt issuing new permits for more gas wells. Issuing more permits without knowing the cumulative impact of VOC's and water depletion for existing wells is irresponsible. I am the one District 8 candidate who consistently asks these questions. I am the only one on record opposing issuing additional SUPs for natural gas wells until we can assure citizens that what we have already done will not endanger the health and economic welfare of our community. I testified at every TCEQ and EPA hearing on water and air quality held in this region for the past 5 years. Sufficient water and breathable air is vital for survival. A temporary economic bump from an industry without understanding the full implications of the byproducts of the gas boom is reckless. I hope the attention turns to how we will vote once on the council.
    Faith "Jimmie" Chatham, Candidate for Dist. 8 At- Large Arlington City Council