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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Parking Ticket

      On January 22, 2013  Lynda Gearheart, Project Manager for Chesapeake, told the Arlington,TX City Council that security cameras are difficult to come by.  Installation of a camera was one stipulation for approval of a gas well permit at the controversial  Rocking Horse Drill Site.  Click Here for that backstory.  

In this video clip from January 22, 2013 City Councilmen Charlie Parker and Robert Rivera question Ms. Gearheart about that security camera:

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Below is a document obtained by a citizen via an open records request through the City of Arlington.  These are gas drilling citations that were issued in the spring of 2014.   Security cameras must be in short supply because more than 18 months have passed and ~ as these citations reveal ~ many of their drill sites still do not have cameras!  When we called the City for a status update, they said that Chesapeake is working on it.  Come on, guys, time's up!

Let's zoom in to examine one ticket:


What would Minnie the Meter Maid say about issuing gas drilling violations on parking tickets?

    Darlene (Sunnie) Minney Hubbard
 Photo Attribution Grand Prairie Historical Organization

Arlington treats gas drilling violations no differently than expired parking meters!  Perhaps they want us to believe that gas drilling in residential neighborhoods is innocuous.  Well, we know better.  These are dangerous industrial mining sites in our neighborhoods ~ not bakeries!  We live near them, experience the impacts, and study the issues.

Notice that the company names are left off every citation.  Is this intentional?  Throwing workers under the bus.  Glenn Stetson's name appears on many of these citations.  He is a Production Superintendent for Chesapeake. This seems unfair because after the third offense, this civil citation turns into a criminal matter.  It just wouldn't be right to press charges against a young newlywed when it is the City's responsibility to enforce the ordinance AND the company's responsibility to comply with it.  

Curiously, the names of the drill sites are not listed on the citations either.  Where's the transparency?  If you wish to obtain records for a particular gas drill site, you must ask specifically by address or else no records will turn up.  The City may charge for the records, but there is no charge for our tip!

We would like to point out that the last ticket in the bundle belongs to Atlas Resource Partners who acquired Titan Operating, LLC.  They have an interest in 12,000 oil and gas wells with assets of $200 million. 

 They paid their fine.   

If an Arlington meter maid ever issues you a parking ticket, here's how you can look up the amount of your fine.  (A city employee taught us how to do this.)  Let's practice by looking up the aforementioned code for the gas drilling violation since both are handled exactly the same way:
1)  Go to the City of Arlington's new website:  We've provided the link.  
Click Here.

2)  At the top right-hand side of the page click on the green tab that says 
Pay Online

3)  Now scroll down the page until you see a grouping of 8 large boxes.  Click on the blue box with a picture of a police officer that says
 "PAY Traffic Ticket."

4)  On the left hand side of the page is a heading that says, "Fine Amounts."  
    Select "Civil Fines."

5)  You will now see a 13-page listing of Civil Offenses.  Code 5655 is on page 10.  The  offense for this code is "Misc. Violation Flammable or Combustible Liquids - IFC Chapter 34."

The Penalty for each offense is $130.

As of Friday, July 25, 2014 Chesapeake has NOT PAID any of these tickets.  
A civil hearing is scheduled for September 24th at 2:00 p.m at the Arlington Municipal Courthouse.  Anyone who wishes to attend this hearing must check in by 8:00 a.m. 

If you are seeking an exciting new career as a meter maid,  here is salary information:

Thanks for visiting our community blog!  
Y'all come back soon for more updates and be sure to follow us on Twitter @Fishcreek1269.  


  1. Promises, promises from Chesapeake! It's sad to realize what an infrastructure nightmare all of this has created for our cities in North Texas. What kinds of potential disasters are lurking at our back doors and front doors? Is it professional public safety to give out violations to the gas operators on "parking tickets"? It's irresponsible, at best. We should all demand an explanation and immediate action!

    1. Surely, the City has enough money in their coffers by now to develop a citation specifically designed for gas drilling related offenses. The penalty for this type of offense is also unfair. Citizens should demand the maximum penalty since the lack of a camera compromises the safety and emotional well-being of nearby residents. A residential water customer can receive a steeper fine for watering their lawn on the wrong day when Stage 1 of the drought contingency plan is in effect!

      In the event a catastrophic event (God forbid) can you imagine the investigative journalists combing through city records only to find a bunch of unpaid parking tickets?

      It is curious to us how Chesapeake has spent so much time buying silence with philanthropic endeavors, and hosting town halls at our public meeting spaces, yet no time or money to pay their small fine.

    2. The fact that there is a "Fine" necessary at all is unconscionable. Listening to Ms. Gearhart discuss the cameras one would think this is all simply an exercise in "community good will." Good grief. Looks as if Ms. Gearheart has been learning all about North Texas this year. Seems her time would be better spent taking courses from disaster response agencies.

      Leadership North Texas

    3. True leaders lead by example.

      In regards to a fine, as long as it is cheap enough to be considered an "ordinary cost of doing business" much like taking a client out for a round of golf and a business lunch, they will continue to ignore the rules because these people are not leaders. They are bullies.

      One thing for sure ~ North Texas knows very little about sustainable development.

  2. Alrighty then. So, if you go to "Other Fines" right below "Civil Fines," Offense Code #6174 "Improper Disposal of Human Excreta" is a FINE of $291.00!!

    That's All Folks!