Saturday, March 21, 2020

City Council Special Session, 3/24/20

capture from McKinney's City Council meeting on 3/17/20
Edited to add: that voluntary incentive item was pulled by the city.   
There will be a special meeting of the City Council this Tuesday at 4pm. They will have the meeting in the city hall. Due to the limit on groups 10 and over and social distancing, citizens are not really able to attend the meeting. I have emailed the city manager and city secretary to ask how citizen input/public comments are being handled due to our new conditions. I will update when I hear back.

For now, I will provide the city secretary email to send your comments to. Be sure to provide an agenda item and your name/address. It is reasonable to ask that someone read the citizen comments during the meeting so we have a record of them.

20-0259- The first special agenda item is renewing the local state of emergency due to a public health emergency. The federal, state, county, and local governments must do this to trigger certain extra abilities of theirs to limit or suspend privileges and rights of citizens for defined periods of time during emergencies. Go to the city's virus page to get details of what's going on. This is a very crazy time were are in socially, economically, and personal health and safety-wise.

20-0260- It looks like they are wanting to postpone the Shemwell recall to November 3rd. Mr. Shemwell did withdraw his federal lawsuit against the city this month. He is able to refile the suit if he decides to do so in the future. 

20-0261- This work session presentation is about what voluntary incentives, like permit fee waivers, inspection fee waivers, impact fee waivers, density bonuses, etc. City Council can approve to give to developers so they build more low-income/moderate income units in McKinney. They use Austin and San Antonio as examples in their presentation. You can see it here. 

I'm not really understanding the point of this even being on an agenda right now. We are experiencing something unprecedented health and economic-wise. Tens of thousands of people across the nation are now jobless with more to follow as this nation-wide quarantine continues. Many people must hunt to find basic necessities. We have property owners who cannot afford their mortgages and tenants who can't afford their rents. If we are in another bad economic downturn or recession, the city will not be able to get enough money out of us residents to be able to waive any fees for any reason.

Frankly, even talking about this seems tone deaf.

This is normally how these things go through the city: the city presents an idea to City Council that might be supported by some council members, unless City Council flat out says no or asks for more details before continuing, the city will pursue a policy that they'll bring back to City Council to vote on.
No one will know how it all happened. The city will say it doesn't understand how we didn't know about it because it was presented at a work session on so and so date. 

I sure hope individual City Council members ask how many more city staff Austin and San Antonio had to hire in order to implement and monitor these programs while also supplying the number of additional low-income units all that extra money and lost city revenue actually got those cities before they give the green light to something like this. 

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