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West U finds sizable savings, will re-fund bonds

December 14, 2015 By:Charlotte Aguilar

Local News

By Ken Fountain

Taking advantage of city staff’s homework exploring favorable  interest rates, the West University Place City Council voted unanimously Monday to issue $3.17 million in 2016 general obligation refunding bonds — resulting in a savings of nearly $200,000 to taxpayers..

The council voted to accept the bid of First National Bank Texas of a 1.4450 percent rate, the lowest among eight bids received by the city for the reissuance bonds. According to a presentation made to council, the current fixed rate of interest is 3.57 percent, and a bond buyer index of 25 municipal revenue bonds is 3.87 percent.

The total savings to the city derived from the First National bid are $191,971. The transaction close will be on Jan. 12, with the refunded amount going to the city the following day.

In the only other substantial business on Monday, resident Robert Grossman asked during the public comments portion that the council consider retaining former City Attorney James Dougherty, Jr. to represent the interests of residents near adjacent to the AT&T facility at Ruskin Street and Bellaire Boulevard in a January hearing before the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Grossman said that AT&T is gearing up for a legal fight over an administrative order the city’s staff issued over disputes over what the company is permitted to do on the property in relation to the neighboring residents.

Current City Attorney Alan Petrov said that Dougherty, who served West University during earlier dealings with AT&T, had been consulted as an advisor during the drafting of the administrative order. Petrov said it would likely be against state law for the city to retain an attorney to represent the interests of individual homeowners, but it could retain an attorney to represent the city as a whole.

Councilman Brennan Reilly moved that the city place an item on the agenda of the Jan. 11 meeting for council to discuss the matter more fully. Reilly’s motion was seconded by Councilman Burt Ballanfant, which automatically places the item on the agenda.

Vintage Bond - Background

Vintage Bond – Background

7 Responses to “West U finds sizable savings, will re-fund bonds”

  1. George Boehme Says:

    An observation to Annymous (sp)- Your comments might be viewed with a greater level of currency if you would use your real name.

  2. Annymous Says:

    There you go again, patting yourselves on the back for saving money after spending so much on increasing medical/dental for staff, moving the pay scale up so everyone gets a generous raise, money spend firing the city manager, money spent on giving the new city manager 2 or three raises in a matter of a few short months, etc. City management should have ALWAYS looked for low interest loans. And, why do we keep paying for expensive attorneys for every little job. Is the city attorney we pay qualified to work as an attorney?

    If there is extra money in the budget after paying for so many needless expenses, perhaps the citizens could finally reap some of the benefits? Seniors are overdue in having the 65 exemption reviewed, children of this community are still exposed to Cancer causing asbestos in the library, the library still does NOT meet minimum safety standards, the sidewalks are unsafe around the Senior center causing seniors to fall and injure themselves, etc. We can all be thankful the Parks director gets a newly painted office, colorful ribbons are on display, and every city staff are getting raises in January! Did deep in your pockets Taxpayers! But, don’t expect too much.

  3. Jonathan Gonzo Says:

    So this Grossman guy wants the City Council to pay for him to hire an attorney for him? Wow! And they are going to do it. I want to hire an attorney to divorce my wife. Maybe I should ask the city to pay for my lawyer?

    • Annymous Says:

      Jonathan, I like your suggestion of attorney services for citizens. Schedule in advance though, as the city has a backlog of cases going after citizens using the First Amendment Rights, writing documents that insures WUP staff have the right to question Senior citizen’s doctors in order to get trash picked up when they are too sick or injured to attend to it, making new laws to prevent Seniors and disabled from getting coffee in the Senior Center, etc. You may have time to complete law school yourself, get hired at an astronomical rate, and get paid to monitor WUP Seniors and write new laws to really make the Seniors live in a state of fear.

  4. Steven Segal Says:

    See Overview of purpose of the Zoning Board of Adjustment (below): What is Council thinking when it plans to discuss paying for an attorney to represent one side in an application for a variance or special exception? ZBA is (“supposed” to be) an independent quasi-judicial body. Council — do not spend taxpayer money with unwarranted interference in operations under our City Charter! Let the appointed Board Members do their job as provided in our Charter. Citizens have the right to oppose the granting of a variance or special exception under ZBA procedures -but not at taxpayers expense.

    Overview (On City of West U web site):
    “The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) is provided for under the City Charter and Chapter 211 of the Local Government Code. The ZBA is responsible for granting variances and special exceptions to the Zoning Ordinance. The ZBA is composed of West U residents, who are appointed by City Council to serve for 2-year terms.
    The board is a quasi-judicial body that does not make policy. City Council makes policy. The ZBA hears requests for variances and special exceptions, as well as, assists in interpreting the Zoning Ordinance when requests are made by persons who disagree with the Administrative Official’s interpretations.
    The board must abide by the mandates of the state law and the ordinances of the City of West University Place, which both grant and place limits on its powers. Even in cases where a decision of the board is reviewed by a state district court, mistakes of law are the issue that is reviewed. Evidence is not reheard.”

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