Welcome to Tom McMasters' blog about being Mayor & life in Huber Heights
|This is the third year of my four year term as Mayor. This site is set up so that I can let you know my thoughts on City government and you can give me feedback on what you like and dislike about my performance as mayor as well as what is going on in the City. We can talk about anything here.
To the left you can post your own blog. You can also comment on the main articles. If you ever want to get back to the front page click on the top left part of the page that has the HuberResidents.org logo. Also, for quick notes or to tell you about upcoming events I often use my Facebook page.
As important as I'd like to think this website can be, if you really want to keep up with City government regularly look at the agenda items found on the City's Meeting Information & Audio / Video page
Monday evening will be the first readings of 3 possible ballot measures for November's election. Read the chicken ballot measure. Look and see if this covers everything you think a chicken measure should cover. No, we won't take your suggestion to allow roosters. We already know this will ensure the measure is voted down.
The water pressure measure is the one I think will get the most discussion…
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Below is the email message that I sent regarding the missing page that made the news yesterday. The original email was composed by Councilmember Lyons. There is quite a long email trail that I did not copy and paste but would be available as a public records request. In the email below the date referenced in this sentence "Without checking the record, I believe that meeting was the May 3, 2016…
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Take a look at the agenda for the March 3, 2011 Huber Heights Administration Meeting. Now take a look at the agenda for the March 14, 2011 Huber Heights Administration Meeting. These are the work sessions that just preceded the Council Meeting that first revealed Council had finished making all the major decisions about the building of an Aquatic Center and the one that authorized Council to spend…
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If the council itself doesn't want this "requirement", which doesn't seem to be anything official, why make such a big deal about it?
If you think the lack of a read aheads waste the council's time… then that is their choice. It is their own time they are wasting. The few public people who attend the meetings don't seem to care. They probably get more information out of it the way it is, because they have to hear all the clarifications.
I am a resident of Carriage Trails and also a resident of Huber Heights, as Carriage Trails is in Huber. With that being said city council is doing their due diligence by gathering as much information on this subject as possible. From what I have seen and gathered over the past couple weeks; are people seem to reacting with a lot of emotion, which in my experience can cloud critical thinking and ideal perception from sound decision making. Looking at this as a big picture standpoint as the City of Huber Heights, not just Carriage Trails, it is imperative to take into account whether or not the government subsistence is needed to further the development of Carriage Trails. The reason being; if the money is not needed to further develop and sell lots in Carriage Trails then the reality is the City could use that money for many other important things such as paying off debt for the aquatic center, the rose music center, and for water & sewer. However, if the research shows the sale of homes will diminish, slow, or stop if the subsistence is not paid then it may be a benefit for the City to pay the subsistence. With all of that being said, things I would like to know; are there other developers; or has the city entertained the idea, to look at other developers to see if there is any interest to take over the project if DEC pulls out? Is $199,000 the minimum DEC would take to continue to develop the 25 lots or has the city thought about offering a $50,000 or $100, 000 as a counter offer to DEC? That is not to say they can't pay the full asking price of $199,000 but this is simple negotiating tactics. As a citizen who has to manage my family budget if I can save money somewhere I am going to take advantage of it and do it. City council, in my opinion, has the same mentality which is why they are looking into this in order to make an informed decision. Other things I've heard from others representing some of Carriage Trails residents is if the developer pulls out the home values will drastically drop, HOA fees will quadruple, and the current residents will lose horrifically. This could all be true; however, I have not seen any facts to back up those comments. Dry Run LLC is the current company who cuts grass for the HOA, owned by Ken Conaway, who also is a stakeholder in DEC, to my understanding. I would be confident if the HOA were turned over to the residents and the mowing bid was publically open for contracts the free market system would prevail and a company would be willing to cut grass for less; therefore, not quadrupling the HOA fees. These are simply my thoughts and opinions. I do not want to see Carriage Trails fail as I have a vested interest; however, I do not want to see Huber Heights fail because we are all Huber residents. I will stop with this; if the new lots being developed are sold for more money than what earlier residents paid for their lots then in the long run this can/will raise property value for the residents of Carriage Trails. Obviously, this assumes the lots would still be sold at a higher price; however, if the lots would sell then not only does create a higher value for the existing homes already built it increases the revenue stream for the city…
Why don't you ask Janell why she changed her mind rather than speculate that it was due to discussion with other council members. Too much speculation of other people's motives in this whole situation.
My understanding on Energy Aggregation in the City of Huber Heights
This seems to be the hottest talking issue in Huber Heights at the moment, and I believe that it should be with a public vote coming on the 15th of next month. After recently reading a lot of conversation on different social media posts, and talking about it at last night's Council session, I thought that I would share my thoughts and opinions on the subject.
First I would simply like to explain what your vote on March 15th means.
A yes vote will not establish a City program of energy aggregation, however a no vote will deny it. This vote simply gives or denies, the current and/or future members of your City Council, the permission to establish such a program. The actual details of the plan would be decided only after passage of the Issue.
Voting Yes on Issue One would mean that you would like the City Council of Huber Heights to have the ability to establish a program (on it's own, or through a third party), at any time in the future, to develop a program of Energy Aggregation, and negotiate the terms of the contract.
Voting No on Issue One would mean that you would not like the City Council of Huber Heights to have the ability to establish a program (on it's own, or through a third party), at any time in the future, to develop a program of Energy Aggregation, and negotiate the terms of the contract.
As to the terms that the City Council could include in any future contract, I cannot speak to what they will be, but there has been a lot of discussion on what could be in a potential contract, and what these things would mean to the citizens of Huber Heights.
How third party fees would be paid:
If the City uses a third party then there will likely be fees involved. There are generally two options on how those fees would be paid, either out of the City's general fund or directly by the residents who elect to use the service. If the fees are paid out of the City's funds, then all taxpayers are paying a small equal share whether they use the service or not. If the fees are split among only those who use the service, then the fees would more that likely be larger and placed directly on their bill. It is unknown at this time what those fees may be, but we have been told that Troy's fees to the negotiator of their program are $40,000 over three years (with the majority coming in the first year), and that the City of Troy pays for this fee directly out of their city's funds. It has also been mentioned that the fee, if placed on the purchasers bill, would be approximately $1 per month, or $15 per year. I believe that there should also be a mechanism to provide a â€cemaximum amountâ€¯ to the third party, in order to maintain the best rate possible.
If a program is established, then there would be an â€ceOpt Outâ€¯ feature, and I believe that it would be important to insure that any resident of the city should have the option to opt out of the program at any time with no fee for doing so. However, the flip side of that coin is that there should only be certain times that those who opted out would be able to opt back in, if they choose to do so at a later date.
What if it passes, or fails:
Ultimately, if Issue One passes by a wide margin, then I believe that it will be the Council's responsibility to ensure that we create a program that is fully vetted to the public with the residents best interests in mind. If it passes by a slim margin, then I believe that we will have to take additional time to continue to poll the public on what is important to them, fully utilize the people in deciding what kind of program goes into place, and take our time to establish a plan that accounts for those in favor, and those against. If the issue fails, then there is no action but to move on to the continuance of doing what is best for the people of Huber Heights.
No matter what, The City should definitely continue to educate its people on different ways that they can save money, with or without the program, by using tools like the one provided on the State of Ohio's website found here: http://www.energychoice.ohio.gov/ .
I will finish by saying that I believe that anyone willing to research what you are currently paying per kilowatt hour (you can find this information on your bill), and price around by calling providers or researching them on the Ohio website, could possibly match or beat the price that is being used for The City's informational purposes (5.3 cents per kWh, as seen with Troy). The prices seem to fluctuate since my personal bill (directly through DP&L) showed 5.4 cents last month and 5.3 cents this month, The City's presentation shows a DP&L customer paying 9.4 cents, and last night Ms. Blankenship said she was paying 5.1 cents through her provider.
Ultimately, the choice is yours! Get to the polls on March 15th and place your vote whatever way you feel is best.
Follow his Facebook post
I've found that when people talk to our current city council they listen. I also believe council both needs that scrutiny and they don't like it. In fact, they proclaim they want public input but then their actions discourage it. I’ve been trying for a year and a half to get more people to learn about what council is doing because I know with our feedback the city will end up with better government. This website is new online and I have a great vision on where it can go! Right now you can review the beginning of the Aquatic Center or “The Heights” or you can create a profile and start adding content to this site. This is a great project and I look forward to working with you to ensure we get good government here in Huber Heights.
This website theme has great potential especially since it is open source and free but I can see I'll need help to make it work. If you believe in the vision and you can write code for a website as sophisticated as this contact me. As useful as this site seems it loads pretty slow so if you know of another open source theme that does the same things contact me.
Also, I think if there are 8 of us willing to rotate through the committee meetings and then write about the key events we can improve this city. Contact me if you are interested.
Finally, if you have pictures of City events, construction, public areas or services I'd like to show them. Send them to me and I'll incorporate them into the site. Tom McMasters
I've read through the first posting of the recall team and pasted it below. My initial read is they won't actually ever give any specific examples of the allegations they make. This is because if they do it will allow debate within the community about; the facts on how items actually made the news, the circumstances that cause the conflict, and the progress we made in the city these past few years. …
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I think it is because I was a test pilot for the X-45 and a safety officer for Global Hawk and Predator and I've also belong to a model aircraft club that I have a different idea of UAV than what we see in the news. Most of the drones we see in the news are really just more sophisticated model airplanes and we would be a lot safer if people realized this and operated them as if they thought…
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I received these two Huber Heights Christmas announcements for Thursday Dec 3rd Cookies with Santa at the Athletic Foundation and Sunday Dec 6th Christmas Concert at the Eichelberger Amphitheater.
A reminder of the annual Huber Heights Athletic Foundation "Cookies with Santa" event for 2015!
The event will be held this Thursday, December 3, 2015, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Huber Heights Athletic…
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