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News Brief: 26 August 2019
What price safety?
Willow Park and Weatherford are the only two cities in Parker County, each with their own full time police department, fire department and EMS. About 70% of the cities’ general funds are applied to these full-time first responders. And most of the budget increases for growing cities are for emergency services.
During the 14 August city council budget workshop, the fire and police chiefs both indicated needs they did NOT submit for consideration in this years budget — because the projected city income will not support them.
There are several new businesses planned to open in 2020; businesses that will generate sales tax enough to cover the Willow Park responder needs. And while Willow Park sales taxes are increases faster than property taxes, the city administration and council are (wisely) reluctant to spend money based on processes they don’t control.
And consider our first responders do so much more than respond. They cover all city events, including council meetings and public meetings. They represent the city at local, family-friendly events. The Willow Park police department offers our citizens the Citizens Police Academy and Vacation Watch. The Fire Department, who also manages the EMS ambulances, are managing our outside emergency sirens and emergency software, represent our city in the county fire mitigation department, and have several community outreach programs.
So here’s the question for Willow Park residents: Are you willing to pay increase taxes to support our first responders and to maintain a safe city for your family?
Start the conversation in your family and in our neighborhoods and plan to attend (or watch streaming) the next city council budget workshop, Tuesday, 27 August, 2019 and the budget public hearing, Tuesday, 10 September, both at 5:30 p.m in city hall.
For more information, visit the WPCG webpage about the Willow Park first responders, and check the news brief below, "News Brief: 12 August, 2019, Budget Process and Schedule — Wait! Don’t Leave…"
News Brief: 12 August, 2019
Budget Process and Schedule — Wait! Don’t Leave…
Yep, boring but, oh so important. Just like you fret over your family budget, we need to pay attention to the city budget. The city budget process is designed to inform Willow Park citizens about where your elected officials plan to spend your tax dollars.
Before you complain about your taxes, find out where your money goes. Might be you want to pay a little more to keep you and your family safe or might be you want to run for city office.
Attend a budget workshop, regular council meeting, and /or a public hearing listed in the schedule below.
Schedule* for Willow Park Budget Process
All meetings are at city hall.
If you can't attend in person, watch via streaming.
* Asterisk indicates definition below.
Property appraisals and city tax rates.
Willow Park received it’s certified tax assessment* rolls on 23 July 2019; the Parker County Appraisal District certified property value for Willow Park was a little over $612M, according to City Administrator Grimes, during the 23 July 2019 city council meeting. Grimes continued, effective rate* will “go down significantly,” roll back rate* may drop as well… “And I’m very confident the I&S [debt service] rate* will stay the same.”
“What on earth are you talking about” Resources
News Brief: 19 July 2019
Facebook without Facebook
A 2014 Psychology Today article starts, “Think society’s most common addictive substances are coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol? Think again. The DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) includes a new diagnosis that has stirred controversy… They found that among their participants, social media use was craved even more than tobacco and alcohol.”
Many people don't want to share personal information or sell the family secret recipe — or ruin their health — in order to keep in touch. Now Willow Park citizens can see the following Facebook feeds right on the website, without the ads or privacy risk:
Yes, Willow Park Citizens Group has a Facebook page, @WillowParkCitizens, used for information sharing only, WPCG uses Mobilize Willow Park (browser and mobile app) for digital chat and information sharing. Participants in Mobilize Willow Park identify themselves by their names and as Willow Park residents. to promote civil, civic conversation.
News Brief: 10 July 2019
State Representative Phil King reviewed the 86th Texas Legislature at the East Parker County Chamber's monthly luncheon.
"This legislature has probably been the best one I've been part of," was King's opening remarks. "Texas is the new Silicon Valley, exporting more tech than any other US state."
King shared three handouts listing the accomplishments of this years Texas Legislature:
The Texas Budget in pdf
School Finance Reform .in pdf
The Texas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Act .pdf
Judy Flanigan, our District Director Dallas/Fort Worth Area for State Representative Phil King (Eggleston King, LLP), was also present and has been an active attendee at Willow Park Citizens Group events.