SMTX Code Rode: Citizen cattle to nowhere consultant rodeo clowns
by LM Coppoletta & Daniel Angel Scales
Thursday PM – Night 1 Rodeo Boondoggle
Rodeo, a noun defined as “a roundup of cattle.” So how is the SMTX Code Rodeo different?
OUR GOALS FOR LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE LANGUAGE BASED ON PAST SCENARIOS
We established on Friday at the unpublished 11:00 AM “Environment Technical Meeting” city staff and Code SMTX Think Tank members had not advised the consultants on the two toxic waste PERC/PCE plumes in San Marcos monitored by the TCEQ: one downtown , whose shape is changing due to the road construction and the other by Cape’s Camp off HWY 123.
We would like to see ordinances protecting heritage trees with teeth, effluent fees for those that create hydrogen sulfide leaks such as Capstone Cottages, stiff fines for sewage leaks such as #floathome aka Woodland Acres aka Capes Camp.
And, we would like to see fines for contractors who fill land in the flood zone with improper permit such as the Carson property on the Hunter Road construction project. Mr. Carson was appointed by the City Council to the Code SMTX Think Tank.
Here is one suggestion at the meeting that we raised regarding shovel tests for public improvement projects be completed before developments begin. Not much encouragement from city staff members.
PROCESS EXPENSIVE & FLAWED
Out of state consultant ‘ramrods’ on the roundup trail require compensation. We were under the impression city staff and think tank members were gathering data from the community.
Imagine our shock when open records from this Friday revealed cost to taxpayers. Where are fiscal responsibility principles?
Good Morning Lisa,
Below is the total fee breakdown from the contract. The staff also sent me an email that was sent to you recently, I have attached that email that provides the total contract amount of $250,000. The Phase 2 amount reflects the total due for the Code Rodeo events.
The total of all fees and expenses to be paid to the Consultant for Basic Services as described in Sections 1.1 through 1.4 is a not to exceed fee of $250,000.00. This compensation is divided among the Basic Services.
1.1- PHASE 1 – PRE-CHARETTE $ 30,000.00
1.2- PHASE 2 – CHARRETTE AND ON-SITE CODING $ 70,000.00
1.3- PHASE 3 – DRAFTING THE CODE $110,000.00
1.4- PHASE 4 – MODELING, REVISIONS
AND IMPLEMENTATION $ 40,000.00
TOTAL PROFESSIONAL FEE: $250,000.00
What we found interesting is that the perception in the development community as articulated by the consultants is that San Marcos has been:
“overrun by tree hugging greenies”
Why are we taking the snapshot of a few events to construct a Land Development Code when for years there is ample documented information on the fact that San Marcos residents attended design rodeos, open houses, planning and zoning, City Council meetings, workshops, wrote letters to the editor expressing concerns with building over the aquifers and next to the river and the ecological impacts associated with those developments?
Here is a TBT for the SMTX Code Rodeo from the time and energy residents took to express concerns regarding the Land Development Code in terms of Cape’s Camp.
THINK TANK MAKE UP
We both took the time to complete the applications and turn them in and lobby our elected officials for a seat by placing phone calls. After all, there was a community wide call for public participation. My name, Lisa Marie, was not even placed in the hat when it came to City Council board appointments. My husband, nominated by the Mayor and yet Daniel did not vote for Daniel. The same ole same ole were appointed. Another striking example of special interest board appointments in addition to Mr. Carson, is Mr. Chris Wood, who is the business partner to City Councilman Ryan Thomason was appointed, there was a discussion to allow him to sit on both boards.
I am doubtful that our suggestions at the SMTX Code Rodeo meetings we attended will be passed. Daniel and I remain hopeful that public pressure will change the tide. Because the only cattle that are getting rounded up are students from specific business disciplines at Texas State to attend these meetings and that data is being generated on their report out powerpoints.
The large majority of the cattle are in the pasture waiting for their moos to be heard. However they must work at night or just arrived home from a long day at the office. But, maybe it’s the cash cow of the developers they really want to milk so it becomes cause for concern. This notion of one week of roundups meetings of which a select few can attend is completely preposterous.
IMPLEMENTATION : SCHEDULING AND TEAM BUILDING PARADIGM
Critical meetings on environmental concerns in San Marcos should not be held during the work hours and it is troubling that the schedule had been deleted from the city website for those that had a true desire to attend.
As someone who has been a paid consultant in the industries of Higher Education, Oil and Gas, Electric Utility, one of the most powerful tools in my kit is the brainstorming process. Brainstorming should allow for all voices, encourage group members who are not contributing ideas, combine ideas, not judge ideas. Thus far I have found the implementation of SMTX lacking in these key principles of brainstorming.
In the video below the group leadership “social roles,” behaviors that encourage relationships, participation, and resolve/mediate differences were lacking from consultants, think tank members, city staff. The consultant facilitator fails in his ethical responsibility to maintain a safe communication context, engaging in a “negative role” under group leadership theory as the “dominator.”
The Thursday meeting did not have a microphone for the audience when there was the discussion with the audience. I spoke twice directly with the facilitator consultant and he advises in this video he does not recall emanate domain. Well pull up y’alls video then. Are we documenting the meetings?
ADDITIONAL VIDEOS FROM FRIDAY’S 11 AM MEETING OF A SELECT FEW INVITED