Today, as part of our continuing coverage of the 2009 municipal elections, we interview Lewisville City Council candidate Shelley Kaehr (pronounced like “care”), who is challenging first-term incumbent David Thornhill for his seat on the Lewisville City Council.
Dr. Shelley Annette Kaehr, 41, is an 8 ½ year resident who resides in the Legends subdivision of Old Town Lewisville. Kaehr holds a Ph.D. in Parapsychic Science from the American Institute of Holistic Theology where she graduated in 2001. Her other educational background includes degrees in English and Broadcasting, and Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Kaehr is a business coach and author of novels and books on healing stones.
• There were more than 17,000 new oil wells drilled in the United States during 2007. These wells were drilled at sites widely known to be uneconomic to extract oil or gas while world oil prices were below $75 per barrel. The real price of oil in 2008 has risen to record levels above $100 per barrel, in addition to rising price levels, the strong economic forces currently causing new energy supplies to be sought out are also being driven by increasing global demand, especially from China and India. Increased oil and gas drilling activity in the United States is likely to continue as long as oil prices are high and worldwide demand for oil and gas grows faster than its current supply.
• As a result of the combination of visual, noise, public health and environmental impacts, community experience and real estate data both suggest that nearby oil and gas drilling activity is likely to reduce residential property values. The connection between residential prices and individual factors has not yet been isolated by existing research. However, the Rocky Mountain News in a December 2007 article calls attention to new legislation in Colorado requiring greater consultation between the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as a result of drilling consequences harmful to resident’s health and pocketbooks.
• The same article mentions a recent Rocky Mountain News series reporting that oil and gas companies have at times reached secret settlements with people complaining about contamination related to oil and gas impacts, and that some cases include purchases of residents’ homes and water wells.
• In Canada, collaborative research between members of the Energy and Utilities Board of Alberta and the University of Alberta indicate a negative influence on the price of residential real estate (over one acre and under forty acres in size) as a result of the intensity of oil and gas drilling activities in the surrounding area. In instances where a number of new drilling facilities were being proposed, such as a number of wells within 4 kilometers, the research suggests that the negative impact on property values could be on the order of 10 percent.
According to this Houston Chron article the oil and gas industry is getting ready for a fight over Obama's budget proposal, which eliminates $30 Billion over 10 years in various tax breaks given to the industry, which made record profits last year.
Enough with the bellyaching! Don't even try that lame argument that you won't be able to make a profit. Income taxes are charged against profits, so if you don't make a profit, you don't pay. It's time for you pay your share just like every other American industry and quit externalizing your costs on the American taxpayer.
If $30 billion over 10 years - $3 billion a year basically - is enough to kill your entire industry, then maybe you have bigger problems.
This past Monday afternoon, we posted a bit of a rant (even by our standards) about some of the "mushroom farm" type activities of our city government. (Basically not involving citizens enough in things like this) At Monday night's city council meeting, representatives from Chesapeake Energy echoed my frustrations at not having had time to read and absorb the changes in order to make some intelligent input on it.
The Council voted to table the ordinance for further discussion next meeting. Councilman Tierney and City Manager Claude King discussed the possibility of opening this up for a public comment period similar to what the Federal government does when it makes rule changes.
Today, I was pleased to receive a copy of the proposed ordinance changes in M.S. Word format, which you can download here:
The Council is set to discuss the ordinance again at its March 16th meeting, 7pm at City Hall.
Comments should be emailed to: Eric Ferris Director of Community Development eferris (at) cityoflewisville (dot) com
If you have questions, you can contact him at 972-219-3461
IN ADDITION: We would love to see what you have to say about the changes too, so feel free to post your thoughts as a comment here on this blog. If you have a WhosPlayin account, you can post them immediately, or if you post anonymously, your post will have to be approved first (to avoid spam bots).
We are still working through it, but wanted to make sure everyone else had a chance to look at it too. This is a step in the right direction.
Residents in at least one neighborhood in Southern Lewisville reported feeling vibrations and hearing windows rattle as crews from Marshall & Associates Land Services conducted a seismic survey for The Williams Companies this past Sunday. According to Asst. City Manager Steve Bacchus, the city issued a permit on January 2, 2009. At least one homeowner called the police to complain, and another homeowner, "Kitty" snapped this photo:
The work was performed in the open fields located just South of the alley behind Cassion Drive. This is just to the North of F.M. 3040 at Vista.
According to Bacchus, there are no other outstanding permits for seismic surveys at this time.
There is a serious problem with Lewisville's city government, and it has to do with LEADERSHIP and REPRESENTATION. We live in a city that is blessed to have a low key city government that goes without a lot of strife and controversy, but there comes a time when citizen input and thoughtful deliberation is called for.
Most specifically, there have been multiple instances in the past few years where our city staff and Council have taken large contractual actions or made huge policy changes without seeking citizen input or even notification.