Forney City Council member Kevin Moon responds to Markout WSC issue

I received the following email from Forney City Council member Kevin Moon regarding the Markout WSC issue that is currently being debated around town.

In response to an article posted recently in which I have been asked to comment. I stand by my thoughts and beliefs that I have shared over the last several months. I continue to believe that all city residents should pay the same water rate. City water rates have been on the rise for several years and are projected to rise once again very soon. Forney is facing an issue that sometimes confronts growing cities in that one can live in the city limits, but may have to purchase water from a rural water district rather than directly from the city of Forney.

Addressing the Markout Water Supply Corporation specifically- we as a council are dealing with TWO issues.

One is the question of whether the City of Forney should absorb the Markout Water Corporation, and the other -and most immediate issue – is whether the City of Forney should continue a maintenance agreement with the Markout Water Corporation.

During our last election, we had elected officials and others attempting to blur the lines between the two issues, attempting to politicize the issue of Forney’s possible purchase/takeover of the Markout system. 1) Those same elected officials held discussions representing that currently the citizens of the Grayhawk subdivision, who live in Forney but who are Markout customers, didn’t currently have adequate fire protection, and that the purchase of the Markout system was vital in order that the city could provide fire protection. At a recent city council meeting, I directly asked Richard Dormier with Freeman Millican, the Forney city engineer, and he stated publicly that there was no problem with fire protection in Grayhawk or the City of Forney.

And, 2) By trying to link the Markout system maintenance agreement to the possible future purchase of the Markout system, their efforts continue to try to create an air of mistrust where there should be none.

Sending our city maintenance personnel far out into the country to attend to the issues affecting the Markout system has no basis in fact in helping the city of Forney “learn” the system for a future purchase. Forney serves/sells to not only Markout but also to Talty, High Point, and Windmill Farms supply corporations. Forney is –and will continue to – face issues created when any city begins to grow into areas previously served by rural water districts. The answer is NOT to have a knee jerk reaction and begin throwing money and resources’ at any single water district, but to address the big picture of how we approach this problem as a whole- by A) seeking out cities which have dealt with this situation and benefiting from their experiences and B) authorize an engineering study by a firm specializing in city planning to determine the feasibility of accepting the infrastructure of the water districts who would be interested in being absorbed by the city.

One thing should be made clear. There has NOT been any attempt to be secretive about how the City of Forney deals with the Markout maintenance agreement. There is simply nothing to be secretive about! This is an agreement that the new majority of the council feels is a misuse of city funds and personnel. The taxpayers of the City of Forney pay for the equipment and salaries of the city public works department. With the growth Forney is experiencing, City of Forney resources have plenty enough to do within the confines of the city limits rather than deal with problems of an aging and sprawling water district.

I am not trying to be divisive to our community. The city of Forney works with the entire community of Forney- cooperating with the school district to provide activities, programs and park facilities. But the fact is that people pay city taxes for a reason and that reason is to have services –fire, police, water, sewer, and many other services provided to them – when they need them- and providing the same city workers and equipment to those who don’t pay city taxes is an injustice to those who do.

Furthermore, I intend to review ALL agreements that the City of Forney has made- to developers, water districts, vendors, and any other businesses or organization- which impact the expenditures of tax dollars of the citizens of Forney. I stated this intent when I ran for city council and I intend to keep my promise to make sure that those agreements benefit the CITIZENS OF FORNEY. I promise that I will do all I can to make sure that the citizens are well informed as to where their tax dollars are spent!

And on another note, as a council member, I take exception to some of the Mayor’s recent comments regarding the direction of our city council. In my opinion, it is the Mayor’s job to provide leadership and to conduct city business in a professional manner, whether on the majority or minority side of a vote. As long as I represent the city of Forney, there will be no “business as usual, rubber stamp” council, and I would say that by asking questions, researching, and sometimes disagreeing is making us a “floundering” council, then so be it. At the end of the day I would like to see all members work together. I am calling on the Mayor and all city council members to not be divisive, provide leadership, stop the finger pointing and work together as one council. There is a very informative editorial written by Inforney.com in regards to the water issue with many facts. Are we having a fair conversation about water?