Mark your calendar for Quail Creek’s National Night Out! Join us at Packer Park inside the neighborhood from 6 PM to 7 PM. Hotdogs, chips, and drinks will be provided by Southern Junction.
Quail Creek [QC] residents experience a wonderfully unique lifestyle from most, which includes the right to shoot off fireworks. This freedom has resulted in some audaciously large & beautiful private displays that have brought great joy and wonder for many of us!
However, a growing contingent of McLendon-Chisholm citizens would like for the City to follow through on a failed 2015 ordinance that would have banned fireworks inside the city limits because every year there are more incidents where injuries to people or damage to property is reported.
Law of Unintended Consequences
Restrictions like firework bans have proven to do little more than rob responsible citizens of liberty. That’s because those for whom such laws are intended (the most careless and irresponsible when shooting off fireworks, to begin with) are also the least likely to adhere to such ordinances.
Taking away freedoms for all doesn’t turn disrespectful people into being more accommodating, it just makes them more vigilant to avoid getting caught by authorities. So to criminalize an activity in a largely rural area where the majority of citizens practice safely, responsibly, and with respect to others is misguided.
A Costly Mirage of Enforcement
There are also practical challenges that go beyond the added costs for policing violators, not to mention the distraction this has on officers. As with a traffic ticket, a law enforcement official must observe the violation to issue a citation. Most are surprised to learn that firework debris was strewn about the front lawn of a home, a handful of eyewitnesses to the act, or even video footage is not enough, which is why these laws are so difficult to enforce.
Support in QC For A Ban
Historically, most in QC demonstrate care & respect for neighbors when shooting fireworks. However, actions by a few have soured many from wanting to see the practice continue. In addition to shooting fireworks well past midnight, or during the workweek (on days other than July 4th or New Years’), the biggest homeowner complaint is waking up the morning after to find firework debris on the roof, in the pool, & littered all over the yard.
Firework Debris Is Litter!
It’s reasonable to expect that the clean-up of firework debris that finds its way onto neighboring properties should be the responsibility of those who shoot them off.
Unless we put our name on each piece of the ordinance we fire, there’s simply no way to know if the debris on our neighbor’s property belongs to us, or the neighbor ten houses away. And why should that matter? After all, in Quail Creek, everyone is our neighbor.
Day & Time Matters
Most of us need to be up early for work on weekdays and many young children are already tucked away in bed well before 10 pm.
There are also many QC families with dogs that are terrified when fireworks go off, where unexpected fireworks displays can be more than an annoyance. One family’s dog ran away when an unannounced fireworks display went off in the middle of November!
Outside of July 4th & New Years’, it should be reasonable to expect that fireworks would be limited in their use here in QC, not by some arbitrary HOA rule or law, but by common sense and fundamental respect for others.
We Can’t Fix Stupid or Inconsiderate
We shouldn’t need new laws or HOA restrictions to tell us that shooting off fireworks late at night or in the middle of the workweek is inconsiderate. We can, however, reinforce a culture where respect for our neighbors comes first because, for most in this community, they do!
Just as there are still those who drive 3o mph or more down our streets, there will still be those who continue to shoot off fireworks at two in the morning, and a new law will not prevent this from happening.
Remember too that a child’s actions are the responsibility of the parent. Therefore the expression that “kids will be kids” doesn’t excuse us from their poor choices if they should carelessly shoot off celebratory ordinance in mid-September or drive 40mph down our streets.
The Irony of Restricting Liberty on July 4th
Thomas Jefferson said, “I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery.”
Where liberty abounds we become dependent on the good nature of our neighbors to be considerate, but I think it’s a worthy tradeoff for freedom.
In light of this let’s all exercise our liberty in a respectful manner as we celebrate our nation’s independence!
-Bob Steinhagen, Quail Creek HOA President
Steinhagen has served as a City Council Member and Mayor of McLendon-Chisholm and is now a political broadcaster for Rockwall County as Bunker Bob on The Bunker Bob Show.
Beginning January 1, 2019 trash pickup will be on Thursdays instead of Fridays and trash bins will be swapped out with new ones. That’s because the City has changed the trash service contractor to Community Waste Disposal (CWD), the largest independently-owned solid waste and recycling company in the DFW area. Expect to see mailings from CWD soon regarding the transition to the new trash bins, which will utilize 95-gallon trash and/or recycling cart. In addition to this service, CWD will collect up to four (4) cubic yards of bulk/brush weekly.
The new company will also be utilizing semi-automated rear load two-axle 33,000lb vehicles, which are supposed to be easier on our streets and are powered by natural gas instead of diesel, which is more environmentally fr1endly.
View the engineering drawings showing the new route of 549 at the curve where it intersects FM 1139. The change is significant and will dramatically impact our route into Rockwall. Crossing this 4 lane intersection will become much more dangerous as traffic volume on 549 increases. Many are concerned about the safety issues.
ROCKWALL COUNTY – In an ongoing effort to enhance state roadways and improve safety, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) approved a contract to add additional pavement width and resurface 9.2 miles of various roadways including FM 549, FM 1139, SH 205 and SH 276 in Rockwall County.
Funding has been approved to add turn lanes at both intersections of FM 549 & SH 205. According to MC City Manager, David Butler, this project will be completed by August of this year!
Shoulders will be added to FM 1139, however no date has been set for the project’s completion.
SH 205 will be expanded from SH 78 in Lavon to Terrell, however there is no funding for this project.
The contract for $989,766.87 was awarded to O. Trevino Construction, LLC.
Construction dates will be established in upcoming meetings between TxDOT and the contractor.
The Rockwall Police Department is pleased to announce today that it has implemented Smart911 and it is now available to all citizens. The Smart 911 system allows citizens to create a Safety Profile for their household, which will display vital information to 911 Dispatchers and will assist first responders when responding to an emergency; including police, fire and emergency medical personnel. The profile provides critical information to emergency services, which otherwise might not be relayed to 911 Dispatchers by someone who is having a crisis and may be struggling to provide the most basic information. “Having this system in place allows first responders the opportunity to provide customers with a faster and more precise response to their emergency, based upon the profile they have built” said Sergeant Welch.
Smart911 is currently available in 36 states and more than 1000 municipalities across the country. It is a national service and your profile will travel with you across the country to any other locations that may have the system in place. Citizens are encouraged to create their Smart911 Safety Profile, which is secure and will only be available to the 9-1-1 system during times of an emergency call. The Smart911 Profile does not contain mandatory fields and citizens will only input information in the profile they feel is important or critical for emergency situations. This may include medical conditions or allergies, the bedroom location of a disabled person or photographs of a child with special needs that will provide real time information that will greatly assist police officers, firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).
You can set up your Smart911 Profile by registering at www.smart911.com. Your secure profile can be tied to both a home and cell phone number. For questions on the Smart911 System please visit the Smart911 website or contact the Rockwall Police Department at 972-771-7717
JANUARY 25, 2015, MCLENDON-CHISHOLM, TX–Tonight, by a 4 to 1 margin, the City Council of McLendon Chisholm voted to approve the purchase of a municipal bond in the amount of $2.125 million to fund construction of a new 5,000 sqft City Hall building, $612,500 more than the Council had told citizens.
Shockingly, the first time that there was any hint of an increase came this evening just before they approved it and all without notifying taxpayers about the increase in advance!
Mayor Gary Moody highlighted the bond rating and small amount of interest to be paid is an opportunity that the City cannot risk losing, especially if the economy drives interest rates up.
Council Member Gary Lovell, who objected to the project during the initial vote to seek a bond on the grounds that voters should decide if they want to approve a bond that puts taxpayers into long-term debt (for the first time in the city’s history), argued that that the last minute increase in the cost is a clear sign that moving forward with this would be a clear violation of citizens trust. “Voters should be given the right to weigh in on this matter and for this body to charge forward is just wrong and patently indefensible,” said Lovell.
Now with the bond approved construction is set to begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed later this year.
By a 4 to 1 margin, the McLendon Chisholm City Council voted to approve funding for the construction of a new City Hall through the purchase of a municipal bond in the amount of $1.5 million, which Mayor Gary Moody said would be completed in late 2015.
Council Member Gary Lovell voted against the action arguing that taxpayers should be allowed to vote on the measure since it puts the city in long-term debt for the first time in history and will result in a 6% increase in annual property taxes (effective in 2016).
The new city hall will also have meeting space available for our HOA to hold our Annual Meeting.
Below are pictures of the architectural renderings for the proposed plan that were taken from posters set up on easels at the meeting. Click the images to enlarge.