Saturday, April 14, 2018

Election Issue Update, Signs and Police

WOW, what a week!  The election this year will be unlike any election we have ever had in Lakeway.  Let's look at the actual election issues first.

Issue 1.  When Council Member Hennigan signed up to run for Mayor, it started a sequence of events that is a first for Lakeway.  Since we moved to three year terms four years ago, there are new rules that come into play.

Some of the rules in the City Charter are superseded by the Texas State Constitution.  The filing for mayor effectively initiated the "Resign to Run" rule and was a resignation from her council seat.  Not to worry, the Constitution also provided that the incumbent continues to serve until replaced by the election.  Since it was more than 12 months from the end of her term, the Constitution requires council to call a special election to fill her seat within 120 days of the resignation.  “Any vacancy or vacancies occurring on such governing body shall not be filled by appointment but must be filled by majority vote of the qualified voters at a special election called for such purpose within one hundred and twenty (120) days after such vacancy or vacancies occur."  The Constitution is not real clear if just the election needs to be called or if it needs to be held within the 120 day period, but there is an Attorney General Opinion that says it needs to be held in that window.  Council will meet with our attorney and make that decision Monday evening at the Council Meeting.

The 120 day window just happens to fall on June 16th, which is also the scheduled date for a runoff election if needed.  Hold that thought.

Issue 2.  Another rule that is superseded by Texas State Constitution is our city charter plurality vs. majority rule.  With 2 year terms, our charter uses a plurality rule - the high vote candidate wins, if there are 2 places open, the highest 2 candidates win.  That is no longer the case.  Now it is the majority (over 50% of the vote).  Since we have a mayors race with three candidates and a council race for 2 places with six candidates, I suspect we will have few if any candidates with more than 50% of the vote.  That means we will most likely have our first runoff election. (This is our attorney's opinion and is subject to a final Secretary of State ruling)

This would be scheduled on June 16th - possibly at the same time as the election to fill Council Member Hennagin's seat.

Confused yet?

There are also questions on how the runoff election would work.  The mayoral runoff (if needed) would be pretty straight forward - the top two candidates would be in the runoff.  We are not sure how the council race will be handled.

There are also questions about who can run in the race for Council Member Hennagin's seat since there is a parallel race and conflicting filing periods by state law.  Staff and the city attorney are working closely with the Secretary of State (SOS) who is the final authority (other than the Supreme Court) on election issues. 
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Council will meet in regular session Monday evening, April 16th.  Here is a link to the agenda and the council members packets

Item 4 will declare a vacancy for Council Member Hennagin's seat.  (She will continue to serve until the seat is filled by an election)  

Item 7 is a request for an amendment to the preliminary plan for Lakeway Medical Village (Hospital District).  They are requesting relief from impervious cover requirements in return for improvements.  Recommended by ZAPCO with restrictions.

Item 10 -  Discussion of method of appointment for Comprehensive Plan Committee.  The committee size and makeup is set, but no method of selection has been settled on. 

The rest of the items are pretty standard.

Council and ZAPCO met in a joint workshop for a briefing on changes to the sign ordinance.  Interesting discussion.  There are changes made by the Supreme Court that overrule some of our sign ordinances.  The attorney has been working on this for some time and is one reason we did not restrict times on placement of political signs this year.  We do still have the authority to restrict signs in the "Right of Way" and Code Enforcement is actively enforcing those rules.

It appears the city can enforce the number of signs and size (we are talking residential here, commercial has not changed) and the current feeling is that realtor and property for sale signs are commercial and will be limited to current restrictions (pamphlet box, one per property).  As far as other residential, the number and size can be restricted and will be forthcoming at a later date.

Meet the candidates was held by the LCC Thursday evening at the Activity Center.  It was live streamed and recorded - here is a link.  Please watch the candidates and listen to their answers.  This is an important election, a lot of candidates.  Take the time to understand the issues and make a good choice for the future.

From the Chief:
LPD Officers conducted 203 traffic stops, responded to 11 alarm calls, handled 12 animal calls, responded to 10 collisions, answered 33 suspicious circumstances calls, completed 2 mental health calls, and handled 138 other types of calls for service for a total of 409.

Routine traffic stops resulted in the following charges; Driving while License Suspended X 1, Driving under the Influence X 1,Possession of Marijuana X 1, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia X 4.

Officers responded to RR 620 S. in reference to a Tractor Trailer that was causing damage while driving on RR620. Upon arrival officers found the truck was oversized and had damaged the traffic light at RR620 and Aria. Officers stopped the vehicle and found they had a permit for transport of the load. The lift truck leading the oversized load had damaged the light. The Texas Department of Transportation responded to fix the traffic light and invoiced the trucking company who is responsible for the cost of repairs. 

Officers responded to a RR 620 S. business for a report of reckless damage. Officers learned that a vehicle parked in the lot was damaged. Apparently a child inside of a car parked next to it opened the door and struck the vehicle.  The occupants exchanged insurance Information and no charges were filed in this case.  

Officers responded to a Sailmaster Street address in reference to an assist EMS call. Upon arrival, officers observed EMS personnel working on a subject lying on the ground. A subject driving by had noticed the victim lying on the ground; he stopped to help and called 911. EMS was able to revive the victim, treated him for a possible drug overdose. The subject was transported to the hospital for further treatment. No charges were filed in this case. 

*** UPDATE *** Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of a Theft that occurred in 2016 in the 100 block of Burgess Cove. According to the victim, an unknown suspect stole several high-end and valuable watches from her residence while she was out of town. Detectives have since been able to identify the suspect and the pawn shop the watches were later sold to. Detectives collected enough evidence in the case to secure an arrest warrant (Theft, 1st Degree Felony) for the suspect who remains at large.

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of a Theft that occurred in the 900 block of Vanguard. According to the victim, he noticed some personal property missing from his residence following some plumbing work he had done in his residence. Detectives are collecting evidence in the case which remains active. 

Detectives and CST personnel responded to assist patrol officers with a report of a residential burglary in the 100 block of Sailfish. According to the victim, some unknown suspect(s) entered his residence without consent and stole several items. Detectives are in the process of processing the evidence in the case which remains active. 

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of Stalking in the 100 block of Lido Circle. According to the victim, she has been receiving multiple harassing and threatening communications from a former personal acquaintance. Detectives are in the process of collecting additional evidence in the case which remains active. 

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of Deadly Conduct in the 100 block of Lakeway Hills Cove. According to the complainant, a former tenant at this location caused a large amount of damage inside the residence with a firearm. Detectives are in the process of collecting additional evidence in the case which remains active.


Week number eight of the Citizen’s Police Academy was held at the police department. The participants used the firearms training simulator to ‘stamp out crime’ on the big screen. They also engaged in a DWI class and a driving simulation scenario where they wore googles to simulate intoxication and had to drive a golf cart on a course. The simulation allows for people to witness the effects of intoxication on your vision and reaction time in a controlled environment.  

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That's all for right now.  I will post any more final info as I get it - most likely next week.  Have a GREAT weekend and enjoy the Spring weather.

If you would like to be added to my email list (or removed) send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll take care of it!

Joe Bain
Lakeway@bain.us  











Saturday, April 7, 2018

ZAPCO, Stratus Property, Roads and More!

Good Morning!  Another week is in the history books.  the weather has changed again (welcome to Texas) and we woke up to 43° weather (now 39°).  Cloudy and windy but the promise of better to come.  Enjoy the cool, it will be HOT soon!

The big news of the week is ZAPCO voted down the City Center Project.  Although the developer asked for the project to be tabled so more negotiations could take place, ZAPCO took it to a vote and turned down the project with a 4-2 vote - Don Golf recused himself because he serves on the MUD board.  It appears the Main St. cut through is gone along with the extension of Lohmans Spur past the police facility.  There will be development on the property I'm sure, most likely residential and commercial.  I do not expect the developer to come before council at this time.

I did ask the City Manager to make an offer on the Stratus Property a couple of weeks ago.  We have not heard back yet - this would mean the cost just went up about $2M - the cost of a road extension over the property.  When the developer decides to develop the MUD property, the requirement per ordinance would be to supply access that would support his development - probably a 2 lane residential street that would stop at the property line.  The city can require enough easement for a 4 lane road but would have to bear the expense for that improvement including the cost of the bridge through the Stratus property.  We'll see what happens.

Staff and I met with a developer Monday that is working on a project off Bee Creek Road in our ETJ.  Although we don't have a lot of control, they would like to be good neighbors.  I expect more on this in the near future.

Steve Jones and I attended a CAMPO Arterial Study Monday in Marble Falls.  There was good discussion and we were able to have input on the needs of citizens and the city on traffic improvements for the area.  Steve and I also plan to attend the CAMPO meeting in May to assure they add the 620 6 lane improvement plan ($80M) to the TIP (Transportation Improvement Plan) so funding is identified.

Wednesday I attended and participated in the Election Committee - we verified that members running for PEC Directors Positions met the requirements and are qualified for those positions.  Interesting day and I learned a lot about the process.


Thursday the by-weekly meeting of the Police Facility group took place.  Lots of moving pieces and the project is going well.  I intend to take pictures weekly to document the build.  Double click to see a larger image.

Friday, Steve and I attended a deposition for a suit concerning the Cherry Knoll lawsuit.  This is about a portion of land the city condemned and eventually purchased for the Flint Rock Road improvement project.  Everyone was happy at the time this was done and all parties signed a contract to that affect along with the agreement never to sue.  They sued.  I think the case is going well. 

I have had several questions on what happens if a sitting council member is elected to mayor - how does that vacancy  filled.  It is part of the Charter, section 3.09.

"The City Council shall fill any vacancy that occurs on the City Council unless an election to fill the vacancy is required by Article XI, Section 11, of the Texas Constitution, or unless a majority of the City Council votes to call a special election for the next uniform
election date to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term only. Any term filled by election shall count as a full term for the successful candidate."

Although it has been alluded to that this was changed by a candidate, this is the same as it has been for many years.  None of the charter language changed regarding this or the appointment of committee members - we did codify the process that has been followed for many years.

The LCC (Lakeway Civic Corporation) will sponsor a "Meet the Candidate" forum next Thursday April 12 at 7:00 p.m. at the Activity Center.  The event will be live streamed by the city and should be able to be viewed on line if you are unable to attend.  Here is a link to that video.

From the Chief:
LPD Officers conducted 154 traffic stops, responded to 20 alarm calls, responded to 22 animal calls, responded to 5 collisions, answered 28 suspicious circumstances calls, completed 3 mental health calls, and handled 107 other types of calls for service for a total of 349.

Routine traffic stops resulted in the following charges; Out of Jurisdiction Warrant X 1, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia X 1.

Officers were dispatched to a Sailmaster Street address in reference to a suspicious circumstances call. Upon arrival, officers were advised of subjects on the greenbelt possibly smoking marijuana. Officers found five subjects on the greenbelt. Officers issued citations for possession of drug paraphernalia to three of the individuals. 

Officers found a vehicle parked at the rear of the Oaks Shopping Center and observed that the vehicle was occupied. After investigation officers determined that one person inside the vehicle was in possession of drug paraphernalia. The subject was issued a citation to appear in Lakeway Municipal Court.  

Detectives were called out to assist patrol officers and the FBI in reference to a Federal Search Warrant execution in the 200 block of Canyon Turn Trail.  This case remains an active investigation. 

Earlier this week, we have responded to and investigated 14 vehicle burglaries and 4 motor vehicle thefts in the City of Lakeway. All the incidents involved unlocked vehicles including ignition keys left inside unsecured vehicles. One of the vehicles that were stolen had a loaded weapon inside it. The incidents have been concentrated mainly in the Ridge at Alta Vista, Tuscan Village, and Canyon Ridge/Highland Village subdivisions. On Wednesday night, our Patrol Officers stopped a vehicle on Lakeway Blvd for speeding around 230am. Before the officer could make contact with the driver, the vehicle sped away into a nearby parking lot. The driver and occupants then fled from the vehicle into a nearby wooded area. With the assistance of Texas DPS Air Support, LPD officers were able to locate and apprehend all three suspects. It was later discovered the vehicle they were operating had been stolen from a residence in Lakeway a few hours earlier. One suspect, who resides in Austin, was charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (Felony) and Evading Arrest (Felony), while the two passengers (juveniles) were charged with Evading Arrest (Misdemeanor).  We are currently still working on this case. If you have any home security footage that may be helpful to us, please call our administrative line 512-314-7590 and speak to a detective. 

As always, Lakeway is a beautiful place to live, work and visit.  Help us keep it safe by calling if you see something that doesn’t look normal call us. And most importantly LOCK you cars, TAKE your valuables inside (guns, computers, and purses) and LOCK your homes. Don’t make it easy for the criminals.  


Lakeway Police Foundation is hosting a BINGO night Friday night at the Activity Center. The events starts at 630pm! We hope you can stop by for a few games of BINGO!
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That's it for today!  If you would like to be added (or removed) from my email list, send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll get it done.  I'm been asked to continue the blog after my mayoral term is over - I'm currently looking at the feasibility of that.

I have also received an unsigned letter about one of the mayoral candidates that makes some unflatering comments.  I am investigating those comments.  More on that soon.

Joe Bain
lakeway@bain.us








Friday, March 30, 2018

Prop. B, 620/Congestion Update/ Info, PUD, Police and More!

Well, it's Good Friday and here I am working on a blog... What a beautiful day, rain this week (about 4 inches) and beautiful weather for the holiday weekend.  We caught up most of the way on the rain deficit and the lake even came up a little.  Lake Travis is at 668.60, full is 681.  We are real close to the average level for this time of year - that is good news.  Hopefully the rain gods will look favorably on us and keep the rain coming!

We have a new repeater for Ham Radio folks.  This will be Lakeway's EOC Amateur Radio communication access.  The antenna is located atop the Water District 17 tank on the East side of 620.  Thanks to Jeff Brinkman and Sammy Arnold for the hard work and Water District 17 for the space.  Frequency is 147.300 + offset and tone is 131.8 - check it out!  Joe Bain K5LWY

There has been discussion of Proposition B in the upcoming election to pay the Mayor and City Council Members a nominal fee ($1.50 & $1.00 per meeting).  Following is an explanation from our attorney:
By paying the Mayor and City Council Members for their service, it is easier to remove these individuals as defendants in a lawsuit.  When individual city officials are named as defendants in a suit, state law essentially requires the city to be substituted for all city officials who are compensated for their service.  

Thus, compensation for the Mayor and City Council Members was suggested by outside litigation counsel for the City, and was supported by the City Attorney.  The City’s liability coverage provider, the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool, also supports compensation for that reason.  


Section 101.106 of the Texas Tort Claims Act provides that the filing of a suit against a governmental unit constitutes an irrevocable election by the plaintiff and immediately bars any suit or recovery by plaintiff against any individual employee of the governmental unit regarding the same subject matter.  Tx. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §101.106.  It also provides that the filing of a suit against an employee constitutes the same irrevocable election and bars suit against the governmental unit on the same subject matter.  If a suit is filed against both the governmental unit and the employee, the employee shall be immediately dismissed on motion of the governmental unit.  Volunteers are not considered "employees" for purposes of this election of remedies protection because the TTCA defines "employee" as those who are compensated for their service.  See City of Dayton v. Gates, 126 S.W.3d 288, 290 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 2004, no pet.) citing  Harris County v. Dillard, 883 S.W.2d 166 (Tex.1994).

The other question is if the amount can be changed by council.  This amount is set in the Charter and cannot be exceeded without a charter change - that would require a citizen vote.
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I was somewhat concerned about the mayoral candidates thoughts on the congestion on RR 620.  There are 53,000 cars a day going through our city.  Although the city works to connect parking areas to improve circulation between projects, it is PRIVATE property and the owners have to agree for this to happen.  On the newer developments it is easier to make this happen - on older established locations it is next to impossible.  I have a commitment from Legend that if the PUD is approved, there will  be access through all the parking lots - none will be isolated.

A 14 passenger bus if continuously used would have NO impact.  The city has looked into park and ride - it would take significant funds to implement this.  Bee Cave turned down an offer from Cap Metro because just the lot was over a million dollars - that was in addition to the annual cost of a bus route.  All that to take at most 250-300 cars a day off the road.  

Another question - why doesn't the city put the road in through the MUD property?  Good question!  First, there is no right of way across the MUD property - it is part of the PUD. The MUD is not interested in supplying that right of way, the developer has to. Second, the cost of the road built to city standards is somewhere between 9-11 million dollars, maybe more with Lohman's Spur. If the city was to buy the MUD property ($10M ?) and add the road it would cost somewhere north of $20M.  Lots of money.  What would the city do with the property?  All they legally can do if purchased with bond money is make it into a park or put a municipal facility on it.  And that doesn't take into consideration the Stratus Property.

Speaking of the Stratus Property, I have asked the City Manager to make an offer on it contingent with a bond election.  We will soon be a the negotiation stage (hopefully).

One solution is the expansion project of 620 to 6 lanes with a median.  The city has been successful in moving this project forward, schematic and environmental work is going on right now on this - a funding request is going before CAMPO the first part of May.  If funding is approved (expected) work could start on the project in a few years.  This would be a major improvement.  Traffic will continue to increase - people like moving here!  Hopefully the new mayor and council will continue these efforts to improve 620.  Steve Jones and I have been working with CAMPO for 5 years on this project

As far as the City Center PUD, there is a new updated version.  It was given to ZAPCO members on Wednesday and is now on the city website for the public.  Here is a link to the page, scroll down to the March 28th info.  There are some major changes.

Thank to Dallas at the Activity Center for her news - lots of events and classes.  Here is a link to the complete letter.  welcome to all the new members!
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From the Chief:
LPD Officers conducted 307 traffic stops, completed 15 school checks, responded to 21 animal calls, responded to 13 collisions, answered 19 suspicious circumstances calls, completed 1 mental health calls, and handled 145 other types of calls for service for a total of 521.

Routine traffic stops resulted in the following charges; Driving while Intoxicated X 1, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia X 3.

Officers responded to a Thackery Court address in reference to a suspicious circumstances call. Upon arrival, it was learned an argument had taken place between a grandfather and his grandson. Both parties were separated and were able to calm down. No charges were filed in this case. 

Officers responded to a RR 620 S. grocery store in reference to a disturbance in the parking lot. Upon arrival, officers found two females were in an argument over a dog that was tied to a tree near the store. The dog belonged to one of the females and was placed there for a short time. When the second lady attempted to give the dog water an argument began. The disturbance was verbal only and no charges were filed in this case. 

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of a Theft that occurred in the 900 block of Lohman’s Crossing.  According to the victim, a known suspect allegedly stole cash from him. Detectives are in the process of interviewing parties involved as the case remains active. 

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of a Theft in the area of Borello drive. According to the victim, he discovered several pieces of jewelry missing from his residence. Detectives are in the process of collecting more information from the victim and following up on the few available leads in the case. 


Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of a Suspicious Circumstance in the 100 block of Harbor Hill Drive. According to the complainant, she received a “threatening” letter in the mail from a subject who is out-of-state. Detectives reviewed the letter and determined there were no threats of violence or property damage. The letter appeared to be a demand notice from a subject who was attempting to collect money that was awarded to him in a civil suit. Detectives were able to work with authorities in Nebraska to verify the legitimacy of the demand. The case has since been closed as a non-criminal report. 
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It looks like the detectives were busy - especially having to investigate a demand letter on Harbor Hill.  Sounds like someone skipped out on a debt.

That's all for now, more as I figure it out.  Tell your friends about the blog if you like it.  I'm not sure what will happen after May but you never know!

Thanks for all the support.  If you want to be added to my email list, send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll get you added.

Joe Bain
Lakeway@bain.us










Saturday, March 24, 2018

Council, Board of Ethics, CAMPO and More!

Another busy week!  Let's get right to it.

Monday city council met in regular session - here is the agenda.

4.  Presentation of the annual audit by Singleton, Clark & Co. - Proud to report it was another perfect audit - no corrections or notations.  Thanks to the Finance Department for the fine job they do!  Special thanks to Assistant City Manager Julie Oakley for her work on this and setting up the processes that keep the city in such good financial shape!

5.  We approved an interlocal agreement with Central Texas Water Coalition.  They have been a big help to get the rules changed at the LCRA to keep our water here and keep us out of future droughts.  Although the inflows are lower than normal for the lake we are at average levels for this time of year.  Hopefully the rain event predicted for next week will give us some much needed moisture.

6.  City Manager Steve Jones and SpawGlass representative David Paden gave us an update on the progress of the Police Facility.  We are on schedule and on time!

7. Council granted a SUP for Garages of Texas for a facility East of 620 by "Grumpy's".  It is a garage condo facility where collectors by space and build it out for collector cars.  It's about 300 feet from 620 and will have no traffic impact.

8.   We had a public hearing on the City Center PUD where citizens spoke on their opinions of the project.  Some god ideas were heard and the developer was there to listen.

9.  An ordinance was passed repealing an ordinance that designated the location of the polling place.  This ordinance was no longer needed.

10-11 repealed the old Comprehensive Plan ordinance for 10 years ago and implementing a new ordinance for the new steering committee.  The committee to hire and direct the consultant will be made up of two council members, two ZAPCO members and 5 citizens.

Council retired to executive session to discuss the possible purchase of the 34 acre Stratus property.  Currently, our appraisal has been given to Stratus and they are going to get back to us.  We discussed how we should proceed and options available.
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Wednesday started with the Board of Ethics meeting where all individuals involved with the height determination on Challenger that was protested were exonerated of any violations.  There were ordinance and process recommendations and the City will work through those.  Thanks to the Ethics Committee for their work.

We met with residents on Hurst Creek by the Park about traffic issues.  It was a good meeting and we are going to look at ways to improve the issues they reported.  I think everyone left happy with the results.

CBC met in regular session Thursday.  They had a long agenda.  I'll update the results - I forgot the write up at the office.

Good news - the TAC (Technical Advisory Committee) under CAMPO shows the request for funds for the RR 620 improvement project.  Here is a link to the packet.  This will widen 620 to 6 lanes with a median from Hwy. 71 to Oak Grove.  The next hurdle is to get the monies approved at the May CAMPO meeting.  I intend to attend to be sure it gets done. 

Steve Jones and I will also be attending an arterial study meeting in Marble Falls on April 2.  We will take the needs of our community and be sure we are on the list.  We need help from CAMPO and the County to solve our transportation issues.  I intend to continue to work with the county and state to assure progress continues.

From the Chief:
LPD Officers conducted 199 traffic stops, responded to 15 alarm calls, handled 12 animal calls, responded to 19 collisions, answered 57 suspicious circumstances calls, completed 1 mental health call, and handled 121 other types of calls for service for a total of 424.

Routine traffic stops resulted in the following charges; Out of Jurisdiction Warrants X 1, Driving while Intoxicated X 2, Open Container X 1, Possession of a Controlled Substance X 2, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia X 2.

Officers responded to a suspicious persons call on Gebron Drive. Officers were advised that there were subjects in the wooded area of the 15000 block. Officers located subjects camped by a fire in the woods. After investigation officers identified six subjects on the scene and charged three subjects with possession of drug paraphernalia. One juvenile involved was released to family members. 

Officers were dispatched to an Otter Creek address in reference to assist EMS call. Upon arrival, officers found an unresponsive female inside of her vehicle. Officers placed her on the garage floor and started CPR. The officers deployed a defibrillator; the female began breathing and was released to EMS personnel when they arrived. The female was transported to Baylor, Scott & White for further treatment. 

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of a stolen motor vehicle from the City Hall parking lot. According to the victim, his vehicle was brought to the parking lot and left by a mechanic who had been doing repair work. CIU personnel reviewed video footage and phone recordings and suspected it was likely the mechanic left the vehicle at the wrong location. CIU personnel were able to locate the victim’s vehicle in the LMUD parking lot on Lohman’s Crossing. The case has since been closed as “Unfounded”.   

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of Credit Card Abuse in the 100 block of Lakeway Drive. According to the victim, her credit card information was compromised by an unknown suspect(s). Detectives are following up on the few available leads in the case which remains active. 

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of Harassment in the 5300 block of Serene Hills Drive. According to the victim, she received several harassing phone calls and text message from a known suspect. During initial contact with the victim, Detectives discovered the victim did not wish to prosecute the suspect. Detectives made contact with the suspect and his employer and advised him to stop contacting the victim. The case has since been closed. 

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of Credit Card Abuse after a victim discovered an unknown suspect withdrew $1800.00 from her checking out without consent. During the investigation, Detectives learned the suspect was also responsible for several other crimes in the central Texas area. Detective worked with bank fraud investigators and obtained images of the suspects who have hit multiple ATMs along the I-35 corridor. Due to the withdrawals occurring at an ATM in the City of Austin, Detectives transferred the case to the Austin Police Department Financial Crimes Unit for further investigation. 



Week number five of the Citizen’s Police Academy was held at Lakeway City Hall. Animal Protection Officer Andrea Greig instructed on topics related to our animal protection program and Sergeant Eric Barto taught a class about crime prevention.
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That's all for today.  More as I find out.  

If you would like to be added to the email list send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll get you fixed up.

Joe Bain
lakeway@bain.us









Saturday, March 17, 2018

ZAPCO, Council, Police and More!

Another big week!  ZAPCO met in special session Thursday the 15th.  Here is a link to the video - it was live streamed also.  This was a special meeting devoted to the proposed Planned Unit Development on the MUD property off Lohmans.  It was a full house and good information was shared.  The Commission voted to table the issue until the April meeting.

The developer committed to building Main street all the way to the Oaks across the Stratus property and will do the infrastructure first.  In my opinion, this will have a positive affect on 620 traffic.  Reference to a Performing Arts Center (PAC) will also be removed and the size of that space will be reduced.  I made a list of other possible improvements to the project that were mentioned and will pass them along to the developer.  He has been very responsive to making changes to improve the project.

Monday evening is the regular Council meeting and we will hold another public hearing about the PUD at this time.  My goal is to have any new changes to the project to ZAPCO at least a week in advance of the next meeting so they can have time to study it.  I will also publish that info for public consumption.  The next ZAPCO meeting is April 4th at 9:15 a.m.

The city attorney has been working for several months on updating our sign ordinance since a ruling by the Feds and State that limits our regulation.  We are tentatively planning a session for ZAPCO and Council to be updated on options soon.  The regulations on signs in the Right of Way are still in force and Code Officials will be enforcing those regulations.  

We were notified yesterday that our annual audit has been finalized. I am proud to announce that this was a "clean" audit, no adjustments and no internal control issues were found.  Our finance department has once again done an outstanding job - a special thanks to Julie Oakley, Darren Henson and the entire staff for a job well done!

As stated earlier, Council will meet in regular session Monday evening.  Here is that agenda.

Item 4 will be a presentation of the annual audit.

Item 5 is an interlocal cooperation agreement with Central Texas Water Coalition.  This group works with LCRA to keep Lake Travis and other highland lakes full of water for us.  Currently Lake Travis is at 668.67 - almost right on average for this time of year.  Looks good doesn't it?

Item 6 will be an update on the Police Facility Project by City Manager Steve Jones.  On time, on budget!

Item 7 is a SUP request from Garages of Texas for an upscale storage facility where high value autos can be stored and enjoyed.

Item 8 will be another Public Hearing on the PUD request.  

Items 10-11 will repeal the existing comprehensive plan committee ordinance and instate the new ordinance to get the process started.

Item 13 will be a discussion in executive session about the purchase of land by the city (Stratus Property).
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The Board of Ethics will meet on March 21 - here is a link to that agenda.

Our next Drug Collection event will be April 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Here is a link to more information.  Put it on the calendar!


The City sends out "Blasts" about upcoming events and city information.  Please sign up and get the latest!  Here's a link to the sign up page.

The Compass Bank in Bee Cave was robbed at 2:10 p.m. on March 15th.  Suspect is 5'8" to 5'10", blond hair, blue eyes and thin build.  Left in a new Infinity - brown in color.  If you have any info, contact Sgt. Ryan Halley at 512-579-2976 or the Austin FBI at 512-506-2192.  

From the Chief:
LPD Officers conducted 245 traffic stops, responded to 19 alarm calls, handled 26 animal calls, responded to 10 collisions, answered 24 suspicious circumstances calls, completed 3 mental health calls, and handled 100 other types of calls for service for a total of 427.

Routine traffic stops resulted in the following charges; Open Container X 1, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia X 3.

Officers responded to a RR 620 S. business in reference to a disturbance call. Upon arrival, it was learned the manager of the business was having an argument with one of the employees. The employee was asked to clock out and leave, but was refusing to do so. After officers arrived the employee complied and left the scene without further problem. No charges were filed in this case. 

Officers responded to a Serine Hills apartment complex for a report of an assault. Upon arrival, officers learned a disturbance had taken place between roommates. One person claimed to have been hit but did not want to file charges. The subjects were separated and one agreed to leave the residence. No charges were filed in this case. 

Officers responded to a RR 620 restaurant in reference to a disturbance call. Officers were advised a customer returned to the business to complain about an order received from the drive-up window. At the time the customer arrived the business was closed for the night and company policy would not allow them to reopen to serve the customer. Both parties reached an agreement while the officers were on scene. No charges were filed in this case.  

Detectives and CSI personnel responded to the 700 block of Vanguard in reference to a Death Investigation after a female subject was found to be unresponsive. Detectives are working with the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine a cause of death. However, the death does not appear to be suspicious at this time. 

Detectives were assigned to assist patrol investigating an incident whereby a female subject had reportedly fallen in the 400 block of Sailmaster. Police and EMS crews responded and transported the subject to an area hospital where she was later pronounced deceased. Detectives are awaiting an autopsy report from the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office. However, the death does not appear to be suspicious at this time.

Detectives responded to the 100 block of Comet in reference to a Death Investigation after a male subject was found to be unresponsive. Detectives are working with the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine a cause of death. However, the death does not appear to be suspicious at this time. 


Chief Radford was the speaker for this week’s session of the Citizen’s Police Academy; he was assisted by Lt. David Law, Edgar Smith and Laura Rodriguez. The Chief’s program on Use of Force and the Psychological Effects of Policing was well received.
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That's all I have for now - feels like I'm leaving something out (always does).  More as I find out (or remember....)

As always, questions and conversation are welcome.

If you would like to be added (or removed) from my email list, send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll take care of it.

Joe Bain
lakeway@bain.us

















Saturday, March 10, 2018

Facts?, Deer, ZAPCO, Police and More!


Do facts matter?  I find it disheartening that candidates are posting information that can't be backed up with facts.  Case in point, ad in the "Lakeway Voice" by one mayoral candidate states "saved taxpayers $10 million when I filed for a recount of Proposition 1".  

The fact is, the bonds were sold on schedule - the recount did not delay the sale.  The election was canvassed on May 15, 2017, recount was held and the vote count did not change and no re-canvass was required - the state mandated 30 day waiting period ended on Friday, June 16 and bonds were sold on Monday, June 19th.  No delay.  In fact, if the sale would have been delayed by even a week  the interest rates would have increased by at least 25 basis points (1/4 percent) - cost would have gone up significantly.  Is she deceiving the community?
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Although there has been some bad press lately about the deer management program the city uses, the fact is, there are only 3 choices by state law.  The three options are no management, trap transport and transplant or trap transport and process.

No management is irresponsible and short sighted.  The population (per Texas Parks and Wildlife and Wildlife Biologists we have talked to) increases by about 35% per year - the only natural predator is auto impacts.  In 7 to 10 years we would once again be overrun by an excessive deer population.

TTT (trap transport and transplant) is really unavailable because of the state wide overpopulation of white tail deer - there's no place we can transplant them to.  TPW has to agree there is a shortage before we can send them to a ranch.

TTP is currently used and supplies 400 pounds of meat monthly to Crisis Ministries for distribution to low income families.

There are no other options.  Surgical sterilization is not legal in Texas nor is chemical sterilization.  We are continuously looking for alternate legal options.   If you  want to change the process, please do the research and let me know.  I'm always open to suggestions.

Your elected officials do not like the process, but they understand the ramifications if the management program is stopped.  We use several methods to determine if the herd is growing or shrinking and believe it has been stable for several years.  Texas Parks and Wildlife agrees with us.  We received a survey contracted by a local group that is another data point we can use.  I am considering asking council to continue contracting a survey so trends can be established.

For more information and history please go to this link or see the city website.
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Lakeway MUD will hold their regular Board meeting Wednesday March 14 at 9:30 a.m. at 1097 Lohmans Crossing.  Here is a link to their agenda - looks like their Director election is unopposed....

Here's a link with the latest from Dallas at the Activity Center.  Looks like there's a lot going on and don't forget to renew your membership!

Don't forget the fun at Eggstravaganza coming up March 24.  Here's a link to more info - it's really a lot of fun for the kinds (and adults)!

I attended a town hall held by the developer Tuesday evening at the Highlands Activity Center.  It was well received and some suggestions were made.  The developer has held at least 3 town halls that I know of and has received many good suggestions for the project.

ZAPCO held it's regular meeting Wednesday morning at 9:15 a.m. - the most interest was in the proposed PUD for the MUD tract.  The meeting was recorded - here's a link.  The developer and staff are working together to make changes to address many of the suggestions.  These updates will be presented at the March 15th meeting (6:00 p.m.).  The project is moving in the right direction.  I am looking forward to the next meeting!

The new Police facility is moving forward!  The project is on schedule and on budget.  This picture is looking North across Lohmans.  Click on it for a larger view.   Here's a link to some pictures I took this morning - look around and enjoy! 

Steve Jones and I met with LTISD last week to discuss their plan and possible acquisition of land behind Lakeway Elementary.  They will discuss it with the School Board and get back to us.

From the Chief:
LPD Officers conducted 299 traffic stops, responded to 18 alarm calls, handled 22 animal calls, responded to 7 collisions, answered 15 suspicious circumstances calls, completed 2 mental health calls, and handled 147 other types of calls for service for a total of 510.

Routine traffic stops resulted in the following charges; Lakeway Arrest Warrants X 2, Driving while Intoxicated X 1, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia X 7.

Officers responded to a Duck Lake Drive address in reference to a disturbance call. It was learned a husband and wife were engaged in a verbal argument. After an investigation officers separated the couple and the husband left the residence with another family member. No charges were filed in this case. 

Officers responded to a RR 620 S. business in reference to a disturbance call. Upon arrival, officers learned an employer was having a disagreement with an employee.   The employee was terminated by the company and was given a criminal trespass warning for the property. 

Officers responded to an Oak Grove Boulevard hotel in reference to a disturbance call. Officers contacted a couple in the lobby and learned they had been engaged in a verbal argument. Both agreed there would be no further problems and they were allowed to leave the property. No charges were filed in this case. 

Detectives and Crime Scene personnel were called to assist patrol officers in the 2300 block of RR620 South in reference to a Death Investigation. According to the initial caller, he found a subject slumped over in a vehicle in the parking lot. Detectives processed the scene and contact the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office. Detectives learned through their investigation the deceased subject was homeless and regularly slept in his vehicle in the Lake Travis area. Detectives also learned the subject suffered from medical conditions and possibly had a substance abuse issue. There were no signs or evidence of foul play. The case remains active, pending an autopsy report.

Detectives have been assigned to investigate several construction material thefts that have occurred over the last week at commercial and residential construction sites. The suspect(s) are loading materials such as lumber and other heavy materials, using construction vehicles found on-site. Detectives are following up on the few available leads in the cases which remain active.  

The Lakeway Citizen’s Police Academy met for the third week of instruction. This week’s topics, The Communications Center, instructed by Communications Supervisor Mike Olsen and Patrol Procedures instructed by Lieutenant Law and Lieutenant Gavit. 
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That's all for now - more as I find out!  

If you would like to be added (or removed) from the blog, please send an email to lakeway@bain.us and I'll make it happen.  

As always, emails and questions are always answered - thank you for all the continued support.  

Joe Bain
lakeway@bain.us
















  







Saturday, March 3, 2018

Art, Free Events, ZAPCO, CBC and More!

Another week has flown by.  A little cold, a little warm a little rain and a little sun - all in just a week.  It's Texas you know.  If you don't like the weather, wait a minute - it will change!

A long time resident and City icon, Bill Bergstrom passed away last week from complications of a broken hip.  He was 96 years young.  Visitation is Friday, March 16th from 5 - 7 p.m. at Weed-Corley-Fish Lakeway - funeral is Saturday at the Lakeway Church Saturday the 17th at 11 a.m.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

The Activity Center is keeping busy!  Here is a link to the current activities and information from Dallas Gorman.

We have new art at the City Hall - this set is by Sue Kemp.  Here is a link to more info.  Come by and enjoy it!  We have wonderful talent in Lakeway.

I still see folks all the time on their phones while driving - it's dangerous and is's against the law!  Here's a short ad I thought was educational.

ZAPCO will meet next week on Wednesday morning at 9:15, here is the agenda.  It will be a long and important meeting.  The major items will be items 12 and 13.  12 is a request for an impervious cover variance at the Lakeway Medical Village and 13 will be about the City Center PUD (MUD and Church property between Lohmans, Rolling Green and the Stratus property.  

If you would like the full packet, here's a link.

We have scheduled a second meeting for Thursday, March 15 at 6:00 p.m. to here PUD comments and more info.  Hopefully citizens will get the facts and can comment at one of these two meetings.

CBC will meet in regular session on Thursday, March 8 at City Hall - 9:00 a.m.  Here's a link to their agenda.

The Lakeway Arts Committee presents The New Horizons Band in a free concert from 4-5 p.m. on March 11 in the Activity Center Ballroom - this should be a great concert!

Don't forget the Republic of Texas Big Band Bash on Monday March 12, 8-10 p.m.  It's always a great time and also free!

The Eggstravaganza is another free fun event coming up at City Park on March 24th from 2-4 p.m.

March 21st is the next Recycling drop-off event from 9 a.m. until noon.  The center is at 3207 Neidhardt Dr., just off General Williamson behind Lake Travis Fire and Rescue station 601.


From the Chief:

LPD Officers conducted 243 traffic stops, responded to 8 alarm calls, handled 11 animal calls, responded to 8 collisions, answered 18 suspicious circumstances calls, and handled 148 other types of calls for service for a total of 428.

Routine traffic stops resulted in the following charges; Out of Jurisdiction Warrants X 3, Driving while license invalid X 1, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia X 3, and Public Intoxication X 1.

Officers were called to a RR 620 gas station and convenience store in reference to suspicious circumstances. After meeting with employees it was learned that an inspector had found what he believed to be credit card skimmers on four of the gas pumps. Detectives were called to the scene and are investigating this case. 

Officers responded to a Lido Street address in reference to a disturbance call. Upon arrival, officers learned that a husband and wife were involved in an argument. The argument was verbal only and the wife had left the residence. Officers were able to contact her by phone and confirmed that she was not harmed. No charges were filed in this case. 

Officers responded to a Seawind Street address in reference to a burglary of a residence call. Upon arrival, officers met with a property manager as well as with the housekeeper for the residence. It was learned when the housekeeper arrived, numerous household items were missing. Officers took a report about the missing items and this case will be forwarded to detectives for investigation.

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of an Assault that occurred in the 900 block of RR620 South. According to the victim, a known associate assaulted her by grabbing her buttocks. Detectives were able to locate and fully identify the suspect in this case. Based on the evidence collected in during their investigation, Detectives issued the suspect a citation for Assault by Contact (Class C Misd.). 

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of a Theft in the 200 block of RR620 South. According to the complainant, some unknown suspect(s) stole a utility trailer that was stored at this location. Detectives issued a bulletin which assisted in the recovery of the stolen vehicle by the Hays County Constables Office in the Dripping Springs, TX area. The trailer was processed for evidence and the results are pending.

Detectives were assigned to investigate a report of a Theft that occurred in 2016 in the 100 block of Burgess Cove. According to the victim, an unknown suspect stole several high-end and valuable watches from her residence while she was out of town. Detectives have since been able to identify the suspect and located the pawn shop where the watches were later sold. The case remains active. 


Citizen’s Police Academy held their second meeting this week. The topic was law enforcement's role in mental health, taught by Sgt. Jason Brown.  
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Candidates, PLEASE keep your signs out of the Right of Way - I've noticed several banners that are in violation as well as many yard signs.  Be sure to get permission before you put a sign on someones property.

That's all for now - I'm sure there will be more soon.

If you would like to be added to my email list, send a note to lakeway@bain.us and I'll get you added (or removed). 

Have a GREAT weekend!

Joe Bain
lakeway@bain.us