Mayor, council, and fellow citizens of Aubrey,
My name is Jeff M. Miller, and I live on Highmeadow Road.
I want to take this last opportunity to address the council as a private citizen before I am sworn in for the Place 4 seat on the council next month.
My family and I have been Aubrey residents for almost 14 years. When we moved into the area in 2003, we looked at several area neighborhoods and cities, and ultimately chose Aubrey, building the first house on Highmeadow Road.
Many factors influenced our decision to choose Aubrey, not the least of which included this city’s friendly atmosphere, excellent schools, and a lack of overbearing HOAs.
Now I look forward to serving the citizens of Aubrey on the city council for the next two years. I recognize that since I ran for office unopposed, the citizens of our city did not get a chance to vote me into office. Therefore, I believe I have a greater responsibility to listen to and serve my fellow citizens. With that in mind, there are a few issues I’d like to address.
While I don’t necessarily have a political agenda, I do have principled viewpoints. Among these are a firm belief in limited government, individual liberty, and personal property rights. As a member of the city council, these principles—as well as my faith in Jesus Christ—will guide my decisions.
I now call upon and challenge the mayor and council to renew their commitment to serve the citizens we govern within Aubrey’s jurisdiction—both inside and outside of the city limits. I call on us all to do our best to be prepared for each and every meeting—staying up late into the night if necessary—so that words such as, “I didn’t have time to read these documents,” or, “I didn’t have time to prepare,” will not be spoken during council meetings.
I call upon the mayor and council to remember that the other members of the council are also counted among the neighbors we have pledged to serve. It is my hope that we as a council will strive to be less like Washington D.C. politicians and more like co-laborers and servant leaders.
Here are some items I would ask the council to consider over the coming months:
• That the council will consider lowering the number of councilors required to place an item on the monthly meeting agenda from three down to two. I believe this will not only help the council better voice the needs and desires of the citizens we serve, but I believe it will also more accurately comply with the Texas Open Meetings Act.
• That the council will consider studying all of our current impact fees so that Aubrey will be more competitive in the local market. That we will strive to entice businesses and industries to build within our city limits in order to generate more revenue in a manner that is less burdensome upon our citizens. I believe this can be done without hiring an outside consultant or ordering a new study.
• That the council will consider forming a subcommittee to study and evaluate all of the city’s current ordinances. I believe our ordinances need modernization, refinement, and correction to be in full compliance with the state statues for a General Law city, thus ensuring their legality and enforceability. I also believe we should repeal ordinances that unduly infringe on individual liberty and personal property rights—including the liberty and rights of land owners within Aubrey’s ETJ. We should strive to say yes to residents of Aubrey and the ETJ as often as possible.
• That the council will consider implementing monthly, public work sessions. These work sessions could be held one hour prior to each month’s council meeting, or at another regularly recurring interval. Such work sessions would allow the council to communicate more freely and effectively in a manner compliant with the Texas Open Meetings Act. I believe these work sessions will ultimately benefit the citizens of Aubrey.
• That the council will consider implementing an online Council Message Board on the city website as allowed by the Texas Open Meetings Act. This would also increase the level of communication between the mayor, council, city staff, and legal counsel in a publicly accessible and legal manner.
Above all, my hope is that the council will continue to work for all of our citizens, both present and future. I look forward to working with you and serving our city over the next two years.
Thank you for your time and attention.