Pelican Bay struggles to pay bills

Pelican Bay struggles to pay bills

There are 56 comments on the Star-Telegram.com story from May 4, 2013, titled Pelican Bay struggles to pay bills. In it, Star-Telegram.com reports that:

Bart Scarbrough fishes from the public pier in the town of Pelican Bay on Eagle Mountain Lake on Tuesday.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Star-Telegram.com.

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Power Plant Bay

Prague, Czech Republic

#1 May 16, 2013
PELICAN BAY — Bart Scarbrough casts a line into the brownish-green water of Eagle Mountain Lake and, in four words, sums up why he moved to Pelican Bay two years ago.

“Fishing and cheap rent,” explained the former oil field worker, who spent a recent afternoon sitting shirtless, soaking up the spring sun on the city’s lone pier, which extends about 250 feet into the water.“I lost my home to foreclosure. This is about the only place I could find something to rent that I can afford.”

North Texas is a bustling region of 6 million people, but nestled in its nooks and crannies are numerous hamlets such as Pelican Bay — population 1,583, according to a census estimate.

These places are often a bit away from the nearest highway, and people are drawn to them by a rural feel, an escape from the rat race.

But residents of these little cities often discover that life is anything but simple.

A glance at property tax rates for a few tiny cities in North Texas shows that residents often pay as much as or more than their brethren in larger cities but receive far fewer services.

Streets are ravaged by potholes. Parks are unkempt. Code enforcement is spotty. Round-the-clock police protection can be lacking.

Pelican Bay residents recently learned that the city’s general fund balance is extremely low —$85,000 by the most recent estimate.

The fiscal crunch has led to accusations of mismanagement among its elected leaders and has raised serious questions about whether the city can continue to pay its tiny workforce, including two full-time police officers and six other part-timers and reservists.

Pelican Bay isn’t alone. With the economy struggling and housing prices at a generational low, many cities are flirting with financial ruin. The recent bankruptcy filing of Harrisburg, Pa., drew headlines, but experts say insolvency is more common among much tinier cities with limited tax bases to produce revenue.

So why do these cities exist, and how do they survive?

“I think these small cities don’t want to be part of larger cities, like Fort Worth. They incorporate to avoid that,” Roanoke Mayor Scooter Gierisch told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Power Plant Bay

Prague, Czech Republic

#2 May 16, 2013
In 2007, Roanoke voters agreed to consolidate with Marshall Creek, a Denton County town of 430 residents that went bankrupt.

“They were sandwiched between Roanoke and Trophy Club and didn’t want to be part of either community,” Gierisch said.“But then things happened, and they reconsidered their decision. They were in bankruptcy and their water bills were four times what Roanoke’s was, and the property taxes were crazy for mobile homes.

“Now, they’re getting drainage, streets, a water system. When something like that comes about, it’s about what is the right thing to do, because we had a community of individuals that were suffering.”

It’s a nationwide problem with no easy solutions, said James Brooks, a program director at the National League of Cities in Washington.

“The Great Recession that ultimately ended in 2011 affected nearly every city in America in some form or fashion,” Brooks said.“A lot of cities are trimming the costs of services with volunteers, everything from adopt-a-park programs to more elaborate things like having residents cut the grass along median strips and water trees.”

So what can a city do if it’s low on funds?

In Pelican Bay, with only a welding shop and one convenience store providing sales tax revenue, city leaders depend mostly on property owners to contribute revenue to pay the city’s bills.

But raising property taxes isn’t much of an option. More than a third of Pelican Bay households are renters, many residences are either manufactured or mobile homes, and the property tax rate of nearly 90 cents per $100 of assessed value is one of the highest in Tarrant County.

One option is to increase the collection of fees for items such as code violations and driving offenses. Several residents said the city has commonly written more citations to raise revenue.

“It depends on who’s in office, what laws you have to obey,” said Michelle Cato, 28, who has lived in Pelican Bay since 1997.

Cato lives in a mobile home on Gale Drive, along with her husband, Dean, three young children and a puppy named Peanut.

“Right now, they’ve given up on code enforcement, but they’re cracking down on (unleashed) animals — but just dogs, not cats.”

Despite the inconsistent enforcement, Dean Cato said, he and his neighbors are generally happy living in Pelican Bay.

Mostly, Pelican Bay residents want to lead a country lifestyle, pay their bills and be left alone.

Still, the most common complaint is that streets are so full of potholes that they resemble slices of Swiss cheese and that many streets also lack signs.

“You won’t believe how many people stop and ask us directions because there are no street signs,” Dean Cato said.

Many U.S. cities have gotten creative in their quest to find new funding sources or cut the cost of services.

At the most basic level, perhaps the best thing that leaders of small cities can do is open a dialogue with residents and find out what services are most important, said Brooks, of the National League of Cities. Residents can help city leaders make tough decisions, he said.

“Would the citizens want the public parks mowed every week, or would they rather have the trash picked up on time?” he said, as an example.

In Sansom Park, a city of about 4,600 wedged between Fort Worth and Lake Worth on Jacksboro Highway, elected leaders have struggled to upgrade crumbling streets and clean up commercial areas with less-than-desirable storefronts.

But the city has launched a $3.6 million upgrade of its water system after receiving a $685,000 grant from the U.S. Agriculture Department, said Councilman Jim Barnett, who is running unopposed for re-election Saturday.

Power Plant Bay

Prague, Czech Republic

#3 May 16, 2013
Some slumlords who are MASSIVELY undervaluing their property values (like a 1k property tax value for an empty lot that if sold can get 25k or more for) just to pay lower property taxes need to be held legally accountable for their deliberate financial malfeasance, and fined and sued in court by the city, county or state if need be.

These scumbag slumlords are literally draining this city dry, every way possible, and nobody is doing a damn thing about it.

But clueless voters keep right on electing more of the slimy slumlord's good buddies to the city council and wrecking this city in the process every time they vote for more slumlords.
Former councilwoman

Munich, Germany

#4 May 17, 2013
Well hello all! Yes its me, Renee and to set the record straight, I have NOT posted any comments on this forum in over 2 1/2 yrs! The only reason I am here now, a friend sent me messages about all the reports on the Star-Telegram to which I found so very funny and that the Bay is still under fire! Im commenting under this topic cause I find it to be truthful and correct. As well as the comments made by a CPA. He is also correct in his reports. The city has a CPA and he would be under investigation if he allowed all the things that are reported here about the city's finances. HE will not let the city violate budget admendments w/out the proper meetings, BUT he can only advise the mayor & council & hope they do whats right! When I was on council, he blasted us for overspending & not using good judgments & he was right. But as one member I could not do much but to question the actions of the other members, mayor & secretary.
I know a lot of you did not like me & I read all the false accusations stated against me, BUT as a council member I took the time to learn & know the state and city laws & many times brought my evidence to back up what I said. So the comments were all lies and Im the bigger person. I even requested those who did not agree w/what I did or said to meet face to face, but none had the guts to discuss their issues. So who was the scared goat? It surely wasn't me!
I feel I did my best in keeping the city within the laws and if it cost me, so be it! I know in my heart, I did the best I could under the circumstances, and I did update many ordinaces that the city still uses & some have benefited the city(ex: gas well drilling)
I'm posting here now cause I still see the same crap that existed prior, during & after my term there. IF you believe that laws have been broken, then gather your evidence & report it to proper authorities. And NOT w/your local officers since there's possible dishonor there to! STOP all the name calling, insults, crude comments, accusations & work to make the city better!
A city with over 800 voting citizens, and you wonder why maybe only 100 vote? this should tell you something! That most people are fed up with the members running their city, the violations that may be happening, or they don't want anything to do w/the council or mayor. They just want to live a peaceful life, pay their bills & go about their own lives!
Its really sad that after all this time, I read the crap is still spilling out and continuing to make the city look bad, but surely I'll hear nasty comments from this post! It doesn't bother me at all what anyone has to say but I do worry about my friends who are still there! Its a sad day indeed when the city cannot come together for a better cause, your living conditions! I had hope things would improve? guess not!
Wonder why the DA's office or any other agency doesn't help? they are hoping the city will be its own undoing! They even told me once they are watching for the Bay to completely dissolve on its own!
I have gone on with a very happy life, its peaceful and I don't have to worry over things that are alleged on here! I just wish all the hate would end, and work together to improve things! Posting on topics is a way to vent, I get it, but IF you know something illegal & you don't report it, you are as guilty as the people doing it! If not, then keep your allegations to yourself or talk w/your group of believers!
Enough said, have a good life and maybe one day (which I doubt) the city will either improve or fall into the lake?? Best wishes to you all!!
silence

Dallas, TX

#5 May 17, 2013
Well said :)
OU81TO

Venezuela

#9 May 17, 2013
Former councilwoman wrote:
Well hello all! Yes its me, Renee and to set the record straight, I have NOT posted any comments on this forum in over 2 1/2 yrs! The only reason I am here now, a friend sent me messages about all the reports on the Star-Telegram to which I found so very funny and that the Bay is still under fire! Im commenting under this topic cause I find it to be truthful and correct. As well as the comments made by a CPA. He is also correct in his reports. The city has a CPA and he would be under investigation if he allowed all the things that are reported here about the city's finances. HE will not let the city violate budget admendments w/out the proper meetings, BUT he can only advise the mayor & council & hope they do whats right! When I was on council, he blasted us for overspending & not using good judgments & he was right. But as one member I could not do much but to question the actions of the other members, mayor & secretary.
I know a lot of you did not like me & I read all the false accusations stated against me, BUT as a council member I took the time to learn & know the state and city laws & many times brought my evidence to back up what I said. So the comments were all lies and Im the bigger person. I even requested those who did not agree w/what I did or said to meet face to face, but none had the guts to discuss their issues. So who was the scared goat? It surely wasn't me!
I feel I did my best in keeping the city within the laws and if it cost me, so be it! I know in my heart, I did the best I could under the circumstances, and I did update many ordinaces that the city still uses & some have benefited the city(ex: gas well drilling)
I'm posting here now cause I still see the same crap that existed prior, during & after my term there. IF you believe that laws have been broken, then gather your evidence & report it to proper authorities. And NOT w/your local officers since there's possible dishonor there to! STOP all the name calling, insults, crude comments, accusations & work to make the city better!
A city with over 800 voting citizens, and you wonder why maybe only 100 vote? this should tell you something! That most people are fed up with the members running their city, the violations that may be happening, or they don't want anything to do w/the council or mayor. They just want to live a peaceful life, pay their bills & go about their own lives!
Its really sad that after all this time, I read the crap is still spilling out and continuing to make the city look bad, but surely I'll hear nasty comments from this post! It doesn't bother me at all what anyone has to say but I do worry about my friends who are still there! Its a sad day indeed when the city cannot come together for a better cause, your living conditions! I had hope things would improve? guess not!
Wonder why the DA's office or any other agency doesn't help? they are hoping the city will be its own undoing! They even told me once they are watching for the Bay to completely dissolve on its own!
I have gone on with a very happy life, its peaceful and I don't have to worry over things that are alleged on here! I just wish all the hate would end, and work together to improve things! Posting on topics is a way to vent, I get it, but IF you know something illegal & you don't report it, you are as guilty as the people doing it! If not, then keep your allegations to yourself or talk w/your group of believers!
Enough said, have a good life and maybe one day (which I doubt) the city will either improve or fall into the lake?? Best wishes to you all!!
Just had to quote this while it was still here... WOW just WOW.
Renee

Munich, Germany

#10 May 20, 2013
to SORENEE..i still see that youre still so full of crap and hate its no wonder your friends and family have probably left you by now. It doesnt faze me w/your comments, as they never did before & as I said, i responded after friends told me the same bull crap exist as it did years ago & I have no other reason to care except for my friends still there.

My life has peace now & if I knew a psyco, i would surely send them your way cause appeartly you need it much more than I do! Come walk w/me in my world? Humm you could never be accepted in it,,youre just too hateful!

Pelican Bay will continue to fall apart due to people like you and its really sad! The city could really be something if oNLY people like yourself would disappear completely then maybe, just maybe it could improve? but i doubt youll be leaving anytime soon? sad indeed!

When you walk in anothers shoes, only then can you wipe the crap off! Good day to you!
SOrenee

Anonymous Proxy

#12 May 21, 2013
Renee wrote:
to SORENEE..i still see that youre still so full of crap and hate its no wonder your friends and family have probably left you by now. It doesnt faze me w/your comments, as they never did before & as I said, i responded after friends told me the same bull crap exist as it did years ago & I have no other reason to care except for my friends still there.
My life has peace now & if I knew a psyco, i would surely send them your way cause appeartly you need it much more than I do! Come walk w/me in my world? Humm you could never be accepted in it,,youre just too hateful!
Pelican Bay will continue to fall apart due to people like you and its really sad! The city could really be something if oNLY people like yourself would disappear completely then maybe, just maybe it could improve? but i doubt youll be leaving anytime soon? sad indeed!
When you walk in anothers shoes, only then can you wipe the crap off! Good day to you!
In your 1st post - for every 144 words you used the "I have", "I feel", "I know" terms

In your 2nd post - for every 125 words you used the "I have", "I feel", "I know" terms

You actually GOT WORSE!

I don't mind the cr*p on your shoes. I just shake my head and laugh...actually join others laughing when we see it.

If you want to leave the crap on your shoes...go right ahead. It looks good on you!

You are the #2 ALL TIME SOCIOPATH of PB. All of your, "I have", "I feel", "I know" terms prove it.

We're lucky you're GONE.
Noticed

Germany

#13 Jun 1, 2013
Notice the double 'I's' in Bart's statements and Renee's.

Notice Bart Scarbrough's words on why he moved to PB at the beginning of the article:

Quoted:
"Fishing and cheap rent"
"I lost my home to foreclosure"
"This is about the only place I could find something to rent that I can afford."

WOW...This guy wants to be mayor..!?
Texan

Wichita, KS

#14 Jun 1, 2013
Why not? Lots of good people lost their jobs and homes. The enjoyment of fishing, and inexpensive housing doesn't disqualify anyone from running for office, or careing about their community. Heck the guys been there a couple of years now and has family there. Maybe he just wants to help. Absolutly nothing wrong with that.
Noticed

Los Angeles, CA

#15 Jun 1, 2013
Bart CAN'T help anyone!

Why do you think he was foreclosed on, you FOOL! HE couldn't help himself!

Why do you think he had to beg online for burial money for his daughter? HE CAN'T even help himself!

It doesn't matter what he WANTS to do. He is not qualified.

YOU are a B-lls--t ARTIST!
Texan

Wichita, KS

#16 Jun 1, 2013
I just finished reading a post under the name of Ryan Tincher in which the poster said that he had been clean of drugs for over a year, which tells me that circumstances can change for most people. You may be right about him, but you could also be wrong. So you see sir I am not a fool or a bullshit artist, merely one giving him the benifit of the doubt.
Noticed

Anonymous Proxy

#17 Jun 1, 2013
Someone who hasn't been able to manage money properly shouldn't be MAYOR. His name is NO GOOD with the BANKS. A mayor has to sign checks...YOU BIG ARGUMENTATIVE FOOL!
Texan

Wichita, KS

#18 Jun 1, 2013
And you know all this to be true? How do you know his name is no good with the banks, you don't because no bank is going to give you that informatin YOU SMALL MINDED IDIOT!
Noticed

Anonymous Proxy

#19 Jun 1, 2013
After foreclosure, do you receive a good credit standing with the banks???

I have seen the post online where the family needed the burial money, and were asking for donations, to bury Ashley Nicole Scarbrough. That is a 100% indication that he couldn't come up with the money. You tell me why he DIDN'T get a LOAN? I would!

If he cares about PB, why doesn't he buy a lot and or home?

Why are you fighting his battle? If your friends in PB don't like to bicker, as you once stated, why are they friends with you?
Bart

Stone Mountain, GA

#20 Jun 1, 2013
Noticed wrote:
Notice the double 'I's' in Bart's statements and Renee's.
Notice Bart Scarbrough's words on why he moved to PB at the beginning of the article:
Quoted:
"Fishing and cheap rent"
"I lost my home to foreclosure"
"This is about the only place I could find something to rent that I can afford."
WOW...This guy wants to be mayor..!?
Yes that happened to a lot of oil field workers when Obama got elected the first time. 80% lost their jobs, like I did. Its hard to rebuild a life when you lose a $100,000 job, and have to start over with $1500 a month.
Texan

Wichita, KS

#21 Jun 1, 2013
Why would anyone be friends with you? Perhaps he hasn't gotten his finaces fixed yet. Why fight this battle; why not? You people fought for a bully with a gun.
smart

United States

#23 Jun 1, 2013
And you ain't seen no fight like the one coming . If your not a party to that mess already, do yourself a favor amd run.
Right

Romania

#25 Jun 1, 2013
Bart wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes that happened to a lot of oil field workers when Obama got elected the first time. 80% lost their jobs, like I did. Its hard to rebuild a life when you lose a $100,000 job, and have to start over with $1500 a month.
There are a lot of oil field jobs available.
Ryan Tincher just posted that he has one. I know someone personally who has one. Blaming it on Obama is a lazy mans excuse, but then you are a political conspiracy whack job.
Go get another job.
Lost your job, lost your second wife and second set of kids...more than likely it was because you are always on the computer posting political conspiracy cr-- about the US gov. and PB, Tx. gov. Neither wife and kids could take that any longer. You spend your whole days on here as Texan. You go on the GOP sites as Texan. You are having trouble today, going back and forth, so you have decided to be Texan today, up until now.

Tabitha and kids have gone on with their new life and you sit on the computer talking politics. Your sister thinks she's a legal wizard also.
John 8_7

Azle, TX

#26 Jun 1, 2013
Noticed wrote:
Someone who hasn't been able to manage money properly shouldn't be MAYOR. His name is NO GOOD with the BANKS. A mayor has to sign checks...YOU BIG ARGUMENTATIVE FOOL!
Bart, by all accounts, fell on hard times. This could happen to anyone. Do you know he brought it on himself, or as I suspect he had some bad luck.
Stop hiding behind anonymous proxy servers and step forward, reveal yourself. Are you man enough to be judged yourself? You are willing to cast stones, but are you willing to be judged yourself?
That was a rhetorical question. You have already revealed your character, without ever revealing your name.
Whether you believe in God or karma, it doesn't matter. Vengeance is mine says the Lord, or karma is a bitch, it is all the same...

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