I recently received a copy of the following email. Now, I know what you’re wondering: “Who is Michelle Holmes?” Michelle is the candidate that the current regime trotted out to oppose Elizabeth Villafranca for City Council. What are her qualifications?  I dunno. What has she done for the city? Well, mostly she just sits there and votes with the rest of the guys. Oh – and sends malicious emails full of half-truths and outright lies. Emails sent solely to hurt – not help. Kind of like high school all over again. But that’s what our “leaders” want to be – they are reliving high school with their bullying and malicious lies. 

And, no, we are not related. 

The following is a copy of her email. To save space, I’ll put her statements in italics, and my response in my regular type. Specific points I want to address are underlined: 

From: Michelle Holmes <michelle.holmes2000@gmail.com> 

Date: June 9, 2010 9:59:00 PM CDT 

Subject: Who is behind the Branch Forum?  

People have asked me numerous times over the past several months, “Who is the Branch Forum?”  Their website doesn’t indicate who their leaders are & neither do their mailers.  They only mention the name of their treasurer because that is all they are required to do by law.  

Branch Forum is composed of people who are concerned about our city – as they have every right to be. Check out their website:  http://www.branchforum.com  Is it some “secret society”? Naw – they try their darndest to get out information about the truth in Farmers Branch. But – like so many of the citizens of Farmers Branch – they know that opposition to the current regime can will bring about personal attacks and vendettas against them. I know, because I am the poster child for personal retaliatory attacks from The City in the Park.  

The Branch Forum is made up of people who ran for City Council & could not get elected on their negative campaign agendas. Now they’ve disguised themselves as the “Branch Forum.” Do you have any idea who is behind the Branch Forum? Elizabeth Villafranca (Board of Directors – Branch Forum) lost her bid for City Council receiving only 34% of the vote; Ruben Rendon (President – Branch Forum) lost his bid for City Council with only 36% of the vote; Gene Bledsoe (Board of Directors- Branch Forum) lost his bid for Mayor with only 36% of the vote; Matt Wenthold (Branch Forum) lost TWO bids for City Council;  

Branch Forum is also composed of former Council members, and Board members who were kicked off their boards when the current Regime came into power. Was it because they were incompetent? Oh come on – it was because they would not march in step with whatever The Regime dictated. It was because they were clear thinkers – and were concerned about the citizens of Farmers Branch. When The Regime tells you that you can always volunteer to serve on a City Board they are right – you can volunteer – but they get to select the members and they will not select you if they think you might have your own opinion. 

Carol Dingman (Board of Directors – Branch Forum) filed a lawsuit against the City of Farmers Branch regarding an open records request resulting in legal fees incurred by the City in the amount of $15,058.04; Since 2008 the Dingmans have filed at least 40 different open records requests.  The requests were so excessive & time-consuming that it cost the City an additional $14,840 to process each of the requests.  The Dingmans continue to complain about how much money the City spends to defend itself. 

Now, why do you suppose the Dingmans are filing all those open records requests? Could it be because the Current Regime does not want you and me to know what is going on? Do they have something to hide? Darned straight – that’s why they incurred those legal fees – because they tried to suppress information: information that you and I have every right to know. 

And why was getting that information so excessive and time consuming? Is it because the City keeps records hidden so thoroughly that it took them days, weeks, months to find, to filter, to copy? Is it because they spent more time trying to hide these records than they did coming up with them? Is it because they did not want to let The Citizens know what was going on? Is it all of the above? 

It is amusing disgusting that Ms. Holmes has an accounting of those legal fees down to the penny, but yet no one on the City Council can tell us with any certainty what the Fountain Park cost. You know – the one for the Church of Christ on Webbs Chapel and Valley View – that one. The “Look But Don’t Touch” park. 

Each of these individuals has been against the current Council beginning with the election in 2007. Over the past 4 election cycles, they have never had one positive thing to say about the city.  They have never campaigned on meaningful or positive change for the city.   

Oh Michelle, haven’t you heard the old saying “Never Say Never”? The fact is, the Branch Forum members have all complimented the city – on the things that deserve compliments: like the City Staff, the Police and Fire Departments, our sports parks – well, before it was decided that normal kids couldn’t play on them. 

And as for meaningful and positive change for the city – oh my – a meaningful and positive change is to get rid of the good old boys fraternity (do they have fraternities in high school?) Doesn’t Michelle think it’s odd that the Branch Forum members were all relatively quiet until THE ELECTION in 2007? Hmmmm – what do you suppose made them decide to speak up? Could it have been that they saw this train wreck coming? 

They don’t like what we have to say so they accuse of us of harassment & voter suppression. Even though we are simply trying to give the voters factual information so they can make an informed decision when they go to the polls.  

Oh Michelle – you must have gone to the same high school as another Council Member, because there you go using the wrong word just like he does. Look up “factual” in the dictionary. I think the correct word that you need is “biased” or maybe “misleading”. And those are the nicer terms. You may want to use a more factual word, like LIES. 

They are trying to take away our freedom of speech. Their lack of support at the polls indicates a lack of dedication & enthusiasm on the part of their own so-called supporters.  

Isn’t it ironic that the Current Regime would express concern about our Freedoms: the very people who have taken away our Freedom of Privacy, our Freedom to enjoy our own homes. They think it’s just fine to encourage neighbors to spy on neighbors, to send their goons into our alleys and easements to see what we have there. To tell us what kind of furniture THEY want in our yards, how many pots on our front porches. To drag private citizen into Criminal Court for the dreadful sin of having grass in a driveway crack. And then they come back and whine about Freedom.

The most frequently quoted statement by a Supreme Court Justice on the subject of Privacy comes in Justice Brandeis’s dissent on Olmstead vs. U.S.: 

“The makers of our Constitution understood the need to secure conditions favourable to the pursuit of happiness, and the protections guaranteed by this are much broader in scope, and include the right to life and an inviolate personality – the right to be left alone – the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. The principle underlying the Fourth and Fifth Amendments is protection against invasions of the sanctities of a man’s home and privacies of life. This is a recognition of the significance of man’s spiritual nature, his feelings, and his intellect.” 

Now – I ask you – does the Current Regime’s aggressive and capricious code enforcement activity care a whit about OUR RIGHTS? Don’t whine to me about Our Rights, Ms. Holmes – that makes me fighting mad.  

Councilman Koch’s opponent has stated that we should abandon our efforts to fight illegal immigration even though 68% of the voters in Farmers Branch voted to pursue the fight. She claims she is listening to the voters. The people she is listening to are the same people who have been opposed to doing anything about illegal immigration since the fall of 2006:  ex-Mayor Bob Phelps, Elizabeth Villafranca (political activist for ILLEGAL immigrants rights), Gene Bledsoe, Ruben Rendon, Joe & Carol Dingman, etc. 

Brenda has Never, Ever, Not Once stated that we should abandon our efforts to fight illegal immigration. And neither has Branch Forum. Here is what Brenda says now, and what she has said from Day 1 of her campaign: 

“I am opposed to all illegal activities, including immigration. My concern with the current legislation regarding illegal immigration is not with its purpose, but rather with its process. We have little evidence that the current legislation will be allowed to endure. We have much evidence that the current legislation will be costly to defend. In a time of recession, I believe these costs should be tempered. This has been my position since I began my campaign.” 

 And quit trotting out that tired old “68% of The Voters Decided” argument. The voters were fed a bunch of lies and they swallowed them all – in spite of clearer heads telling them that the litigation would be costly, would do nothing to prevent illegal immigration, would divide our city, and would make the city of Farmers Branch the laughing-stock of the nation – oh wait – the world!   

A more positive note regarding the senior community in Farmers Branch . . . 

 During my first year on the Council I have had numerous opportunities to visit our Senior Center. Everyone I have met at the center is so proud of the facilities. Everyone has a great time whether its the weekly dance held every Monday night, the annual game night, a day trip that is organized through the Senior Center or the monthly breakfast. The time that I have spent throughout the year at the Senior Center has taught me not to be afraid of getting older but to embrace it, enjoy retirement & have a great time at the Farmers Branch Senior Center! 

Now isn’t that just the sweetest thing ….. before being on the City Council Ms Holmes didn’t know any Senior Citizens, and did not visit the Senior Center. But – once she was obligated to do so I guess she found that they weren’t as smelly and senile as she had thought – and now SHE CAN HARDLY WAIT TO BE ONE! Awwwwwwww 

News for you Michelle: If You’re Lucky you will be a healthy senior with lots of disposable income. If You’re Lucky. So many of our senior citizens are not that lucky. You know who they are – the ones that are being targeted by The Current Regime so that they can take their homes away. Oh – excuse me, that factual information is that The City “cares” about these people and just wants to put them into “affordable living” compounds so that More Deserving (young families with plenty of disposable income) can take their homes and bulldoze them to put nice pretty sterile McMansions on that prime real estate. 

The City & the Council also provide support to numerous service organizations that provide assistance to our senior community. Metrocrest Medical Foundation provides Lifeline (an emergency call button for seniors living alone) free of charge; Senior Adult Services provides meals, home repairs & maintenance services for seniors who are either financially or physically unable to do the work themselves. These are just a few of the organizations supported by the City & the Council to fulfill the needs of our senior community. 

Here’s some Factual Information for you:  In the September 2, 2008  City Council minutes (item D1) they discuss the Project Lifesaver tracking device program. The town of Addison supplied the tracking devices and other equipment and training. They asked Carrollton and FB to provide support personnel, as needed. That’s it. 

 The City of Farmers Branch could give a rip about Seniors, the Disabled, the Poor: except when those people VOTE. Then they’re all over them with their deceit and misinformation and scare tactics.  And for all you Senior citizens who think the Current Regime is being thoughtful by visiting the Senior Center: there’s a reason for that, and it is the very same reason that hyenas gather around the water hole – it’s because that’s where the prey is: the easy victims. Stop voting and see how concerned they are about your welfare.

Lastly, in 2009, the Council voted to increase the senior property tax exemption to $65,000. Currently, the Dallas senior property tax exemption is $64,000; Carrollton is $60,000; Addison is only $50,000. 

Oh yeah – and they sent each Senior property owner a bribe check for a whopping $15. Then raised taxes. Thanks a lot. 

The October 21, 2008 CC Minutes are priceless. Start with item E.2, where Charles Cox made a financial presentation “in light of the recent collapse in the financial market.  Ben Robinson recommends a freeze on all unnecessary spending – “starting tonight”. Nevertheless, the CC went ahead and okay’d $399,416.25 to Jeske Construction for Liberty Plaza improvements, then turned around and okay’s another $55,102 for the next round of new street signs. The spending continues to this day. 

Councilman Koch’s opponent is using scare tactics to lead you to believe that we do not embrace or appreciate the senior community in Farmers Branch. As you can see, she is either not very informed or is not concerned with the truth. 

Once again, I ask that you join me in supporting a Council that works together to move our city FORWARD.  If you haven’t voted yet, please remember the last chance to vote for Councilman David Koch is this Saturday, June 12, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at your usual polling place.  David only needed an additional 34 votes to avoid a run off – EVERY VOTE COUNTS!      

I look forward to seeing you at the polls on Saturday! 

Now – this entire email shows me that the Current Regime is Scared. They are afraid that some little girl is going to break up their little clique. They are afraid that someone is going to go in there and make them accountable for the havoc they are inflicting on the Good Citizens of Farmers Branch. They are afraid that their little party is over. 

Let’s show them that they have every reason to be scared. Get out and Vote. Vote for Brenda Brodrick. Stop the Bullying, the Waste, the Intimidation, the Lies.