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City of Brady, founded in October 2011, achieved its initial goals of illuminating the problems facing the City of Brady and generating community support for change.

Primary credit for BBN's accomplishments must go to Bill Neslage, who devoted countless hours and many hard-earned dollars to make it happen, and a core of dedicated volunteers who never flagged in their belief that Brady can indeed do better than it has in the past. Their efforts led to numerous personnel and policy changes that laid the foundation for future improvement. Building on that foundation will require a shift in focus and broad community support.

In keeping with that shift in focus, decided to evolve into a more complete community-focused online publication. The joining of Better Brady Now with Sense and Nonsense changes both websites. BBN  expands its view of the world while S&N gains practical focus on local events and issues. The whole should be greater than the parts when all is said and done.

The transition has been slower and more difficult than anticipated. The new website here is still under construction with new features and decorations added daily. Some will be readily apparent to visitors while others will be in improved security and more efficient delivery.

The Brady City Council must complete and approve the new 2013-2014 city budget before the current fiscal year ends on Sept 30, 2013. The time for citizens to offer suggestion to their council members is during July, before the final details begin to take shape and become difficult to change.

Waiting until the budget work is done and then complaining about it is irresponsible. There will be several public hearings for public comment and suggestions. Responsible citizens will need to know something about the budget to make intelligent and useful suggestions. For those with the time to review the documents, the current and previous budgets are available by clicking the following links:

Everyone should at least page through these budgets just to get some idea of how much work goes into preparing them. It is a big job, fraught with mind numbing detail and many conflicting interests to resolve.

For those without the time or inclination to take a look at the actual Brady City Budget, here is a summary of where the money goes:

Item   2012   2013
Salaries- Benefits    $4,913,964    $5,047,631
Contractual Services   6,670,878    6,531,963
Supplies, Repairs & Expenses    3,674,422    3,274,625
Capital Outlay    3,787,787   8,163,187
Debt Service    1,022,933    822,467
Total   $20,069,984   $23,839,873

Early, unofficial voting results indicate that Tax Payers for Sensible Government (TPSG) attracted a solid majority of Brady voters in the May 11 City Elections. The fact that a record number of voters turned out to vote lends credibility to the outcome. Election results will not be official until the votes are canvassed sometime during the next couple of weeks. Here are the early results:

Early Vote count shows the following results:

Mayor Recall - 571 For; 226 Against

Council Races:
Jack Turk (unopposed) - 198 votes

Latricia Doyal (winner) - 400 votes
Gabe Moreno - 328 Votes
Tony Groves - 37 votes

For evening Council Meetings 500+; Against unknown

Against Changing EDC to Type "B" - 506; For 253

Prop 1 - 316 for; against 467
Prop 2 - 287 for: against 499
Prop 3 - 253 for; against ??
Prop 4 - 315 for; against 455
Prop 5 - 206 for; against 561
Prop 6 - 340 for; against 438
Prop 7 - 686 for; against 84
Prop 8 - 644 for; against 132
Prop 9 - 541 for; against 166
Prop 10 - 311 for; against 468
Prop 11 - 273 for; against 491
Prop 12 - 278 for; against 491
Prop 13 - 709 for; against 69
Prop 14 - 653 for; against 114
Prop 15 - 285 for; against 483
Prop 16 - 248 for; against 510
Prop 17 - 180 for; against 23
Prop 18 - 486 for; against 18
Prop 19 - 260 for; against 504
Prop 20 - 669 for; against 87
prop 21 - 287 for; against 475
Prop 22 - 669 for; against 89
Prop 23 - 711 for; against 57
Prop 24 - 387 for; against 272
Prop 25 - 191 for; against 26
Prop 26 - 481 for; against 17
Prop 27 - 567 for; against 209

These are NOT official vote counts. They are preliminary counts relayed verbally at the end of a long day. Corrections will certainly follow until the votes are officially canvassed.

The century old feudal customs of "business as usual" in Brady are nearing an end. Some will celebrate and some will declare it a disaster, depending on whether they were part of the old ruling class or not. All should recognize it as a turning point in the history of Brady. The transition to 21st century American democracy will not be easy or problem-free.

Success will depend on the honesty and diligence of new council members and a new Mayor. Even more important will be community support. If the new council is honest and open with the people, that support is likely to develop. If they try to operate in secret, it won't .

There are many, many problems that have been ignored for decades. A budget and balance sheet encumbered by spending commitments and debt from past extravagant, frivolous projects will make solving them very difficult.

Brady collects less than $2 million per year in Property and Sales tax. That will not support a $20 million annual budget. That is the situation facing Brady. There is no easy solution.

Early voting for the May 11 Election begins tomorrow, April 29. The ballot is long and complicated because it combines a General Election for City Council, A Recall Election for Mayor Gail Lohn, a Special Election with two items and a Charter Amendment Election with Twenty Seven Proposals. In addition, voters living in Brady ISD Districts 4 and 6 will elect Board members.

BBN has not been involved with Brady ISD affairs so we have no suggestions about that election.

In the City General Election, we recommend:

  • Jack Turk - Place 4 City Council
  • Latricia Doyal - Place 5 City Council

In the Recall Election we recommend:

  • For Recall and Removal of the Mayor

In the Special Election we recommend:

  • For Evening Council Meetings
  • Against Changing the EDC from Type A to Type B

In the Charter Amendment Election we recommend:

  • For propositions 7, 8, 13, 14, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27
  • DO NOT VOTE on propositions 17 & 25
  • Against propositions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 19, 21

In the past, Brady had a Mayor-Council form of government.  However, the salary was not sufficient to attract a person with the experience necessary to properly manage the city on a full-time basis.  Some years ago, citizens voted on and approved a Home Rule Charter form of government.  In this form of government, the city’s day-to-day business is managed on a full-time basis by a professional City Manager, paid in accordance with his experience.  His performance is evaluated and guided by an elected City Council that sets the policies of the city. The Mayor becomes essentially a figurehead organizing the City Council’s deliberations.

Read more: Thoughts on the May 11th Election Charter Amendments

Sense and Nonsense Is dedicated to providing the information, ideas and interaction necessary to build a community of people who can be trusted and who trust each other.