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A video interview with Jeannie Moss

Monday, April 13, 2015 - Posted by Craig Allen, in City news, Videos

 Jeannie is running for city council, west ward in Coleman Texas.

Coleman is truly a beautiful place to live and raise a family, yet it has some real problems, which include a VERY high cost of electricity, a significant drug abuse problem, battered streets and dilapidated housing that has become a drain on community pride.

We had an opportunity to interview Jeannie and hear her concerns and desires for the future of Coleman. Jeannie is acknowledging these problems and speaks opening and honestly directly to the people of Coleman; a truly welcome change.

Get to know Jeannie, click below.

Produced by Craig and Bernadette Allen in connection with Coleman Connected

Bringing all of Coleman Together.

Political advertisement paid for by Jeannie Moss.
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My name is Jeannie Moss and I’m running for City Council.

Monday, April 13, 2015 - Posted by Jeannie Moss, in City news

My name is Jeannie Moss and I’m running for City Council.


My husband, Jeff, and I live on College Avenue. He has a welding shop here in Coleman and we are partners in a local fish farm:  we grow and provide fish for local ponds and lakes.  We have two children and six grandchildren. 


For eleven years, I was a real estate appraiser here in Coleman and the surrounding counties. At one time, I worked at the Better Business Bureau in Abilene and for the construction company that built what is now the Bank of America Tower in Abilene.


My family has lived in this county since 1906 after traveling from Tennessee in a covered wagon.  I have seen this town thrive, decline and change yet stay much the same. I have been interested in the welfare of this city my entire life. It is home.  And that’s why I’m running for city council, because I want my home to be the best it can be.


I want all of us to be able to pay our electric bills and not go broke doing it.  I do not want our town to be notorious for having the highest electric rate in the great state of Texas.   I want to know that Coleman’s city government is not sitting on its hands, waiting for the current electric contract to expire before it starts figuring out what comes next.  I want to make sure the city council is planning, laying groundwork, working for and listening to its citizens about the future supply of electricity.  And I want to be certain that decisions the council makes regarding our water are made with the input of knowledgeable and experienced citizens, not only paid consultants.  In other words, I want to make sure the council hears your opinions and concerns. 


I’m no stranger to the workings of city government.  Not only have I gone to city council meetings in the past, I served on the committee that re-wrote Coleman’s City Charter in 2002; so I know how city government works.  I’ve listened in council meetings while the opinions of residents and my own opinions have fallen on deaf ears, but outside interests have been heard.  I want to do what I can to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future, that all citizens have a chance to help make our town be all that it can be:  a wonderful place to live, work, prosper and raise healthy children and grandchildren. 


I hope you will cast your vote for me in the upcoming election:  I want to be your voice on the city council. 

Political advertisement paid for by Jeannie Moss

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AEPEP Electrical Contract

Monday, April 13, 2015 - Posted by Doodie Taylor-Knox

Dear Editor,


The second issue in our community dealing with the electrical contract is the legislation recently introduced into the Texas House of Representatives.  Both bills, HB 2715 and 2716, relate to the confidentiality of certain information about the operation of municipally-owned utilities (MOUs). 


The bills were written because Coleman citizens have never been allowed despite multiple FOIA requests to see the Merriman/Poage/Catoe renegotiated 2012 AEPEP contract.   Those requests as well as requests for the 2010 amendment have always been denied on the basis of trade secrets and confidential information.  All that despite the fact that the original 2007 contract was released in its entirety, trade secrets included, in 2011. And, despite the fact that the latest FOIA requests for the 2012 contract clearly request NO TRADE SECRETS AND NO COMPETITIVE MATTERS.  Again, the requests were denied by both the City of Coleman and AEPEP. 


The extent of information recently released to Coleman citizens was the result of a social network campaign.  Mayor Joffrion asked and was allowed to release two very important terms of the 2012 contract:  1) congestion fees would go into effect beginning January 1, 2015; and 2) the contract had been extended for an additional year, ending December 31, 2018. 


Upfront, I want it understood, I don’t care nor have I ever cared about AEPEP’s trade secrets. They want to operate under a cloak of darkness that is their business as long as they allow their customers (the City of Coleman) to be honest, and their customers are allowed to openly discuss their contract with their own customers (the citizens of the City of Coleman).  That is not happening in Coleman!   The proposed legislation aims to ensure no other small town like Coleman is ever again put in this situation. 


While the two bills are basically the same, HB 2716 narrows the scope of coverage to MOUs operated by towns that are less than 6,000 in city population which are also a county seat within a county of 10,000 or less.  This narrowed scope means it affects only nine (9) MOUs:  Coleman, Tulia, Seymour, Mason, Brady, San Saba, San Augustine, Floydada, and Goldthwaite. 


To explore the idea of moving forward, since I like to have all my ducks in a row, I researched the electric rates in the nine towns.  That research showed base per kilowatt hour charges ranging from 3.62¢ to 7.0¢; total kWh billings to customers after adding a power recovery charge that range from 10.31¢ to 16.5¢; and meter rental charges from $6.06 to $13.50. 


The statistics show that, of the nine towns, Coleman has the highest custom charge, energy charge per kWh, minimum charge, and certainly, Power Cost Adjustment per kilowatt hour of energy used.


Is that all AEPEP’s fault?  No.  Does the City of Coleman have to take responsibility for their increase in these costs?  Yes.  Is it wrong for the City of Coleman to take this action?  No.  They are in the business to run this city and provide its citizens certain services.  However, what, in my opinion, is wrong, is the city’s lack of planning for the future of our community.  At this point in the contract, it might actually be feasible for some company to buy out the AEPEP contract.


Certainly, it is not wrong to start looking, planning, and preparing for the future now.  The only way you can do that is to look at the contract and start planning NOW.  We can’t do that because it is a confidential contract at the request of whom, I don’t know nor can I get a clear response why, especially when no trade secrets have been requested.  This subject was a topic at one of the more recent city council meetings.  A video of that meeting can be seen at

Judge for yourself. 


I know the council is in a precarious situation of taking any side.  It is easy to say this is all their fault, when the reality is that the council is just as clueless as we are.  I have to ask:  Has the council even read the 2012 contract to see what is so confidential?  I know they struggle to make the right decisions.  What can you as residents do?  Become involved.  Start asking our city and the council about our future as a community.    What are the plans for our electricity?  Certainly, it is not too early to start planning.  Certainly, we don’t want to keep renewing a contract for additional years that none of us see as fair to any part of our community. 


Respectfully submitted,

Doodie Taylor-Knox

2513 US Hwy 283

Coleman, Texas 76834

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A victory for Coleman Citizens. Your voices have been heard!

Friday, April 10, 2015 - Posted by Bernadette Allen, in City news

The petitions have been turned into City Hall today (4/10/2015).
Unofficial results Petition A
(bring price down to 12 cents/Kwh or no more than 3 cents more than the city purchases electricity for)
Total Signatures 531
Signatures of registered voters 327
Unofficial results Petition B (sell the MOU)
Total Signatures 495
Signatures of registered voters 294
Thank you citizens of Coleman for rising to the occasion, letting your voices be heard! 
We will let you know the official results when they are available.  We expect that to be in about 10 days. 
Barring any legal maneuvering by the city, the petitions will go to the City Council for vote.  If City Council doesn't pass the ordinances, it will go to the ballot for your vote.  We will keep you informed.
Thank you to everyone who helped collect these signatures!!
A special thanks to LeMoine Knox and Taylor for being at the center of this very important campaign!

Bernadette Allen
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The Texas 'liberty cities' rebellion

Friday, April 10, 2015, in State, Country, International

Kingsbury residents hold the proposed boundaries of their incorporated town

Texas is known for its low taxes and limited government - but its big cities look a lot like big cities anywhere, with their own rules and regulations. As they spread across the neighbouring countryside, some unhappy rural residents are drawing a line in the sand.

There's not a whole lot to Kingsbury, Texas. In fact, it's not even really a town.

Technically Kingsbury is just part of Guadalupe County, in the central part of the state. It is a name and a postal code on a row of dilapidated buildings dating to the early 1900s, when the area had a bustling railroad depot, lumberyard and supporting businesses.

As with many old Texas settlements, however, the trains - the lifeblood of commerce - eventually stopped visiting. The lumberyard shuttered, the hotels closed and the bank burned down after the manager ran off with all the money.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Georgetown goes 100% green.

Thursday, April 9, 2015 - Posted by Tom Dart in Georgetown, Texas, in General News.

Texas city opts for 100% renewable energy – to save cash, not the planet

Georgetown, Texas decision not about going green: ‘I’m probably the furthest thing from an Al Gore clone you could find,’ says city official

wind farm
Georgetown, Texas has economic reasons for opting for renewable energy. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

News that a Texas city is to be powered by 100% renewable energy sparked surprise in an oil-obsessed, Republican-dominated state where fossil fuels are king and climate change activists were described as “the equivalent of the flat-earthers” by US senator and GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz.

“I was called an Al Gore clone, a tree-hugger,” says Jim Briggs, interim city manager of Georgetown, a community of about 50,000 people some 25 miles north of Austin.

Briggs, who was a key player in Georgetown’s decision to become the first city in the Lone Star State to be powered by 100% renewable energy, has worked for the city for 30 years. He wears a belt with shiny silver decorations and a gold ring with a lone star motif, and is keen to point out that he is not some kind of California-style eco-warrior with a liberal agenda. In fact, he is a staunchly Texan pragmatist.

“I’m probably the furthest thing from an Al Gore clone you could find,” he says. “We didn’t do this to save the world – we did this to get a competitive rate and reduce the risk for our consumers.”

In many Texas cities the electricity market is deregulated, meaning that customers choose from a dizzying variety of providers and plans. In Houston, for example, there are more than 70 plans that offer energy from entirely renewable sources.

That makes it easy to switch, so in a dynamic marketplace, providers tend to focus on the immediate future. This discourages the creation of renewable energy facilities, which require long-term investment to be viable. But in Georgetown, the city utility company has a monopoly.

When its staff examined their options last year, they discovered something that seemed remarkable, especially in Texas: renewable energy was cheaper than non-renewable. And so last month city officials finalised a deal with SunEdison, a giant multinational solar energy company. It means that by January 2017, all electricity within the city’s service area will come from wind and solar power.

Read the rest of the article here.

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If you want a voice, sign the petitions

Monday, April 6, 2015 - Posted by Doodie Taylor Knox, in City news, Opinion/Commentary

Dear Editor,

Currently there are two intertwined electrical issues before this community: Two petitions and two State of Texas House Bills. Because the petitions have an end date of Friday, April 10, 2015, I think it is vital for the citizens to understand the true thoughts behind the petitions.

There is no doubt that the citizens of Coleman have an electrical problem. As a county dweller, I chose to stay out of this battle until a recent city council meeting where it was obvious to me that even the council is unaware of what all is occurring with the confidentiality of these electrical contracts.

While I have accepted, in my opinion, the best plan is now to sit out the AEPEP contract, it does not mean the city or its citizens need to sit on their hands either. The two petitions are NOT promoting a single issue. They are promoting an idea. The idea is to give the citizens and taxpayers an option to have their voices heard and help the city council make decisions about what is best for this community.

I can only tell you what I want: I don’t want services cut. I want services improved. I would never support a cut in the budget for either the swimming pool or the library or the police department; however, I am willing to look at alternative funding/budgeting that would allow for their funding plus more. I want a jail even if it means collaboration with another county. I want this community to thrive and move forward. I want the City of Coleman and the Coleman City Council to listen to what its citizens want. That, folks, is why I signed a petition as an interested county resident. I want my voice and YOUR VOICE heard.

It is my opinion this community needs to start planning on its future now by voicing their opinion to the city council and the administration. It is my opinion that the only way your voice is going to be heard is to have an active role in deciding the process of this next electrical contract. Certainly, it is not too early to start now! Signing the petition is not saying you support the sell of the lines. It is saying: I want to investigate and look at alternatives to what we have now. Because I am so dedicated to the library and the pool, I have repeatedly refused to even look at the option, but I do want alternatives. Does Coleman need to put in a wind farm? Would solar be an option? Is our local electrical coop interested? At least with the coop, we are supporting a local business and putting Coleman people to work plus the coop donates to our community. Even LCRA, also an electrical provider, supports the Coleman Public Library, the City of Coleman Park, and Heritage Hall through various grants. What has AEPEP donated to this community? I want to see alternatives, don’t you?

If you want a voice, sign the petition at 112 South Concho (the old cable office). All it is saying is you want your voice to be heard! Next week, I’m going to be telling you about the house bills currently introduced in the Texas Legislation about the confidentiality of electric contracts. It is really a hum dinger!

Respectfully submitted,

Doodie Taylor-Knox

2513 US Hwy 283

Coleman, Texas 76834

(This is the opinion of one or more persons and may or may not reflect the opinion(s) of

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PayPal scam targets Craigslist sellers

Monday, April 6, 2015 - Posted by Matt Grant, in General News., State, Country, International

A new scam is targeting people selling items on Craigslist and it could cost you thousands.

When David Wolek put his 2007 Carolina Skiff fishing boat on Craigslist he didn't expect to get caught on a phishing scam.

"I guess since it's a fishing boat," said Wolek, "they're out phishing for a sucker."

Wolek placed an add offering to sell his boat for just under $16,000. Right away he got a bite from an interested buyer.

"He sent me a message telling me he was very interested," said Wolek. "He wanted it for his father but he was on an oil rig and he couldn't come take a look at it himself."

Emails detail an elaborate scheme designed to steal your money.

The fake buyer urged Wolek to join PayPal - then promised to overpay by $2500 to cover transportation fees. Then the buyer wanted Wolek to wire him back the overpayment.

"That's when it didn't smell right to me," said Wolek, a retired post master from Oklahoma.

The fake seller then sent a fake email pretending to be from PayPal.

Click here to read the rest of the story on the forum.

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Water is Precious.

Sunday, April 5, 2015 - Posted by Michael Snyder

How Many People Will Have To Migrate Out Of California When All The Water Disappears?

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The drought in California is getting a lot worse.  As you read this, snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mountains are the lowest that have ever been recorded.  That means that there won’t be much water for California farmers and California cities once again this year.  To make up the difference in recent years, water has been pumped out of the ground like crazy.  In fact, California has been losing more than 12 million acre-feet of groundwater a year since 2011, and wells all over the state are going dry.  Once the groundwater is all gone, what are people going to do?

Click here to read the rest of the story in the Forum

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Sign the Petitions

Saturday, April 4, 2015 - Posted by Craig, in Opinion/Commentary

Coleman now has the highest electrical rate in the state of Texas, and the rates are only expected to go up!

But there is something you can do about it.

Sign the petitions! 112 S. Concho (325) 625-5777 / (325) 625-5419

Coleman's high electrical rate is the result of two major problems.
1) In 2007, the city signed a 10 year contact (which was extended in 2012 by another year) that locked in a historically high rate. 2) The city nearly doubles what they charge you over what they pay.

What is so unfortunate is, due to the significant inefficiencies in such a small electrical system, the majority of what the city charges you for electricity does not go to the streets, police department, library or swimming pool as many would like you to believe, it simply goes towards trying to keep this very expensive system running. Multiple debts are associated with our system; and, there was even a property tax increase this year to help keep this system going.

You are paying the city nearly $10.00 for every $1.00 of "Profit". This is a horrific waste money and resources. I am sure we would all gladly pay the city $1.00 directly, instead of $10.00 through our electric bill.  Selling the system could result in a 25% to 50% reduction in your electric bill.

So many have come to believe that we cannot get out of the contract. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Other electrical providers including the CO-OP are willing to purchase the contract and provide us electricity at a substantial discount.

Another false argument is that if we sell the system, we will have to reduce city services. This is also FALSE. There are only 72 MOU's (Municipally owned utilities) in Texas. If such a statement were true, then only 72 cities would be prospering and growing while the others would be declining. Our neighbors, Brownwood, Abilene, Ballinger and even Santa Anna are seeing growth,  they are not MOU's -- how does that compare to Coleman?

Please stop by (quickly) and sign the petitions at 112 S. Concho, between the post office and city hall. Be a part of the solution, or call 325-625-5419

For more details, or to comment on this subject, please see the Coleman Connected electrical forum at

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