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DS City Attorney Resigns

Dear FA Friends, Neighbors and Members,

The Friendship Alliance was originally founded and incorporated in
2001 to provide a collective voice and forum for concerned Northern
Hays homeowners and their respective Property and Homeowners'
Associations (POAs & HOAs). We were moved to do this when some legal
issues came to the attention of a few FM1826 POA & HOA board members,
initially from Bear Creek Estates, Fieldstone, Goldenwood and Radiance.
It turned out that our own government in Dripping Springs, which was
then comprised of a considerably different City Council (whom we could
not vote for or against) was signing Development Agreements (DA) that
could not then stand the test of law. But being civil law, we could
only change their approach by seeking recourse in court, since at the
time, Dripping Springs was not willing to admit to any legal errors as
it related to these incorrect DA's. And these DA's, since they were far
reaching, long-term contracts between these new to the area large-scale
developers and the city, became, to us in the FA, critical to all of
our futures and truly emblematic of the need for principled and ethical

By banding together, in a similar spirit to OHAN (Oak Hill Association
of Neighborhoods), we felt a need and void could be filled and a voice
gained. Time has born this out, with the FA suit settlement resulting
in the rescinding and editing of the more offensive DA clauses, the
passage of a city ethics ordinance, new subdivision regs, creation and
acceptance of the Regional Water Quality Plan, election of two FA board
members to the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, the
appointment of an FA founder as Executive Director to the Regional
Water Quality Plan and most recently, the appointment of our earliest
counsel (in our early efforts to unravel the City's behavior), Alan
Bojorquez, as the new DS City Attorney. Mr. Bojorquez, who had come to
our attention through recommendations by Mayors in Wimberley and Bee
Cave, advised us initially and in time we, along with others,
recommended him to the City of Dripping Springs.

To say that things have changed in Dripping Springs government, as it
relates to those of us living in the ETJ, would arguably be an
understatement. The leadership provided by Mayor Purcell, the present
City Council and staff of Michelle Fischer and Ginger Faught has been
commendable and should not be ignored, nor taken for granted.

From The Austin Chronicle

"With surprisingly little fanfare, Rex Baker III - a real estate
lawyer/investor, title company owner, and Hays Co. justice of the peace
- resigned from his position as Dripping Springs city attorney earlier
this month. Baker cited a hectic work schedule and added
responsibilities as the reasons for his July 12 resignation.
Neighborhood groups and outside critics had long questioned Baker's
multiple roles in a small town that saw its greatest growth spurt
during his seven-year tenure as city attorney. Much of the growth
continues to spring up in sensitive recharge areas of the Edwards
Aquifer. Baker profited from the development boom, which left many
taxpayers wondering if his development ties influenced his legal advice
to the mayor and city council in approving zoning requests and
development agreements. Baker always insisted that he was without
conflict, and pointed to his position on the state bar's Judicial
Conduct Committee as proof. Should a conflict arise, Baker told the
Chronicle in 2002, he simply recuses himself from the matter and
another attorney steps in. This time, another attorney has stepped in
to replace Baker altogether. He is Austin attorney Alan Bojorquez, who
has served as special counsel to the city for the last two years. Baker
now fills Bojorquez's role as special counsel.

--Amy Smith

Last updated on Wednesday, August 3, 2005 by billc