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 governance.
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.