The middle-class homeowners who make up Southeast Arlington Property Owners (SEAPO) may be ecstatic over the record-busting $22,000-per-acre bonus their neighborhood negotiators just scored in a sealed-bid lease competition.
But there may be a happier guy in Arlington. That's Jeff Richman, an organizer of the west Arlington neighborhood group CATS, which is trying to organize a big portion of homeowners around Lake Arlington and keep them from bolting and signing an $18,000-per-acre offer from Permian Land Services, which is working the area on behalf of XTO Energy. The $18k was among the previous tops in neighborhood lease offers in the Barnett Shale.
"That's great news," Richman said last night when he learned of the SEAPO deal, which Paloma Resources offered on behalf of Chesapeake Energy.
The CATS crew is organizing property owners in the area from I-20 on the south to Pioneer Parkway on the north, Little Road on the east, and Lake Arlington on the west. (Click here to read our previous post on CATS and click here to visit the group's web site.) It's a huge area that even aspires to include the smaller Little Green Ark group at Little Road and Arkansas Lane.
The CATS and Little Green Ark groups are discussing a possible linkup. Richman says somebody claiming to represent CATS told Little Green Ark homeowners at a meeting Thursday night that CATS was already too big for Little Green Ark.
"I talked to all my committee members and no committee members were even at that meeting last night," Richman said Friday. Why not? Because CATS wants to respect Little Green Ark's organizing efforts, he said.
He also said chatter emerged from a Paloma lease meeting that CATS' organizers don't live in Arlington. All of CATS' organizers live in the neighborhoods and the group is not paying for outside advice, he said. He said an attorney from Fort Worth is advising CATS pro-bono.
"People ask me, well, what are you getting paid?" says Richman, who is a salesman of packaged trial-size toiletry products and says he's lived in Arington for years. "I'm not getting paid a cent."
CATS' task of organizing hundreds of homes that fall under 20 homeowner associations has been daunting, Richman said. He acknowledges some homeowners may have already signed leases at meetings that land agents for Paloma Resources have been holding, (Paloma is offering to sign leases in the area on behalf of Chesapeake Energy, but its offered terms are lower at this point.)
Richman said homeowners who are signing may not be aware of CATS' efforts to organize property owners.
"We're doing a good job," Richman said. "I know we could be doing better. We don't have a budget. We all work. It's hard for us to get all this done."
-- Scott Nishimura
(Photos: Lake Arlington)