April 19, 2023

Introducing Talking North Texas With Layla Caraway

Layla Caraway hosts the Talking North Texas Podcast, covering topics in Tarrant County as well as the surrounding Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex including politics, culture, and current events with guests both locally and beyond.

Talking North Texas Podcast With Layla Caraway

Hosted by Layla Caraway

Produced by Max Billington

The Wolf And The Shepherd Productions

Find more information about the show at www.thewolfandtheshepherd.com


welcome to this episode of the wolf and

the shepherd well

is it the wolf and the shepherd you know

we haven't done anything as far as

podcasts for a while Tristan and I we

took a break and we had the spring break

message hey we're going to take a break

we kind of came back and then we kind of

backed off from the podcast and there's

a variety of reasons behind that so uh

one of them was both of us changed jobs

and so it was very difficult to get our

schedules kind of in line and we were

trying to figure out a way to get that

done and we just couldn't make that work

out and then as we were trying to get

that to work out we actually had our

first video removed from YouTube due to

misinformation and so that was very

disappointing and by the way you can

find that video on Rumble uh that there

is no misinformation in it but we said

you know that there's nothing wrong with

this like why did this happen and then

we started noticing we were getting

little links for uh if you want to learn

more about covid click here because

apparently we were scaring people we're

like do we have that much of a reach

apparently we did so that was kind of

you know freaky for us and then we just

got to the point where like you know

we're not getting paid to do any of this

so it you know why bother so we just

kind of took a break

well in the midst of that break a couple

of things happened so uh you know we

talked about upgrading equipment and we

were kind of in the middle of that of

some of the stuff that we still have is

still the original stuff and we we put a

pause on that and Tristan and I met uh

probably here about two or three months

ago when we said hey let's fire it up

again and I said yeah you know let's get

that done but in the midst of that a

couple of things happened so one A

friend of mine named Mike Bellinger

reached out to me and he said hey I want

to write some blog articles and I said

okay well we'll put them on the website

so the blog articles are there there's

probably like 45 of them if you want to

check those out great but at the same

time Layla who has been on the show

before she wanted to start a podcast and

I said well let me help you I've got all

this stuff that you know we made our

podcast with I was like don't start

fresh utilize this and just you know

kind of come in and make your podcast

and so she said well okay I I guess I'll

do that and I'm like look it doesn't

have to be the wolf and the shepherd but

we already have the website we already

have all that stuff going so I figured

why not just go ahead and take advantage

of all that so here we are so today I

brought Layla in to kind of talk to her

a little bit about what she wants to do

with the podcast get y'all introduced to

that the podcast of course is going to

be available on our website make

everything as easy for her as possible

all I want her to do is get behind the

microphone and talk so Layla thanks for

coming in here tonight and you know

talking about this so what made you just

finally say hey

I want to go ahead and do a podcast

you're pretty persistent Max no no not

me not at all no we have we have some

very interesting people and very

interesting things that are going on in

Tarrant County and there's not really an

outlet for those people or to know

what's going on I don't know if you're

aware of what's going on with the Taran

Appraisal District but we've got

Chandler Crouch out there who is just

doing he is doing amazing things for the

taxpayers and uh Keller city council has

jumped on board with that Mansfield has

jumped on board with that we have this

Tarrant Regional water district race

coming up we just we have so many people

doing so many cool things in Tarrant

County and I think we should give them a

platform and so other people can learn

about all kinds of things that are going

on that they wouldn't know about

otherwise right and I guess one of the

the problems with like mass media right

you get that two-minute sound bite you

you get that let me ask you a question

maybe give you a follow-up question and

that's all you get and now we've got to

go to the weather in sports and uh

spoiler alert weather nobody can predict

it here in sports Cowboys didn't win the

Super Bowl again so it's almost always

the same thing right but then when you

look at that local stuff that goes on

that people really should dial into

everything gets kind of masked with the

federal level the you know Nation level

the state level even the global level or

whatever and they kind of forget about

the things they can really have an

impact in and get involved in in some of

those local candidates don't necessarily

get the time they need to try to explain

why things are important and I'm sure as

you drove down to the studio today I

pass by them every day the signs are

coming out right you know the for sale

signs are you know I'm ready to be

bought you know just put me in office

I'm ready to be bought so here we come

again but I also know and and we want to

talk about that of course but at the

same time you don't want to just deal in


absolutely not like I said there are so

many cool people in Tarrant County again

doing so many cool things it's just we

need to give them some kind of outlet

that people know about these things and

know what's happening and as for the

political side you talk about National

and how everybody gets sucked off into

that can people complain about you know

National politics

how do you think those people got there

we sent them there right they did such a

terrible job here we promoted them and

send them to Washington

and talking about signs out here you

know the signs don't tell you this

person is related to so and so right you

don't have the opportunity a little bit

nepotistic right yeah so I think

bringing in

people that could educate the you know

the audience on things that they are

important to them on a local level that

they're not aware of and I won't be

aware of when you talk about local news

yeah they just want the Sound by and if

they ask a follow-up question I've I've

been interviewed quite a few times on

local and news if they answer ask you a

follow-up question

that's usually surprising because most

of them don't have enough information to

ask you a follow-up question right and I

I think one thing that podcasting allows

is that long-form conversation I'm going

to guess most of the people that you're

going to bring on to your part of this

podcast right are people I don't really


that much about what's going on but

at the same time it's things that I

would like to know about and I don't

even know that I want to know about

these things and I think that's part of

getting that information out there right

being able to say look this is something

you actually should be paying attention

to it's not as big of a deal as you know

some crazy thing going on in Washington

right this is in your backyard these are

the things right yeah daily by the hour

by the minute so let's kind of go back

just a little bit of a history lesson I

brought you on the podcast because I

wanted to talk about you know the

panther Island stuff we had Mary

Kelleher on great guest love Mary

she ended up winning the water board on

God that that kind of sounds bad you

know she's on she's on the Water Board

she doesn't waterboard people correct uh

I know there's probably some people she

would like to waterboard but you know

she's such a nice lady I don't think she

actually would waterboard somebody maybe

me you know after I put her through the

ringer and ask her all those questions

but I know that you're kind of connected

into some of the Tarrant County politics

and all of that and would like to offer


non-bs just you know sitting here in our


unobtrusive let's hang out let's have

some conversations right yes yes

um and the water district and Tad and

this Tarrant County College there are a

lot of things that affect all of us it

doesn't matter what party it is these

things affect everyone locally

so we really need to look at

again how we get these people to stop

focusing on party alone

and have a discussion

well in in some of these elections right

like Mary for instance with the Water


there was no r or D next to her name

primary right there there's no primary

it's not like you can vote a straight r

or D ticket no not on these down ballot

races but that's the first question

you'll be asked and Mary has a she has a

great answer for that water is

nonpartisan it doesn't matter how you

vote when it comes to your taxes when it

comes to you flooding when it comes to

water supply

those things your party doesn't matter

right I mean we want clean water and and

of course one one of the things that you

know we talked about where I said well

Layla don't pigeonhole yourself right

don't get too stuck in Tarrant County

and we kind of argued about that which

was fun but I I remember when we had

Mary on the show I got an email from

somebody in Indiana Illinois

and and I thought well this is the

Tarrant water board I didn't even know

that existed and you know so just

because you think it's just Tarrant

County this could spread around you know

for other municipalities or counties or

whatever that's gonna kind of get out so

I I think what you're trying to do was

good and in trying to offer these folks

you know some

ways to sit down and talk and have a

nice long conversation but I don't and

we're going to get back into politics

here in a minute but you also have some

ideas outside of politics and I I think

that's where you kind of shifted into

gear and said you know what I'm going to

go ahead and do this yes because you

didn't want to be the politics girl no I

don't I didn't I don't and we've talked

about this too that you you get sucked

back in Hotel California however you

want to say it but you I prefer

Godfather but go ahead once you're in

you can't get out but again it goes back

to how many interesting people and how

many interesting things are going on

locally you know we have a TCU Professor

I'd like to bring on a couple of


some Pulitzer prize-winning authors I

just there's so many cool people just

locally that

I think we should hear their story I

don't I don't want it to all be about

politics but I think there are some

local issues that

once you know you can't unknow

right and people should really know at

least a baseline of what's going on in

their neighborhoods yeah well I think a

lot of people don't really know Ryan it

they don't really know until chaos

happens right and I think that right and

I think you were one of those people

that can speak so directly to that

because you didn't know about any of

this stuff until chaos happens and I'd

like to think it would be better for

folks to know about this stuff before

the chaos happens and I think that's

that's maybe part of what you're trying

to do while at the same time giving some

other folks a voice right yes yes

um I would I never knew what a water

board was until a flood in 2007. um Mary

Kelleher as you mentioned she was in the

same situation until her property

started flooding she didn't know what a

water board was she didn't she had had

no idea and she made a comment at event

a few days ago about how she puts her

number and her email personal number and

email on everything because she doesn't

want to be treat someone the way she was

treated when the chaos happened and

nobody will call you back you don't know

how to get a hold of anybody

and we need more people like that

willing to step up and serve and put

their number out there in their email

and be willing to

help the people uh now I'm going to put

you on the spot

do you think Mary would come onto your


maybe yeah yeah you know I mean we were

talking about this before we hit the

record button that you know we had Mary

on our show and and we interviewed her

and you know Mary was great and loved

talking to her fantastic woman but super

nervous in front of the camera super

nervous like interviews yeah yeah you

know and and I know there's a little bit

of that nerve in you as well but we're

gonna get over that right and we're

gonna figure out that way to get you

over that it's just the video I'm good

otherwise yeah well we'll stop looking

at the camera looking yeah stop looking

at the camera don't worry about that so

it thinking about Tarrant County right

thinking about kind of your mission of

what you want to accomplish here other

than you know yeah you got some voices

out there that need to be heard

let's back up a little bit to the

politics question and talk about

Chandler okay uh I've seen some of what

he's posted on Facebook seems like he's

out there doing a great job uh somehow I

friended him on Facebook didn't even

know who he was and then we kind of

talked about that I'm like this dude's

my friend on Facebook and I don't even

have a clue what he's doing but then I

saw some of the stuff he was posting

about the Tad thing so can you give us

kind of a quick rundown of what's going

on there I I think that's kind of at the

top of your priority list right now yeah

so Chandler Crouch is a local realtor

over here in Keller and he does what his

claim to fame I guess you would say he

will help you protest your taxes for


and so he has a huge Client List and all

he asks in return is if you need a

realtor you know you reach out to him

and his team

and one of the employees high-ranking

employees at the Tarrant Appraisal


sent in a letter a complaint trying to

get Chandler's realtor license

revoked due to literally him helping


with their Tad appraisals okay I think

you need to say that again

because that that quite honestly is

unbelievable exactly and they this man

did this on

tarent appraisal

letterhead you know as acting in that

role well okay so do me this favor let's

back up a little bit so

for those people that don't understand

part of their house payment or honestly

part of their even rent payment goes to

pay property taxes so let's

kind of thirty thousand foot level

explain a little bit about appraisal

values and what goes on there okay we're

gonna need Chandler for that because

that's not mine I said 30 000 foot level

do you want me to do it

okay so your property has a taxable

appraisal value

that you can go on tad.org

look up your property and say okay

Tad decides Tad meaning Taran Appraisal


decides your house is worth a hundred

thousand dollars and by the way if

there's a property in Tarrant County

worth a hundred thousand dollars I think

we'll go in halfers we'll go ahead and

buy it and probably sell it for 250

because that doesn't exist apparently

anymore but

so what Chandler's doing is saying well

hey you know you have this appraisal

that goes in and based off that

appraisal you get charged a percentage

amount of that for your taxes now you

can then be told your tax percentage got

lowered so your taxes went down

but if your appraisal amount goes up and

the percentage goes down a fifth grade

math teacher can explain to you why you

actually paid more in taxes and I think

that's correct me if I'm wrong what kind

of got Chandler a little wound up right

probably because there's so many of them

and anybody can protest your taxes you

can protest your own but Chandler was

taking another look and especially if

you give him access to your account now

he has this whole pool to look at so he

has a big overview where nobody else

really has that aside from Tad

it what do you mean by the overview do

you know so like

he had I want to say he had and I could

be wrong but I want to say he had like

28 000 people say please protest my

taxes so now he has a sample of Tarrant

County of what all these you know you're

looking at everybody's you're not just

looking at yours or going out here and

looking at a few on on the website you

were looking at this huge sample of

Tarrant County


they had a real problem with that a

government agency I know it'll shock

normal people to know this but it

doesn't shock those of us in a

government agency that doesn't want you

looking into

what they're doing right it's kind of


and there was a little back and forth

did the board know that this employee

sent this in

and so now it's escalated to the point

that the council the Keller city council

has recalled the chairman of the Terran

appraisal board I believe Mansfield has

joined on that and

so then there was a questionable thing

well before you go any farther

Keller recalled that so what does that


that they wanted to so this is an odd

this is kind of like the Tarrant uh

water district Regional water district

they have odd elections you and I can't

go vote for the Tarrant Appraisal board

deterrent appraisal board is voted on by

cities and school districts different

entities and depending on how big that

entity is depends on how many votes they

get okay

so Keller voted to re recall the

chairman of the board the Tarrant

Appraisal board

well apparently there's questions on how

you would reappoint someone in that role

during a during their term because her

term is still valid

so to make to make sure they could put

who they wanted to on there when she was

recalled by Keller she resigned

okay almost like the Nixon thing yeah

you know Nixon knew he was gonna get you

know he was going to get kicked out of

office he's like I'm gonna quit before

this happens I mean good for him I mean

because he kind of saw the writing on

the wall so apparently this lady that

this happened to

kind of saw the writing on the wall

right yeah and again this is ongoing and

current so I would really rather

Chandler take this on because I'm not

100 right but the reason I'm bringing

all this up is these are the things you

kind of want to talk about you know when

when something happens like this

gotta have a voice whatever but in the

midst of that let's talk to some

Pulitzer Prize winning yes uh reporters

let's talk to you talked about the

photographer earlier

um without you know saying who it is

just kind of give me that little rundown

of you know the the fourth generation

guided jog your memory back yes there

are other of course many talented

photographers in our area we're lucky to

have a lot of artists here and one of

them is a fourth generation Fort Worth

photographer and he did a project a

couple years ago at UNT where he used

his great grandfather's camera to take

these pictures and I went and

participated in it you had to stand

still for I don't remember how many


like the old school like hide under the

deal and you can't move and they were

called uh his project was called The

Walking Dead because you know all these

pictures his great-grandfather had taken

on this picture a camera of course all

those people are dead and by the time

this you know at some point all these

people that did this one will all be

dead and

but it's just there are so many

interesting people and so many

interesting things that go on in Fort

Worth that again with our local news

they don't really get any coverage why

do you think that is


Brian but

come on We're not gonna do yes no

questions Layla we talked about this I

said money Ryan

um it is it's a lot to do with money I

do I am very impressed with the Fort

Worth report they've been on the scene I

want to say two years now I may not have

that correct but they're an online news

source okay and they haven't heard of

Fort Worth report so you should go let's

let's give them a little commercial even

though uh by the way Fort Worth report

if you'd like to sponsor this you know I

just got to pull back some of the old

wolf shepherd stuff but no tell us about

the Fort Worth report they are a local

news organization that they are all


they are funded by donors and they have

done a phenomenal job reporting on the

Tarrant Regional water district they've

done a better job than any news

organization now I have to give the Fort

Worth Weekly their props because for

years they were the only people that

would report on the Tarrant Regional

water district and what was really going

on unlike our local paper that was

mostly a cheerleader for anything going

on whatever they said goes so

uh I know where you're going and I think

some folks that are probably going to

listen to this that they know where

you're going there but the Fort Worth

report is a much more balanced look at

things that are going on

um and do you know any folks over at the

Fort Worth report

um I know a couple one of the reporters

I worked with a lot she has already she

moved on to

um a bigger job for her but the people

who have replaced her actually doing a

fantastic job I mean I've really been

impressed and it's hard for a news

organization to impress me so so they're

not sponsored by Pfizer not yet no when

that doesn't happen yeah and then and

then when that happens it's like oh we

got to write that off Ryan I mean I I

remember when the Keller citizen was

independent I don't know if you were

around here when it was or not but then

it you know got bought out or whatever I

don't even know if the Keller citizen

exists anymore I don't either

um the good thing about Fort Worth

report being online one they can

hit pretty quick sure and things I mean

and yes I I'm showing my age a little

bit about like a physical newspaper you

had to like pick up or gets delivered on

Tuesday to your mailbox for free or

whatever I mean that part sucks but but

the whole news organization it just

went away yeah right it was funded by

you know if you wanted to sell your car

you went down to the Keller Citizen and

you paid whatever it was to put a

classified ad in there or if you were

running a local business you you had

your ad so they had the ad sales or

whatever and then it just died I mean it

just went okay and next thing you know

it I think it got bought out and then it

would just

yeah but Fort Worth report has also they

do real good about

um when people are

filing for office they put out they'll

put out of course it's a short

background but they find the basic

information and put that out and a lot

of other places you can't really

sometimes you can't even find who's

running right so it's been helpful I

think in that sense that well around

here you gotta drive down Golden


there's all those signs I saw a water

district sign

I I don't know who it is and and I can

already see the look in your eyes right

now like don't mention that name good

news is I don't remember who it was but

we drive by him like I I remember when

you know the hail storm hit and it was

like a mix of roofing signs and people

running for office I'm like I think I

think the roofers are winning right

because they have more signs out I mean

most people don't pay attention to that


I know the marketing strategy behind

that is it's that recognition you know

you've got to see that name but once

those signs pop out

people think an election's coming up

right you know and then they're gonna

get interested in at least a certain

aspect right and most people don't even

know what the water board does or right

the only reason I kind of know is

because of you in in Mary right but I

guarantee you we we could hop in the car

right now and drive by there I don't

know what any of those other offices are

doing I'm like right oh the railroad

commissioner you know is it who wears

the OshKosh B'gosh hat the best I I mean

I don't know what any of this stuff does

well why is that and most people don't

here's a again the railroad commissioner

has nothing to do with the railroad

will that make sense so so the water

board is running the electrical grid

apparently I mean

let's start on the ground

oh I'm getting you wound up right yes

I'm getting you wound up well look I I'm

I'm looking forward to

you know helping you out with your

podcast I I think you've got some some

really good ideas and I just wanted to

give you that sounding board and most

likely I I know she doesn't like even

looking in the camera she just I I think

she just finally realized there's

actually a camera going right now right

I I'm gonna be the guy behind the scenes

uh but you you know a lot of interesting

people with stories they need to tell

and everything and so uh it's gonna be

fun I'm I'm looking forward to this so

uh parting message

we're gonna have a lot of fun we're

gonna have a lot of fun I like it well

with all that said hey uh for for the

wolf and the shepherd listeners that are

subscribers on YouTube whatever

all of this is still going to be on our

YouTube channel there's going to be by

the way a a separate you know area for

for your podcast and everything on there

I guess we're switching to a production

company or whatever which is

just barely One Step Above analog but

you know we're gonna make it work things

are going to get better on that front or

whatever so please listen to you know

all of the

folks that Layla is going to bring in

she's going to be sharing all this of

course and hey if you want to go back

and listen to you know Tristan and I's

Banner of course you know we welcome

that and we're not saying we're done but

this is Layla's show that this is not

Max's show this is not Tristan show this

is not the wolf and the shepherd show

but we wanted to offer this up to her

and it we wish you luck we're here to

help you and uh I think it's going to be

great so anyway with that being said

thanks Layla thank you and uh

I I did get a new mouse for for those

people that actually watch so great to

see you all and uh we're looking forward

to the new content so y'all be good bye