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Meet the Candidates: Lantana FWSD #7

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For the first time in Lantana’s history, there will be a board member election this May in Denton County Fresh Water Supply District #7.

Incumbent Mike Shaw and Lantana residents Andrew W. Kloser, Robert Smith, and David J. Ware are vying for two at-large seats on the board of directors.

Shaw has been serving on the District 7 board since the community was established in May 2000. Although he owns property in Lantana, he is not a resident of the development.

Incumbent James Cassels, who is currently serving as President, did not file to run again.

Past elections in sparsely populated District 7 have been cancelled due to no one applying for a place on the ballot.

District 7 includes the following neighborhoods: Azalea, Bandera, Bellaire, Brazos, Isabel, Madison, Wimberley and Phase 3 and 4 of Magnolia.

Board members terms are four years.  The board meets at least once a month at the district office in Bartonville Town Center to conduct business similar to a town council, including setting the property tax rate, reimbursing the developer for infrastructure improvements and overseeing utilities.

Early voting begins April 26 and runs until May 4.  Election Day is May 8.

Here is a look at the candidates:

Andrew W. Kloser

Marital Status: Married to my wife Sharon for 8 years

Children: Twins, boy and girl, age 3

Lantana neighborhood and for how long:  Azalea for 2.5 years

Current Occupation:  Pharmaceutical Product Manager

Religious / Civic Organizations: St. Mark’s Catholic Church Denton

Why have you decided to run for office? I will bring resident based experience, initiative and leadership to FWSD #7.

Experience: Previously I worked for a consulting company that dealt primarily with the development of large scale master planned communities very much like Lantana. Once we purchased our first home in California I decided that it was important to get involved to help ensure that we always had a quality community to live in.   I was one of the only members of our rather large community who actually attended the local HOA meetings and was subsequently elected to serve on its board.

Initiative: I have been one of the only residents to regularly attend our FWSD #7 meetings.  I felt it was important to understand how our current “city” operated and also understand the issues that our community faced. I often find that people complain, but rarely take action to make things better.  I consistently have notified both our FWSD and HOA when things within our community need attention.

Leadership: In the past, I have lead and managed numerous teams real estate development and pharmaceutical field.  I also helped lead our past community in California to be one of the most prosperous despite the economic downturn.  Consequently, I have experience in dealing with many issues that impact a community and have the initiative and leadership to ensure our community prospers.

If elected, what are your top priorities? Lantana is already a wonderful place to live.  The top priority is to make sure it stays that way as it continues to both age and grow.  In the future we will need to address public safety and other community services that will be necessary to maintain and increase our quality of life as well as our property values.  I believe that we also need to find ways to get the maximum benefit for our tax dollars paid to Denton County as well as our city.  Another area that I will work to improve is the need for better communication of things that may impact our community like gas drilling.  As an example, recently I am sure many Lantana residents were equally surprised and perhaps even frightened like myself to be awoken in the middle of the night by the jet engine roar of an intentionally set gas well burn off immediately adjacent to Lantana.

Anything else? I believe that FWSD #7 deserves a board that is comprised of residents who actually live in our community.  The nonresident members of our FWSD #7 board have served us well as our community was brought to life, but now is the time that we need to take responsibility for our own community.

Mike Shaw (I)

Marital Status: Married

Children: Son, 35

Lantana neighborhood and for how long:   n/a

Current Occupation: Sales Engineer

Religious / Civic Organizations: Methodist

Why have you decided to run for office?  To keep quality of Lantana at a high level

If elected, what are your top priorities?  To continue the high efficiency and quality of Lantana

Anything else? Original Board members from the inception of # 7 (5/18/2000) and has served since that time.

Robert A. Smith

Marital Status:
Married to the most beautiful person in my world-Jessica Smith

Children: One true blessing, my son Karson, 22 months old.

Lantana neighborhood and for how long:  Own a home in Bandera, rented a house in Wisteria for 1 1/2 years and fell in love with Lantana and decided to buy a home here.

Current Occupation: Own RJSmith Electric LLC and have 18 great, hard working employees.

Religious / Civic Organizations: I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and trust in him.

Why have you decided to run for office? I decided to run for FWSD #7 because I believe that I have a personal interest in what transpires in my community.   The decisions that the FWSD make affect my family,neighbors, and friends.   With that I feel a personal responsibility to ensure that the needs of the residents are the driving forces behind all decisions the FWSD makes.

If elected, what are your top priorities? My top priorities are keeping our community safe and making sure the progress of Lantana keeps up with the desires of the residents who make this wonderful family community their home.  My father served as president of a school board for nearly twenty years as well as serving on numerous other boards.  I saw the dedication it took to serve others while improving the community in which we lived.   I will work to make sure Lantana is better off in four years than it is now.

David J. Ware

Marital Status:  Married

Children: Son 14 & Daughter 12 – both attending Harpool Middle School

Lantana neighborhood and for how long:  Closed in January 2009 in Bandera

Current Occupation:  Safety professional for a property & casualty insurance company

Religious / Civic Organizations:  Member of Trietsch, United Methodist Church in Flower Mound

Why have you decided to run for office?  I met FWSD #6 candidate Ross Ferguson on two occasions and he and his wife seem quite pleasant.  Ross brought-up the idea at a New Year’s eve party to run.  I balked at first due to my occupation limited time when factoring in family commitments, but given decisions being done in Washington D.C. of late I am motivated to help support my friends and neighbors to do something positive.  Serving on the board seems an area that supports my professional background with my current employer.  I have lived all over the country and learned different ways to address problems.  Some of these methods work well and others, while well intention, have lead to unexpected consequences.  I am originally from north Dallas where I graduated from high school and my mother still resides in the house I grew-up.  After repayment of my educational expenses in 1987 I joined the Navy in an effort to provide service back to our country.  Upon discharge from a submarine in San Diego , CA I begin working with my current employer.  I see one of my core gifts as being a service based person.

If elected, what are your top priorities? The first thing is to understand the budget from both a revenue and expense standpoint.  (I am an extremely data driven person but not to the point I am unable to make a decision.)  After understanding the budget I would then like to learn about the current projects, status, expected date of completion and future projects.  Enlarge my network of Lantana residents to understand their wants and needs.  Lantana Live indicates there will be new builders and sections added to Lantana.  I would like to understand how these designs will contribute to the strategic objectives of Lantana and continue these developments and/or challenge ideas if the direction seems to be out of line with the current strategies.  Over the four year term I would like to see Lantana grow while maintaining the current sense of community an keep expenses managed.  I would also like to ensure property values and desirability of the community remains at the current or a higher level than today.

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