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Debate no-shows a disappointment

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As a resident of the area since 1982 and a Copper Canyon resident since 1993, I have seen the area around us change by leaps and bounds. Literally! There seems to be no bounds to how much growth the area will achieve and the growth has leaped straight into our path.

I travel all of the United States and it is always interesting to see the political signs during the election season in different cities. Sometimes I see giant highway billboards like in Chicago and Atlanta. Other places have nice yard signs with a name of the candidate, like in Denver and Flower Mound. Other places I go I see hand written signs on the sides of tractor trailers and yard signs that are hand lettered like in Scottsdale and New Orleans. From the billboards in Chicago, the signs in Flower Mound, or the venom in Scottsdale, the pressure is on to get your votes.

Traveling to Scottsdale the last 20 years and meeting with different city officials, I have asked why the bitterness for all of these years? The answers ranged from legitimate to uninformed to pettiness. I was surprised to see the verbal attacks taking place on 4’ X 8’ sheets of plywood with painted letters next to a statuesque sequoia in a town with the perceived classiness of Scottsdale. Right or wrong, I formed an opinion about the person or group of people by just looking at the signs.

As a former Councilman in Copper Canyon, I wondered if these people had attended the council meetings or went to public hearings to voice an informed opinion? Did they understand everything considered for a Council to make a decision? As the Town Council in Copper Canyon was voting on the commercial zoning on FM 407 I was amazed at the outpouring of emotion over an issue that had been discussed at numerous public hearings. I heard everything from “You didn’t tell us about the hearings” to “We thought those notices from the Town were just junk mail”. You laugh, I am not kidding!

I attended the Candidate Forum at the Copper Canyon Town Hall on the 17th to see if the candidates that are challenging the incumbents were informed and concerned only after reading the hand-lettered signs on Chinn Chapel, which, by the way was quite a surprise as I came down Harlington after returning from Scottsdale of all places! I had other plans for my Sunday, but when I saw the signs, I thought I should hear what the three on the signs had to say.  They piqued my interest. I was disappointed the three individuals did not show up.

Denton County Commissioner, Andy Eads, presided over the event posing the questions that were asked by the public in attendance.

The current Mayor, Sue Tejml, and Council Member Jeff Magnum answered all of the questions and addressed all of the concerns with their usual professionalism and superb knowledge of the facts and figures. These two individuals are a huge part of the organization of this town. I trust both of them to keep the interests of the Town first and foremost as they serve the citizens of Copper Canyon. Our current Council has worked very hard to preserve our wonderful country atmosphere and lifestyle. We need Sue and Jeff to continue to serve our small community with the dedication that I have personally witnessed.

The newcomer to the table was Charlie Nicholas. Charlie was timid and admitted he was nervous in front of groups and was used to meeting smaller groups. I wanted to get to know him, so I spoke with him along with three other attendees. His face lit up and he was now in his element. He has a great personality and an amazing knowledge of land use and development. With the hope of the recession easing and possible development on FM 407, he would be a valuable asset to our town. My opinion.

Gene Colley
Copper Canyon, TX

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