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McDearmont's Message – May 2011

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There are always many questions that citizens have about issues in Highland Village. For this month’s column I wanted to answer some questions that I get asked frequently.  That being said, our city staff is always available to help answer citizen questions and concerns. Citizens can also contact the City Secretary’s office at 972-899-5132 to set up an appointment with any member of the city council.

Why can’t the outside lanes of FM 2499 through Highland Shores be opened?
The outside lanes of FM 2499 through Castlewood and Highland Shores remain an active construction zone.  Additional safety/screening walls are being designed. When these walls are installed, the construction barrels will be removed and the lanes will be opened.

When will the speed limit on FM 2499 change up or down?
After all construction is finished a speed limit study will be undertaken by TXDOT. The city has expressed our desire to keep the speed limit lower through our neighborhoods and higher North of Pilot Knoll Park.  The final limit will be set by the State of Texas.

When will FM 407 be complete through the 2499 intersection?
The widening of FM 407 has experienced extensive delays even as road projects go. There are ongoing utility relocation issues that hopefully will be resolved soon. I wish I could give a better timetable, but the city will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.

Who pays for the police directing traffic in front of Walmart?
The city does not reimburse the public safety officers in front of Walmart. These are off duty officers paid by Walmart.

When will DCTA A-train service begin at the Highland Village/Lewisville Lake Station?
June 18th remains the target date for connection of the A-train commuter rail with DART’s green line in Carrollton.  The City of Highland Village is gathering public input on ridership and other aspects of the A-train service.

Why did you vote for a workplace smoking ban?
This issue has gone back and forth between the state and local levels for three legislative sessions. I understand the arguments about personal liberty and business’s rights, but to me this has always been a public health and workplace safety issue.  This was an issue that I felt like Highland Village should lead by example on. I know the decision was unpopular with some, but overall the reaction I have received has been positive.

Why as mayor do you support or endorse candidates in other local races?
As an elected official I feel responsible for all aspects of life in Highland Village. So much goes into what makes Highland Village a great place to live. Maintaining good level headed leadership at the local and county levels helps Highland Village stay strong. So I will continue to help and/or endorse candidates who I feel will maintain or grow the positive relationships the city has worked hard to build.

When will the Doubletree Park be open for the public?
The City has just gone through an RFP process to identify design firms to aid in the master plan of Doubletree Park. Demolition of the existing buildings will occur next and then the front open space should be available for public use. Trails and soccer amenities as well as nature areas will be incorporated into the park.

Why did the city keep restaurants and bars from staying open until 2am?
Highland Village Citizens voted in 2009 to keep hours at restaurants and bars the same and not extend them.  This was a direct vote by Highland Village residents.  This type of vote will not be easily reconsidered or reversed.

How do you balance your medical practice and being mayor?
It is never easy in today’s world balancing everything in your life. My family and patients always come first and that will never change. The time I devote to being mayor is my service back to this community.   In part it is as thanks for all the blessings I have received from it.  As a product of local public schools in LISD, it makes me proud I have had the opportunity to live, work, and serve in this community.

So these are some of the frequently asked questions I get from the community. Please always feel free to contact me at smcdearmont@highlandvillage.org, follow me on twitter @mcdearmont, or on facebook, Mayor McDearmont.

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