The trio of Mayor Melissa Northern, Place 2 Council Member Al Filidoro and Place 4 Council Member Steve Lyda, known as “NFL”, announced Wednesday their intention to seek reelection to the Flower Mound Town Council.
“Even though we campaigned as individuals who were pooling resources together to save money, the community continued to link us together and call us ‘NFL’,” said Mayor Northern.
“It was not our intention to run as a team, but our backgrounds complemented each other in such a way that it was a win for us and for Flower Mound. We will continue to work together to do what is right for this community.”
Mayor Northern, who is completing her first term, was a vocal advocate in the fight for gas drilling protection near homes and schools prior to running for office. Once in office, she worked with council in adopting a comprehensive Oil & Gas Ordinance that aims to protect residential areas and schools.
“Upon entering office I established and organized the Town’s first comprehensive monitoring and lobbying efforts against gas drillers’ encroachment, enlisted area communities to join with us and encouraged residents to contact their state legislators,” said Northern.
“Whether my efforts led me to Flower Mound or to Austin, I went wherever it was necessary to fight drillers’ efforts to undo the nationally recognized protections we had just enacted to our new local gas ordinances. I continuously went to Austin during the last session to fight for our right to control our destiny at the local level. I testified at legislative hearings and met with State Representatives and Senators to be sure that our local authority stayed in place.”
Councilmember Al Filidoro joined the legislative effort in Austin where he testified at senate/legislature subcommittee hearings and lobbied area legislators about local control.
“I have always worked hard to protect local control as I believe that our own interests must be protected from legislation proposed that does not take into account the unique circumstances of each individual community,” said Filidoro.
Councilmember Steve Lyda pointed to the upcoming Charter Review Election in May as an important final step in protecting the new ordinance.
Residents will be able to vote on a number of changes to the Charter, including a provision that requires public hearings and a super majority council vote before any future councils can change the new Oil and Gas Ordinance.
“Pro-drilling advocates, pro-gas residents, a current council member, and a council candidate worked to stop the residents right to vote on the Charter changes in May but were unsuccessful thanks to the diligence and professionalism of the Charter Review Commission and an outpouring from our residents who demanded the right to vote on these changes,” said Lyda.
Other areas of success the trio pointed out were the adoption of a new solid waste contract with Waste Management that will save residents close to $7 million over five years, an unprecedented number of new and upgraded roads during their term in office, and a 15 percent increase in sales tax collection thanks to an influx of out-of-town shoppers.
“Economic Development continues to be a key area in which I have spent a large percentage of my time,” said Northern.
“The Lakeside Business District is 93 percent occupied. Our new medical community, anchored by the new hospital, continues to thrive with the construction of a new medical office tower and medical office facilities along FM 2499. With these developments, medical specialists in all fields are locating to Flower Mound giving our residents unprecedented choices in quality medical care without having to leave Flower Mound.”
Filidoro added, “Flower Mound has never been in better financial shape. We have collected additional sales tax revenues and increased services without raising taxes, while many of our neighbors have had to cut back on services and raise taxes.”
Mayor Northern has drawn two challengers so far; sitting councilmember Tom Hayden and retired resident Alan Cloud.
Bryan Webb has filed to challenge Filidoro. Former councilman Steve Dixon is rumored to be a contender for Lyda’s seat.
“Our residents have continued show us their support during our first term,” said Lyda. “We look forward to a vigorous campaign for re-election and in our residents returning us to council for another term. In looking back over an intense and busy first term, we are proud our record shows that promises made were promises kept.”
Early voting begins on April 30 and runs through May 8. Election Day is May 12 at the Flower Mound Police and Courts Building located at 4150 Kirkpatrick Lane.