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NFL fumbles on economic development issues

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Competing for quality economic development is one of the most important challenges facing Flower Mound, and it should be a key topic of debate during this year’s campaign for Town Council.

At the March 5th Town Council meeting, council members discussed a recent presentation by two consulting firms who were asked to present proposals for work related to economic development for the town.  Councilmember Steve Lyda used an analogy to characterize the ineffectiveness of Flower Mound’s economic development strategy by stating; “It seems like our economic development policy in the past has been kind of shooting blanks, and now we’re going to have an actual policy that kind of comes up with some ideas.” See the video here.

Mr. Lyda continued – and voiced support for hiring the consultants [TIP Strategies and Retail Coach] – to provide analysis and establish an effective policy.

Mr. Lyda was correct in describing Flower Mound’s current economic development program under the current council majority, it is lacking and continues to deteriorate under the current leadership.

Think about Mr. Lyda and his running mate’s vote to deny Kroger’s request to spend 14 million dollars to expand and improve their store and add jobs in our community. That sent a clear message to Kroger that their store on 1171 is not viewed as important to Flower Mound. It also solidified the arbitrary nature of Flower Mound’s economic development policy on full display for all retailers, commercial businesses and developers throughout the Metroplex.

The damage Mr. Lyda and others on council have done goes further than arbitrary decisions. Over the last year, the current administration lost a highly-qualified and respected economic development director, who I feel left because she wasn’t allowed to do her job. Then the council stood idly by as management filled this key economic position with an employee with has no experience in the field.

Now Mr. Lyda and friends on Town Council are trying to recover their mistakes. To compensate for the lack of direction and poor hiring decisions, Lyda now supports spending over $100,000 in additional taxpayer money to hire consultants to develop Flower Mound’s economic development policy and strategy.

Candidate Lyda would like to convince the community that economic development in Flower Mound is great and that there are no issues. In an attempt to convince the community that he along with his running mates (the NFL slate) have economic development accomplishments, NFL claim’s credit for many projects that are the result of the efforts of previous Town Council administrations’ efforts. Voters should be aware the denial of Kroger’s $14 million investment in Flower Mound more accurately represents the NFL’s economic track record on council.

Mayor Northern was quoted in a recent newspaper article that the “NFL’s opposition comes at the early-stage meetings with developers before projects are even brought to the public level”. Flower Mound residents expect and deserve that all members of council will be involved in these decisions not just two voting members and the Mayor, holding “opposition” meetings behind closed doors. Residents have the right to expect these discussions to happen in a transparent environment so they know what their government is doing.

The ultimate responsibility for economic development in Flower Mound belongs with the Town Council. If elected to Place 4 in May, I will bring true business leadership and expertise to Town Hall, and will ensure town staff executes a focused and effective program for the entire community that reflects our shared values.

Steve Dixon
Flower Mound Town Council Place 4 Candidate
Flower Mound, TX

 

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