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Meet the Candidates: Argyle

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Three council seats are in play on May 12, and although Joey Hasty, Dona Schroetke and Jackie Thomas are all running for re-election, Schroetke and Thomas are looking to swap seats and filed for different places than where they currently sit.

The Cross Timbers Gazette asked each candidate in a contested race to answer a short questionnaire to help you make an informed decision at the polls.  Here are their responses:

Argyle Town Council – Place 1:

Joey Hasty

Age: 36

Current Occupation:  Airline Pilot for Delta Air Lines on 757/767

Education: Nolan Catholic High School Class 1994

To What Religious and Civic Organizations do you belong? Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Bachelors of Science in Aeronautical Science Class 1997,
Member of St Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church

Why should you be re-elected? I should be reelected because I have served Argyle for almost ten years now and my approach is a simple one. Serve the town, make it a better place to live and work. I want Argyle to spend its taxpayer dollars in the most effective way possible and get the best return on our investment.

What are the main challenges facing your town, and how would you resolve them?  Right now our biggest challenge is working together to achieve a common goal. Moving forward our greatest challenge is balancing growth and the needs and desires of our unique rural community.

Website: www.joeyhastyforargyle.com

Dr. G. Larry Simmons

Age: 75

Current Occupation:  Associate Adjunct Professor at Texas Woman’s  University Dental Hygiene Clinic serving as clinic dentist.

Education:  Bachelor of Science, Baylor University College of Arts and Sciences, Waco, Texas; Doctor of Dental Surgery, Baylor University College of Dentistry, Dallas, Texas.

To What Religious and Civic Organizations do you belong? A member of the First Baptist Church Argyle, Treasurer of the Argyle Senior Center, Vice-President of Argyle Pride Volunteers, Member of the Argyle Community Chorus, Member of the Graham-Argyle Cemetery Association, Vice-President of the North Texas Book Festival, Inc.

Why should you be elected? I should be elected to the Argyle Town Council because: I will promote Fiscal responsibility; I will encourage Shopping in Argyle; I will promote a Public Library and a Public Park; I will answer ONLY to the people of Argyle, not to special interests.

What are the main challenges facing your town, and how would you resolve them?  Argyle has a population of 3,283 residents and the town is almost $10,000,000 in debt. When council members need to issue bonds to fund capital improvements such as buildings and streets, taxpayers are accustomed to voting for or against General Obligation Bonds (GO) that their property tax will repay.  My opponent, Joey Hasty, along with Dona Schroetke, Jackie Thomas, and Bonny Haynes passed almost 10 (ten) million dollars for their pet projects in Certificate of Obligation Bonds (CO) for improvements they thought Argyle should have without letting the taxpayers vote on whither they wanted them or not. In 1999, the Texas Legislature passed a law allowing cities and towns to issue bonds without voter approval by calling them “Certificates of Obligation Bonds.”  It was an effort to avoid the high price of elections when the amount of a bond was small. The last two CO bonds the Town of Argyle council members, including my opponent, approved were for $800,000 and $3,650,000.  No small amount in my judgment. As councilman for the Town of Argyle, I will only vote for Certificate of Obligation Bonds (CO) to refinance bonds at a lower interest rate or for small, non-controversial, expenditures.

Website: www.LarrySimmonsPl1.com

Argyle Town Council – Place 3:

Joan Delashaw

Age: 75

Current Occupation: Federal retiree

Education: University of North Texas BBA

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? First Baptist in Argyle, Volunteer for Argyle Food Bank, member of MADD, Daughters of Republic of Texas, and Prairie Mound Cemetery Association.

Why should you be elected? Experience, interpersonal relationships in career, civic and volunteer positions; Knowledge of town’s history by attending council meetings for the last 23 years; Argyle property owner for 41 years; Resident for 39 years; Member of Argyle Planning and Zoning Board

What are the main challenges facing your town, and how would you resolve them?  Restore civility, professionalism and cooperation to council. Make decisions on what is best for Argyle, not on a personal agenda, and work cooperatively to resolve differences. Responsible conservative spending: Avoid long term debt, do a budget analysis to determine possible reductions while providing necessary services.

Jackie Thomas

Age:  42

Current Occupation: Homemaker and Executive Director of Argyle Parks & Arts, Inc.

Education:  Kansas City Kansas CC

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong?  Adult member/volunteer for my children’s Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, as well as the Parent-Teacher and Athletic Booster organizations at their school, volunteer for Metroport Meals on Wheels and attend Redeemer Church.

Why should you be elected?  My supporters respect my service on the Town Council (currently in Place 5), Planning & Zoning, Board of Adjustments and the Argyle Crime Control and Prevention District board.  They have appreciated my diligence and tenacity in representing their interests and needs with a focus on the family and their property rights.  It is going to take bold and courageous leadership to see us through the next two years.  If the citizens expect this type of leadership, then they should vote for the candidate that is loyal and dedicated to the values of our Town, and I believe I am that person.

What are the main challenges facing your town, and how would you resolve them? Families come to Argyle because of the exemplary schools and the rural community.  Argyle must preserve the rural atmosphere, while encouraging growth in distinct development corridors.  Attracting high quality growth will ensure a prosperous future, both as a Town and as an exemplary school district.  Supporting this growth requires local effort and positioning ourselves to benefit from regional growth.  I believe that our Comprehensive Plan, the efforts of our Economic Development Corporation and our Core Values provide an excellent framework for this growth, but committed and knowledgeable leadership is vital to our success.  Argyle citizens deserve a public servant that understands their values of community and integrity.  One who will make rational and thoughtful decisions based on what is best for all of the people who live in our town.  Council members must be diligent in their research of every issue before the council and pay attention to important details. Citizens expect temperance, truth, and above all, ethics in their Town Council.  It is important for council members to be analytical and rational regarding the future of our Town and our children.   The leadership of Argyle needs to ensure the health, safety and welfare of every citizen.

Argyle Town Council – Place 5:

Peggy R. Krueger

Age: 54

Current Occupation: Branch Manager and loan officer for Affiliated Bank

Education: Bachelors from Texas Tech University

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? Crosstimbers Church and Disciple 1 Bible Study with Argyle United Methodist

Why should you be elected? I have been a resident of Argyle since 2000 and owned a business in Argyle for over 9 years. Both of my children started kindergarten in Argyle and graduated here. I have served in many school functions including officer for PTA, Athletic Booster Club, Advisory committee. Have served on the board of the Chamber of Commerce for many years including President. Am now serving on the board of the EDC. I love Argyle and want this to be a place young and old can call their home. I am an advocate of the Argyle Comprehensive Plan and want to develop commercial land uses to provide non-residential tax revenue. This will keep our school strong which is extremely important for the growth of our community while keeping our personal land taxes down. To provide and keep Argyle’s exceptional reputation, builds demand for our residential homes. The more demand, the higher our values. I intend to do all I can to protect my neighbors and friends with their home investments. While attracting more people to our area, I hope to see our new neighbors move their businesses here as well. We are growing. Nothing we can do about that, therefore we need to make sure we establish the quality of development that will be permitted in our comprehensive plan.

What are the main challenges facing your town, and how would you resolve them? Supporting our school system while attracting high quality development and preserving the towns rural aesthetic. This is accomplished by a plan already developed.  We need to unite as a community, work together as a community to achieve the positioning of Argyle’s future. Our community needs to unite and help each other to keep our private and public schools strong, our church’s strong, while promoting growth. We are not working together as a team like I hope we do in the future. We live in a great community and I plan on keeping it that way!

Dona Schroetke

Age: 59

Current Occupation: Commercial Realtor with Axis Realty Group in Denton (2008 – present).

Education: 59, Riverside City College 1975-77

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? Member of The Village Church, Denton Campus. I’ve been on the council for a total of 10 yrs. (2000-2006, re-elected 2008 to present).   I was on the founding boards of the Economic Development  Corp.(2004 -2006) and Keep Argyle Beautiful.(2006)  I’m currently on the advisory board of the Economic Development Corp. and the board of the Argyle Bluegrass Festival/Arts & Parks Foundation (2004 – present).    I’m on the board of Ranch Hand Rescue a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing farm animals from neglectful and abusive situations, www.ranchhandrescue.org.

Why should you be elected? Continuity, I know Argyle, I know what we need to stay a premier town in the Metroplex and I know what the citizen’s expect with regards to services and amenities.  I have the experience, knowledge, time and commitment our town needs to keep moving towards our goals.

What are the main challenges facing your town, and how would you resolve them? Main challenge is getting the council and various boards and commissions on the same page regarding what we spend our time and money on. Many of the folks serving these boards and commissions, have some great ideas and are working on various things that will benefit the town.  Unfortunately not everyone is in the loop, so we are not communicating these things effectively to the community. The town and the EDC is ready to go live with our new websites.  This will be a great help communicating with our residents and allowing feedback from them also.  I want to address the issues that people regard as important to them, so I believe a citizen survey would be very helpful to the council and I would get that done as soon as possible.

Trey Thurston

Age: 41

Current Occupation: Firefighter for Plano Fire Dept.  Owner of Hidden Valley Dairy in Argyle

Education: Texas Tech University; Currently held State of Texas Certifications: Paramedic, Hazardous Materials Technician, Advanced Firefighter, Fire Service Instructor, Fire Officer

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? Argyle Zoning Board of Adjustment; Founding Board for Argyle Food Bank; Past Executive Board Member for Plano Firefighters Assn.; Active in MDA “Fill the Boot” for 20 years; Member of Crossroads Bible Church

Why should you be elected?  I believe in protecting Argyle’s future, promoting fiscal responsibility and demanding the highest ethical standards. I will make informed decisions that are to the benefit of the entire town and all of its citizens. I will represent you and your investment in Argyle. I will work diligently with our mayor, council and town staff to put Argyle’s fiscal future first.  Argyle has been my home for 15 years. Three of my children are currently in the Argyle ISD and I am also the only candidate who currently has children enrolled in the Argyle ISD. I have a vested interest in our town as well as our public schools. I will promote a positive relationship with the AISD to ensure that Argyle remains one of the best rural communities in the area.

What are the main challenges facing your town, and how would you resolve them?  A major challenge facing our town is the ability to pay for the millions of dollars of debt incurred since 2008. Taking a closer look at the budget and reigning in spending will help Argyle to remain financially stable. Our town must live within its means and I want to explore ways to reduce costs and improve services for our taxpayers. I want to preserve the rural and residential areas of our town while actively reaching out to quality business development to create a solid tax source that will grow with our community, distributing the tax burden more equitably between commercial and residential. Having attended a majority of the council meetings this year, I have kept myself informed. I believe that citizens should feel welcome at a council meeting and know that their input is appreciated. As a professional firefighter, when an emergency call comes in, I absolutely have to set aside any differences or personality conflicts with coworkers and subordinates and focus solely on the task at hand. As a council member, I will do the same. The focus of our town council needs to be on what is best for Argyle and we need to move forward together to protect Argyle’s future.

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