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Meet the Candidates: Flower Mound

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The Flower Mound “NFL” trio of Mayor Melissa Northern, Place 2 councilman Al Filidoro, and Place 4 councilman Steve Lyda are running as a ticket similar to their 2010 campaign on May 12.

Sitting councilman Tom Hayden and retired resident Al Cloud have Mayor Northern’s seat in their sights. Bryan Webb is challenging Filidoro in Place 2. Former councilman Steve Dixon and Staton Oak Estates HOA president Jay Cannon are looking to unseat Lyda in Place 4.

Videos of Flower Mound candidates that participated in a recent candidate forum can be found here.

Flower Mound voters will also have a say on the fate of 12 Town Charter amendments.

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

Flower Mound – Mayor

Tom Hayden

Age: 45

Current Occupation: Investment Officer

Education: Masters, Bachelor’s in Finance, Marshall University

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? Numerous, attend Church at Valley Creek, Served on Flower Mound’s Council for the past 3 years.

Why should you be elected? Leadership is many times an overused axiom, but strong, unified leadership is what is needed in Flower Mound.  The Flower Mound Town Council is currently a fractured body that does not effectively work together.  As Mayor, it will be my responsibility to bring all viewpoints to the table and work with each member of Council to mold various views into a cohesive message and communicate a future direction for Flower Mound to the Town Staff, and ensure the Town’s Staff is accountable for achieving the Council’s objectives.  This does not mean the Town Council will agree on each issue, but it will be the Mayor’s Job, my Job, to bring the Council together so that we, as a body, not as individuals are all moving on a parallel track.

What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? There are many things our residents would like to see us do, finish Twin Coves Park, Add additional Trails, a Permanent Senior Center, Greater Cultural Arts Activities etc.  However, many of these items cost millions of dollars that Flower Mound does not currently have the Tax Base to Support.  Further, the majority of residents would like to have greater options of things to do, whether it is shopping, dining or just having a spot where the community gathers. As North Texas emerges from a terrible recession, we have a second chance to make all this happen, to retain the Tax Base of our residents instead of outsourcing our tax dollars to Grapevine, Southlake and other towns in our area.   Of Flower Mound’s fifteen peer communities we have the lowest per capita Sales Tax Revenue in North Texas.  This means that revenues that could be used in Flower Mound to build parks, maintain roads, and to help our Seniors are instead being used to help our neighboring communities pay for those exact items.  The areas that we have designated as Open Spaces need to be protected, because that is important to all of us.  The areas we have designated as Commerce require us to put our full shoulder behind them, otherwise we are short changing our residents.

Website: www.HaydenforMayor.com

Melissa Northern

Age: 46

Current Occupation: Mayor of Flower Mound

Education: Mount Vernon Nazarene University – BA Business and Economics

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? Flower Mound Town Council, Mayor; Flower Mound Fire Control, Prevention and Emergency Medical Services District; Flower Mound Crime Control and Prevention District; Flower Mound Community Development Corporation (CDC).  Vice President.  CDC allocates 4B sales tax funds for community park projects; Flower Mound Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 1 (TIRZ #1) Board, ex-officio; Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce, ex-officio board member; Dallas Regional Chamber; Wellington HOA Finance Board member; McKamy PTA; Attend Trietsch Memorial United Methodist

Why should you be re-elected? Promises made were promises kept.  Under my leadership, with the support of Town Council, staff, and residents we: Revised the Oil and Gas ordinance.  Now lauded as one of the most protective in the state.  Upon taking office resolved a $1.9M budget deficit and strengthened long-term financial position with conservative fiscal practices. Focused on quality development that fits the character of our community welcoming 106 new businesses.  8 new residential communities are  underway. Support Master Plan and SMARTGrowth that provides a balance tax base, protects our quality of life, and insures adequate infrastructure and public services such as roads, schools, police and fire.

What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? Protecting our new Oil and Gas Ordinance which has been deemed one of the most protective in the nation by promoting our charter to require 4 votes to amend the ordinance.  Continue to lobby at the state level to retain our municipal control and work with other community leaders to defend the town’s assets and the property of our citizens. Maintain tax rates with our pay as you go strategy verses increasing our long-term debt that has put our nation in the current financial crisis. Reduce cost by reviewing and negotiating contracts.  Last year, we negotiated our waste contract resulting in over $1M annual savings while increasing services. Leveraging recovery opportunities by implementing a corporate development strategy for Flower Mound. The town council is currently working on a strategic plan to target and bring quality corporate jobs to the town. We are also working to attract quality retail and restaurants.  We need to do a better job of selling the location and quality of life in Flower Mound not giving our tax dollars away.

Website: www.MelissaNorthern.com

 

Candidate Al Cloud did not respond to our questionnaire.

Flower Mound – Place 2

Al Filidoro

Age:  59

Current Occupation: Attorney and Counselor at Law

Education: JD Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, MBA LeTourneau University, BBA Cleveland State University

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church, Flower Mound Town Council – Place 2, FM Fire Control, Prevention and Emergency Medical Services District, FM Crime Control and Prevention District, Summit Club of Flower Mound – Past President and Vice President. Flower Mound Rotary Club, Flower Mound and Denton County Bar Associations, Leadership Flower Mound – FM Chamber of Commerce

Why should you be re-elected? Flower Mound continues to be a vibrant community with residents rating us as superior in all key areas of our customer satisfaction surveys.  Our residential market in both new and used homes is one of the strongest in the Metroplex.  Our medical community continues to develop bringing specialized medical care, products, and services.  We continue to attract new retail, commercial, and businesses to our area.  These indicators demonstrate a high quality destination place to live, work and play.  I am proud to be part of this progress and will continue to work for the benefit of all of our residents during the next two years.

What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them?  Protecting our new Oil and Gas ordinances for the health, safety, and welfare of our densely populated residential areas and schools continues to be a key priority.  Flower Mound continues to be challenged by gas drillers in our courts and at the state legislative level where gas lobbyists attempt to take away our local control, overturn our ordinances, and endeavor to create a climate that is less restrictive and more favorable to their drilling efforts. Delivering quality services in the areas of recreation, police and fire, utility, and waste removal at an affordable rate continues to be a keystone of our community.  We constantly look to drive down costs while increasing the level of services delivered to our residents.  For example, we have dramatically increased waste removal services by bringing in an enhanced recycling program, weekly bulk pick up and door-to-door hazardous and e-waste while saving close to $7 million as compared to our last waste removal contract.  And we are evaluating green waste services that will help divert over 70% of waste currently being dumped in our landfill.  I am proud of these accomplishments. Further developing our medical corridor with specialized medical care, products and services are key economic development drivers that will further focus our mixed use offerings.  This brings higher paying professional jobs which allows us to attract higher end retail and restaurants to our existing retail areas as daytime traffic is a key successor to accomplish these goals.

Website: www.alfilidoro.com

Bryan Webb

Age: 54

Current Occupation: Manager, Risk Management – Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.

Education: BS Business Administration, Franklin University – Columbus OH

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? Member and Officer of the Flower Mound Summit Club, Member for the Flower Mound Rotary Club whose motto is “Service Above Self”. Prior service on Flower Mound and Lewisville Boards and Commissions:  Transportation (FM & LV), • Board of Adjustment (FM & LV), • Planning and Zoning (FM & LV), • Oil & Gas Board of Appeals (FM),  Blue Ribbon Bond Committee- Chair (LV),  4b Corporation Board of Directors (LV)

Why should you be elected?  Flower Mound is a great community with a wonderful quality of life.  But we can be better.  I am a candidate because I believe it is important to grow our local economy, to balance our tax base, relieve the homeowner’s tax burden.   It is time to return respect, accountability and transparency to our local government and that political slates do not belong in our Town Hall.  With only five voting members on Council, it is critical that members think independently.  I am running to offer residents a clear choice about how, or if, we move our community forward.

What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? Growing our local economy. To bring shopping and dining choices to our  residents that we too often leave town to enjoy today we must change the way we work with the business and development community.  We need to adapt our tools to address today’s issues, not the issues from 15 years ago.  Homeowners pay 77% of the property taxes in Flower Mound.  To balance our tax base we must grow our commercial tax base.  We have invested tens of millions of dollars to improve and expand our commercial corridors. It is time that tax payers earn a dividend on their investment. Returning Respect, Accountability and Transparency to Town Hall.  I will work with other council members to find solutions.  For Flower Mound to prosper, all members of council must be willing to work together, to trust one another, and able to build upon each others ideas.  We can challenge each other without being confrontational.  It’s important to ask a probing question and then just as important to listen to the response.  It has been my experience that the best answer is only found after an excellent question is asked.

Website: www.electwebb.com, Facebook www.facebook.com/ElectWebb, Email: bryan@bcwebb.com

Flower Mound – Place 4


Jay Cannon

Age: 37

Current Occupation: Department Manager

Education: B.S. Electrical Engineering Technology – Oklahoma State University, MBA  – Oklahoma State University

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? I have been president of Staton Oak Estates HOA for the previous two years as well as currently acting president.

Why should you be elected? I am running as an average resident that would like to be more involved with his local government. I feel that I would bring a fresh way of seeing things that the other candidates may not have. The other candidates have been involved with city council for many years, and while experience can be a good thing, it can also allow people to “get stuck in a rut”. They may not question how certain things are done or be able to come up with solutions that are “outside of the box”.

What are the main challenges facing your town/district, and how would you resolve them? Did not answer

Steve Dixon

Age: 48

Current Occupation: Small business owner of Flower Mound Insurance Agency

Education: Graduated University of North Texas with a Bachelors of Business Administration

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce: Board of Directors, Executive Board Member & Ambassador Member of Rockpointe Church – Flower Mound

Why should you be elected? I am running for Place 4 on Flower Mound town council because I feel I can do a much better job on working cooperatively with other council members, and can play an integral role when the new town council develops a real vision for sustainable growth while maintaining the outstanding quality of life we enjoy here in Flower Mound.

What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? The current town council does not have a vision or a plan for economic development. I would first work to develop a strategy to effectively attract the exceptional restaurants and stores our residents want, and stop those businesses from passing Flower Mound by and opening in surrounding communities. The town must improve its “hard to work with” reputation so when an effective economic development plan is in place Flower Mound can succeed in attracting high quality restaurants and stores. Our current town council does not work well together. If elected, I will work with all members of town council, be respectful of everyone’s viewpoints, and work for the best result for our community.

Website: www.DixonForFlowerMound.com

Steve Lyda

Age: 39

Current Occupation: Software Engineer

Education: I have a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin

To what religious and civic organizations do you belong? Summit Club of Flower Mound (Treasurer in 2010-2011), Chair of the Wellington HOA finance committee, Wellington Elementary PTA, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE),Office Volunteer at St. Ann Catholic Church Religious Education

Why should you be re-elected?  In my two years in office, I am proud of the work we have accomplished in such a short time.  From a comprehensive review and adoption of our new oil and gas ordinance, to the adoption of our new solid waste service, we have shown the great things that can be accomplished when we are focused on our citizens first. I believe I am the candidate who will continue to stand up for the people who put me on the Town Council to represent them, not someone outside of Flower Mound.  I will continue to be honest and fair in the decisions I make for the Town.

What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? I have worked hard in my first term to reduce wasteful spending from our budget, lower costs of services, and worked to ensure that the Town has enough revenue to provide services so we do not have to raise taxes.   Although Flower Mound has done well to survive the economic downturn and come out in a position of financial soundness and growth, I believe we are not in a position to drastically increase our spending over the next year.   I will continue to push for fiscal responsibility in doing the Town’s business, and will oppose drastic increases in the Town’s spending. Planning for the future has been a key part of developing our roads, water systems, and parks.  Some of this planning has allowed our community to develop into one of the safest and most family friendly towns in the United States, and has allowed our community to continue to grow even in the worst economic times.  I would like to apply these same planning techniques to come up with the best plan for economic development.  I will work with our council and Town staff to develop an economic development plan that will bring in the right economic development that is a fit for Flower Mound.

Website: www.stevelyda.com

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