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Economic Development, Farm Animals & Lipstick

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This election is proving to be another eventful period in Flower Mound’s history. Economic development has been a key issue, and rightfully so.  The NFL, after initially being very combative about the proposed Lakeside DFW project, was forced to backtrack to a more neutral position.  Yet we continue to hear from them that Flower Mound isn’t a difficult place to do business, we are just “unique”.  Wrong!  Flower Mound is difficult.  Calling it anything else is just putting lipstick on the pig.

To add insult to injury, NFL keeps spending your tax dollars to buy more lipstick.

Shop Flower Mound has been a long running partnership between the Town and the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce.  For some reason, the town decided to go it alone, without the Chamber, to revitalize this campaign and has spent nearly $15,000 to do so.  The NFL decided they could do this better without our business partners.  The Chamber was not approached or consulted nor were two council members.  The issue in this case is not that we sought help to revitalize a marketing program; it is that we arbitrarily abandoned a critical partner to the success of any Shop Flower Mound program.  The NFL failed to leverage available expertise which could easily have resulted in a stronger program.

The NFL went lipstick shopping again last month, this time the shopping was a tad bit more expensive – $85,000 or more. 

On April 6, 2012, Town Council voted to approve contracts for two economic development consulting firms.  The firms are charged with developing a new economic development strategy for Flower Mound.  During deliberations Council Member Lyda noted that Flower Mound’s development strategy is “shooting blanks”.  My opponent stated he needed data to know the strategy was workable.  I can’t disagree with them on this one.  NFL has screwed up Flower Mound’s economic development strategy so badly we probably do need some hired help to straighten it out.

The problem is NFL has handled the proposal process so badly; Flower Mound will end up with just more lipstick.  Throughout this process, Council Members Stephenson and Hayden asked for more information, more time and that Town Council be closely involved in the proposal and selection process.  You would think that Stephenson’s prior experience as a strategy consultant would have been valuable.  Equally you would have thought that Hayden’s tenure on council and his experience evaluating businesses would have been valuable.  Not to the NFL.  Hayden and Stephenson were continually blocked by the NFL.

Council voted to approve the contracts by a 3-2 vote.  Hayden and Stephenson voted no in large part because the Council had not even been given copies of the all of bids that were submitted.  It was a take it or leave it vote with only the bids from the recommended firms being presented to Council. 

The copies of the bids that the council did not receive were finally distributed to council and the candidates on May 2nd, two weeks after the vote!  Flower Mound residents should be outraged.  Not only were many of the bids lower priced but in my estimation, many of the lower priced bids were better.  The firms we turned away have experience working with the some of the most successful communities in North Texas, like Craig’s Ranch and Allen.  They also regularly work with the most sought after developers in the Metroplex and the Country.  They also offered a more complete and analytically rigorous process. 

Why would NFL buy fewer services for more money?  I’m baffled.  Is it ignorance, arrogance, a combination of both or just laziness?  It is disturbing that my opponent, the great negotiator, stood by and let this happen.  It makes me wonder if that Waste Management contract is so great after all. 

I ask that you vote for me, Bryan Webb, for Flower Mound’s Town Council – Place 2.  Thoughtful quality economic development is central to improving our sales tax collections and improving the quality of life for our residents.  I will do more than put lipstick on a pig.  I will make sure Flower Mound has an economic development strategy that works for all of Flower Mound. 

Bryan Webb
Candidate for Place 2 – Flower Mound Town Council
Flower Mound, TX

 

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