Early voting begins on April 29 for the May 11 municipal and school board elections across southern Denton County. 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:
Two out of three Bartonville council seats drew opponents.
In Place 3, Bill Scherer will challenge incumbent Ryan Litherland.
Jim Langford has filed to unseat council member Bill Reaves in Place 5
Longtime council member Carla Anderson is running unopposed.
Bartonville Town Council – Place 3:
Ryan Litherland (I)
Current Occupation: Regional Director of Facilities
Education: High School Graduate
To what civic and religious organizations do you belong? Current member of Bartonville Town Council
Why should you be re-elected? My goal is to continue to keep the town rural. Along with keeping our property taxes as low as possible, I have worked hard with council members to keep our roads well maintained and safe. My only agenda is being financially responsible with the town’s funds and keeping the “country feel” in Bartonville.
What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? The biggest challenge has been maintaining the rural atmosphere of our town. We work hard on city ordinances and zoning regulations to keep it rural. There’s urban sprawl all around our town, and it’s mine and the town council’s main objective to keep it out of our town limits. Another big challenge is keeping the city of Bartonville’s property taxes low. As a council, we have a fiduciary responsibility to create, maintain, and adhere to our annual budgets without adding debt to the town. Road maintenance is a main focus of our current and past town council. The town has a five year road plan that is reviewed annually for any needed changes or modifications. Another important task is maintaining a strong police department with controlled and planned growth. With the rapid growth of our surrounding communities, it’s important for town council to properly plan for the safety of our community. To address that need, the town has developed and grown a working police force. Our plan is that one day in the future the town will have 24/7 police protection. This is crucial with the planned development of the 407 curve, 24 hour convenience stores, retail spaces, and restaurants, and all this being done without raising property owner’s taxes. Rbl1968@live.com
Current Occupation: Director, Aviall, A Boeing Company; Colonel, US Army (USAR Ret)
Education: MBA, Baylor University; Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin
To what civic and religious organizations do you belong? Attend Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church, Flower Mound; Member Bartonville Board of Adjustments
Why should you be elected? I want to give back to the community in which I live. I am dedicated to seeing smart rural growth occur for Bartonville as the face of commercial Bartonville changes. I have the experience with both commercial and government budgets to help manage the long term prosperity of our town.
What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? Challenges are just opportunities. Our small town had 1036 citizens in 2003 and in 2013 we are up to 1347 or a less than 3% per year growth. Bartonville will see continued growth in our future commercial development. I want to the opportunity to have controlled growth and continue with a city government that stays small.
Bartonville Town Council – Place 5:
Current Occupation: Southwest Air Lines, 27 years, pilot (retire 6/2013)
Education: Undergraduate degree (BS)/University of Alabama; Graduate degree (MS)/Abilene Christian University
To what civic and religious organizations do you belong? Town of Bartonville Planning and Zoning Commission (22 years, past member and Chairman). Attend St. Martin’s in the Field Episcopal Church, Keller, TX
Why should you be elected? As a 28 year Bartonville resident, I have seen the challenges of maintaining the rural environment we all desire. While serving on the Town’s Planning and Zoning Commission for 22 years we were constantly faced with the challenges introduced by developers and others who did not have the best interest of our town as their first priority. I understand what it takes to not just say “let’s keep Bartonville rural” but how to enact and enforce ordinances to achieve that goal. I am running for this position because I feel I can contribute this valuable experience to Council.
What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? 1) Preserving the rural nature of the town through the enforcement of existing ordinances and by working with P&Z to make sure they are taking a pro active role in guarding our town against urban encroachment. 2) Citizen communication: The Town website has been updated and contains valuable information for our citizens. However, an individual must still go to the website and search for that information. I feel a “broadcast e-mail” could be utilized to notify citizens of newsworthy information (election dates and polling locations, land purchased by the city and its proposed use, etc.) and upcoming meeting details (council meetings and agendas, P&Z meetings and agendas, etc.) I feel it is extremely important to keep us all well informed on issues facing our town and promoting a better knowledge of what is happening here in Bartonville.
Bill Reaves (I)
Current Occupation: Regional Chain Manager; Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
Education: BS in Journalism/Advertising from Oklahoma State University
To what civic and religious organizations do you belong? Argyle United Methodist Church, Bartonville Crime Control & Prevention Committee, Bartonville Economic Development Committee
Why should you be re-elected? Over the last two years the council and I have worked hard to make sound financial decisions. Because of this, Bartonville is now completely debt free and has strong cash reserves for emergencies. Bartonville’s strong financial health means we can continue to maintain one of the lowest property tax rates in North Texas. If you re-elect me, I will continue to spend only when necessary and ensure that those spending decisions are financially sound.
What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? I believe our community has two challenges over the next couple of years: The first challenge is getting our police department coverage up to 24 hrs a day/7 days a week. This will be critical as retail begins to develop around us. A full-time, quality police force will be paramount in maintaining a safe and vibrant community that Bartonville is today. My goal is to achieve this in a financially prudent manner. Continuing to manage our town’s budget is the key to making this happen. The second challenge is to ensure that our town continues to have the rural feel that attracted us to live here. With the significant retail development that is coming to our area over the next several years, it is important that we maintain control over how it occurs. I pledge continuous support for tough but fair town regulations that ensure our community remains rural. I represent the citizens of Bartonville and always make myself available to discuss our citizen’s concerns. Please feel free to contact me @ 214-450-7345 with ANY of your community needs.