I spoke with State Rep. Tan Parker about the Municipal Management District plan for the River Walk. He verified what I had learned from Tom Hayden in prior talks about the MMD.
In my opinion, Rep. Parker is one of those elected officials who puts his heart and soul into providing ethical and prudent leadership to his constituents. I’ve known him since he ran his first campaign for state rep and was impressed with his conservative philosophy, especially the issue of lower taxes.
Since his first election in 2006, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing him several times. In addition, we’ve talked politics and government during some lunch visits and also during dinner at his parent’s home in Copper Canyon. I’ve known lots of “politicians” in my life, but few genuine leaders. In my estimation, Rep. Parker stands tall in the latter category.
As I studied the plan for the MMD in our town, I talked to people in and out of government in order to learn as much as possible about the pros and cons. I’m one of the most skeptical people on the planet when it comes to anything proposed by government.
Very often, a project or a proposal can look great on the surface, but may have an underbelly crusted with future pitfalls. It’s always vital to read the fine print because my life experience tells me that there’s no such animal as an iron-clad contract. That’s why it’s so important to know, in your heart of hearts, which people can be trusted to tell you the truth.
As the author of HB-3942, Mr. Parker is risking his political future by putting his reputation behind this proposal for a special district. If the House passes it, with a subsequent passage in the Senate, he will be remembered for the success, or the failure of this mammoth project. I’d say he’s not only shown his commitment to economic growth, but has displayed great courage by putting his future on the line. A politician wouldn’t do that!
State Senator Jane Nelson (another genuine leader) is carefully reviewing the legislation now. If the Senate gets to vote on it and Senator Nelson says it’s worthy of passage, I think even the most ardently suspicious critic would have to admit that the MMD will be one of the best deals the town has seen since Bob Rheudasil became its first Mayor. By the way, knowing Bob as I did, I’d say he’d not only put his imprimatur on this, but he’d be out about town campaigning for it. Furthermore, when you carefully scrutinize the measure you discover that the Town Council will still have the final approval regarding many of the ways in which the funds will be allocated and used.
My last question to Rep. Parker was whether there was any way the town could be held liable for the implementation of the MMD. His answer was an unequivocal “No!”
Hence, I say again, if he has the courage to put forth a bill, firmly believing it is in the best interest of his constituents, why not give it a chance? Centurion American, assisted by this special district financing, could make the River Walk the showplace of North Texas. I expect that five years from now we’ll be looking back at this moment and wondering why anyone could have been against it.
Bob Weir is a long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.