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Meet the Bartonville Town Council Candidates

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Four candidates are vying for two open Town Council seats in Bartonville this November. Here is a look at each candidate in both races.

Place 1

The two candidates running for the Place 1 seat, which expires in 2015, are Jeff Traylor, 47, a resident for 20 years and Randy VanAlstine, 54, a resident for eight years.

What are your reasons for running for office?

Traylor:
“I guess it really all boils down to lack of communication on decisions and actions made that did not reflect or involve the people of Bartonville.  Several years ago, I started to see it happen.  For example, our town would not publish details of city happenings in The Cross Timbers Gazette.  Not a big deal, but an opportunity passed on.  Our newsletter would tell you more about ‘Bartonville Clean Up Day’ than about council meetings.”

VanAlstine: “The town is experiencing substantial growth in the surrounding areas in both commercial and residential expansion.  I would like to be involved in the future direction of the town and to provide input in keeping the town’s rural atmosphere, while balancing the effects of the surrounding changes.”

On the Bartonville Police Department:

Traylor: “I am not a politician; I am a 20-year Bartonville resident, so I will be direct. Regarding the police department, I believe the town has never truly asked the citizens of Bartonville what they want.   We have a survey being prepared to ask these types of questions.  From that survey I would follow the will of the town.

“The town council stated we needed a police department, justified by a copper theft and a need for continued traffic monitoring on FM 407.  We were told one, maybe two police officers.  We were told it would be kept small, but look how it has exponentially grown! 

“The town bought Lantana Gardens (East of the Bartonville Store).  No information was given and no vision expressed.  I do not believe they were trying to keep it a secret; they did not want nor care for input.  Then, the town sold Lantana Gardens and bought the Bartonville Store. Again, no information was given.  They were about to hire more police and buy another car.  This decision would have made the police department more than 55-percent of our city budget! 

“Then, I saw a glimmer of hope with the elections in May.  The town spoke, with unprecedented attendance, and Bill Scherer and Jim Langford got elected and the world changed.  Bill and Jim have been working to make the council more open and allow for more visibility into what the town is doing. Wanting to continue the effort, Bill asked me to run for council.”

VanAlstine: “I support the police department and feel the surrounding growth is the reason we need their presence.  I believe the size of the force needs to be monitored to insure it is in-step with the town’s needs– current and future.”

On the water tower lawsuit:

Traylor: “Cross Timbers Water Supply (CTWS) — formerly Bartonville Water Supply Corporation (BWSC) — and the new water tower is another major problem for our town.  I have been following this issue for a long while.  I understand the tower has a negative impact on a few residences, but it is also clear that the current legal process has had a far greater negative for the entire town. 

“The town did not have any real objection to the tower, nor its placement.  Members of P&Z, at the time of the water tower request, recently expressed that the board approved the request, but then the council rejected it.  If elected, I would resolve this by allowing the CTWSC be granted a permit to build.  I wish there was a way to prevent the tower from being seen from any home, but that is not a reasonable request. 

“To provide for the needs of the Bartonville residents and those members of Bartonville Water Supply, allowing the tower will ensure that we meet or exceed the same safety standards as the Argyle Water Department.”

VanAlstine: “This is an important issue for the town and a decision as to build or disassemble the tower, which currently is partially completed, will have its impact on Bartonville residents.  There are several questions that need to be sorted out before a non-emotional informed decision can be made.  These questions are currently being sorted out in the court system.”

On the growth of the town and its surroundings:

Traylor: “To get elected I was told all I needed to say was: ‘I want to keep Bartonville country.’ Don’t we want more? We have elected council based on that statement, and look where we are now. 

“People need more information about the candidates.  These are the people affecting your day-to-day home environment and wallet.  In a recent council meeting, Councilman Jim Ferrell said something like: ‘Other cities have to make budget cuts.  Why do you people want to cut back when we are flush with money?’  If I am elected, I will only spend tax dollars when it is clearly in the best interest of our city.

“We need a town that provides simple services and is OPEN to its citizens; a place that wants to keep Bartonville a small rural place. Yes, things are changing around us, but that does not mean we have to become like them.  Government should be pro-actively transparent to its public.

“I have heard so many times: ‘If you want to know what’s going on at council, come to the meetings.’  Many people have jobs and families; life is full enough.  It is simple to use a newsletter, Website and other media to get the word out on current and future items. 

“I want to change our town and make it better for the people that live in it; be open about what’s going on and who is doing what.  It’s not complex; it’s just how a small town should be.”

VanAlstine: “The growth and direction of the town itself should be determined by what the residents want.  I feel it is the town council’s job to direct this growth based on the feedback from its residents.”

Place 4

The two candidates running for the Place 4 seat, which expires in 2014, are Gary Marco, 74, a resident of 33 years and Richard Yerxa, 60, a resident for 14 years.

What are your reasons for running for office?

Marco: “I’m running for Alderman Place 4 to manage the resident’s tax dollars more efficiently than the present administration. My goals are: (1) to listen to the citizens; (2) strive for an open discussion agenda for the benefit of the town; and, (3) review the present budget for the benefit of the town  to reallocate the savings for roads and maintaining a rural atmosphere, without compromising the safety of the citizens of Bartonville. The Town of Bartonville needs better representation for the citizens.  Since we are short two aldermen, I believe the citizens should have better representation.”

Yerxa: “I believe in giving back to my community and have chosen to do so by seeking this nomination.  It is my desire and intention to ‘Provide Responsible Government’ in serving as your representative on council.  I am a fiscal conservative and greatly understand that the budget we have and the money we spend belongs to you.  I promise to listen to you, our resident, and solicit input and feedback while deliberating issues that come before council.

“And finally, I lend my time, effort, and talent to this council body in
order to bring a unique perspective to the council table.”

On the Bartonville Police Department:

Marco: “I believe we are overstaffed with our police department. At the last council meeting, I asked the council why we are looking to purchase another police vehicle at a cost of approximately $49,000. Their remark to me was that we need the vehicle for an additional officer; bringing the total number of vehicles to five vehicles for 5.5 police officers.

“I also asked: ‘How many vehicles do we actually need for a day?’   I was informed: ‘We only need three vehicles and the other two are spares in case one breaks down.’  Another tax payer asked why do we have to buy such an expensive vehicle and why don’t we buy a Dodge Charger that is almost half the price? The remark was: ‘So we can get out of the bar ditches.’ That is a ridiculous statement from a public official.”

Yerxa: “I support a police department in Bartonville and truly believe in an adequate size [department] for safety and protection in our town is important. This can be a large portion of a town’s budget and size determines cost. My goal will be focused on deciding what’s best for our residents and bringing more interaction between Chief Howell, Town Council and our citizens.”

On the water tower lawsuit:

Marco: “The lawsuit, ‘Bartonville Water vs. Town of Bartonville,’ has cost the town close to $200,000 in legal fees .These funds could have been used for better purposes.  Any agency or business would not have started on a project (Water Tower), unless someone in our town gave them approval.

“It appears this case started at a local court and has escalated to a higher court in Austin. All parties were directed by the court to enter the mediation process of the legal system. It appears this process has failed, due to a few citizens expressing their distaste in the visual view of a water tower.   If necessary, I will express my vote on this suit by requesting a vote from all of the citizens via a special election. 

Yerxa: “The water tower issue is currently in litigation and will ultimately be decided by our court system. No question that water is important and needed, however, is this the best location and size. Original talks called for a water storage tank, not a tower. Who benefits most from this; the town or the water company? These are questions I would look at and study along with council and then decide what’s in the best interest of Bartonville and its citizens.

On the growth of the town and its surroundings:

Marco: “When I’m elected I will make it a point to address the council to: rework the future budgets for more economical police cars; request a survey to the citizens on their desires to citizens of Bartonville; to keep this town as a rural community or a larger community as the surrounding areas; improve the roads within our fiscal-year budget within raising taxes.”

Yerxa: “Obviously our roads are in need of repairs. Our road engineer, Gary Vickery, gave our Town Council several short- and long-range options to consider. We need to see if more funds can be directed to our road budget and make sure we get the most for our money. I will look into truck permits and also apply for possible eligible grants to raise revenues.

“Our town survey can help council decide what’s most important to you. Your input is very important and needs to be heard!”

Voting Information

Early voting takes place at Bartonville Town Hall, 1941 E. Jeter Rd., and other locations in Denton County starting this Monday through Saturday, Oct. 26, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday to Wednesday, Oct. 28 to 30, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and, Thursday to Friday, Oct. 31 to Nov. 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Bartonville Town Hall.

Visit www.votedenton.com or call 940-349-3200 for more information.

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