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Letter: Bartonville mayor responds to former mayor's letter

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Unfortunately I feel compelled to respond to Former Mayor Robertson’s Letter from August 21, 2014. For those of you that are as tired of this as I am, here is the bottom line:  I do not agree with what was written.  Half-truths, false innuendos, and false statements are beneath the writers of Mr. Robertson’s letter and himself.  I have been above reproach in all my dealings and greatly resent this latest round of character assassinations.

I recognize that letters and articles such as this cause more frustration and questions.  As such, in addition to answering all emails and phone calls from our citizens, I am scheduling “Meet the Mayor” meetings so that any resident can ask questions/comment on any public topic.

I love this town.  I respect and welcome different opinions, even if I don’t agree.  These bullying divisive tactics, this “North vs South” mentality is not what any of us want in our home town.  Believe me; community unity is top of mind, which made writing this difficult.

Sincerely,
Bill Scherer

FACTS

Water Tower

– The lawsuit is not resolved.  If it were, the tower would be complete or torn down.
– Planning and Zoning, under Mr. Robertson, originally approved the permit request.
– There is still a question of adequate water for fire suppression and a new water study will be complete this month.
– The town has an agreement with Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation (CTWS), formerly Bartonville Water Supply Corporation, that provides for the following if the town issues a CUP (Conditional Use Permit) to build the water tower:
– Loop in Stonewood (enabling water flow for fire protection, something they do not have now)
– Reimburse the town for legal expenses up to $300,000
– Indemnify the town from future legal expenses (the town would not pay for future litigation around the water tower).   This was critical as the Armey’s have since sued the town.
– Note:  CTWS still must go back through the permit process via Planning and Zoning as well as the council.

Police

– Police Investigation – I was approached by an officer alleging inappropriate actions.  The officer was reluctant to approach the mayor at that time, Mr. Robertson.  I contacted the Denton County DA’s office for recommendations on how to handle this situation.  They advised that the officer contact them which he did.  That was the end of my involvement

– Double Oak (DO) Agreement – Under my authority as Mayor Pro-tem (Mr. Robertson had already quit as mayor); I had discussions with DO about some type of agreement.  It was my understanding that some DO overtures  had occurred prior to my time.  I was looking for an option that would reconcile the  55% of the town that wanted a smaller police department (2013 Town Survey) with those who wanted 24×7 coverage. This was not a secret, the council was aware of these exploratory discussions with DO from inception.  This was discussed in open council as well as at meet the candidate prior to the Mayoral election.  I stand by my statement that Mr. Robertson should not have interposed in the discussions, which had the effect of preventing the citizens of Bartonville to decide the direction of an agreement.

Mr. Robertson and I see the budget differently. 
– We have put the ¼ cent road maintenance sales tax back into the road fund where it belongs.
– General expenses are no longer greater than general revenue.  No money is now required from the Flower Mound agreement to fund recurring operations.
– We have removed all 5 year contracts with 1 year severance pay provisions from the town so future councils can make appropriate decisions. 
– Just because the road debt is paid off, I do not believe it was appropriate to
– Significantly expand staffing
– Give certain favored individuals 18% pay raises when they were already making more than many of their peers from other towns
– Spend every budget dollar not related to road debt repayment
– Not devote any of the savings to road maintenance
– Regardless of how much has been spent on roads (and much of it was county money), our roads are in need of repair and this should be a major spending priority.

Council

Former Mayor Robertson indicated that the council is in “shambles”.  What he calls “shambles”, I call democracy and respectful debate.  How would he recommend this be handled?  Should I follow his example by attacking council members in open session (one member resigned after a 10 min tirade) and quit because everyone does not agree?

North Bartonville Citizen’s Association

This group was formed by a small group of citizens in, as the name implies the Northern part of the town to support the tear down of the water tower and focuses on attacking anyone who questions the need for the water tower.  While I do not agree with many of their comments and do not understand why our former Town Administrator (and non-resident), Debbie Millican, is heavily involved in the publications. I do welcome the opportunity to meet with representatives of this group at any time.  

This is a great town with wonderful people.  It is time to stop focusing on the past and move forward, together, for the future of our town

Bill Scherer
Bartonville, TX

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