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My Perspective – Community Commitment

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Michael Walker, Place 1, Flower Mound Town Council
Michael Walker, Place 1, Flower Mound Town Council

This election season seems to be a contest in which candidates find new ways to say how much they “love Flower Mound”. I should hope so. Why would someone ask to serve a community that they did not love and cherish?

I moved to Flower Mound with my family 20 years ago because we did love the look, quality and feel of this Town. In 2001, I became actively involved, and after almost fourteen years of various service on my HOA Board, Park Board, Board of Adjustment, Transportation Commission, Planning and Zoning, and now Town Council, I am proud of the Flower Mound that we have today. Myself and many others have been contributing to our Town, and shaping the community that we all love. This is the Town that I took an active role in planning and helping.

Flower Mound has grown from a small town with a few thousand residents to an dynamic suburb with an increasingly diversified tax base. Careful planning has allowed Flower Mound to honor our history, value our open space and trees, protect the Cross Timbers area and grow in a steady, deliberate manner. The path has not been easy and at times distracted by exaggerated problems created to amplify issues. Our important issues are also being faced by every growing community that is located within our Metroplex magnet and intensified by our Town being just three miles from the DFW Airport, the world’s 3rd busiest airport in operations. Our challenge is to continue to link our past and vision statement with the Town’s future demands.

My leadership style is founded on the belief that when it comes to building a community there is not one easy answer.  My experience with providing a successful community requires leaders who can respect everyone’s opinion while having the judgement to make decisions that might not always be popular with those talking the loudest.

Building consensus requires not just “loving Flower Mound” but a commitment to the Town. Commitment is not proven based on how long someone has lived here. Commitment is proven by rolling up your sleeves and pitching in to get things done.  Commitment is proven by listening to all, working through issues thoughtfully and making an informed decision based on all the facts.  Building a community is not always glamorous and most of the work that needs to be dealt with does not attract large crowds.  But large crowds or not, my decision making process is the same – listen first, question second, analyze, then decide.

During my current campaigning, our citizens want to know more about this election. They have asked me what issues separate me from my opponent. I have told them about my vision and service record. I will let my opponent explain his thoughts and community record.

Based on what I do know, my opponent was content to have others shape this community for 26 years. About two years ago, he began to publically engage based on his involvement in an LISD school board rezoning fight. My opponent was misinformed about our Town’s role in that school only issue, and in the last two years has been very silent about his solutions to the real, specific challenges our Town faces.

His dialogue with the Town appears to be limited to Facebook monologues and distribution of cartoons that have disparaged me, residents and other council members.

In two years, I have received one email from my opponent, a form letter originally written by someone else.  There have been no visits with Town staff or individual Councilmembers to discuss general issues or to suggest policy changes. I do not know how many times he has spoken to either past Town Councils, Boards or Commissions about town-wide matters during the citizen input portion of their public meetings. My personal knowledge is that he started about two months ago.

In my opinion, his “cartoon” communications, desire to only criticize, and offer no solutions is not a proven style that produces community solutions.

In my last 20 years in Flower Mound, I’ve seen many residents who “love” Flower Mound and also work constructively on solutions.  They have done this while balancing professional careers and family, without Facebook and utilizing a negative style.

Steady, thoughtful leadership is what built this town. Caring, passionate leaders, working hard to find common solutions to tough issues. Steady, thoughtful leadership is about seeking a diversity of opinion, respecting everyone’s input and working together to build a community.

This is what I stand for, why I want to continue to serve, and I am asking for your vote for re-election on May 9th.

 

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