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Post-election fallout surfaces at meeting

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David Johnson and Itamar Gelbman
David Johnson and Itamar Gelbman

An otherwise uneventful Flower Mound Planning and Zoning meeting started with fireworks on Monday night when council member-elect Itamar Gelbman, an alternate member on the P&Z board, demanded the resignation of P&Z Vice Chair David Johnson.

Gelbman alleged that Johnson had been rude and disrespectful to the residents of Flower Mound on the Facebook page Flower Mound Cares. Johnson posted his opposition to Gelbman’s bid for the Place 5 council seat to Flower Mound Cares in recent weeks.

“Mr. Johnson, in the last few months you have treated the residents of Flower Mound with the most disrespect attitude I have ever seen in my life by an appointed official. You’ve cursed them, you called them names on Facebook, you call them names at meetings here,”Gelbman stated. “I am asking you to resign immediately, because the people of Flower Mound are sick and tired. You cannot represent Flower Mound officials like that. I am asking you to resign immediately.”

Commission chairperson, Claudio Forrest, objected to the request and commissioner Don McDaniel called for a point of order stating Gelbman’s request was inappropriate and uncalled for. Johnson did not respond to Gelbman.

The remainder of the meeting continued uneventfully with all items, including actions related to Highland Court, Riverwalk and the town’s water and sewer infrastructure, being recommended to council for approval. Gelbman left midway through the meeting.

Johnson later emailed The Cross Timbers Gazette the following statement: “We are fortunate to live in a country that practices freedom of speech. My few comments on Facebook were my opinion as a voting citizen of Flower Mound, as any other citizen. The comments did not pertain to any Planning and Zoning items. I plan to continue serving the Town of Flower Mound as I have for the last 10 years.”

Planning and Zoning members serve at the pleasure of the town council and can be appointed and removed with a simple majority vote.

Gelbman, along with new council members Brian Rountree and Kevin Bryant, will be sworn in on May 20.

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