On May 9th of this year Kevin Bryant was elected to the Flower Mound Town Council, along with two other councilmen, after another tumultuous campaign that has become symbolic of the passion, energy and sincere concern voters have for the future of our town.
Much of the controversy this year centered on what many believed was too much residential and commercial development and too many changes to the town’s master plan. Residents complain about the destruction of thousands of trees to accommodate the new growth, which they say is causing increased residential density.
During the run up to the election, several residents organized to curtail the growth by using the ballot box. When they elected a new majority they evidently felt it was a victory for slower expansion and less density. However, since Councilman Bryant took the seat he earned in the campaign he has been severely criticized on local blogs by some who say he hasn’t voted according to the wishes of those who elected him.
I invited Mr. Bryant to come over for an interview so he could answer those charges. In the video below you will hear what he believes his responsibility is as a community leader. Having only met him a couple of times during the campaign, I looked forward to this interview because I wanted to see how he’s dealing with comments that range from “traitor” to “backstabber” and other not very subtle attacks on his voting performance.
He comes across to me as an earnest man who is genuinely interested in making sound judgments that will benefit all residents. After all, he and his family live here too, so, why would he want to do anything inimical to their future? Kevin says the insinuation that he’s involved in some sort of conspiracy with developers for his personal profit is laughable. “I simply look at each project that comes before the council and I think it through with one thing in mind; will it be a positive improvement?” he said.
I suppose we can argue about what constitutes a positive improvement, and it’s easy to criticize when we don’t agree with this or that vote on a particular issue. Yet, it seems to me that every elected official must use their common sense and judgment on each individual project, without feeling that they’ve been put there to follow the orders of one side or the other. That’s not what leaders do! Besides, no two developments are exactly the same, hence, the leader must be able to make decisions based on the necessity and reasonableness of each proposal, rather than keeping a scorecard in front of him as a reminder of how many he’s approved and how many he’s rejected.
Whenever you’re in a position of influence you’re going to have some unhappy campers. However, if you believe in your heart that you’re doing what’s right, without ulterior motives, then you must follow your conscience. Trying to make everyone happy is a noble goal, but, probably an unrealistic one. Nevertheless, Kevin Bryant strikes me as the kind of guy who’s trying his best.
Bob Weir is a long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.