On Wednesday, Council Member Itamar Gelbman published an editorial attacking Hawks Ramsey, LLC and our team. As long time residents and property owners, his actions are beyond disappointing to us and an embarrassment to our town.
It is not our habit to formally respond to unfounded allegations, but when they come from an elected official, we believe we have little choice but to set the record straight.
- Contrary to Mr. Gelbman’s op-ed headline there are no safety concerns with any Hawks Ramsey development. As a matter of fact, no safety concerns were stated in the op-ed so we can only assume the headline was formed for sensationalism.
- Friendships did not play a role in the approval of Hawks Hill or QT as stated in the piece’s headline. Again, Mr. Gelbman offered no support for his assertion that it did.
- Hawks Hill, as approved by Planning and Zoning and the Town Council on October 5, 2015, is fully compliant with SMARTGrowth and the Master Plan.
- QT designed their building independently of Hawks Ramsey LLC, as is every applicant’s right.
- Every applicant, including QT, also has the right to utilize Flower Mound’s process for requesting exceptions.
- Flower Mound’s Council and Staff are responsible for evaluating development applications, their compliance with Town standards and the validity of any requests for exception.
- Flower Mound’s Town Council is the final arbiter in settling differences in interpretation of the Town’s standards between an applicant and Town staff.
Mr. Gelbman’s assertion Hawks Ramsey somehow mislead the Town is false. If there was anything inappropriate done in the process, it was done by Mr. Gelbman. Shortly after his election, Mr. Gelbman contacted Hawks Ramsey to try and influence the selection of members of both the QT and Hawks Hill working teams. He stated that if Hawks Ramsey did not comply with his requests, it would be hard for QT or Hawks Hill to be approved.
Hawks Ramsey made the decision to ignore Mr. Gelbman’s inappropriate request and move forward. We were pleased that Mr. Gelbman ultimately voted in favor of Hawks Hill and were hopeful he had come to understand his role as a Council Member. His editorial demonstrates he has not.
By voting no on QT, Mr. Gelbman demonstrated he did not agree with QT’s application or the justification the QT team presented. That’s his right. By voting yes on QT, the rest of the council members clearly demonstrated they did not agree with Mr. Gelbman. That’s their right. Differences of opinion among council members are expected and does not mean anyone was not forthcoming.
The approval of the QT application should have been the end of the discussion. Mr. Gelbman apparently cannot accept the fact that the majority of council disagreed with him. Instead he has chosen to attack residents, landowners, a new business in Flower Mound, Town staff and other members of the Town Council.
As Mr. Gelbman stated in his editorial, early voting begins Monday and Hawks Ramsey agrees the residents of Flower Mound should do their homework before voting. We ask that you examine the public records of those individuals running for Town Council and carefully consider which of the candidates are acting in the best interests of the town of Flower Mound and are also conducting themselves in a manner in which we can all be proud.
Neal Hawks and Jeff Ramsey
Hawks Ramsey, LLC
Flower Mound, TX