The senior member of our new Town Council majority has compared their administration with those of FDR, JFK, and Ronald Reagan. The historical comparisons suggested by the Mayor Pro Tem would be laughable if they were not so sad. What they do accomplish is to point out the boisterous ego of the current Council Majority.
- – While Franklin Roosevelt was addressing the issues a banking crisis and the Great Depression, NFL & H rewarded political supporters with Board, Commission, and Committee assignments.
– While John F. Kennedy was projecting the humanity of our great country to the world, NFL&H pointed fingers at others and watched as our Fire Marshall was terminated.
– While Ronald Regan cut taxes to invigorate private investment, NFL&H told a company they did not want their investment in Flower Mound.
One of the first things this council did upon taking office was to create the Oil and Gas Committee to review and make recommendations for changes to the Town’s Ordinance. NFL&H had an opportunity to seek out a broad range of ideas from different perspectives. Instead, this committee was loaded with individuals who shared a common desire. This desire was outlined in the Flower Mound Cares Petition that all of the regular members signed.
Even when two members were removed for cause, NFL&H replaced them with two more petition signers, passing over two committee alternates who had not signed the petition.
NFL&H also stood silently as the Town Manager determined that our Town of 66,000 had out grown the need for a Fire Marshall. On the day that Mike Smith walked out the door, the citizens and business owners of Flower Mound lost the most qualified and experienced person on staff who dealt with gas development and operations.
One week earlier, the need for this position, and Mr. Smith himself, were lauded by the council as he was recognized for his work that assured our new hospital opened on time. Because of the inaction of this council majority, Flower Mound is less safe than it was just a few months ago.
The private sector is where economic growth comes from. In June we had an opportunity to welcome a project that would meet an existing and growing need. Orchard Flower would have been an apartment community for independent senior citizens who no longer wanted the expense and trouble of maintaining a house on a ¼ to ½ acre lot, but still want to remain in the community they call home.
When NFL&H said no to this $50,000,000 project, they also said no to $1,300,000 in funding for our parks, money that could have been used towards a Sr. Activity Center. They also reached the conclusion that Flower Mound and LISD would be better off without the $900,000 of annual property taxes that this project would have generated.
They were wrong on this vote, and every senior citizen I have spoken with on the subject agrees. When the tax implications are fully explained, age is no longer a factor in questioning this vote. The result is that Flower Mound has earned back it’s designation as a place hard to do business in.
Lastly I would draw your attention back to the Mayor Pro Tem’s column of last week:
“When this Town Council took office, several gas drilling-related projects were already vested and underway to a point that we could not have a positive affect on their outcome, even with enacting the moratorium and aggressive changes in our current oil and gas ordinance. While I could go into great detail about what did or did not happen prior to the swearing in of our new administration, negative rhetoric regarding previous Town Council Members and their actions would serve no productive purpose.”
· First, there have been no aggressive changes to the Oil and Gas Ordinance implemented by this council. The most significant change would have been repeal of the CCF zoning classification. But after removing two P&Z members (myself included) to assure a positive recommendation, the NFL&H chose to table the item indefinitely when it came before them for a decision.
· Secondly, drilling has been going on for years within our Town. Of course many projects were underway and already vested. This should not be news to anyone who has participated in this debate for the past year. Everyone who ran for office in May knew this to be the case. If anyone’s supporters are surprised, they should speak directly with those they supported.
· Finally, doesn’t this sound eerily similar to one of our current President’s most unflattering characteristics, that of Passing the Buck. “Don’t blame me, this is the mess I inherited”, “It’s really not my fault, my predecessor did it”.
Perhaps that is why HST wasn’t included in Mr. Filidoro’s opening. Harry S. Truman was well known for a sign that sat on his desk: “The Buck Stops Here”.
If you have read this far, then you may be asking, why, after the last election, I have not quietly disappeared? The answer is simple. I believe in honesty, transparency, and good governance. By holding all elected officials accountable; honesty, transparency and good governance will prevail. So consider mine, an opposing view, after last week’s state of the Town message from the Mayor Pro Tem.
Bryan C. Webb
Flower Mound, TX