Road spending not in town's best interest

My name is Mike Sommers and I am seeking the Copper CanyonTown Council Place 2 seat that incumbent Jeff Mangum has served in for the past 14 years.

Some of my qualifications for this position include: B.S. Cal Poly, M.S. Texas A&M Commerce; Financial Institution Chief Operating Officer; USMC Infantry Officer; Homeowners Association President and Board member.

I discovered the beauty of Copper Canyon many years ago while working as an Agriculture Science Teacher at Marcus High School. While visiting the homes of some of my students I was able to see what a beautiful oasis this town was.  Eleven years ago, it was the serene qualities of Copper Canyon that played a major part in my wife’s and my decision to purchase property here. This image of Copper Canyon can still be seen in the picture, displayed in the Town Hall and on the Town website, depicting Chin Chapel prior to the Poindexter bridge renovation several years ago.

What, suddenly, has triggered my interest to try to stop the degradation of our beautiful town?  Since moving to Copper Canyon I have witnessed some dramatic changes in the financial structure of or town over the past ten years. Specifically, the town has grown 10% while the budget has grown 357%. I view this dramatic spending change as a microcosm of what has happened in Washington D.C.  Until last year our town was debt free, but now we have incurred $2,000,000 in debt with room to add another $500,000.  For years the Town enjoyed a surplus while maintaining some of the lowest tax rates in the area. 

Statistically, we live in a Republican dominated area, yet our Town does not adhere to Republican principles and values of conservative spending. Instead our mayor and the town council seem to have followed the same fiscal mismanagement path that much of our country has experienced through excessive spending and borrowing.  

Because the money was used for other non-essential activities, we could not afford to maintain our perimeter roads (Copper Canyon Road, Chinn Chapel and Orchid Hill).  As a result the Town found it necessary to cede these roads to the county.  The county has already invested, and will continue to invest, a significant amount of money in these road projects and I am sure they will want something in return.  What will it be: a thoroughfare for our neighbors to the west of FM 2499, or sites for tax generating businesses, such as gas stations and convenience stores?  Nothing is for nothing – eventually we will pay dearly for the decision to cede our roads.

I hope it’s not too late to stem the tide of conversion of our rural town into another Flower Mound or Highland Village.  I pledge to do all possible to keep our town a town.
Please remember to exercise your gift of freedom to vote on May 14th.

Mike Sommers
Copper Canyon, TX

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