I’m sure you are aware of the many malicious emails floating around our little Town, as Argyle is not immune from dirty politics. I have tried to keep a low profile this election cycle and let the voters decide, but I think it’s time for me to set the record straight on some misleading and blatantly false information that is being disseminated about some current and some very old issues and enlighten you and your readers on some very pertinent information regarding Mr. Matt Smith.
First and foremost, everyone should take a look at the following website: Go to www.dentoncounty.com. At the middle-bottom, click on ‘Judicial Record Search’. Pick Criminal Case Records (or hearing records or Sheriff Records). Type in Smith, Matt. Look for the Matthew Lynn Smith, DOB 1/6/1975. Or you can click here http://justice.dentoncounty.com/isapi/UVLink.isa/dentonco/WEBSERV/CriminalSearch.
You will find that Mr. Smith, a “7th generation Argyle resident” was charged with DUI in January 2011 and will have a hearing next Wednesday! Unfortunately, there are many folks who have had the misfortune of such misdemeanor record, but keep going down the list and you will find that he has an EXTENSIVE criminal record including family violence, deadly conduct and several probation revocations among others. Nice man to be the face of the Town of Argyle. I feel sorry for the people who already voted for him. I think they may have been duped because this is all new information to me. I seriously doubt he was forthcoming about it to the voters.
Now I’d also like to point out that I have served on the Town Council for 8 years, and I have never once met Matt Smith or David Wintermute. Neither one of these gentlemen have EVER attended a city council meeting to my knowledge, not even the last one we had before the election or after they had signed up to run. Nor have they attended a P&Z meeting, Zoning Board of Adjustments meeting, Keep Argyle Beautiful meeting, DRC meeting or any other meeting relating to the business of the Town of Argyle. Neither one of these gentlemen has called me to tell me their position or even had the courtesy to introduce themselves. That is no way run a Town or serve as a leader.
I will address several other issues that the aforementioned website along with ABC Alliance, the other website loaded with misinformation, have falsely disseminated to the public.
#1 Lyle Dresher (Town Manager) gives LPS Partners (Mayor Landrum) the Town Hall Mineral Rights for $10
I was one of the two council members who approved the contract to purchase the Methodist Church. Greg Landrum, Dona Shroetke and Jay Pellicone all had to recuse themselves from the discussion and vote, leaving a quorum of Joey Hasty, Joe Phelps and myself. Joey voted against and Joe Phelps and I voted for the purchase. State law dictates how council members deal with conflicts of interest, and we followed it. When you live in a small Town, there will be more conflicts that arise because there are simply less people. After several years of studying needs assessments which considered leasing, building, renting, renovating, etc….we determined the most cost effective option was to purchase the new space because we gained additional space for the staff and the public with the community room. Our staff was literally sitting on top of each other and not only was running the business of the Town becoming less efficient, there were privacy issues. We had the courts, the police department, every board and meeting in one small room where the staff all conducted their business. It was becoming an untenable situation. The minerals were never conveyed with the town hall property. They were specifically excluded in the contract. The minerals were retained by either LPS Partners, the Church or quite possibly the railroad many, many years ago. The title company made an error and sent a correction deed of which Andy Pierce, a partner of LPS Partners, and Lyle Dresher both signed. Mr. Dresher’s job as City Manager is to sign documents on behalf of the Town after authorization from the Council.
#2 Council Members Dona Schroetke and Wayne Holt raise the Town of Argyle’s Bond Debt to Over 9 MILLION Dollars
$ 930,000 for purchase of the Methodist Church and land
$ 800,000 for renovations of approximately 13,000 square feet
$3,650,000 for Street Reconstruction Project, including but not limited to The Settlement, Thornridge Addition, Skyline Addition, Rolling Acres, Hickory Hill Rd, Harpole Road, all the streets in Old Town and others.
TOTAL: $5,380,000 was actually approved over several years following official public notices of intent, Public hearings (many of which were barely attended), workshops, council meetings, 30 day protest periods and public disclosure. All three Certificates of Obligations sold at historically low interest costs. Additionally, all the road construction bids thus far have come in far under our estimates because the cost of asphalt was much lower at the time of bidding due to the downturn in the economy. We could wait for the roads that people have been wanting and needing for so long and pay a much higher cost, or do it all now for a much lower cost.
#3 Political Sign Placement Tells the Story for 2011 Candidates
Really this isn’t even worthy of addressing. However, the same can be said about all candidates. That’s why it’s called a campaign. I won’t be so rude as to point out whose yards the other candidates signs are in since they have already been duped by their candidate.
#4 A Profitable flip for Argyle Mayor Greg Landrum and his Partners at LPS Partners Ltd.
The certified appraisal of the land and church building 8 months prior to the purchase was $925,000. At the time of the purchase, the values of property in Argyle were ascending at a rapid pace. I still stand behind my decision despite the downturn in the economy. It’s been good for the Town. The rest of the property that was owned by LPS is for sale and can be developed into taxable property, which is also good for the Town.
#5 Town Manager Lyle Dresher “Cleans Up” with almost $175,000 in Employment Compensation Package
This one really makes me the most upset. Lyle Dresher is the best thing that ever happened to the Town of Argyle. He was hired about 4 years ago at a base salary of $125,000. His base salary is now $130,681. He’s not the lowest paid, nor is he the highest paid city manager for a Town of our size, but he is of the highest caliber. He is paid a phone and auto allowance because he puts hundreds of miles on his car every month traveling around the region and the State to meetings on behalf of the Town of Argyle. He is available 24/7 by cell phone and in person and attends 3-4 night meetings every single week (Council, P&Z, Zoning Board of Adjustments, committee meetings, transportation meetings, Upper Trinity Regional Water District, Argyle Water Supply Corporation, Texas Municipal League, etc…). The night meetings he attends are in addition to him being on the job all day during the day, every day beginning early in the morning. A phone and auto allowance of approximately $500 is extremely reasonable for someone in Lyle’s position. The $1,900 paid as Medicare tax is not a part of his compensation package. It’s deducted from his salary and is dictated by the Federal government. We don’t set the Medicare tax rate and there is nothing we can do about it at this level. Lyle is an experienced city manager who is qualified and could easily run a large city. We are blessed to have him and his experience level at the salary he is paid. He could’ve gone to a much
bigger city for much more money but he chose Argyle. We made the decision to attract and retain the best for our community and we have to remain competitive in order to do that. We offer health insurance and retirement through Texas Municipal Retirement System, like most cities. This is very similar to the teacher’s retirement system. Some of the contribution to the retirement account is deducted out of each staff member’s paycheck and some is matched by the city. Contributions made to TMRS are not lost and remain vested even if a staff member goes to another city to work. The town’s health insurance premiums increased about 10% this year as did most insured Americans, but I believe we wisely chose to keep health insurance for the town staff.
Today is the last day of early voting and Saturday is election day. It may very well be too late for our Town to learn the truth about these issues, but I hope you can help at least via your website. I appreciate your coverage on issues relating to Town business and wish you continued success with your publication. Thank you for your time.