The race for Mayor of Flower Mound is now under way, and I look forward to seeing many of my friends and neighbors. In the role of Mayor, every individual possesses their own style, and I have had the opportunity to work with two very different mayors, to see and observe them in action as well as other mayors in our area. What is clear is that the successful mayors forge productive working relationship among all members of Council, and they reach out to each Councilmember to establish a consensus on the future priorities for the Town regardless of their differences.
As Mayor, I will work with ALL Council Members to be stewards on the hard issues such as Oil and Gas. Just as important, I will work with Council to steer Flower Mound on a path to the future. This future will include professional jobs, stopping the outsourcing of our tax dollars to our neighboring communities; secure our financial future and increasing our quality of life. That path to the future requires me to do many of the things I have done in the past including:
• Helped resurrect the Orchard Flower project, a senior housing community by encouraging the developer not to give up on Flower Mound.
• Encouraged Academy Sporting Goods to come back to Flower Mound after they gave up on our Town. This project will be before council in late spring.
• Pushed hard to find solutions when developers are in the process of walking away from vital projects in Flower Mound, like the Medical Office Building addition that is under construction at our hospital.
• Working with the owner of one of the most important pieces of undeveloped land in Flower Mound, Lakeside DFW. It is important to work with the property owner and developer in cooperation to ensure the key commercial and retail spaces are developed first and the already approved hotel is built as soon as possible. I have already devoted many hours to this project and will continue to do so.
• Made it priority that the town identifies more and greater space for our Senior Center.
• Working with residents to solve their concerns whether they are about a new subdivision, fencing, flooding, parks etc.
Many of you may know that in 2010 I worked to help elect our current Mayor, Melissa Northern. Ms. Northern is a friend and we have worked on several issues. I had high hopes that she would be the kind of mayor that I now aspire to be. Unfortunately, she resides over a divided council that she helped create.
In her announcement for her reelection bid, Ms. Northern laid out clear examples of the reasons that compelled me to give up my seat on Council and run for Mayor. Ms. Northern chose to rewrite Flower Mound’s history so boldly that many of us may not even recognize it.
Ms. Northern’s announcement implies that she and her running mates are solely responsible for Flower Mound’s new Oil and Gas Ordinance. This dismisses the efforts of previous and current council members, the thousands of Flower Mound residents that brought the Oil and Gas petition drive to its successful conclusion and the Oil and Gas Advisory Board members that worked tirelessly to develop our ordinance.
In 2009 when I was first elected to Council, I took a key role in demanding this issue get the attention it needed. In 2010, I welcomed the additional support of Ms. Northern to Council after her election. Many of us have made contributions to Flower Mound’s Oil and Gas Ordinance, and I remain committed to Flower Mound having among the most protective ordinances in the Country.
Ms. Northern’s announcement also lists several economic development projects without mentioning that these are largely the accomplishments of previous administrations. It was Ms. Northern’s predecessor’s council that worked to bring the hospital to Flower Mound and paved the way for the growing medical community. The grocery stores mentioned by Ms. Northern were both initiated under previous administrations. Lakeside Business District was established over 15 years ago. While it is true that the existing buildings in Lakeside are over 90% occupied, not one new building has been added under Ms. Northern’s leadership.
In reality, she has often demonstrated a lack of leadership and vision in key areas of economic development. Mrs. Northern led a Council that could not secure a $14 million dollar revitalization of an aging Kroger grocery store due to perceived “safety” issues. No independent data has ever supported the “safety” issues claim.
Ms. Northern has also failed to actively engage with the upcoming Lakeside development project. This project could mean as much as one billion dollars of investment in Flower Mound, an additional $5 million in annual property taxes, not to mention the millions of dollars of additional Sales Tax Revenue. She has turned down numerous invitations to visit the property, attend focus groups, or provide meaningful feedback to the developer.
Further, our current mayor has not been open to new ideas or input that could help shape Flower Mound’s Economic Development strategy simply because the ideas might have come from council members she does not consider part of “her team”.
This election season will be full of debate, and I look forward to the exchange of ideas. As we move into the future, Flower Mound needs a Mayor that can work with ALL members of Council, residents and members of the business community to develop successful solutions. As Mayor, I promise you leadership not politics.