Early voting begins on April 29 for the May 11 municipal and school board elections across southern Denton County. The Cross Timbers Gazette asked each candidate in a contested race to answer a short questionnaire to help you make an informed decision at the polls. Here are their responses:
There will be a new face on town council, as Flower Mound Planning & Zoning board member Mike Walker and newcomer Joy Bowen have filed for Kendra Stephenson’s Place 1 seat. Stephenson had filed to run for a second term but withdrew her application on March 4.
Jean Levenick will face off against another newcomer, Tami Ryan, in Place 5. Levenick was appointed by council to fill Tom Hayden’s vacant seat last June after he successfully ran for mayor.
In Place 3, Mark Wise will run unopposed for a second term.
Flower Mound – Place 1:
Current Occupation: Church Consultant
Education: Graduate from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Psychology and an emphasis in Business Economics and Accounting.
To what civic and religious organizations do you belong? Valley Creek Church, Christian Community Action
Why should you be elected? I represent transparency and a desire to serve all the families of Flower Mound. I feel strongly that we need to balance our tax base to help maintain the quality of life and character in our community. Flower Mound can be a great place to do business AND maintain high standards. The existing needs of residents should never be ignored. There’s a difference between purging unnecessary red tape from the development process, which I agree is much needed, and abandoning our town’s vision and the concept of protective growth management. I’ll only support changes that enhance the community.
What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? The school rezoning issue has brought to light a central challenge within our community: should development come at the expense of our residents and what is the forward vision for Flower Mound? Within months of last year’s election, changes were swiftly made to SMARTGrowth and the Master Plan without thought to the consequences. Families have already felt the resonating impact of this within our schools, and the long-term impact of Lakeside’s rezoning on our tax base is something that only time will tell. I would support restoring the Schools criteria to SMARTGrowth. I would also focus on bringing quality businesses to Flower Mound, especially taking into consideration recommendations from the TIP Strategies and Retail Coach reports. I would ensure that Lakeside DFW delivers to residents those businesses and amenities that were promised to the community when zoning changes were approved. There has been a definite lack of transparency in our government’s handling of issues. I would seek to repair the trust within our community by always being open, honest, and accessible to residents. Above all, I will always seek community input to define the direction of Flower Mound.
Address of your candidate website and/or Facebook page: www.ElectJoyBowen.com; www.facebook.com/electjoybowen
Current Occupation: Semi-retired; part-time Group Benefits Consultant
Education: Master of Urban & Regional Planning, Virginia Tech and Bachelor of Arts, Fairfield University (CT)
To what civic and religious organizations do you belong? Flower Mound Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, DFW Chapter-Community Associations Institute, American Legion, Military Officers Association of America, Association of the U.S. Army, Air Force Association, Navy League of the U.S., Member of St. Peter the Apostle Church
Why should you be elected? I should be elected based on my knowledge as an eighteen year resident, and over ten years of continuing service while appointed to various Town boards and commissions. Also as a past president of the Bridlewood HOA, now serving on their Architectural Review Committee, and currently on the Board of Directors of the DFW Chapter – Community Associations Institute, I am equipped to better understand the unique needs of HOAs. My career as an institutional, investments manager coupled with my earlier involvement with land use planning allows me to better know how we plan, grow and pay for our community.
What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? The current increase in interest in the Town by developers is a challenge, and extraordinary considering the national stress due to the recession. The way to manage this renewed interest is to continue to develop a reputation that we meet and exceed the needs of our residents, and at the same time are reasonable, but selective, in the types and location of businesses that match both our citizens’ requirements and the Master Plan. Our mixed-use zoning ordinance is allowing innovative designs such as The Riverwalk, Lakeside and Canyon Falls with their diverse retail, office and housing options. The planning challenge is to make sure the development is appropriate for the specific location without sacrificing our overall quality of life and character. With this new growth pressure, I want to protect our Master Plan and SMARTGrowth analysis. However to resolve potential conflict, the Plan should be periodically reviewed (in accordance with the Texas Local Government Code) by a special, appointed committee of qualified residents, and be part of the regular workshop/public hearing process, to make sure our assumptions, methodologies and controls are not out of date or subject to successful legal challenges that could threaten our entire planning program.
Address of your candidate website and/or Facebook page: www.walkerforfm.com; www.facebook.com/WalkerForFM
Flower Mound – Place 5:
Jean Levenick (I)
Current Occupation: Homemaker
Education: Attended University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
To what civic and religious organizations do you belong? Board Member, Pennies for Paige, CASA of Denton County, CERT, Flower Mound Fire Department Rehab Team
Why should you be elected? Experience. I currently serve the residents of Flower Mound as your Town Council Member Place 5. I have been involved at the Town level since 2006 when I began serving on Planning and Zoning. I was elected to the Council in 2008 and then appointed out of an applicant pool of 16 in 2012 to fill a vacant seat. I have the experience, knowledge, and dedication to continue to serve Flower Mound. As a resident, I have taken my civic duties seriously, have voted continuously in local elections and have volunteered extensively in Town.
What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? It is imperative that we continue to maintain the quality of life that all Flower Mound residents enjoy and expect. The residents spoke loud and clear last year that they want to expand on economic development. We continue to aggressively pursue quality projects in the appropriate areas to serve the needs of our residents. I am focused on increasing the job market in Flower Mound so that our residents can work in the same community that they live in. In addition, we must focus on maintaining the businesses that have already chosen to call Flower Mound their home. We have made great strides in bringing economic development projects to town that will not only allow our residents to spend their time and money here, but will also add to the tax base. Continuing to balance the tax base will ensure that we will have the necessary funds to support the most basic infrastructure needs and at the same time being able to fund beautiful park projects, and extraordinary fire and police departments.
Address of your candidate website and/or Facebook page: www.jeanlevenick.com; Facebook page: Levenick for FM Town Council
Current Occupation: Homemaker
Education: Business degree from Robert Morris College
To what civic and religious organizations do you belong? Multiple Sclerosis Society, PTA, National Council for Persons with Disabilities
Why should you be elected? As a long term resident of Flower Mound, I want to make certain that our town continues to grow in a way that will always enhance and protect the lives of its residents. I have real and tangible business skills and I will apply them towards ensuring that when businesses come here, they succeed here. When they succeed, we all reap the benefits. As a national spokesperson for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, I know how to represent my community with honor and respect. I’m excited to be able to offer the residents a choice in their future this coming election.
What are the main challenges facing your town and how would you resolve them? As a long term resident of Flower Mound, I want to make certain that our town continues to grow in a way that will always enhance and protect the lives of its residents. I have real and tangible business skills and I will apply them towards ensuring that when businesses come here, they succeed here. When they succeed, we all reap the benefits. As a national spokesperson for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, I know how to represent my community with honor and respect. I’m excited to be able to offer the residents a choice in their future this coming election.
Address of your candidate website and/or Facebook page: www.tamiryanfortc.com; Facebook: Elect Tami Ryan for Town Council
The Cross Timbers Gazette will host a Candidate’s Forum on Sat., April 20, at 6 p.m. at Flower Mound Town Hall for Flower Mound Town Council and LISD Board of Trustee candidates. The forum will be recorded and rebroadcast on FMTV through the election season.