Letter: Town is split and council is in shambles

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The Double Oak Town Council welcomed Bartonville residents with kindness and respect again as they gave their input about contracting their police protection out to Double Oak at their regularly scheduled Town Council meeting on July 21. After patiently listening as Del Knowler spoke in favor of it and several citizens, including former Mayor Ron Robertson, spoke against it, they voted to discontinue discussions with Bartonville Town Council with the following statement, “Your town is split and your council is in shambles.” Some Double Oak council members said that they had known and respected Ron Robertson and his work for the town of Bartonville for many years. They said they would not go forward unless the current town council can come to a unanimous vote to contract out their services.

This was a relief to those of us who support keeping our own Bartonville Police Department and maintaining control of our police protection because the contract was proposed to commence October 1, 2014, following the complete dismantling of our own police department.

……….a process begun at the FIRST Town Council meeting after Scherer was sworn in as Mayor when the contract proposal he and Traylor must have been developing with the Double Oak Police before the election was suddenly unveiled.

……….a process whereby our new mayor and council members made decisions in the secretiveness of a closed executive session which resulted in our police chief being forced to retire without cause and without the benefit of open, transparent public disclosure and discussion with Bartonville citizens just three weeks after Scherer was sworn in.

……….a process Scherer and Knowler adamantly denied while Scherer was campaigning during the last election.

Promises Made, Promises Broken

After reviewing their most recent actions immediately after being elected, it might be important to consider what was said just before our town elections…….

Just one day before the election on May 9th,  Knowler and CURE said, “You may have received a postcard today stating that “Your Police Department is at Stake”. Nothing could be further from the truth. ….Apparently someone did not want you to know who they are because it contains false and misleading information……. The CURE update email from Mayor Pro Tem Bill Scherer, sent to you yesterday, was very clear.  The council is attempting to provide you with more police coverage, not less, without a tax increase.  This is just another ploy to discredit your elected officials and confuse the issue.  Be assured that the council will do what is best for Bartonville.”

On May 7th, Knowler and CURE stated, “Don’t be misled by the rumor being circulated that Bill Scherer, Mayor Candidate, and Jaclyn Carrington and Gary Marco, Town Council Candidates want to eliminate the police department. Such a statement is not true nor credible. It is irresponsible on the part of those who are circulating this erroneous information….”

Bill Scherer wrote a letter entitled “Need To Evaluate Police Options” on May 7 when he was campaigning to become Mayor.  He stated, “When the Bartonville town survey stated that 55% of the town wanted a smaller police department, we listened.  This poll expressed a desire to reduce the percent of budget expended on the police force. Wanting to hear more, we hosted a town forum regarding the police department. This audience spoke in favor of 24×7 police coverage, which….left us in a quandary as to how to meet the needs of all citizens – reducing cost while increasing police coverage.”

Mr Scherer ended his letter with, “if you believe in open communication and respectful dialog, a person committed to finding the right solutions for our town, I would appreciate your vote.”

Stop Listening to Their Words; Start Looking at Their Actions

Contrary to what some on our Town Council, Knowler and CURE keep saying, their actions indicate that they intend now and have for some time intended to destroy our police department. They inaccurately report results as a basis to further their hidden agenda while they simultaneously speak about their commitment to openness and transparency in government. For example, they say 55%  of those who participated in the Town Survey wanted the police department to be reduced without telling the rest of the story…..73% of the that same group of citizens who took the survey felt that our police department was doing a good or excellent job.  And the research team who did the survey recommended that the town better educate the citizens about the police…..NOT reduce or do away with the department.

For some time now, Mayor Scherer, Knowler, CURE and Knowler’s council members have been using the 55% argument just mentioned along with the following as their rationale to destroy our own police department. And yes, that’s destroy….you can’t contract out your police protection and simultaneously keep your own department under your town’s control.  They also inaccurately report the following survey results as an excuse to do away with our police:  “since the majority of residents at the March Police Forum want 24/7 coverage, we need to contract out our police protection in order to immediately get 24/7 coverage at a reduced cost.” What they don’t tell you is ONLY 27 people voted to have 24/7 coverage at that forum. Please see the attached photo of the white board votes taken at that forum. That’s 27 people out of 1,175 registered voters in Bartonville. Putting it another way….that’s 2% of Bartonville voters would like to have 24/7 police coverage. And they never said they wanted it immediately or at the expense of eliminating our own police department.  They wanted it when we as a town could afford it with our own police department under the control of our town. The white board and the voting options were provided by Council Member Traylor. Please note that there was no option to “keep our police department” as it is. Every option but one was a substantial reduction in our police coverage. Given that choice set, the only option left for those who did not want to reduce coverage was “24/7 coverage.”

What’s Really Going On Around Here?

We’ve got a split town and a split council on the police department issue too which has even been recognized by our neighboring towns. We are guessing that Knowler and CURE will somehow find a way to blame Dick Armey and the water tower issue for that split too. But we’ve shown again in this update that the split was actually caused by Knowler, CURE, and Knowler’s council members manipulating pieces of the truth to the point of inaccuracy to suit them and their inner circle’s hidden agenda. Knowler and his inner circle seem so committed to controlling the town and having their way that they tell candidates who disagree with them that they better change their positions because they control 75% of the vote.  When one of Knowler’s candidates, Gary Marco, lost to Betty Medlock, Knowler and Marco went to the Denton County Election Board and tried to protest Betty Medlock’s Town Council position. She was our town’s choice but she wasn’t Knowler’s.  We continue to hope that Bill Scherer, Jeff Traylor and Jaclyn Carrington research every issue for themselves and get curious about why half the town is so angry with them for following Knowler and CURE’s inner circle.

Won’t You Come Home, Ron Robertson?

Many in our group have observed what has been happening since Knowler and CURE’s inner circle have been misinforming our town about former Mayor Ron Robertson and our previous Town Councils excellent work…….. which we were frankly impressed by when we summarized their 12 years of positive impact on Bartonville in our recent updates. Also, we appreciate all the positive comments we have gotten from many of you as you have used our work as a springboard to resea
rch the truth yourselves behind the scenes in our town these days. We agree with you that Ron Robertson did amazing and excellent work on behalf of our town and we hope he might consider coming back to get re-involved in our town government. There’s an open seat and we can’t imagine anyone who would work harder and who has the experience and ability to help us out of this mess than our former Mayor. So we’re hoping he’ll consider running….if you see him and you agree, maybe you will join us and ask him yourself….”Won’t you come home, Ron Robertson……back to our town government and run for the open council seat this fall?”

Jane Teel
North Bartonville Citizens Association
Bartonville, TX


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