Meet the Candidates: Northlake Town Council

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Southern Denton County residents will head to the polls starting this month to decide a plethora of municipal and school board contests.

The Cross Timbers Gazette asked each candidate in a contested race to answer a brief questionnaire to help voters make an informed decision at the polls this May.

Three Northlake Town Council seats are expiring, and each incumbent is seeking re-election and facing one challenger. Place 1 incumbent Jean Young will face-off against Rena Hardeman and Place 3 incumbent Michael Ganz is being challenged by Brian Montini. Place 2 incumbent Mike McBride drew a write-in candidate, Jimmy Lambert, a new resident of Northlake.

Election Day is May 5, with early voting from April 23 to April 28, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and April 30 and May 1, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The candidates for Northlake Town Council are listed in alphabetic order under each individual contested race.

Place 1

Rena Hardeman, 53

What is the main issue facing your community and how would you address it: Explosive growth is taking over our beautiful town and making it into something that it was never intended to be. The biggest issue in Northlake is the lack of representation of the citizens. The citizens speak and no one listens. Developers and non-citizens are heard, but citizens are often dismissed, especially if they disagree with the council. We are at a critical time in the building of Northlake. Will mega-density developers determine our direction or will those of us with a commitment to, and vested interest in, Northlake, build Northlake? Developers are here today, gone tomorrow.

Why are you the best candidate for this position: I have lived in Northlake longer than any other council member or candidate – over 45 years. I am a seventh-generation Texan and I take very seriously the baton handed to us from previous generations to keep alive those things that make Texas great! Farming, ranching, agriculture, wide open spaces, clean water, clean air, and quality of life are all things that I want to preserve in Northlake, before it gets too late. The public trust is a solemn responsibility that I treat with great respect. I know what it is like to stand before the council and plead my case, and not be heard. I also know what it is like to sit on the council and hear citizen concerns. I respect my fellow citizens and will treat their concerns like my own.

Facebook page: Rena Hardeman for Northlake City Council

Webside: RenaHardeman.com

Email: [email protected]

Jean Young, 73 (i)

What is the main issue facing your community and how would you address it: Our newest planned development, Pecan Square by Hillwood, will bring three schools to Northlake and we should stay ahead of the road improvements for the expected traffic. I will work with TxDOT and Denton County and developers to finance the widening and paving of existing gravel roads. Northlake is actually in great shape in all areas thanks to excellent staff, employees, police, Mayor and council.

Why are you the best candidate for this position: For 19 years on the Northlake Town Council, I have consistently looked out for the citizens’ quality of life, protected the citizens’ tax dollars, kept the town financially stable, and sought to keep continued smart and controlled growth.

Facebook page: None listed

Website: None listed

Email: [email protected]

Place 2

Jimmy Lambert, 51

What is the main issue facing your community and how would you address it: Our biggest issue in Northlake is the council not listening to its citizens. The council should not have played favorites with developers for deviations from Northlake’s Master Plan and existing zoning codes. Developers should be held to the same codes and standards as everyone else. To change the future of Northlake, we have to start with the city council. We need a council that puts the citizens, not developers, first.

Why are you the best candidate for this position: My wife and I moved our family to Northlake in July 2017. I attended a few of the council meetings and learned, first-hand, what it feels like to have your very serious requests and concerns dismissed by a group of people who had their minds made up. I realized that I have something that will be an asset to Northlake. I have owned businesses for over 10 years and have gained great insight listening to the ideas, thoughts and concerns of others. I know what it means to be service-oriented. I think we need new leadership with a new perspective. I will listen to the citizens of Northlake. Northlake deserves to have people in office that can be trusted and who care about the concerns of each citizen.

Facebook page: Jimmy Lambert for Northlake City Council Place 2

Website: None listed

Email: [email protected]

Mike McBride, 58 (i)

What is the main issue facing your community and how would you address it: Clearly, the issue of growth and how to responsibly manage it by balancing the desires of our residents, while still respecting our legacy landowners’ right to farm, ranch, or develop their property is the first priority. I support following our Comprehensive Plan by preserving our approximately 11-square-mile Ranch Preservation Area and avoiding the negative bias towards beautiful master-planned neighborhoods like Canyon Falls, which provide public trails, parks and other amenities for all. Attracting schools and preferred businesses to enhance our quality of life and ensuring the cost of infrastructure is borne by the developers, all while protecting our rural areas is paramount. Northlake is a great place to call home…especially when we work together.

Why are you the best candidate for this position: As a two-term council member and six- year EDC Board member, I listen to our residents, staff, and fellow council members to formulate sound decisions that are in the best interest for all of Northlake. I don’t just listen to the loudest voice in the room or make decisions based on the emotion of the moment. I believe in doing my homework by seeking the advice of– and questioning– experts in the area of municipal law, engineering, banking, and other professions as it applies to development, infrastructure, transportation and our growing tax base. My integrity, accountability, voting record and dedication to shaping Northlake’s future continue to make me the best candidate for Town Council Place 2 and I respectfully ask for your support.

Facebook page: Mike McBride – Mayor Pro Tem/Councilmember Place 2

Website: None listed

Email: [email protected]

Place 3

Michael C. Ganz, 62 (i)

What is the main issue facing your community and how would you address it: The biggest issue facing Northlake now and into the foreseeable future will be how we control the rapid-rate of growth while, at the same time, ensure that our citizens’ quality of life is not diminished. I will work to control this growth, just as I have been doing successfully for the past nine years: ensure that any growth complies with Northlake’s Comprehensive Plan; partner only with high-quality developers and ensure they have a stake in Northlake’s long-term growth and success; ensure that infrastructure cost is borne by the developers, not the citizens; ensure that Northlake’s Ranch Preservation Area (approximately 11-square-miles) remains rural and emblematic of Northlake’s rich, rural history.

Why are you the best candidate for this position: Due to Northlake’s proximity to major thoroughfares and airports, growth is inevitable. As the incumbent council member, I have provided key votes to control our growth, while ensuring development in Northlake complies with our Comprehensive Plan. I have been a leader in developing and growing Northlake’s Trails and Parks system and improving infrastructure, while ensuring growth does not diminish our citizens’ quality of life or home values. I believe in maintaining the town’s rural history, keeping the tax rate low and being fiscally responsible. I have supported the need for additional schools, while attracting business and retail development to Northlake, in order to expand our tax base. I humbly ask for the voters’ continued support.

Facebook page: None listed

Website: None listed

Email: [email protected]

Brian G. Montini, 41,

What is the main issue facing your community and how would you address it: Our region and our town have been faced with an onslaught of developers trying to turn our rural town into the next major suburban city. Northlake was founded to remain a rural town, and not be annexed by Fort Worth. Over time, our town started just giving away re-zoning requests and there are currently 6,000+ additional homes planned for Northlake. Our infrastructure and area schools are all going to feel the burden of these decisions. I would like to get our citizens more involved in the decision process, give them a voice at the table. I will not cater to the developers, but to our citizens. It is time to take back our town and maintain our heritage and roots as a rural town.

Why are you the best candidate for this position: I believe EVERY voice matters and I will bring that attitude to this council seat. I, and many others, moved to Northlake for the rural feel of the town. After moving here, I started attending town council meetings and involved my neighbors on things that were going on. I obtained their input and took that feedback to the town during public hearings and public comment sessions. However, it continually felt like we were not being listened to. I was brought-up to listen to people and try to understand their concerns.

Facebook page: Montini for Northlake Town Council, Pl.3

Website: BrianMontini.info

Email: [email protected]

About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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