Flower Mound mayoral candidates contrast experience

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Cathy Strathmann and Steve Dixon are headed to a runoff election in June.

It’s an understatement to say there is a difference between the two candidates running for Flower Mound’s first three-year term for mayor.

Steve Dixon is a known civic leader, having served on Flower Mound Town Council from 2009 to 2011 in Place 1. Then, after taking a year off, he was elected to serve consecutive two-year terms in  Place 4 from May 2012 to 2016. He also sat on several boards and commissions between 2004-2009 and is an active member of the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce. After a two-year hiatus, he’s seeking to serve the town as mayor.

Although Cathy Strathmann has never held public office, she has dedicated much of her time attending town and residential meetings, plus is a frequent local social media contributor. Having run unsuccessfully for a place on Town Council the past two years, she is no stranger to the campaign trail and now has her sights set on the mayor’s office.

Dixon and Strathmann are in a tight mayoral runoff election this month with early voting going on now until this Tuesday, June 12.  Election Day is Saturday, June 16, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Flower Mound police officers’ and firefighters’ associations have endorsed Dixon both before and following the May 5 election, which did not produce a winner.

Following the election, Flower Mound mayoral candidate Paul Stone officially endorsed Dixon. Former Council candidates Al Picardi and Tony O. Lawrence also endorsed Dixon.

In addition, on June 1, Roanoke Mayor Scooter Gierisch announced his endorsement of Dixon, saying: “I believe Steve has the knowledge and ability to take Flower Mound to the next chapter.”

Strathmann was endorsed by former Flower Mound Mayor Rick Lust after the candidate forum.  She also has the support of several former 2016 and 2017 council candidates known for their “slow growth” positions.

The two mayoral candidates participated in a televised forum on May 31 at Flower Mound Town Hall hosted by The Cross Timbers Gazette and moderated by longtime resident and newspaper columnist, Bob Weir.

The format for the debate between the candidates featured their personal questions for each other to answer, as well as questions from the audience.

Topics included the town’s property tax rate, council members meeting with developers, apartments (of which both are against), the quality of the police department and Strathmann’s controversial social media posts.

Strathmann asked if Dixon would again support the controversial Southgate development.

“No, I would not,” answered Dixon “What we have at Southgate is not what we pictured when it was passed,” he said. The developer came in many, many times with staff members present and gave their vision for what it was going to be.”

He said a project of mostly single-family homes was not the original plan.

Dixon said if elected, he wants to have a meeting with Stathatos and the town attorney to find out what happened.

Flower Mound mayoral candidate Cathy Strathmann has since apologized for her post on Facebook suggesting the town manager be fired.

Dixon pointed out that on Facebook, Strathmann wrote that Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos should be fired.

“I posted that during the turmoil of the [council] investigation [of Itamar Gelbman] in 2015,” Strathmann admitted. “Two days later, I called Jimmy and told him I overreacted. I was sorry, I was upset and had no right to do it. We have a good working relationship, actually– I have spoken to him and our relationship is fine.”

“Here’s the difference, I have a [three-term] voting record and it’s real easy to attack a voting record,” said Dixon. “Cathy doesn’t have a voting record. So, what I’ve got to go on is social media. I wish she did [have a voting record], so we could talk about policy.”

Watch the candidate forum here:

EARLY VOTING

Denton County: June 4–9, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; June 11–12, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. at Flower Mound Municipal Court, 4150 Kirkpatrick Lane or Lewisville Municipal Annex, 1197 W. Main St., Lewisville.

Tarrant County: June 4–8, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; June 9, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; June 10, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and, June 11-12, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. at The REC of Grapevine, 1175 Municipal Way in Grapevine and other early voting locations.

ELECTION DAY VOTING

Denton County: June 16, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.; at Flower Mound Municipal Court, 4150 Kirkpatrick (for voters residing east of FM 2499); and, Flower Mound Library, 3030 Broadmoor Ln. (for voters residing west of FM 2499).

Tarrant County: June 16, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., at The REC of Grapevine, 1175 Municipal Way in Grapevine.

More information is available at www.votedenton.com or access.tarrantcounty.com/en/elections.html

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