If there is ever an event that lets you know that your time in a office is coming to a close, having people file for the position you hold while being unable to file for it yourself is definitely one of those. As the spotlight will soon turn to the new people looking to serve, I want to take a moment to reflect on my time in office. In many ways it seems like a lifetime ago when I first filed as a candidate for Place 3.
When I filed, I knew whoever was elected would have big shoes to fill in following Mark Wise. With Mike Wallace and Tim Trotter serving before him, Place 3 has a legacy of great council members and I hope my service lived up to their example.
I have been a relentless advocate for our Town, for all of Flower Mound. When we had things to celebrate, I used every method I had to acknowledge them. When there were issues, I worked with people to resolve them and then we celebrated those accomplishments.
Something that I am very proud of is that I did not miss a meeting nor a single vote while on council. I was prepared for every meeting to contribute to the dialogue on the items before Council as well as understanding the process. A bit of advice to those who seek to be elected to Council in the future: be ready for this part-time, volunteer job to command A LOT of your time. Serving on Council is very demanding and can be very fulfilling. There is no better feeling than when a someone comes to you for help and you are able to help them.
When I was elected, Social Media was not used much by individual council members to discuss their thoughts and reasoning. I created my Facebook page so that I could expand upon my reasoning for different votes and actions. Also, this was to be a place to deep dive into many topics. I think my council member page was successful as nearly all council members (and not just our town) are doing the same thing today. I will leave this page up as it has a lot of information on it. Thank you to everyone who liked, read and contributed to the page.
During my term I had the opportunity to meet and talk with many groups and individuals. From Scouts, classrooms, School Boards, Chambers, civic organizations, individuals, and elected officials from around our state I wanted the meetings to be an exchange of knowledge in both directions. I wanted to learn as much as I was able to educate. I often joked with members of my scout troop that I ran for Town Council so that our Scouts would have a person they could talk with to complete some of their advancement requirements. In truth, meeting with the youth of our town gave me energy. Talking with these inquisitive young minds, hearing where their passions are and helping them learn let me know that our future is in good hands.
Looking back at my time on council I see a lot of great things accomplished for our town. These were not accomplished by me alone, I had help from other members of council, town staff, and residents of Flower Mound.
Here are some of the major things we accomplished during my term in office:
• Passing four budgets without raising the tax rate, keeping it among the lowest in the region
• Passing the Homestead exemption for Flower Mound residents to help lower their property taxes while continuing to maintain the services our residents deserve
• New Town Hall
• Holding a Charter Review and election with six of eight proposals passing, most with wide margins of approval. One of the most significant is the transition of Council Member terms to three years
• Protecting our home values by working with the realtor websites to have our schools’ scores reported accurately
• Moving forward with our Library expansion
• Reviewing our codes and ordinances to streamline the government process; removing obsolete items; consolidating them into a more easily to define and use tool
• Leading the effort to have Town Council meeting to be broadcast on Facebook Live
Environmental and Sustainability
• Updating our design codes to remove obstacles for energy efficient and environmentally sustainable building, landscape, and design
• Strengthening and improving our Tree Ordinance; encouraging and rewarding developments to design with more open space and tree preservation
• Approving measures for re-conditioning Rheudasil, Wilkerson, and Cortaderra ponds
• Protecting the historic cabin while keeping it on its original location
• Improving and upgrading our Tree Farm
• Passing the Parks, Trails and Open Space Master Plan
• Implementing the Water Reuse Master Plan
• Helped facilitate the controlled burn of the Flower Mound
• Initiating the Economic Development scorecard
• Keeping Stryker in Flower Mound and assisting to have many great new businesses, restaurants, and industries to call Flower Mound home
• Opening our first hotel, and see it become a major success
• Bringing the Flower Mound Farmers Market first to the Town Hall parking lot then successfully Moving it to its current home at Parker Square
• Implementing the Senior Housing Overlay and seeing it bring at least one Senior Living facility to Flower Mound
Public Works and Safety
• Improving pedestrian safety by implementing the process for reviewing street lighting in our neighborhoods, getting more light in the needed areas
• Opening Fire Station No. 6; Fire Station No. 7 under construction; updates to Central Fire Station; and updating many FMFD apparatus
• Approving expansions to the Police and Courts building, including our jail renovation
• Working with FMPD and LISD to expand our award winning Student Resource Officer program
• Opening the Hound Mound
• Completing Heritage Park phase 2, phase 3, and phase 4 improvements along with many public park upgrades
• Lead the discussions and approved projects designed to improve traffic flow on Morriss road without adding lanes
• Many road repair or reconstruction projects including: Yucca road, McKamy Creek, Waketon road, Forest Vista Drive, and Skillern Road
• Seeing our Town to continually be ranked among the Safest and Best places to live, raise a family, and do business.
• Creating the position of Veterans Liaison to help promote Veterans programs, coordinate Veterans events, and to be a point of contact for Veterans resources in the area
• Restarting the Memorial Day “A Day of Remembrance” ceremony
• Getting our town recognized as a Purple Heart Town by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. The first “town” to have this recognition
There are many more things we accomplished, and many individuals to thank (I’ll save that for another post) but none if it would have been possible without you, the people of Flower Mound. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve, rewarding me with a second term, and continued support in the items I wanted to do for our town. I believe we have come a long way during my term. We are better and still getting better every day.
I’m not saying good-bye yet, I still have a few more months left to serve, but it is good to look back at what we have done so far.