The Flower Mound Town Council election season is underway and voters will have to select their leaders for Place 1 and 3 in the May 4th election. There are three candidates running for Place 1 and two candidates for Place 3. My interview today introduces Ben Bumgarner, running for Place 3.
We will undoubtedly be receiving many literature mail pieces describing the contenders for those offices. The purpose of these video interviews is to allow voters to see and hear directly from the candidates before going to the polls. My questions are directly related to the issues most Flower Mound residents are concerned with. Videos only run between 8 and 10 minutes, which is long enough to cover salient topics. The following bio was sent by Mr. Bumgarner, which sums up his reasons for running.
“My name is Benjamin Bumgarner. I grew up in a small town just east of McKinney, Texas, called New Hope. Population 700, guesstimated. I went to McKinney schools from kindergarten and graduated from McKinney high school in 2002. Why I have decided to run for political office now is because of how I grew up. In my early ages, McKinney was a smaller town (roughly 50k people) where you could go into town and run into people from school/church/work and it was close knit. It was safe. By the time I graduated from college in 2007, the city had doubled and today is sitting just under 200k residents. I don’t recognize the town that I grew up in.
“When I go to visit my grandmother, who raised me with my mother, I get sad that I don’t see some of my old haunts that my childhood friends and I used to enjoy. Why Do I bring this up? I’m 35 years old. It took around 25 years for McKinney to grow from a sleepy little town to what it is today. Let me get back on point. I met my wife while in college. I went to Austin College, up in Sherman, Texas. We married in 2014. We moved to flower mound in 2013 and decided this was the place we wanted to raise our family and grow old together. My wife and I moved here because we are super close to the airport, as we love to travel, but love the quiet atmosphere that is west flower mound.
“I have a 10 year-old daughter, from a previous relationship, that lives with me, full time. She loves it here too. Just before I was married, I was laid off from my job as a Manager for Bank of America, in their loss mitigation department. I then started my own business which is based out of McKinney, Texas. I don’t want Flower Mound to be the next McKinney/Frisco/insert mega urban sprawl area. I want to live our town mission statement, which is to preserve our unique country atmosphere, heritage, and quality of life, while cultivating a dynamic economic environment.
“By rubber stamping all this new development and projects, we have certainly lived up to the last part of the mission statement, but, what about the preservation of our heritage and country atmosphere? I sure would like to be the voice of our citizens to not only preserve the idea and spirit of the mission statement, but to create an example for our future leaders to follow suit. It’s time our town’s citizens’ voices were heard and that we focus on our infrastructure problems, as this is one of the strongest negative marks that us Flower Mounders have expressed about our fair berg. Growth is coming and won’t be stopping. The state has done a great job of bringing out-of-state business to us. We need to plan accordingly as a town and follow our Master Plan. If we do that, we will keep true to our vision.”
The Flower Mound Council Candidate Forum, sponsored by The Cross Timbers Gazette, will be held at Flower Mound Town Hall on Thursday, April 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Bob Weir will be the moderator for the forum. Early voting begins April 22 and Election Day is May 4.