By Jim Carter
In my 35 years in municipal, county, and state government, I have never met a more dedicated, strongly committed, hardworking Public Servant than former Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml. I have had the privilege, in the past 15 years, of witnessing the hours and hours she has devoted in making the Town of Copper Canyon an envy of other municipalities in the Metroplex.
I recall the first meeting I had with Sue while I was serving as Denton County Commissioner. She was the newly-elected mayor, but already had her goals and objectives for the town clearly defined and a timetable prepared. To list a few, among many, accomplishments she has achieved:
Sue was very concerned that area residents were not adequately protected for fire and emergency services. The mayor worked with the committee that was able to have the citizens vote in the Denton County Fire and Emergency Services District. The district provides the needed protection comparable to municipal departments. She was instrumental in locating a fire station in Copper Canyon. This was primarily the reason for a lower ISO rating, thereby reducing insurance costs for homeowners by thousands of dollars over the years. Sue has kept tabs on the operation by serving on the Argyle Fire District for many years. The mayor was also concerned that the residents have professional police protection. She initiated the Denton County Annual Crime Prevention Event that brings together all the law agencies within the county for discussions on safety for the entire county. As a result, Copper Canyon is virtually crime free.
Roads and the condition of roads are a major responsibility for the mayor and council. Early in her term as mayor, Sue established a Road Taskforce that consisted of citizens from all sections of the town. They studied the condition of the roads within the town and made recommendations. As a result, all residential roads were brought up to standards at a very large savings. Due to the cost, the major roads, Copper Canyon, Orchid Hill and Chinn Chapel, were beyond the town’s financial resources for needed reconstructing. Mayor Tejml personally worked with Commissioner Andy Eads, now Judge Eads, to secure funding for the reconstruction. The county provided some money for the projects. Not one cent of the town’s funding went to reconstruction of its major roads. A huge benefit to Copper Canyon Residents, thanks to Mayor Tejml and Judge Eads working together.
When the plans for the Town Center on FM 407 were being considered, the concept was to develop a retail/commercial development. A study was originated by Sue. There was no sewage available and cost of installation as a standalone sewage facility was prohibitive. The mayor had established a great relationship with Flower Mound. That was the major reason for Flower Mound granting a connection to it sewer system, even though that action created competition for commercial development. That development could have gone to Flower Mound. A later study revealed that commercial development in that location faced limited success, as it was between commercial developments on FM 407 at FM 2499 and Lantana. Also, it lacked a major intersection.
Sue has been very diligent in her desire to keep residents informed on all issues related to the town and area. Her writing for The Cross Timbers Gazette is informative and voluminous. On one occasion she asked me how she could reduce the size of her columns. I suggested a simple formula that would cut her column by 50%: After you write the article, go back and omit every other word.
I am very proud that through my veins flows Native American Blood. I am part Cherokee. Indians have a simple way of identifying good from bad Indians… Good Indians leave the campsite better than they found it. Mayor Sue would be a very good Indian… Review Copper Canyon when she was first elected, 14 years ago, and compare to the beautiful panorama of today… What a fantastic legacy! And to quote from God’s Word, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Jim Carter served as Denton County Commissioner in Precinct 4 from 1999 to 2006.