For those who have not heard, this is my final contribution as Mayor to The Cross Timbers Gazette. It has become apparent that with my mounting health issues, I did not feel I was able to provide the level of service to the Town of Argyle which the citizens and staff deserved. With that being said, on July 27th, I turned in my resignation letter. This was something I did with a heavy heart but felt it was the best for the town.
The citizens of Argyle have graciously allowed me to serve as the Mayor since May 2017. This was not a position I took lightly. I spent many nights contemplating the decisions that would shape this town along with the council. Many work sessions and council meetings ran well past midnight.
I approached the position as an honor and a duty that the citizens entrusted me with and enjoyed the opportunity to be a servant of the citizens. Right after I was elected, I had a very well-meaning citizen tell me “We voted you in and we can vote you out, it’s up to you.” I took those words to heart and never forgot them. In keeping with that commitment, we were able to accomplish many things.
- Morning with the Mayor – I immediately started meeting with anyone and everyone who wanted to sit down, enjoy a cup of coffee and even a donut or two on the first Saturday of every month. Sometimes the conversations were lighthearted and other times, not so much. But there was always a chance to have open conversations and an exchange of ideas.
- Silent Zones – A feasibility study was initiated and continues today for the implementation of quiet/silent zones at all five of the town’s railroad crossings. This process is integrated with the reconstruction of all five intersections with the expansion of HWY 377.
- Police Department – The Police Department has always been at the top of my list. It has been my number one goal to make sure the Argyle Police Department is the premier department in the area and the department with the longest waiting list. With the quality of officers we have and the hiring of Chief Jackson, I can safely say our police department is well on its way and with the continued support of the citizens and council, there is nothing that can stand in their way. I am very proud of them and support them 100%.
- Crawford Road – Three years ago we realized how badly Crawford Rd. needed to be fixed but having multiple entities involved (Town of Argyle, Denton County, and the City of Denton) made this a difficult task. I suggested that Argyle take ownership of Crawford Rd. and the continued maintenance only if two things happened. First: The Town of Argyle would become the sole owner of Crawford Rd. in our town limits. Second: Crawford Rd. had to be rebuilt, not just repaired. This started the interlocal arrangements that continue with the total upcoming reconstruction of Crawford Rd. this fall. This is a project that I am very proud of and will be very excited to see completed.
- Tree Ordinance – The council took on the task preserving our natural resources and passed one-acre minimums in home lots for future housing developments. We also saw the creation of one of the most conscientious tree committees in the region.
- New Public Works Facility – For many years, our public works employees worked out of the water tower on Country Club Rd. which was a lease from the Argyle Water Supply Corporation. In 2019, this lease came to an end and the water corp decided they needed their facility back. This created the need for our own facility. With the funds on hand, we were able to purchase and outfit the property and a new public works facility on South Stonecrest Rd. This was a project that was completed with cash on hand and without the need for financing.
- 1/4 Cent Sales Tax Reallocation – in 2018, we brought an idea before the voters to reallocate a quarter cent of sales tax funds that were being directed to the EDC (Economic Development Corporation). These funds were then directed to a road repair fund. To do this, the citizens had to vote whether they wanted this to occur which overwhelmingly passed. At the time this was presented, it would have put over a quarter of a million dollars a year into our road repair fund. As our sales tax revenue increases in the years to come, the fund will also increase annually.
- Comprehensive Road Repair – As we knew those funds would be growing, we identified many roads that needed repair and reconstruction and started a comprehensive road repair project that continues today throughout many of the streets in town.
- Tax Relief – 2019 also saw the implementation of the increase of the senior citizen and disabled tax exemption from $40,000 to $100,000. This was a move to assist our seniors and disabled from the rising cost of taxes due to property valuations. Even as I write this article the council is considering lowering the town’s tax rate from $0.3975 per $100 to $0.378396 per $100 of your home or property. That is a 5% reduction in the tax rate for the town!
- Town Staff – The staff at town hall has been restructured in such a way as to service the citizens’ needs more efficiently as well as provide optimal services.
These are just a few of the items and challenges which the council has taken on and passed to improve life in Argyle. While I encouraged all the members of the council to take charge of individual projects, it has been the entire council who has been responsible for the great things that have come to pass in this town.
I truly appreciate the support I have received during my time as Mayor. I want to especially thank my wife Terry for her support and putting up with me during this whole process and many late nights and Ms. Marcella Barden for her assistance as my editor. Thank you everyone for loving Argyle as much as I do.