Having served on both Planning and Zoning and the Parks Board for a total of 5 years, as well as serving a total of 12 years on the Highland Village City Council, I want to chime in with respect to the upcoming Highland Village City Council election.
I will start out by saying that the two incumbents, Councilman Mike Lombardo and Councilman Tom Heslep, have come up through the ranks as City Council-selected board and/or commission members for Highland Village before becoming City Council members. The advantage to serving on these Boards and Commissions is that members gain an understanding of how the city works, how decisions are made, and why the process is what it is.
For example, knowing that tax revenue from property taxes is governed by the State of Texas and Denton County and is what a city is allowed to spend is crucial in making a budget. The recommended amount for each department is requested by the staff and sent to a board or commission manned by city residents for review. The review process is completed by the different board and commissions and they submit it to the City Council for approval. This is the way that both Mike and Tom have gotten the training that is necessary to properly make decisions about the needs of the city as City Council members.
Their knowledge of the way a city works is only one of many assets they bring to the Council. In their work, Mike brings management of a large company and Tom brings money management from a banking background. Neither of their two opponents has had that experience, and you can see that by looking at what they are promising to do.
Their challengers say that they are going to lower property taxes. No, they aren’t! The total amount we are allowed to spend is provided by the County and the State. The cities then make the decision as to how that available money should be spent. These decisions are based on recommendations of the boards, commissions, and staff.
Being a productive City Council member is dependent upon learning how the city works based on service on boards and commissions and then upon ongoing training of the City Council by city staff who are intimate and very knowledgeable about the processes. Councilmen Lombardo and Heslep have this training. Their opponents’ platforms show that they do not have the background or knowledge necessary to support the needs of our city. I would hope that, if they want to serve the city, that they would first apply for membership on a board or commission so that they can later be productive members of the City Council if they are elected sometime in the future.
Please re-elect Tom Heslep and Mike Lombardo.
Dr. Frederick D. Busche
Highland Village, TX