Wednesday, October 20, 2021

LETTER: Citizens deserve transparency

As Americans, it’s not just our right but our responsibility to question our elected officials. In exercising that responsibility, I have discovered that basic, public information that should be easily accessible is being withheld from Flower Mound residents. From spending millions of taxpayer dollars, to details about large development projects, to the retirement and replacement of key Town staff, this Council seems to be doing their best to keep you and I in the dark.

Did you know that a new development application for Flower Mound Ranch (formerly known as Furst Ranch) was filed on July 16? Flower Mound/Furst Ranch is proposed for 2,100 acres in west Flower Mound. Council and Planning and Zoning chased away the first plan that included 4,000 multifamily units and 3,415 residential units in May. I submitted a public information request for the new application three weeks ago. The Council denied the PIR saying it included embarrassing and confidential information. The Furst group, thankfully, provided me a copy of the application because they want to be fully transparent… unlike our Council. Guess what? The only thing embarrassing in the new application is the fact that the applicant now is going to exercise his full rights and put in up to 10,400 multifamily units, 2,100 townhomes and 435 residential units. This does not include the +/-500 acres in the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) that has now been removed from the application. Way to go Council – you negotiated Flower Mound right out of a reasonable compromise. Yes it’s embarrassing – for the Council!

Did you know that the Council is spending over $2 million taxpayer dollars to buy land from LISD and demolish some existing buildings? They did this all without disclosing exactly how much this is going to cost and what they’re planning to do with the land. Don’t bother asking either. The Council will just tell you it is none of your business and send your request for information to the Texas Attorney General so they can keep you in the dark.

Did you know Flower Mound has been without a Town Manager for over a year? If you do, you have no idea what the Council is doing to fill the position, unless of course you regularly monitor the Facebook page of Mayor Derek France. If you don’t use Facebook and/or follow Mayor France, you’re out of luck. The Town has not bothered to put out any information on the Town Manager search since January.

Did you know that Flower Mound’s Interim Town Manger and CFO, Debra Wallace, is retiring at the end of October? If you do, it’s because you are a Facebook friend of Ms. Wallace’s. The only place this has been announced is on her personal Facebook page. Again, the Town has yet to announce her retirement or what will be done to fill the interim position that she’s been holding for over a year. No wonder it’s taking so long to fill the Town Manager position- who would be willing to put their reputation and career on the line for this ridiculousness that occurs in Flower Mound?

What else don’t we know? Hard to say, but if these four items are any indication, it’s a whole lot.

Whatever the reason – Flower Mound residents deserve better. It’s time to hold the Council responsible.

Patsy Mizeur
Flower Mound, TX

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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