Tuesday, April 23, 2024

LETTER: Elect Livingston and Sheddy to restore civility and integrity in Argyle

As the Pct. 4 Denton County Commissioner, it’s important to me that each of the municipalities in my Precinct is thriving and reaching the goals of their residents. In that quest, I have worked closely with most of the governing councils for our shared constituents.

Many residents in this fast-growing western portion of Denton County are concerned about losing the peaceful, rural feel of their communities, including Argyle. And yet, as the fourth-fastest growing county in the entire country, change and growth are inevitable. We either must plan for and control the change and growth or it will control us.

Argyle is truly a Denton County gem with its rolling topography, its lush green pastures and old growth post oak forests, and its excellent schools. But change will be coming, and it’s important to have a shared vision with as many residents as possible in order to minimize the impact that change will have. A community’s vision must include respecting the rights of property owners as well as responding to the requests from other residents for convenient additional services. This balancing act is not an easy task and as the Argyle leadership struggles with it, the tone and tenor of trying to strike a balance have brought about some unpleasant incidents.

Some four years ago, Councilmember Ron Schmidt, now running for re-election, was disciplined by the Council with a temporary removal from the dais, because of his behavior toward another council member. Schmidt sued the town and the Council has since paid thousands of taxpayer dollars to settle the lawsuit. Subsequently a third-party independent investigation was launched focusing on untrue statements about Mayor Livingston; the results of that investigation cleared Mayor Livingston, yet the recalcitrant Council members refused to even take a vote on releasing those results to the public.

Rather than governing as a team for the good of the Argyle residents, the Council has governed wildly, paying little attention to the public. In other words, a few bullies have taken control of the town, and in the process, likely have violated the open meetings laws multiple times.

Currently, Councilmembers Schmidt and Bradford are seeking to wrest control of the settlement discussions with Oncor from Mayor Livingston, who had initiated it. This settlement process concerning the massive power lines set to come through Argyle’s beautiful wooded neighborhoods is too important to fall victim to Argyle politics!

Clearly the Argyle Council has gone rogue, and it’s up to the Argyle voters to rein it in. The ONLY way to do that is to put the bullies into a minority of the council seats. This requires that the slate of Bryan Livingston and Cindy Sheddy be elected to bring integrity and common sense back to the Council.

As your commissioner, I earnestly call for the election of the Livingston and Sheddy team. Once they are elected, I fully expect the town to be more civilized in its conduct, and thus able to re-unite for respectful and respectable governance. That will mean talking with one another, rather than about one another. I pray for that day to come!

Dianne Edmondson

Denton County Commissioner Pct. 4

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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