The new year has brought a new election season upon us. I am David Johnson, and I want to earn your vote for Place 2 on the Flower Mound Town Council. With that in mind, I have some thoughts to share with you about expecting more.

It is time for us, as Flower Mound residents, to expect more from our Town Council.  It is time for us to expect more strategic thinking about how our priorities fit with the growing metropolitan area around us.  It is time for us to examine regional transportation solutions, to show more respect for our town executives, be big thinkers, and keep a seat at the table about development that is happening in and around Flower Mound.

Three examples of thinking bigger and being more strategic are:

First, has the Town Council had conversations with the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA).  DCTA restructured recently and strengthened the voting power of its members. DCTA recently added services to bring Lewisville residents to Flower Mound for medical appointments. It is exploring bus services to Coppell and maybe even into Grapevine.  Could Flower Mound be part of this expansion? Are there options for FM 2499 from Denton all the way to DFW? Parts of Flower Mound are in Tarrant County. Do we have a seat at the table with Trinity Metro and TEXRail? TEXRail recently brought light rail to Grapevine and DFW from Fort Worth. This group is proposing a transportation hub north of DFW near Great Wolf Lodge. How can Flower Mound have a seat at that table?

Second, it appears that the TIRZ district for The Villages at Lakeside development is dead.  However, State Senator Jane Nelson helped obtain a $5 million grant for a fine arts center in Flower Mound. Where else could that center go? What about in the middle of the River Walk? There have been plans for an amphitheater there, but maybe a fine arts center would be a better asset for our town?  Does the current council have the vision and patience to work through such ideas with the developer, Centurion American? For example, could the existing TIRZ to pay for a parking structure that will be needed for a fine arts center? Does council have the strategic vision to get that type of deal done?

Third, a new voting block was created with two new town council members that were elected in May. They were quick to select pet issues important to their small group of supporters. One example was terminating a crossing guard contract that was functioning just fine. Their actions hampered our children's safety by rushing the Flower Mound Police Department to find replacement crossing guards. A second example was the blunder of the town budget process, creating a debacle that fractured relationships with town executives, police, fire, and town employees. These disruptions provided this voting block an opportunity to tip their hats to a small group of supporters who were beating the drum for an effective tax rate and fabricated recession concerns.

It's time for us to expect more of our Town Council.  It's time for us to respect the power of our vote in local government. And it's time for us to expect our candidates to prove themselves in our community, with non-profit work and through a history of community engagement.

I encourage Flower Mound voters to expect this level of community commitment and strategic thinking as we listen to candidates over the next couple of months. I hope you recognize that I, David Johnson, am the best choice for Place 2 on Flower Mound Town Council. Expect more, be informed, get out and vote!

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