City Council Update for February 7, 2023

City Council Update for February 7, 2023

Click here to read my City Council Update for February 7, 2023. Key topics include keeping electric rates low, childcare for low income families, and calling the next City election on May 6th.

A New Year and New Leadership in Denton

If we hadn’t experienced it first hand, I doubt many of us would have believed the bizarre twists and turns of the year 2020. I wouldn’t even have believed it as the plot of a gritty Back to the Future reboot. I almost bought a “2020 flickering dumpster fire” Christmas tree ornament, just so I would believe […]

May the Road Rise Up to Meet You…

So begins that lovely and well-known Irish blessing. But for too long in the City of Denton, the road might have literally risen up to meet you, or disappeared from underneath you, or rattled your teeth so hard you thought they might fall out. If you’ve been here very long at all, you remember when […]

Economic Development Requires Investment, Not Miracles

Denton enjoys some of the familiar advantages that made many small frontier towns into booming hubs of commerce. We sit at the junction of two interstate highways, on one of the busiest North-South trade routes in North American. We are home to two major public universities, which bring us thousands of students, academics, and visitors […]

The Power of the Purse

Denton is what we call a Full Service city. That means that as taxpayers we support a police department, a fire department, street maintenance, parks, and all the other things we expect from our City government. But in addition, as utility ratepayers, we own and operate our own electric company, water company, wastewater system, and […]

Parks and Green Space are Vitally Important

When I was a kid I practically lived outside. Thankfully, we couldn’t afford cable or video games until I was in high school. So naturally I spent more time running around outside than on the couch. My mom had a big central Denton backyard with great climbing trees and creeks nearby to explore. My dad […]

Meeting the Economic Crisis Head-On

From the very beginning of the current public health crisis, we knew that our families, businesses, and government were going to face a great economic crisis as well. We did not yet know how great. We all know a family breadwinner who is out of work or a favorite local shop that has closed. In […]

Let’s Leave the Expertise to the Experts

Have you noticed how many experts we have lately?  Just check your Facebook feed, that’s where they congregate. About six months ago, it seems like a lot of my friends became experts in constitutional law. Then almost overnight, they were experts in public health and epidemiology. Before you could blink, they became experts in police […]

Triumph During Uncertainty

Much has been said about the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe too much. You could almost make a drinking game out of the number of newscasts and ads that begin with a grave voice saying, “In these uncertain times…” But as we progress out of our lockdowns and ease social distancing, what fascinates […]

Phase 1 Reopenings Begin

One of the most frustrating things about the COVID-19 crisis is that it seems endless. We know it must end eventually, but we can’t put our finger on when. Governor Abbot’s most restrictive closure order expired on April 30th. All retail stores, restaurants, bars, and movie theatres were allowed to open their doors on May […]

Resilience in the Face of the Pandemic

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou The term “resilience” gets tossed around a lot these days in corporate and government circles. In essence it means the ability to flex with the unexpected and bounce back from tough times. After the terrible […]

Growth, Mobility., and Traffic

What did the traffic light say to the driver? “Don’t look, I’m changing!” Ok, I can hear your groans from here. But at least now I have your attention. I hear a lot from my friends and neighbors about the effect of growth in our area. There’s one thing in particular that seems to be […]

Remember Our Non-Profit Community in the Season of Giving

We often call this time of year “The Season of Giving.” That’s in part, of course, because we exchange gifts at Christmas. But this is also the time we reflect on our many blessings, including family, shelter, and full pantries. That makes this the perfect time to express our thanks for these blessings by giving […]

You Decide: 2019 Bond Election

On November 5th, Denton citizens will go to the polls to decide whether the City should issue bonds totaling $221.5 million. When a City issues bonds, we are taking on debt that we must later repay. I know that you take fiscal responsibility as seriously as I do. So the most important questions we citizens […]

Public Safety and Fiscal Responsibility

Last month I laid out the hard work your Denton City Council is doing to craft a responsible budget, based on the effective tax rate. The effective tax rate, you’ll recall, is the lowest rate necessary to collect the same revenue as last year. Today, I am happy to report that the City Manager’s Draft […]

Gas Well Setbacks Require Balancing Competing Interests

UPDATE: In January 2020, at my urging, the City Council passed a 500-foot setback ordinance that balanced the interests just as I described below. The new ordinance also protected the rights of people whose homes are already built with than 500-foot radius, and may want to add on later. Over the last twenty years, natural […]

Taxes and Other Summer Fun

For many folks, Summer is a time to slow down and relax. But for the Denton City Council, the work heats up along with the weather. As you dive into your Summer book list, we’ll be diving into a sea of reports and spreadsheets. That’s because Summer is when your City Council considers the City […]

The Work on Council Begins Now

It is my honor and privilege to have been sworn in on May 14th as City Council Member for Denton’s District 3. I thank each and every one of you reading this for helping to make my home town of Denton such a wonderful community to serve. There are many important decisions ahead for Denton, […]

Mental Health Treatment Court

In 2015, Denton County charged County Criminal Court No. 5 with responsibility for cases of individuals with mental health issues. I was honored to be tasked with writing the manual for the court-based process. The goal of the Mental Health Treatment Court Program is to divert offenders suffering from mental illness out of the traditional criminal […]

Potential impact of Council decisions

The City of Denton is one of the largest employers in Denton County. Decisions made by Council members can have a significant impact on City employees and their families. My dad retired after 25 years at the City of Denton water utilities department, and my mom worked nearly 13 years at UNT. So I grew […]