Trophy Club candidates talk platforms
04/08/2014 8:50 PM
04/08/2014 8:51 PM
As general elections approach, Trophy Club Town Council candidates are discussing their most important viewpoints while campaigning this year. The two contested races this year are for mayor and Place 1.
Incumbent Connie White is running for re-election and is being opposed by former mayor Nick Sanders.
White has served as mayor since 2009 and said she has seen the community come a long way in those five years, including the additions of parks and trails, a splash park, more homes, sidewalks and a roundabout.
White said that there is “significantly more commercial property in place or under construction,” and that she has seen the town attract more young families.
She said the town has begun addressing drainage issues, and has gone from borrowing money to purchase vehicles to funding the capital improvement plan and upgrading the bond rating twice.
White said she is also pleased with the recent agreement between the town and the Municipal Utility District to provide services.
According to her campaign website, White said she has committed to serving the residents with the weekly “Walk and Talk with the Mayor” event through the town, where citizens can join her on a walk through town and talk about their concerns. She said that communication has improved significantly.
She said more citizens are involved in the town as committee members, volunteers, students in town safety academies and helping with the Vision 2030 plan, which integrates goals and projects.
“I am proud of all that we have accomplished and want to see this through as we keep moving forward on our Vision, continue to improve on the commercial base, expand the trail system and enjoy the wonderful community we have here,” she said.
Sanders was Trophy Club’s mayor from 2006 to 2010. He is the CEO of Combined Computer Resources Inc. and is vice president of the town’s Municipal Utility District.
Sanders says there are four critical areas he is addressing during his campaign.
The first, he said, is to protect the citizens’ interests and make sure their voices are heard in council, saying transparency is something he would improve if elected mayor.
He would like to continue improving relations between the Town Council and the MUD, which he said he believes “has deteriorated.” If elected, he would resign his seat on the MUD and would serve full time on the Council.
Lastly, Sanders said he would like to help manage the future of commercial development and encourage a more businesslike understanding and control of the town budget.
The town’s remaining expandable property, known as PD 30, is planned to be a large mixed-use commercial property with retail and residential areas, and Sanders said how that property will be built out is a concern.
“Trophy Club sees itself as a bedroom community, and there is not much room left for commercial development,” he said. “So what we have left is important.”
Sanders said a greater council involvement, as well as involvement of Planning & Zoning, will help bring quality developments to the town, along with citizen feedback.
“The town’s on the 114 corridor are benefitting greatly from growth,” he said. “But the citizens want transparency and control over that growth, which can be helped with openess in town discussions.”
Larry Hoover served on the Town Council for two years and said he would like to return to help “keep the town on track,” adding that things are booming in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Alliance area and he wants to maintain that efficiency with a strategy map for the town.
Hoover said he initiated the Vision 2030 plan, which outlines Trophy Club’s goals, and was proud of the involvement of 60 residents and their input in that plan.
He said he furthered the reserve fund balance to 30 percent of the town’s budget, which is up to the state’s recommendations.
Addressing the commercial property available in the town, Hoover said it has one of the highest percentages of growth of any city in the metroplex and that the added fields, parks and schools support that.
He said economic development is the number one priority to keep Trophy Club as the “best place to live in the metroplex.”
“The town is always very safe,” he said. “And we want to also help keep it financially sound to add to that.”
Hoover said he believes continuing the working relationship between the town and the MUD will add to quality development and cohesiveness to show quality developers the town’s worth, and that promoting regionalism between the different Northeast Tarrant cities and towns could only benefit them all and help promote Trophy Club as a destination town.
Jim Parrow, a real estate company broker and owner, said the hard work put forth by the Blue Ribbon Panel and the Citizens Advisory Committee, groups representing the town and MUD respectively, helped make an important decision in keeping the MUD a separate, but important entity to the town. He said that he would like to continue the working relationship.
On his campaign website, Parrow expressed concerns over a proposed joint Town Hall and police station, which he said would double the town’s debt. Parrow added that a new police station is necessary but should be presented as a separate, new entity on the Town Hall budget.
“If elected, and should the proposition fail in May, I will raise my voice to form a Citizens Committee, similar to the BRP or CAC, to review all available information and meet with the police, town manager and staff to determine the true needs of both entities,” he said.
With PD 30, Parrow said he and other residents oppose the proposition for more apartments and believe the best way to raise sales tax revenues is to work to build restaurants and other high quality retail space. He said the town is a “bedroom community,” best suited to continue as it was designed to be.
Parrow also said that he is in the process of doing research for the proper location of an animal shelter, which he says is “appropriate and necessary” for the town.
“Bottom line, I believe in the same ‘we the people’ principal that our founders believed in when they built this magnificent country,” he said. “I would do all I can as councilman to hear and give voice to all residents to ensure our beautiful town will always be a great place to call home.”
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