Elections

Meet the candidates for Fort Worth City Council District 4

Fort Worth councilman Cary Moon is looking for a third term representing the city’s District 4.

It’s a long district in east and northeast Fort Worth from I-30 and Sandy Lane to Golden Triangle Boulevard and Interstate 35W. Moon, a fiscal hawk, sees himself as a high-energy candidate capable of representing the district fairly.

Max Striker, who first ran for the seat in 2017, said the Trinity River project near downtown is one of the biggest challenges facing Fort Worth. He’d like to see the city invest more in transportation.

Cary Moon

Occupation: Business Owner

Age: 49

Website: carymoon.com

Best way for voters to reach you: cary@carymoon.com

Public offices held/sought: Fort Worth City Council District 4 (2015 – Current)

What organizations are you affiliated with?

What is the biggest issue facing Fort Worth and/or your district specifically? How would you address it?

District 4 includes 34+ neighborhoods from Heritage to Woodhaven and Park Glen to White Lake Hills. My responsive office will continue its successes to correct the varying district needs from potholes to police patrols. In the next two years, we will continue our common sense and high-energy approach for smarter development, good public policy, and prudent city financials. As a 20-year resident of FW, a financial executive, a business owner, and a father, making good public policy and having good city financial are important as we make Fort Worth a great place to live, work, and play for all.

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Do you support a civilian review board of the Fort Worth Police Department? If so, how should that board be structured and what powers should it have?

FW will not have a Civilian Oversight Committee in the framework requested. Texas Law will not grant the authority sought (subpoena power) and Civilian Oversight Committees have not worked in other cities as cited by President Obama’s Task Force on 21 st Century Policy. In practice, FW currently has the existing framework in its truest form for a Civilian Oversight Committee: nine elected council members and a mayor, who should be responsible to make the tough decisions to ensure that police protocol is fair and non-discriminatory. A vote on this matter should happen prior to the May 4 General Election.

Property taxes continue to rise in Texas, and one solution put forward in the legislature would cap local governments’ property tax growth at 2.5 percent a year. If the cap had been in place last year, Fort Worth would have needed to trim $21.1 million from this year’s budget. Does Fort Worth need to reevaluate how much it relies on property taxes? Are there alternative funding sources?

Texans need tax relief. For city revenue, the first option to get more revenue should not be to increase property taxes. Our city P&L includes hundreds of revenue GL’s that are not tax related. My office has worked to increase user fees and citations, to update revenue policies on how we invest our billion-dollar bond portfolio, to getting revenue on the books faster, and to make sure developers pay taxes to our schools and city. On expenses, as Chairman of the City Internal Audit Committee, we identified millions in misplaced revenue and uncovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses.

Last September and October saw widespread urban and flash flooding. Should the city prioritize improving the stormwater system? What role should the city play in ensuring developers provide adequate stormwater infrastructure during all phases of construction?

The city’s role to correct inadequate stormwater infrastructure should first include adding water detention in areas with surface run-off. Secondly, FW needs to encourage development in areas with surface run-off. New development brings engineering and infrastructure. Standards on Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan require civil engineers to account for water on both their and surrounding sites. More private dollars spent on infrastructure and engineering is a viable remedy. In East FW, I attracted a 14-acre, $25M development to 5701 Boca Raton. The developer spent $750k on drainage and stormwater. Private dollars improved drainage for neighbors, making development part of the solution.

Fort Worth continues to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. But that growth hasn’t come without some headaches for residents including increased traffic, urban flooding, concerns about the historical integrity of neighborhoods. As the city looks at attracting more business, how can the city grow responsibly? Is the developer-friendly approach sustainable? Should the city apply greater scrutiny to projects?

FW needs to better address growth by getting city infrastructure installed faster. As a city we have hundreds of millions in old Bond dollars, TIF dollars, Transportation Impact dollars sitting on the sidelines waiting on project design, engineering, and install. Deploying these dollars faster would relieve traffic congestion by getting roads built and help on local flooding with the install of stormwater drainage. The current design-build process needs to be corrected My office has updated building standards to require developers to build a better product and rezoned hundreds of acres away from multi-family zoning to protected SF Homes from density.

The completion of TEXRail has spurred interest in public transit, including from the city’s economic development department in the form of commuter-oriented tax breaks. Should the city devote more attention to public transportation? If so, how?

Fort Worth should work to attract transit-oriented development with good transit as opposed to working to attract transit-oriented development with tax breaks. A feasible option for better transit is a regional approach with participation from other local governments and with multiple facets of transportation options. Ridership on fixed bus routes continues to decrease, and rail is challenged with high installation costs. Let the public vote. Within the next couple years, the public should vote whether to fund a regional transit plan. If the public votes to approve financing for a transit plan, then they will support the plan in ridership.

United Fort Worth has become a vocal group at city meetings. Have you met with their members or have you been endorsed by them? Do you believe the council needs to better engage with groups like United Fort Worth, and how can that be done?

Yes, more than once I have met with members of UFW and I maintain an open-door policy for any requested meeting. My office and UFW maintain opposite positions on Sanctuary City laws. It is my position Fort Worth does not need to be a sanctuary city. My conviction is supported by other POC groups along with friends, neighbors and family in POC communities. It is important for us to sit down daily amongst friends, family and neighbors and have respectful dialogue as we work to correct inequities with public policy in criminal justice, economic development, education, governance, health, housing, and transportation.

Max Striker

Occupation: Attorney

Age: 50

Website:maxstriker.com

Best way for voters to reach you: max@maxstriker.com

Public offices held/sought: I’m running for Fort Worth City Council District 4, no offices held.

What organizations are you affiliated with? Knights of Columbus, American Legion.

What is the biggest issue facing Fort Worth and/or your district specifically? How would you address it?

The 1.16 billion Panther Island Project is meant to create to create a 1.5-mile river bypass channel that will turn a bend in the trinity river into an Island. The project is supposed to include three flood gates, a dam, a 30-acre town lake, storm water storage, a Riverwalk and two signature bridges along with the 800-acre island. After 14 years the project is still not complete. There should be a full audit of the Trinity River Vision Authority, the agency overseeing the 14-year project.

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Max Striker

Do you support a civilian review board of the Fort Worth Police Department? If so, how should that board be structured and what powers should it have?

An after-review board can review police actions that cause disruptions between our police force and local communities. Such a board should have full power to investigate matters and make recommendations to the city council to take appropriate action. In this way we can build trust between law enforcement and all Fort Worth residence can have faith in their police force.

Property taxes continue to rise in Texas, and one solution put forward in the legislature would cap local governments’ property tax growth at 2.5 percent a year. If the cap had been in place last year, Fort Worth would have needed to trim $21.1 million from this year’s budget. Does Fort Worth need to reevaluate how much it relies on property taxes? Are there alternative funding sources?

Property taxes often make up to 55% of a city’s revenue. You will probably still pay more in property taxes this year as a result of your home’s ever-increasing evaluation. The sensible solution would be for the state to pass legislation that would limit the amount of increase on a home’s taxation. One alternative is the Public Improvement District (PID). This is an area established to provide specific types of improvements financed by assessments. Another alternative is tax increment finance district (TIF). The TIF would take any increase in property values and allocate it toward a specific project.

Last September and October saw widespread urban and flash flooding. Should the city prioritize improving the stormwater system? What role should the city play in ensuring developers provide adequate stormwater infrastructure during all phases of construction?

Fort Worth charges residents a fee that is used to fix Fort Worth’s flooding problems. The city has an aging infrastructure that contributes to this situation. My understanding is that the city’s stormwater management program has a backlog of projects that are necessary to keep several areas of Fort Worth above water in heavy rains. The manager of the stormwater management program should work the backlog, fixing the city’s storm-water problems as soon as possible. City planning and regulations set by stormwater management are essential to ensure developers provide adequate stormwater infrastructure during all phases of construction.

Fort Worth continues to be one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. But that growth hasn’t come without some headaches for residents including increased traffic, urban flooding, concerns about the historical integrity of neighborhoods. As the city looks at attracting more business, how can the city grow responsibly? Is the developer-friendly approach sustainable? Should the city apply greater scrutiny to projects?

Responsible growth can be maintained through historic redevelopment projects which are a good way to improve the life for Fort Worth residents and bring in tourism and business. The Fort Worth Stockyards development is one such project and a good opportunity to promote Fort Worth’s cultural heritage. As part of the Neighborhood Improvement Program several neglected areas of the city have been targeted for urban renewal. The Meadowbrook neighborhood and several other neighborhoods would greatly benefit from revitalization projects that would include new lighting, new streets and sidewalks and retaining walls.

The completion of TEXRail has spurred interest in public transit, including from the city’s economic development department in the form of commuter-oriented tax breaks. Should the city devote more attention to public transportation? If so, how?

What Fort Worth needs is a light rail system linking all Fort Worth Neighborhoods much like they have in Dallas. A private company might be willing to build and operate the system at no cost to the city. There are examples of private companies fronting the cost of public rail systems. The obvious one is the Texas Bullet Train (Houston to Dallas) that is under construction and privately funded. A second is the Qline in Detroit, which started as a private endeavor, but became a non-profit enterprise and raised money through donations. A private system is what we need.

Fort Worth. United Fort Worth has become a vocal group at city meetings. Have you met with their members or have you been endorsed by them? Do you believe the council needs to better engage with groups like United Fort Worth, and how can that be done?

I have neither met with the members of United Fort Worth nor have I been endorsed by them. I do believe that we should listen to all parties and see if there are ways to address their concerns in a fashion that is mutually beneficial for all the resident of Fort Worth.

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