Election Day for the Flower Mound mayor and Town Council will take place May 5. Early voting runs from April 23 to May 1. Go to votedenton.com for voting locations. Below is a questionnaire for the mayoral candidates:

Mayor

Steve Dixon

Insurance and finance: Health insurance and home mortgage

18 years in Flower Mound

What is the most important issue facing your city and how would you solve it?

Speed up utility infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement – I am talking about water, sewer and storm water lines and also streets. Some areas of Flower Mound have aging lines that need to be repaired or replaced. I will encourage staff and Town Council to carefully review the options and not to “kick the can down the road.” The extra expense to install new lines can be less expensive than repeated paying for short-term fixes. During the summer budget meetings I will want our budget and accounting personnel to provide a long term forecast to detail all the options for consideration.

What would you do, if elected, to address the traffic issue in the town?

Refocus efforts to better connect streets, add turn lanes, synchronize traffic signals through technology. These and other mobility initiatives will help ease congestions and make travel easier and more efficient. Street improvements do come with a price tag, and fortunately Flower Mound is in excellent financial condition. I recommend you read the recent ratings reports from Fitch and S&P reaffirming the town’s AAA long-term ratings. Fitch and S&P are both independent financial rating organizations.

What are your ideas to help bring in affordable senior housing?

Senior housing is an important subject in town, and I want to see the plans that are being worked on today come before the town to review as soon as possible.

Should the town’s tax rate be raised, lowered or kept the same? Why?

The town’s tax rate will be discussed at great lengths this summer during the many public hearings to discuss our budget, spending and the tax rate. I would love for the town to be able to lower the tax rate but that decision can only be made after a careful and complete review of our entire budget.

Is the town spending money in the right places? Is there anything you would change?

Flower Mound is in excellent financial condition, and over the past decade we have spent money wisely. As discussed earlier, I want the town to evaluate our infrastructure needs and prioritize these projects to help decrease traffic and make sure our water and sewer lines are reliable under all conditions.

Do you feel the town is developing at the right pace? What would you do to ensure the town can handle future growth?

Flower Mound is at a point where we need to be cautious as we review development applications. We need to maintain our high standards and also make sure that each application provides something special where it adds value to the development as well as our town. Commercial development that meets our standards and makes sense with neighboring uses should be encouraged. Residential development applications should focus on open space and create a special Flower Mound feel where future residents will have a pedestrian friendly neighborhood that connects to our parks and trails.

What are your ideas to protect Flower Mound’s rural atmosphere yet help it grow economically?

Flower Mound is a special town, and it’s important for the Town Council to keep an open mind and take special care when reviewing development applications to protect what makes our town special. If you are standing on the corner of Lakeside Parkway and Gerault Road you will see professional offices and warehouses, but hopefully you also notice building setbacks with trees and shrubs to soften the view. If you are at any street corner in the Cross Timbers Conservation Development District you will see wide open spaces and where you see buildings you will also see scenic corridors, vistas and open space. If you stand on I-35 where Flower Mound touches the interstate highway or the intersection of US 377 and FM 1171 you will see open land where development will come in the future. The answer to the question is balance, listening and communication. Members of Town Council should respect differing viewpoints and listen carefully, and when the votes are cast I hope the final decision is based on what is best for Flower Mound.

What’s your history of community involvement in the town/area?

• Flower Mound Town Council, Place 1 (2009-2011)

• Deputy Mayor Pro Tem (2009-2010)

• Flower Mound Town Council, Place 4 (2012-2016)

• Mayor Pro Tem (2013-2016)

• Flower Mound Planning & Zoning Commission (2004-2009)

• SMARTGrowth Commission

• Flower Mound Mixed Use Steering Committee

• Economic Development Advisory Committee

• Citizens Budget Partners Committee

• Capital Improvement Advisory Committee

• Citizens Police Academy Graduate 2009

• Chamber of Commerce Served on Executive and General Board

• Graduate of Flower Mound Chamber Leadership 2007

• Graduate of Flower Mound Chamber Advanced Leadership 2009

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I decided to run for mayor because I can help make things better. My leadership style is collaborative, I want everyone’s voice to be heard and all options have been reviewed and considered. Since 2004 I’ve been fortunate to serve on several Flower Mound boards, commissions and council, and I have enjoyed working with residents and town staff. Through first-hand experience I know our town’s governing system, town staff and other local and county elected officials. My extensive town government experience along with my local business and community experience help make me to be ready to serve as mayor and hit the ground running.

Paul Stone

Retired – Federal procurement analyst

28 years in Flower Mound

What is the most important issue facing your city and how would you solve it?

Mobility – Mobility and transportation issues are not something that can be solved within our own town borders. I would like to see us work with our surrounding communities, including Denton and Tarrant counties, and the North Texas Regional Council of Governments (“COG”) in addressing this regional problem. As the town’s first chairman of its Transportation Commission, I have firsthand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that our town faces. Some specific ideas that the town has control of could include, capacity improvements to Lakeside Parkway to SH 121, funding of Kirkpatrick Lane Phase 3 and even something never discussed like a contra-flow lane on FM 2499. All of these require financing and more importantly input from stakeholders, including our own residents.

What would you do, if elected, to address the traffic issue in the town?

See answer above.

What are your ideas to help bring in affordable senior housing?

The best chance to bring “affordable” senior housing would be to work with a landowner that has owned their land for a while and is not necessarily driven solely on maximizing the return on the property’s sale. In business, my father always taught me that you did not make money selling things right. You made money buying things right. Seniors (which I include myself) have different styles of how they would like to live out their retirement. While Flower Mound is not your traditional retirement community, we should be able to provide a diversity of housing stock, whether for purchase or rent, that could satisfy the needs of the largest demographics of our existing community. It might be possible to develop a concept like cluster development that would allow for a planned development to be created with a mixture of these residential uses.

Should the town’s tax rate be raised, lowered or kept the same? Why?

The issue of tax rate can not be appropriately evaluated until the proposed assessed evaluations are known and the budget process begins. There has been much discussion regarding tax rates, effective tax rates and reduction of reserve balance during this election cycle. I think that discussion puts the cart before the horse. It is the council’s and citizen’s responsibility to first see what staff is proposing for the upcoming year’s budget. We would be premature to suggest lowering or raising taxes without basic budget information. For now, I would like to see the tax rate be kept the same unless there was a significant increase in non-residential property tax or sales tax revenue. At that point, we could consider an adjustment to our property tax rate.

Is the town spending money in the right places? Is there anything you would change?

I think the town has a good budget. However, I think it’s time to look at the short-term and long-term capital improvement requirements for the town. There are items that we can’t limit funding from our 4B sales tax. Long-term infrastructure requirements in addition to quality of life spending. I had the pleasure of serving on the 1997 Citizen’s Capital Improvement Review Committee, which made spending recommendations to the Town Council, resulting in a bond election. I think it may be time again for a similar review. When elected, I would seek council and community concurrence to form such a committee again. During the March Park Board meeting the board was presented with a list of over $130 million in potential park projects to include in the five-year CIP for funding from both 4B and park dedication and development fees. 4B currently generates around $2.5 million and park fees vary. If we were to even forecast $5 million a year in funding, it would still take over 25 years to fund these projects on a “pay as you go” method. It’s been over 20 years since we have had a citizen’s review of our capital needs. Maybe it’s time for one again.

Do you feel the town is developing at the right pace? What would you do to ensure the town can handle future growth?

I do think the town is developing at a good pace. Back in the ‘90s, we saw unrestrained residential growth with over 1,000 building permits issued annually. Because our infrastructure could not keep up with our growth we had to institute a building moratorium. With the adoption of Master Plan 2001 and our SmartGrowth analysis, I believe we have gotten a hold of the explosive growth of the late 2000s. Having said that, our master plan is a guide and a living document. We shouldn’t just say, “No changes to the master plan.” Property owners have rights, and they should be given the right to apply for changes if they choose. However, the town through the council and citizens also has the right to say yes or no after a fair hearing of the facts with all parties being honest and factual with their presentations.

What are your ideas to protect Flower Mound’s rural atmosphere yet help it grow economically?

First to clarify, Flower Mound is not a “rural” community. It is a suburban community that prides itself on its “country” atmosphere. As previously discussed, our master plan provides some unique opportunities to protect the character of our community. First, we have the Cross Timbers Conservation Development District. This is an area that provides for 2-acre lots, or cluster development, and does not provide for city sewer. We also have the Lakeside Business District. This area sits just north of D/FW airport, the major economic driver for North Texas. This underdeveloped area is already home to major employers and provides for hi-tech distribution, retail, hotel and mixed-use developments. The tax base has already changed from 92 percent residential in the ‘90s to around 75 percent now. I think we can reach a mix of 60/40 residential over commercial, which should provide for a balanced tax base.

What’s your history of community involvement in the town/area?

Governmental activities

Flower Mound Park Board 1991 to 1997Denton Central Appraisal District Board of Directors 1995Mayor/Council Advisory Committee 1995 to 1998FM Capital Improvement Review Committee 1996FM Economic Development Oversight Committee 1997 to 19982001 Blue Ribbon Committee 2001FM Town Council 2004 to 2007FM Transportation Commission 2008 to 2009FM Charter Review Commission 2013 to 2014FM TIRZ District 1 Board 2018

Leadership roles

Chair Park Board
FM Mayor Pro TemChair Transportation CommissionChair FM Charter Review CommissionChair FM TIRZ District No. 1 Board (Appointed by Council in January, not served yet)

Community activities

Past and continuing membership in:

Flower Mound Summit Club Past PresidentFlower Mound Chamber of CommerceFlower Mound Nature SocietyFlower Mound Home Owners AssociationFriends of the Flower Mound Library BoardSweet Flower Mound – Our CommunityCitizens for Fairness in County GovernmentFort Worth Star Telegram Readers Advisory Committee

Participation in Community Activities

Beautify Flower MoundAdopt-A-SpotAdopt-A-HighwayTexas Trash OffFlower Mound Christmas ParadeAnnual Easter Sunrise Service on the MoundIndependence Day Children’s ParadeYMCA Youth in Government Program (Adult advisor)Battle of the BoardsPolice and Fire Departments Annual Open Houses

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I have lived in Flower Mound longer than the other candidates, and I have attended more official town meetings than any one else. That is why I have earned the nickname “Citizen Stone” given to me by a past town secretary. I have served as chairman on more committees or commissions, which has provided me with my leadership experience. While I have been quite vocal in the past, I also know how to listen and work to develop a consensus. I believe in letting people do the jobs they are responsible for. Whether they are council members, members of staff, or most importantly members of the community. I love this town, and I look forward to continuing my service to it. I would appreciate your vote for mayor.

Cathy Strathmann

Retired

25 years in Flower Mound

What is the most important issue facing your city and how would you solve it?

The biggest issue that Flower Mound faces can be summarized in one word: balance. This issue of balance applies to many topics facing our town, ranging from how our community is developing to how our community is spending tax dollars. We have a large population of Flower Mound residents who feel that they are not being represented by our town’s elected officials in a balanced manner.

Residents shouldn’t be flooding Town Hall in fear when they learn of projects for the first time the weekend before a big town meeting. They shouldn’t be writing emails with feedback and then not having their concerns acknowledged or factored into the decision-making process. As mayor I’ll continue to be involved in resident meetings with developers, HOA meetings, etc. where I can learn the questions and concerns residents have. I’ll be available to answer questions, help residents understand the process and take their concerns to council for consideration.

What would you do, if elected, to address the traffic issue in the town?

The first thing I would do is stop building apartments and high density in the areas where traffic is the worst. Commuters spend hours on FM 2499 at the south end of town, and right now we are increasing that problem by continuing to approve high-density housing. We can look at alternate roads, such as Lakeside, to alleviate some congestion.

What are your ideas to help bring in affordable senior housing?

The affordable senior housing topic has been going on for years and years. The term affordable has different meanings for every person. Right now, there are several properties working with the town to bring senior housing to Flower Mound. I think we should be cautious in over building senior housing. It is important that we have housing available for our residents they can afford and not have empty homes or apartments that most can’t afford. Senior housing is unique and needs special planning. I will work with developers that specialize in senior housing. I also would like to see a new program that requires developers to meet with seniors twice to get feedback just like developers do with affected residents for master plan amendments. This will help our seniors be involved in the decision process and will help developers get a better idea what our town really needs to help our seniors.

Should the town’s tax rate be raised, lowered or kept the same? Why?

We should be using the effective rate when the effective rate is lower. We are now all paying a great deal more in taxes due to our rising property values. While this is good for residents selling their homes, it is a burden for those who want to stay in Flower Mound. Our town is experiencing a great deal of growth, and with that growth comes additional tax revenue. Current taxpayers will still have an increase in taxes due to their rising property values. The town will receive more money between growth and increased property value, and the fair thing to do is give taxpayers some of their money back.

Is the town spending money in the right places? Is there anything you would change?

I would like to see us work on purchasing more land for parks in the future. We also need to concentrate on our aging infrastructure. Each year the needs of the town change, but those two areas should always be a priority. It is important when working on the budget to prioritize needs over wants. If we start at zero each year, money can be allocated properly. I also believe that new development should pay for all the infrastructure in their property without the assistance of tax dollars. Many new developments have changed the traffic in our town. Things such as turn lanes and spine roads should be paid for by the developer and not tax payers.

Do you feel the town is developing at the right pace? What would you do to ensure the town can handle future growth?

While the percentage of growth is around 1 percent per year, last year it was 4 percent. I don’t like to use percentages as it sometimes doesn’t give an accurate picture. The majority of growth has been along the FM 2499 corridor with high density and apartments. This area is already congested. I would not want to add to the traffic problem with this type of development. I remember there was a time when infrastructure was paid for by developers and required before building.

I would like to see emphasis placed on quality development that is invested in our town for our future success. Good planning makes for good development. Our planning department does a great job working with developers. We need a mayor who supports this department and all of its hard work.

What are your ideas to protect Flower Mound’s rural atmosphere yet help it grow economically?

Buying land for future parks will help with to protect our rural atmosphere. I am a strong proponent of keeping the Cross Timbers Conservation Development District rural, without sewer. I prefer larger developments to include parkland. I have seen too many developers pay for the land and eliminate parks. Pocket parks for development are good things and should be encouraged. We have great ordinances for development, which should be adhered to. Developmental standards such as setbacks that prohibit building right on top of the road while enhancing our town’s rural character. Attracting quality development will ensure our town’s future and growth. Keeping Flower Mound’s “flavor” is what has attracted both residents and business to our wonderful community.

What’s your history of community involvement in the town/area?

I am currently serving on ALSAC, the Associates of Lewisville Senior Activity Center Board. We support the Seniors Teaching Seniors program, which pairs senior citizens with LISD high school seniors who teach them how to utilize the latest technologies. I am and have been a regular attendee and observer of our Town Council, Planning and Zoning, and ECC Board meetings for the last four years. I participate in the Flower Mound Adopt-a-Spot program to help keep public areas of our town clean and beautiful. I attended the Citizen’s Academy that the town of Flower Mound offers to residents to better understand the town’s inner workings.

I have met with the town manager to discuss Flower Mound’s needs and concerns for the future. In the past I was an active board member of The Mound Foundation for two years, working on fundraising events, general mound maintenance, and also representing The Mound Foundation at Keep Flower Mound Beautiful events. I volunteered for two years with the 4H organization, working with our local youth on sewing projects for competition and personal use.

I have volunteered with Seniors in Motion for two years, the Paralyzed Vets of America for two and a half years, and with Soldiers Served with Heart for a year. I have served as a local fundraising coordinator on numerous occasions for the Children’s Miracle Network and the United Way. I was also involved in the PTA when my stepchildren were young.

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I am a 25-year resident who has been involved in our community from the get go. In the last eight years, I have developed a strong understanding of the nuances of town operations and the various issues it confronts. I have the time and patience to research solutions to those issues and to guide our town towards a strong future.

I feel a mayor should be involved and available to all residents. My goal is to listen to residents’ concerns and address as many as possible before a vote comes to council. I will bring the concerns to council so they can make informed decisions. Communication and governmental transparency are my main improvement goals.

I am a direct, no-nonsense individual who will listen and weigh various opinions fairly. I am capable of making those difficult decisions to benefit our town that are sometimes necessary as mayor. I promise to listen respectfully to all residents and take each of those conversations seriously. I don’t want anyone to feel like their voice cannot be heard. I want voters to choose me for the positives that I can offer to our community, not for any negative comments about the opposition.

I am tired of the negative campaigning that I’ve seen in the past, and I will not take any part in putting down a political opponent simply to elevate myself. We are all neighbors in this community. We need to start acting like it and bring dignity back to our Town Hall.

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