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Bob Butler - The News Connection (Read 6384 times)
UmmYeahOk
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Bob Butler - The News Connection
Apr 3rd, 2009 at 6:19pm
 
http://www.thenewsconnection.com/article.cfm?articleID=32472
Quote:
Candidate says growth should slow down

The News Connection Vol 8, No 12 4/3/09

     
BUTLER
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Texas Stevans IV
Email:
texas@thenewsconnection.com...

† † † † Flower Mound Town Council Place 3 has three men vying for the seat. One of them, Bob Butler, a regional manager for AutoNation is hoping that the people will vote for someone who describes himself as, ďjust a regular guy.Ē Bob has resided in Flower Mound for the past three years. He and his wife moved their family here from the Denver area, which he describes as, ďmoving and shaking.Ē He chose Flower Mound because of its, ďexcellent schools,Ē among other things. Bob and his wife have two boys, ages 2 and 4, which is why they were concerned about the quality of the schools. ďWe wanted a relaxed, smaller place to live,Ē he said about Flower Mound. In fact, this is what drives many of the ideals on Bobís platform. He moved here with his family because of the small town feel and now, all that is quickly being ushered away to make room for new retail stores and city projects.

† † ďIíd like to slow it down, especially in these economic times,Ē he said. He doesnít think the town is adhering to the SmartGrowth Plan, which was a strong point in drawing Bob to Flower Mound. ďI understand that we need to bring businesses to Flower Mound, but the master plan doesnít say we need to do it right now. We need to slow down.Ē Slowing down is exactly what Bobís plan entails. He expressed his worries over empty storefronts and office spaces. ďOne of my wifeís favorite stores is going out of business. Iím for free market and competition, but I donít want to build more stuff to compete with the open spaces we already have.Ē He said slowing down would allow those office and retail spaces to be filled before building new ones. The town ought to promote smart growth, just as their plan describes. Smart growth for Bob doesnít include projects like the River Walk. Heís worried about the funding and the possibility that construction might only make it half way through completion before funds run out. This is one issue that separates him from Mike Wallace, who is also contending for Town Council Place 3.

† † Something else that sets Butler apart from Wallace is that he has never been involved in local government. Heís never served on any committees or commissions, nor does he volunteer for anything at the time. When asked about what qualifies him for town council, Bob said, ďWhat qualifies anybody for political ambition or town council? Iím not a big business man. I canít say that I have experience in managing a town. Iíd like to learn it as I go. Iím not all fancy and stuff like the other guys.Ē Indeed, Bob does not have any local experience other than a neighborhood opinion. His involvement in Flower Mound has not reached beyond getting to know his neighborhood and the people in it. Though a red flag for some, he claims itís what makes him different from the other candidates. ďIím kind of going into it as your next door neighbor guy. I donít owe any favors. I have a fresh perspective.Ē

† † Mr. Butler claims to be an average, everyday guy who wants whatís best for the people of Flower Mound. One of the things he doesnít see working in the favor of the people is when the city makes decisions for them. ďIíd like to keep it out of our lives and our businessís lives as much as possible,Ē Bob said about government. For Flower Mound, that means matters like the smoking ban. ďIím not a smoker, but smoking is legal the last time I checked. You should be able to do something thatís perfectly legal in your town.Ē In terms of the widening of Morris Road, a large concern for some Flower Mound residents, Butler spoke passionately about putting an end to any further construction. Itís a road he drives daily and finds no problem in need of correction. However, he is not opposed to widening the road in the future, if it becomes necessary. Butlerís stances on the issues are on the table, which is why heís confident saying, ďIím only running to represent the people of Flower Mound. If they agree with me, vote for me. If they donít, donít!Ē


I bolded and underline what bothered me about this article. Let me get this straight, you moved here in 2006 because for some strange and odd reason you wanted a "relaxed, smaller place to live?!?" Dude, it hasnt been a small and relaxed place in over 15 years.

So basically what I see in this candidate is some outta stater who wants to turn this place back into the ruralness it once was evern though he, himself added to this mess.

Thats right, he sounds like a male version of our former mayor Lori Deluca. She came from CO for the small town lifestyle, but guess what. Just like each and every single resident who moved here, houses had to be made, roads had to be paved or widened.

I dont mind the commerce, it keeps taxes low and budget big, plus it gives me and my family all jobs which we dont have to leave town to commute to, but basically, the traffic, the over crowded schools,  the crime, came when all the out-of-staters moved in here.

Im not saying theyre all bad, but what Im saying is, just like with Lori DeLuca, you pretty much have an outta stater who moved here, added to the traffic, with children who will in a couple of years will add to the over crowded school system, and pretty much saying how nice it would be if every other outta stater didnt move here and do the same. Sounds a bit rude of him, dontcha think?

Whats worse is he came here when the boom started slowing. So it was already like this. Its like if he moved to Alaska because it didnt have snow, and when he finally discovered it did, vowed to get rid of it.
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Mike Wallace
Reply #1 - Apr 3rd, 2009 at 6:41pm
 
Candidate Mike Wallace is the same way. I mean, its cool that he's a native Texan, born in Dallas. But he only moved to Flower Mound in 2004. The town already had over 60,000 people, which means that it is not a "town", but actually a "city".. ...an "urban" city. Look it up, 50,000 or more.

He wants to preserve SMARTGrowth too. Dont these people have any idea how bad SMARTGrowth is? SMARTGrowth makes building anything extremely difficult, which is why Highland Village, Lantana, Double Oak, Argyle, and others have grown so big over the years. And guess what, all those large communities are now using OUR two lane farm-market roads that were designed for a community of 20,000.

SMARTGrowth was horrible in the 90s, thats why in the 21st century we FINALLY have commerce. Food, gas, restaurants, shopping, jobs, all of these that we have now we didnt have 15-20 years ago. Can you imagine having to go to Lewisville every time you needed something?
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Re: Bob Butler - The News Connection
Reply #2 - Apr 3rd, 2009 at 9:59pm
 
Whats sad is voters who want to support SMARTGrowth probably dont even realize that candidates like Mike Wallace was involved in the SMARTGrowth plan for 4 years. How much has changed since 2005? Well lets see, the expansion of 2499, 407, 1171, Kirkpatrick... ...and even talks of Morriss. The Highland Ranch Shopping Center, Robertson's Creek shopping center (2499&Dixon) The Pines (3040&Gerault), even the expansion of Parker Square, not to mention the Riverwalk project and Lakeside businesses. So if their goal is to stop growth and keep Flower Mound as a rural boondock theyre horrible at it.
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Re: Bob Butler - The News Connection
Reply #3 - Apr 20th, 2009 at 8:57pm
 
UmmYeahOk,

I like your forum, I wish I had discovered it earlier. I wanted to respond to your post regarding my thoughts and positions.

Quote:

I bolded and underline what bothered me about this article. Let me get this straight, you moved here in 2006 because for some strange and odd reason you wanted a "relaxed, smaller place to live?!?" Dude, it hasnt been a small and relaxed place in over 15 years.


I did move here in March of 2006 and compared to where I came from, Flower Mound is a relaxed, smaller place to live. I know that between 1990 and 2001 the population sky rocketed from somewhere around 15,000 to 52,000 or so. Even with that incredible growth, Flower Mound still maintained the small town feel and character that attracted me to it. I donít know how long you have lived here, but if itís been 10 of 15 years, then I can totally understand why you think Iím nuts.

Quote:

So basically what I see in this candidate is some outta stater who wants to turn this place back into the ruralness it once was evern though he, himself added to this mess.


Iím not looking to unpave the streets and go back to the horse and carriage. I just think in this current economical downturn, we need to scale back a little. I see a lot of vacant retail and office space in Flower Mound and I ask myself, why are we building more retail and office space? Iím very pro growth, as long as the economic climate is right, and the projects keep the flavor of the town in tact. I didnít add to mess at all. I didnít build a new house, I bought an existing one, nor did I build an office in Flower Mound to work in. I work out of the house, so I donít clog up traffic during the morning and evening rush hours. Iím actually adding to the economy by buying as much as I can in Flower Mound and paying to send my four year old to Montessori Episcopal School (technically in Lewisville, but they need my money too). In the fall I will adding even more to the local economy by sending my two and half year old to pre school as well.

Quote:

Thats right, he sounds like a male version of our former mayor Lori Deluca. She came from CO for the small town lifestyle, but guess what. Just like each and every single resident who moved here, houses had to be made, roads had to be paved or widened.


How can you say in one statement that I want to go back to rural times and then in the very next statement say I want to build new houses and widen all of the roads? You need to do more research on me, Iím the guy who wants controlled growth and is a leader for the Stop Morriss 6 coalition. We need a balance in Flower Mound, we need to grow with the times, but we should do it in a way that keeps Flower Mound beautiful.

Quote:

I dont mind the commerce, it keeps taxes low and budget big, plus it gives me and my family all jobs which we dont have to leave town to commute to, but basically, the traffic, the over crowded schools, †the crime, came when all the out-of-staters moved in here.


I know all about the out of towners moving in syndrome, so I can completely relate. When I lived in Denver, we got invaded by Californians, nothing against Californians, but they took Colorado form a nice little conservative state to a big liberal mess in about fifteen years (and they canít drive in snow to save their lives, literally). You sound like you have a lot of strong positions about the way Flower Mound show grow, so I would ask you, why arenít you running? I only decided to run two months ago because I donít like the direction our town is going. I took a stand, and thatís how things get changed. I have never run for any public position in my life, so Iím not that guy, Iím just a guy who got fed up and decided to do something about it.

Quote:

Im not saying theyre all bad, but what Im saying is, just like with Lori DeLuca, you pretty much have an outta stater who moved here, added to the traffic, with children who will in a couple of years will add to the over crowded school system, and pretty much saying how nice it would be if every other outta stater didnt move here and do the same. Sounds a bit rude of him, dontcha think?


I have to confess, Iím not sure what youíre getting at here. I moved here for my family and company, not to inconvenience the people of Texas. If we decide to put our children in public schools, so be it, I pay a lot in property taxes to support our schools, which by the way are excellent.. This is America my friend, people move all over our great country in search of all sorts of things. My story is simple, I moved to Texas to have a higher paying job and I specifically moved to Flower Mound because itís a great place to live. I donít want to reinvent the wheel, I just want to make sure it stays round.

Quote:

Whats worse is he came here when the boom started slowing. So it was already like this. Its like if he moved to Alaska because it didnt have snow, and when he finally discovered it did, vowed to get rid of it.


Again, I wasn't here in the 90's, but let's take a trip down memory lane in your own words:

Ē Whats sad is voters who want to support SMARTGrowth probably dont even realize that candidates like Mike Wallace was involved in the SMARTGrowth plan for 4 years. How much has changed since 2005? Well lets see, the expansion of 2499, 407, 1171, Kirkpatrick... ...and even talks of Morriss. The Highland Ranch Shopping Center, Robertson's Creek shopping center (2499&Dixon) The Pines (3040&Gerault), even the expansion of Parker Square, not to mention the Riverwalk project and Lakeside businesses. So if their goal is to stop growth and keep Flower Mound as a rural boondock theyre horrible at it.

Thatís slowing? I guess weíll agree to disagree. This is exactly what Iím talking about. When things are good, letís bring good development to Flower Mound. But when things are not so good, letís take a deep breath and slow down with the development. Just because the Master Plan has a parcel of land zoned to build x, y or z, doesnít mean that we need to do it right now. The River Walk will dwarf any project ever conceived in Flower Mound, get ready to become the new Southlake. If you donít like driving 15-20 minutes to do all of the shopping your heart desires, then this is the development you have waiting for. Me? I would rather drive to concrete heaven, than have it in my backyard, call me a NIMBY on that one. Again, the reason I chose to live in Flower Mound was I didnít think our Council would go this direction, but they did. Just my opinion, I could be wrong. As a side note, being from Colorado, I love the snow and miss it terribly Smiley

I appreciate your forum and your passion for Flower Mound. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond to your post. I will be happy to keep the debate going if you have any other questions you want to ask me.

Sincerely,

Bob Butler
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Re: Bob Butler - The News Connection
Reply #4 - Apr 21st, 2009 at 3:34pm
 
Bob Butler wrote on Apr 20th, 2009 at 8:57pm:
UmmYeahOk,

I like your forum, I wish I had discovered it earlier. I wanted to respond to your post regarding my thoughts and positions.


Welcome to the site. Glad you found us.

Quote:
I did move here in March of 2006 and compared to where I came from, Flower Mound is a relaxed, smaller place to live. I know that between 1990 and 2001 the population sky rocketed from somewhere around 15,000 to 52,000 or so. Even with that incredible growth, Flower Mound still maintained the small town feel and character that attracted me to it. I donít know how long you have lived here, but if itís been 10 of 15 years, then I can totally understand why you think Iím nuts.


I have in fact lived here that long. About 17 years in fact. (if you dont count the 6 months I spent in Highland Village and the year I spent in Carrollton) Like most people who claim to be from Denver, I just assumed you came from a suburb of Denver. Sort of like how we all claim we're from Dallas, even though there are no Flower Mound residences in the Dallas County portion of the town (Unless that changed)

Modern day Flower Mound doesnt seem much different from places like Frisco, Keller, and Southlake. Mostly built up, new development, everything spaced out (parking lots, trees, fountains) Things you dont normally see in big cities.

This was the world Voters United did not want. They wanted Flower Mound to stay looking just like Flower Mound west of Bridalwood currently does. They were all about the SMARTgrowth plan. So know you know where Im coming from

Quote:
Iím not looking to unpave the streets and go back to the horse and carriage. I just think in this current economical downturn, we need to scale back a little. I see a lot of vacant retail and office space in Flower Mound and I ask myself, why are we building more retail and office space? Iím very pro growth, as long as the economic climate is right, and the projects keep the flavor of the town in tact.


Thats good to hear, and I understand what you are talking about if you mean the Lakeside district. Retail places like Albertsons, western warehouse, and others that failed couldnt help it. But I do wonder about the Lakeside district. It seems that they keep building offices east of gerault without waiting for the others to be leased out first. I worry that that company will end up bankrupt, and complexes abandoned.

Quote:
I didnít add to mess at all. I didnít build a new house, I bought an existing one, nor did I build an office in Flower Mound to work in. I work out of the house, so I donít clog up traffic during the morning and evening rush hours.


Thats good to know too, but I do wonder if that wouldnt be the case if you moved here a few years before. Neighborhoods like Wellington and Bridalwood had to have someone new to buy, otherwise there would be vacant homes, and other phases would not have started. Most areas are already built up. If youre looking for new construction you would be looking for a $500k+ home.

Quote:
How can you say in one statement that I want to go back to rural times and then in the very next statement say I want to build new houses and widen all of the roads? You need to do more research on me, Iím the guy who wants controlled growth and is a leader for the Stop Morriss 6 coalition. We need a balance in Flower Mound, we need to grow with the times, but we should do it in a way that keeps Flower Mound beautiful.


I already mentioned my reason behind believing that. In the past, those in favor of SMARTgrowth were those in favor of NOgrowth. Its good that you are against the morriss expansion, but 10 years from now when traffic sees the need for it, will you still be against it? Many people in favor of SMARTgrowth were against expansion of 2499 and 1171. The fear was semis would use both roads as a cut through, despite how bad traffic would be without the expansion. No one wants that right next to their home, even though I live right off 2499 and have been in favor for years.

Youre probably against Morris because you dont see a current need for it, and dont understand why so much road construction need to be done at the same time, right? I can understand that, but past candidates in favor of SMARTgrowth and against the expansion of other roads, didnt have these two reasons.

Quote:
I know all about the out of towners moving in syndrome, so I can completely relate. When I lived in Denver, we got invaded by Californians, nothing against Californians, but they took Colorado form a nice little conservative state to a big liberal mess in about fifteen years (and they canít drive in snow to save their lives, literally).


We have a HUGE Californian population here too. I dont know if its related to job relocation, or the realization that they can afford a brand new car and 2 story house for less than what they were making living in a CA apartment, or both

Quote:
You sound like you have a lot of strong positions about the way Flower Mound show grow, so I would ask you, why arenít you running? I only decided to run two months ago because I donít like the direction our town is going. I took a stand, and thatís how things get changed. I have never run for any public position in my life, so Iím not that guy, Iím just a guy who got fed up and decided to do something about it.


1) Ive been asked this before, but I fear ageism. Im quite young. I know some 18yo tried to in Highland Village, dont think he was successful, and Ive heard of one town electing an 18yo for mayor, but I dont think anyone ran against him. Im not as young as them, but I still dont think anyone would respect me enough to vote for me.

2) Expenses. Its not worth it to buy all those sign that make our intersections ugly. Everyone does it, so Im not dissing just you. I understand that the one candidate that doesnt have their banners everywhere is the one candidate that doesnt get elected.

3) Time. I think more time is spent actually campaigning than actually doing the job, which is also time Id rather have to myself.

4) I like where my town is headed. The reasons why we have so much construction is because it was so difficult for builders to do business in Flower Mound in the 90's. It stinks that it all has to be done at the same time, but at least its finally being done. This site was created in a time when DeLuca was mayor, and everyone in the Town Council was a member of Voters United. Pretty much everyone got re elected because the majority who voted were Voters United. Its hard to get your average citizen to drive all the way to town hall during the hour available just to vote for some small time election. This is why voter turn out is so low during these elections. Rather than run and fail, it was easier to just get people to show up and vote against the people I did not want

Eventually we got our new mayor, Voters United lost power, and commerce and roads started to grow. Activity on this site shrunk significantly. There was really nothing to complain about any more. I just saw that front page article I got from my mail box, and feared that history might try to repeat itself.
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Re: Bob Butler - The News Connection
Reply #5 - Apr 21st, 2009 at 4:21pm
 
Quote:
I have to confess, Iím not sure what youíre getting at here. I moved here for my family and company, not to inconvenience the people of Texas. If we decide to put our children in public schools, so be it, I pay a lot in property taxes to support our schools, which by the way are excellent..


Ive been to those schools, and they are not what everyone claims they are. Now I will say that that the ones I went two were built quite a long time ago (Donald, Lamar, Marcus) Despite one being a blue ribbon school (being one in 1996 doesnt mean its that good for future years) Many of our books were way outdated and damaged. Bathroom stalls didnt have doors, or locks were missing with great big holes. We brought our own toilet paper. Parts of walls would actually fall. Many classes the teachers werent hardly ever there, meaning wild children. And what substitutes we were given would always lose our paper work, meaning a lot of zeros were given out as grades. Those teachers who were there had the same problem. I had to keep every busy work ever given just so that I could dispute all my zeros. My high school had 36 portables my graduating year.

However I am a member of a lost generation I guess. The same cow pastures that I played ball at are now professional ball parks, My brother got to attend Old Settlers, Wellington, Liberty, McKamy and Flower Mound, all because they kept building more and more schools. He got those new books. Are they great schools? Well considering how many are arrested for theft, narcotics, and vandalism, I dont know

Quote:
This is America my friend, people move all over our great country in search of all sorts of things. My story is simple, I moved to Texas to have a higher paying job and I specifically moved to Flower Mound because itís a great place to live.


Again, without the outta staters moving here, I would be forced to buy my groceries, gas, and entertainment in Lewisville. So there is a positive for everyone moving here. I just dont like seeing the cause complain about the effect. You seem to have proven that you are not a big contributor to the "cause" but we're not 100% sure the previous owner of your home left Flower Mound. The working at home helps a bit, but still forgive me if I still see you a some small part of the "cause."

Quote:
I donít want to reinvent the wheel, I just want to make sure it stays round.


...so... ...you are like Mike Wallace. You want to keep Flower Mound growing despite making SMARTgrowth a big part of your campaign.  Smiley More commerce, more streets. But considering how youre against wasteful expansion and high taxes, tell me your view on the spinks park (area in between gerault and bakersfield park) I dont know the name, I just heard about it at the Wild About Flower Mound Festival. It sounds like a very nice and pretty park... ...that I will never see or use. Where did they get the money for all this? Taxes should be a bit lower if theres this much of a surplus

Quote:
Again, I wasn't here in the 90's, but let's take a trip down memory lane in your own words:

Ē Whats sad is voters who want to support SMARTGrowth probably dont even realize that candidates like Mike Wallace was involved in the SMARTGrowth plan for 4 years. How much has changed since 2005? Well lets see, the expansion of 2499, 407, 1171, Kirkpatrick... ...and even talks of Morriss. The Highland Ranch Shopping Center, Robertson's Creek shopping center (2499&Dixon) The Pines (3040&Gerault), even the expansion of Parker Square, not to mention the Riverwalk project and Lakeside businesses. So if their goal is to stop growth and keep Flower Mound as a rural boondock theyre horrible at it.

Thatís slowing? I guess weíll agree to disagree.


This may help with your campaign by having me say that Mike Wallace isnt doing a good job. If thats what voters dont want anyway. Although visiting your website it seems that you realize this too.

Quote:
My opponent Mike Wallace is the Vice Chair of the Planning & Zoning Commission for Flower Mound. If you like the rapid growth we are experiencing, Mike Wallace is your man!


I pointed that out because I love whats happened so far. While I was in college, I was able to work down the road from me at that Target. My mom's office is also just across the street from there. My current job would still be located in NRH had it not been for Lakeside. My brothers friends all have worked at one of the recently built retail/restaurant areas at one point or another. Most parents dont like the idea of their school aged children working out of town.

Quote:
This is exactly what Iím talking about. When things are good, letís bring good development to Flower Mound.
Define whats "good development." At first I worried about having such a huge complex be build across the street from my home. But now I wonder if my property value will actually go up. I think its great that there will be a hospital so close to me. I am already burdened with sirens, so I dont thing that will change much. My mother was actually hoping they would start faster so she could move into one of those condos

Quote:
But when things are not so good, letís take a deep breath and slow down with the development. Just because the Master Plan has a parcel of land zoned to build x, y or z, doesnít mean that we need to do it right now. The River Walk will dwarf any project ever conceived in Flower Mound, get ready to become the new Southlake. If you donít like driving 15-20 minutes to do all of the shopping your heart desires, then this is the development you have waiting for. Me? I would rather drive to concrete heaven, than have it in my backyard, call me a NIMBY on that one. Again, the reason I chose to live in Flower Mound was I didnít think our Council would go this direction, but they did. Just my opinion, I could be wrong.


There was a time when that 15-20min drive would be 30min-hour I dont remember when 3040 was finished, 2006? 2007? Speed limit was 50, but you were lucky if you could go 30. Surprise Suprise, they lowered the speed limit.

I dont like having to drive all the way to Southlake to enjoy their stuff and give them MY sales tax. As the banner say "Shop Flower Mound." I feared that the riverwalk may be just another Parker Square. A very nice strip mall where everythings overpriced including their restaurants and nothing at all that interests me. But unlike Parker Square and Southlake, there will be residential areas. (so many are against apartments but are in favor of this) a park I CAN use. environmentalists complained that it would be bad for the wildlife, but I have seen ducks swim in our drainage area after heavy rain, and thats just across the street. Im sure they wont mind a nice clean pond.

Quote:
I appreciate your forum and your passion for Flower Mound. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond to your post. I will be happy to keep the debate going if you have any other questions you want to ask me.

Sincerely,

Bob Butler


Yes, sure, if there anything you would like to add to my responses, your more than welcome to.
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Re: Bob Butler - The News Connection
Reply #6 - Apr 22nd, 2009 at 10:37pm
 
First I would like to say how impressed I am with your articulate responses and with the talk of your Mother in your responses, she should be very proud of you. I disagree with you that your age would hinder your chances of being elected. You seem very knowledgeable about the past as well as the current state of Flower Mound and that says a lot, I think I can learn from you.

I think the only thing we really differ on is the current and future expansion of Flower Mound. I grew up 30 miles southwest of Denver, but moved to the city when I was 18 (I'm 39 now). I saw Denver go from a "Cow Town" to a "Down Town" and a lot of it was good, but with every positive, there is a negative. Same with you, you saw Flower Mound grow exponentially in the 90's and you liked a lot of what you got, but there was obviously some negatives. I'm all in favor of the hospital, it's the right kind of development for our town (which I call a city in protest to what's going on). That's the kind of development I would be in favor of, good paying jobs and good tax revenue for the town.

I like to go with common sense, that's what my website and signs say and I mean it. Common sense tells me that in an economic down turn, you should hold off on new development. I keep asking myself who is going to fill up all of the retail shops in the River Walk when we can't keep our current retail and office spaces rented out? I was at the Bridlewood Candidate's Forum tonight and some of the candidates said that it's not our problem, it's the Realtors and development owner's problem to fill that space. Really? They might lose a commission or some rent money, but it's an eye sore to us the residents of Flower Mound. So I think in the end, we lose both in the tax revenue we aren't collecting as well as the aesthetics of our town.

Anyway, I'll quit boring you, but I'll leave you with this: I'm not as pro growth as Mike Wallace, but I'm not as anti-growth as the Voter's United you mentioned, I'm probably somewhere in between. Again, I'm not against growth, let's just make sure it's at the right time and for the right reasons.

Thanks again, keep up your passion!

p.s. - The people we bought our house from moved to Highland Village Smiley

Bob Butler
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Re: Bob Butler - The News Connection
Reply #7 - Apr 24th, 2009 at 4:52pm
 
Bob Butler wrote on Apr 22nd, 2009 at 10:37pm:
You seem very knowledgeable about the past as well as the current state of Flower Mound and that says a lot, I think I can learn from you.

I think the only thing we really differ on is the current and future expansion of Flower Mound. I grew up 30 miles southwest of Denver, but moved to the city when I was 18 (I'm 39 now). I saw Denver go from a "Cow Town" to a "Down Town" and a lot of it was good, but with every positive, there is a negative. Same with you, you saw Flower Mound grow exponentially in the 90's and you liked a lot of what you got, but there was obviously some negatives. I'm all in favor of the hospital, it's the right kind of development for our town (which I call a city in protest to what's going on). That's the kind of development I would be in favor of, good paying jobs and good tax revenue for the town.


First, I would like to ask you if you have visited a competing site
http://www.roundthemound.com/?q=node/565#comment-2843
I wonder if they are referring to you. The TOWN of Flower Mound does sound better, as does TOWN Council, and that is the official title that the CITY uses. But you are very much right about it truly being a CITY. A population of 50k+ according to most people. I wonder if these people who assume you're using the term incorrectly understand just WHY your using it. Unfortunately most voters for this particular election base their vote on signs, pamphlets, and who their friends like.

So what do you consider is "bad development?" Youre in favor of everything, just not right now?

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I like to go with common sense, that's what my website and signs say and I mean it. Common sense tells me that in an economic down turn, you should hold off on new development. I keep asking myself who is going to fill up all of the retail shops in the River Walk when we can't keep our current retail and office spaces rented out?


Thats a good question, especially since I dont see Parker Square much of a success, as they have empty spaces too. But they went ahead with phase II of it. They managed to triple the size of the original Southlake complex, so Im sure some one will move in.

But despite what EVERYONE says, the economy really isnt that bad... ...at least here anyway. Sure, theres been over 60 homes foreclosed on. But not many here are losing jobs. The economy in DFW is very strong. Its no Detroit by any means. I got my dream job in the fall of 07, right when the economy started to tank making twice as much. My husband now makes also twice as much as he did, when he got his job in the Winter of 07. My brother lost his lost at Albertsons when it closed down (which I would have blamed due to poor management than a victim of the recession), but he had no problem finding work elsewhere.

Any construction, may it be building buildings or roads brings jobs. Residential construction was HUGE before the real estate bubble burst. Now all those people making a living building homes and paving driveways and foundations are able to find work this way.

You see, since retail, services, and other businesses screamed "city," commerce was the group the previous administration focused the most on. They did try their hardest to prevent residential (regardless of income) to be built, but they couldnt hold everything back. So when the town "exploded" There was very little commerce. You now had 40-50k people driving on little 2 lane farm to market roads driving an hour each way to their work, as well as traveling to Lewisville for groceries and fast food.

When my brother was your childrens age, If you wanted to go to McDonalds, Sonic, Chilis, you had to drive along with everyone else all the way to Lewisville, clogging up streets. If you wanted pizza, sure you could call in, but rather than avoid clogging up the streets more, you still had to drive all the way to Lewisville to pick it up, as they did not deliver that far. Now we have 2 McDonalds, 2 Chilis, 3 Sonics, and plethora of pizza places. Even with the abundance of places, its still too busy for me to ever go to. (no parking + too many people waiting to park) Meaning that more can and should be build. All this commercial growth is a response to all the residential growth that occurred before you came here. Thats why we need these roads, we need these businesses, we need these jobs.

Have you every played Sim City? If not, I highly success the game for you. Its more of a simulation really, than a game. If you have too many residencies, citizens complain about high taxes (since they have to pay for almost all of the towns budget) and traffic (since they ALL have to leave town to go to work) If you try to keep your residential, commerce and industrial separate, tax complaints decrease as now businesses share in the load, but traffic still remains bad because citizens still have to drive far from their homes to go where they need to go (which is why we have a Tom Thumb going up where the Bridlewood and Wellington area is.) Sure, like with the 3040 Kroger, Im sure residents nearby dont like the idea, but it sure lowered commute time, and decreased traffic and stress. Its a real cool game, very educational. You should really check it out if you havent yet.

I questioned why restaurants like Fridays, Texas Roadhouse, and others were building in this economy, even though they seem successful. A lot of the problem was by the time you get loans, investors, permits, land, etc, if a recession begins any time during that, youre already too invested to back out now. You can either give up and fail, or you can continue and hope you succeed. So the global economy was probably good when they started, and then tanked somewhere in the middle. I know the economy was good when I first heard about the riverwalk idea. A lot of time and money had already been wasted in that, especially if you consider having to deal with surveyors, environmentalists, impact studies, rendering etc.

If you havent yet, I suggest reading this old article (I didnt write it)
http://ww2.flowermound.net:8080/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1231995869
It pretty much explains exactly how the town was back in the day as far as "growth" went.

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I was at the Bridlewood Candidate's Forum tonight and some of the candidates said that it's not our problem, it's the Realtors and development owner's problem to fill that space. Really? They might lose a commission or some rent money, but it's an eye sore to us the residents of Flower Mound. So I think in the end, we lose both in the tax revenue we aren't collecting as well as the aesthetics of our town.


Clearly they dont know or understand the whole "broken window theory." Odds are they all live by the rules of HOAs, but dont understand their purpose. My neighborhood luckily does not have an HOA, but I still got a citation for having a "junked motor vehicle." In the towns mind, as well as the HOAs, Im contributing to "urban blight." Though I love my daily driver that I got when I was 14, they see it as ugly, a fire hazard, and a promotion of crime (increase chance of being vandalized, or parts stolen). Now a city can fine someone as much as they can before they seize it (and a vacant building could take years) but once they own it, then what? If the previous owner couldnt sell it in good conditional, the city sure isnt going to now. Tax payers will just have to keep paying more landscaping, and police patrols.

They also apparently dont understand what realtors do. They make money selling homes and leases to people. If no ones interested, they dont make money. But all the realtor is doing is helping the owner. It the owners fault if they cant lease out the space. If he/she fails, it SHOULD be their own mess. If it wasnt a good idea to build, why were permits issued and loans approved?

What it sounds like is youre saying that in this economy the likelihood of failure is larger, so why give anyone a chance? Lets just say that I wanted to start a business. The risk was always there that I could fail, but now that we're in a recession I have a bigger risk of failing. So I, nor anyone else should be given a chance? Just something to think about

Or how about this: Someone wants to smoke. It is legal for them to do so. Odds are they'll just abandoned whats left and leave the remains on the ground for us and everyone else to deal with. Yes, its there fault, yes we're left with the mess, but should we not allow them to ever smoke (build) just because might be a litterbug (abandoned vacant building)

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Anyway, I'll quit boring you, but I'll leave you with this: I'm not as pro growth as Mike Wallace, but I'm not as anti-growth as the Voter's United you mentioned, I'm probably somewhere in between. Again, I'm not against growth, let's just make sure it's at the right time and for the right reasons.


Thats a better summary about what youre about. Right now the only thing that I see that qualifies for that type of viewpoint is the morriss expansion. Everything else, I really dont see. Riverwalk will be built in phases, so its not like we're going to be stuck with this HUGE empty complex, Just like with Wellington, Bridlewood, and other large communities/complexes, they build in phases, when those developments started to fill up, they started another phase. If for some reason they failed, the other phases would never be started. Theyre not putting all of their eggs in one basket.

There is indeed a lot of growth going on, but I doubt we will see a post apocalyptic suburbia in the future if nothing is changed

Visiting your website, I seem to agree with all of your positions except #1. #1 seems to clash with #5. SMARTgrowth works by restricting businesses and other things (making Home Depot change its sign, forcing businesses to plant more trees than they cut down, etc.) How can you be against more strip malls and office buildings, but also against restricting them? Restrictions are what scare builders and businesses away.

So youre not against growth, just growth right now? All growth, or just a specific type?

Also I would like it much if you pointed out to me these so called "vacant" spots. Ive seen a few, but thats because some businesses failed and left, but not so much where I would even consider it a "problem"

The only one I can see, is that area on the corner of Rippy Rd and 2499. Thats been there for years, and though I think its stupid that theyre paying for landscaping, and electrical (fountain and those two light bulbs) they have yet to build any buildings. I dont think its an "eyesore" nor does it contribute to urban blight, but I do think it was a waste of money. But it wasnt my money, so whatever. Theyre vacant, but probably because no one wants a business on a road like that. When 407 was being expanded Briarhill to Lewisville, many businesses closed because patrons couldnt get there. (We used to have a Jack in The Box) Once the road was finished, people moved in to the vacancies and more buildings were produced.

As for the Lakeside District, my companies building had been there for about a year before we moved in. Was it vacant? Not really. It just took them WAY longer to build. We really wanted in there, and in fact, half our company had to stay in NRH because it wasnt finished even several months AFTER we moved in. Its possible that these "vacancies" do have people wanting to move in, but theyre taking to long to complete. Its quite possible that the towns restrictions have something to do with it. An experience builder who is familiar with the way Flower Mound runs can finish a construction project (single building) in 3-6months. Someone unfamiliar with the system however may take much much longer, especially if permits expire.

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p.s. - The people we bought our house from moved to Highland Village Smiley


A-Ha! So in a way you and your family ARE contributing to the mess... ...only because the people you bought the house from, as well as ALL HV utilize much of 2499, 407, and Morriss, as well as the businesses that are near there. †Smiley They left FM, but their usage hasnt decreased any.
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