#DentonMeansBusiness
Candidate Questionnaire
 
Denton residents had an opportunity to elect City Council representation in the four Single Member Districts on Saturday, May 6. As a service to its members, the Denton Chamber’s Local Relations Committee submitted a questionnaire to all announced candidates to help learn more about the potential stewards of the City’s resources. The responses from the participating candidates are provided below.
 
June 10, 2017 - Denton City Council District 3 Runoff Election

Early Voting at Denton County Elections Office - 701 Kimberly Drive, Denton

May 30 - June 3, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

June 5 - June 6, 2017
7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.


Donald Duff

In your opinion, what are the three most pressing issues facing Denton today?
Infrastructure. Road repairs are behind schedule. Hoping new City Manager can get the city back on track. Bad roads turn away new business looking to come to Denton. Lack of consistency in planning. Rising property taxes. To attract new business and people, you have to keep property taxes in check.


Given Denton's position in the Dallas- Fort Worth area, what do you view as the 
top three areas of economic development we should be focusing on?

I-35 Corridor – west of the city.
Airport.
Downtown.



In your opinion, what are the largest obstacles to real property development in 
Denton and how would you address them?

Lack of consistency in planning. Denton is growing with “shot gun” approach. We need a solid comprehensive plan for growth. The city’s Planning Dept. is under new leadership. Also, the Planning Dept. is working on a new Development Code for the city. The one we have is 30 years old.


Are you in favor of public incentives to recruit quality businesses with higher 
paying jobs to Denton? Why or why not?

Only when business meets specific criteria: How many jobs? Average salary? Will act as a magnet for other quality businesses? What is the definition of “quality business?” How much is the incentive and how long will the city have to give up its collection of property taxes and sales taxes?

If voters approve a property tax freeze for seniors, how would you deal with the 
City's income shortfall and other consequences?

Short fall is $200-$400K out of a $114 million budget. Average price of 154 new homes built in Robson 2016 is $432K. If we were over 65 (they are not), then Exactly $452K new revenue will be added to City. Robson will build 150 per year for 25 years.

Paul Meltzer

In your opinion, what are the three most pressing issues facing Denton today?
Managing growth so Denton becomes better, not just bigger. Developing constructive, innovative approaches to mitigate our poor air quality. Achieving fiscal discipline in city government to keep property taxes in check and reduce the pressure to seek generic development driven solely by tax base concerns rather than quality of life.

Given Denton's position in the Dallas- Fort Worth area, what do you view as the 
top three areas of economic development we should be focusing on?

We should be building on our strengths in arts and education. So high tech, cultural destinations, and innovations in sustainability. But our policy is lopsided toward chasing large entities when most job growth comes from small business. Cultural destinations should include distinctive new districts that are walkable from the square.

In your opinion, what are the largest obstacles to real property development in 
Denton and how would you address them?

Some obstacles are actually good for preserving Denton's character and property values--like historic district overlays and tree ordinances. But there's obsolete zoning in some areas like Cement City, burdensome red tape, and requirements that are not right-scaled for small business. Reviewing all the detail takes intelligence and stamina from council.

Are you in favor of public incentives to recruit quality businesses with higher paying jobs to Denton? Why or why not?

Sparingly because Denton is already an attractive proposition. We should be weighing incentive-seekers on whether they would make Denton better, not just bigger, helping advance community goals in distinctiveness and sustainability.


If voters approve a property tax freeze for seniors, how would you deal with the 
City's income shortfall and other consequences?

We need large organization leadership experience on council to provide oversight to a limited restructuring. The goal would be to trim administrative overheads and, where possible, shift funds to citizen-facing services. We also need to tap department managers' expertise in what 5 percent of their budgets is most cuttable.

City Council Candidates 2017
 

District 1:
Gerard Hudspeth (elected)
Frances Hawes
Emily White


District 2:
Keely Briggs (incumbent)

District 3:
Jason Cole
Don Duff (runoff candidate)
Paul Meltzer (runoff candidate)

District 4:
John Ryan (elected)
Amanda Servis