As I bumped and bounced down Locust Street late last year, I thought for the umpteenth time, “When are they gonna do something about these awful Denton streets?” And then, it dawned on me: Since I’m about to complete 16 years as Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1, I can work hard to do something about our roads and streets.
Speeding up maintenance, repair and reconstruction of Denton streets and roads is high on my agenda, because this issue comprises the No. 1 complaint I hear from fellow residents. Denton streets aren’t all I want to help fix, however. I will actively support:
• Speeding up maintenance, repair and reconstruction of streets and roads, which are used by all first responders, residents, businesses, and visitors.
• Police, fire and EMS, including personnel, training, apparatus, and equipment.
• Maintenance of a low City property-tax rate.
• Reliable revenue sources for our fledgling Economic Development Fund.
Strong economic development is the single most effective tool by which we can keep residential taxes low. Successful economic development also provides employment opportunities at good wages; we want Denton residents to thrive, not just survive.
• Public Facility Corporations (PFCs) created by the City as a local option for developers of affordable housing projects.
With City-held PFCs, the City will be a partner in affordable housing projects; we have no mechanism by which we can partner now. Partnership will enable us to negotiate details, including rental rates, amenities, and the specific mix of unit types, all of which will improve affordability and the project in general.
Without the ability to offer our own PFCs, the City will continue to have no say in important details of affordable housing projects in Denton.
• Preservation of Denton’s historic assets.
A long-time friend of preservation, I believe Denton’s history is integral to both who we are and where we’re going. So much of Denton’s history has been torn down or modified beyond recognition, it’s essential we find ways to preserve that which we have left.
I freely admit my interest in preservation stems from long-time personal connections to Denton. My maternal grandfather, James L. Baldwin, served on Denton’s then-City Commission before the population of the town reached 5,000 and Denton became an incorporated municipality, and my great-uncle, M.L. Holland, M.D., owned and practiced in Denton Hospital and Clinic on South Locust St. for many years in the first half of the 20th century.