FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS — The Flower Mound Area Democrats (FMAD) spotlighted Flower Mound Town Council candidates during a forum Sept. 30 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Facebook Live. Moderator Brandon Chase McGee posed questions composed by FMAD’s Leadership Team, while Sandra Weinstein acted as the timekeeper.
First up were Place 2 candidates Sandeep Sharma, the incumbent, and David Johnson, the challenger. Sharma, a 20-year resident, said his contributions to the community include serving on boards and commissions, including Planning & Zoning; joining various clubs, among them the Lions Club and PTAs; and donating to charities.
He is most proud of helping provide seniors with affordable transportation through coordination with Seniors in Motion and the town’s staff.
If he is reelected, Sharma said, “I would continue to honor the Master Plan to reduce density and traffic issues, continue to enhance the parks system and open spaces and residents come first inside the town hall and outside the town hall listen to residents’ complaints, issues and needs and try to fulfill them.”
Hines has a development application for Furst Ranch, whose proposed location is at FM1171 and Hwy. 377. Sharma agrees with the Master Plan and likes various aspects but has apprehensions about apartment towers which are high density.
A 25-year resident, Johnson has served on the Wellington HOA, several nonprofit boards, including those of the YMCA and Habitat for Humanity; is a 10-year Planning & Zoning member and now is the chairman; is a member of the Rotary and Summit Clubs; and has been a library volunteer. Johnson is most proud of serving the town and building homes for those who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
Johnson stated, “I want civility to return to Flower Mound Council meetings.” He stated that he would champion listening to staff, listen to developers, parks and landscaping experts and help the town through his extensive knowledge of the town.”
David Johnson how the Master Plan is set for Furst Ranch is appropriate for that large of a space but there is a lot to learn but believes it’s a great opportunity. Though Johnson does not have any objections to it at this point, he says it’s all very premature.
Second in line were Place 5 candidates incumbent Claudio Forest and challenger Ann Martin.
“Community wise, I’ve been active for a lot of years in town,” Forest said. “Summit Club of Flower Mound is a passion of mine,” said Forest. “We do a lot of great work — scholarships, awards for grade-school kids, … helping other charities. I’ve been the chair of the Planning & Zoning Commission, I’ve been on the Gas & Oil Board of Appeals, as well as the CAC, which I’ve served on multiple levels. I live here, I love this place, and I’d like to see it grow.”
Forest stated that the three goals he has for his term would be focusing on: 1) watching the development out west 2) selecting a new town manager who is as good or better as the previous one and 3) infrastructure.
Said nearly 23-year resident Martin, “I have had a variety of different community positions or involvement. Probably the one I’ve had the longest and probably the proudest of is being on the board of the Flower Mound Friends of the Library. I’ve been president of that organization for … about six years. I’ve also been active in LISD as a volunteer as our son went through school, band boosters and a literacy volunteer.”
The three things Martin would like to pay attention to during a term on the town council would be taxes, trees and traffic.
She would like to attain a balanced budget and maybe reduce tax rates, protect the town’s trees and ensure that traffic is better controlled.
Martin noted that she would ask Hines how Furst Ranch would benefit Flower Mound residents and will it adhere to the Master Plan to preserve the beautiful rolling hills, the countryside. Martin would also ask them whether they will be true to their word.
Forest said Hines’ plan shows an interesting mix of commercial, residential and retail.
He believes the town also needs to concentrate on how Furst Ranch would affect the natural spaces such as parks, and perhaps obtain a piece of land to build another community center, a police station and a fire station to preserve quality of life.
The Flower Mound Town Council candidates answered other questions, including ones about filling the now-vacant town manager position, the town budget, sustainability, diversity and transportation. Voters interested in seeing Sharma’s and Johnson’s responses may visit HERE; those who want to view Forest’s and Martin’s response can visit HERE.
The Flower Mound Area Democrats want to disseminate Democratic ideals and values in and around Flower Mound through grassroots organization, education, and activism.