Three incumbents are facing four challengers in their bids to hold onto their seats on the Oak Point Town Council.
Voters in Oak Point also will decide on a proposition on the ballot on whether to reauthorize a sales tax of one-fourth of 1 percent for street repairs and maintenance.
Council members Colleen Cameron, Lynn Harpold and Keith Palmer, who are running for re-election, say they still have work to do at City Hall in maintaining the town they love. Challengers Brian Boltz, Judith Camp, Donald Lindemann and Kimberyln “Kim” O’Brien said they believe the town needs a watchful eye in office to keep the town a place they like to call home.
The candidates all agree they don’t want to lose the unique charm of the Denton County town that sits north of Lewisville Lake. The issue of whether to bring an apartment complex to town is also something on top of several candidates’ agendas.
The seats are at-large, and the three candidates who receive the most votes will win a two-year term on the council.
Early voting ends Tuesday and election day is Saturday for a number of nonpartisan city and school district races throughout Denton County.
Voters can cast ballots early at any of more than a dozen locations throughout the county but must vote on election day at the specific voting location for their precinct. Early voting in Oak Point is at the Oak Point Town Hall, 100 Naylor Road.
Cameron, 47, a business owner, said during her three terms in office she has been able to watch the town flourish.
“We must increase our tax base in a responsible manner that continues to reflect our country character,” she said.
Cameron said there are some residents who have a narrow view of the town prospering and those people are ignoring zoning that’s already been approved.
Harpold, 44, a longtime firefighter with the city of Carrollton and currently serving as the mayor pro tem, said he has lived in Oak Point for more than 11 years with his wife and two children.
“I’m all for unique development within the community,” Harpold said. “By unique, I mean not your typical car wash, but something that gives people from out of town a reason to visit Oak Point.”
Palmer, 50, who has a custom painting business, said he stumbled onto some property in Oak Point more than 10 years ago and immediately fell in love with the town. Having served on the council since 2010, he said he lives in a wonderful bedroom community and wants to keep it that way.
“I was concerned some people were thinking about running who were in support of an apartment complex,” Palmer said.
Boltz, 56, also is asking for voters to allow him to bring his experience of 21 years of running his own business to Town Hall. He added that years ago he worked for the Mid-North Volunteer Fire Department in Johnson County and was able to bring the department out of a $25,000 debt. Those skills, he said, are what he would bring to the table.
“The city needs to be run like a business and become financially more responsible,” Boltz said. “We are a small town and don’t have a huge budget.”
Camp, 70, vice president of risk management for Concentra Inc., served on the council from 2003 to 2010 and decided not to run for re-election because she believed everyone had the vision to keep their town “country.”
“That was until I was advised that Vaughn Miller, the owner and developer of one of the polo fields off of Yacht Club Drive, announced he wanted to seek rezoning for his property to allow for three- or four-story multi-family buildings on that property,” Camp said.
Lindemann, 66, who is retired from the retail business, said roads are his top priority. He said he was a member of the Capital Improvement Committee, which identified streets needing the most repairs. With wiser budgeting, the repairs could get done, Lindemann said.
“We need to watch taxpayers dollars a little more closely — way too much was spent on City Hall,” he said.
Kimberyln “Kim” O’Brien
O’Brien, 53, a program manager for hardware and software, said as the town continues to grow, officials need to stay on top of public safety.
“I do have a concern that we are stretching them too thin,” O’Brien said. “I think that we have an amazing public safety [fire and police] department and believe that it should remain strong, especially with all of the retail development that is going in around our little piece of the country.”
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.