The ballot is packed in Cross Roads as seven candidates - some of them next-door neighbors - campaign for three at-large seats in the May 14 Town Council election.
Two incumbents are defending their seats against challenges from five other residents. Many of the candidates share the same goals and outlook for the town.
Early voting begins May 2.
Candidate Bill Sheehy, who plans to retire by the end of this year, sees a council position as a way to stay active in the community.
"I think the city of Cross Roads is going to be growing; I want it to grow in the right way. My intention is strictly community service and making sure we live up to the ideals we established in our neighborhood," Sheehy said.
Candidate Chandra Crone noted that the town of 1,563 has no municipal property tax, and she wants to bring in more business.
"You can't maintain a sales tax only forever if there is no business," she said.
The key is to make it not easy but friendly for new businesses to come in, she said.
Wally Kille said the Town Council has done a great job, and he wants to be a part of it and can bring some new skills to the table.
"I served for two years as chairman of the road committee. I think the time I spent in that has served well to understand the needs [and the] direction the town is taking," Kille said. "I want to continue to be involved with the roads and the future. [I'm] particularly interested in the safety of the roads, making sure they are well marked, speed controls in place. I think I can add to that."
Incumbent Steve Smith said he's seeking re-election to manage Cross Roads' inevitable growth, in order to put the city in the best position to never have to levy property taxes.
Fellow incumbent Larry Fisher touted the town's 1-acre zoning, lack of property tax and its old Texas-style architecture.
"We have a good thing going. The people who preceded me made good progress," he said. "It's a matter of continuing to build on what we've got."
Candidate Bill Bacon said there isn't enough representation of the north side of town, one of the main reasons he is seeking election.
"I'm wanting to make sure our town stays financially responsible and we plan for growth in this area in the next several years," he said.
Bacon also mentioned reaching out to companies that have seen Cross Roads as too difficult to set up business in because of established ordinances.
Laurie Hemming, a caseworker for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Denton County, said she is not a politician. She said she's running because she has reached an age where she feels she wants to be involved in the community.
"I don't want the Town Council to spend the money before we have it," Hemming said. "My whole thing is, we moved out here because we like living in the county. Even though everything is growing in on top of us, we need to maintain that."
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org . CROSS ROADS TOWN COUNCIL Bill Bacon
• Age: 43
• Born: Springfield, Mo.
• Education: B.B.A. in information systems management, University of Texas
Experience: Farm Credit Bank of Texas, 1990-93; Capital Network Systems, 1994; Artesia Data Systems, 1994-96; Synon (acquired by Sterling Software), 1996-98; Broadvision, 1999-2003; Computer Systems Corp., 2003 to present. Member of the volunteer group Citizens Emergency Response Team.
• Age: 39
• Born: not given
• Education: B.S. in business administration, Washington University
Experience: Over the past 15 years, worked as paralegal, sales and marketing; registrar for local Girl Scouts service unit; director on the soccer board for 380 Youth Sports; soccer coach in Aubrey Area Youth Sports Association and 380 Youth Sports since 1998.
LARRY FISHER (I)
• Age: 70
• Born: Enid, Okla.
• Education: bachelor's degree in physics, Oklahoma State University
Experience: 40 years with IBM, technical work, management, corporate finance/planning; Aubrey Area Library board, chairman; served on church committees.
• Age: 48
• Born: Denton
• Education: not given
• Experience: Court Appointed Special Advocates of Denton County caseworker for nine years.
• Age: 69
• Born: Missouri
• Education: B.A., Central Missouri State University; management schools
Experience: 17 years employed with U.S. Steel
• Age: 68
• Born: Chicago
• Education: B.S. in business administration, Roosevelt University
Experience: Frontier Airlines, 1978-85; Kaiser Permanente, 1985-97; Excel Communications, 1998; Becton Dickinson consulting and services group, 1999-2001; MedAssets, 2001 to present.
STEVE SMITH (I)
• Age: 39
• Born: Lubbock
• Education: B.S. in criminal justice, Sam Houston State University, 1993
• Experience: Planning and Zoning Commission, Town Council, 2005 to present.