The Denton Record-Chronicle welcomes letters to the editor pertaining to the May 10 city and school elections. Letters must follow all regular submission rules. Election letters must be received in this office by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 28; none will be published after Saturday, May 3.
Schaake best candidate
I know Mr. [Chris] Watts and respect him, but I have not had the level of participation in community service with him that I have had with Dr. [Jean] Schaake.
I served with Dr. Schaake on the Denton Vision 2000 project in the late ’90s, which was a coalition of community leaders and organizations committed to the planning for the future of our city, rather than just allowing things to happen to our beloved Denton.
My experience with Dr. Schaake on the Denton school board was not always peachy, but was always respectful and very professional.
We did not always agree on all issues before the board, but we all had to say that she was and still is very thoughtful, deliberate, an artful coalition builder, a thorough investigator and has always put the interest of the most above the interests of a few.
She has always been interested in the big picture, and the long-term impact of decisions no matter how controversial.
I believe that Dr. Schaake is the best candidate for the job due to the multifarious levels of experience that she brings to the job. I hope that you will join me in supporting Dr. Schaake as the next mayor for our great city, a city in the midst of great change, and needing a mayor with a wide expanse of skill sets for the difficult task at hand.
John Baines, CPA,
Candidates offer contrast
Two candidates for Denton mayor offer a real contrast in their decision-making and leadership. Jean Schaake showed a belief in principles when she voted to uphold the Denton Plan, neighborhood integrity and Sam Houston Elementary School children’s safety in her vote regarding DATCU.
Chris Watts did not vote but has stated he would have voted for what DATCU wanted. Since his comments came after the actual vote was taken, his position appears to me to be one that was political and establishment motivated.
The mayor’s race is not a vote on the DATCU issue. That decision, for better or worse, has been made. It is time to move on.
However, the manner in which the two candidates reached their positions on this issue is enlightening and important to consider.
Do you want a mayor who on hard issues will consider all the facts and make a decision on well-founded principles and stand tall regardless of the outcome; or a mayor who may be well intended, but will review his political compass and gauge the political winds and establishment desires to determine his position?
B. Lamar Ball Jr.,
Improve voter turnout
Thank you to the Denton Record-Chronicle for your many articles and editorials on the upcoming City Council election.
The League of Women Voters encourages informed and active participation in government.
We distribute voters’ guides for each election. The one for the May 10 election is available at all public libraries and recreational centers in Denton. It is also on our website, www.lwvdenton.org.
Our candidates forum was taped and is being broadcast on Verizon Channel 39 and Charter 191 on Tuesdays at 9 p.m., Wednesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Early voting has started and goes through Tuesday at the Denton County Elections Administration, 701 Kimberly Drive or the Denton Civic Center at 321 E. McKinney St. and on election day by precinct at the Martin Luther King Jr., North Lakes and Denia recreation centers and North Branch Library.
Voter turnout at local elections is more than embarrassing. Can’t we do better than some countries where citizens risk their lives to vote?
Please break the trend of extremely poor voter turnout for local elections and vote. It counts.
Sue Smith, president,
League of Women Voters of Denton
Vote for Salih, Watts
When people think about the qualities that they want from their government, the ones that top the list are: trustworthiness and transparency. These are the qualities that Hatice Salih will bring to Denton’s City Council. And with her there, I believe others will feel inclined to follow suit.
For years now, I have known Hatice and her husband, Dan; they own real estate and have the best meat market in the county (Dan’s Meat & Produce on Elm Street). She is also very knowledgeable and active in our local community.
If you know Hatice, then you know that she is for public City Council meetings and against so many decisions being made behind closed doors. She is for impartial professional code enforcement but against one that favors certain inhabitants but targets other residents and cherry-picks what part of the ordinances that they want to recognize.
It is a profoundly probable possibility, that with a little time, governments may forget that they are there for the people.
I also met Chris Watts a few times and I found him to be an independent thinker and I believe he would be a fine mayor for Denton.
Watts for mayor
As a 37-year resident of Denton, I am interested in selecting council members who are experienced and interested in providing expert leadership. I have had the opportunity to work with Chris Watts for a number of years.
As a council member, he showed leadership as well as forward thinking for the development of Denton for the future.
Chris Watts is one who pays attention to suggestions of the residents of Denton and applies those suggestions to the betterment of Denton for the present and future residents.
The leadership of Chris Watts in the community has been extremely valuable to the present and future of Denton. Chris will use his caring and sharing abilities to help Denton continue to grow into the future.
Denton deserves a person who is totally dedicated to the continued development of a marvelous community. That leader is Chris Watts.
Schaake for mayor
Some who have in this column distorted the exquisitely careful civic service of Jean Schaake are misinformed or are deliberately misleading readers because, in the minority, they failed to achieve their goal in the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting that denied a recommendation of rezoning for the benefit of DATCU against the wishes of the neighborhood majority.
Full disclosure: As a resident of Southmont, I attended every neighborhood meeting concerning the issue and the P&Z meeting referred to. The question was not “Should the property of the Diocese be rezoned, or should DATCU’s headquarters leave Denton?” It was, instead, “Is rezoning proper for this neighborhood?”
DATCU left Denton rather than take the issue to the next stage, the City Council, because it realized the strength, depth and correctness of the neighborhood opposition. DATCU could have built on other sites in Denton. Commissioner Schaake is in no way responsible for DATCU’s Denton exit, which was based on its financial advantage. The diocese looks to financial advantage also, not neighborhood welfare, in still seeking rezoning of its property. Diocese members were the main rezoning proponents at the P&Z meeting. The neighborhood has unique, complex traffic problems. To ignore them and other significant neighborhood issues and blame Jean Schaake for her courageous, nonpolitical stand is unfair.
She is a wise, critical thinker, admirably experienced and respected in all city matters. As mayor she will lead Denton beautifully and expertly for resident constituents and to external entities.
Watts for mayor
I am supporting Chris Watts for mayor and will tell you why. During his time on the City Council, Chris has asked the hard questions that clarify and give direction to the issue at hand. He listens to the residents and many times incorporated their input and suggestions into the ordinance at hand.
Chris is independent-minded and uses all the information gathered to optimize the outcome for the greatest benefit to the residents. Chris started and has owned a business for 20 years and understands how business works and the challenges facing the development community and neighborhoods. He worked tirelessly to ensure good stewardship of hard-earned tax dollars paid by us, the citizens.
Chris is the only candidate who has served on the Denton City Council. His experience on the council is invaluable and will provide a seamless transition to the office. He has worked with all areas of city operations and made public policy decisions affecting all aspects of city government.
We must keep valuable experience working for Denton. Please vote for Chris Watts.
Vote for Watts
The city of Denton has a bright — and challenging — future. On May 10 we have an opportunity to elect a mayor who is uniquely qualified to lead us into that future.
Chris Watts has already given six years of devoted service on the Denton City Council. His leadership and experience were recognized in 2009 by the City Council’s appointment of him as Denton’s representative on the board of the Texas Municipal Power Agency (a consortium of four Texas cities), which provides 30 percent to 40 percent of Denton’s power needs. The TMPA board recognized his leadership by electing him chairman in 2012.
After a year on the council, my own election as mayor of Denton in 1976 taught me that previous experience as a council member is not just useful. It is invaluable. The challenges that face Denton will be best met by a leader like Chris for whom a learning curve is not necessary.
In addition, he has a law degree that equips him to explain issues from a legal perspective and ask the right questions to protect Denton’s interests. Chris has also been a successful businessman for 23 years. As his own “boss,” he will be freer to accommodate the time demanded by the mayor’s responsibilities — and for the mayor there are many.
Denton is blessed with many able residents. For this position of mayor of Denton, Chris Watts is uniquely qualified, and I urge you to join me in voting for him during early voting or on election day, May 10.
Schaake for mayor
Jean Schaake — a big-city visionary with small-town spirit and pride.
Jean Schaake — understands the role of representative leadership.
Jean Schaake — has demonstrated respect for jurisdictional authority.
Jean Schaake — has experienced governing style, thoughtfully considering mandated directive with citizen concern.
Jean Schaake — has the talent to address rapid growth issues utilizing multi-agency and citizen partnerships for solutions.
Jean is an intelligent, compassionate and people-power leader who has served this community and will continue to serve with dedication and unbridled commitment. Please join me in casting your vote for Jean Schaake for mayor of this beautiful city!