Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content

Letters to the editor, May 2

Support Engelbrecht

City Council elections are coming up and I encourage all voters in District 3 to vote for Jim Engelbrecht.

Jim has served on the council for two terms, and he has studied and discussed all the current issues, so he will know what he’s doing during this, his third and last term.

District 3 has had a long string of good district representatives over the years — persons who were honest, capable of doing the job and who have had the best interests of a growing Denton as their primary goal.

With a little (or a lot) of encouragement, they were willing to give hours and hours to serve in an unpaid job that took time away from their families and from the jobs they had to earn a living.

Jim Engelbrecht is the latest of them.

I commend Jim Engelbrecht for being willing to serve again. Please give him your vote during early voting or on Saturday, May 11, at North Lakes Park Recreation Center.

Dorothy Damico,


Financial risk

A question about the Convention Center issue was asked at the candidate forums. In reading the current “Preliminary Memorandum of Agreement” between the city, UNT and OHM (the management/developer), the residents of Denton clearly bear the brunt of financial risk.

I quote from the agreement: “OHM will enter into an agreement with the city to manage the Conference Center and retain all revenue from such operations, except for the lease payment referred to below.”

The referenced “lease payment” is an amount that is “... the difference between the City’s annual debt payment ... and revenues received by the City from the sales, property and lodging tax. ...”

What if the taxes are equal to the debt payment? Then, the city apparently receives nothing toward the debt service. Read that, residents are hung with the debt ... or increased taxes to pay off this debt.

The city needs to back out of this entire agreement as proposed. Use no certificates of obligation to fund anything but emergencies.

Suggest OHM build the hotel(s) and convention center on non-university land (which is landlocked). I suggest the building go on the south Rayzor Ranch area, which has space for the project and allows for multiple supporting businesses all around it.

Quick highway access /egress adds to the pluses.

Hatice Salih,


Clarify comments

I read Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe’s article of April 14 regarding District 2 candidates for City Council.

I was curious as to Dalton Gregory’s statements regarding the proposed convention center issue.

It was interesting to note he said this issue “has become politicized” and inferred for that reason, the council has chosen to go to “certificates of obligation, backed by revenue, not taxes. ...”

The very point that an issue has become “politicized” is exactly why this issue needs to be determined by the city’s voters, not withheld from their ability to have a say in this critical decision by utilizing certificates of obligation for financing.

The second point is the repeated misstatement, i.e., that the center would be “backed by revenue, not taxes,” is also not being totally open with the public who don't understand the difference between general obligation funds and certificates of obligation.

I quote from an article on the subject:

“By law, the debt obligation (certificate of obligation) creates an automatic tax rate increase, even if taxes would otherwise be reduced. The more debt service a city or taxing industry has, the more of the tax rate that they (the city) can blame on debt.”

The above was extracted from:, which clearly notes that certificates of obligation are secured by your property taxes.

Potential misunderstanding of Gregory’s comments need to be clarified as our residents do have a “right to know” what is behind a candidate’s comments and their position on important issues, before the election.

Joyce Poole,


Vote for Stafford

I urge you to vote for Charles Stafford for Place 5 of the Denton school board.

Charles has a long history of integrity and experience.

I am a retired teacher, and I have known Charles since he first served on the school board from 1988 to 1994. He encourages input from not only teachers but all who work with the students of our DISD.

He wants to know the whole picture before he makes decisions.

He consistently votes for what is best for the students of the Denton school district.

He is level-headed and fiscally prudent as he looks at issues from all angles. He has already devoted a great deal of time to our school district and has demonstrated a longtime commitment to children and education.

Charles Stafford demonstrates well-informed, open-minded leadership. There is no substitute for experience, and his record on the board speaks for itself.

Join me in voting for Charles Stafford for the Denton school board.

Cheryl Ellis,


Vote for Gregory

Whenever I see City Council member Dalton Gregory in action, I’m always so impressed by his knowledge on the subject at hand, his inquisitive questions and his insightful comments. He has done a great job on City Council over the last four years, and I have no doubt that if re-elected on May 11, he’ll continue this exceptional track record.

During his tenure on council, Denton has enacted a more rigorous smoking ban, better regulated predatory lending practices, created a stricter gas drilling ordinance to protect our neighborhoods and property values, and allowed backyard chickens and food trucks to come to town.

He led the way to bringing a safe-passing ordinance to our streets to better protect pedestrians and cyclists, and was an outspoken advocate for Denton’s bike plan. He helped adopt a new sustainability plan for Denton, which will help us better plan for our future air, water and energy issues. And he approved a bond election (which was passed by the voters last fall) to improve our crumbling streets.

Dalton Gregory has proven his worth time and again. He has volunteered for decades, grew up here and clearly cares about this community. He is a strong voice for environmental and sustainability issues for Denton, and I urge you to vote for him on May 11. Let’s keep a good thing going.

Amber Briggle,


Stafford for school board

I write in support of Charles Ramsey Stafford for the school board of the Denton school district.

In the 11 years I have known Charles, I have been deeply impressed with his determined dedication to the children of this district and state. We have held countless conversations on his latest trip to Austin and his ideas about the current and future state of education in Texas. He is a bulldog in his determination to make certain every child receives a good education and has every opportunity to succeed in life.

While in politics I often lean toward the newcomer and am sure Stafford’s opponent is sincere in her desire to do her part for our children, this is one case where I believe we would all lose if Charlie was not a part of the Denton school board.

His knowledge of everything from Denton real estate (which means Denton ISD is prescient in its understanding of population growth) to Austin politics and the people who are important in education from the students and teachers to those pesky politicians, means our district has a leg up in our fight for our students’ future.

Charles Ramsey Stafford is an honest, kind, caring, sincere man who is doing real good for our children and our town. I urge you to vote for Charles Stafford for the board of the Denton ISD. We need him, now more than ever.

Dr. Kate Landdeck,


Stafford best choice

My wife JoAnn and I have known Charles Stafford for more than 24 years. We first met when our girls were in second grade and Girl Scouts and Charles was an active PTA leader and classroom parent at Newton Rayzor Elementary School.

As a National Merit Scholar, a Texas legislative aid in Austin, a Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader, a founding board president of the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County and the Denton Education Foundation and Communities in Schools of North Texas, an award-winning school board member and past president, and award-winning local Realtor, just to name a few of his recognitions, Charles has shown quality leadership, innovative thinking, a firm grasp of critical issues for our schools and our community, and a creative mind to enhance the interaction between our school district, our city and parks department, the much-needed community organizations and social services we have in Denton, and helped make Denton and our school district the quality organization we have today.

Charles’ insight into the Texas political and the legislative system, his genuine caring, concern and understanding for what it takes to create a receptive learning atmosphere and environment for students, teachers, staff and administrators, his willingness to find the time and bring his unique talents and leadership to our school district make me proud to call Charles Stafford my friend and our recommended choice for our Denton school board Place 5.

Salty and JoAnn Rishel,