I would like to share a few of my priorities that I hope to work with council on:
All said, Farmers Branch is a growing little suburb of 38,000 people. We are one community and one people sharing the same needs and wants as other cities around us. We are fortunate that we have emergency services with unmatched response times. Our city services for sanitation, brush pick-up, streets and neighborhood repairs rank among the highest in The Metroplex.
As your Mayor, I will work to make sure our city continues to grow without losing the small town community feel that makes Farmers Branch a special place to live, work and enjoy life.
PRIORITY ITEMS FOR TERRY LYNNE - DETAIL
- Without fail we need to fill open positions with the best qualified candidates immediately and without lowering standards. I will assist the department and offer myself to go to any recruitment event anywhere in the country to assist in selling the city to prospective recruits. After all, who better to sell the city than the Mayor? I will work with our new Police Chief to make this priority one.
- Full staffing will take pressure off of officers, which will take pressure off of their home life.
- Full staffing will provide a better work environment for all.
- Full staffing will allow our police to give attention to slowing traffic down in our city.
- Traffic in Farmers Branch is too fast. We cannot properly address this issue until we are fully staffed. Once we achieve full staffing, I will ask council to support rigorous traffic enforcement. Farmers Branch used to have the nickname, “Don’t speed in Farmers Branch.” We need to get back to that and let our officers do what they were trained to do. We have more kids than ever before, so we need to make sure our streets are safe for young and old. This will also send a signal to bad actors that our police are everywhere and that bad actors are not welcome in our city.
- Our city took in more revenue from property and sales tax than expected last year. Our reserve is at a healthy level. So, why did the council not give residents true tax relief? The water bill credit was a pittance of what it should have been. Instead, I will urge council to lower the tax rate which is fair for everyone, our residents and our business residents.
- Knowing that businesses pay 74% of what it takes to operate the city is important. Respecting them and providing tax relief to them will allow them to reinvest in their businesses, buildings, and equipment, as well as, possibly hire additional employees.
- I will urge council to review prior changes to our property maintenance codes, which were weakened by a previous council. Special attention needs to be paid to delineate what issues are matters for police and what issues are matters for Code Enforcement. This should serve to make for a clearer understanding of who is responsible what items/violations.
- There are neighborhoods that were promised attention on various items but have been left hanging. The city needs to assess needs and follow through with promised assistance. Much of this is centered around creek repairs. Additionally, everyone would like to have neat and clean neighborhoods. We need to promote pride of ownership and encourage reinvestment in certain areas of our city.
- Just like any other business, the city needs to assess the condition of its current assets such as buildings, parks, pools, rec fields, streets, streetlights, vehicles and equipment. I propose that before the council spends any money on “wish list or want projects” we take care of what we currently have and what needs attention now. This is a fundamental business practice. Bring all current assets up to speed first.
- Unfortunately, this is something that is not going away and we need staff who interacts with the homeless to be trained on safe and compassionate ways to engage. I will work with our neighbors in Dallas to take more responsibility for the homeless that live under and around LBJ, which is City of Dallas property. Dallas has a budget for dealing with this, Farmers Branch does not.
- I have met with and continue to meet and work with County and State officials to make sure that the large dirt pile along LBJ is properly managed and hopefully gone within the next 12-14 months. The dirt pile has created a number of public health issues for homes to the north. We will organize and ban together to make more of a statement to TxDot officials going forward. (We will see if the new grass that TxDot placed on top of the dirt grows and helps to keep dust down.)
- Farmers Branch is becoming a more diverse city as our population grows. We are home to many cultures. Our Southeast Asian/Indian community is rapidly growing on the west side, Mercer Crossing area. Our biggest challenge as a city is to make sure residents of Mercer Crossing feel a part of the rest of the city.
- Our historic Hispanic community continues to thrive and, in time, will start to see increased neighborhood revitalization organically. Residents in this area truly understand what “community” is and provide a valuable base for economic activity in our city.
- The Brookhaven area is seeing huge changes with many older properties being razed for the building of new, larger homes. This activity is adding millions in taxable value to the city.
- The Midway-Tollway corridor is seeing its own redevelopment. More multifamily is being built. Our challenge is to manage multifamily growth so it provides true economic benefit to the city without taxing our infrastructure.
- I will welcome anyone to come and speak at City Council meetings. I will welcome one-on-one meetings.
- You will have the opportunity to make your voice and vote heard when it comes to major projects in the city. With the exception of public safety and certain infrastructure projects, I will work to see that taxpayers get to vote on how their money is to be spent.