Visionary leadership isn't easily defined or identified. When someone is acknowledged as a “visionary leader”, it is often due to a combination of several attributes demonstrated by that person. These can be wisdom, experience, character, and personal decision-making paradigms, just to name a few. I believe that term has another invaluable component: the ability to see not only the way things are in the present, but also to conceptualize the way things could be in the future. It includes the ability to see the destination or end result, as well as the route to get there; all this before the journey even begins! Additionally, it incorporates motivating others to join the effort.
I believe I have the visionary skills to lead Colleyville during this challenging time. I know we all desire great schools, sound fiscal management, safety, a stable tax base and personal connections with our community. To get there we need a plan, a roadmap if you will, for creating the infrastructure that will support these goals. My vision for Colleyville would include:
- Sound, sustainable and holistic fiscal practices
- Maintaining the city's AAA municipal bond rating
- Collaborative municipal support of the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD (GCISD), teachers, administrators, and volunteers
- Partnering with GCISD to improve the safety and education of our children
- Leveraging positive relationships with surrounding cities and other elected officials
- A growth-oriented strategic plan for economic development within the city
- Reducing or eliminating unnecessary policy barriers to economic growth
- Building a positive “Can Do” attitude at City Hall with staff and elected officials
- City staffing levels that enable the delivery of high-quality services without operational delays
- Resource enhancement and support for first responders
- A comprehensive and detailed Capital Improvement Plan to address immediate and future needs, including contingencies for unforeseen events
- A comprehensive transportation/road/street plan to address existing challenges and future growth locally and regionally
- A municipal work environment which encourages “out of the box” thinking
- Modeling leadership based on outstanding character, integrity, and cooperation
- Respect for every citizen and opinion
- Public acknowledgment of distinctive volunteer service to the community
Andy Stanley's book Visioneering details the tactics and pitfalls of implementing strategic changes. In addressing these concepts, the author simply states, “Vision is inextricably linked to uncertainty.” He describes how fear of the unknown can paralyze a great plan. If we allow ourselves to be shackled by uncertainty, we will never reach our full potential as a city. It is my goal to bring bold leadership to Colleyville, to look forward to how much better we can be, and to vigorously pursue that together.
As a commercial real estate veteran of over thirty-five years, I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand how attitudes, regulations, infrastructure, and politics impact economic viability. In my professional experience, I have found that sustainable economic activity is the engine that powers a community. Without it, cities can literally disappear. With strong fiscal growth, a city can fund its basic services and provide resources for discretionary initiatives that improve the quality of life for its citizens. This calls for a growth-oriented strategic plan that buoys prevailing businesses and creates an environment that attracts new ones.
The attitude of its leaders plays a large role in how a city is perceived by industry owners. A positive “Can Do” outlook goes a long way in laying the groundwork that attracts new commercial activity. Failure to deliver a positive and affirming approach poisons the waters, and dissuades potential new investors and innovators. My goal is to establish a new mindset at City Hall that will not only encourage growth, but will boost existing enterprise as well.
I support hiring a full-time Director of Economic Development. The current administration elected to eliminate this position and delegate the responsibility to one of the assistant city managers. This move eliminated a portion of the city payroll, but at what cost? I firmly believe that we need an ambassador working full time to market all that is unique about Colleyville. The city needs a daily focus on new business opportunities. A competent economic development director will grow new sales and property tax revenue in short order.
Common-sense municipal regulations should support expansion. I advocate for a full review of our policies and procedures, both written and unwritten, to identify obstacles to responsible growth. Colleyville's municipal policies and development codes should never sacrifice safeguards for the welfare of the community, however they should refrain from placing unnecessary restrictions upon investors. This includes fee policies for both new development and re-development.
City staffing levels should be reviewed and evaluated for cost and efficiency. Untimely delays in processing applications for permitting, new construction, building inspections, land development and public works initiatives can result in lost opportunities. If a business chooses to locate in Colleyville, the city offices should be sufficiently staffed to provide immediate and proactive assistance.
Infrastructure is the foundation for economic growth and security. An efficient and forward-thinking plan for water, sewer, utilities, traffic flow, security, and safety is critical. Due to the economic environment of the past several years, the Metroplex region has experienced a population explosion. Since Colleyville is geographically situated in the heart of this activity, it is vitally important that we take a realistic view of our role within the region when addressing basic needs like transportation and utilities. I will work diligently to ensure that we are positioned to take advantage of our strengths. Improving our roads to safely and more efficiently move people throughout the city is a strategic issue that will create more demand from economic entities for a presence in Colleyville.
A stable and predictable political environment promotes economic development. The perception of Colleyville from those outside our borders has not always been one of stability or predictability. This is unfortunate, because business has a unique way of adapting positively to steady environments. A positive, long-term and holistic approach to municipal government will reap positive results. It starts with our elected leaders. Leaders must be willing to embrace sustainable solutions that include input from all facets of the community. They must be able to articulate these solutions in a way that unites neighbors and motivates them to be a part of broader solutions.
Positive relationships with all members of the community contribute significantly to the success and prosperity of any city. In order to provide the highest quality of life and preserve our home values, Colleyville should establish positive, meaningful, and contributory relationships with the entities that do business in and around us, or who provide services to our city. These entities include the Grapevine/Colleyville Independent School District, our county commissioners and judges, our elected officials who represent us in Austin and Washington, and the other municipalities that surround our city.
One of the primary reasons that Colleyville is deemed such a desirable place to live is because of the high quality of our schools. It is imperative that we maintain that reputation, therefore a strong relationship between the city and the school district is crucial. I recommend that we genuinely and repeatedly acknowledge Grapevine-Colleyville ISD (GCISD) for its significant achievements in the education process. Affirmation is motivating and empowering. GCISD is highly acclaimed, and should be esteemed for their accomplishments. With the support of our elected officials they can achieve even better results.
For my part, I pledge less fault-finding and more encouragement from the top down. I will lead by example, and urge our school district to continue its outstanding efforts to improve public school education through creativity and good stewardship of taxpayer funds. I will encourage each and every Colleyville City Council member to become actively involved in this community partnership. Obviously, there will differing opinions about the processes involved and how to achieve results, but under my leadership I plan to restore a dignified and solid working relationship between Colleyville elected officials and GCISD elected officials that focuses on the quality of education for our children.
By supporting the GCISD School Board, the teachers, and the administrators we can demonstrate that we trust them to do the very best job possible to educate our children. This will set an example for our children by demonstrating how elected officials work together for the common good of the community. By endorsing high standards for public education, and encouraging those responsible for delivering that education, we will ensure that Colleyville is focused on the next generation of citizens and that we are continually creating value in our community.
It is essential that we have smooth and efficient working relationships with our county officials. The City of Colleyville does not exist as an island in the sea of North Texas. We have a significant role to play in our geographic region. It is through these relationships that the city is able to partner with the county to implement significant improvements within our city and to participate in county-wide initiatives.
We have a fantastic opportunity to restore and build more meaningful relationships with our Tarrant County elected officials and their staffs. I pledge to work diligently to reduce any discord that may have developed over the past several years between county officials, City Council members, and special interest supporters. By creating a more positive environment, ideas and initiatives can be debated and evaluated in a civil manner, enabling us to achieve a greater foothold on self-rule and improve our ability to influence regional actions.
An isolationist mentality is not healthy for a city, especially one that is so strategically located within the heart of a dynamic economic engine like Dallas/Fort Worth. By changing the attitude about our strategic partners and neighboring communities, and by reducing impact of the single-issue focus from special interest PACs, the city will open new doors of opportunity for businesses and responsible growth. Our county officials play a significant role in these opportunities. The city would be wise to leverage these relationships for the betterment of Colleyville.
The same principles and goals that I have outlined above apply to the state representatives in the Texas House and Senate. My goal will be to re-establish outstanding personal and working relationships with these elected officials. I will foster a positive attitude towards their efforts to govern, and support the many initiatives that positively affect the city. By working closely with these officials, we can strengthen our influence in the design of positive initiatives, while mitigating the impact of initiatives that may bring unintended negative consequences.
The importance of being a good neighbor with the municipalities that surround our city should be a top priority with our City Council. The City of Colleyville is part of a larger, regional community. I will encourage a spirit of stability, trust, transparency, and cooperation. By doing so, we will position ourselves to take advantage of interlocal agreements that can offer potential cost savings on municipal projects. The exchange of new and creative ways to address critical infrastructure issues like water/sewer, transportation, population growth, and economic development is fostered by positive, courteous, and professional discussions with our neighbors. A proactive good neighbor policy will allow us to build relationships that make our community better, and establish partners in our efforts to end ill-fated policies. It's a win-win proposition!
Bransford Elementary School
601 Glade Road (Google Map)
Saturday, May 4th
7:00am to 7:00pm