Sunday, July 19, 2015

Back in The Game.

I know I'm a little late in writing this.

When I moved from DISH, TX to Aubrey, TX in the spring of 2011, the last thing that I wanted to do
was run for elected office again. After serving 6 years as a local elected official, frankly I was worn
out. Serving as an elected official in a small town is a voluntary position. In DISH, we had such a
small budget, that we had no full time staff, so although we had a very talented staff, they only
worked a couple of days a week. Therefore, I performed basically all of the functions of the local
government. On top of that, we were leading the battle for responsible oil and gas development. So
after two years as a town commissioner and four years as mayor, working full time, etc, I was was in
need of a break.

Wherever I traveled and wherever I went, there were always people asking me what was next? I
never went completely off the radar, but I certainly put more attention to my family and my career. As part of my public speaking circuits, one of the things that I constantly encouraged people to do is to  run for public office. I believe deep down, that the only way we can take our country back, is to have more common people serving as elected officials. People who are honest and not interested in
money or power, and remember where they came from. Unfortunately, many that migrate to elected
positions, have something to gain from their service, and work to increase their own net worth, as
opposed to truly serving their communities and constituents. The voter turnout is typically so low,
that they often get away with it.

Many expected me to seek a higher office than local government. Unfortunately, statewide or
national campaigns are time consuming and expensive. So without finding some special interest
sugar daddy, most normal working class people simply can't afford to run for those offices. Even
some of the local offices in the bigger cities can fit into this category. However, in the smaller towns it is affordable and practical to run for office. This is also a place where you can really make a
difference if you want to. We can take our country back one small town at a time.

When we decided to move from DISH, our first choice was another small town in Denton County,
Aubrey. Aubrey was located in the same general area, but 15-20 miles from any active oil and gas
development. Aubrey is also home to numerous large horse farms, so we had always liked the area.
Both of our children played sports in Aubrey, and it was our first choice to move.

I have continued to work on property rights issues, mainly the overuse and abuse of eminent domain.
One aspect of this was to have local governments pass resolutions or ordinances that rejects the use
of eminent domain for economic development. This took me to the Aubrey City Hall, in order to see if the local officials would be interested in passing this resolution, which they did. This led to me getting know my local elected officials and also the issues they were facing, and it also gave me the itch to serve again. Several current and former local officials encouraged me to run again for local office.

We all have busy lives and the thought of voluntarily taking on an additional task is more than many
can bear. Most of us are busy with the hustle and bustle and simply trying to make ends meat.
Therefore, it is understandable that many people want to be left alone. However, I think it is
imperative for us common folk to get involved and stay involved. So I would encourage everyone out
there to get involved in the political process in some manner.

After consulting with my close friends and family, I decided to run for local office again here in Aubrey, TX. There were three vacant positions that were up for election in May of 2015, and strangely enough all three were vacant; mayor and two council seats. Although several people encouraged me to run for mayor, a sitting councilwoman had already announced the she would running for mayor. Although, she did not support me during this election, I chose not to seek the mayor's seat, but rather support her as mayor. Therefore, I ran for a city council seat.

The seat that I was running for was the only contested seat, so I had to run a campaign. I sat down
and talked with my opponent and found him to be a very nice and intelligent person. I likely would
have supported him if he had not run against me. He was also a gentleman during the campaign.
Hopefully he will continue to stay involved, and consider a run in the future.

During my campaign, I knocked on around 800 doors here in Aubrey. Many seemed to appreciate the
fact that I would come and talk to them and listen to their concerns, while others seemed bothered by
it. It disappointed me that when given the opportunity to talk to the person that would vote on their
property tax rate, decide whether their road gets repair and determine the future of the city, they
chose not to. My goal over the next two years, will be to get more and more people involved in the
community and hopefully get a larger number of to vote. We had around 14% voter turnout in this
election, which actually wasn't bad for this area.

I am extremely appreciative of the people of Aubrey, TX for giving me the opportunity to serve them
for this two year term. I commit to do my best to make decisions that will benefit the community as a
whole. Hopefully, there will be greater attendance and involvement in the council meetings. I
committed to making my around knocking on doors and establishing an email list. I will do this in the
coming weeks and months. Should you wish to join this email list, just send me an email at Together we bargain, divided we beg.