My name is Matt Irvine, and I am a candidate for Denton City Council, District 1. I have a wife and two kids that we adopted. Our son is 5 years old and is autistic but recently graduated the Kristen Farmer Autism Center at the University of North Texas and has transitioned into the public school system. Our daughter is 2 and is a rampant destroyer of things. I’m a forward-looking fiscal conservative who realizes the government needs to actually fund some things, otherwise there can be lost or unrealized costs in the future.
The economy: Other area cities have developed high-end technology and manufacturing jobs, whereas Denton has languished with these two types of jobs. I will prioritize the focus to more manufacturing jobs in addition to technology positions.
First, we need to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some businesses weathered this better than others. I propose tax relief for those who need it now, and for those businesses who are prospering or unaffected we discount their future tax burden if they pay in advance.
Secondly, we need to be encouraging our graduates from the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University, and North Central Texas College to create companies and positions right here in Denton. To facilitate this, the city should provide resources from location, to grants in helping the first-year hurdles many businesses have.
Third, we seek out and draw manufacturing positions to Denton.
Future energy needs: We need to determine our future with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and explore avenues of independence versus connecting to the national grid.
Have project managers, engineers and the legal team at Denton Municipal Electric to determine what our legal requirements are to remain with ERCOT, if we can go connect to the national grid, if we can be independent, and determine how to achieve any of these with an estimated cost.
Continue the fight against the uplift charges that ERCOT is trying to pass on to us.
Create a waste-to-energy station. Continually expanding our landfill isn’t a viable option. Let us turn our trash to energy.
Continue to invest into our renewable energy portfolio.
Preparing for growth: One part of growth is zoning and how it is handled. We need a mixture of single-family homes in addition to multifamily homes. The second part of this is to continue investing in our overall infrastructure.
Continue building out our roads without toll roads.
Maximize zoning for our limited space to meet housing needs.
Build up and maintain our electrical infrastructure.
The amount of lead in our drinking water has gone up but is still safe. We need to invest to make sure our water remains clean.
Connectivity. We need to make sure our cable providers can provide basic high-speed internet; otherwise we need to encourage competition. Bike trails and lanes throughout the region to allow for greener transportation. Make sure Denton County Transportation Authority remains viable for residents and guests.