Why reelect Paul Meltzer?
Bottom line — did you get progress in the areas you’d hoped for when I was elected to represent you to Denton City Council Place 6? Are you getting a Denton that’s better, not just bigger? Let’s look at streets, taxes, public safety, open space and homelessness.
You told me Denton streets were terrible. I came in railing against acceptance of the status quo, insisting we at least see a plan to get to where most of the streets are in good shape most of the time. We wound up tripling the amount of street repair activity done annually — a massive inconvenience now, but we’re finally working down the backlog.
You told me you were sick of property taxes going up every year and having elected officials blame it on rising appraisals. I insisted council focus on your actual tax bill, not just talk about the rate. We set the rate to target zero increase on the city portion of your bill last year. This year, we set the rate for the first cut anyone can remember.
You wanted public safety to keep up with our growth. Amid controversy, I’ve steadily supported that. At the same time, we’ve humanized and improved the way police services are delivered, with 1 in 8 calls now to be responded to with appropriate civilians, including mental health professionals. More training will come on de-escalation and vulnerable populations.
Many were concerned that with all the development, there wouldn’t be any green spaces left. We passed a resolution targeting Denton residents having no more than a 10-minute walk to green space. We used the tree fund to buy a 70-acre treed parcel with a lake on it on the east side of town. I pressed for money for parkland purchases to be included in the bond election. We got $5 million in. You passed it overwhelmingly.
You were alarmed at the increased presence of homelessness. I called for a countywide strategy on emergency shelter, beyond what had already been achieved with the creation of the Monsignor King Outreach Center. First, we funded a seven-night shelter solution, with case managers to help those who can get into more permanent situations. Now, with support from the county, we’re refitting a former nursing home out on Loop 288 that will provide more shelter space, a place to be during the day and what was Our Daily Bread operating right there.
Bottom line, you’ve seen great strides in every area you wanted me to work on.
We’ll make a bigger downtown possible, with great public spaces. We’ll build out those parks, with connecting trails. We’ll encourage growing high-tech startups to expand here, providing good paying careers for our grads. We’ll encourage the arts, Denton’s great draw, with more performance spaces.
We’ll be better, not just bigger.
With your vote, I hope to be reporting out a new set of accomplishments in two years. Thank you for your continued support. And thank you, Denton firefighters, for your endorsement.