Chamber of Commerce – Answers to Their Questions

I will be attending a luncheon with the Denton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors on April 16th.  In advance of this luncheon I was asked to answer these five questions.  You will see these answers published in some form or another by the Chamber of Commerce.  For the sake of transparency and for the record my responses are provided below.


Denton Chamber of Commerce

Denton Community Development Alliance

(50 word limit per question)

  1. In your opinion, what are the three most pressing issues facing Denton today? Our citizens deserve a much stronger drilling ordinance than what is being discussed currently. Getting our transportation infrastructure improved for both pedestrians and vehicles.  Targeted economic development to bring basic services such as neighborhood markets, banks, and basic retail into currently underserved neighborhoods.
  1. Given Denton’s position in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, what do you view as the top three areas of economic development on which we should be focused? Improving our transportation infrastructure. Programmatically supporting entrepreneurs and startup businesses – especially in the technology sector.  Focusing on reducing poverty at the local level.
  1. Recently the University of North Texas announced if necessary, they would use their eminent domain power to acquire commercial property near campus east of I-35.  How do you see the impact of UNT’s expansion and potential use of eminent domain into Denton’s commercial areas? UNT may be operating within their rights but they are not being good partners.  We need to improve the executive level coordination between the city and UNT and better understand UNT’s intentions.  Otherwise the campus fringes are going to become economic dead zones where people will fear to invest.
  1. How would you encourage the City of Denton to take advantage of and utilize the local professional practitioner resources available through the Denton Chamber of Commerce, Denton Association of Realtors, Denton Community Development Alliance, etc. to help evaluate and develop regulations, policies, practices and procedures? My primary focus is on increasing citizen engagement. I feel that local professional practitioners enjoy more immediate access to government in many cases than our citizens do.  That said, I would value, encourage, and fairly consider all input with regard to developing regulations, policies, and procedures.
  1. How do you feel about the City of Denton’s continued contracts with the Denton Chamber to administer the Convention and Visitors Bureau and external marketing for economic development? My opinion of the Denton Chamber soured last September when it entered the political debate and openly campaigned against a fracking ban.  In my opinion, because of your affiliation with the city through this contract, you violated the spirit of good partnership with this community.

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