The Cross Timbers Gazette (Bartonville, Tex.), Vol. [34], No. [5], Ed. 1, May 2008 Page: 4 of 32

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May 2008
Page 4
From the Sidelines
Guest Editorial by Former Double
Oak Mayor Dick Cook
This article is solely my opinion.
Forum and Election
The candidate’s forum,
sponsored by The Cross Tim-
bers Gazette, was held on the
Saturday before early voting.
All seven candidates were in attendance. There
were a few non-family members present, but I
would have liked to see more of you there. It was
fun and focused the campaign on issues. Chief
Jones captured it all on tape and it was available
on the Double Oak web site.
Election day was even more fun because I got
to talk to voters. Tracy Miller and I camped out
in front of Town Hall in the sun. Lissa McCarthy
and Jerry and Candy Lamel were on the comer in
the shade, but even under the tree, it was warm
enough to send Jerry into Town Hall periodically.
I received some interesting questions while sit-
ting out there. I’m going to try a second answer
in this column because they were good questions
and they were topics that many voters seemed in-
terested in.
A neighbor asked, “Where does the money
come from to run the town?” According to our
latest budget, almost 700K comes from property
tax. Another 200K comes from other taxes, pri-
marily from franchise fees paid by our utilities for
the use of our right-of-ways. Licenses and permit
fees bring in another 75K. Our total revenue bud-
get for the year is just over a million bucks. You
can see that the biggest piece of revenue (about
70%) comes from our property tax.
At the same time, please remember that 76%
of what we pay in TOTAL property tax is for
schools. Just over 12% is paid to Denton County,
and just less than 12% comes to the town. We
have the smallest piece of the pie. Last year,
Town Council raised the rate we pay from 22
cents for every hundred dollars of property value,
to 22.46 cents per hundred. That tax rate increase
cost the owner of a $300,000 house $14.43 cents
for the year. Fourteen bucks IS an increase, but
complaints might be more of an emotional re-
sponse rather than an objective one.
The candidates were asked about taxes. All
said that they were adequate. Should they stay
the same, be raised or lowered? I don’t think
we need to change the rate, but I really don’t
know today. I’ve started looking closely at this
year’s numbers. How much money do we have
in reserves? Are we adequately protected for a
rainy day? Can we keep up the roads and im-
prove drainage with the tax rates that we have?
I certainly hope so. If taxes are too low, needed
projects get cut. I hope to never see the other pos-
sibility of bloated spending and high taxes.
Police costs and ticket revenue
I heard some outrageous numbers for what we
spend on public safety. Some were saying that
we spent over 600K a year. Wrong! Here’s the
facts, Ma’am. This year, police are budgeted for
456.6K. I used to try to keep police costs under
a third of revenue. While still in office as may-
or, I realized that it was a good goal but we just
couldn’t make it and get the services that citizens’
demand. This year police are tracking about 5%
under budget. Chief Jones has been a good stew-
ard of our money.
The town’s stated goal for ticket revenue is
ZERO! The town wants safety! We want to see
cops on patrol. We want drivers to drive at or
under the speed limit. We want everybody, in-
cluding cyclists, to stop at stop signs. Residents
have gotten the message. Most of our tickets go
to folks cutting through.
We don’t get to keep all the ticket money. A
lot goes to the state. Still, last year, the town kept
about 75K. Mayor and Town Council have kept
that money out of normal town affairs. We want
that zero in ticket revenue. When we get close to
that number, we must still afford to run the town.
My last topic is recycling. I probably lost one
vote because mandatory recycling in town seemed
to be a litmus test for one lovely lady. I don’t like
government to be in the ‘mandatory’ business if
possible. If recycling is the right thing to do, edu-
cation will get us there, not a government edict.
Actually, mandatory recycling is about charging
everyone for recycling. I doubt that the govern-
ment can make you recycle anything.
The trash companies love it. The price per
household would likely be less. But the town
hasn’t even had mandatory trash pick up. Almost
everyone has trash pickup, but some residents
would rather dispose of trash in their own way.
They can’t keep it or bury it. It has to go some-
It certainly isn’t the cost for recycling or trash
pickup that would keep someone doing his own
thing. Costs seem very reasonable. But this is
America and Texas where many of us believe in
small unobtrusive government.
Continued from Page 1
been posted for foreclosure in neighboring Bar-
tonville; however, that is not so surprising since
Bartonville has a much smaller inventory of
homes as well. Although just 9 homes in Bar-
tonville were posted for foreclosure during the
first-half of this year, this was a 125 percent gain
compared to the four notices filed during the first
six-months of last year. The average home post-
ed for foreclosure in Bartonville during the first-
half of this year had an assessed value of around
$740,000, was built in 1996 with a size of about
4,400 square feet, and the average delinquent
mortgage originated in 2004.
ARGYLE - Residential foreclosure postings
actually inched downward in Argyle over the last
year. 15 postings were filed during the first-half
of this year, compared to 16 for the same period
last year. So far this year, homes posted for fore-
closure in Argyle involved a delinquent mort-
gage that originated back in 2003. In addition,
the average Argyle home posted during the first-
half of this year had an assessed value of around
$533,000 and was constructed in 1996 with a size
of about 3,400 square feet.
So far this year, there have been 3 homes posted
for foreclosure in Copper Canyon, compared to
none by this time last year; and, in Double Oak,
3 postings have been filed on homes, which was
the same as during the first-half of last year.
To find out more about Foreclosure Listing
Service, Inc., visit them on the web at www.FL-
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Miller, Max. The Cross Timbers Gazette (Bartonville, Tex.), Vol. [34], No. [5], Ed. 1, May 2008, newspaper, May 2008; Bartonville, Texas. ( accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Flower Mound Public Library.

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