QUESTIONNAIRE AND VOTING GUIDE QUESTIONS
WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
My belief is I can bring a much needed new perspective to the board. For more than 5 years, I have attended board meetings to better understand the District’s responsibilities, successes, and shortfalls. I have personally seen every square inch of the District’s operating areas so I have a very good understanding of the scope of work involved. My family has been in Fort Worth for more than 100 years and I plan on our family being here for the next 100 years making the missions of the District very personal to me. I have owned and managed a small business since 2012 and take the responsibility of providing jobs in our community very seriously. My experience and skillset will allow me to draw from my experiences as a business owner, property owner, and real estate broker to tackle any problems that arise
WHAT LESSONS SHOULD TRWD TAKE FROM THE FEBRUARY 20201 WINTER STORMS? WHAT INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS SHOULD BE PRIORITIZED, AND WHAT POLICIES SHOULD BE IN PLACE TO PROTECT WATER CONSUMERS DURING WEATHER EMERGENCIES?
I believe that these storms highlighted the need for redundancy in all of our cities critical infrastructure. One of my priorities would be to complete the Integrated Pipeline Project as soon as possible to provide a redundant water pipeline in the event the existing line fails for some reason. I would also like to see electrical redundancy in these pipelines to ensure there is no single failure point. Water is a primary utility and I believe that all primary utilities should be prioritized in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
STATE PROJECTIONS SUGGEST THE POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SHORTFALLS IN THE NORTH TEXAS WATER SUPPLY OVER THE NEXT 50 YEARS. WHAT STRATEGIES SHOULD TRWD PURSUE TO ENSURE SUFFICIENT WATER CONTINUES TO BE AVAILABLE AND PREPARE FOR CHANGING WEATHER CONDITIONS IN THE COMING DECADES?
Without an adequate and affordable water supply the city and region will be unable to continue our growth like we have experienced in recent years. In my experience, no single solution will be effective in meeting our region’s future needs for water therefore, I will advocate for a water supply strategy which incorporates continued reservoir development and conservation while at the same time also investigates new technologies like aquifer storage and additional wetlands reuse projects. Conservation must be a part of any water supply plan and cannot be depended upon solely to meet the needs of our growing city’s water needs
WHAT STRATEGIES SHOULD TRWD PURSUE TO PREVENT FLOODING IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE DISTRICT (EXCLUDING THE TRINITY RIVER VISION/PANTHER ISLAND FLOOD CONTROL MEASURES)?
Flood control is one of the 4 core missions of the TRWD and is of the utmost importance to those that live and work along the Trinity River and its tributaries. The District needs to continue studying how the effects of urbanization and development are affecting water runoff and increasing the risks of flash flooding. I think an effective tactic would be to reach out to individuals in different areas of the District to gather first hand reports to then cross reference with water gauge data to determine areas that might need additional resources
THE TRINITY RIVER VISION/PANTHER ISLAND PROJECT HAS NOT RECEIVED FUNDING FROM THE US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS FOR SEVERAL YEARS (EXCEPTING THE REJECTED FEASIBILITY STUDY FUNDS). IF ADDITIONAL FEDERAL FUNDING IS NOT SECURED, HOW SHOULD TRWD PROCEED?
There has been much debate whether the various designs could be built in a less expensive manner, whether the TRVA is a flood control or real estate project, or whether it was even needed in the first place. Frankly, the time to have those discussions has come and gone. By the end of this year, we will have 3 bridges over nothing but dry dirt, acres of land sitting dormant on a government entities balance sheet (off the tax rolls, I might add) and several miles of riverfront that the private sector has been scared away from because of unknowns in timing and regulation.
I think the Tarrant Regional Water District and local partners need to remain prepared to receive funds, while at the same time analyzing the current project for efficiencies which could potentially reduce the scope of work or evaluate the option to shift certain infrastructure costs to private developers.
IN 2019, AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE TRINITY RIVER VISION/PANTHER ISLAND PROJECT RECOMMENDED CHANGES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND OVERSIGHT. HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN TO CONSTITUENTS THE CHANGES MADE, AND HOW DO YOU ASSESS THEIR EFFECTIVENESS?
To answer this question I had to go back into my notes from the 8-12-19 TRVA/TRWD joint meeting, which I attended. The programmatic review ordered and completed in 2019 made multiple recommendations for the project including; placing the recreation planning back under the TRWD’s purview, putting together a plan B for federal funding, putting more of an emphasis on the project's Flood Control benefits, and separating the Economic Development Activities from project; just to name a few. Of the roughly 1 dozen recommendations some have been acted upon, but many remain partially completed. There is still work to be done regarding the management structure of the project and putting together a viable “plan B” for funding the overall project.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MOST IMMEDIATE PRESSING ISSUES FACING THE GOVERNMENT BODY TO WHICH YOU ARE SEEKING ELECTION (TRWD BOARD)?
The district has 4 core missions Flood Control, Water Supply, Conservation, and Recreation. The major issues facing each of these core missions are: funding for the TRVA, Completion of the Integrated Pipeline Project, Investing in new technology along with public awareness, and expanding access to the Trinity Trails and other TRWD properties.
HOW MIGHT THOSE ISSUES CHANGE IN TWO YEARS?
There are many challenges ahead for both the local and federal funding pieces of the TRVA. Our elected leaders in Washington are working hard to bring home the federal portion, while the challenges here involve the extension of TIF #9 to cover the Bonds issued for the local portion. It is yet to be determined how the TIF revenue will be made up from the city’s purchase of the Pier 1 building.
The $2.3B IPL project makes steady progress and is scheduled to be operation within the next two years. Completing this project is critical to the future water needs of Fort Worth and the other TRWD supplied cities. New technology like aquifer storage along with wetlands programs take time but yield great results.
Recreational opportunities provided by the Trinity Trails network are some of the best this city (or any major city) has to offer. They are sometimes overlooked but are growing in popularity. There is still so much work to do in order to expand access in areas of East Fort Worth like Gateway Park, completing the trail connection with our neighbor to the east (Dallas), and keeping these trails safe by coordinating patrols with different police and emergency departments.
WHAT ARE YOUT TOP PRIORITIES TO ACCOMPLISH AND WHY?
1. Continue to Increase transparency: I have been attending TRWD board meetings for over 5 years and would like to see increased public awareness and input into all of the districts activities.
2. Determine funding plans for bond repayment should the TIF not be extended or not extended soon.
3. Maintaining a high level of water quality and stormwater management to increase river recreational opportunities and protect areas from flooding across the TRWD service area.
PEOPLE ARE OFTEN CRITICAL OF CITY AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS FAILURES AND SUCCESSES OF THE ELECTED BODY YOU ARE SEEKING TO JOING (TRWD BOARD)?
The lack of a clear plan to obtain federal funding and secure local funding are great examples where improvement is needed. The district does an A++ job in providing and managing raw water for one of the fastest growing areas in the fastest growing state.