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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Denton City Council District 2 (Special Election)

Unexpired Termhttps://library.municode.com/tx/denton/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTICH_ARTIITHCO_S2.01NUSETEhttps://www.cityofdenton.com/en-us/residents/make-a-difference/votehttps://www.cityofdenton.com/CoD/media/City-of-Denton/Residents/Make%20a%20Difference/CityCouncilVoterDistrictsNov2019.pdf

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  • Ronnie Anderson

  • Connie Baker

  • Daniel Clanton

  • Kady Irene Finley

  • Clayton "Starfire" Freeman

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    Jon Hohman

Biographical Information

What are your qualifications for this office?

What strategies will you use to ensure open communication between City Hall and residents?

What are your top environmental and land development concerns and how do you plan to address them?

What is your vision for transportation infrastructure in your community and how will you advance it?

What is your vision for the future of your municipality and how would you achieve it?

COVID-19: What actions can the city take to address the health and economic impact caused by COVID-19?

Open Government: How will you ensure government transparency (open records, open meetings) is maintained during a state of emergency?

Budget: How will you address any budget deficit caused by COVID-19?

Two Minute Video Option: Comment on the recent civil rights demonstrations. (Video cannot be more than two minutes. If the video is not hosted on YouTube include the full URL to the video in the Text Response box. Do not include any other comments in the Text Response box.)

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I have lived in the city of Denton for over 20 years. In my IT career of over 26 years I have worked and lead people from many parts of the world. I have had to negotiate to get to a final solution. I have had to make the decision to move forward when people’s lives could be as stake.
I will be available thru email, phone, community meetings, social media. Many of these other candidates already have but I want to include virtual meetings.
o Maintain Green Spaces – As Denton grows the amount of “Green Spaces” within the city limits will reduced. Any new land development will need to continue to have space set aside for “Green Spaces” o Trees – Again as Denton continues to grow the number of trees will also be reduced. Right now the amount the developer needs to keep is 30 – 50 percent. I think this needs to be reviewed and somehow keep and maintain the adult, mature trees.
o There is a need to have sidewalks throughout Denton. When I looked at the mobility report there were a large number of people that responded that they would walk more if they had sidewalks. I know there are multiple plans, but we need to be making progress. Other things that would be helped by sidewalks.  Safety when walking (kids need a way to get to a friend’s house and school)  An alternative for cyclist  Reduce the carbon footprint by walking to events that are close to our homes.
To help the citizen to have the best city with good roads, clean parks, sidewalks to get to anywhere in Denton. I plan to push for all road work to be completed quickly. Sidewalks are in the plans but need to be pushed forward.

I also will help the local businesses by working to reduce regulations for business to thrive.
. I would like the city to help with bars to become restaurants and open meeting the CDC recommendations
I will insist that meetings stay open. Transparency and accountability
With the budget deficit there will be some cuts and projects will need to be reviewed. These cuts should never take away the safety of the community or reduce the quality of life in Denton.
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I have a record in the City of Denton’s Friday Staff Reports of civic engagement for preserving our environment and keeping toxins away from Denton’s most precious treasure- our children. I’ve placed myself on the ballot as an extension of that activism- so I’m not far from what qualifies a candidate for me too: candid, working class with that spark of activism that got them there instead of a questionable desire to leverage a position for personal gain. I’m not someone who pretends to have all the answers but I am always willing to listen and learn and speak up when I do have the answers- as I have in many public comments at City Hall. I preserve my optimism and am pushed by a sense for justice and the engrained work ethic that will allow me to deliver for Denton.
“Nothing about us without us.” More people, from more diverse backgrounds, make better decisions- together. For example: I’d like public comment to be allowed during work sessions when our input is most influential and valuable to council, city staff, and residents alike. Public comment must be made publicly to be effective; where all those concerned know the issue is on the table and can’t avoid it. Public comment as an email or white card that isn’t read aloud at council and isn’t published in the minutes of the meeting for months, as it stands today, rather than being effective, only contributes to the Spiral Of Silence. People can influence the decisions being made that effect them best while the issues are actively being deliberated at the work session rather than right before the vote is to be taken at the evening session and council should have settled on their evaluations and staff have already gone home. The rest of the time my phone number’s posted and I always take the call.
We are the number 2 boom town in the nation and contrary to popular economic theory it is impossible to support infinite growth with finite resources. Your vote can help Denton develop sustainably in a way where the developers still win, but the environment wins, and we and our children win too. Denton can only thrive when we increase mobility, maximize value per acre, and develop responsibly. If instead of channeling stormwater away, we keep rainwater in the city, then we manage stormwater on site which helps restore the broken hydrological cycle- then, when that water evaporates from the increased vegetation, it cools the city while scrubbing our f-rated air. So if we become more of a “Sponge City” then we we can save money, make money, and turn heads by becoming the coolest city in Texas- literally ;)
Accessible low carbon mobility. “A city can be friendly to people or it can be friendly to cars, but it can’t be both” - Enrique Peñalosa. An EPA study found that the more miles your region puts on their cars the weaker that region’s economy performs. Together, we can continue making Denton easier and safer to navigate outside of a car and the more we get around under our own steam the cleaner our air gets, the healthier our family becomes, the more our economy grows and the closer- and happier- our community gets! Unchecked sprawl only gets more expensive for everyone involved while oil prices aren’t going down so Denton’s “walkability” must go up to keep up.
Denton rocks! Now how to keep the guitars plugged in? Too many studies reflect it and the verdict is proven over and over again: local resilience through a pedestrian friendly local economy- steals the limelight from sprawl. New Urbanism city design provides a higher quality of life that attracts new residents and jobs and keeps college grads local and thriving. The same things that make a city more sustainable make it more livable and economically enviable. I’d like to see Denton keep a packed house- standing room only.
“There is no need to separate the processes of healing ourselves, the environment, and our communities.”Didi Pershouse. Marginalized people get hit worse too. When Harvard researchers note that the “majority of the pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of death from Covid-19 are the same diseases that are affected by long-term exposure to air pollution” then cleaning our local air takes on a new urgency. When Vitamin D has proven successful at keeping covid patients out of the ICU then this adds to the fact that we separate ourselves further from the natural environment at our great peril. Looking at Denton holistically by taking notice of health equity, available nutrition (think food deserts), housing conditions (think ozone and heat island effect) -along with many other environmental and social determinants of health- and incorporating them into localization models like the “regenerative economy” and “economics of happiness” will make Denton more resilient, less dependent.
I think the city does a good job of being transparent and I support it. More than transparent though, the city needs to be more accountable and I’d be excited to work to open more avenues of dialogue and trust between the community and City Hall- for mutual benefit.
If we’re going to weather the times we’ve got to make Denton self sufficient like we want our children to be. We’ve seen how fragile global supply chains can be so I’d encourage directing funds toward building local systems that build community wealth. We’ll thrive by working for, and investing in, Denton. Simple yet radical and equitable concepts like Value Per Acre, Worker Cooperatives, Public Banking, and Land Trusts, can be invaluable. Cooperatives lay off half as many people as other businesses in a recession, have larger and more stable retirement accounts, and those people are just happier and more productive because they have a stake and a voice. Value Per Acre asks why are the streets around one of our most productive areas, the downtown square, so bumpy and the brand new developments roads so smooth? I’m figuring we should maximize the value of our most valuable assets instead of letting them flounder because cities can’t afford to prioritize growth too far over stability.
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