There is something fishy going on in Flower Mound.
It seems Flower Mound’s new, groundbreaking drilling ordinance may be in peril. I’m not clear on all the details but it seems one certain council person might be trying to block changing the town charter to require a super majority before changing the new drilling ordinance.
If I’m reading this correctly, that means it would only take displacing one member of the council with a drilling friendly member and Flower Mound would be fracked.
It really never ends. As long as there are hydrocarbons in the earth, and as long as we are addicted, the Big Gas Mafia is going to do whatever it takes to get to them.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Looks like the “buyiing – off” of public officials is underway and is alive and well—-resulting in a bunch of BBO’s.
John Huntsaker says
It appears Stephenson is using a delay tactic by demanding the Charter Review take more time even though it seems the majority of the committee is saying “we are almost finished”.
The reason could be if they delay the recommendations, they won”t make the May ballot. If Mayor Northern, Filidoro and Lyda don’t get re-elected, the new council gets to vote on which recommendations will go to a vote. You can bet the super majority requirement for an ordiance change or repeal won’t be one of them.
One thing the FMCAUD post forgot to mention, the 2 committee members that voted no, were Stephenson and Tom Hayden’s appointments to the committee. So I guess we know how they feel about the super majority issue.
There would be a special election in November. This would cost the town (taxpayers) money too.
Payolla greases the way.
John Huntsaker says
Payolla sometimes makes councils drill friendly. I hope Flower Mound is paying attention again. The last time they fell asleep, somewhere between the years 2005 and 2009, over 60 gas wells popped up. That is what happens with a drill friendly council.
Oilfield Research says
Hayden said he wants to encourage businesses to come to Flower Mound.
Hayden does want businesses to come to Flower Mound. Oily and gassy businesses. Something is rotten in Flower Mound and it goes beyond carbon disulfide.
A flash from the past , elections May 2010
With more people knowledgeable about Gas drilling you would think this is no longer an issue.
As long as you have greed and people who are self serving it will be an issue.
Tammi Vajda says
@David. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I think Sharon said it best
“It really never ends. As long as there are hydrocarbons in the earth, and as long as we are addicted, the Big Gas Mafia is going to do whatever it takes to get to them.”
You forgot the self-serving part.
How about starting the recall petitions now only tobe enacted upon for any city council member voting for drilling. This would be a deterrent. Deliver it the day after the vote for drilling, if it occurs.
Hang on, I don’t believe this is the case AT ALL. I’m totally anti-drilling, my family andI walked holding NFL signs during the election. I picketed against Hilliard so I’m completely on board with NO DRILLING in Flower Mound. My family’s health has been personally affected (I believe) by drilling.
With this being said, I know Kendra and Tom. In no way are they being paid to bring drilling back to Flower Mound. No way. To hear their side of how they voted, please contact them personally. It has more to do with thoughtful consideration than “payolla greases the way”. I think you are great, Sharon and I really support and respect you but I’m discouraged by the assumption that these two people are nefarious.
I really think the true story is that both Tom and Kendra see things differently from each other and the council. They don’t vote as a unit and not the way they are told to vote. I am so very thankful for NFL for coming in and saving our town. I’m thankful Kendra is in office, Wise and Hayden are great too. I implore you to consider each view point before you bash them. I am always open to hear everyone’s view point, when I believe Melissa is wrong, I have called her and she has explained what she believes. At the end of the conversation, I feel renewed that although I may not completely agree with her, I understand where she is coming from. The same as been true with Kendra, Tom and Lyda. There are reasons why people vote a certain way and it isn’t always because they are being paid off. In my heart I believe upcoming elections are causing folks to throw Kendra and Tom under the bus to bolster NFL.
Thank you for allowing me to post my opinion and for all that you do!
Tom? Did I say something about Tom? A good while back, I talked to Tom Haden some and he seemed like a straight up guy who was concerned about drilling. Has something changed with that?
My comments are meant in a very general way because I do not know all the inside and outside stuff about FloMo politics. (It is sometimes fun to watch and other times discouraging and even painful.) I do know that industry exerts a tremendous amount of pressure into the system in the form of “gifts.”
I have attended and watched on TV enough council meetings though, that I have to question some rather bizarre behavior. If I lived in FloMo, I would be highly motivated to move that charter process along quickly so changing the drilling ordinance would require a super majority. Sooner or later, you can bet–count on it–that industry will prop up a couple of council members who will do their bidding. You should stay vigilant, never let your guard down and question everything.
I think the post on the FM blog comes from a sense of urgency and a hyper awareness of the bizarre behavior that has taken place. I too feel that urgency. Don’t you?
Arlington Resident says
Please heed the warning! Look at what just happened in Arlington where a certain council person resigned because of drug use and some other questionable behavior. This person hung out in seedy places, conducted transactions with prostitutes, solicited thugs to beat up people and was caught with meth. He was also brazenly pro drilling.
Do you think that was an accident? Do you think the drillers where unaware of his habits? What if the gifts in this case came from the other direction? I won’t disclose this damaging information if you vote favorably for our projects.
Tammi Vajda says
Protecting the ordinance is the nearest and dearest thing to my heart. I personally have been in this fight for over 4 years.
I view NFL differently than a certain group of people. But some of the things that have gone on during the council meetings, at times where meeting protocol has been ignored, just is a red flag to me. It is my opinion that someone wants to create friction.
I guess people just have to watch it for themselves and make that decision. But I believe that Mayor Northern did go out of here way to accomodate Kendra’s request for a meeting.
Back to the issue of the Charter Review and Super Majority
If you look on the FMCAUD, you will see that this is not the first time our ordinance has been attacked. In fact, in 2006 another Oil and Gas Advisory board weakened the ordinance by decreasing the setbacks. Those very setbacks may have played the part in some pad sites getting approved too close to homes and schools that may not have under another ordinance. And certainly not under the new more protective one. It only required a simple majority. Do we want that again?
That is the only question that those of us that have fought so hard should be asking ourselves.
You are right, it was another poster who mentioned Tom’s name.
I think the Charter Review thing was only about the fact that they handed them the items and them wanted them to vote the same day. Being as how the two gentlemen who are Tom and Kendra’s appointees are lawyers, they wanted to take time to go over the implications of the vote. On the surface it looks like a good idea but could it actually come back later to be a negative. I think everyone just wanted to digest what they were being asked to vote on. I would much rather have council members and town charter appointees who were thoughtful in their decision rather than voted in a block b/c that’s what they were told to do. And to think these people want to pave the way to yucky big gas to come to Flower Mound is a real stretch. A little more info here: http://www.scntx.com/articles/2012/02/03/flower_mound_leader/news/863.txt
You are SO right abut the council meetings being bizarre! I’m stunned, truly stunned at the behavior of some council members. Someone told me yesterday it was like watching Bravo reality TV.
What I REALLY think is going on is team NFL is churning out negativity towards Kendra. (And Tom) It’s much easier to drag them down with accusations than actually hear their view point. I love FM Blog but it looks really one-sided. The elections are coming up and it’s time to get mud really slinging. I’ve heard ugly rumors already and I can’t believe they are coming from people that I know and respect. Tom just filed to run for mayor, it’s not a coincidence that the bashing started yesterday as well. We will hear a lot more unsubstantiated negative things about Tom as the days go by. I never hear negative comments about NFL, Kendra and Tom just don’t play by those rules. And it isn’t because NFL is perfect. I’ve heard a few doozies. The election is coming up and it’s time for NFL and supporters to go for the jugular, just like the did when Kendra ran. I was shocked at the actions of NFL/supporters when Kendra ran. Kendra was asked to run on a ticket and when she didn’t, they bashed the very person they liked 2 seconds ago. I would have supported NFL again in this election if last year’s wasn’t so dirty. I don’t understand why it has to be that way, these are ALL good people who are trying to help the town- and without pay!
Gas drilling is a hot, hot topic here, what a better way to get votes for NFL than to say Tom and Kendra and pro gas.
Sigh, it’s discouraging. And I’m sorry I went into a tangent about Tom (even though you really didn’t mention him), I got all bent out of shape and couldn’t stop typing! Take care and have a good night!
I have had absolutely ZERO contact with NFL and I can’t even remember what NFL stands for half the time. So, they have never bad mouthed anyone to my knowledge.
I have the HIGHEST regard for Melissa Northern. There are not many who would work as hard as she has to protect FM. I sat at home in my pajamas, propped up in bed sipping wine while Mayor Calvin Tillman and Mayor Melissa Northern addressed our legislators in Austin on behalf of all Barnett Shale citizens. AND they did this more than once! They both had to drive back home that night and be at work the next day.
I don’t get it. .
The most bizarre thing I have seen happen at a FloMo council meeting since Jody Smith was voted off was when Stephenson wanted to hold up the ordinance because she had some mystery person who was an expert who wanted to speak. She was upset and felt she was treated unfairly yet there was no record of her request to have this mystery person speak and she would not reveal the name of this mystery person. HUH?
Look, I wish you and all FM residents nothing but the best. And, from my view, that’s pretty much what you have now. I hope you don’t screw it up. That’s all.
Here is another thing that disturbs me: You mention that NFL have done a good job and you would support them again if not for the negativity. But, they have done a good job.
I do not know about their negativity but I remember the way Stephenson acted here in this forum when she said something that was dumb. Instead of just saying, “I misstated that, here is what I meant…” Holy cow!
Tammi Vajda says
Chris, you know that I respect you in every way. With that said…… I haven’t ever been shy about the fact that I don’t support Kendra. Or the fact that I support NFL. In fact, I am quite proud supporting NFL. But please stop implying that NFL is behind all of this.
I am capable of thinking for myself and forming my own opinions. Do not blame this on NFL. As far as never any negative comments about NFL, just visit the Flower Mound Cares facebook page or Cross Timbers Gazette during the last election in May when they weren’t even running. Yet they were trashed just as much as Kendra. But I don’t hear anyone talking about that.
You will always see it from your point of view and I will see it from mine. But please don’t start with the accusations about ONLY NFL being dirty in the last election. It worked both ways.
What was posted in FMCAUD was NOT for political reasons. It was because there is a valid concern. If the other committee members want to review the implications, they only need to go back to fall of 2007 when the ordinance was so easily weakened and voted on in 5 minutes.
Sharon, thank you for sharing your view point. I respect it.
Tammi, I puffy heart love you and think you are fantastic. I respect your view point, although I disagree. The world would a better place if we could just agree to disagree. At one time we were all on the same side and I like to think we still are, on the side of keeping flo mo safe. You have a nice night.
anonymous in gasland says
Thank you NFL! It is because of you that all the other towns were brave enough to pass moritoria until they improved their ordinances. Your leadership is appreciated from those who watch from the outside.
If Kendra is for protecting FloMo’s ordinance, why was she seen having lunch recently with Steve Dixon at Fish City Grill? Steve voted against the moratorium. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2414568/posts
She has also been seen hanging out with Jody Smith and her minions.
Is some of that military psyop operations in play in FloMo?
Mellany Lamb says
Getting back to the issue that FCAUD stated is that there may be an imminent threat to the 2011 Oil and Gas Ordinance. With a Super Majority vote, it will ensure that any type of amendments, or repeal of the new ordinance, would require only one more vote than the Simple Majority today. But that one vote may make all the difference in the world and I see as an insurance policy that whoever the sitting Council is will seriously weigh all the pro’s and con’s of any action and mostly ensure that they are carrying out the will of the people. The bottom line of the FMCAUD post is let the voters of Flower Mound decide if a Super Majority vote is necessary.
The only reason that I can think of why certain Councilmembers do not support a Super Majority vote in regard to the O&G Ordinance is because they and their supporters want what they refer to as the “Jody SUP” or a Zoning Model. Though I can respect their argument, I sided with have a strong ordinance that would not be so easy to overturn with a Council may not be on board with the wishes of the majority, as what we saw on January 21, 2010. Wasn’t that the meeting when then-mayor Jody Smith, and Councilmembers Steve Dixon, Jean Levenick, MIke Wallace–A SIMPLE MAJORITY–approved to allow a Zoning Model that now the then-angry Majority from 2010 has reversed their position and agree with today? I am confused why 600 people came to Town Hall that night to protest, but have now turned against the current Mayor and Councilmembers that they fought so hard to get elected? Shouldn’t they had been happy with the sitting Council’s vote in 2010, since that is what they would like to see today? Will the repeal of the current OIl and Gas Ordinance get the Zoning that they desire? Or do we risk having the 2007 Oil and Gas Ordinance with 300′ setbacks, etc.
It is no secret that I support NFL, but I will not turn against them just because we disagree on a certain issue or many. It is sad to me that the people that helped get them elected believed that NFL should cater to their every demand and even go so far as to break the law (Hilliard) for them. Leaders are not “yes” people, but people who serve the people in the community to the best of their ability.
Thank you for stating that so beautifully. You have hit a bulls’ eye.
FM WatchDog says
“Being as how the two gentlemen who are Tom and Kendra’s appointees are lawyers, they wanted to take time to go over the implications of the vote.”
Nothing could possible go wrong when lawyers are involved.
….”implications of the vote”…..I think you call that Democracy….
Proud supporter of NFL here.
Proud supporter of Tom Hayden here.
Proud supporter of Kendra Stephenson here.
As I said when Kendra was running against Jeff, I wish there was room for both, because I respected them both. Just felt Kendra would make the better councilperson.
Now I wish there was room for two Mayors, because I greatly respect the work that Melissa has done, but there’s nobody on TC that I respect more than Tom. He gets my support this time around. Wish there wasn’t discord between them, but from what I can see, it’s pretty one-sided (Melissa and FL trying to squeeze out Tom), but I’m sure there’s another side to that story too. Don’t really care that much…I trust Tom with the Town’s (and my) best interests implicitly. Don’t know too many people here that are more anti-urban drilling than me, and I don’t question ONE IOTA Tom’s (or even Kendra’s) commitment to protecting us from the drillers’ influence. Had they been in the majority during the Hilliard battle, I don’t believe we’d have a well there today.
Ohbytheway, Steve Dixon handles my company’s health insurance. Does that call in question my “loyalty?” As we like to say here, can’t we just agree to disagree sometimes? Steve and I were friends before the drilling controversy, we remained friends while disagreeing vehemently during the controversy and we remain friends after all the drama died down.
I only wish some of the people I thought were friends before the big battle wouldn’t have let our disagreement come between our friendship. Then again, if they were true friends, I’m sure it wouldn’t have. Their loss…
Ladd, there is a common misconception among many Flower Mound residents about that Hilliard well. It was already approved. There was nothing that anybody could have done about it.
If it was already approved, a vote would never have been necessary. If you mean a deal had already been made prior to the vote, well, I suppose that’s possible. My conspiracy theory on that one still centers on the Town Attorney’s self-interest, but I’m willing to believe I’m mistaken (though no one has convinced me of that yet, and I’ve moved on). I believe those who voted for approval were convinced and/or bullied by Welch to vote that way, against their better instincts. In any event, had the vote gone the other way, the well would not have proceeded (without a lawsuit, which I’m sure would have come). Who knows? Maybe FloMo would’ve won that one, too…
John Huntsaker says
Here we go again. Hilliard field was a done deal. I guess some of you are not familar with the Vested Interest issue. FM’s previous council knew that. They knew when that well went up, the new council would be blamed. They got some help from the lawsuit group whetheir case thrown out of court. But the old council and their supporters knew that was going to happen too. Had Ms Simonsen and the other gentleman (can’t remember his name) done a temporary injunction like the Southlake folks, instead of suing the town directly, the outcome may have been different. The town attorney’s job is to defend the town in any and all lawsuits. Ms. Siminsen’s lawsuit cost the town almost $40,000 (public record) to defend. Apparently her supporters feel she got a raw deal but so did the Flower Mound taxpayers that contributed to the almost $40,000 the town spent defending itself.
Taxpayers defending meritless lawsuits and now a troublemaking minority who want to delay the Charter Review recommendations going to the voters in May.
Where is “Flower Mound Voters for Conservative Spending” when you need them?
Always love the weasels who are so eager to toss out insults and criticisms behind their cloak of anonymity…
Not sure if I’m the one who’s supposedly defending a meritless lawsuit — I never mentioned Ginger’s lawsuit and wasn’t thinking about it when I posted my conspiracy theory (which I was man enough to share with Terry Welch face-to-face at the time, by the way) — but as for the charter review, I have VERY little interest in it whatsoever. I don’t claim to know the nuances of this issue, but I do know there are those who think it’s being rushed through and those who think it’s being delayed. Since, in my view, there appears to be very little concern that the gas drilling ordinance could be overturned or negatively modified by even a simple majority in the short term — even Bryan Webb said he wouldn’t be in favor of changing it if he wins — I’m not sure I understand why the review can’t take place over the next few months and voted on in Nov. After all, there’s much more than gas drilling to consider in our town, right?
BTW, before anyone suggests that I’m suddenly backing Bryan, save it. Not a chance. (Nice enough fella. Doesn’t belong on TC.)
Not sure how much appetite I have for a debate on this subject (which, again, doesn’t interest me much at all), but I will likely check in later to see if anyone who’s willing to stand by their comments has anything intelligent to add.
John Huntsaker says
@Ladd, what I meant about already approved and done deal is this. Titan made changes to their pad site after it was denied by your Zoning Gas Board. When changes are made to any site, the drilling company must file for a amended permit with the Texas Railroad Commision. It doesn’t matter if the town or municipality considers it a new permit unless the Texas Railroad Commission considers it a new permit. Some may think that is wrong but the industry loves the whole Vested Interest because it works in their favor most of the time like it did in the Flower Mound/Titan site. Your town attorney was most likely doing his job by recommending to the town council not to fight it because of the vested interest issue. In the Titan case, the Texas Railroad Commission consider it an “amended permit”. So it would never fall under the moratorium. When Titan made the changes the site did not need to go back to your Zoning Gas Board. Your town had to administratively approve it. My understanding is your council does not vote on administrative approvals. The staff makes that decision per your old ordinance which this site fell under.
Thank you. I wish people in FM would get that straight.
John, the issue wasn’t just about whether it was a new or amended permit, but whether the site still needed another variance or not. There was a major debate about the set-back variance to occupied homes as I recall (details are a little sketchy more than a year later), where the Town Attorney made the dubious argument that the “intent of the ordinance” conflicted with the literal letter of the ordinance. A strange case for a lawyer to make, if you ask me. Many of us felt that Titan needed to seek another variance, which it surely would not have received. Again, we’re beating a dead horse here, but there’s more to it than you and TXsharon are making it out to be. I take it you’re not a FloMo guy (nor is Sharon), so perhaps you aren’t as knowledgeable about our particular issues as you think.
Yeah, you’re right, Ladd. I know nothing about it.
@Ladd. I am pretty sure what I am about to say won’t change your point of view but I felt another prespective needs to be presented. You even said yourself that the details are sketchy. Your ordinance was written correctly in the real meat of the ordinance and different elsewhere. A typo online. It sounds to me like you and some others may be a bit sketchy about the interpretation of your ordinance. But, the court looked at the evidence and the ordinance. It felt it wasn’t worth a trial.
Flower Mound had defended itself, your zoning board and their ordinance before with the River Walk case. In that case there was enough evidence for Flower Mound to stand up to the gas company. The Hillard site. No. a temporary injunction, as mentioned above somewhere, would have most likely been successful.
The recent news about the agreement with Williams and Mockingbird. Again I would consider that a success. The town even got Williams to agree to pay them for their court costs.
I don’t know where this conspiracy theory comes from but if there was an conspiracy, why didn’t Mr. Welch just let Williams and Mockingbird stomp all over Flower Mound? It just doesn’t make sense that your lawyer would not defend the town against a gas company like he did with Riverwalk, Williams, and Mockingbird Pipeline if he had enough evidence to build a case. That is why he most likely recommended going forward with the administrative approval.
Terry Welch is a smart lawyer, he has been involved in many issues with gas and oil. He also was a big contributor to the Vermont Law Review. If you haven’t read it, you should.
Has the thought ever crossed your mind that he was trying to save the town from being sued for millions by Titan and the property owner in a case they would have most likely lost?
Do you believe the rest of the residents of Flower Mound should pay for a lawsuit the town attorney knows going in that they don’t have a chance in hell of winning?
As for Sharon, I know she has worked very closely with people all over the Barnett Shale and Flower Mound. She definitely knows more than you and I about almost everything and anything that has to do with drilling.
Mellany Lamb says
Amen Anonymous. Another point that you did mention was the fact that Titan and Mr. Hilliard’s attorney was in the Denton County courtroom that day that Ms. Simonson’s and Mr. Parmasweeran’s lawsuit against the Town of Flower Mound was heard. The two plaintiff’s should have been relieved that they were not sued by the third party (Titan and Hilliard) and not countersued by the Town for reimbursement of legal fees that the taxpayers of Flower Mound paid for Mr. Welch to defend the case.
Mellany Lamb says
Correction: Another point that you did NOT mention. . .
Ladd Biro says
Thanks, Terry, for chiming in anonymously.
You all win. I’ll shut up. Thanks for reminding me why it’s best to stay out of these discussions with differing opinions/interpretations. Too much animosity, even among “friends.”
Ladd, you are jumping to conclusions. What makes you think Terry chimed in? I can assure you that none of the comments on this thread were from Terry.
It was a joke. Relax!
Sorry, but I didn’t find it funny. This is my website. I try very hard to have accurate information here. When you are dealing with an industry that is highly secretive, that’s very difficult. When you are dealing with PSYOPS operations in communities, things often are not what they seem. High emotions, manipulation and hidden agendas cause things to get twisted around.
I think FM should be very careful but you have already made it known that I’m not informed so…grain of salt.
That’s it for me. Over and out. I may even close the comments if they get any goofier and that is something I have never done since I started this blog in 2006.
Thanks Sharon for stopping the madness. I for one am so sick of all of this. It appears that no one is allowed to have a different perspective about what has happened in Flower Mound with the Titan site. Unless you agree with the conspiracy theory, you are wrong.
I would like to see Flower Mound move forward and do what the original post is asking. Do everything possible to protect our new oil and gas ordinance from being weakend again. That is what is the most important issue right now.
FM WatchDog says
Remember the good ‘ol days, when it was locals vs. outsiders? Now, the outsiders laugh as they watch locals vs. locals.