Dentoning’s very first post reserved the right to discuss Denton politics. While this blog is written primarily to discuss the daily delights of our humble (?) burg, occasionally an issue arises that has the potential to affect our beloved Dentoning.
Truth in political campaigning SHOULD be paramount in the time leading up to an election. I mean, if you can’t trust a candidate in what they tell you to get your vote, how can you trust them if they should get into office?
Misinformation, twisted facts and disingenuousness have no place in Denton politics.
Unfortunately, an extremely misleading issue was injected into the current mayoral election by candidate Chris Watts in his opening statement at the first major forum…….the Denia Forum.
During his opening remarks, Chris started a negative campaign to become our mayor by wagging his finger at his opponent, Jean Schaake, claiming erroneously that she was solely responsible for the Denton Area Teacher’s Credit Union’s (DATCU) decision to abandon Denton and move to Corinth.
(He and DATCU continue to make this claim)
This claim stems from Dr. Schaake’s current LEADERSHIP role as chair of Denton’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) commission. Chris Watts, and Watts supporter, DATCU, submit that Schaake’s vote (as part of P&Z) RECOMMENDING to the FINAL decision-making body, City Council, that DATCU be denied their request for a zoning change, allowing it to move its headquarters to a primarily residential area on Teasley…….caused the credit union to abandon it’s plan to remain in Denton.
Seems like a lot of power for one person to scare a large Denton business to change major plans.
But the truth is in the details and the emails……
First…….P&Z answers only to the Denton City Council……It is solely an ADVISORY body in matters of zoning.
To claim that Dr. Schaake’s vote (ONE of _______) made the difference is both disingenuous and extremely misleading…………….especially when you look at the subsequent events…..
After the advisory vote by P&Z…….and BEFORE the City Council could make a FINAL decision on the issue………DATCU PULLED it’s request for a variance on the Teasley property.
Again, LOTS of power for ONE P&Z member!?!??
What Mr. Watts and DATCU continuously fail to mention is that there was an immediate effort by the City of Denton to persuade the credit union to remain in Denton…………AT THE TEASLEY LOCATION!
In an email dated 9/27/13, and obtained through an Open Records request, Dale Kimble, President/CEO states to Asst. City Manager, John Cabrales…………..that after his request to pull DATCU’s request:
“I then had calls, visits from James King, Dalton Gregory, Pete Kamp, Mark Burroughs, Kevin Roden and George Cambell (sic) all encouraging us to reconsider our decision re: Teasley. I understood George to say those incentives could be considered and he asked if we wanted to stay on the (City Council’s) agenda, I expressed to him we would have to know about incentives before I would say we’d proceed. Without incentives the conversation about property in Corinth is much more attractive to us and less costly for our members.“
Subsequently, in an email from Denton City Manager, George Campbell dated 9/30/13, obtained through an Open Records request, Mr. Campbell stated:
“Although DATCU had not, prior to identifying the Teasley site as a potential location for the relocation/expansion of your corporate office, requested any type of economic incentives, I did express the opinion that such an expansion at any Denton site would qualify for incentive consideration by the City.”
In the same email, The Denton City Manager went on to state:
“………and if you elect to build your new administrative offices in Denton, you WILL (emphasis added) be eligible for an economic development incentive. I am prepared to recommend, and advocate for, an incentive in the range of a $500,000-$600,000 over a 7-10 year period to the Economic Development Partnership and to City Council. I am, of course open to DATCU’s needs and concerns in this regard.
While the City Council will make final decisions regarding the zoning case, if it moves forward, and any economics development incentives, please know I pledge my support to both. I firmly believe both DATCU and the City of Denton will benefit by DATCU’s remaining here, and I will do EVERYTHING (emphasis added) I can to insure this happens.
I genuinely hope you will carefully consider the zoning matter and incentive package and your long-standing relationship with the Denton community in your location decision. If there is anything else we can do to encourage you to retain your administrative offices in Denton, please let me know.
George C. Campbell
The next day in an email to John Cabrales, Dale Kimble, President/CEO stated simply:
“John I received a letter from George Cambell (sic) re: incentives. Please advise all appropriate people we do not wish to be on the city council agenda, nor are we asking for a delay. Thanks for your help.”
Furthermore, in an email dated 9/27/13 to John Cabrales, Kimble bluntly states RE: the move to Corinth …….
“…..but as we were forced to consider other options we found out that actually about 60% of our business is outside Denton city limits……….. Economically it’s just a much better financial decision.”
So, back to misinformation, twisted “facts” and disingenuousness………
Chris Watts and DATCU blame P&Z (and Jean Schaake specifically) for DATCU’s decision to abandon Denton as the location for their administrative headquarters………..yet MOST of the Denton City Council and the Denton City Manager contacted DATCU asking them to reconsider their decision to withdraw from the TEASLEY SITE.
Not somewhere else in Denton, but the TEASLEY SITE. When did DATCU begin negotiating with Corinth?
So how does P&Z fit into this scenario? Council does occasionally disregard the recommendations of its advisory bodies. They recently over-ruled a recommendation by the Historic Landmark Commission, a board on which I serve. It seems according to the emails above that the Council was about do just that.
According to Dale Kimble himself, the majority of the City basically pleaded with him to keep DATCU in Denton. Additionally, half a MILLION dollars plus was offered as incentive for the credit union to stay in Denton at the TEASLEY LOCATION.
Yet………..DATCU (which supports Watts’ campaign) and Chris Watts would have you believe that one woman……..(who happens to be Mr. Watts’ political opponent)………… on one zoning-ADVISORY board, caused a major Denton business and major Denton employee to leave Denton.
Lots of power for one individual.
By the looks of it, it seems that DATCU was in need of a scapegoat in order not to appear the bad guys in abandoning Denton.
Doesn’t DATCU have the right to move anywhere they want?
Absolutely! Just be honest about the reason……
This is NOT Dentoning…….