Communication is Key to Local Government Dilemma

Posted by April Reiling on Oct 04, 2013
Tags: Community, Government, Town News, Government Consolidation

TC MUD 1 recently held an Open House (view the video) and several topics were presented. As with most things in life, there are two sides to every story and TC MUD 1 clearly desires to move forward with business as usual – with no changes or consideration toward that end. Even though the Town of Trophy Club and the Town of Westlake agree that TC MUD 1 should dissolve, the TC MUD 1 Board stands behind the organizations viability.

At this point, the Blue Ribbon Committee is on track and working diligently to examine the issue(s) from all sides, objectively and with the best interest of Trophy Club’s future at heart. While the Blue Ribbon Panel works to investigate the issues, there is still merit to the two local governments in Trophy Club, the Town and TC MUD 1, publicly meeting and hashing through some of the main road blocks currently hampering progress in Trophy Club.

The Town Council seeks a resolution with TC MUD 1 through professional dialogue, negotiations and strategic planning that benefits all Trophy Club residents now and in the future. Nothing can be resolved until the Town Council and TC MUD 1 Board of Directors meet and work through the issues affecting both entities. To date, TC MUD 1 has refused to participate in a public joint meeting with the Town Council. The lack of cooperation and subsequent attacks on behalf of TC MUD 1 suggests deeper issues between the two government entities.

In 2008 the Town and MUD hired a consultant, Lewis McLain with CityBase.net, to analyze a government consolidation.  Mr. McLain titled his report, “Reliance on Arithmetic to Resolve a Fractured Governance Issue”, which provides insight into many issues that still exist today due to the dual government systems.  Trophy Club had major governance issue back then, and those same issues, plus many more, are currently at the forefront of allowing Trophy Club to move forward as a unified, structured and efficient organization. 

Under a unified government, the same water, wastewater and fire protection services would be delivered at the high level of service Trophy Club residents receive today. The same employees who work to assist residents with water issues and who ensure the wastewater plant operations run smoothly would continue to provide the same level of exceptional service to Trophy Club residents. The current water and wastewater portion of TC MUD 1 would become a Town Department, just like Community Development or Parks and Recreation. The Fire Department would continue operating in the same manner, except the department would be whole and not subject to dual political reporting (currently, the Town operates EMS and TC MUD 1 operates fire). The Fire Department would benefit greatly from a consolidated government.

The Town’s invitation to enter into a dialogue with the TC MUD 1 Board regarding the future of Trophy Club governance is open-ended. Several critical decisions are looming for both organizations. An open, honest discussion is necessary to ensure that Trophy Club residents receive the best, most efficient form of government for the future.