Thursday, April 14, 2011

Carrollton Candidates and their plans for the City

Today is the last day to register your name for voting in the upcoming city elections. Please visit the Carrollton Diary for details.

I am pleased to share our candidates appeal.  To be fair to every candidate, every one was asked on the same “to all email” and was reminded three times.

The City of Carrollton has listed the names in the following order and the same order is followed here with no preference to one or the other.

Please register to vote today and do not forget to vote, it is our City.  If only you know the blunders made by City of Garland, City of Dallas in losing revenues to other Cities, you would want to participate, please do; it is your City, my city and our City.
Matthew Marchant 
Ron Branson  

Place 2: 

Place 4:                                                                
Terry Wright                                                  
Bob Garza 
Cathy Henesey 

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Highly regarded for his principled, energetic and common sense leadership, Matthew Marchant is currently serving as the Mayor Pro Tem of Carrollton.  Matthew's service has earned the support of all of the existing City Council members as well as every other Carrollton official that has served with Matthew and his opponent since 2002.   These folks have closely observed the leadership skills of the two candidates over the past 9 years and have unanimously come to the conclusion that Matthew is the best choice for the future of Carrollton.

Matthew’s vision for Carrollton is a first-rate city with safe, vibrant neighborhoods, quality development and a great community spirit.  He believes our City needs to be proactive and move forward with a series of initiatives to keep us on the right track.  Some of the goals and initiatives Matthew will pursue as Mayor are: Crack Down on Crime-Ridden Apartments, Make Carrollton the Safest Large City in North Texas, Attract High-Quality Restaurants and Retail Development, Promote Government Efficiency and Keep Taxes Low, Enhance Community Spirit and Activities and Open, Transparent Government.

Matthew is a graduate of Southern Nazarene University (Bachelor of Science) and the University Of Texas School Of Law in Austin, Texas (Juris Doctorate).  He is also a graduate of Leadership Metrocrest, Class XXI. Matthew is a partner at Strasburger & Price, LLP, concentrating his practice on real estate and finance law.  He is married to his wife of 10 years, Lindsay, and is the proud father of two daughters, ages 5 and 7.

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My name is Ron Branson and I am honored to have served as Mayor of the City of Carrollton for the past three years.

I ran for mayor in 2008 not because I had a burning desire, but because many Citizens urged me to do so because of a need for new leadership and new direction. It was the voters, the Citizens, who reaffirmed that a change was needed and I have provided that change. What I have found out is that I am really proud of my performance as Mayor. Even those supporting my opponent say that I am a good person, and have been a good Mayor.

My record speaks for itself. Crime statistics last year dropped, with the most serious Part I crimes decreasing 15%, and economic development added 6.8 million square feet of new businesses for the best year in the past seven years.

I have been very active in the communities for many years, even before becoming Mayor. My support of events such as BAPS walks is unequaled by any Carrollton elected official, and has been consistent and not just campaign-time oriented.

I have served with honor, integrity, honesty and with respect. I am your Mayor 24/7, with no outside influence other than my family. Carrollton and the Citizens of Carrollton come first before anything else.

I am not a professional politician, but rather a professional volunteer. I attend and participate in your neighborhood and organizational events by invitation and without a lot of urging.

I hope that you will consider me when you go to the polls. Let me finish the great record I have started. I have been there for you, and ask that you stand with me now.

Carrollton Mayor Ron Branson
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Anthony was born and raised in Dallas along with his 3 brothers.  All 4 attained the rank of Eagle Scout.

Anthony graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in Mathematics with a concentration in Actuarial Sciences.

Anthony is married to Sarah and together they have four children.  The Wilder’s attend Sojourn Church in Carrollton, where they have been members since 2004.

Anthony has attended 45 of the last 54 council work sessions and meetings.  He is engaged in the affairs of the city council and staff.  He most recently served as Vice-Chair of the Property Standards Board.

Anthony is now seeking your support to bring transparency, efficiency and accountability to city government.

He witnessed work sessions prior to the addition of cameras and after their installation.  He would like that same transparency in other areas of government, such as the city’s check register.

He has witnessed the lack of accountability displayed by our elected officials in the last couple of years.  His desire is to engage the citizens in all affairs of the city.  He will do that, especially after the election when it is needed the most.

The managed competition program has achieved great efficiencies and the need for regional shared services is obvious.  Both will require tough choices in the near future.  Anthony is committed to both and will keep the council on course to determine the most efficient and effective ways to provide necessary city services, whether they are through co-sourcing, insourcing or shared services.

For more info, visit the campaign website:
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In 2009, the A.W. Perry Museum Society decided to commission a quilter to make a quilt to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the rebuilt A.W. Perry home. I was named the lead on the project that was meant to be a fundraising event for the Society.

We decided to sell squares and strips that people would purchase and sign. The signed squares and strips would then be incorporated into the design of the quilt. I realized that Carrollton today looked very different than Carrollton in 1909. One of the most obvious differences was in the demographics of our city.

Today Carrollton is a very diverse city, ethnically, religiously and socially. I decided to seek out people who would represent these many kinds of diversity. So we reached out to everyone. No one was excluded. People who participated in the project ranged from the age of eight to ninety-one. Many different races of people were included in the quilt. Some people signed because of their occupations, such as firefighters and boy scouts. Others signed because of their countries of origin, such as Lebanon, Pakistan, India, Mexico, China, Viet Nam, and Egypt. There were patches for various churches, including the Baptists, Hindu, Orthodox Armenians, Jewish, and Muslim communities.  Descendants of the original settlers of Carrollton also signed the quilt.

The signed squares and strips were sent to the quilter with no instructions on where to place them. She did not know the participants and so they were randomly placed throughout the design.

And so the finished quilt became of tapestry of the diversity that is our city. It represents an ideal to which we can all aspire, with all the differences stitched into one beautiful whole.

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I love Carrollton. Over last 20 years the city has become very vibrant, safe and diverse. I want to maintain and improve this lifestyle for all the city residents. Over next few years the city will face significant shortfall in revenues and how we balance the budget will reflect how this lifestyle is affected or compromised

My 30 years of experience in managing costs and operational efficiency will allow us to look at the cost structure and provide significant revenue without increasing taxes or cutting safety services. My platform details are as below;

Over next three to four years our City will face huge financial challenges as the projected recurring sources of funds will decline significantly. The projected growth during that period will between 0.5% – 2%. As a result, the General funds comprising of Property tax, Sales tax, and Franchise fees will not recover to pre-recession levels until 2018.
In view of this assessment, initial reaction would be to increase the taxes and reduce the services. My platform is based on following areas:
Increase Revenue by Managing Costs, not by Tax Increase
·  Change the work culture to look at the problems with a new set of lenses and a laser focus into cost savings. No areas should be exempt.
·  More competitive partnership with our vendors to support us in our goals.
·  Develop a long term relationship with new entrepreneurs.
·  Develop a reward system for employees who bring new cost saving ideas.
·  Provide Tax incentives to New Businesses
·  Develop business models to achieve a win-win for city/investors/business owners.
·  Upgrade I-35 corridor in an innovative way.
·   Revitalize run down properties through investor/city partnership. H-mart was great success but we lost Vista Ridge Mall, Sam’s and Castle Hills.
·   Attract new business to the area, e.g. large theatres, Premium Restaurants, and international sports facilities.
·  Improve Management and Operation Efficiency
·  Huge potential to generate savings by 3 to 5% improvement in efficiency.
·  Provide Quality Lifestyle to Carrollton Residents
·  More Parks, Entertainment Centers, Sports Facilities, Road Development.
·  Adequate Firefighting capability, Ambulance services.
·  High standards of law enforcement.
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Hello my name is Terry Wright  and I am Running for Carrollton City Council Place 4.
I have lived in Carrollton Texas over 17 years. I have been married 24 years to my wife Pam and we have 3 Children.  One that is a senior at R.L. Turner High School, One that is a freshman at Creekview High School and a 5th grader at The St. Anthony’ School.

Owner of Architectural Firm: Wright Group Architects, Planners, PLLC. 110 S. Elm St, Carrollton, Texas 75007, 972.242.1015

Served as Planning & Zoning Commissioner from 2003 to 2009 for the City of Carrollton Where we set up standards for development for the TOD areas.  These are the areas around the train stations.

My Family and I am member of First Baptist Church Carrollton, Texas where I serve as deacon, Assist in teaching with 5th graders and served on the building committee.

I am currently serving on the Advisory Board for METSA (Math, Engineering, Technology and Science Academy) @ R.L. Turner High School, CFBISD.  Also have set in several classes where we brought different professional in for a week to explain how we all work together in the different fields and have set on a board where the student present a project to a group of professionals.
My Architectural background, along with my contacts and clients and my working relationship with the Planning and building department has allowed me to bring in business and redeveloped existing building and site with in our city.

Also partners in PDC Services a commercial construction company where we offer design build solutions.

Also partners in T N T Construction which is a residential based construction company where we offer design build solutions.

A partner in Tri-Star Alliance which is a land investment company
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My name is Bob Garza and I am running for Carrollton City Council Place 4.  My wife Emily and I have lived in Carrollton for 22 years.  We have 2 grown children and 4 grandchildren.   I recently retired with 35 years of business experience with tenures in Finance, Auditing, IT, International and Governmental Relations.
I was appointed by City Council to the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Committee and have served for about 3 years.  This past year I was also appointed to the city Charter Review Committee.  I am Chairman of the Senior Adult Services board and also serve on the Dallas Telco Federal Credit Union Board.
I have been involved in the community for over 10 years having served on numerous boards of chambers and non-profit organizations. These include Bea's Kids, Metrocrest and Farmers Branch chambers, Trinity Medical Center hospital board and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Brookhaven Country Club.
My top 5 goals are:
 Quality Transit Oriented Development (TOD);
Fair and Equal representation for all Carrollton residents;
Promote continued efficiencies in delivery of all city services;
Promote Carrollton as a good place to work, live, and raise a family, and
Insist on a balanced budget with no tax increases.
I have a deep passion to serve the people of Carrollton and feel I have the experience, the will and the heart to do what is right for the city.  I have worked hard to prepare for this task and want to be a positive contributor to our growth and continued well being. 
I would truly appreciate your vote.   Thank you.
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Hello, my name is Cathy Henesey and I would like to represent you in all aspects of Carrollton. I am not a career politician; I am a working citizen who cares about the same things as you do such as house values, taxes, places to eat and shop, parks and recreation, and good neighbor stewardship.

I graduated from Newman Smith High School in 1982 and I attended Texas Tech University, graduating with my MBA in Human Resources. I have had a successful career in recruiting for over 20 years and currently serve as a recruiting manager for Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. I am very involved in Carrollton, but this short bio won’t explain it all, so I would like to direct you to my website at to learn more.

My life career is about inclusion as a human resource professional. I constantly strive for diversity in my career and bring this belief to everything that I do. I know that inclusion brings new ideas to old problems. I volunteer my expertise regularly to those searching for new careers. I serve on the Dallas Mayor’s Committee to assist those with disabilities find new careers. I would like to have a multicultural board that would include leaders from different communities that represent our city demographics; this board would present issues that are facing each community to the city manager and council.

My number is 214-725-0710 and my personal email is I believe in open communication and I welcome personal questions.

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I am running as a candidate for City Council, Place 4 because I care about maintaining and improving the quality of life for the current and future residents of Carrollton. We need to make smart fiscal decisions, ensure parks and community facilities are fully operational, even work with local schools, and keep our public safety departments fully staffed. While fostering a healthy business climate, revitalization of south Carrollton, and a renewed downtown with adequate parking, maintenance of our streets and infrastructure would be my priorities.

I have lived in Carrollton for over 10 years. I always had a question when I wanted to take my family out for a movie or even shopping, there are very little choices for me to spend my tax dollars in my City. I realized very soon that money was scarce and resources were not adequate when my subdivision park took 8 years to develop. This is a very simple observation which many of you would have noticed. As a Realtor®  when I suggest my clients to consider Carrollton for a place to live they always compare our city to Plano, Frisco or even Lewisville and prefer to choose one of them.

My mission is to make my City a desirable place to live. By bringing more new developments like retail centers, malls, entertainment and restaurants which will generate more tax dollars for the city and mean less burden on city residents. In return with a positive economic growth, house values will increase. Now is the time to change, if we cannot bring change now we will be left behind. More and more pressure will be on tax payers to maintain the city facility and infrastructure.

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We have to build a cohesive Carrollton where no Citizen of ours has to live in apprehension of the other.  If we allow negative energy and negative campaigns to creep in, it will eventually swallow every one. Instead of serving fellow Carrolltonians and enjoying life with our family and friends, we will be wasting our time scheming and maligning others. Please stop any one from maligning the other. Each candidate has enough good things to sell than resorting to the lowliness.

Dislaimer: I am a volunteer and have nothing to gain and I am not going to run for any elections but will continue to serve “any” organization in Carrollton if needed. I am a moderate Republican and will remain one, and am free from the bondage of party. My Loyalty is to America and will vote for the candidate who is right for my country, state and City.

Please don’t forget to register today.

As Americans together we need to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension of the other.  The organization to promote those ideals  is   

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Carrollton Voters, please register to vote today.

Today is the last day to register your name for voting in the upcoming city elections. There are many individuals who are willing to meet with you to register.  Your vote determines who you elect to run your city, please do not miss this opportunity.  If you have committed to a candidate, please call them to find the place for you. Candidate information is at

If I get the names and numbers, I will post it at:  

Tomorrow at 2:00 PM, I will post a 250 word statement from the candidates who have submitted their statement by Noon and mail you a copy and it will be posted on my facebook as well with my name.

City Elections
The City of Carrollton will hold a General Election on May 14, 2011. 
The Mayor, Place 2, 4 & 6 will be on the ballot. 

Voter's Registration Information:
Voter Registration Applications are available online below. The LAST DAY for submitting a Voter Registration Application is April 14, 2011.
For voter's registration information, click on the appropriate county link below:

Dallas County

Denton County

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Full information is encapsulated at
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Friday, April 8, 2011

Candidate Information

This page contains information on public filings for elected office. The filings include applications for each candidate. Names are listed in order of filing.

March 14, 2011 is the last day to file an application to have name placed on the ballot for the May 14, 2011 Municipal Election.
Click here for a Contact List for Mayor & Council Candidates.

Matthew Marchant                                           
Ron Branson           

Place 2: 

Place 4:                                                                
Terry Wright                                                   
Bob Garza
Cathy Henesey
Tino Patel

Place 6: 
Terry Simons
Last updated: 4/4/2011 8:15:40 AM
Information from the City Website
Mike Ghouse

Voter's Registration Information:

You must register to vote before April 14, to vote in the upcoming elections. At H Mart on Old Denton by George Bush, there will be several individuals ready to register you as a voter, make sure you take your drivers license copy. More information is below.

The City of Carrollton will hold a General Election on May 14, 2011. 
The Mayor, Place  2, 4 & 6 will be on the ballot. 

Candidate requirements can be found here.

Questions regarding candidate information or requirements should be directed to 972-466-3582 or via email by clicking the link here: City Secretary Office.

Voter's Registration Information:
Voter Registration Applications are available online below. The LAST DAY for submitting a Voter Registration Application is April 14, 2011.

For voter's registration information, click on the appropriate county link below:

Dallas County

Denton County

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Thank you
Mike Ghouse

Prayers at Carrollton City Council

Invocation prayers at Carrollton City Council
7:00 PM, Tuesday, April 05, 2011
A Carrollton tradition
By Mike Ghouse, Pluralist

Dear Friends,
The following is an inclusive prayer called the prayer of Pluralism, indeed, Carrollton is only City in the United States where inclusiveness is appreciated and this is the 9th time in the last four years. We are committed to building a cohesive Carrollton.

Let’s reflect, wish and pray:

Creator of the universe
Please accept our gratitude in every name we call upon you; Manito,  Yahweh, Elahi, Ishwar, Allah, Mahavira, Buddha, Wahe Guru, Ahura Mazda, mother earth and Jesus Christ.  

In your name we want to create a cohesive Carrollton, with care kindness and dignity to every one of the 122,000 residents of this beautiful City.  

Dear God,

Guide our Mayor and the council to serve us with integrity and honesty;
Guide us to serve our communities with the spirit of volunteerism;
Guide us to do the right thing every moment of our life;
Guide us to open our hearts and minds toward our fellow beings;
Guide us to shed the arrogance in us, and enrich us with humility

Guide us to become conflict mitigaters and goodwill nurturers.

Dear God,
Protect our men and women in uniforms committed to our safety and well being.

Help us learn to respect the uniqueness you have blessed to each one of the 122,000 of us in Carrollton,

And help us learn to respect everywhich way one worships you.
In your name, we bow to you.
 # # #

 Mike Ghouse, President of America Together foundation is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day, and is available to speak at your place of worship, work or in seminars and conferences. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace.

The Foundation for Pluralism champions the idea of co-existence by respecting and accepting the otherness of other; and World Muslim Congress is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam. His work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs at

Municipal elections in City of Carrollton

I am committed to the well being of our City and will continue to support the efforts in building an exemplary city of peace where no one is apprehensive of the other.

Election season has just begun in North Texas Municipalities and most of the city council elections are scheduled for May and I urge you to participate in the affairs of your City. It is important to seriously take the civic responsibility of choosing your next council person. The future of your city is dependent on the candidates you chose.

I am pleased to be involved with my City, the City of Carrollton in Texas. I delivered the invocation at the City Hall on Tuesday and attended the Candidates forum tonight and hope to participate in the coming forums.
The event was hosted by the
Metropolitan community Church of Carrollton, a LGBT church and most of the candidates responded fairly well. There was one candidate who was called by his opponent to respond to the anti-GLBT stance his Church had taken in “apparently” calling on the Mayor not to meet with the special interest groups insinuating the GLBT members. Of course, the candidate is not responsible for the actions of others, but members of his Church had “apparently” attempted in vain. However, due to a lack of the follow up format, the candidate did not have the opportunity to disassociate himself with such a stance. There is next time!

The moderator of the event, pastor of the Church deserves appreciation for gracefully moving on to the next topic, when none of the candidates expressed support to pass ordinances in extending the medical benefits to domestic partnerships.

Former Mayor Becky Miller asked my reasons for not endorsing Pravin Desai. I shared my story with her about Bonnie Kaplan whom I am supporting.  Bonnie worked the Carrollton Quilt two years ago doing a real outreach and received participation from diverse Carrolltonians.  I had suggested her that she should run for the council.  Prior to the registration deadline, she asked for support and I gave the commitment, which I had shared with Pravin Desai as well when I met with him.  I wanted transparency and clarity, I am an inclusive person but when a commitment is made, one should stick with it and it should not alter the relationships formed.

Mayor Ron Branson was gracious about my support for Matthew Marchant; it was the same story, commitment made earlier on.

So, I am asking the candidate to make their call today to make it easy on the voters like me.  We all are friendly people in Carrollton and we care about each other.

The old saying, "early bird gets the worm" holds good in this election and it is as simple as that. No candidate can really turn the city upside down but certainly can take the initiatives to bring positive things.  All of you are great candidates. 

A few of the long time residents of Carrollton are apprehensive about the new demographics and the changing ethnicities with Transport oriented developments and they legitimately harbor phobias about the future make up of "their" city.  On the other hand people from different ethnicities, faith traditions and GLBT orientation are apprehensive about the old attitudes of some in "their" newly chosen City. As responsible members of the society, we have to mitigate the apprehensions and nurture goodwill. It is our City, your City, my City and every one's City.

I ask all of you to write an essay in about 250 words about your efforts in building a cohesive Carrollton, where no citizen is excluded” and write about your outreach efforts on your job, your past or whatever you have done.  

When I receive your op-ed, I will share it here at the  and will mail out to my huge mailing list of Carrolltonians.

You are welcome to write you comments in the blog for publication, personal attacks will be deleted.

Mayoral candidates:
Branson, Ron - 
Marchant, Matthew  - 

Place 4:
Henesey, Cathy -
Garza, Bob - www.
Patel, Tino - www.
Wright, Terry - www.

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Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions to media and the public on issues of the day and is available to speak at your place of worship, work, seminars and conferences. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Islam, interfaith,
India and peace.

The Foundation for Pluralism champions the idea of co-existence by respecting and accepting the otherness of other and World Muslim Congress is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam. His work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs at