Tuesday, January 22, 2013

After the Vote, Part 3/3: Next Steps

So, we have an improved but still unsatisfactory ordinance. I have tried to explain why I think we didn’t do better – lots of reasons, but most importantly legal limitations that require persistence to overcome. The question is how best to channel our energies and talents.
Where can we go from here? Let me just briefly lay out some options. Please vote and/or add more alternatives in the comments.
1.      Citizen initiative. Denton has a process whereby the electorate can propose an ordinance. This direct democracy approach is one option if the sense is that representative democracy has failed. It will take money for legal advice, lots of work to draft the appropriate language (what would the substance of the ordinance be?), and boots on the ground to get signatures and votes.
2.      Continue to work with the City. An alternative is to work with Staff and Council on key items that we think need to be improved. I would propose pushing the compressor station issue, the zone-fracking-industrial-use strategy, and pits. I also think we need to work with the City to make sure they develop a robust air and water monitoring program.
3.      Get involved at the State level. No matter what we do at the City level, we need to consider regional and Texas-wide action. This can mean endorsing or opposing pending legislation dealing with oil and gas development. It can also mean initiating a resolution to share with our State representatives asking them to stand up for local control. Home rule municipalities should have greater say over this industrial practice – city leaders are more directly accountable to their constituents and act on a weekly basis, which means they can respond more swiftly to citizen concerns.


  1. Congratulations! This is the best thing, Thank you so much for taking the time to share this exciting information.

  2. Gave input to the Denton Planning staff organizers of the upcoming Denton Plan 2030 Community Forums re: Issues & Aspirations. We are encouraged to attend and give voice to item 2 above; push the need for a Pipeline & Associated Ordinance (incl Compressor Stations), zoning those and gas wells only in Heavy Industrial Zoning, and only allowing fresh water pits. Also they want to hear about our concerns re: air and water! Go and register your comments. The more we do, the more they will include our suggestions in their policies, projects, and priorities for the future of Denton. Thurs, 2/7-6-8:30 pm at Advanced Technology Complex, 1504 Long Rd, Denton or Sat. 2/9-9-11 am, John Guyer High School, 7501 Teasley Ln, Denton. Go!