Why I’m running

Citizens Voices Must Be Heard

Below, you will find where I stand on various issues, but first, I’d like to share what led to this decision to run for Mayor.

I am mainly running because citizen voices are not being heard. It’s time to put the people back in charge!

As someone who has served on the Birdville ISD Board of Trustees, I’ve seen the power of open discussion and transparency in government. But here in NRH, it’s shocking how little say residents have on important matters. Whether it is having input on Planning and Zoning issues, the right to vote on new debt, or allowing council members to bring up citizen issues on the agenda, citizens are feeling like outsiders. This must change.

The issues change from year to year, but my process for approaching them and making decisions before the citizens will remain the same.

Improve Citizen Input/Restore the Voice of the Citizens

When elected mayor, I’m committed to giving the residents of NRH a real voice in their government. We need to restore transparency, empower citizens, respect property rights, and ensure that every resident’s concerns and ideas have value. We must curb the ridicule shown by the current Mayor and council members at citizens who bring concerns to the podium at council meetings.

I want to hold monthly town halls to hear what people have to say, not filtered by a survey, or intimidated by a formal setting. I want to have meetings for the budget within the city limits, not two hours away or anywhere outside the city as is currently done.

Apartments/High-Density Housing

We have all seen the growth of apartments here in NRH; we have nearly 10,000 apartments in NRH, with another 1,000 approved. I am for balance. There is a growing call from NRH citizens to curb high-density housing that is growing at a rapid rate and creating traffic congestion. For example, the road outside my house backs up for over a mile every afternoon . We should zone the little remaining high traffic area undeveloped land for commercial use. This will build our sales tax base to relieve property taxes without needing to build more urban village high-density housing. The current administration’s Vision 2030 plan has over 50% of vacant land designated for medium (townhomes, duplexes, zero lot) and urban village (high-density apartments) housing compared to 12% for retail and 3% for low-density single-family homes. Vision 2030 needs a refresh before it’s too late.

Placing Taxpayers First: Budgets, Taxes, Reducing Debt

I want to use my skills as a CPA and strategic planner to address the spending priorities of citizen tax dollars. Working with great staff, we need to optimize costs where possible and become a better steward of taxpayers’ money. An efficiency audit is a good place to start that process.

We must figure out a way to stop growing debt to balance the budget each year. NRH is increasingly utilizing Certificates of Obligation (CO’s) to fund projects in the city; this is of concern to me because we are adding to our debt. I was recently asked by council members running for office, “Why are you so bothered by the debt? The city has more borrowing limit and can easily handle more debt.” I call that generational theft. We are doing this to our kids.

A CO is like putting expenses on a credit card without asking citizens for approval, unlike bonds, which require voter approval. In the budget approved for 2023-2024, new COs added $5 million in debt without voter input.

Roads and Essential Services

Our city services personnel work in all types of weather to repair water main breaks and roads. They are the unsung heroes of our city. Unfortunately, the focus on road repair was neglected as a priority for so many years, and we are now playing catch-up. The bond for road repairs was passed over four years ago, yet many streets on the original list have yet to be repaired. There is no excuse for our roads being a safety hazard. My drive to church is on Glenview Drive, which has been a horrible road to travel since TXDOT expanded 820 to add an express lane over 10 years ago.

Attracting New Restaurants

The survey from the people of NRH is clear as to their desire for more sit-down restaurants, and the good news is that we still have some nice real estate for new restaurants. I have been told by many developers who do business or try to do business in NRH that it is difficult to open a nicer restaurant, so they go to Hurst or Watauga, which is right on the other side of the street. I want to promote NRH and develop a plan to get this done. This approach both improves the quality of life for our citizens and keeps those sales tax dollars here at home.

Supporting Our Police, Fire, and First Responders

Having recently worked with the NRH Police Department, they were very professional in trying to solve the theft my family experienced. Even the follow-up was awesome. This is just one of thousands of examples of why we must support the police and fire with full hiring and competitive salaries. We MUST develop creative ways to recruit and hire open staff positions, including traffic officers. We also need to encourage residents to attend the Police and Fire Academy as a fantastic way to showcase what our first responders really do and how, as citizens, we can better support them.

Improving Traffic and Driver Safety

Many residents of NRH have had to implement a five second pause before entering an intersection after the light changes green in case people are running the red light. This is a by-product of not having enough officers on traffic duty. Back when I was a young driver at Richland High School, the one place you did not speed was NRH. Not true today. Also, in a recent online survey of people’s needs in NRH, street racing was one of the top concerns. People are tired of it.

Improving School District Safety

We must prioritize the protection of the students at schools and develop a better working relationship with Birdville ISD on these matters. Regrettably, the school district has redirected officers protecting the schools, which has resulted in one school facility rarely seeing a SRO (school resource officer). Also, some middle schools have been left unprotected between 10 to 15 days so far this year.

During my time on the school board, we worked very hard to improve the security of the schools. It was a priority. During my first year on the school board, NRH paid 100% of the SRO costs. The next year, NRH cut funding from 100% to 50%, where the city and NRH share the costs equally. Two years ago, NRH cut their part to 35% of the costs, with the school district now paying 65% of these costs. Going forward, however, our great school district and the city need to work collaboratively to devise ways to maximize school safety.

One of my favorite books is “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, which states that one must face the brutal facts before positive change can occur. I want to be your Mayor to face the brutal facts of rising debt, overcrowding, neglected streets, stressed infrastructure, and understaffed fire and police, while balancing limited resources.

I’m asking for your support so we can bring accountability and transparency back to our city. Together, let’s make our local government truly represent the people it serves.

Let’s make a difference together.

- Jack McCarty