City Council District 2 incumbent Briggs to run unopposed, securing third and final term

City Council District 2 incumbent Briggs to run unopposed, securing third and final term

City Council District 2 incumbent Briggs to run unopposed, securing third and final term
March 06
14:11 2019

The Denton City Council District 2 seat, which covers parts of northern and eastern Denton, is up for election this year with two-term incumbent Keely Briggs running unopposed.

Keely Briggs

Briggs announced her intention to run for re-election after filing with the city last month. This will be Briggs’ third consecutive and final term under the City of Denton’s Charter, which limits the mayor and council members to serving, “two-year terms with a consecutive three full term limit.”

Briggs said she agrees in principle that term limits are needed “especially in the higher elected offices,” and said no one should be a career politician.

“On the local level, six years in one seat seems like a long time but as you are serving it goes by fast,” Briggs said. “There are some things that will not get accomplished in six years, I feel blessed to have been able to serve the time that I have.”

Under the City of Denton’s Charter — adopted in 1959 and the basic governing authority of the city — council members, such as Briggs, may run for council seats in At Large Places, although their term limit within single member districts was reached.

As a candidate in this year’s District 2 race, Briggs said she is running for re-election because she believes in local government and direct representation.

Briggs said she hopes to finish many of the updates on city plans, such as Conservation and Landscape Standards, and to begin implementing them over the duration of her term.

“Passing the update to [the] landscape and tree conservation ordinance is extremely important to me and something I pushed for the first day in office,” Briggs said. “How we develop our city in this time of extreme growth is critical.”

The proposed Conservation and Landscape Standards Code intends to replace the existing Tree Preservation and Landscape Standards with a more comprehensive set of regulations that will include “landscaping, tree preservation and mitigation and environmentally sensitive areas,” according to the city’s Conservation and Landscape Standards.

Regarding city infrastructure, Briggs said she also hopes that Hickory Street and Hinkle Drive, two roadways known for their poor-conditions and need of maintenance, will be smoothed out as the city’s growth continues.

Hickory Street reconstruction from Bonnie Brae to Carroll Boulevard is currently underway and is expected to be completed by fall 2019. Project upgrades include upgrading the roadway, water, wastewater, gas and electric utilities in the area.

Hinkle Drive, which is part of the larger Magnolia Drainage Project, is scheduled to begin improvements to the storm water system from University Drive to Windsor Drive during the second quarter of 2019, according to the city of Denton’s Road and Utility Projects.

Denton City Councilwoman for At Large Place 5 Deb Armintor, who has served on city council since 2018, said she has loved the opportunity to work with Briggs because she, “is in this for all the right reasons and says what she means.”

Discussing her experience with Briggs, before she was elected to city council, Armintor recalled how she would “never forget” Briggs standing against House Bill 40 in 2015. The bill, which pre-empted local governments from regulating oil and gas activities such as hydraulic fracking, occurred after roughly 59 percent of Denton voters approved a proposition to prohibit hydraulic fracking in 2014.

The city’s ban on hydraulic fracking lasted about seven months before city council, because of state law and pending lawsuits, repealed the ordinance in a 6-1 vote.

“Why is the council that ultimately supported the fracking ban so ready to just drop it,” Armintor said, recalling her conversation with Briggs. “Why not defend what we have and fight this law, and [Briggs] said, ‘do you think it’s the right thing to repeal the fracking ban?’

Armintor, who was against repealing the ordinance, said Briggs responded well before writing a sign that read, “I’m not giving up, don’t roll over.”

Briggs was the lone vote against repealing the ban in 2015.

Briggs was elected to her first term representing District 2 after defeating incumbent John Ryan – who now represents District 4 – with 63.09 percent of the vote compared to Ryan’s 36.91 percent in 2015. During her re-election campaign in 2017, Briggs ran unopposed and gained a total of 1,743 votes, with significant amounts coming from precincts 1012, 4006, 1011, 4008, 1010, 4040 and 1009.

Briggs serves on various committees, including the Committee on Citizen Engagement, Committee on the Environment and the Mobility Committee. Additionally, Briggs was appointed to the National League of Cities 2019 Energy, Environment and Natural Resources federal advocacy committee last December.

Going into her final term representing District 2, Briggs said she will continue to govern as she has in her previous two terms.

“I will not govern any differently than I have in the past,” Briggs said. “I have stayed true to myself and my constituency.”

Information on Briggs’ campaign and upcoming events can be found on her Facebook page Keely G. Briggs.

Voting Information

Elections for city council Districts 1-4 will be held May 4. Early voting will take place April 22-30.

More information about registration deadlines, district and polling locations and different ways of voting in Denton County can be found at votedenton.com.

Featured Image: District 2 candidate Keely Briggs answers questions about her plans for Denton. Image by: Ayron Walker.

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Ryan Higgs

Ryan Higgs

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