Good fences

Don't always make good neighbors, especially in exclusive Flower Mound, where a nasty feud between the mayor and a newspaper publisher has blossomed into all-out war

He talks about the record turnout in May's election. In years past, only 1,400 or so people would bother to show up for municipal elections. But Voters United has those 3,000 members, ready to march. "People in Flower Mound are busy with their families, and they travel on business and so forth, and it's hard for people to get really tuned in to what's going on in town," Maddox says. "That's why such a small group controls such a populace."

Maddox preaches diversity. He says the town desperately needs opposing voices on the council. SMART Growth can't be tempered or swayed without a couple of non-VU members in place, he says.

"I mean, the first thing the mayor did when she got in office was replace everyone on the Planning and Zoning Commission with her people," he says about DeLuca's first election as mayor in 1998. "She kicked every one of them off. She developed a liaison position between the town and the school district and put one of her best friends on that position, Sydney Bentz."

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Attorney Donna Morris, publisher of Flower Mound's bimonthly newspaper The Messenger, uses her editorial space to take frequent potshots at the mayor and her allies in Voters United, a political group that wants to control growth in Flower Mound.
Attorney Donna Morris, publisher of Flower Mound's bimonthly newspaper The Messenger, uses her editorial space to take frequent potshots at the mayor and her allies in Voters United, a political group that wants to control growth in Flower Mound.

DeLuca counters that the position existed before she took office, and the town council elects the liaison: She doesn't get a vote. She also says it was the town council as a whole that bounced four of seven members from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

DeLuca, it seems, has no intention of loosening her organization's hold on Flower Mound. "You don't want to appoint your enemies," she says.

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