I am a many generation native Texan and Flower Mound home-grown girl. I have a degree in Information Systems Analysis from the University of Texas at Arlington. Even though I work in a Dallas office designing software solutions all day, I am an outdoor, do-it-yourself, using-my-hands person the rest of the time. I am married to my perfect match, John Werner. We grew up together in Flower Mound and went to all the same LISD schools through graduation. It is a second marriage for both of us. We reconnected after our 30 class reunion and have been inseparable since. Together we have four children and 3 grandchildren. Our families have all remained in the area. I have two children who both still live in Flower Mound: Payton (25) who is a firefighter and Gabrielle (20) who is a college student. John’s two children are Micah (26) who is an Army veteran, works facility maintenance for VIP aircraft completions, married to an LISD school teacher and father of three young children; and Kaila (25) is a graphic artist with a Masters Degree in International Peace and Conflict resolution.
I am a computer Software Engineer, horse trainer, dressage instructor, goat farmer, wood-turner, yarn spinner, and barn builder. As an extended family, we frequently go camping, hiking, boating and four-wheeling around our state and in Colorado. I am blessed to have both my parents still living on the small family farm we share in Flower Mound. They live just down our private lane in the house that they built with their own hands. We have a big Sunday dinner every weekend at my parents’ house with my brother’s family who live in the area.
I was born in Denton, Texas while my father completed his degree at North Texas State University. My family moved to Flower Mound when I was 4 years old and my brother was 3. The population of Flower Mound was 275 when my family bought their property. Most everyone in “town” lived on acreage back then, but, we got to know our neighbors right away. Life on our horse farm was peaceful. I grew up with a love and appreciation of nature. Our playground was the woods for climbing trees and building forts and the creek for canoeing and fishing. Much of our time was spent on our ponies. We learned the value of work where even allowances were earned. We learned responsibility. If I didn’t put the lid back on the feed barrel, a Ringtail civet cat would climb in and spray me when I came in to feed the horses. (That did happen and I had to go to school smelling like a skunk.)
There were no schools in Flower Mound, so we were bussed to Lewisville. My bus drove all over Flower Mound picking up kids for school. I spent most of my childhood with these people. Many stayed in the area and are still my friends and acquaintances today. Sitting on Bus 60 bouncing around the dirt roads to our homes from Kindergarten to High School is where I got to know my current husband.
When I wasn’t in school or doing chores, I spent a lot of time trail-riding over much of Flower Mound on horseback. I can still picture the quiet ponds and groves of giant trees that I visited often. One of my “chores” was training the young horses that we raised. We handled them from the moment that they were born and I trained them slowly for the next 3 years, so I never had one buck the first time he/she was ridden. I began learning how to ride and train using classical dressage methods at a Flower Mound stable called Susarr Farms. It was a big white barn that stood where Parker Square now stands. Taking on students of my own was a natural transition starting in my teens. I taught youth camps in the summer, I hosted student shows at our farm, and I volunteered with a local Pony Club through college. My program grew to 50 students while I was attending the University of Texas at Arlington.
When I graduated with a degree in Information Systems, a father of one of my students gave me my first computer software engineering job. Through the years, my real job has been designing, developing, implementing and maintaining instructions that control computer operation, technical writing, and developing technical training programs. However, my association with horses and students has remained. Some of my students (or their mothers) from 30 years ago still ride with me every Saturday morning.
As my children were born, they became a part of this life-choice job. They rode in a backpack while I worked the farm or helped me teach a lesson. As they grew, they learned to ride and take care of the animals.
Through the years, I have been called to serve many times where my strengths could be used. I was PTA president for 2 years, a Girl Scout Co-leader of a Troup for 5 years, 4H Adult project leader, volunteered for various positions and committees within PTA and numerous Booster Clubs and volunteered directly with my kids’ teachers when I could help.
When my daughter Gabrielle, joined 4H, we added fiber goats and fiber rabbits to our long list of farm animals. Baby goats appear each spring and add joy to our life as we watch them grow and play. These goats are cashmere goats. My daughter and I comb their wool in the spring to gather the cashmere. I learned to clean it and spin it for yarn. What a great experience!
Not content to leave a minute unfilled, my husband and I picked up a lathe at a garage sale and began to do wood turning. We are always looking for unusual pieces of wood around the property to turn into useful items.
I think one of the reasons that I had been encouraged to run for mayor this year, was that the people who know me best, know the passion that I share with my mother for the natural beauty of our town. We have spent years, speaking up for the unusual and ancient trees that this town was blessed with. I feel like we, as a town, are stewards over our part of the Cross Timbers forest. While I rejoice in the success of our town and welcome every new business and new resident, I am saddened at some of the recent losses of this forest for the profit of a few. I recognize that we, as a town, have been poor stewards of our Cross Timbers and the ancient Post Oaks can never be replaced. We can do better. With your help, I would like to serve Flower Mound better.
I have been asked why I decided to run for Mayor. I have built a vast treasure trove of experience as a resident who has lived around development. In the 1980, a developer came to the Town to build a housing development. The Town engineer allow the developer to take a drainage area that previously entered the creek downstream from my property and redirected that water though a pipe so it now entered the creek upstream from my property. As you would expect, that put more of our land in the 100 year floodplain. Though the developer was to keep the trees along the property line per the development plan, a bulldozer showed up and started taking down the trees. It was going to be one of those OOPS moments. My mother stopped them and saved the trees. As time has gone on, we have been abused by the development community, running their bulldozers across our land, cutting my phone and water line, tearing out our property line fences so horses could escape. Believe me the list is long. My last life-changing experience was when the Town decided to use eminent domain to take my property and use it for a private use. An illegal action but one they could do because they had the taxpayers’ money to take it to court.
I know what it is like to be a resident and that is why my first priority is to put residents first. I will work for you. I will see that you are protected. I will try to change the culture that lets developers run over the Flower Mound citizens.