An Open Letter to Brian Byrd

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Fort Worth Council Member Byrd,

As a strong supporter of your campaign, I am frustrated with how you have governed in your short time on the Fort Worth City Council.  I supported you because you promised to fight for conservative principles, especially in the area of fiscal responsibility and budgeting.

Fort Worth still has one of the highest property tax rates in DFW. Just last year, you voted to reduce the tax rate, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Due to skyrocketing appraisal values, your vote still raised property taxes on existing residents by $19.6 million. The budget you voted for increased property tax revenue by 8 percent in total, and now you’re supporting two massive bond packages, which will raise property taxes even more. Excessive local debt is something you specifically campaigned against.

The fact that you donated $5,000 to the ‘Our Community, Our Future PAC’ – which is pushing these bonds totaling nearly $650 Million – is appalling. Why should your actions not be seen as a betrayal of your campaign pledges?

More than $81 million in new debt you’re asking voters to approve is for Parks and Rec alone. And the PAC you’re funding is also promoting the outrageous water district bond known as Prop A. It asks taxpayers for a $250 million loan for “flood control,” but that is misleading. It is simply more slush money for the opaque “Panther Island” project that’s been limping along for 12 years.

You should instead be calling for a forensic audit to determine where $430 million in taxpayer money has been spent, before even considering giving the project another cent.

Someone who sincerely campaigned against wasteful local debt wouldn’t even consider funding their propaganda, plain and simple.

I cannot get back the time I dedicated to helping your campaign.  I block walked, and contacted voters in my neighborhood, and the surrounding precincts. Instead, I’d like to ask for a refund for the contribution I made to your campaign.  I want my money back so I can give it to a real conservative champion, not someone who pretends to be.

Matthew Spano

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