Initiative urgently seeks pro-business candidates to run for Haltom City Council as mid-January filing deadline nears
HALTOM CITY, TX, December 27, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — Fifty years ago, Ron Sturgeon was a homeless and penniless teenager living in Haltom City who decided to start a business. Now a highly successful serial entrepreneur, author, and self-made millionaire, Sturgeon believes strongly in Haltom City and wants to see prosperity come back to the beleaguered corridors of South and Central Haltom City.
To bring prosperity back requires a plan to attract millions of dollars of private investment in the city. Sturgeon has a plan that he details on MakeHaltomCityThriveAgain.com. and discusses in a series of videos on the site.
Key provisions of the plan include the following:
• Updating the city’s use matrix so that more types of small businesses can get certificates of occupancy and open without the extensive public hearings and paperwork that are required to get conditional use permits.
• Adopting form-based zoning code rather than the current system of use-based zoning at least in overlay districts that encompass the areas where more small businesses are most needed. This change has produced dramatic growth in cities such as Mansfield, TX and is not just for downtowns or for areas of new development.
• Eliminating or drastically reducing parking requirements. Parking requirements are a significant impediment to businesses opening and those requirements could be phased out for a 2-year period so that the results could be observed and measured.
• Giving proper consideration to accessory uses. Opportunities that Haltom City businesses have to expand product lines and grow revenues are being squelched by the city. For instance, a chain saw dealer should be able to sell snacks without getting a new CO.
• Creating zones in the depressed areas of South and Central Haltom with relaxed rules for starting or expanding a small business.
• Amending change of use rules in the declining areas so that changes within the same zoning category don’t trigger full ordinance inspections and the requirement that an older building be brought up to current code.
• Building an achievable brand for Haltom City to help attract small businesses and residents to the city.
• Tracking inquiries from those wishing to start a new business in Haltom City in the planning department and following up on those inquiries to see why they did or didn’t come to Haltom City and if they need help in understanding any of the requirements.
“Haltom City desperately needs people with small business ownership experience to serve on Haltom City Council so that Haltom City can do a better job of competing for small businesses. Those interested in running should reach out to Ron and file before the mid-January deadline.
One of Sturgeons outspoken critics, Jayson Steele has stated that he doesn’t want businesses making money off of the city’s residents. Steele, who created his own position in the city, Community Health Specialist, reporting directly to the city manager, doesn’t own any real estate in the city according to tax records. He lives in an apartment complex where he barters being a security guard for rent, in addition to his full-time position with the city. He also has never owned a business, and Sturgeon says, “It’s unfortunate that he is so critical of the business community, but in his defense, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”
Sturgeon would like to see new Haltom City Council members elected who will work to reverse the ongoing inner-city decline and work to make Haltom City “the friendliest city in Tarrant County for small businesses.”
Sturgeon is committed to this issue and is looking for like-minded individuals to join him in this collaborative effort. He says, “Let’s work together to make the city thrive again by bringing back prosperity, products, services and jobs. Let’s find leadership that’s pro-business to bring back all the businesses that have left and make it easy for new ones to come here! Please contact me at [email protected] and let’s get to work.”
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again website offers information and resources about its purpose and goals. For more on Sturgeon’s personal ideas and background, check out his book Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses as well. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own with the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
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