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Sturgeon strongly believes that pro-business candidates are needed if the city has any hope of turning things around.
HALTOM CITY, TX, October 13, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In a video series by the Make Haltom City Thrive Again (MHCTA) campaign, entrepreneur Ron Sturgeon is asked, "Isn't Haltom City pretty much like any other older American city?"
According to Sturgeon, although most cities do indeed have declining areas, Haltom City has had a void of leadership for more than a decade when it comes to thinking about how the city can be proactive to the business community. As other cities have taken steps to help turn things around, Haltom has been stuck in a spiral of decline in the south and central areas of the city. The current council and the city employee and self-appointed spokesperson Jayson Steele have made it clear on numerous occasions that business owners that don't live in the city have no seat at the table on city ordinances.
Jayson is an outspoken critic of businesses. He stated on Facebook that "You can't open a business anywhere without open hearings." Haltom City is very different than other cities, because its use matrix allows the council to require business applicants to come before them before opening, in many categories that are allowed without such red tape in surrounding cities.
Additionally, Haltom City, once known as an "automotive city", has intentionally been discouraging automotive businesses, but no replacement "brand" has been put forth. Year after year, as automotive businesses have relocated or gone out of business, there has been no plan or strategy for other types of businesses to take their place, resulting in a growing number of vacant buildings along the older corridors. While other cities welcome new National Tire and Battery, Pep Boys or Christian Automotive, Haltom City doesn't allow them in commercial zones, under any circumstances. Haltom city's residents travel to sister cities to patronize such businesses.
While doing research for his recent book, Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America's Small Cities: The Critical Role Small Businesses Play in Bringing Back Jobs & Prosperity, Sturgeon also discovered that Haltom City's zoning and use matrix is far more extreme than what is found in other cities. Excessive regulations are a deterrent to business growth, especially when nearby towns in Tarrant County are much more accommodating.
Resident Carolyn Brown Cook, who has lived in Haltom City since 1982, commented on Facebook that for the past several decades, Haltom City "has gone downhill, rather than thrive, like Lake Worth has..." Also commenting on Facebook, M. Rhodes feels that Haltom City's leadership "should look at other small towns that are more successful (Mansfield, Keller, even Watauga, for example) and borrow a few ideas."
Sturgeon's primary goal in writing Keeping the Lights on Downtown was to inform Haltom City residents about the issues, while the video series aims to help citizens "make an informed choice in the next election about who's going to lead and bring solutions for the city." Sturgeon strongly believes that pro-business candidates are needed if the city has any hope of turning things around.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City can reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city's center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City's business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses in the industrial districts, and bring more restaurants including breweries and eventually a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City's facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, it's more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group's Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again is a movement to return prosperity to the older parts of South and Central Haltom City by luring the small businesses that have left over the past decades back to Haltom City. A vibrant business community not only allows for greater employment and choice of goods and services, but also can ease the tax burden on residents. The movement is led by local entrepreneur and business owner Ron Sturgeon. For more on Sturgeon's 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. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own via the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
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