Whether it’s fracking, apartment complexes, or gas stations, Denton often gets locked in a dynamic of conflict–with council either blocking their ears and steamrolling the citizens, or neighborhoods forced into completely blocking any movement at all out of sheer mistrust. Paul feels such a talented community can do much better by collaborating and putting the emphasis on generating creative alternatives we can all get behind.
As an illustration, when DME proposed a new, bigger substation adjacent to the West Oak Historic District, and the alternative sites would have cost millions more due to the need to relocate many lower income families, Paul advocated for a different approach: Instead of having the standard 10-foot wall that hides nothing, the substation could have an architectural facade to make it look like a building appropriate to a historic district. A community advisory committee was formed to work with an architect, and that is now the plan. We hope people like it and that it turns out well, but in any event, this collaborative result will almost certainly be better than the result of pure stonewalling on both sides.
Paul’s business career was as a new product innovator across several industries. He brings the right balance between analysis and action, and the skill to bring stakeholders together to find novel ways forward.