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Thursday, August 22, 2019 8:33 PM

Do we need campaign finance reform?

Tuesday, August 20, Councilmember Bronson Blackson introduced the idea of putting a $500 limit per donee per year on contributions to candidates for Mayor or Council. Branch Forum agrees this should be discussed.

Let us know how you feel by taking the simple three question survey. We'll post the results as a news item at our site, Or contact us. We'd like your thoughts.

Thursday, May 2, 2019 10:12 AM

Community Leaders endorse Bonnie Potraza

We're pleased to know that four of the six sitting Mayor and City Council mayor have endorsed Bonnie Potraza for the District 4 seat on the Farmers Branch City Council.  They were joined by Julie Johnson, Texas House of Representatives for the district encompassing our District 4.  Click here to see the text of their endorsements.

While we're at it, we reaffirmed our own endorsement of Bonnie.    Click here to see that.

Saturday, May 4 is election day.  Please get out and vote for Bonnie.  If you live in Farmers Branch but in another district, please vote for the library bond.

Friday, April 26, 2019 6:30 PM

Vote yes for the library bond

Branch Forum recommends a FOR vote on Proposition A, the issuance of $24 million in bonds for a new library. Libraries are a smart investment, transforming lives and communities and passionately advocating for lifelong learning.


Opposition to funding a new Library centers on two main points: No new taxes and we don't need a new library.  Click on the heading to dissect these objections.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:30 PM

Branch Forum endorses Bonnie Potraza and Cristal Retana

After careful consideration and hosting a forum where each candidate was able to present their ideas and answer questions on issues currently affecting our city, Branch Forum endorsed Bonnie Potraza for district 4 and Cristal Retana for district 1, Farmers Branch City Council.  Click on the heading for details.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 11:25 PM

Are you ready to raise your taxes?

The Mayor and City Council are kicking off the campaign for the November bond election on September 14, 2017, at 7 pm at City Hall. Here is some basic information about how cities borrow money.  We'll get to the propositions a bit later and offer our recommendations.

Friday, April 21, 2017 12:05 AM

Branch Forum Endorses Robert Dye

After careful consideration and weighing each candidate’s vision for Farmers Branch, Branch Forum officially endorses Robert Dye for Mayor of Farmers Branch.  Click on the subject line for our rationale.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 10:15 PM

Forum Follow On Q&A

Those of you that attended the Candidate Forum March 29 know that the Mayoral candidates were given some homework in the form of three questions to reflect on and answer later. Following are links to three of those Q&A.  (Harold Froehlich failed to respond.)  Hopefully this gives you better insight into the candidates.

Robert Dye

Andy Olivo

Mark Traynor


Monday, April 17, 2017 1:57 PM

Creek Owners forum

The owners of property abutting Farmers Branch Creek have been pushing the City to better address maintenance and water flow issues. They are holding a forum for the Mayoral candidates on Saturday April 22 from 4:30 to 6 PM. The host is John Brownlee. Click here for details including where to park and to send an RSVP.

The event will be very interesting alone but also 3 Nations Brewery, our own Farmers Branch brewer, is co-sponsoring this event and will be furnishing cold beer.  By the way, 3 Nations is opening their tap room Saturday at 2 PM.  They are at 2405 Squire Place, just east of the DART tracks.

Monday, April 10, 2017 1:48 PM

Dallas Morning News Voter Guide

Before each election the Dallas Morning News asks every registered candidate for office to respond to a set of questions the DMN considers relevant to your decision to vote for one person vs. another.  The answers are unmoderated, ie., the candidate can speak freely...and some choose not to speak at all.  DMN recently released the answers to their survey of candidates for the May, 2017 general elections.  Click here to view them for the FB candidates.  You'll need to enter your address so they can be tailored to you.

Saturday, April 1, 2017 1:30 PM

Candidate Forum March 29

Branch Forum was pleased to sponsor a candidate forum at the Manske Library for the four mayoral candidates March 29.  Robert Dye, Andy Olivo, and Marc Traynor joined us and Harold Froehlich sent a representative.  Click on the subject to get links to candidate specific sites and a video of the event.

Saturday, April 11, 2015 2:00 PM

Endorsements district 3 & district 5!

We thank and admire all the candidates for their willingness to serve our city and undergo the rigors of a campaign for elective office. After listening to and visiting with all the candidates, Branch Forum endorses:

City Council District 3 - John Norwood

John Norwood is involved in the community and has a grasp of the issues and challenges facing Farmers Branch. He brings substantial skills and experience to the table which will enhance the discussion and bring new ideas to solving our problems. He is articulate on the issues and is honorable, a basic requirement for public service.  John's web site is here.

District 5 - Mike Bomgardner

Mike Bomgardner brings a strong entrepreneurial background and a record of leadership to the Council, two components which we believe are currently missing. He is likeable and will likely work to influence others on the council. We look to Mike to be an activist to get good things done and to interact with the broadest part of the population. Mike will lead on curb-side recycling and keep the pressure on Addison on the road and the creek.  Mike's web site is here.

Norwood and Bomgardner were never involved in the recent immigration fight. That gives them the advantage of being able to talk with everyone in the city without any preconceived notions about who that person is or what they might think. This is essential if we are ever to reunite our residents into one community.

We urge those of you living in district 3 or 5 to vote for John or Mike.  For info on how and where to vote go to our site.

Remember, all the city council members are obligated by oath to vote in the best interests of the whole city regardless of where an issue arises.  Even if you don't live in district 3 or 5, elections matter; you can give your support to John or Mike in other ways, e.g., by contacting your friends in district 3 or 5 to vote for John or Mike.

ps:  One of the attendees at our recent candidate forum video'd the event, in two parts.  Click here for part 1 and here for part 2 to go to YouTube and see them.

Monday, April 6, 2015 9:55 PM

What happened at the candidate forum?

On April 1, Branch Forum conducted a well attended candidate forum.  All five candidates were present in person.  Branch Forum is pleased at the turnout and by the serious, professional approach taken by all participants.

Each candidate was given several questions, some from the audience and some from the sponsor.  Moderator Heller even managed to work in an April Fool's Day question which created some momentary anxiety among the candidates. 

All the candidates were given a "homework" question, "How well does the city perform in welcoming and supporting different segments of our population?"  We felt this would provide insight into how each of the candidates thinks about different demographic segments of the city.  All of the candidate responded; click on their names (listed alphabetically below) to see their respective responses:

District 3

Brenda Brodrick

John Norwood

Andy Olivo

District 5

Mike Bomgardner

David Merritt

We hope all, particularly those of you in Districts 3 & 5, will critically review each of these statements and factor that into your thinking as you decide who to support.

You should also review the candidates' answers to the Dallas Morning News for their Voter Guide.

If you have questions, we're sure the candidates themselves would be glad to hear from you.  Their contact info is listed in the DMN Voter Guide.  Or let us know.  We'd be glad to help.

Finally, keep an eye on this space.  Branch Forum will make their recommendations in a few days.


Sunday, March 15, 2015 1:05 PM

Candidate Forum April 1 at Library

Branch Forum will host a Candidate Forum April 1 at the Manske Library.  The purpose is to allow the candidates for places 3 & 5 on the Farmers Branch City Council to present their positions and to respond to questions about City issues. 

The event will begin at 6:45 with the moderator welcoming all participants and outlining the structure.  Each candidate will make a brief statement and then answer questions from Branch Forum, from the audience, and from each other.  We will finish by 8:30 PM.  We hope you will attend and participate by asking that tough question you've been wondering about.

Above all, please plan to vote.  Election day is May 9 with early voting from April 27 through May 5.  See our voter info page for details.

Sunday, February 15, 2015 10:57 PM

Vitruvian Park's road runs into Farmers Branch Creek!

Since 2010, FB residents along Farmers Branch Creek have suffered from low water flow.  This seems to be attributable to impoundment by Vitruvian Park in Addison. Many of those residents have contributed personal funds, $50,000 in total, to get corrective action from the Town of Addison and Vitruvian Park via the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. TCEQ has ruled in favor of the residents but resolution is uncertain. What is certain is that Vitruvian Park and the Town of Addison are being uncooperative and the City of Farmers Branch hasn't helped much.

At the same time City staff is surreptitiously pushing ahead to accommodate a road from Vitruvian Park, through Brookhaven College, onto Alpha Road. One wonders why we are accommodating the same folks who are resisting resolution of the creek flow issue.

We learned disturbing information about these two issues by examining public records. Please go to our website to learn more about this and to access the public records. When you're informed, we urge you to contact our councilpersons and ask them to hold up on the road, at least until the creek issue is resolved to the residents' satisfaction.

Sunday, February 15, 2015 10:11 PM

Reuse of Honor Academy space

Several years ago our city council made a contract with a charter school "Honors Academy" for long term use of the previous St. Paul Church sanctuary which sits between the Manske Library and the new fire station on Webb Chapel.  The contract provided for nominal rental and assumed that Honors Academy would bring a quality educational choice to the city. 

Unfortunately Honors Academy closed in 2014 and seems about to lose its charter.  City council will consider Tuesday, February 17 giving the city manager authority to terminate the contract with Honors Academy.  This raises a question as to what to do with the building.  Branch Forum is interested in your opinion.  Please take our survey and let us know.  Or contact us if your thoughts can't be reduced to a survey.

As always, we appreciate your input.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 8:34 AM

Holliday Park isn't a park!

Holiday Park is the triangle of land bounded by Valley View, Alpha Road, and Alpha Link. See this map to refresh your memory.  The park was created around 1980 when the city connected Alpha Road at Midway to Valley View.  Now the Fire Department wants to use the land for a Fire Station.  Click the heading for details offered by a Branch Forum correspondent.  Let your councilperson know there are better places for the Fire Station.


Monday, August 4, 2014 11:57 AM

The 2014 City elections are over. Who paid and how much?

State law requires all candidates and officeholders to file a report periodically disclosing contributions, expenditures, and cash on hand.  In Farmers Branch, these must be filed with the City Secretary.  The report are public information and in 2014, the City Secretary made them available on the City web site.

 Branch Forum recommends that you review these reports to see where the money to finance political activies is coming from and how much is being spent.

Monday, July 14, 2014 2:27 PM

Ex-Mayor O'Hare breaks silence, say he shouldn't have pushed immigration ordinance

Recently Mayor O'Hare, now living in Southlake, sat for an interview with WFAA's Teresa Woodard and reflected on his time as an elected official. We're pleased that he has come to agree with Branch Forum that the city has no role in immigration regulation. You'll want to read the interview yourself by clicking"Controversial former ..."

We must also point out that Mayor O'Hare was supported in his initiative to regulate immigration by many, most of them still living in the city and some still hoping to regulate immigration. An example of the latter is Brian Burns who circulated an email July 12 condemning Mayor O'Hare for being a traitor. We must be on guard against these folks and not allow them to disrupt the community and pursue a divisive, futile agenda.

It is the responsibility of Mayor and Council to not repeat past mistakes and instead aggressively pursue real revitalization.

Saturday, June 21, 2014 9:52 AM

On Immigration, the Hard Lines Start to Blur

Saturday, June 7, 2014 10:03 AM

Not that bad? Really?

Seven years after Farmers Branch launched its ill-advised legal effort to ban immigrants in the U.S. illegally from rental housing in the suburb, Mayor Bill Glancy amazingly insists the battle was worth it because the city’s hard edge reduced uninsured drivers involved in car accidents and defaults on hospital bills. That’s anecdotal at best. What isn’t anecdotal is what this battle cost the city. Farmers Branch spent more than $6 million defending the ordinance, which was never enforced, and eventually cut its losses by agreeing to pay $1.4 million to its lawyers for arguing a losing position. Just admit it. It was a bad idea all along.  From the Dallas Morning News editorial page.

Friday, June 6, 2014 2:04 PM

BF Endorses Phelps and Bernstein; take action!

Today Branch Forum endorsed Bob Phelps for mayor and Luther Bernstein for city council district 2.  Early voting begins Monday, June 9; election day is Saturday, June 21.  We urge you to vote and ask your support of Bob and Luther in any way you can.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 11:04 PM

FB settles last part of lawsuit over rental ordinance for $1.4 million.

More than seven years after beginning a divisive attempt to ban immigrants in the U.S. illegally from rental housing, a united City Council decided to cut its losses Tuesday — paying $1.4 million to the lawyers who fought the effort.  Click here for complete story including a time line of the entire matter.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 6:17 AM

NY Times visits FB on its way up I-35

The New York Times has reporters Damien Cave and Todd Heisler traveling the length of I-35 from south to north, from Laredo, Tex., to Duluth, Minn., chronicling how the middle of America is being changed by immigration.   Along the way, they stopped in Farmers Branch to spotlight something they considered relevant.  Click here for the full story.

Friday, May 2, 2014 6:21 PM

Mediation ordered for lawyer bills

Litigation over a failed ordinance against illegal immigration in Farmers Branch drew lawyers roughly accustomed to $370 to $800 an hour.  more

Friday, April 25, 2014 12:58 PM


April 25, 2014.  Branch Forum endorses Carol Dingman for Mayor and Garrett Smith for district 2 council seat, recommends FOR vote on local option proposition and bond proposition.  Please vote accordingly.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 9:41 AM

BF to Host Candidate Forum April 17 at Rec Center

Branch Forum is pleased to announce it will conduct a candidate forum April 17, 2014 in the Oak Room, Farmers Branch Recreation Center, 14050 Heartside Place. The doors will open at 6:30 PM for an opportunity to meet your friends and neighbors; refreshments will be available. The program will commence promptly at 7 PM and will conclude around 8:45 PM. Please plan to attend this important event so you can vote with best available knowledge of the candidates and issues.

The program includes only candidates for City offices, Mayor and District 2, to better cover the issues. The format will include an opportunity for opening and closing statements by each candidate and several questions for each candidate, some prepared in advance and some on the spot.

We have commitments to attend from five of the six candidates in the two races (Carol Dingman and David Koch for Mayor; Luther Bernstein, Harold Froehlich, and Garrett Smith for District 2). We're hoping the Bob Phelps will also join us.

Please join us April 17 and inform yourself. Please also invite your friends and neighbors.

Remember, early voting runs from April 28 through May 6 and election day is May 10. Please visit Branch Forum for hours and polling places. If you need a mail ballot, see our site to get the form and instructions.

For additional info about the candidates, you should also review the DMN's side by side comparisons. See these at Mayor or Council District 2.

Saturday, March 15, 2014 12:01 AM

Mayoral/Council candidates take on Supreme Court Decision

On Monday, March 3, the US Supreme Court denied the City a chance to argue that its rental housing ordinance was constitutional.  This allowed the lower court rulings that the ordinance was unconstitutional.  Branch Forum asked each of the six candidates, three running for Mayor and three running for the District 2 seat on Council, what they thought of the ruling.  Click the heading to read more.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 8:00 AM

Supreme Court refuses Farmers Branch immigration ordinance

See the article

Monday, March 3, 2014 12:45 PM

US Supreme Court denies review of Farmers Branch immigration ordinance

Sunday, February 2, 2014 11:34 AM

Luther Bernstein running for City Council place 2

I am officially announcing my candidacy for City Council Place 2.  Click on the heading to read the full announcement.

Saturday, January 4, 2014 12:00 AM

Bob Phelps Announcement re: Farmers Branch Mayoral Race

Ex-Mayor Phelps recently announced he will again run for Mayor.  Click on heading for full text of announcement as per Kathleen Matsumura's e newsletter.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:37 PM

Three-way race for Farmers Branch mayor takes shape

Farmers Branch Mayor Bill Glancy says he won’t seek a second term in this suburb known for courtroom battles over illegal immigration.That opens the field for the May 10 election to three mayoral candidates who say they want the city to move past the immigration debate.  More...

Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:34 PM

Texas orders Dallas-based charter and five others to close next year

The state on Thursday ordered a Dallas-based charter school and five others to close under a new law that cracks down on charter operators with chronic problems.The Texas Education Agency said it will revoke the charters of Honors Academy and the five other schools in June. The schools can appeal the decision in the meantime.  More...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 10:00 AM

Dingman Launches Campaign for Farmers Branch Mayor

Longtime resident and former city council member Carol Dingman has announced that she is a candidate for Farmers Branch mayor. The election is to be held in May next year. Dingman states that her goal is to work with the Farmers Branch City Council and residents to create a common vision for the city. Her candidacy is endorsed by Farmers Branch mayor pro tem Jeff Fuller as well as by city council members Ana Reyes and Kirk Connally.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:57 AM

Farmers Branch votes to take illegal immigrant rental ban fight to Supreme Court

FARMERS BRANCH — The City Council is not ready to give up its fight
to ban immigrants in the U.S. illegally from renting in the city.The council voted 3-2 Tuesday night to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court its rental ordinance’s latest failure in court.  More...

Sunday, July 28, 2013 5:10 PM

Federal court rules Farmers Branch rental ordinance unconstitutional

The Farmers Branch ordinance barring people in the U.S. illegally from
renting in the city is unconstitutional, an appeals court ruled for the
second time Monday.  More...

Monday, July 22, 2013 7:25 PM

Farmers Branch City Council votes to drop its appeal of Voting Rights Act case

The Farmers Branch City Council voted 4 to 0 to drop its appeal of a
lower court decision ordering the city to hold single-member elections. More...

Thursday, June 13, 2013 3:52 PM

Federal judge orders city of Farmers Branch to pay attorney bill in voting rights case

Judge Sidney Fitzwater ordered the city of Farmers Branch to pay
$269,125 in attorney costs and fees to the Dallas law firm that
successfully represented 10 Latino plaintiffs in a voting rights case.  More...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 10:44 PM

Farmers Branch's first Hispanic council member got out the hard-to-motivate Latino vote

FARMERS BRANCH — Ana Reyes and her mother, Maria Reyes, may be the
political tag team of the future. Maria Reyes, a naturalized U.S.
citizen from Mexico, motivated her shy daughter, a U.S.-born citizen, to
fight back when the all-white City Council passed an immigration
ordinance in 2006 that many Latinos found offensive.  More...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 1:59 PM

Farmers Branch city council to vote on financing an aquatic center without a bond election

Farmers Branch City Council voted 3-to-1 in favor of about $7 millionin financing a new aquatic center with a lap pool and a therapy pool.  Councilman Jeff Fuller was absent for the certificates of obligation vote.  More...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 5:45 PM

Court upholds ban on Texas immigrant housing law

DALLAS -- A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that stopped a Dallas suburb's ban on illegal immigrants seeking housing.  The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Farmers Branch overstepped its authority in 2008 when it passed a law calling on the
city's building inspector to check the immigration status of anyone wanting to rent an apartment who wasn't a U.S. citizen.  More...

Monday, May 10, 2010 5:41 PM

Kris Kobach, Architect Of Arizona Immigration Law SB1070, Is Behind Other Controversial Laws

TOPEKA, Kan. — When politicians and police across the country want to crack down on illegal immigration, they often reach out to the same man:a little-known Kansas attorney with an Ivy League education who is the architect behind many of the nation's most controversial immigration
laws.  More...

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