Allen neighbor who opposed bus center elected to school board

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 14 at 1:15 PM

ALLEN –– Since the explosion in West, Texas, it has been hard to get the images out of our minds. But they've been especially unforgettable for some Allen residents who fear their neighborhood could be the next blast zone.

The group wants the Allen school board to rethink a decision to place a massive above-ground bus fueling station within 1,200 feet of an elementary school and 700 feet of their homes.

And after this weekend's election, their concern might finally spark some change.

Homeowners felt their concerns about the school district's planned transportation center fell on deaf ears. So they urged one of their neighborhood leaders to run for the school board. That’s exactly what Dr. Michael Myers did, and he won.

Most people in Allen thought the transportation center was a done deal. But after the West explosion, their fears resurfaced, giving momentum to a Michael Myers. He's a candidate neighbors urged to run, though he had never run for political office.

"We were never comfortable with the fuel tank and the storage of all that huge fuel," said Tejal Jasani, who lives in a nearby neighborhood.

The neighbors voiced their concerns about huge fuel tanks stored close to neighborhoods and Cheatham Elementary.

"They'll have to reconsider this," Jasani said.

Myers led the fight against the service center. The momentum from disenchanted voters propelled him to victory over incumbent school board president Gary Stocker.

Now the neighborhood has renewed hope.

"What they got in feedback was they weren't being listened to," Myers said. "The school board was bearing down and planting their feet in the ground, and weren't going to budge."

The incumbent who lost blames his defeat on disgruntled voters.

"When people are unhappy, they go after incumbents," Stocker said. "I represented the establishment."

The neighbors say with Myers sitting on the board, they have hope a disaster like the one that happened in West can be avoided in their neighborhood.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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