The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee presents the
2013 Voters Guide City Elections
School Board Elections
Mayoral Election Mark Hepworth
Terry Brooks (Incumbent) Gloria Carrillo
District 2 Jim Swafford District 4
Chester McCrary (Incumbent) Gaylord A. Thomas
Special Elections District 1 Barry Anderson Jorja Clemson Max Coleman Mike Riley District 6 Warren Landrum Kathryn Monette Joshua Spare Jeff Wooldridge
Special Election Reauthorization of the local sales and use tax in the City of Grand Prairie at the rate of one-fourth of one percent to continue providing revenue for maintenance and repair of municipal streets. ______ For ______ Against
Early Voting begins April 29 and runs through May 7 Election Day is May 11, 2013 We invited our candidates to provide a brief biography and to address a few issues. We have shared their responses on the following pages. The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce did not edit for spelling, grammar or content.
City Elections Mayoral Election Mark Hepworth Ron Jensen District 2 Jim Swafford District 4 Richard Fregoe Special Elections District 1 Barry Anderson Jorja Clemson Max Coleman Mike Riley District 6
Warren Landrum Kathryn Monette Joshua Spare Jeff Wooldridge
City of Grand Prairie Mayoral Election Mark Hepworth Biography: My love relationship with Grand Prairie began 31 years ago when my college sweetheart from TCU/wife, Deborah, and I moved here. We raised 3 sons, Kyle, Andrew and Adam, in the Grand Prairie community and GPISD; all 3 are graduates of GPHS! Our entire family has been actively involved in the community since the day we arrived. I coached and the boys played sports from soccer to t-ball to swimming to basketball, some with city leagues, some YMCA, but all with great families from GP! I've owned a small brokerage business in Grand Prairie for over 27 years and recently purchased and renovated a building right on Main St. where I get to see all that goes on in our great "uptown" area. I'm a stockbroker and financial advisor by profession at Aspen Equities, Inc. Deborah and I have been members of the First Methodist Church on Center St. in Grand Prairie for over 25 years. My dedicated work ethic is reflected in the numerous volunteer capacities in which I've served: Past President of GP Rotary Club (treasurer too); GP United Charities Board; GPISD Project Graduation Chair for 4 years and was the first to combine 2 rival schools for one night of safe and fun postgraduation excitement; Past Chair of the YMCA Board where, under my leadership, we had the first balanced budget in 7 years, also served 2 years Sustaining Chairman; GPISD Education Foundation Board. As a Council Member for 5 years, my proven leadership includes being a part of the Housing Finance Committee, the Crime District Commission, Community Development Committee, the Safety Committee, and an alternate on the Regional Transportation Committee. I've been honored with several noteworthy civic awards: Grand Prairie Citizen of the Year 2012, Paul Harris Fellow Award, NAACP Community Service Award, Samuel Winstead Metro YMCA Award, GPHS Parents of the Year 2002.
In my spare time I swim competitively and am ranked nationally in the Masters Swimming Program as well as having achieved 2nd Degree Tai Kwon Do Black Belt status. My passion is Grand Prairie and our citizens! I look forward to continuing Grand Prairie's excellence and exploring prospects for more advancement throughout our city. I ask for your vote on May 11, 2013. Mark Hepworth www.MarkHepworthForMayor.com
City of Grand Prairie Mayoral Election Mark Hepworth What is your vision for the City of Grand Prairie? I’m tremendously proud of my 5 years of service on the City Council. We have accomplished much: Summit, Uptown Theater, Farmer’s Market, National park recognition, Premium Outlet Mall, upgraded public safety departments plus our beautiful Public Safety building and our AAA bond rating. My vision is an open, transparent leadership that communicates with and is easily accessible to its citizens. This two-way communication builds trust, instills confidence, provides new ideas and obviously would include citizens, city staff and all council member input. I believe that term limits for all Council members and Mayor encourages new leaders, fresh ideas and enthusiasm. My longer term vision for the future is both exciting and achievable. IMAGINE: Joe Pool Lake, the recreation center of the Metroplex; bike and pedestrian friendly trails traversing the city; Uptown condos; connecting neighboring cities by trolley; trash recycled at sorting facility, not curb; City community center at Central Park. Please discuss the impact you hope to have on: Economic Development: Continue many of the successful economic policies that have made us a business-friendly community. I will judicially use tax abatements and incentives to recruit companies and jobs to the area. This increases our city’s tax base, and through economy of scale, affords us the opportunity to provide higher levels of service. Many of our homes sell at $60-65 sq ft. While I’m in favor of affordable housing, my goal is to increase homeowner value. This can be accomplished by changing perceptions of our city both among residents and outsiders. My leadership style is directed toward changing these perceptions: keeping our citizens informed of plans and developments throughout the city, listening to citizens’ concerns and ideas, making certain they take ownership in Grand Prairie, a “responsive local government”. Taxation / Growth: Our tax rate is sufficient to cover services citizen requirements. I will strongly resist any proposed increases. We are the fastest growing city in Dallas County and the third fastest growing city in the entire Metroplex. The growth, however, is not even. There is much to do to continue to improve the quality of life for ALL of our citizens. We have an extraordinary opportunity to revitalize a major part of the mature side of town with the recent opening of Highway 161 and the new service roads opening along 1-30. I am an avid supporter of renewing and invigorating our "uptown" (previously referred to as our downtown area). In fact I am such a proponent that I have recently purchased two downtown buildings and renovated them both. I’ve expressed a desire to the GP Chamber Board to form a business recruiting committee that would be primarily staffed with City Manager, Mayor, Marketing departments and, of course, Chamber Executive Board members. This committee will partner with the City’s Economic Development team to actively solicit company relocations.
City of Grand Prairie Mayoral Election Mark Hepworth Transportation: I have a vision much different than my opponent. He believes that roads and more roads are the solution to our transportation needs. We, as a city, have a dedicated ¼ cent tax that goes directly to our streets department. For us to grow and maximize our future potential we must acknowledge that other forms of transportation will become an absolute necessity. My vision is for a trolley line connecting “Uptown” Grand Prairie with its neighbors. My desire is to work with Arlington and Mansfield to develop a north/south transportation system (light rail or trolley or buses) that connects us to the DFW Airport. Currently, we have 2 sources of dedicated income that will become available in about 6 years: 1/8 cent sales tax from both the Summit and Quik Trip Park to assist us with costs. The Arts: I applaud our city’s efforts with the renovation of the “Uptown Theater, the partnership with Verizon Theater and the building of the Air Hogs Quik Trip Park. We have a very vibrant G.P. Arts Council that has truly enriched the cultural lives of many of our citizens with the Concerts in the Parks series and their community theater plays. I would like to see a more supportive relationship between our city and the Arts Council. I envision having a three tier performance program at the Uptown Theater. 1) Professional entertainment that attracts visitors from through out the Metroplex. 2) Continuation of the talented Community Theater run by the Arts Council 3) Local amateur talent, civic groups, schools, etc. My family has long been supporters of the arts in Grand Prairie and believe it is a vital part of our community. Safety and Public Health: The most important quality of life issue for any City leader is citizen safety and public health. Realizing that parts of Grand Prairie border other cities and acknowledging that public safety is truly a matter of adequate coverage, I will work with neighboring cities to ensure that emergency services: Fire, Police, Ambulance, Environmental work closely to establish “Cities without borders”. While we have a reciprocating agreement with other cities it is not an immediate option. EMT and public safety officers are trained to save lives and secure dangerous situations. Closer cooperation between government entities would provide a safer environment for the entire geographical area. Addressing Diversity:
Our rapid growth and our tremendous citizen diversification is an opportunity to show how open, transparent and inclusive our City leadership can be to ALL citizens. People need to know that they are heard. Accessibility, willingness to take the extra steps necessary to actively receive input from all parts of the city will be a distinguishing feature of my administration. Grand Prairie has a current population that is comprised of 47% Hispanic, 19% African American, 7% Asian, but we are all 100% Grand Prairians.
City of Grand Prairie Mayoral Election Ron Jensen
Occupation With Control Products Corporation since 1973, currently President/ Owner Academic Graduated from Grand Prairie High School in 1969 Graduated from UT Arlington with a BA in Psychology in 1973. Received Distinguished Alumni Award 2008 Public Service Elected to represent District 6 in 2002 and re-elected in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012. Named Mayor Pro Tem in 2003, 2010 and 2012. Currently serves on the Council Finance and Government Committee. Previously served on the cityâ€™s Housing Finance Corporation. Member of TIF Districts 2 and 3. Also, serves as the city representative on the Regional Transportation Committee and served two years on the North Texas Council of Government Executive Board. Serves on the Grand Prairie Sports Facilities Development Corporation. Previously served as Chairman of the YMCA board for two terms, YMCA Sports Committee Chair; YMCA Campaign Chairman for two years; Past President of Grand Prairie Rotary Club, also served as Secretary-Treasurer for two years; former member of DFW Medical Hospital Board; Past Board Member of the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce. Chamber of Commerce Public Servant Award 2004. Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year Award 2007. Personal Married for 41 years, wife Rebecca (both graduates of Grand Prairie High), three children Eric, Jennifer and Nichole. ( all three graduates of South Grand Prairie)
Three grand children, Hannah, Victoria and Jackson. Grand Prairie resident since 1963. Member and Trustee at Matthew Road Baptist Church.
The act of voting is one opportunity for us to remember that our whole way of life is predicated on the capacity of ordinary people to judge carefully and well.â€”Alan Keyes
City of Grand Prairie Mayoral Election Ron Jensen
Question: What is your vision for the City of Grand Prairie? Please discuss the impact you hope to have on: Economic Development Taxation / Growth Transportation The Arts Safety and Public Health Addressing Diversity Economic Development Work to get quality developments along the newly opened Western Extension of the George Bush Toll way. In addition, we will soon be opening new access roads along I-30 and then later on along I20. We have to capitalize on this and can’t just wait and see who calls. We need to beef up the Economic Development department and be more proactive. I would add one additional staff position in our economic development department whose sole purpose would be to solicit new development. Our Economic Development team does a great job on retention, downtown development and reacting to developers once we are approached. We need to aggressively pursue new developers. My focus on transportation cannot be overlooked as it pertains to development. The opening of the Western Extension of the George Bush Toll Way and the new frontage roads along I-30 and then I20 has and will open up hundreds of developable land. My next focus will be on the completion of State Highway 360 South of I-20. Taxation / Growth Twenty years ago, Grand Prairie was known as a bedroom community with a disproportionate tax burden on residential property owners. Since I’ve been on council, we’ve made attracting and maintaining business a top priority, especially in the area of retail growth. In 2006 our tax base was comprised of 53% residential and 47% commercial. Currently the tax base is 49% residential and 51% commercial. In addition, we are currently receiving a much higher amount of sales tax due to our expanded retail developments - Most notably the Outlet Mail. My belief is that the outlet mail would not have been built in Grand Prairie had it not been for Highway 161. We can always do better, but I believe we are headed in the right direction. Transportation As the City Council’s representative on the Regional Transportation Committee, was a strong advocate for getting 161 funded. Constantly working with NTTA Board Chair Paul Wageman, NTCOG Transportation Director Michael Morris and Dallas area TXDOT Engineer Bill Hale to get a deal
City of Grand Prairie Mayoral Election Ron Jensen down. Then as we were about to finalize the deal and move forward; the Senate (upset with Governor Rick Perry and the Trans Texas Corridor project funding) drafted a bill which would have placed a moratorium on all Toll projects. Mayor England and I went to Austin, testified in front of the Senate Transportation Committee and got with Senator Harris who added an amendment to the bill keeping 121 and 161 out of the moratorium. If elected, I will work hard on getting State Highway 360 completed south of I-20 to 287. To accomplish this I will continue to serve on the Regional Transportation Council and the Southeast Tarrant County Transportation Partnership Committee (I was the Secretary until I resigned to run for Mayor) to make sure the regional leaders know how critical this highway is to not only Grand Prairie, but Arlington, Mansfield and Kennedale. In addition, I will continue my relationship with TXDOT and NTTA leaders to make sure they know Grand Prairie is involved in the process. I’ve spent the past 11 years developing relationships with key leaders in the METROPLEX and State making sure they know Grand Prairie is very interested in being part of the decision making process and making our needs known. The Arts I strongly support the Arts, as does most – if not all – of the City Council. After completely renovating the Uptown Theatre, I and my fellow council members supported allowing the Grand Prairie Arts Council numerous dates for not only performances, but art shows and other events. In addition, the Farmers Market/Market Square has become an extremely nice venue for the Arts Council to use. I will continue to support this successful partnership. Safety and Public Health Public Safety is of the utmost importance to our citizens. We have a new Fire Chief and a relatively new Police Chief. I expect great things from them and will support them in any way I can. Concerning our Fire Department. Equipment and facilities are areas where the council can make a direct impact. We are building a new, modern Station #1. We need to get started on Station 10 so we can be on line with it in 2016. I think we do a good job in equipment replacement, but need to make sure we have state of the art equipment in order to keep out firefighters safe and our first responders the tools to save lives. Concerning our Police Department. Fortunately our crime rate is down 24% comparing 2011 to 2012. However, being tough on crime is one of my top priorities and if elected mayor I will support the following: Keep and expand the current police vehicle take home policy as it’s a force multiplier. Support the expansion of the citizens on patrol program. Support capital expenditures (when bond capacity allows) for technological improvements. Such as, Computer Aided Dispatch and a new Interoperability radio system which allows for neighboring cities first responding to all communicate more effectively. Support continuous training and equipment upgrades to make sure our police department has the tools and training necessary to do the best job they can do.
City of Grand Prairie Mayoral Election Ron Jensen Concerning Public Health. A new smoking policy is an issue whose time has come. As Mayor, I will ask the councilâ€™s Public Safety and Health committee to look at neighboring cityâ€™s policies and draft us a new smoking policy that does a better job protecting the health of our citizens. Addressing Diversity Grand Prairie, like many of our neighbors, is becoming more and more diverse. Fortunately our citizens have embraced this diversity and continue to work together for the good of the community. Going forward, as a majority, minority community we need to do a better job of making sure our city staff reflects the make-up of our community. As Mayor, I will make sure the City Manager knows this is one of my priorities.
City of Grand Prairie District 2 Jim Swafford Occupation: Retired in 1996 as President of Nations Bank/Bank of America and its predecessor banks. Academic: Mr. Swafford is a graduate of Arlington High, the University of Texas at Arlington and the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. Public Service: Selected to represent City Council District 2 in 1998 and re-elected in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2010. Named Mayor Pro Tem in 2000, 2004 and 2011. Also, previously served as a Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem from 1977-1979. Currently serves as Finance Chairman of the Grand Prairie Sports Facilities Development Corporation as well as Chairman of the Council’s Finance and Government Committee. Previously served on the city’s Housing Finance Corporation. Member of TIF Districts 1 (Chairman), 2 and 3. Board of Directors Methodist Health System in Dallas since 1985; a member of Methodist Mansfield Hospital Advisory Board; Grand Prairie Independent School District Board of Education member 1984-1993 and served as its President 1985-1986; an Honorary Life Member of South Grand Prairie Quarterback Club and the “Voice of the Warriors” for 34 years. Presently Corporate Secretary/Asset Manager (formerly President) of the Grand Prairie Quality of Life Foundation, Inc.; Chamber of Commerce Zeus Award 1998; Vice-President and Life Member of Chamber of Commerce (Member of the Year 1970 and 1976; Citizen of the Year 1996); Former Vice-President of Grand Prairie Crime Commission; Past-President Lions Club; Rotary Club Director; Past Master of Arlington Masonic Lodge; DeMolay Legion of Honor; Former Board Member and Treasurer of YMCA. Married to wife, Judy, for 51 years. Two children, Robert and Renea, two grandchildren, Jane Anne and Johnson, and one great grandson, Graham Nolen. Questions: 1. Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a City Council Member for Grand Prairie? What do you hope to accomplish while you are in office? I have had the honor and pleasure to serve the citizens of Grand Prairie as District 2 Councilmember for the past 15 years. I also served an earlier City Council term in 1977-79 and a 9 year term as a Grand Prairie Independent School Board Member. As a Council member I have served on the Finance and Government Committee for 15 years and as its Chairman for 10 years. During this time the Committee developed many outstanding financial policies and procedures which have resulted in the City recieving a AAA credit rating on water and sewer bonds as well as General Obligation bonds and Certificates of Obligation. This enhanced credit rating saves the taxpayers of the City several thousands of dollars each time a bond package is sold. Since serving as Councilmember, the City has not had a tax rate increase. In fact, the City has had
City of Grand Prairie District 2 Jim Swafford two tax rate decreases. Growth and Economic Development have been a very positive generator for Grand Prairie over the past 15 years. This has been due to sound fiscal policies and aggressive and innovative marketing programs. 2. Prior to seeking this position, in what capacity have you served the City of Grand Prairie?
Please see the answer to question #1. Additionally, I have been an active business leader in Grand Prairie for over 50 years. My experience as an elected official spans 26 years of that period. 3. What is your view on the economic development of Grand Prairie and its impact on infrastructure? The City of Grand Prairie has a bright future for growth. Approximately 30% of its land remains undeveloped and ready for expansion. The City's future for economic development is unlimited. I anticipate the future growth to mirror the past growth. This will enable us to keep the taxes and utilities at reasonable levels and allow us to use the "pay as you grow" method to develop needed infrastructure.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Barry Anderson Barry Anderson is the Executive Director of Arlington New Beginnings, Inc., a supportive housing development for low to moderate income elderly living in Tarrant County Texas. Anderson has a strong background in finance, market, and development. In addition to the aforementioned, Barry Anderson has had a long history of supporting volunteerism in Texas with an emphasis on education, child-care, and issues and concerns of the elderly. Anderson currently serves as a board member of the Texas Guardianship Certification Board and Grand Prairieâ€™s Zoning Board of Adjustment and Appeal. He also serves as a board member of the Mount Olive Baptist Church executive board of deacons, Mount Olive Baptist Church Federal Credit Union and Water From The Rock Enterprise, Inc. Most recently Anderson served as board chair of the Texas Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service and One Star National Service Commission. He has also served as trustee to Country Day School of Arlington, the Citizen Advisory Committee of Grand Prairie Independent School District, and on the recruitment and membership committees for the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce and the J.P. Morgan Chase Metroplex Advisory Council. Anderson is family man with strong spiritual values. He has been married to his wife Gina for 33 years. They have two highly successful children who attended schools in Grand Prairie and have both received post-graduate degrees. Prior to accepting the Executive Director position at Arlington New Beginnings, Inc., Anderson had 15 successful years in marketing and sales of financial services at General Electric Financial Services and 5 years of strategic planning and development with Alliance Data Systems. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force.
Early Voting begins April 29 and runs through May 7 Election Day is May 11, 2013.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Barry Anderson As a candidate for the Grand Prairie city council in District 1, it is as honor to participate in the Chamberâ€™s search of information about each of the candidates and their views regarding the role(s) they would play as a council person. My answers to the questions you have raised are: Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a City Council Member for Grand Prairie? What do you hope to accomplish while in office? Having served on many state and local boards along with my business career in finance and strategic planning have afforded me the opportunities to develop skill sets that are needed in this critical time of change that we are currently in. It is my contention that we must be focusing on what will make us recognizable as well as a significant player in the North Texas Region. We must look for opportunities that will unite us as neighboring cities, rather than isolate ourselves. To do this, we must become an active participant in the North Texas Council of Government. We need to prepare or get prepared to engage as a city that has many things to offer neighboring cities in the region. We must become proactive and market the many assets of Grand Prairie. We must learn why so many businesses and individuals have such a negative perception of Grand Prairie. We must demonstrate that we have a can do attitude. As a member of the City Council, I will make it a must priority that the Economic Development Department recognize the value of the Chamber of Commerce as one of the most vital parts of economic development and sustained growth. The chamber must be recognized as a key marketing resource of the city. As a city councilman, I will personally work with other city chamber members that have the same vision of collaborating to see that Grand Prairie is a place that business can relocate to. I am convinced that if we are to become a world class city then we must demonstrate to our neighboring cities that we have the potential of participating in the larger environment. Prior to seeking this position, in what capacity have you served the City of Grand Prairie? I currently serve on The Zoning Board of Adjustment and Appeals. What is your view on the economic development of Grand Prairie and its impact on infrastructure? Having spent a great amount of time reviewing the five(5) year Consolidated Plan as well as the current budget the city is operating from. I believe that there are some challenges to the infrastructure as the result of the Federal Sequestration there are many tough decisions to be made. There has to be some in-depth strategic thinks as well as planning to make sure we maintain a course that will keep the city sound financially. We must begin to diversify the business climate of Grand Prairie. This cannot be done if we do not have the properly trained highly skilled work force. The demographic shifts will have a significant impact on the economic climate of both the skilled workforce and our ability to attract companies that are willing to relocate employees with significant incomes. `
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Jorja Clemson A lifelong resident of Grand Prairie, Jorja has been married to Dan L. Clemson for 41 years. They have three children, Spencer Clemson, Leanna Clemson Garcia and Allison Clemson Allison. They also have seven fabulous grandchildren: Blake Garcia, Cade Garcia, Allie Garcia, Luke Allison, Lane Daniel Allison, Boston Lee Allison, and Madison Clemson. She is the daughter of Ruthe Jackson and the late Vernon Jackson. Jorja is a graduate of Grand Prairie High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Arlington and later received a scholarship to return to study Music Education. She was a long time student and friend of the late Earl Tom Keel, who taught her to share her love of music and singing with others. She has been active in the Grand Prairie Summer musicals where she has had leading roles and co-produced many shows. Jorja was selected to sing with the Dallas Symphony Chorus for several years. Jorja is the director of the Joyful Hearts, women’s singing group, who have performed across the metroplex. Jorja has been active in her family’s business for many years, now serving as president of Store Service, Inc. She also serves on the board of directors for Product Sales Inc.. She also served as office manager for Product Sales, Inc. Jorja is a member of CrossPoint Church of Christ, and has served as a Bible class teacher, member of the praise team, and served on various committees and projects. She served on the Bible Study Fellowship International leadership team for 10 years. Community service includes past president of Grand Prairie City Council of PTA’s, past president of Grand Prairie Arts Council, past president of Grand Prairie Woman’s Club and founding president of Junior Woman’s Club, Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce board of directors, Young Audiences of Greater Dallas Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Grand Prairie Library Board and a member of Keep Texas Beautiful. She is past president and current board member of LifeLine Shelter for Families, Inc., serving families of homeless children within the Grand Prairie Independent School District. She has served as Chairman of the LifeLine Shelter Freedom Luncheon for many years, which, with the help of the board and the committee has raised more that $250,000 for homeless children and their families in Grand Prairie. She currently serves on the Board of the GPISD Education Foundation. Jorja was the founding president of Kids INC.. (In Need of Clothing), where she currently serves on the Board of Directors. She was instrumental in organizing the Grand Prairie High School Alumni Association, where she served as President.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Jorja Clemson Education Foundation. Jorja was the founding president of Kids INC.. (In Need of Clothing), where she currently serves on the Board of Directors. She was instrumental in organizing the Grand Prairie High School Alumni Association, where she served as President. Jorja was recently named Woman of the Year for 2012, by the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce. and was selected as “Outstanding Young Women of America” two consecutive years, received the Jeri Fischer Community Service Award from the Grand Prairie Council of PTA’s, and was honored to receive the Women In History Hall of Fame Award from Soroptomist International of Grand Prairie in 2010. She was awarded Life Membership to the Texas PTA by the GP Council of PTA’s. Hobbies include spending time with grandchildren and family, growing and enjoying beautiful flowers, and helping people. Dan, Jorja's husband is co-owner of All Vend Management. He is a member of CrossPoint Church of Christ, where he serves as Elder and has taught adult Sunday school classes. He is a member and past president of Rotary International, where he is a Paul Harris Fellow. He has served as past president and member of the Grand Prairie Independent School District School Board, YMCA board and Chamber of Commerce board. updated 3-19-2013 Questions: 1. Why do you feel you are qualiﬁed to serve as a City Council Member for Grand Prairie? What do you hope to accomplish while in ofﬁce? My husband, Dan, and I have owned and operated a business in Grand Prairie for many years. I know what it means to meet payroll, make strategic decisions and work with people from various backgrounds. I am also a lifelong resident of Grand Prairie, and I am passionate about giving back to the community. I have held several leadership positions on a wide variety of boards, commissions and organizations, that I hope have helped make our city a better place to live. For over 30 years I have had a track record of serving with excellence and integrity. I am very proud of the progress we have made over the years and I will continue to lead Grand Prairie in a positive direction, by promoting a strong local economy. We have so much potential for quality development along Highway 161 and in our commercial warehouse district. The new Restoration Hardware Distribution Center is a perfect example of the kind of economic development we need to provide good paying jobs and strengthen our economic base. I will work to get the highest and best use of property, which is necessary to expand the tax base and provide competitive salaries in the public sector so we can attract the best and brightest people who will continue providing quality service to our community.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Jorja Clemson 2. Prior to seeking this position, in what capacity have you served the City of Grand Prairie? I have had the privilege of serving as president and chairman of boards and organizations that have made signiﬁcant contributions to the city of Grand Prairie. The following is some of my leadership in our community: past president and current Board Member o LifeLine Shelter for Families, Inc. president and current Board Member of Kids Inc. (kids in need of clothing) past president of Grand Prairie Council PTA past president of Grand Prairie High School Alumni Assoc. past president and Life Member of Grand Prairie Woman’s Club past president of the Grand Prairie Arts Council founding president of GP Junior Woman’s Club member and past board member of Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce and chairman of Safety Committee board of directors of Grand Prairie Education Foundation past chairman of Grand Prairie Library Board past president of Eisenhower Elementary PTA past president of Adams Middle School PTA Grand Prairie Historical Organization Life Member member of CrossPoint Church of Christ Bible Study Fellowship International Member member of Nottingham Neighbors I am very proud to have had the privilege of being Chairman or Co-Chairman of the Freedom Luncheon for the past nine years, which beneﬁts LifeLine Shelter for Families, Inc.. LifeLine provides temporary housing for the homeless children and families in the Grand Prairie Independent School District. In the past nine years, the LifeLine board and committee has raised over a quarter of a million dollars to help reduce homelessness for the children and families in crisis in Grand Prairie. Our city comes together, from all walks of life, including churches, businesses, organizations, and individuals to make this one of the most exciting , successful and beneﬁcial events in our city. It is such a blessing to have had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these children and families. 3. What is your view on the economic development of Grand Prairie and its impact on infrastructure? Our city is well poised for continued economic development because current city leaders have done a good job preparing the infrastructure and an environment to attract quality business. The service roads along I30, Lake Ridge Parkway, Sarah Jane Parkway, and of course Highway 161, are great examples of infrastructure that provides potential for tremendous economic growth. The new Restoration Hardware on Highway 161 is just the beginning of things to come in Grand Prairie. I agree with Tarrant County Commissioner Andy Nguyen’s assessment at our Chamber event where he called the area of Highway 161, Highway 360 and I-20, “The Golden Corridor”. My vision is to build on our ﬁrm foundation and continue attracting quality business and residential developments in order to increase the tax base and create an economically sustainable community.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Jorja Clemson
In District 1, we have so much potential for quality development along Highway 161 and in our commercial warehouse district. The extension of Trinity Boulevard. is another classic example of having infrastructure in place to help promote commercial development. With growth comes added pressure on our streets and city services, which is why we must be decisive and plan ahead in order to meet the needs of our growing population and increased business developments. It is imperative that we use proven business practices to operate efďŹ ciently and not spend beyond our means while continuing to provide quality services.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Max Coleman My Dad, Max Coleman: A Life Dedicated to Grand Prairie -By Alicia Coleman, Phd Max arrived in Grand Prairie, Texas, in 1954 with his family when his father became an employee of Chance Vought Aircraft, Inc. Relocating from Tennessee, his family lived first in Avion Village, then later in the Inglewood addition. The future entrepreneur attended school at Crockett, Milam, and Lee , and spent his free time swimming at cottonwood park and building a three wheeled ice cream cart to sell ice cream. In high school, Max worked for several well-established Grand Prairie businesses, such as Rocky Stone Pest Control and Eddlemon’s, before he graduated from Grand Prairie High School in 1967. Following high school, he married his high school sweetheart, Sylvia McIntyre and attended UTA as a business major. While his wife Sylvia raised Great Danes In the early 70’s, that gave Max the idea to open John Paul’s Pet Grooming salon in Marshall Plaza which he later sold in 1974 and is still here in GP at Marshall and 8th St. In 1975 Max began working at Green Thumb INC. ( Division of Ralston Purina). As there regional sales manager, Max was over greenhouse’s, trucking and sales associates for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi. In 1978, Max and Sylvia had their first daughter Alicia. In December 1980, they welcomed their second daughter Danielle. On April 1st 1980 Max started his own plant business, Green Foliage & Supply, INC with a $1500 loan by Jim Swafford from Midway National Bank. In the mid 80’s he started Interiorscape Service Company which he later sold to Roxanne Mankin and is still in business today. In 1984 after obtaining an interstate authority Max diversified into hauling fresh and frozen meat. In 1987 their third daughter Colleen was born. In 1990, Max started a dry van division with one truck and one trailer and grew to 28 trucks and 125 trailers. In 2009 Max sold his trucking company keeping the freight brokering, safety divisions and commercial real estate which he manages today. Questions: 1 Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a City Council Member for Grand Prairie? What do you hope to accomplish while in office? As a person that has built 4 businesses in Grand Prairie I have personnel knowledge and understanding what is required to define what the objective is , gather the tools and information required to achieve the objective and the vision to see the completed project before work has begun. For the past few months I have spent my time talking to citizens of Grand Prairie learning what they expect from our City. Thought we have been extremely successful at a number of things, there are times when we have not met the citizen’s expectation. As a representative of District 1 I see it as my responsibility to either meet the expectation of our tax payers or to make certain they have an understand of why the expectation cannot be met.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Max Coleman I have also availed myself of the opportunity to sit in on City Council sessions and our council is a very congenial group and I have to wonder how they so readily agree often voting together on issue. This creates the appearance that decision making is not transparent to the citizens. You would think that if each item were considered by each individual council person, we would have varying views on issue and therefore votes reflect that individualâ€™s thinking. While in office, my focus will be to make certain citizens understand the reasoning behind every vote I make. I will serve my district and represent the voters. I will make every effort to bring your visions to the forefront. 2 Prior to seeking this position, in what capacity have you served the City of Grand Prairie? As a business person I have paid business taxes, real estate taxes, and provided jobs for the citizens that have worked for the companies I have built. I believe as a business man that is the strongest commitment I could make to the City. After much success this area, I felt it was time to engage in different ways and to give back to the city that has been a great place to raise a family, to live and to play. So I started looking for opportunities to serve.
I found myself first in Leadership Grand Prairie learning about the different aspect of how the city functions and was struck with the conviction that I could do more, so I started volunteering at the chamber of commerce and in so doing was able to assist a events that allow the chamber to be a resource for the business community. I have met State representative and Senators that represent Grand Prairie. I have also started to meet with various business people in District 1 to determine how I can best serve my district. I also met with the Small Business Development Center that service Dallas County and learned that there are a number of businesses that Grand Prairie should be pursuing to come make their home here where they can create jobs for our citizens and support our city through their economic impact.
3 What is your view on the economic development of Grand Prairie and its impact on infrastructure? Grand Prairie has a unique opportunity in that we are no where close to being built out or land locked. We are centrally located for commerce in the U.S .and with plenty of real estate to build on and an abundant work force of young qualified workers to offer new and existing businesses we are in a great position for expansion.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Max Coleman As a City, we have been preparing for the anticipated growth on Hwy 161 and the 360 extension to 287 for a long time, so the infrastructure that is in place, or in the process of placement has us poised for explosive growth.
“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” ― Abraham Lincoln
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 1 Mike Riley 1. Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a City Council Member for Grand Prairie?
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I am qualified to serve as a city council member because I want to serve as the voice of all people which I believe is not represented in our city government. I have always had an interest in our city government along with a desire to give back to the community that I enjoy so much. A vote for me will be a vote for openness in city government. There will be no hidden agendas. Each representative in government has an obligation to meet the needs of the all its citizens. What do you hope to accomplish while in office?
Please make some specific comments concerning your ability to have a positive effect on finance, taxation, growth, economic development or other facttors leading Grand Prairie in a positive direction. One overall goal would be to reduce taxes and eliminate unnecessary regulations because high taxes can severely hurt job creation and the peopleâ€™s quality of life. Achievement of this goal would have the desirable affect of making the government more limited in scope while at the same time citizens would be able to have more money in their pockets to spend as they want to in our city. As being an elected official I want to push for term limits with our city council and mayor. 2. Prior to seeking this position, in what capacity have you served the City of Grand Prairie? I currently have not served in any capacity with the city. 3. What is your view on the economic development of Grand Prairie and its impact on infrastructure?
As being a resident in Grand Prairie I have always felt we have spent too much time not interacting with our neighboring cities. I would like to see more affordable housing and a form of mass transportation so it will make our city more viable in the DFW Metroplex. Some of the biggest effects on our quality of life are our roads, water supply and sewer service; loose those and nothing else much matters. We need to take the time now to repair or rebuild these areas. There is too many times while driving around our city there is too many potholes and bumps. With a quality infrastructure this is key to our future here in Grand Prairie.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Warren Landrum Warren G. Landrum, Jr. was born on October 11, 1954 in East Chicago, Indiana. He grew up and was raised in that steel-mill community on the shores of Lake Michigan until he went off to college to Purdue University, from which he graduated with a degree in Information Systems and Computer Programming.
Warren served in the U.S. Air Force, both at home and abroad. It was while in the Air Force that he first became exposed to overseas travel, a passion that he would pursue at every opportunity throughout his life. While stationed in Germany, he was able to travel throughout Europe, experiencing the various cultures and lifestyles in Holland, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Great Britain. Warren continued his traveling ways upon entering corporate America. He had remote assignments in Bermuda (7 months), Taiwan, Bangok, Thailand (12 trips); and back to Europe again, this time experiencing Paris, Milan, Munich, and the London-Reading area. All of those experiences, along with his leisure/vacation travel to various parts of Mexico, Canada, The Bahamas, Jamaica, the Philippines, Cruising the Caribbean, and throughout most of the U.S., along with being married to his beautiful Jamaican wife, have given Warren a truly global perspective and insight in regards to both observing and living life. Warren and his wife Carol are the proud parents of one daughter, Suzette, and one Lhasa Apso, Niko. They are members of the Church of the Disciple United Methodist Church in DeSoto, where Warren chairs the Strategy & Visioning Committee, and Carol, an RN, heads the churchâ€™s Health Ministry. Warren is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the first Black Greek-Letter Fraternity, which was founded in 1906. Questions: Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a City Council Member for Grand Prairie? What do you hope to accomplish while in office? I like people. I love my city. Before I actively began preparing myself for the office of City Council Member of Grand Prairie, I believe that the various experiences I have had throughout my life have more than adequately prepared me for this role. I have experienced and lived in different cultures around the
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Warren Landrum world, and that has allowed me to see that no matter where you are or where you go, people have the same basic needs, and people are basically the same. I experienced these cultures both during my travels in the U.S. Air Force, in which I enlisted at age 22 and served 4 years, and via corporate travel, when I traveled throughout Europe and Asia, leading various projects. Most people just want an opportunity to earn an honest living and take care of their families and be able to raise them in a safe, affordable environment and to provide the best educational foundation they can for their kids. I have been actively preparing myself for the office of City Council Member for Grand Prairie ever since around 2008, when I was named first Chairman of the Civil Action Committee for the HOA for the community in which my wife and I reside, Mira Lagos. It was during that time that I invited our City Councilman, Ron Jensen, out to my home to attend our meetings on a quarterly basis. During the two+ year period that I led that committee and we held those meetings, I started seeing that if you had someone in that position who was honest, accessible, and accountable to the people, there was a possibility to really get things done for the benefit of the citizens, with both parties working together. So I started preparing for my journey. I knew that to be prepared for the position, I would need to start learning a bit more about some of the areas of what it takes to make a city work. I was appointed to the Keep Grand Prairie Beautiful Commission and served there for a couple years, viewing the relationship between that organization and the City Council, and gaining some first insights into the dynamics of both the individuals, and the processes that make up City Council. After serving on that Board, I was appointed to the Library Board, and again, just gained even more insight from another view of some of the people and processes involved in getting things done. As recently appointed Chairman of the Community Development Committee of the Grand Prairie YMCA’s Board of Directors, my goal is to get out into some of the various communities in the city and to begin trying to meet the citizens at their areas of need. The key concept here is service, and being a Servant-Leader is really what being a City Council Member is all about. People and Relationships. That’s really what it comes down to. I have a true compassion for people and I am a coalition builder when it comes to working with different groups of people. These two traits are key traits that every City Council Member needs to possess. In addition to working with these various organizations, one must also stay abreast of things going on that may have an adverse effect on the city or its’ citizens. A case in point occurred a few years ago when I became aware of one of the gas drilling company’s intent to start a new well at a distance that many felt was too close to a daycare center over on Lake Ridge just south of Camp Wisdom. I wound up getting involved and played an instrumental role in get-
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Warren Landrum ting City Council to deny that permit. Today a dentist’s office sits where that gas well would have been. And a couple days before I completed this questionnaire, I was made aware of some bills being proposed in the Texas House that may considerably lessen municipality’s abilities to regulate some of these energy companies. Upon learning of this, I communicated with the office of one of the State Representatives that represents part of Grand Prairie (we now have 5 State Reps and 3 State Senators representing us) and asked him to look into this further and get back to me. The point being made here is that one has to stay in tune with what’s going on both locally and at the state level, to be able to have the requisite knowledge to be able to discuss and make decisions on any issue that comes up that may affect all or parts of the city. I also routinely peruse the City Council Agenda and Minutes on the City’s website and have been doing this on a routine basis for years to keep abreast of the types of issues that come before Council. One final preparation that I have undertaken that I have to mention is the Leadership Grand Prairie Program. I enrolled in this 9-month program on my own dime in September of 2012, and it has been invaluable in helping me to get a greater understanding across a wide breadth of city services and departments. I have gotten to go ‘behind the curtain’ in areas of Education, Utilities, Economic Development, Hospitals and Medical, Police and Fire, the GP Airport, and on and on. This program is so enriching, I think one of the things that I may recommend if I am elected is that it become a mandatory program to go through for anyone that files for City Council or Mayor in this city. It is that good and that important of a program. As to what I hope to accomplish in office, I want to make sure that ALL of the people of Grand Prairie feel that they have an elected official in City Hall who truly understands where they are coming from, and who can empathize with all of their plights, and who will really listen to what they have to say. I hope to be able to form meaningful coalitions on all of the issues that come up to make sure that they are addressed in a consistently fair manner, paying attention to what is economically and holistically best for moving the city forward in each case. I’m not going to name any specific areas that I want to tackle; the City has already mapped out a plan for the future. Once elected, I will study the plan to make sure I understand it, and I will raise questions about anything I don’t understand, and if I come across anything that I don’t think may necessarily be in the best interests of the citizens, I will definitely question and call for discussion on those type of issues. Again, what it all comes down to is to make sure that all citizens are represented and valued. I will say though, that perhaps more of the city’s funds may somehow need to be channeled toward some type of activities or facilities in some of the more disadvantaged parts of town, to
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Warren Landrum allow these citizens respite from the daily grind. This would perhaps also serve as alternatives for some of the youth who may be going down the wrong path, because they don’t have enough accessible, affordable alternatives within their reach – alternative activities or facilities which might allow them to channel their energy in a more positive manner. This could even include something like youth skills or career-training centers, in which they could be taught some of the technological skills or exposed to job-training that would prepare them for jobs in the twenty-first century. The City may even want to consider partnering with some companies that will be providing clean jobs so that those companies could perhaps subsidize some or all of that training. It’s all about inclusiveness. We were also asked as part of this question (in small print) to make some specific comments concerning our ability to effect positive change in the areas of taxation, finance, growth, and economic factors to lead Grand Prairie in a positive direction. To that I respond that the ability to understand the issues, problems, and challenges that will arise in each of these areas is key. I believe that I have the formal educational background, the corporate experience in regard to having managed multi-million dollar budgets and being fiscally responsible and a good steward of the resources of whomever I have worked for over the last 30 years, the common sense and demonstrated good judgment, and the people and coalition-building skills to be able to tackle issues in any of these areas and work to an outcome to effect positive change.
Prior to seeking this position, in what capacity have you served the City of Grand Prairie? As mentioned above, I have served on the following Boards and Commissions for Grand Prairie: Keep Grand Prairie Beautiful Commission Library Board Additionally, I have served the City by my membership in the following groups: Grand Prairie YMCA Board of Directors – Chairman of the Community Development Committee Grand Prairie Rotary Club Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce Leadership Grand Prairie, Class of 2012-2013
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Warren Landrum What is your view on the economic development of Grand Prairie and its impact on Infrastructure? From what I have been able to ascertain in the 6+ years that we have lived in Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie seems to be doing a pretty good job managing their monies in a fiscally responsible manner, although perhaps incorporating or at least taking a serious look at some of the ideas I mentioned above, might be a good idea. But overall, I believe that the City Manager and City Council are to be commended for the direction that the city is going in regards to economic development. When the Leadership Grand Prairie class that I am in went to Austin and talked to Grand Prairie’s Lobbyists, State Representatives, and State Senators, I also learned that Grand Prairie is progressive in the fact that we even have lobbyists in the first place, who, among other things, are keeping a watchful eye on proceedings and bills that could affect us in either a positive or adverse manner. So, again, the City is to be commended for that. I think there are still some challenges and opportunities for economic growth. The southern sector of the city around Joe Pool Lake probably needs to have some more revenue-generating businesses down there to keep some of the sales tax dollars in the City – some that are going to Mansfield and Cedar Hill. When I was Chairman of the Civil Action Committee for my HOA, we commissioned Buxton to do a Gap Analysis aka Leakage/Surplus Analysis to present to our Councilman in an effort to see why and where sales tax dollars were leaving Grand Prairie due to the lack of retail development on The Peninsula. No action was taken as a result of this but even five years ago, I realized that this was an issue that needs to be addressed. Additionally, Council just recently rejected a rezoning request to make one particular tract of land low-impact commercial, so it remains high-impact. This means that the opportunity is there to make sure we get the right kinds of businesses and restaurants down there. That’s why I started a survey amongst the residents down there to find out what some of their thoughts are for commercial businesses on The Peninsula. They came up with some very interesting and creative ideas. I passed this survey and the results on to our current Council in late February and got some feedback from some of them that there WERE some good ideas contained. But this is what Council should continually be doing – getting citizen feedback. I’m not saying that they don’t. I’m just saying that this will be part of the Standard Operating Procedure for me if I’m elected. As to the effect of the economic development on the Infrastructure, to slightly modify a phrase, ‘If you build it, will they come?’ If we revitalize downtown, will people come? They will come if they have good roads and easy access to get in and out of downtown. So the infrastructure and economic development go hand-in-hand. They will come if they feel that it is a safe, inviting environment in which they can just kick back during the day, or maybe catch a show at the Uptown or dine at an as-yet unbuilt first-class restaurant in the evening.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Warren Landrum And the reverse is true as well. If you build the infrastructure to facilitate getting people to locations (such as the Highway 161 extension down to Lake Ridge Pkwy.), that will entice business owners to want to locate their businesses along some of these roadways, and make for new â€˜destination centersâ€™ across the city.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Kathryn Monette I was born in Texas and grew up in Irving. I have lived in Grand Prairie for 31 years and in District 6 for 20 years. My children grew up here and now my grandchildren are growing up here in Grand Prairie. When we moved here we were surrounded by horses, cows and farming. Now the city has surrounded us.
I raised my children as a single mom and learned to be very frugal. My children are now grown, college educated, successful adults. I grew up in Girl Scouts and I was the leader of my daughters Girl Scout troop. I have been the coordinator for the children's department at my church for 5 years. When my children were in elementary school I went back to college and received my degree in Electronics Engineering. Questions: 1. Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a city council member for gp? What do you hope to accomplish while in office? Please make some specific comments concerning your ability to have a positive effect on finance, taxation, growth, economic development or other factors leading GP in a positive direction. I have studied economics, taxes, the welfare system, and business growth on my own for several years and I find it quite interesting how the simplest decisions of government can affect our day to day lives. For example; the higher the taxes, the slower the growth of business. I think Grand Prairie needs to make it easier for a small business to get started here, such as tax incentives and less red tape. Possibly combine the building and code inspections. 2. Prior to seeking this position, in what capacity have you served the City of Grand Prairie? I worked for the City of Grand Prairie as a roaming temp employee for 2 years. I worked in various departments and I learned much about the city and how it operates. I also volunteered with the Keep Grand Prairie Beautiful when it was just getting started. I was a street captain for Neighborhood Watch. 3. What is your view on the economic development of GP and its impact on infrastructure? District 6 is a growing district. I think the citizens that live in the area should be allowed more input for what happens in the continued growth of the area. There are so many opportunities for the direction of growth. While the first duty of tax dollars should go to support our police and fire departments, we also need to concentrate on the development of our libraries. I don't think citizens should be threatened to vote yes on a sales tax or their property taxes will go up. This has happened twice and I think the vote should be whether the citizens even agree with what the council wants the tax for in the first place! I think there is opportunity to lessen the amount of police suv's and hire more officers and/or give the current ones raises.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Joshua Spare
I am a conservative businessman who believes in balanced budgets and reasonable spending. I have been married for 11 years to my wife Jeanne and we have two children, a 5 year old boy and an 8 year old girl. My kids were my inspiration to enter the political arena. First as an HOA representative, expanding to the PID and now to City Council. I want to leave a great legacy for my children by making Grand Prairie the premier city in DFW. I am a member of Highpoint Church in Arlington where I was baptized. Education: Graduated Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ in 1993 with a B.A. in English/History Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) #47238 Civic Roles: 3 terms as HOA Board Member â€“ Mira Lagos 1 term as Peninsula PID Board Member
Job History: Over 14 years as an Information Technology Manager with 20 years in the industry. Hobbies: Tournament Chess player (TX state champion for U1400 section in 2003) Road Cycling Martial Arts Questions: Question 1: Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a City Council Member for Grand Prairie? What do you hope to accomplish while in office? I am qualified to serve as your City Council Member because of my background in business management and community management. I have been a business manager for 14 years in energy, accounting and technology corporations. I have been responsible for multi-million dollar budgets and teams of employees. I have also served my community as a HOA Board member for three terms and was their first finance chairman. During my time as a Board member, I started our first reserve fund by setting aside money for future needs. I also was instrumental in enacting programs to lower our delinquency rate by over 25%, bringing us below the DFW average. More recently, I was elected to the Peninsula PID Board as an alternate member. The PID Board maintains the
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Joshua Spare common areas and ponds on the Joe Pool Lake Peninsula. I understand a business or city needs to run on a budget. The HOA and PID budgets I manage combine to almost $2 million annually and I help keep both organizations on track and on budget. When I am in office I will focus on keeping our community safe and secure. The safety and security of Grand Prairie citizens cannot be compromised and must remain a primary focus for the City. As such, it is currently first on the Cityâ€™s long term goals as stated in their budget overview. To enhance safety and security, we must build fire station 10 on the Peninsula. Currently, the fire department cannot meet their goal of a four minute response time to emergency calls. We need to fix this issue by building the new fire station. I will also focus on bringing business to the expanding 360 corridor and Lake Ridge Parkway. Highway 360 has just been approved for an extension from Camp Wisdom Rd. to Highway 287. This will bring many new travelers to the area and increase the desire for businesses to develop along the highway. We need to start the process of encouraging businesses to build on the Grand Prairie side of the highway (just like we did with the Super Target and Home Depot shopping center years ago) before the highway is even started. We also need to take advantage of the expansion of Lake Ridge Parkway. Lake Ridge Parkway is the primary artery to Joe Pool Lake. We need to bring high end restaurants and businesses to this area to enhance the Lake as a world class destination. Joe Pool Lake is a great resource for our City and we need to utilize it to our best advantage. We can create a world class resort area right on Joe Pool Lake. This will bring businesses and increase property values for all the surrounding areas.
Prior to seeking this position, in what capacity have you served the City of Grand Prairie? I have dedicated myself to the serving the City of Grand Prairie over the past 5 years. All of my efforts have been on a volunteer basis. I did not do these things because I was creating a resume to run for public office, I did them because I wanted to help my community and neighbors. I truly enjoy giving my time to make my community better. As part of my volunteering, I been involved in running the Mira Lagos HOA as one of their first elected Board Members and I am now serving my third term. I have also been elected to the Peninsula PID as an alternate member. Over the years, I have met with different developers to make sure their projects are in line with what the citizens of Grand Prairie desire for their neighborhoods. I have reached out to the gas well drill-
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Joshua Spare ing companies to open lines of communication between them and the citizens of Grand Prairie. Also, our HOA sponsors an annual community toy drive to benefit the Santa Cop program. I seek to extend my level of volunteer service to the citizens of Grand Prairie as your next City Council Member.
Question 3: What is your view on the economic development of Grand Prairie and its impact on infrastructure? Grand Prairie must continue to develop and grow in order to continue to provide excellent services to its residents. We need to expand our infrastructure into new areas of the city to facilitate this growth. This will mean new transportation, gas, electrical and water supplies for undeveloped areas. Grand Prairie needs to build out its infrastructure to serve as a framework for new economic development. The City must be ready to provide services to new areas before the economic development commences. Without building out our City infrastructure, we will not have more development.
City of Grand Prairie Special Election District 6 Jeff Wooldridge
I am running for Grand Prairie City Council District 6 because, I am born and raised here in Grand Prairie. I have seen the development in this town and district 6 first hand. I remember when Robinson road was named Belt-line and was a two lane road. I remember when Joe Pool Lake opened. My dad took us as a family for a drive down Lake Ridge. I remember the boats parked along the side of the road waiting to be the first on the lake. It's also where I learned how to drive. Although I was 14... .My dad and I would take a weekly Sunday afternoon stroll down Lake Ridge. I own and operate a retail Paint and Body Shop here in Grand Prairie.
Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a City Council Member for Grand Prairie? What do you hope to accomplish while in office? 1. I believe that small businesses are very important to this town.I feel as a small business owner, I know what kind of dedication and hard work is takes. I have the ability and understanding of how to communicate with the people in this city. We need to continue to grow. And support our own local business and with doing that we will generate enough tax money to keep this town a great safe place to raise a families and do business. And I would also address the Fire Station #10. I would like to start construction on it by the end of 2013. Prior to seeking this position, in what capacity have you served the City of Grand Prairie? 2. I have served this town as a business owner helping people in need of my services and as a volunteer. I work with my Rotary Club to help make this a better place. As we continue to fund many important issues within this town. I hire Interns from Dubiski High School to help them learn the Automotive repair business. What is your view on the economic development of Grand Prairie and its impact on infrastructure? 3. I feel that we need to emphasize the retail market. I believe we already have a Staff of employees that are well trained and use great professionalism . We might be challenged to keep them representing our town. But, with Grand Prairie's recent Growth in the retail market, we should be able to keep them in our town. District 6 growth has been amazing. And It will continue to fund this city. I look forward to continuing to make Grand Prairie a safe place to raise your kids, Just as I was raised and I plan on raising my own! These are just a few reasons that I am proud to call Grand Prairie my HOMETOWN! And I would really appreciate your VOTE!!
School Board Elections
Place 1 Terry Brooks (Incumbent) Gloria Carrillo
Place 2 Chester McCrary (Incumbent) Gaylord A. Thomas
GPISD Trustee Place 1 Terry Brooks (Incumbent)
Mr. Terry Brooks is a lifelong resident of Grand Prairie and a product of Grand Prairie schools. He attended Crockett Elementary School, Lee Middle School, and one year at Grand Prairie High School. He graduated from South Grand Prairie High School. Terry's father and his three children also attended Grand Prairie Schools, all graduates of Grand Prairie High School. He is currently expecting the birth of his first grandchild in May. Terry has worked for the Vought Aircraft Division of Triumph Aerostructures as an aircraft mechanic for the past 26 years, and is a UAW representative. He is a Lifetime Member of the PTA. He is also a member of First Baptist Church in Grand Prairie and of Thomas B. Hunter Masonic Lodge #1356. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his children, the lights of his life. As a veteran school board member with 15 years of service, Terry still believes he is making a positive difference for the children, taxpayers, and employees of GPISD. He has been honored with the Community Service Award from Grand Prairie’s NAACP chapter and as the Texas School Board Member of the Year by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. He looks forward to continue to make a difference. Questions: 1. Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a School Board Member for Grand Prairie Independent School District? In my fifteen years of experience as a trustee I have gained valuable knowledge in administrative leadership. Every decision I ever have made or ever will make is designed to keep the best interests of our students, taxpayers, and employees at the forefront. I look forward to the opportunity of working with the community to continue moving our district forward together. 2. In your opinion, what are the issues facing the Grand Prairie Independent School District and how do you plan to address them? The continuing financial issues among our state’s public schools present a constant challenge to our district. We are always seeking innovative ideas to increase revenue, such as our Schools of Choice and Every Child, Every Seat, Every Day initiative. Raising the district’s attendance by just 1% would generate an additional $1 million in revenue from the state. Also, in these troubling times, we are proud to lead the way in ensuring that our employees are among the best-prepared and highest-trained in Texas to be able to deal with crisis management. All 47 of our campuses currently have a police presence during each school day.
GPISD Trustee Place 1 Terry Brooks (Incumbent)
3. If you are an incumbent, what have been your accomplishments since joining the Board? The quality of education in Grand Prairie has improved greatly in the past fifteen years. Our graduation rate has climbed to 98.7%. Two new high schools, Dubiski and Crosswinds, ensure that our students are prepared to emerge as tomorrowâ€™s leaders. The academies opened earlier this year at Arnold and Kennedy Middle Schools are giving our young men and women a head start to lead and succeed. And I am personally proud that the district has never had to lay off a single employee for financial reasons during my tenure.
GPISD Trustee Place 1 Gloria Carrillo
I am a 35 year resident of Grand Prairie. We moved here from Washington, D.C. where my husband worked for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. I have been married to Francisco for 47 years. We have three children, all graduates of South Grand Prairie High School. We have six grandchildren, four boys and two girls. I have a BA in Business and Masters in Business Administration with specialization in conflict resolution from Dallas Baptist University. I work for a law firm which specializes in personal injury litigation in Oak Cliff as a General Liability Case Manager. Service to the community has always been one of my priorities. I have given back to my community by serving on many boards and commissions. These have included: President of Castleridge Home Owners Association, Vice President of Grand Prairie Unity Coalition, Member of Grand Prairie Building Advisory and Appeals Board, Board Member of Grand Prairie YMCA, Chairperson of Grand Prairie Cinco de Mayo Committee, Campus Improvement Committee (CIC) for Garcia and Sequin Elementary Schools, and have served on GPISD Bond Committees in 2003, 2007, and 2011. I have a vested interest in seeing our public schools provide the best education for our students with all students being either college or career ready. Our students are our countries most valuable resource – investment. I have had the privilege of chairing the Cinco de Mayo Committee and in that capacity our organization has awarded $230,000.00 in scholarships to GPISD students of every ethnicity. Our goal in 2013 is to award $10,000.00 in scholarships. My service to the community has definitely benefited me as well as the students in GPISD. The Ford Foundation honored me for my volunteer work resulting in two elementary schools in Grand Prairie ISD being awarded $1000.00 each. I believe that a quality education is the gateway to opportunity and success for our students. Their success ensures the success of our nation and our freedom. “Education is freedom and freedom is everyone’s business.” I look forward to having the opportunity of serving our community as a school board trustee in Place 1.
GPISD Trustee Place 1 Gloria Carrillo
Question 1: Why do you feel you are qualified to serve as a School Board Member for Grand Prairie Independent School District? Response 1: The role of a school board member first and foremost is to look out for all students. As the wife of an educator, parent of students who are graduates of GPISD and a mother of a current educator, I understand fully that Education is not just a line item on the school board’s agenda. It should be our only item. In that light as a school board trustee I will be accessible to the public and accountable for the performance of our Schools. Actually my role as a trustee should and will be to hold the person the board selects to conduct the day to day operations of the school – the superintendent – accountable for the success of all schools. I want to make a difference and have an impact on the lives of all children in our district. Since school board members are charged with governing all functions of the school district – what better way to have an impact than to server as the next Place 1 board trustee. I will advocate for excellence, equity, equality and respect for all students and staff. I have been working with the district for 26 years as a volunteer with the Cinco de Mayo Committee, LULAC’s Top Salute for students, and served on the Campus Improvement Committees for Seguin and Fannin as a community advocate. My diverse background gives me a different perspective in dealing with all cultures and ethnic groups within our district. I believe my gender, education, and background will be beneficial in bringing something different and unique to the board. I have the passion and determination to advocate not only for all students and parents, but for the teachers, administrators and all other employees of GPISD. Question 2: In your opinion, what is the biggest issue facing the Grand Prairie Independent School District and how do you plan to address it? Response 2: Safety is a major issue for the district. This includes safety as it relates to the learning environment for students and the working environment for all staff. What all of us know is that if students don’t feel safe in school, it is difficult for them to learn. What we also know is that is teachers and administrators don’t feel supportive, receive resources they need, it is difficult to teach our kids or serve as the administrator for that campus. Safety and security programs must be organized in such a manner that ensures accountability and enhances cooperation and communication among parents,
GPISD Trustee Place 1 Gloria Carrillo
schools, communities and local government. Bullying including “Cyber-bullying is inclusive of the safety issue and effects not only our students but staff as well. The district has some programs in place, such as Rachel’s Challenge, Kindness Across the Prairie, Capturing Kid’s Hearts, and “Talk About It.” As a trustee member I would take steps to request information on how effective including cost analysis these programs have been and whether teachers have the resources needed to implement them effectively. This would include feedback from students, staff and parents to be shared with tax payers. I will support these programs where data shows they are effective and advocate the removal and/or replacement of those that are not. Question 3: If you are an incumbent, what have been your accomplishments since joining the Board? If you are running against an incumbent, what do you want to achieve during your time in office that your opponent has not addressed and what steps will you take to accomplish that? Response 3. There are at least three areas that I would like to address and achieve a greater success rate than my opponent during my term in office. While my opponent has been involved in some efforts to address these areas, I believe his efforts have not resulted in the most effective and efficient way. First I would like to more effectively address the district’s drop-out rate. I would like to see the district reduce the district’s drop-out rate and increase the district’s completion rate. A step I would take would be to request the district to move forward at taking a comprehensive look at examining the data about student groups not completing graduation on time, research and secure effective early intervention strategies and programs for students in “at risk” situations. This step would also include getting feedback from parents and students as well as learning about other state and national strategies and programs that utilize best practices leading to increased graduation rates.
I would also expand parents and students understanding of college and career readiness. While the district has made some progress in this area, I believe much more is needed to allow our district to be able to compete with the surrounding districts. This process needs to begin before high school and focus on helping students and their parents/guardians better under the college admission process including graduation requirements, skills need to be successfully workplace.
GPISD Trustee Place 1 Gloria Carrillo
We need to improve board transparency, particularly in how decisions are made; more open discussions of decisions that impact students and taxpayers and we need to be more accessible and responsive to the stakeholders. This means more than just listening but actually taking actions that reflect concerns expressed. The step in this third area I will take will be to be open, speak with clarity and be thorough in examining all angles when making decisions that affect our students and staff. This transparency includes removing the barriers that prevent teachers, administrators and other staff from repercussions when they want to discuss concerns and or recommendations to board members. This step also includes my desire as a board trustee to encourage more parents to be actively engaged in board meetings above and beyond when their child might be recognized. While this type of activity is great, parents and taxpayers need to feel they are welcome and encourage attendance at all board meetings and be engaged in the decision and policy making processes of the district supported by their tax dollars.
GPISD Trustee Place 2 Chester McCrary (Incumbent) Chester McCrary Lifelong Grand Prairie Resident Graduate of Grand Prairie Schools Wife (Sherry) 35 years AISD Teacher Mother (Henrietta McCrary) 33 Years GPISD Teacher Trustee for GPISD beginning in 2006 Bachelor of Science Degree - Texas A & M Commerce Master of Science Degree - Texas A & M Commerce 23 Years GPISD Classroom Teacher 14 years GPISD Central Administration Director of GPISD Career & Technology Director of GPISD Energy Conservation Presently employed by Dr. Kenneth Cooper Cooper Clinic - Dallas, Texas Highland Park United Methodist Church - (SMU) Worship Every Sunday
GPISD Trustee Place 2 Chester McCrary (Incumbent)
Questions: Why do I feel I qualified to serve as a Trustee for GPISD. * * * * * *
Served on the GPISD Board of Trustees for seven (7) years. Classroom Teacher in GPISD 23 years Administrator in GPISD for 14 years Attended Annual Texas Association of School Board training in Austin Attended quarterly meeting / training North Texas Associoaation of School Boards Attended all available training by The Center for Reform of Schools Systems - CRSS This is outstanding training !
What are the issues facing the GPISD and how do I plan to address these issues? * Supporting students and staff as we transition to a new accountability and assessment sys tem. * Securing adequate school funding. * Continue to seek a revision in the transportation allotment to support district efforts to expand school choice. * Expanding career and college readiness pathways for all students As a Trustee my responsibility is to support the teachers, administration and superintendent. It is critical to not micro-manage the district! It is my/our job to stay informed of what is best for our students and set policy when necessary. Trustees stress the above issue as our goals and ask for reports from the administration / superintendent to keep us informed on the progress. What have been your accomplishments since joining the Board in 2006 ? The following are positive "trends of student success" that make everyone in Grand Prairie proud. I am proud to be a part of the success students in Grand Prairie are experiencing.
Academic Accomplishments · In Reading/English Language Aarts, there is a decrease, from 10% to 6%, in the gap between the highest and lowest performing student groups. · In 2011, all student groups performed at or above the Recognized level. · In Math, the gap between the student groups closed from 15% difference to 10%. · Writing performance is at the Exemplary level for all student groups with almost no sig nificant gap between the student groups. · Science performance has shown significant improvement since 2007. The gap be tween student groups has decreased from more than 30% to 12%.
GPISD Trustee Place 2 Chester McCrary (Incumbent) School Choice Accomplishments · GPISD has embarked on a robust School of Choice program to enhance educational opportunit ies for students while operating at maximum efficiency. · We currently offer over 13 schools and programs of choice. · GPISD is now designated an open enrollment district.
Special Accomplishments · GPISD offers self supporting employee daycare centers at five campuses across the district. · GPISD continues to pay $301 toward employee insurance. Positive student success is happenings in Grand Prairie ! ! !
GPISD Trustee Place 2 Chester McCrary (Incumbent) Social Studies performance has also increased with little to no gap between the student groups. Financial Accomplishments · Fitch IBCA bond rating is “AA” with a stable outlook. · Standard & Poor’s Rating Services assigned “AA” rating to GPISD. · GPISD consistently maintains superior ratings in the FAST rating system. · The M&O tax rate was maintained at a level of $1.04 and I&S tax rate of $0.425 for a combined rate of $1.465. The rate remained the same as 2010-11 school year. · GPISD maintains a robust fund balance with just over $14m for four months. College and Career Readiness Accomplishments · With an early focus on College Readiness, Grand Prairie ISD entered into a partnership with the College Board to begin funding the PSAT test for all 10 th graders in 20082009. · In 2010-2011, Texas began funding the ReadiStep for all 8 th graders and the PSAT for all 10th graders to support the College Readiness Pathway for all Texas students. · Legislative budget cuts in education in 2011-2012 resulted in withdrawal of appropria tions for ReadiStep for 8th grade; however, state funding continued for the 10th grade PSAT. · Grand Prairie ISD made the important decision to continue to provide local funds to ad minister the ReadiStep to all 8th graders in 2011-2012, giving the district’s 8th graders critical information about their progress toward college readiness. · In 2010-2011, Grand Prairie ISD saw a significant 9.1% increase in the number of 11 th grade PSAT test-takers. · While most significant gains in participation see a decrease in performance, GPISD jun iors scored 1.3% higher in math and .1% higher in writing on the PSAT in 2010-2011. · GPISD 11th graders had higher mean scores in all three areas (Critical Reading, Math, and Writing) than the mean scores of all Texas juniors who took the PSAT in 20102011. · Additionally, more Black and Hispanic juniors took the PSAT, with a 53.8% and 5.1% increase respectively. GPISD Completion Rate and Graduation Rate · Completion rate includes students who graduated in four years or returned for the fifth year of instruction. · Completion rate has improved by 10-15% in all student groups. In 2011, for the first time, we reached the exemplary level of more than 95% completion rate in all student groups. · GPISD graduation rates remain high at 84.4% which is only 1% point lower than the Re gion and 1.4% below the State based on data from the Class of 2011. · The dropout rate in GPISD is 1.3%. ·
GPISD Trustee Place 2 Gaylord Thomas My name is Gaylord Thomas. Iâ€™m a Dallas native and I attended college outside of Houston, Texas and received an undergraduate and graduate degree from Prairie View A&M University. My professional career consist of over 8 years of social service/community outreach/housing non-profit management and government sector. My wife and I have a son and we are long time Grand Prairie residence. As a family man with spiritual values, I enjoy my family and am a strong believer in giving back to the community, being a servant leader for Christ, and an advocate for all children.
I have a desire to serve and give back to my community. With this passion, my dedication, experiences and leadership skills, I believe I will be an asset to the school district and to my community. I believe we all have a responsibility to give back. I also want to make a positive impact on our school district and community by serving as an advocate and voice for students, parents and the citizens within our community
Safety issues particularly incidences of bullying from multiple forms including cyber bullying. Lack of male teachers at the elementary level Continuity and consistency with teachers and administrative staffing of campus personnel that impacts staff working conditions and ultimately student academic performance. Reducing the dropout rate for students in the school district particularly Hispanic and African American students. Lack of comprehensive and meaningful parent engagement reflective of the demographics of the district â€“ investigate and adopt strategies used in other districts that have been
GPISD Trustee Place 2 Gaylord Thomas successful - set this as a priority for our board. Lack of genuine and sincere responsiveness to the diversity within the student enrollment and their parents in the district – training on culturally responsive leadership, diversity trying and training on addressing unconscious biases that are clearly present in many aspects of the district’s operations and practices
Be a strong advocate for all students, especially students with special needs Promote policies and practices that ensure equity, excellence and access to programs and opportunities ensuring success for all students Initiate policies and practices that advocate for the recruitment and retention of diversity and excellence among the district’s teaching and administrative staff with emphasis on increasing male teachers Promote innovative policies and practices that decrease the district’s dropout rate, incidences of bullying and continue to decrease the achievement gap among and between various student groups within the district Advocate for innovative ways to address areas of cuts in education funding and increase the district’s fiscal accountability Promote open lines of communication for teachers, administrators and other staff to address concerns and promote excellence in working conditions and instructional delivery for students Serve as a voice and advocate for parents and citizens of Grand Prairie to ensure the district’s school system continues to move toward the best school district within the state.
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” ― Isaac Asimov
Early voting by personal appearance will be conducted at the following locations: Crosswinds High School (Dallas County voters only) 1100 N. Carrier Parkway Garner Elementary School (Dallas County voters only) 145 Polo Road Asia Times Square (Tarrant County voters only) 2615 W. Pioneer Parkway Additionally, early voting by personal appearance shall be established on the dates, during the hours and at the locations as identified in this Notice and all other locations as designated in the contracts with the Dallas County Elections Administrator and the Tarrant County Elections Administrator. Registered voters in Dallas County may vote at any early voting polling location in Dallas County. Registered voters in Tarrant County may vote at any early voting polling location in Tarrant County. For more information regarding these additional locations, please contact the Dallas County Elections Department at (214) 819-6300 or www.dalcoelections.org or the Tarrant County Elections Department at 817-831-8683 or www.tarrantcounty.com/eVote. Additionally, temporary branch polling places for early voting shall be established on the dates, during the hours and at the locations as designated in the contracts with the Dallas County Elections Administrator and the Tarrant County Elections Administrator. For more information regarding these locations, please contact the Dallas County Elections Department at (214) 819-6300 or www.dalcoelections.org or the Tarrant County Elections Department at 817-831-8683 or www.tarrantcounty.com/eVote. Dates and times of early voting shall be: April 29 - May 3 (Monday through Friday) Dallas and Tarrant County 8 am - 5 pm May 4 (Saturday) Dallas County 8 am - 5 pm Tarrant County 7 am - 7 pm May 5 (Sunday) Dallas County 1 pm - 6 pm Tarrant County 11 am - 4 pm May 6 - May 7 (Monday and Tuesday) Dallas and Tarrant County 7 am - 7 pm Dallas County voters may make application for mail ballots directly to the Dallas County Elections Administrator, 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 820, Dallas, Texas 75207; Tarrant County voters may make application for mail ballots directly to the Tarrant County Elections Administrator, 2700 Premier Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76111. Applications for ballots by mail must be received no later than May 3, 2013. The last day to register to vote in the May 11, 2013 election is April 11, 2013.
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We live in a society where decisions are made by those who show up.
Our freedom to raise our voices to speak out about the type of community in which we want to live was bought and paid for at a high price. It is our privilege, our right and our obligation to exercise that freedom. Inform yourself and vote.
Donâ€™t let your voice be silent. Early Voting begins April 29â€”May 7 VOTE MAY 11, 2013.
2013 Voters Guide Rev