Gray, Hicks debate at a West Meadowbrook forum

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- City Council member Kelly Allen Gray told constituents at a Monday night forum that she's only gotten started, having served just several months of predecessor Kathleen Hicks' unexpired term.

"What I'm asking from you, as neighbors, is an opportunity to show you what I can do" with a longer term, Gray told a crowded Fellowship Hall at Meadowbrook United Methodist Church.

Hicks stepped down from the District 8 seat last year after seven years to run unsuccessfully for Congress, and she wants the seat back. She ticked off her accomplishments on the council, including winning council support for the East Berry Street tax increment financing district that has drawn major redevelopment, including a recently opened Wal-Mart, to the business-starved district.

Starting in December, as filing neared for the May 11 city election, Hicks said constituents approached her and said, "We want you to come back and finish the job."

The two answered written questions from the audience, with the moderator screening out ones he felt both candidates couldn't answer.

One questioner asked whether the candidates would commit to serving a full term. Hicks took that as aimed at her.

She said she had no choice but to resign last year from the council by requirement of the city charter after she filed to run for Congress.

Gray repeated a campaign refrain.

"I am living my dream," she said. "This is my dream job. This is what I've always wanted. I don't have any desire, I don't have any ambition, to seek another office."

Hicks, in her campaign literature, has pointed out that Gray has a conflict of interest in voting on certain public safety issues. Gray's husband is a 20-year Fort Worth police officer.

The Fort Worth Police Officers Association and Fort Worth Firefighters Association have both endorsed Hicks.

Asked to name their most significant accomplishments on the council, Hicks picked the East Berry Street TIF, which came during her first term.

"That TIF is going like gangbusters, and we are very, very proud of it," she said.

Gray pointed to a 5-4 council budget vote that blocked a water rate increase.

"It was never really relayed to the citizens how it was going to affect them," Gray said.

Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808

Twitter: @JScottNishimura

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