Leadership question hangs heavy for Fort Worth council district

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Fort Worth Councilman Frank Moss looks back proudly on 12 years in public office and points to accomplishments in his District 5, an expansive area that runs from the city's southeast corner, through the historic Stop Six neighborhood to the edge of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

He has every right to be proud. But there comes a time for new, more energetic leadership. This is that time in District 5.

Moss, 68, faces challenges in the May 11 election from longtime community activist and civic volunteer Gyna Bivens and real estate broker John Tunmire, both 58. Tunmire declined an Editorial Board request for an interview.

Bivens, a former broadcaster and public relations specialist, has served twice as chairwoman of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority board. She is the executive director of North Texas LEAD, a nonprofit that connects diverse job candidates with local employers. The Star-Telegram and about 30 other businesses and organizations are supporters and members of North Texas LEAD.

Bivens is the leader who can take over from Moss and provide aggressive advocacy for District 5.

Her issues are fundamental: code compliance enforcement to rid the district of blight, economic development to bring jobs and addressing the needs of senior citizens. She points to the lagging urban village plan off East Berry Street as an example of an economic development target in need of more effort.

She also says she wants to be a "cheerleader" for District 5, adding, "You've got to have someone with the energy to take things on."

For his part, Moss says his quiet approach is a sign of knowledgeable determination. He's been working to advance quality residential development like that at Enchanted Bay at the southern end of Lake Arlington. He's also brought $400,000 in city and housing authority investment to transform the Cavile Place apartments and the Stop Six neighborhood.

Those things and more are what Moss has brought to District 5. But advancing a new leader is in itself a part of leadership.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Gyna Bivens for Fort Worth City Council District 5.

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