Fort Worth runoffs: Bivens, Paz and Ramos are best choices

Posted Friday, Jun. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Fort Worth voters in one City Council district and two school board districts can go to the polls Saturday to decide runoffs among top vote-getters in the May 11 first-round balloting.

There are distinct differences in outlook between candidates in all of these races. Registered voters in the designated districts should not miss the opportunity to register their choices.

City Council District 5

This diverse district ranges from the city’s southeast side to the border of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

In two stints covering 12 years on the council, incumbent Frank Moss, 68, has tried to address the area’s poor code enforcement, blighted communities and lagging residential and commercial development.

Challenger Gyna Bivens, 58, director of a nonprofit supported by some of the area’s largest corporations, is a longtime civic leader who says she has the conviction and energy to improve some of the city’s most depressed areas.

Bivens led the field of three candidates in the May election, with 47 percent of the vote to Moss’ 44 percent.

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

School board District 1

On the city’s north side, Jacinto Ramos Jr. received 874 votes last month, a better showing than incumbent Carlos Vasquez (578). But the slate is wiped clean for the runoff.

Ramos, 38, works with young people through juvenile probation, youth intervention and faith-based groups. He’s also a key force in the PTA at North Side High School, where the oldest of his three children attends.

Vasquez, 45 and a former Fort Worth principal, teaches fifth grade in Grand Prairie. He too often scolds other board members with angry shame-on-yous when they don’t vote his way.

Vasquez also helped steer a lucrative delinquent tax collection contract to his close friend’s law firm.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Jacinto Ramos Jr. for Fort Worth school board District 1.

School board District 9

In central and near south Fort Worth, Ashley Paz got 871 votes in the May 11 election, edging longtime board member Juan Rangel, who polled 804.

Paz, 30, is a small-business owner and mother of two who has rallied her neighbors to support local schools.

Rangel, 65, a board member since 2000, voted on a benefit program that will pay his wife, a top district administrator, a tidy sum when she retires.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Ashley Paz for Fort Worth school board District 9.

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