Fort Worth

March 10, 2014

Sixth candidate files for Fort Worth council seat

May municipal ballot includes bond issues, contested races and a crime prevention tax renewal.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This report has been updated from the original to correct that the latest candidate is not a former Fort Worth school board member.

A sixth candidate has joined the race for City Council District 9.

Juan A. Rangel, 28, filed shortly before the 5 p.m. deadline Monday. Rangel, a resident of the Fairmount neighborhood, signed the election application Juan Rangel III.

Rangel, an event planner, has lived in Fort Worth for 28 years, according to his application. He did not reply to phone messages Monday evening.

District 9 opened to a last-minute special election after Councilman Joel Burns announced his resignation in February to attend a midcareer masters program at Harvard University. Most municipal elections were closed by Feb. 28, but the District 9 deadline was extended because of the sudden announcement.

Five other candidates have filed for the seat: Margot Garza, Greg Hughes, Edward Lasater, Bernie Scheffler and Ann Zadeh.

Also coming up on the May 10 municipal ballots are two big bond programs totaling nearly $1 billion — a transportation-focused proposal for Fort Worth and an all-or-nothing package for the Arlington school district — and other initiatives.

The Arlington school district is playing host to the biggest bond election in Tarrant County, placing a $663.1 million package on the ballot.

If approved, the tax rate will increase 15 cents from 2016 to 2020 before tapering off. The district plans to improve the arts, sports, facilities, transportation and technology.

If voters approve the package, a homeowner with property valued at $100,000 would see an annual tax increase of $126 starting in 2016, Chief Financial Officer Cindy Powell said.

Students could see districtwide fine arts, athletic, agricultural and career/technical centers worth more than $130 million.

Trustees placed the entire package in one proposition on the ballot. The Arlington district’s last bond package was five years ago for $197.5 million, and its final projects are set to be complete by fall.

Fort Worth’s $292 million bond program will come before voters in seven proposals: transportation and infrastructure at $219.74 million; parks and community services at $31.44 million; libraries at $12.65 million; fire stations at $9.28 million; municipal court renovations at $1.53 million; facility-related expenses at $15.08 million; and animal care and control at $2.35 million.

The bond proposal does not call for a tax rate increase but will increase the city’s debt.

Fort Worth’s half-cent sales tax for the Crime Control and Prevention District is also up for renewal in May. First implemented in 1995, the crime control district must be renewed by voters every five years.

The revenue from the fund goes to gang and crime reduction, school and youth safety, and police enhancements. The fiscal 2014 budget for the district is $62.3 million.

Arlington voters will also be asked to approve a quarter-cent street maintenance sales tax that generates about $13.5 million annually. Voters first approved the tax, which must be renewed every four years, in 2002.

April 10 is the last day to register to vote in the local May elections. Early voting is from April 28 to May 6.

Contested elections include:

Arlington schools

Bridgett Davis and Kecia Mays are running for Tony Pompa’s seat, which expires in May. Pompa chose not to seek re-election in order to seek state Sen. Wendy Davis’ seat, an unsuccessful effort.

City of Arlington

District 6 Councilman Robert Shepard and District 7 Councilman Jimmy Bennett, who both represent the entire city, face challengers in their bids for a fourth term.

Gerald Kern, who owns Elite Concierge and Luxury Transportation, is making his first run for the City Council, seeking the District 6 seat, which has been held by Shepard, an attorney, since 2008.

Chris Dobson, who is making his fourth run for the council, has his eye on the District 7 seat, which Bennett, a certified public accountant, has held since 2008.

City of Colleyville

Place 3 Councilman Stan Hall is being challenged by Chris Putnam.

Grapevine-Colleyville schools

Trustee Jesse G. Rodriguez has filed for re-election in Place 5. Troy Greisen also filed for Place 5.

Board President Jorge Rodriguez has filed for re-election in Place 7. Mark Assaad has also filed for Place 7.

City of Mansfield

Councilwoman Wendy Burgess, who is seeking a second three-year term in Place 7, has drawn challenges from Kelvin Stroy and Kendall Polk.

Mansfield schools

School board member Danny Baas, who is seeking a second three-year term in Place 6, is facing Kory Watkins.

City of Southlake

Councilman Martin Schelling is running to keep his Place 1 seat against Shahid Shafi. They also opposed each other in 2011.

Former Mayor Pro Tems Gary Fawks and Virginia Muzyka are running for Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pamela Muller’s Place 6 seat. Muller cannot apply because she has met the city’s term limit of two consecutive terms.

Staff writers Robert Cadwallader, Dustin L. Dangli, Monica Nagy and Marty Sabota contributed to this report, which includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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