Four candidates running for Grapevine Place 6 seat

03/17/2014 3:24 PM

03/17/2014 3:25 PM

City council incumbent Chris Coy is running unopposed for his Place 5 seat, but Place 6 is wide open.

Council member Roy Stewart did not file to run for re-election, opening the door for four candidates to run for his spot. Running for Place 6 in the May 10 election are Marc Blum, Duff O’Dell, LuAnn Chapman Gatts and Deverick P. Jordan.

Coy, 47, joined the Grapevine City Council in 2008 and said the city has imrpoved its financial picture in that time.

“We have accomplished so much for the our citizens and businesses, making Grapevine an even better place to live and work — even during difficult economic conditions and massive disruptions due to road construction — and I want to ensure we stay on that track making Grapevine a better place to live and work, while continuing our downward trend in tax rates,” said Coy, who is seeking a third term as councilman.

He said the city used cash instead of debt for capital projects.

“I am honored to represent Grapevine’s residents, and I take very seriously the responsibility of ensuring citizens are delighted with our city’s services, while getting a good value for their tax dollars,” Coy said.

Coy is employed as director of financial planning and analysis for G6 Hospitality. He serves on the board of directors for the Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation and is a member of Grapevine’s Rotary Club and First Baptist Church of Colleyville.

“I look forward to building on the momentum we’ve developed,” Coy said. “We need to preserve what we have already put in place, as well as continue to creatively and aggressively maintain Grapevine’s uniqueness, which makes it such a special place to live.”

Coy has lived in Grapevine for 25 years. He and his wife, Traci, have three children.

Place 6 candidates

Marc Blum, 51

Blum plans to use his more than two decades of managerial and problem-solving experience to enact and support policies that empower local businesses, first responders and Grapevine citizens.

“I believe in fiscal responsibility, in government transparency, in free enterprise, in low taxes and in local control,” Blum said. “I believe government can function most efficiently and can empower citizens most effectively at the local level. Each day, Grapevine citizens must ensure their budgets are balanced and their spending is done in a prudent manner. The same applies to our City Council as we continue to grow as a city and as a wonderful community.”

Blum’s professional experience primarily has been as an IT project manager for Johnson Controls on numerous government projects. Blum said that every project he oversaw was completed on time and within budget — often saving taxpayers millions of dollars by Blum prioritizing cost-cutting strategies. Blum’s projects have included Fort Worth’s Joint Naval Air Station, Fort Bliss and the Houston Veterans Administration Center.

Before working for Johnson Controls, Blum was the IT administrator at Greystone Technology, a software development company that built simulator systems for the military. Blum’s early career experience includes management positions with RadioShack and Mega Computers.

Blum moved to Grapevine in 2007 with his wife, Orsula, after a wildfire consumed their previous home.

“I truly know and appreciate the American dream,” Blum said. “My wife, who emigrated from Poland, and I were able to get back on our feet here in Grapevine with the wonderful support of neighbors and family in the area. I look forward to giving back to our community when on the council by emphasizing transparency and communication. I will work to prioritize essential services like our first responders and to implement tax relief for our senior citizens. “

He said while future development projects are important for the city, they must also work to properly maintain the essential city services already in place, such as the roads.

“I have a proven past of providing innovative solutions in the private sector,” Blum said. “I want to bring that outside-the-box thinking to the City Council.”

Blum came to Texas at the age of 10 and began working when he was 13. He became an Easgle Scout at a young age and has remained active as an adult Scout member and leader. Blum received his bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.

He said his passion to innovate and improve upon the status quo extends to his hobbies: automotive customizing, electric car conversion and solar energy development. Blum is developing automotive patents that will make engine repairs more efficient and easier to do.

Duff O’Dell, 63

Duff and husband Patrick have lived in Grapevine for more than 30 years.

“From the beginning we fell in love with Grapevine and made a commitment to being involved in business and civic endeavors to promote our city,” she said.

Three of their four daughters graduated from high school in Grapevine and their granddaughter is enrolled at Colleyville Heritage Elementary.

O’Dell has co-owned a business in Grapevine and served on multiple city and civic boards and says she has “a vested interest in helping keep Grapevine great for generations to come.”

“My heart and my home are here in Grapevine,” O’Dell said.

After 32 years of service, O’Dell retired from Delta Air Lines in 2005 as an executive in InFlight Service.

“As a corporate director I led a team of over 14,000 U.S.-based flight attendants, managers, schedulers and trainers,” she said. “I was accountable for the department’s overall job performance, federal safety standards and customer satisfaction metrics.”

The candidate said her leadership strengths are in business development, strategic planning, project management, promoting effective communication within teams, marketing, sales and customer service.

“As a corporate director for Delta, managing my division’s budget of over $1.2 billion gave me a very strong financial background,” O’Dell said. “I was instrumental in helping lead our company through two airline mergers and the financial crisis and re-structuring following 9-11.”

After retiring from Delta, she joined Premier Bank Texas in Grapevine and served as a bank officer until 2012.

“Now I want to devote my full time focus to helping lead our city,” O’Dell said. “My extensive business and leadership experience as well as the many years I have lived and worked in Grapevine are critical success factors for the role of a City Council member. My goal is to vigorously participate in the discussions at the City Council level and make positive contributions to the decisions that will shape the destiny of our city for many years to come.

O’Dell has a lengthy list of community service, including GRACE board of directors; Grapevine Chamber of Commerce (past board director); Grapevine Historical Society (current second vice president); Grapevine Main Street Days Festival/GrapeFest steering committees and numerous others.

Civic and community service awards and recognition include Grapevine D. E. Box Citizen of the Year and Grapevine Woman of the Year.

The O’Dells have four children. O’Dell’s mother, Vonnie Johnston, lives in Grapevine.

LuAnn Chapman Gatts, 57

A longtime city resident, Chapman Gatts has been a local business owner with more than 15 years of community leadership and volunteering. She and her husband have a financial planning and investment business.

Chapman Gatts said it is “very important to keep Grapevine’s unique mix of historic preservation with being a premier destination for both convention and leisure visitors.”

Chapman Gatts sees the need to maintain fiscal stability, be responsive to citizen’s questions and increase the communication between City Hall and the residents of Grapevine.

“Involving new voters in the city is my top priority,” she said. “I want to be sure that the views of all the residents are represented, not just the vocal, voting minority.”

Chapman Gatts has served on numerous boards, including the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau, Grapevine Heritage Foundation and Friends of the Grapevine Senior Activities Center.

As a member of the steering committees for GrapeFest and Main Street Days, Chapman Gatts works with gate volunteers and food vendors. She said the experience keeps her involved with local citizens and service and civic groups which “provides opportunities for many different ideas and suggestions for the city.”

She is married to Jason Gatts and they have two children, Jordan, a recent graduate of Dallas Baptist University, and Logan, a senior at University of Oklahoma.

Deverick P. Jordan, 29

Jordan said that “first and foremost” is his love for Jesus.

“I believe in the infallible Word of God and I try to live my life according to his Word,” he said.

Jordan has lived in the Metroplex the majority of his life and has found Grapevine encompasses the best the area has to offer.

He and his wife Megan moved to Grapevine in 2008 for the quality of life, historic areas, good schools and various recreational choices available.

“These qualities, along with a strong employment base, have allowed the city to boast strong property values and maintain a relatively low property tax rate,” Jordan said.

They have two children, Kinlee, 3, and Liam, 2, both born in Grapevine.

Jordan is a member of Southlake Baptist Church and is involved in community affairs, including GrapeFest, Relay for Life and the Grapevine Heritage Foundation.

He is the managing director of D&A, a full service real estate appraisal, brokerage, consulting and review firm which maintains several satellites nationally with its headquarters in Dallas. He is a licensed general appraiser, broker and property tax consultant in Texas and other states.

“My expertise in commercial real estate will set me apart and will allow me to be a fundamental voice on Grapevine’s City Council,” Jordan said.

In December 2013, the City Council authorized the purchase of 185 acres “to be owned by the city and funded by our tax dollars,” he said.

“While I believe Grapevine’s quality of life is based on the past decisions of our great city leadership and our mayor, I think Grapevine overstepped its boundaries in this scenario, and it will inevitably cost us millions of dollars in the long run,” he said.

Jordan said he is a biblical minded individual for limited government and advocate for fiscal responsibility and believes in government transparency. He is a property rights advocate.

“Further, although I think there is wisdom with age, my generation is not well represented on the City Council,” said Jordan, who is in his 20s. “I will be able to add a fresh perspective to the city.”

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