Zadeh best candidate for Fort Worth City Council District 9 seat

06/05/2014 5:51 PM

06/05/2014 5:52 PM

In the May 10 special election to replace Fort Worth District 9 City Councilman Joel Burns, a field of six candidates was winnowed down to two who will face each other in a runoff June 21.

Ann Zadeh, a 47-year-old certified city planner, led in the first election, receiving 31.29 percent of the vote. She was followed by attorney and businessman Ed Lasater, 44, who garnered 24.01 percent.

Both are qualified and can ably represent what may be the most diverse council district in the city, one that is about 60 percent Hispanic and includes the neighborhoods of Oakhurst, Worth Heights, Berkeley Place, Mistletoe Heights, Park Hill, Bluebonnet Hills, South Hills and Sunset Heights.

But Zadeh’s experience as a city and regional planner, and as the former chair of the Fort Worth Zoning Commission, gives her an edge in representing a part of the city that will face growth and development issues for some time to come.

Having been a planning consultant for several suburban cities, she will be able to carry on the work done by Burns, who resigned in February to pursue a master’s degree at the Harvard Kennedy School, as well has bring her own passion and ideas to the job.

Zadeh understands that one of her challenges will be to get more residents from various neighborhoods to become actively involved in city government. That will require a proactive role on her part, particularly in the larger Hispanic areas in which many residents are not fluent in English. She believes she can accomplish that.

One of her former opponents, Bernie Scheffler, has endorsed her.

In the May election only 9 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the District 9 race, and it is predicted that even fewer voters will show up at the polls for the runoff because there are no other issues on the ballot.

Residents should make it point to vote, something they can do early beginning Monday through June 17. Check the city’s website for times and places.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Ann Zadeh in the District 9 runoff race for City Council.

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