Arlington

Meet the candidates for Arlington mayor

Four candidates are running for the Arlington’s mayor’s race. It is a two-year term. The passage of term limits has led to 17 candidates running for the mayor and four council seats.

Chris Dobson

Occupation Substitute teacher

Age 40

Website sonodob.wixsite.com/dobi4mayor

Best way for voters to reach you? (817)602-6061 or sonodob@gmail.com

Public offices held/sought I’ve run most of the last ten years for at-large seats within Arlington.

What organizations are you affiliated with? None

What are the most important issues in Arlington and your district? The voters of Arlington overwhelming voted for term limits indicating to me they wanted a change of culture at city hall. Beyond that the ridiculously low turnout we see in May elections, between 3-10%, of voters is indicative of the massive disconnect between the citizens and their government. We must do better in order for Arlington to achieve its potential.

Chris Dobson running for Arlington mayor
Chris Dobson is running for Arlington mayor. Chris Dobson

The City Council has grappled with short-term rentals for the last two years. Do you prefer allowing them throughout the city, banning them outright or allowing them in select areas like the Entertainment District? I attempt to draw the balance between property rights and neighbor concerns by differentiating between STR at a resident’s domicile and an investment property. In one’s homestead, or primary residence, there should be no regulation of whom the owner allows to access their house as we do not want the city counting toothbrushes or claiming a right to inspect the property. If one rents out a property that is not their domicile though, as in a second house or investment property, then that is properly a business and needs to be regulated as such. The idea of the city picking and choosing areas of the city which can and cannot permit STR’s is inherently unfair.

Do you support keeping term limits in place, or would you want them altered or eliminated? Yes if elected I will work to maintain the term limits as passed by the residents for the extent of my time in office.

Does Arlington still need mass transit or do you believe that Via and autonomous vehicle pilot projects are filling the need? Arlington does need mass transit, but I’d like to see the end of VIA in favor of a real ride share made up of Arlington Drivers and Riders. We can keep these side jobs local while encouraging greater integration of our populace. With the data from a program like this, location and time of travel, we can tailor a mass transit system with other modalities that reduces or eliminates inefficiencies.

Are Arlington neighborhoods being represented by the City Council? Does it have the right approach to attracting jobs and businesses? How do you feel about the approach the city has taken to keeping the Texas Rangers, renovating the convention center to include a new esports stadium, and the efforts to re-purpose Globe Life Park? We have had an insulated council that has more met more often in social settings exempt from the quorum rule than the number of town halls. I believe the current council has failed in listening to all the voices of Arlington, preferring an echo chamber of self-congratulatory praise. The Public Private partnerships you mention have had zero citizen input in the design and negotiation phase and only the tokenistic approval at the ballot box. The Luxury box tickets provided to the council have created the appearance of impropriety between the Rangers and City officials and needs to be eliminated.

Ashton Stauffer

Occupation Business owner

Age 31

Website https://voteashton.com/

Best way for voters to reach you? Website or Facebook

Ashton Stauffer
Ashton Stauffer is running for Arlington mayor. Ashton Stauffer

Public offices held/sought First year to run.

What organizations are you affiliated with? Business owner Jambos BBQ shack

What are the most important issues in Arlington and your district? Our mayor has used his last four years to roll out the red carpet for large corporations and owners of sports franchises. We need to start putting locally owned business first. We have an illegal immigration problem we can fix on a local level. We also have legal immigrants who need to assimilate so they can be successful. We also have a mayor saying he has lowered property tax; truth is, the good ol’ boys at the Tarrant appraisal district have raised the values of properties, so you are actually paying more. There needs to be an “effective property tax.”

The City Council has grappled with short-term rentals for the last two years. Do you prefer allowing them throughout the city, banning them outright or allowing them in select areas like the Entertainment District? There is a reasonable solution that would allow us to have short-term rentals throughout the city and keep the owners and neighbors happy. You could apply for a special use permit online, thereby keeping inspectors out of your private property. The short term rental property would be allowed two parking spaces in front of the house. There also could be a three-strike policy in regard to sound ordinance. It would be the responsibility of that short-term rental owner to make sure their guests know how important it is that they are courteous and act as good neighbors while staying.

Do you support keeping term limits in place, or would you want them altered or eliminated? I was an outspoken advocate for term limits, and I am very grateful they passed.

Does Arlington still need mass transit or do you believe that Via and autonomous vehicle pilot projects are filling the need? The price tag of Via is about to go up significantly next year. We need to take a look at this issue and come up with a solution that is going to best serve the people of Arlington.

Are Arlington neighborhoods being represented by the City Council? Does it have the right approach to attracting jobs and businesses? How do you feel about the approach the city has taken to keeping the Texas Rangers, renovating the convention center to include a new esports stadium, and the efforts to re-purpose Globe Life Park? Although we are doing a good job attracting large corporations, there is nothing in these incentive packages to encourage hiring Arlington citizens first. If I am elected mayor I will negotiate such preferences. One thing that absolutely should have been done better is the $300 million that the citizens are losing out on in tax revenue. Mayor Williams told us we were giving $500 million to the stadium, and the truth of the matter is we are giving $800 million to the stadium. Texas Live is very disappointing.I would much rather have seen locally owned restaurants.

Jeff Williams

Occupation President and ceo of Graham Associates, Inc., a civil engineering and planning firm

Age: Did not answer

Website jeffwilliamsformayor.com

Jeff Williams headshot photo
Jeff Williams is seeking reelection as Arlington mayor. Jeff Williams

Best way for voters to reach you? email jeff@jeffwilliamsformayor.com

Public offices held/sought I was elected as the Mayor of Arlington in 2015.

What organizations are you affiliated with? Did not answer.

What are the most important issues in Arlington and your district? Arlington has experienced incredible momentum with approximately 18,000 jobs created over the past few years and an unprecedented number of street repairs. Some of our most important issues are continuing with the economic growth that is bringing jobs to working families, focusing on investing in our infrastructure, partnering with local school districts to improve student outcomes, and spending tax dollars as efficiently as possible. We also must continue to explore opportunities in innovation for transportation, senior housing, and public safety.

The City Council has grappled with short-term rentals for the last two years. Do you prefer allowing them throughout the city, banning them outright or allowing them in select areas like the Entertainment District? We are working with all citizens to reach a solution that protects the neighborhoods in Arlington and allows Short Term Rentals to exist in our community in a way that is preferable to homeowners who live near them.

Do you support keeping term limits in place, or would you want them altered or eliminated? Citizens have made their desire clear for term limits in our city. Citizens have also made it clear that the exact terms of the current term limits needs to be analyzed to ensure they reflect the desires and goals of our diverse community. Therefore, the city is organizing a citizens committee comprised of residents from across our community to analyze the current terms and develop a comprehensive plan for term limits. An alternative term limit proposal can be put on the ballot in a couple of years for voters to decide.

Does Arlington still need mass transit or do you believe that Via and autonomous vehicle pilot projects are filling the need? Via and autonomous vehicles are just the beginning. These ride sharing solutions are helping reduce traffic and provide citizens with cheaper and safer options. We are in the midst of a transportation technology revolution, and I’m excited for Arlington to continue to lead the way. Arlington has 11 innovative transportation projects currently being tested - the most in the state. The next closest city in Texas has only 4 projects according to TxDOT. We have positioned Arlington as an innovative test site in order to utilize new transportation technology that will be more cost effective and safer than older solutions.

Are Arlington neighborhoods being represented by the City Council? Does it have the right approach to attracting jobs and businesses? How do you feel about the approach the city has taken to keeping the Texas Rangers, renovating the convention center to include a new esports stadium, and the efforts to re-purpose Globe Life Park? Yes! Neighborhoods are the backbone of our city and the reason why our council has named it as a top priority. Our approach for attracting jobs has resulted in adding approximately 18,000 new jobs. Arlington is the single biggest tourist destination in North Texas. That results in adding both large and small business to our community. Our formula for success is: tourism plus jobs equals better city services and lower taxes. Current efforts in the entertainment district enable the city to better serve our citizens with lower local taxes and continual improvements in streets, safety, and more.

Ruby Faye Woolridge

Occupation

Retired educator

Age 70

Website www.rubyformayor.org

Best way for voters to reach you? Phone, 817 500 1088

Public offices held/sought Congress District 6, Texas House 94, Arlington School board.

Ruby Faye Woolridge
Ruby Faye Woolridge is running for Arlington mayor. Ruby Faye Woolridge

What organizations are you affiliated with? Provisional, Junior League of Arlington Member, Fort Worth Assembly, 2012-present Member, Xi Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Member, League of Women Voters Member, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 2010- present Member, Arlington Independent Schools Superintendent Advisory Committee Secretary-Treasurer, North Texas Higher Education Authority Board of Directors, 2008-2014 Member Board of Directors, City of Arlington Parks and Recreation, 2015-present Member, Leadership Arlington Member, Arlington 2025 Committee Member, Arlington Chamber of Commerce Founder & President, Norwood Neighborhood Association, 2007-present Member, Retired Teachers Association, 2015-present Member, Women’s Policy Forum Member, Child Advocates of Tarrant County

What are the most important issues in Arlington and your district? City Hall has yet to resolve the skyrocketing water bills reported by Arlington citizens. As the next Mayor of Arlington, I will identify costs related to water usage; monitor residential and commercial water usage; and determine how best to help residents see a decrease in water bills. In conversations across the city, I have assured people I will honor the vote for term limits; I will protect their property rights; and I will seek ways to lower property taxes.

The City Council has grappled with short-term rentals for the last two years. Do you prefer allowing them throughout the city, banning them outright or allowing them in select areas like the Entertainment District? The City of Arlington is considering a plan that would limit Short Term Rentals to the Entertainment District. I believe homeowners throughout the city have a right to rent their property. The success of Short Term Rentals depends on homeowners advising neighbors of their participation as a Short Term Rental and assurances to continue being good neighbors. I support local or onsite supervision of the property, not absentee landlords.

Do you support keeping term limits in place, or would you want them altered or eliminated? I was a strong supporter of the Term Limits Charter and will work to fulfill the intent of voters. I believe term limits will bring new energy to city government with ideas that reflect the city as it is now. I will not work to reverse the vote of 63% of our voters.

Does Arlington still need mass transit or do you believe that Via and autonomous vehicle pilot projects are filling the need? I believe the 48th largest city in the United States needs regional transportation. Fellow citizens without personal vehicles, the elderly, or those with disabilities find it difficult to move around the city. Without transportation people have limited access to jobs, stores, groceries, medical care, or schools. The ride-share program, Via, addresses transportation in a unique way but is not accessible to all areas of Arlington and does little to reduce traffic congestion. It is time for Arlington to connect to our near neighbors and to DFW Airport.

Are Arlington neighborhoods being represented by the City Council? Does it have the right approach to attracting jobs and businesses? How do you feel about the approach the city has taken to keeping the Texas Rangers, renovating the convention center to include a new e- sports stadium, and the efforts to re-purpose Globe Life Park? Arlington should more aggressively compete for corporations that employ skilled workers at good salaries. Some neighborhoods in Arlington feel they have a representative in city government. Those without consistent representation are frustrated when City Hall is slow to address issues like code enforcement and problems due to population density in areas of numerous multi-family units. I am a Rangers fan who believes we could’ve resolved issues with the “Ballpark in Arlington.” Until it was reported in the media, voters knew little or nothing about plans to renovate the convention center as an E-Sport facility or to re-purpose Globe Life Park.

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