Arlington

Meet the candidates for Arlington City Council District 4

District 4

District 4 covers western Arlington, primarily between Interstate 30 and Interstate 20. Three candidates are vying for the two-year term. Incumbent Kathryn Wilemon could not seek reelection due to term limits.

Cyndi Golden

Occupation Certified registered nurse anesthetist

Age 65

Website Golden4Arlington.com

Best way for voters to reach you? Golden4Arlington.com

Public offices held/sought ran for? (no answer given)

What organizations are you affiliated with? Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, TXANA PAC MPAC of Arlington (a women’s political action group).

What are the most important issues in Arlington and your district? Our city is facing an aging infrastructure and a growing population. This places great demands on city services and budget. The money available for infrastructure must be prioritized to provide citizen safety and address the most pressing issues. Collaborating with the largest businesses in Arlington for city initiatives could help. In my district there are specific issues with flooding that present a problem. The district needs responsiveness and better communication from the council.

Cyndi Golden
Cyndi Golden is running for the Arlington City Council District 4 seat. Cyndi Golden Handout

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? Property rights are important and Texas has ruled that owners may rent their property however they choose. Rentals should be licensed and pay hotel occupancy tax. There should be limits on the number of people allowed based on the number of bedrooms. All city laws regarding noise, parking and such must be followed with stiff penalties for offenders. If three (or a reasonable number) of violations occur the license should be suspended or possibly revoked. A local person must be immediately available to deal with renter issues. It seems discriminatory to allow some owners to operate and refuse others.

Do you support keeping term limits in place, or would you want them altered or eliminated? The citizens sent a very clear message to the council by approving term limits by over 60 percent. They should be kept in place.

Does Arlington still need mass transit or do you believe that Via and autonomous vehicle pilot projects are filling the need? We should expand VIA citywide. Consider options specifically for the downtown area and folks who live there, or any area of great density and need. This could be greater use of autonomous vehicles, easy access to pedestrian walkways and sidewalks, scooters perhaps. Consider business initiatives for companies that actively promote and succeed in rideshare and carpooling. Arlington has been very creative in providing anything except a broad-based system for wide-scale public transportation. The citizens have voted down this issue three times. It would be good for everyone if there was a main transport line between Ft.Worth, Dallas, and 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? I believe a disconnect has occurred between the council and some citizens. Folks verbalize their belief that the council is not representing them and their wishes. Whether this is real or perceived, it is a valid truth for these citizens. Arlington has been successful attracting many large businesses and enterprises; however, we need to improve promoting small local businesses as well. These create economic opportunity as well as support city culture and identity. Repurposing our aging convention center was a smart use of updating infrastructure. Our sports structures offer a very unique event space unlike any other in the US.

Andrew B Piel

Occupation Attorney

Age 47

Website www.andrewpielforarlington.com

Best way for voters to reach you? 817-366-8810, andrew.piel@yahoo.com

Public offices held/sought Previously ran for State Representative

What organizations are you affiliated with? Attorney-partner 2003 to present at Harrison Steck, P.C. Law Firm, commissioner 2007-2011 Arlington Planning & Zoning Commission, member from 2002-2003 Arlington Citizens Budget Review Committee, member in 2014 and 2017 Arlington Citizens Bond Committee, member 2013-2014 Arlington Comprehensive Plan Update, committee member 2014 Arlington ISD Capital Needs Steering Committee, former member 2008-2009 Arlington Chamber Board of Directors, past vice-president Arlington Education Foundation, member 2001 to present First United Methodist Church Member as well as volunteer and incorporator Western Citizens Action Network of Arlington.

andrew piel
Andrew Piel is running for the Arlington City Council District 4 seat. Brad Loper Courtesy

What are the most important issues in Arlington and your district? My priority will be public safety. The core function of city government is to keep people safe. This is critical to ensuring Arlington remains a place where people want to purchase a residence and live. The second priority will be to ensure our residents’ home values are protected. Oftentimes, our residents’ homes are their single largest asset, and key to their retirement. My third goal is to keep taxes low. The tax burden on homeowners can negatively affect retirees on a fixed income. My fourth goal is to keep Arlington an economically-vibrant business community, for both large and small businesses.

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 Texas Legislature may have something to say about this, as legislation regarding STRs is pending. Grapevine’s ordinance banning STRs has been stayed by a trial court, and will likely be appealed all the way to the Texas Supreme Court. In the meantime, I think Arlington can register and regulate STRs in a straightforward way that allows for neighborhoods to be protected. I would like to use the photo and reporting features in the city’s MyArlington smart phone application to allow neighbors of STRs to make their concerns regarding a STR promptly known.

Do you support keeping term limits in place, or would you want them altered or eliminated? The voters have spoken, and term limits must be implemented promptly.

Does Arlington still need mass transit or do you believe that Via and autonomous vehicle pilot projects are filling the need? I support expanding the city’s extant VIA ride-share program to the entire city. I will listen with an open mind to other proposals to address transit concerns.

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? I will bring fresh energy, new ideas, and an independent voice to the council, as well as a new level of accessibility. My 47-years as an Arlington resident, legal background, and extensive experience on Arlington’s P&Z Commission, two prior City Bond Committees, the Citizen’s Budget Review Committee, and the Comprehensive Plan Update Committee mean I can hit the ground running if elected, and question city staff and the information brought to me confidently. I plan to continue Arlington’s economic development strategies, by aggressively courting new businesses to increase our commercial tax base and repurposing the old Ballpark.

Teresa Rushing

Occupation Crew tracking analyst

Age 39

Website http://teresarushingfordistrict4.com/

Best way for voters to reach you phone? (817)903-1293 or email: TeresaRushingForLiberty@gmail.com

Public offices held/sought ran for? Arlington City Council District 4 in 2017.

What organizations are you affiliated with? Tarrant County Libertarian Party.

What are the most important issues in Arlington and your district? Infrastructure improvements, such as streets, sidewalks, water & sewer lines, water department reform, specifically customer service issues related to billing. Safer neighborhoods — the crime watch groups have been shrinking with the increased residency turnover which is driving the rise in property crime.

Teresa Rushing
Teresa Rushing is running for the Arlington City Council District 4 seat. Teresa Rushing Handout

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 prefer allowing them throughout the city and resolving the common complaints by enforcing the noise ordinance and unclean premises rules. Several neighborhood associations, including HANA, and many real estate agents support keeping short term rentals citywide. There is significant evidence to show that STRs actually increase the property values of the surrounding homes.

Do you support keeping term limits in place, or would you want them altered or eliminated? The voters overwhelmingly approved term limits and I will respect their decision. I have no desire to alter the city charter amendment.

Does Arlington still need mass transit or do you believe that Via and autonomous vehicle pilot projects are filling the need? Arlington has neither the population density nor the bustling corporate campuses nor the sidewalk infrastructure to support mass transit. Unfortunately, I do not see Via and the autonomous vehicles servicing the need either as their service area is very limited. I believe our federal grants would be better utilized in forming a partnership with Uber or Lyft to provide reduced fare rides.

Are Arlington neighborhoods being represented by the City Council? No, many concerns regarding disrepair of streets & sidewalks as well as clogged drainage ditches are not adequately addressed.

Does it have the right approach to attracting jobs and businesses? We have a very healthy service industry and retail economy. We need to work on attracting high tech firms to our city. Our current approach simply isn’t working. We need to re-focus our priorities on providing quality basic city services. Corporations put a big stake in employee satisfaction when considering relocation to a new community, well maintained streets & sidewalks, top rated schools, excellent fire department and police response times, diverse parks & recreation options.

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? When I consider how much money the city has spent on “keeping” the Rangers over the decades, I cannot help but draw the conclusion that we should own the franchise by now.

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