Northeast Tarrant

Incumbent, challenger vying for Grapevine’s Place 1 post

In the May 9 election, longtime Mayor William D. Tate, 72, an attorney, is running unopposed, as is City Councilwoman Sharron Spencer. 66, retired, who is running for Place 2.

Running against Mayor Pro Tem C. Shane Wilbanks, 72, retired, for Place 1 is local businessman Marc Blum, 52, a project manager.

Here are the candidates and their platforms in alphabetical order:

Blum

A project manager who works in the construction industry, Blum’s platform is a reduction in “actual property taxes” to the resident, fiscal responsibility, bringing businesses back to Grapevine, motivating voters to come to the polls and be part of the community.

Blum describes himself as a “conservative Republican” and proud NETTP Tea Party member. He is an Eagle Scout and helped with the Boy Scouts of America as an adult leader.

He is a member of the Grapevine AMBUCS (American Business Club) “where we primarily provide ambility bicycles to for handicapped children.”

As to his “business acumen,” Blum said he has patents for the auto industry and golf markets. He is an art lover and works on autos as a hobby.“

Blum said he and his wife lost their home in San Diego to wildfires seven years ago. Thankful they survived, he said he is giving back to the community.

“I represent those of you who don't vote,” Blum said. “Our voices are not heard by City Hall and it’s time for change.”

Spencer

A Grapevine resident since 1975, Spencer was elected to Place 2 in 1985.

Her platform is “to continue conservative spending of taxpayer dollars with further reductions in our ad valorem tax rate — as we have steadily accomplished for 30 years — while still providing excellent city services for our citizens and businesses.”

She also plans to continue working to attract the type of businesses and attractions to Grapevine that generate solid, steady sales tax. “This goal will provide reliable tax sources benefiting the future generations of our citizens,” she said. She will continue supporting the city’s historic preservation efforts and providing a variety of activities and venues paid by the city’s Quality of Life Fund. Other efforts are to address parking needs in the downtown area and assure the “successful arrival” of a commuter rail and assure that Grapevine’s needs are “completely met.”

Retired from American Airlines after 21 years of service, Spencer’s community organization service includes the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce, past GrapeFest co-chair and charter member of the Grapevine Heritage Foundation.

Tate

Born and raised in Grapevine, Tate was elected to City Council in 1972 and elected mayor 1973-1985 and reelected mayor 1988-present. He served as city attorney from 1969-1972.

Committees includes the Crime Control and Prevention District Board; Tax Increment Financing District Reinvestment Zone No. 1 and No. 2; and 4B Economic Development Corporation Board.

Community organization service includes Grapevine Rotary Club member; Grapevine Chamber of Commerce member; Baylor Regional Medical Center board of trustees member; Grapevine High School Hall of Fame, 1989; Citizen of the Year Award, 1976.

Tate said he is proud of his native city, the self-billed “Christmas Capital of Texas.” Tate calls it “a unique city.”

“We have what other cities would like to have,” he said. “There’s a hometown spirit and a feeling of camaraderie.

His plans for the city are to “try and create more excitement and continue to build on this uniqueness — the something special.”

Wilbanks

A retired human resource executive, Wilbanks‘s platform is “to continue quality of life programming including parks and open space and recreational venues; continue fiscal responsibility by land use planning and additional opportunities for visitor sales taxes; and provide for needs of community” including the under construction 108,000-square-foot public safety building and improved traffic enhancements, as well as “working with DART and TexRail to provide rail service.”

A Grapevine resident since 1965, Wilbanks was elected to Place 1 in 1985 and appointed mayor pro tem in 2008. Current committees include the City Council Utility Committee; council liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission; council liaison to the Parks & Recreation Board; Crime Control and Prevention District Board; Tax Increment Financing District Reinvestment Zone No. 1 and No. 2; and 4B Economic Development Corporation Board.

Community organization service includes the Grapevine Rotary Club; GRACE; Grapevine High School Football Athletic Booster Club; DFW Soccer Association; Grapevine Chamber of Commerce; and 2014 GrapeFest co-chair.

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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