Fort Worth

2017 Voters Guide: Fort Worth City Council candidates on the May 6 ballot

The May 6 local election has drawn 21 candidates for seven Fort Worth City Council races and for mayor. It is the largest candidate field in the past four city elections.

District 5 incumbent Gyna Bivens did not draw an opponent, but Bob Willoughby has filed as a write-in candidate. Bivens will still appear on the ballot. Also, Johnnie Sanders filed as a write-in candidate for District 8.

The council and mayor are elected every two years. District 2 Councilman Sal Espino, who has held the seat for six terms, is not seeking re-election. It is the only race without an incumbent. Four north side residents are vying for the council seat.

Residents have until April 6 to register to vote in the May election. Early voting is April 24 through May 2.

Each election, the Star-Telegram sends a questionnaire to candidates in contested races. Here’s what they had to say:

Mayor

Betsy Price (I)

Age: 67

Occupation: Mayor of Fort Worth

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: www.betsypriceformayor.com

Education background, including all degrees: Bachelor’s degree, UT Arlington

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Alliance Airport Authority, Inc., Casa Mañana, Central City Local Government Corp., D/FW International Airport Board, Fort Worth Crime Control & Prevention District, Fort Worth Garden Club, Fort Worth Police Bike Support Group, Fort Worth Sister Cities International, National League Cities, Streams and Valleys, Tarrant County Workforce

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Fort Worth Mayor 2011-Present, Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

We are blessed to live in a wonderful city, and that’s why people are moving here in droves. But the growth also is the most serious threat to our quality of life. Understanding this growth, the three most critical challenges are 1. Transportation 2. Maintaining a strong central core by raising the vitality of our neighborhoods and 3. Ensuring a competitive workforce to fuel the growing local economy. We tackle these challenges by working together through thoughtful strategies, which are outlined on BetsyPriceforMayor.com, and by ensuring we have the best managed urban city in the country.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

If re-elected, I’ll continue to follow the vision set by the citizens I encounter each day across this great city. Like me, they envision a city that is world renowned as safe, friendly, active and innovative. They see a Fort Worth that is stronger because of the diversity of its people, its neighborhoods and its industry. They believe in a strong urban core and a diverse transportation network. They expect their city to make optimal use of its infrastructure and its financial and natural resources. They also envision a strong public school system. Realizing this vision is my top priority.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I’ve been honored to serve as mayor of my hometown since 2011, and we’ve had great success thanks to a visionary City Council, dedicated city employees and engaged citizens. Our accomplishments are many and are outlined at BetsyPriceforMayor.com. Our citizens expect their mayor not only to be a passionate leader with deep Fort Worth roots, but one who has the experience, skills and relationships to tackle the tough issues and make things happen. That’s what makes me the most qualified. I appreciate the support from citizens, and I look forward to building on our progress in 2017.

Chris Nettles

Age: 29

Occupation: Tarrant County Administrative County Court Clerk

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: https://chrisnettlesformayor.com

Education background, including all degrees: Attended Dallas Baptist University

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: N/A

Office you have sought and or held: None

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you proposed to address them?

First, Police and Communities Relations. Over the last year our city has struggle with policing our neighborhoods and ensuring the trust of our residents. I am proposing a Citizens Review Board, tasked with conducting reviews and investigations into the Police Department’s use of force policies, practices and procedures in the wake of several high profiled police-involved accidents. Secondly, our infrastructure must continue to improve if we expect to bring more business to our city. As Mayor of Fort Worth I will work with every agency that has a hand in our roads, streets and highways. Third critical issue is our homelessness. Homelessness has grown since 2011 and there is currently no solid plan to decrease it.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

Education is at the top of my platform for our city. I believe that all students should have access to a quality education. My goal is to utilize our resources effectively, assuring that college and career readiness is within reach for all students. We will organize and promote literacy for all students and their families regardless of their socioeconomic status. Homelessness has continuously increased over the last six years. Addressing this crisis will take the entire Fort Worth community to collaborate in efforts to prevent and end homelessness. Establish an ongoing collaboration meeting to discuss progress and updates towards our initiatives.

In 100 words or less, Why are you best qualified candidate for this office?

I understand the meaning of being involved in our community. I have worked for over the last 10 years with different non-profits organization including my own non-profit and employer to help make our city strive. I dedicated four plus years to the Fort Worth Housing Authority by providing low income families with housing in our downtown Butler Housing Projects. Through our non-profit organization and church, Purpose Driven Ministries, I work daily to encourage, build and promote self -sufficiency to families all over the city of Fort Worth. We are currently feeding 150 plus children daily through our free after-school program that promotes literacy, strengthening families and preparing for the future.

District 2

Carlos Flores

Age: 48

Occupation: Aerospace engineer

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: www.CarlosFloresDist2FortWorth.com

Education background, including all degrees: BS Aerospace Engineering-UT Arlington

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Zoning Commission, Building Standards Commission, FWISD Advisory Committee, Rockwood Park Advisory Committee, Charter Review Task Force, Stockyards Development Task Force, Animal Shelter Advisory Committee, Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Transportation and Infrastructure Task Force, Master Thoroughfare Task Force, Public Library Foundation, Kimbell Art Museum, Artes de la Rosa, Crime Control & Prevention District Board, Parks & Community Service Committee, Northside Neighborhood Association, League of Neighborhoods.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: No elected public office

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Public safety is first and foremost. Our city has a growing population of more than 833,319 and a police force of about 1510 officers. That’s about 1 officer for 551 people. To ensure our city remains one of the safest in the country, I will work to ensure our police department is staffed and equipped appropriately. Fort Worth attracts people and development. If elected, I would rely on my experience on the Zoning Commission and the Blue Ribbon Infrastructure Committee to foster “smarter development” and public-private partnerships that will make existing and new infrastructure truly sustainable.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

My top priority is ensuring the safety of our families by protecting our neighborhoods from crime. As leader of our Crime Control and Prevention District, I worked closely with our law enforcement to increase patrols and response times in our neighborhoods. I am committed to ensuring our kids have a safe place to live and play. Additionally, our city must deliver high quality services and quickly repair the roads in our area. I carried the torch for our community on the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Infrastructure. On the City Council, I’ll ensure we get our fair share of resources.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I am the best qualified candidate for City Council because of my comprehensive knowledge of District 2, its communities, and city governance. I am endorsed by a broad coalition including Mayor Price, former Mayor Mike Moncrief, Councilman Sal Espino, and School Board President Jacinto Ramos, Jr., and the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. As the only candidate born and raised in the district, I possess the historical, present-day, and future perspectives to address our area’s needs. I’m also proud that of all the candidates I have the longest volunteer community service record and the deepest roots in the communities and city I love and wish to serve.

Michael Anthony “Tony” Perez

Age: 52

Occupation: Realtor

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: https://tinyurl.com/gpwuag6

Education background, including all degrees: BS Business Administration & Management, University of Phoenix; MBA with concentration in Cybersecurity, University of Dallas

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Fort Worth Residential Board of Adjustment, Code Blue, Citizens on Patrol, Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations, Chisholm Ridge Homeowners Association.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: None

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Public Safety Image – Establish an incident review program designed by members of the Fire and Police Departments, city officials, and citizen representatives to protect the rights of all involved and focus on the legitimate evidence. Infrastructure funding – Enhanced communication to educate the public on the funding needs for new infrastructure to respond to resident perception that the city is improperly managing existing revenue streams. Transportation – In addition to critical road repairs, more bus routes and bike routes to under serviced areas appealing to those living in outlying areas and people of all ages. It would also increase desirability to many environmentally conscious visitors.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

There is a current perception crisis when it comes to public safety and city government officials. I support the development of an incident review board comprising of members of our public safety departments, city officials, and citizen representatives. The team would be allowed to independently investigate major incidents that cause unrest in the city. This system, if properly managed, would encourage trust on all sides because all possible perspectives could be discussed in a calm manner and the public would be more likely to wait a few days to hear actual facts over acting immediately based on rumor and rhetoric.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

The combination of my military service, career as a Realtor, academic background, family values, and documented commitment to Fort Worth allows me to solve problems, negotiate while minimizing concessions, speak directly with respect, and not stop until I get what my district needs most. I will always remember that I am not be alone in the position of city councilman and acknowledge those who contribute to our District’s success as we celebrate our achievements one by one. I will also feel empowered to tell people what they need to hear, not only what they like to hear.

Steve Thornton

Has not responded

Jennifer Treviño

Age: 41

Occupation: Recently resigned from Chief of Staff/Vice President of Administration role at UNT Health Science Center, to focus on my city council campaign and explore other career opportunities.

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: www.jennifertrevino.com

Education background, including all degrees: Texas Tech University, Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Marketing and Management, MBA from TCU.

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Kimbell Art Museum, City of Fort Worth Stockyards TIF, Fort Worth Plan Commission, Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, Texas Women in Higher Education, Camp Fire, North Beverly Hills Neighborhood Association, Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, Fort Worth Arts Funding Task Force, Fort Worth Library Advisory Board, Fort Worth Library, YMCA, Leadership Fort Worth.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: None

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Infrastructure – We need to backfill services to our residents north of 820 while shoring up the aging infrastructure inside the loop. The upcoming bond program will provide an additional opportunity to invest in our city’s infrastructure. Job Growth/Economic Development – District 2 is positioned to grow significantly in the next few years. We need to revisit the establishment of a development organization to bring stakeholders together to coordinate development in a cohesive manner and to balance our historical heritage in a modern world. Education/Workforce Talent – We need to work smarter to ensure that our city has the qualified workforce needed by our current and prospective employers.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

It’s difficult to separate these three challenges because I see them as being intertwined and co-dependent. An educated workforce supports strong families and a healthy economy which spurs business and development. Re-development increases property values which generates taxes and revenues to in turn support infrastructure and city services such as code compliance and public safety. All of these are key components to ensure our residents and city are more prosperous than they are today.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I’m a trusted community leader who brings a fresh perspective and strong background to the office. My experience spans retail store operations, product marketing for consumer electronics and higher education/health care at a state agency. I have led and managed teams of direct/indirect reports, plus volunteers, to achieve results. From organizing neighborhood cleanups to mentoring high school students to be successful in college, to building strategic partnerships and utilizing my business acumen, you can count on me to get the job done. This plus my collaborative leadership style will bring people together to develop solutions for the challenges we face.

District 3

W.B. “Zim” Zimmerman (I)

Age: 74

Occupation: Retired Executive at Lockheed Martin

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: www.ZimFW.com

Education background, including all degrees: Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Tarrant County March of Dimes, Citizens Crime Commission of Tarrant County, Tarrant County United Way, Light House for the Blind, Colonial Invitational Tournament, Medstar Ambulance Authority, Regional Transportation Authority, and the Emergency Preparedness Planning Council.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Fort Worth City Council District 3

In 100 words or less, what are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Our biggest challenge is that property values are rising causing high tax bills. That’s why I helped lower the City’s tax rate last year and am pushing for another cut. While the vast majority of property taxes go to schools, the city must set the standard in providing tax relief. Additionally, I am pushing contractors to complete road projects on time and on budget. My experience at Lockheed prepared me to ensure these projects stay on schedule so infrastructure investments lessen traffic. Finally, I am proud crime dropped 8 percent, but not satisfied. There’s more to do to keep families safe.

In 100 words or less, what is your top priority if elected to office?

I am known as a tax watchdog. They said we couldn’t lower the tax rate and lower crime while investing millions in roads. But we did! It proves what is possible when you apply private industry ideas to government. My top priorities are fixing roads, keeping our homes and neighborhoods safe, and doing it with the least tax dollars possible. We must make City Hall better at providing effective service at the lowest cost possible. When we cut waste and cherish taxpayers’ hard earned dollars, we leave more funds in the hands of families which improves our local economy.

In 100 words or less, why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

When I was elected, the city had a $70 million budget deficit despite a tax rate that was too high. We had to balance the budget by dramatically streamlining operations. We have more work to do, but the fact we recently cut the tax rate, lowered crime, and are improving our roads shows we are on the right track. Anyone can campaign saying they will do this or that. I have gotten the job done. Our best days are ahead of us. I am excited about how great this City has become and how much better it can be.

Brian Byrd

Age: 46

Occupation: Business executive, physician

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: vote4byrd.org

Education background, including all degrees: UT Austin, BBA International Business, UT Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, MD

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Tarrant NET, the organization that founded Read2Win, a literacy initiative for first graders in FWISD, Prison Fellowship Ministries, Welcome Back Tarrant County Medical Response Team, Port au Prince, Haiti, 2010 Earthquake, Antioch Ministries International, Syrian Refugee Crisis, Antioch Ministries International.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: None

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Crippling Property Taxes: People are being forced out of their homes because of crippling property taxes. The incumbent claims to be in favor of lowering taxes, but he has had plenty of time to do that during his 8 years in office. Poor street maintenance: There are too many street repair projects lasting multiple years. We must do a better job of managing our contractors. Ensure Public Safety: Safety is our number one priority. We need to ensure our fire, police, and EMS have the resources they need.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

My top priority will be to lower the property tax rate so that residents don’t see an increase in their city taxes even if property values continue to escalate. We can do this and still ensure excellent city services. Fort Worth has the highest tax rate in the state of any major city. I believe in appropriate taxation, not over-taxation. I’ve met too many people who are being forced to sell their homes because they can’t afford to pay their tax bills.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

A city council representative must be accessible to their constituents. Now that I’ve sold my business, I am available to serve District 3 in a full-time capacity. My wife and I grew up in Fort Worth, and we love our city. I am an experienced executive in organizational leadership, and I would consider it a privilege to represent the people of our district. They are our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors.

District 4

Cary Moon (I)

Age: 47

Occupation: Proprietor

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: www.carymoon.com

Education background, including all degrees: Bachelor’s from Texas A&M

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: · City of Fort Worth Tax Increment Finance Districts, Fort Worth Public Housing Finance Commission, North Texas Council of Governments, Regional Transportation Council, Heritage HOA, BSA

Offices you have sought and/or held before: No other offices sought nor held.

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Protecting our Neighborhoods, Transportation, and City Budgets are the top 3 problems facing the City. Protecting our neighborhoods, is two-fold. First we must get more resources to our first-responders (fire and police). Secondly, as a city we must protect our neighborhoods against bad development. Development where the uses are not compatible with our single-family homes must be better controlled by city standards. Further, development must be coordinated with transportation infrastructure. Transportation dollars from county and state need to more aggressively sought along with increasing the city’s ability to complete a higher volume of road projects annually.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

The Top Priorities are better budgets and smart development. With budgets, the city now has a balance sheet. We adopted a rescission policy which prevents city staff from moving monies from one bond projects unless approved by council. I updated the 22-year-old revenue policy which should increase interest earnings by $18M annually. On healthcare, I was successful in saving the city $5M in costs by adding a third-party surgical administrator. On development, I had success bringing development where it was needed. For the east side, I attracted a $25M educational development. To better control multifamily, I changed zoning on 18 vacant tracts to a more compatible use with single-family.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

My professional experiences and my ability to get things done make me the best qualified candidate. Professionally, my financial and operational background from serving as a bank CEO to a CFO of a $48M medical company lend credence to understanding the perplexity of the financial and operational matters that impact our city. My office is high-energy and very responsive to the folks we represent. My office has accomplished a ton in the two brief years and I would welcome the opportunity to serve another two years.

Max Striker

Age: 48

Occupation: Attorney

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: www.maxstriker.com

Education background, including all degrees: BBA University of North Texas, JD from Texas Wesleyan University

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: I have been engaged through charities and in doing legal work with problems that people in the Fort Worth community face.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: None.

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Maximize Fort Worth. The cities infrastructure needs to be upgraded, the streets should be safe for cyclists, Fort Worth should be a place where people want to be seen, schools should be top grade and we need to create an environment where businesses can thrive. Maximize Fort Worth’s Character. We should ensure new developments increase community value, promote the image of the City of Fort Worth, and support solutions for neighborhood involvement. Maximize Public Safety. We should address code issues and crime by enhancing community communication and using new ideas and new solutions.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

Fort Worth, like much of Texas, is experiencing high levels of growth. Maximizing the benefits of this growth will be a top priority in the coming years. This growth should create new revenue for Fort Worth. Shouldn’t the citizens of Fort Worth benefit from this trend? I say yes. It is the top priority to make sure our Fort Worth tax dollars are spent for the betterment of the people of Fort Worth first. Developers are entitled to make a profit on these developments but let’s just make sure the deal is also fair to the Fort Worth Community as well.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

In my ten years of legal practice in Fort Worth, I have had the opportunity to work with the City of Fort Worth courts on a regular basis. This has given me an in-depth knowledge of the issues facing the Fort Worth citizen. My former service with the U.S Army has given me the opportunity to understand the concept of duty to one’s community and a desire for public service. I take your faith in me seriously. I am listening to your ideas and concerns and will base any decisions on your needs. Let’s maximize Fort Worth!

District 6

Jungus Jordan (I)

Age: 68

Occupation: Retired U. S. Air Force Officer, economist and business leader

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: jungusjordan.com

Education background, including all degrees: Bachelor’s in Economics TCU, Master’s in Management Webster University

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: North Central Texas Regional Transportation Council, Tarrant Regional Transportation Council, Texas Mayors of Military Communities, National League of Cities, Texas Municipal League, Fort Worth Zoning Commission.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Six terms as District 6 councilman

In 100 words or less, what are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

As Councilman, I strive daily to listen, work hard and get results. Neighborhood quality of life, public safety and keeping property taxes low are the top issues. For neighborhood quality of life, we need to continue our strong support for code enforcement and our focus on replacing worn out infrastructure including filling street potholes. For public safety, we need to ensure quick response times which includes improving neighborhood streets and traffic flow. Finally, I am proud to have led the charge to reduce the city’s property tax rate and will continue the fight to lower it even more.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

The top priority for citizens is public safety and emergency response. We must provide our police and fire as well as MedStar with the proper resources and support to keep our citizens safe. Fundamental to fighting crime is our citizens on patrol and our neighborhood patrol officer programs which I strongly support. Also, a key to quick emergency response is improved traffic mobility, which I address almost weekly including ongoing work to bring regional light rail closer to reality. I support open and respectful lines of communication between the community and our public safety providers.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

My strongest qualification is understanding who I work for—the citizens of District 6. I try to approach each issue with common sense and have a track record of successful public service. I also strive to be a good listener and to be responsive to each citizen. My military career and business background including a Masters degree, also come in handy. Finally, as past president of the Texas Municipal League, I have fought to protect local community control from the over-reaches of state and federal bureaucracy. I am also the City Council’s point person for the Chisholm Trail Parkway and light rail.

Paul E. Hicks

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired aircraft manufacturer, production technology

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: N/A

Education background, including all degrees: Community College of USAF, UT Arlington, Tarrant County College

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: North Fort Worth Historical Society, Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show

Offices you have sought and/or held before: City Council District 6 ran in 2009

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

1. Infrastructure : We need to fix streets, water service, all parts of city services. 2. Waste of tax dollars: No TIFs. This is a great town but we are and have over grown our boundaries. 3. City Services: Citizens need to get answers to questions they have about services and changes instead going to a website.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

Make sure that the citizens are happy with the answers they receive and get the quality of city services that their tax dollars have paid for.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

After being a proud life long Fort Worth citizen I've seen this town change and explode but not all for the good. So we need to slow down and work for the citizens and put their concerns in front of big business and contractors.

Nicholas St. John

Age: 21

Occupation: Student, entrepreneur, delivery driver

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: www.nickforsix.com

Education background, including all degrees: Attended Tarrant County College and the University of Texas at Dallas. Currently a senior at Western Governors University.

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Disabled American Veterans, Whitney Fire Department, Lake Whitney Food Bank, Student Government, Society of Physics Students.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: I have not run for public office before.

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Community: Fort Worth has always had an amazing sense of community. The beautiful scene of decency, friendliness, and acceptance that we experience is at stake. I will stop at nothing to mend the wounds between our public servants and people. Infrastructure: We face a plethora of potholes and dangerous red light camera intersections. I will do everything I can to ensure the next budget has enough money to fix all the potholes in our city, and improve our infrastructure. Economics: Emergency services, public transportation, infrastructure maintenance and construction, water, trash, and all other operating costs go up with population, but when you maintain a smart balanced budget you do not stagnate due to growth.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

I will have the peoples’ interests as my top priority. Currently, I have been told by numerous people that they want the roads to be in better condition, and the red light cameras gone. As of now, my top priority will be improving our city’s roadways, by fixing the potholes and removing red light cameras, but if other issues are brought to the forefront by my constituents between now and the election, then they will be my priority.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I have the highest amount of moxie. The people are tired of representatives that do not represent them, and do not even take care of their most basic pleas. I will remember the people that elect me, and not just resort to business interests. I will work with energy and enthusiasm to bring together our citizens, public servants, and businesses to maintain Fort Worth as the best place to live in the world.

Roderick Smith

Has not responded

District 7

Dennis Shingleton (I)

Age: 69

Occupation: Retired Colonel, US Army and Dean of Finance and Administration at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: https://www.facebook.com/DennisShingletonforCityCouncil

Education background, including all degrees: Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees from Duquesne University, MBA from TCU

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: City Plan Commission, Lake Country Property Owners Association, Let’s Talk Fort Worth, Montgomery Street Advisory Committee, Fort Worth Committee on Annexation, Fort Worth Mobility and Air Quality Committee, Fort Worth Building Standards Commission, Lake Worth Regional Coordination Committee, Tarrant Regional Water District Wholesale Advisory Committee, NAS/JRB Regional Coordination Committee, USS Fort Worth Committee, Lighthouse for the Blind.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Current District 7 City Councilman and mayor pro tem

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Public safety, prudent financial management (including low property taxes), and quality of life in our neighborhoods. Public safety includes not only providing adequate police and fire protection, but also ensuring timely emergency services. We must be prudent stewards of our citizens’ tax dollars by responsibly managing the city budget and continuing to reduce our property tax rate whenever possible. We must provide adequate streets and city services in Fort Worth’s new neighborhoods to help connect them to the rest of the city, while keeping up with the infrastructure needs of our established neighborhoods, including street repairs and flood control.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

My top priority is to be responsive to the needs of all residents and neighborhoods in District 7. This includes completing the east-west traffic mobility improvements in far north Fort Worth, working to address to flooding problems in west Fort Worth/Arlington Heights, upgrading of our neighborhood parks and recreation areas, and construction of new police and fire facilities.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

My qualifications are the life experiences I gained from service in the US Army (retired Chief of Staff and Colonel) and as Senior Dean of Finance and Administration at UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. In both, I gained hands-on, real world experience overseeing large workforces and extensive budgets. I have also gained valuable experience as an active community volunteer. Finally, as a local neighbor, father and grandfather, I walk in the same shoes and drive the same streets as my neighbors. I apply all of these life experiences every day in serving my neighbors on the City Council.

Michael Matos

Age: 25

Occupation: Project Analyst

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: votematos.com

Education background, including all degrees: Ottawa University – BA in Communications, Texas Tech University – MA in Mass Communication

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Northwest Tarrant County Neighborhood Coalition

Offices you have sought and/or held before: I have not sought offices before.

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

The three most critical issues facing my district are – infrastructure, police/fire response times and drainage issues. The roads are falling apart; drainage issues are plaguing areas of the district. I plan to conduct comprehensive analyses of road projects and traffic issues throughout the district. I would do the same for the drainage issues. We must seek innovation and new ways to fix this issue. As for police/fire -- I plan on working with high-ranking officials within the local police force to find ways to ensure the safety of our citizens. I’ll be Looking to implement more resources for both fire and police.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

The infrastructure throughout District 7 needs significant improvement and investment. This is one of the many issues that continually surfaces during my conversations with citizens. Properly allocating the funds will be the number one task at hand.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I’m young, I’m motivated and I’m hungry for real change. I am currently a full-time project analyst. I love numbers. I am focused on being data-driven for everything. I promise to bring my analytical background to the forefront of my campaign. I promise to be the voice for the people – which is something this district has lacked since 2011. It is my hope to usher in a new direction for District 7 that not only echoes the concerns of the citizens, but also finds real and substantive solutions to rectify them.

District 8

Kelly Allen Gray (I)

Age: 48

Occupation: Full-time councilwoman

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: N/A

Education background, including all degrees: BA Texas A&M-Commerce

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Mental Health Housing board, Texas Wesleyan University trustee, Trinity Habitat for Humanity advisory board, Darrent Williams Foundation, Our Mother of Mercy Catholic School, North Texas Housing Coalition, Cowboy Santas.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Current District 8 councilwoman

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

The creation of quality, safe affordable housing including single-family home ownership, mixed income multifamily work force projects, and permanent supportive housing to further our efforts in making homelessness short term and non-recurring. The revitalization of the East Lancaster Corridor and marketing and promoting the East Berry Street Corridor and all of the District 8 Urban Villages. We must focus on transportation that allows for access to job centers in the far north and southern sectors of our city.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

My top priority continues to be the creation of quality, safe, affordable housing choices for all in communities where everyone feels connected to each other with unfettered access to all city services.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I've served as the District 8 councilwoman since 2012. My ability to bring everyone to the table and work towards a common cause has been a major asset in working in our under served communities and working with neighbors to create new associations. Using resources available to us we have identified strengths and weakness with real solutions to make improvements that create a sense of community.

Kevin “KL” Johnson

Age: 36

Occupation: Owner, Unite with Us not Against Us, a family advocacy helping families with daily needs, ex. food, clothes, advice, and grieve/loss of love ones.

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: http://kevinkljohnson.com/

Education background, including all degrees: Psychology/Sociology West Texas A&M University

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement:

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Fort Worth is in desperate need of development in District 8. There is commercial land in many parts that can be used to bring jobs into the community. These jobs can not only employ our neighborhood but give needed products and services within a reasonable distance. We also so require a council person who will speak for the people and not who can donate the most money. Regarding the recent events, the people of this city need someone who will stand up for what’s right and make uncomfortable stances because it is the correct thing to do.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

I will speak for the people of District 8. I will bring business back to the community and help develop a plan to keep money invested in the community. We need education to be a major priority. Our schools have to be properly funded in order for our children to have an equal opportunity post high school. I plan to watch funds for all projects are spent and completed.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

Fort Worth needs leaders that will commit to their promises and fight for the desires of the community and I plan on being that person. Fort Worth District 8 has been my home for 36 years and I want to see it thrive into the city we dreamed it would be.

District 9

Ann Zadeh (I)

Age: 50

Occupation: Fort Worth City Councilwoman District 9

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: www.annzadeh.com

Education background, including all degrees: Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from University of Texas at Arlington, BA in Environmental Studies, Policy and Planning from University of California, Santa Cruz.

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: Fort Worth Zoning Commission, Bluebonnet Hills Neighborhood Association, American Planning Association, Texas Chapter APA, Fort Worth’s Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, Regional Transportation Council, Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, Near Southside Inc., National League of Cities.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Fort Worth City Councilwoman District 9 since July 2014

In 100 words or less, What are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Strong safe neighborhoods: Maintain and improve strong neighborhoods where people want to live and work by assisting residents in accessing services and encouraging residential involvement. Supporting and cooperating with leaders in education and transportation. Growth: Make thoughtful decisions about growth and development. Encourage public input. Work for thoughtful, reasoned, transparent decision making including funding and implement a comprehensive transportation plan. Equality and Equal Opportunity: The city needs to ensure we have equitable policies that address inequalities to ensure opportunities for all citizens. Any disparity in access to city services and/or representation is unacceptable.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

Managing growth so efforts to maintain/improve our strong neighborhoods and ability to improve multimodal mobility are not compromised. Growth can be exciting and beneficial. We must continue to focus on quality of life. Work to ensure that development, both new and adapted reuse contribute, to goals of walkable healthy communities where people can live work and play. I will continue to encourage public participation and sound decision making on all levels to achieve the quality city that we all desire and that as we grow we maintains the qualities that are so very important.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

Strong record of public service at the neighborhood and local government level. My American Institute of Certified Planners certification. My Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning and a BA in Environmental Studies, Policy and Planning. 6 years on the Zoning Commission. Appointed by both Mayor Moncrief and Mayor Price. Chaired this commission 2012/13. I’ve interacted with numerous neighborhood associations and individual residents across the city and demonstrated dedication to neighborhood involvement and public participation overall. I am willing and prepared for the full time commitment and dedication it will take to represent District 9.

John Fitzgerald

Age: 30

Occupation: Reservoir engineer

City of residence: Fort Worth

Campaign website: www.johnfordistrict9.com

Education background, including all degrees: MBA from TCU, BS in Petroleum Engineering from UT Austin

Briefly list your current and past civic involvement: National MS Society, Habitat for Humanity

Offices you have sought and/or held before: None

In 100 words or less, what are the three most critical problems facing the public office you are seeking and the solutions you propose to address them?

Protect neighborhoods: When reviewing zoning changes we need to communicate effectively with all parties involved to ensure the change does not negatively affect the quality of life of residents. I will communicate directly with homeowners, neighborhoods and developers to reach mutually agreeable solutions. Traffic, Parking and Storm-water: Fast city growth has made traffic, parking and storm-water problems worse. To fix the flooding issues in Fort Worth it could cost over $1 billion. We need careful analysis of traffic, parking and storm-water studies. Taxes: Due to rising property appraisals, the city needs to lower the property tax rate to give relief to homeowners and business.

In 100 words or less, What is your top priority if elected to office?

Listen to homeowner, neighborhood and resident input: Homeowners and neighborhoods deserve a voice on city council communicating effectively with them about their concerns. Many city issues reported get lost or forgotten. I will work directly with all parties involved towards positive and mutually agreeable solutions. I will also communicate with the city manager on other neighborhood concerns such as repairs and improvements of sidewalks, streets, traffic calming measures, improving public transportation, improving community-police relations and reducing crime in high crime areas.

In 100 words or less, Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I am a homeowner and neighbor in Ryan Place and I have seen firsthand the struggles many of our neighborhood residents are facing. As a licensed professional engineer I am uniquely qualified for this position as I am well aware of the different engineering challenges involved in traffic and storm-water management. Traffic and storm-water studies are completed by engineers, we need an engineer on city council. I have extensive experience in fiscal responsibility and have managed large multimillion dollar budgets, I could help plan capital improvements efficiently.

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