Elections

Arlington City Council candidates on May 6 ballot

Jeff Williams, Arlington Mayor, incumbent
Jeff Williams, Arlington Mayor, incumbent Handout

Mayor

Jeff Williams (i)

Age: 57

Occupation: Mayor of Arlington, partner and civil engineer at Graham Associates

Campaign website: www.jeffwilliamsformayor.com

Education background, including all degrees: Texas Tech University, bachelor’s degree in engineering

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Past chairman of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, vice chairman of Board of Cotton Bowl Association, Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau board, High Speed Rail Commission, NFL Youth League advisory council, Education Town, Project Restore Hope, chairman 2014 Arlington ISD School Bond Election Committee, 2014 city of Arlington Comprehensive Planning Committee, chairman 2008 Arlington City Bond Election Committee, chairman Building, Master Planning and Property Acquisition Committee, past chairman of deacons of FBC Arlington, Super Bowl Transportation Committee, past president River Legacy Foundation, Arlington YMCA Advisory Board, past nation chief Y Princess Program, Lifetime Member of PTA

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Mayor of Arlington 2015

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?

Working with my passionate colleagues on the City Council, we will maintain our aggressive efforts to grow our economy and continue adding to the growth of 6,000 new jobs over the last year and a half. We’ll continue our focus on improving our roads and streets. In fact, right now we have more road improvement projects going on in Arlington than ever before. And, we’ll remain aggressive in our efforts to reduce crime in every part of our city, while also focusing on helping our schools, making City Hall more efficient and keeping taxes as low as possible.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

As Mayor, I will have multiple priorities that provide a higher quality of life for our entire city. These include, again, growing our economy, improving our roads, reducing crime, helping our schools and protecting taxpayers. I also will focus on making sure City Hall maintains our attention on little things that make a great city like parks, libraries, police and fire. And, I’ll work with our business leaders to make the successes of our entertainment district continue for another generation of Arlington families.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

When I ran for Mayor in 2015, I promised to bring new energy and vision to our great city and during my first term I have worked tirelessly with my colleagues on the city council to do just that. As Mayor, I’ve not been content with just sitting behind a desk at City Hall. Instead, I spend every day out in the community taking a hands-on approach to improving all parts of our city. It gives me great pride to see the city I love grow and prosper over the past two years under the leadership and policies of our city council.

Chris Dobson ACCMayor
Chris “Dobi’ Dobson, Arlington Mayor candidate Handout

Chris ‘Dobi’ Dobson

Age: 38

Occupation: Substitute teacher

Campaign website: www.Patreon.com/hateandennui

Education background, including all degrees: AHS class of ’97, TCU - B.S. Political Science,2002, UTA Kappa School - Masters of Public Administration - Nonprofit Financial Management and Community Development

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Founding board member Arlington Proud, former coach North Arlington Little League.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Districts 6,7,8 and Mayor of Arlington

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?

Lack of Citizen Engagement - By increasing ease of access to council members, making Arlington documents presumptively available, increasing the breadth of services offered. As Mayor hosting 2 hours of live programming per week to insure access for residents. Corruption - Increasing pay and reducing perks for council persons. Ending the culture of covering up for other insiders.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

Transparency. I hope my term in office marks the beginning of Arlington achieving real openness in government leading to the renaissance of Arlington voters. I’d like to say one day that at least 25% of voters voted for or against me. If I am elected I will not allow the wrongs committed by the city to be swept under a rug.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

My candidacy rests not on my pronouncements of right or wrong or important or not , but upon the simple return open dialogue and the use of the curious and creative portion of our minds, rather than appealing to authority, to solve the problems that Arlington will face in the future.

16446721
Marvin Sutton, Arlington City Council District 3 candidate Handout

District 3

Marvin Sutton

Age: 54

Occupation: Air traffic controller

Campaign website: www.electmarvinsutton.com

Education background, including all degrees: Bachelor of science in accounting, University of Texas at Arlington, graduating Magna Cum Laude; associate degrees in accounting and the arts, Tarrant County College.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: New York Commons Homeowners Association, UTA College of Business Associate Accounting Advisory Board, AISD Financial Futures Committee, past treasurer Arlington NAACP #6298.

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) As compared to the first quarter of 2016, property crimes are up more the 100%. I propose hiring more officers as well updating our model for staffing patrol in our communities. 2) National Semiconductor closed its plant in Arlington about three years ago and several hundred employees were laid off. I propose we actively compete for quality jobs to complement our tourism industries. 3) Traffic congestion continues to be a problem in our city. I propose we develop a comprehensive traffic and rail transit system to minimize the gridlock that plaques our commuters and visitors.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

My skills and experiences as an air traffic controller have sharpened my abilities to analyze and comprehend data and situations and to develop the safest, most efficient, and effective solutions. My degree in accounting with honors has given me a thorough understanding of governmental budgetary process. I understand the importance of maximizing our resources and minimizing our deficiencies. As a community leader, I’m capable of collaborating and negotiating in order to bring communities and organizations together for a common cause and purpose. I’m focused and committed to creating a safer (improved road and sidewalks, increased police presence, and faster response time) smarter (efficient use of resources, effective governing, streamlined processes and procedures), and greener (adopting a policy to use more solar, wind, and renewable fuel and energy resources, use of more recyclable materials, increase the number of trees required for new developments) Arlington.

Roxanne Thalman_2x2
Roxanne Thalman, Arlington City Council District 3 candidate Rick Dalton Handout

Roxanne Thalman

Age: 34

Occupation: IT services

Campaign website: www.RoxanneThalman.com

Education background, including all degrees: I studied Mandarin Chinese at a military linguistics academy, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, and earned a Bachelor of Arts from University of Maryland.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Arlington Landmark Preservation Commission; Arlington 4th of July Association; president, Central Park Homeowners Association; Arlington Proud; MPAC Arlington, Inc.; Girl Scouts troop leader; SMART Arlington and Challenge of Tarrant County; Boots, Chaps, & Cowboy Hats benefiting Arlington Urban Ministries; East Arlington Renewal; Relief Society; church music director; teacher, Junior Achievement of Chisholm Trail; Board of Realtors

Offices you have sought and/or held before: After serving Arlington in a variety of leadership roles, I am now seeking public office for the first time.

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

Roads: I will work to improve our plan for road maintenance, which impacts nearly every other aspect of our city and our quality of life here.

Public Safety: I’ll continue advocating for our firefighters and police, as well as ensuring our processes are efficient and adaptable as our community evolves. My ongoing support of first responders has earned me the endorsement of the Arlington Police Association.

Keeping Taxes Low: To protect our financial future and ensure we continue to have the growth opportunities we currently enjoy, I will fight for fiscal responsibility while maintaining current service levels.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

Protecting our neighborhoods and improving our quality of life. I was born here, went to school here and am now raising my daughter here. I love Southeast Arlington and I want our side of Arlington to be the best place to live, work and play. If elected, I’ll work hard every day to ensure our community has a strong voice at City Hall and that our needs are addressed.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

As a veteran, businesswoman, and mother, I have a stake in this city and I’m ready and able to lead in this capacity. My extensive leadership experience across Arlington combined with my professional background in strategy and process improvement makes me the most qualified candidate by far. From years of working with the City and community organizations, I have the knowledge and experience necessary to build upon the great work Councilman Rivera has done in addressing the concerns of our residents.

IMG_1094
Blerim Elmazi, Arlington City Council District 3 candidate Handout

Blerim Elmazi

Age: 22

Occupation: Doctor of Jurisprudence degree candidate

Campaign website: www.BlerimElmazi.com or Facebook.com/ElmaziForCouncil

Education background, including all degrees: B.A. Political Science, B.A. History, J.D. Law (current)

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Richard Greene Scholarship recipient, which included internships with institutions including the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Arlington ISD, North Central Texas Council of Governments, the City of Arlington and the River Legacy Living Science Center; performed pro bono legal services for low income residents through Catholic Charities; volunteer frequently with Mission Arlington, the North Texas Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and as an election judge in Tarrant County.

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

Three of my top priorities in office will include pushing for smart development strategies, internal and regional connectivity, and parks/infrastructure improvement. We must ensure that our city’s economic centers become destinations that attract residents and businesses. Emphasis should be placed on lodging, amenities, shopping, and attracting major employers. We must also make an effort to connect our city with the metroplex through a transportation system that relieves the burden on our congested roads and highways. Infrastructure and park improvements are also key to enhancing the quality of life of our residents and investments should be made in this effort.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

Pursuing smart development is key to the future of Arlington. This requires us to turn our city’s economic centers into destinations that attract residents and newcomers, as well as encourage businesses to become a vital center of employment. An emphasis should be placed on attracting lodging, residential amenities, shopping, and major employers to Arlington. This will also require us to focus on mixed-use development and projects that enhance our city’s quality of place. Any smart development strategy would also address our city’s transportation issues and accessibility through walkable/bikeable modes of transportation.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I’m running because I believe our city has many challenges and opportunities in the years ahead and that our district needs visionary leadership to address our most pressing issues. Arlington requires a collaborative effort among our city leaders, business community, educational institutions, and our regional partners to address our quality of life and place issues. I believe I am the best candidate to address issues of development, infrastructure improvements, regional connectivity, parks, and a vibrant downtown. My experience with the city and ability to involve everyone in the political process is my greatest strength in addressing the needs of Arlington.

Pablo Frias ACC3
Pablo Frias, Arlington City Council District 3 candidate Handout

Pablo Frias

Age: 28

Occupation: Aircraft cabinet maker

Campaign website: Vote4pablo.com

Education background, including all degrees: High school diploma

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: President, Stoneridge Homeowners’ Association; host events to raise food and clothing for those in need.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: President, Stoneridge Homeowners Association

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

Transparency, Accountability, Infrastructure, and Taxes. I’ll work to streamline citizen’s ability to track grants, contracts, and zoning requests online. I will conduct town halls and forums that allow citizens to state grievances, ask questions, provide ideas and feedback that will be reviewed before decisions are made. By accomplishing those goals the second point, Accountability, is fulfilled. I will continue the road projects already approved and move to accomplish all road fixtures. Along with roads l will assess sidewalks, or lack thereof, to alleviate unnecessary road congestion. I will support any legislation that reduces tax burdens on citizens and business.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

Provide the best basic functions of government: Roads, Infrastructure, and Emergency Personnel. I want to fix the roads that have been neglected. I want the best city services with accurate pricing. Lastly, I want to make sure our Emergency Personnel is taken care of and Police are tasked with helping fight crime and not being used as a source for generating revenue.

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

I believe I am the best qualified because I would love nothing more than to represent those who go unnoticed or unheard. Those that want simple things accomplished without the glam and glitter. Those that live in poor road infested neighborhoods who just want basic functions of government accomplished. Those who are tired of the over regulation and taxation of its citizens and businesses.

KWilemon
Kathryn Wilemon, Arlington City Council District 4 incumbent Handout

District 4

Kathryn Wilemon

Age: 80

Occupation: Community volunteer

Campaign email address: KAWilemon@aol.com

Education background, including all degrees: graduated from Arlington High School; attended UTA; graduated from Southwestern Graduate School of Banking

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Arlington City Council District 4 representative; chair of Transportation & Infrastructure Committee; Economic Development Committee; NTCOG Regional Transportation Council; NCTCOG Board; Arlington Tomorrow Foundation; Tarrant Regional Transportation Council Executive Committee; Nurse Family Partnership Tarrant County Advisory Board; UTA School of Social Work Advisory Board; chair of Southeast Tarrant Transportation Coalition; Arlington Life Shelter Advisory Board; National League of Cities Transportation & Infrastructure Committee; Arlington Civic League; Metroplex Women’s Clinic Advisory Board; recipient of 2008 Fort Worth Business Press Great Women of Texas Award; recipient of 2006 JPS Harold D. Samuels Award For Volunteerism and Stewardship; former board member of JPS Hospital and Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau; and past chair of JPS Foundation.

Offices you have sought and/or held before? Arlington City Council

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

1. Maintaining and enhancing core services- I will continue to make sure the City satisfactorily funds and delivers the core services that our citizens deserve through conservative budgeting and citizen input. 2. Economic Development- Continue to grow the commercial tax base and provide a culture to retain educated and skilled workforce in our city. 3.Transportation- Using new technology to find most economical system or systems to serve all Arlington citizens

What is your top priority if elected to office?

Transportation. Communicate and listen carefully to the CitizenTransportation Advisory Committee’s report and move forward on implementations of innovative, cost effective solutions.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I am a life long resident of Arlington. I have served on the Council since 2003. We have earned a AAA bond rating and we have not raised taxes in fourteen years. I am accessible and open to different approaches to problem-solving as well as new ideas. I am knowledgeable in city government and have been involved in many successful initiatives that improve our quality of life. While Arlington is truly the “American Dream City” I will always continue to seek a “better way”

Rushing 5 hi-res
Teresa Rushing, Arlington City Council District 4 candidate Handout

Teresa Rushing

Age: 37

Occupation: Crew tracking analyst

Campaign website: teresarushingfordistrict4.com/

Education background, including all degrees: Graduated Arlington High School class of 1997, Studied theatre arts and computer science at Tarrant County College

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Petition drive for the Red Light Camera ban in Arlington; state and national delegate of Libertarian Party in 2014 and 2016; Tarrant County Libertarian Party treasurer, chair of Libertarian Party Precinct 2468

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

One pressing issue is poor pedestrian infrastructure. We need to make our city more traversable by improving and completing our sidewalk network. Another key issue is dissension amongst our first responders. There are valid concerns with current unfair practices in hiring, raises, and promotions. These issues can be resolved through contractual negotiations, and I am willing to start that conversation. Finally, we face a lack of community outreach. I would focus on holding town hall type meetings on any major propositions, and reach out to the people utilizing social media in order to improve communication with city leadership.

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

My top priority will be to focus on resolving the issues for our first responders. These men and women put their lives on the line every day, and deserve to be heard. Promotions should be based on merit, and peace officers should be allowed to focus on violent crime instead of generating revenue. I would begin by sitting down with leadership to discuss their top priorities. My next step would be to create an action plan that addresses their concerns.

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

What I bring to the table are my ideals, creativity, and synergistic style of management. I will champion out-of–the-box thinking to find better ways to strengthen our community and balance our budget. I think it’s time that the city needs to take a new direction. One of servant leadership that considers the ramifications of their decisions on every citizen.

lana pic 3
Lana Wolff, Arlington City Council District 5 incumbent Handout

District 5

Lana Wolff

Age: 70

Occupation: Community volunteer/retired

Campaign phone number and/or email address: Wolff55@swbell.net

Education background, including all degrees: Graduated Arlington High School, 1964; East TX State University, Commerce 1964-66

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Councilmember, 2003-17; Mayor Pro-Tem 2008-11. chair of Community & Neighborhood Development; Council Municipal Policy Subcommittee; Transportation & Municipal Infrastructure Committee; president of Arlington Housing Finance Corp.; TIRZ Board; Arlington Tomorrow Foundation; Downtown Arlington Management Corp.; NLC, Community & Economic Development; Community Service Foundation; Christian Men’s Job Corps.; Arlington Sculpture Garden Foundation; Jr. League of Arlington, sustainer; AHS Alumni, life member. Past service: executive director of Downtown Arlington, Inc.; vice president of economic development of Arlington Chamber of Commerce; Great Southwest Industrial District Board; president of Junior League; president of Theatre Arlington; River Legacy Parks Foundation Board; Tarrant County Youth Collaboration; Downtown Rotary Club; East Arlington Kiwanis; Arlington Arts Council.

Offices you have sought and/or held before: City Council District 5; Mayor Pro-Tem

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

1. Protect and defend the middle of Arlington - it is the heart of the city. Support Public Safety and implement adopted strategic direction set by citizens and City Council; 2. Keep taxes low. Maintain Arlington’s AAA bond rating; 3. Make sure city services are efficient and responsive to residents. Track performance through both internal measures and external benchmarks.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

My top priority is to exceed citizen’s expectations relative to code compliance issues, redevelopment and new development needs in residential neighborhoods and aging commercial corridors. I encourage neighborhood groups to organize and actively engage in efforts to reinvent their existing neighborhood. Engaged residents make a difference and build neighborhood pride.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I offer proven leadership, experience, full time commitment and accessibility with a grounded knowledge in the local government process. Strong neighborhoods build great cities. Optimism about new development, re-development, and good jobs is headed in the right direction. Let’s continue to advance the strategic direction set by Arlington residents and City Council. It’s an exciting time. The future is bright in Arlington. Let’s keep the momentum going.

Matthew Powers

Age: 35

Occupation: consultant, graduate student

Campaign website: www.facebook.com/powersfordistrict5/

Education background, including all degrees: Graduated Baylor University with bachelor’s degree in 2004; current graduate student at UTA

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

1) Corporate welfare: The city gives away too many tax breaks to businesses and special interests thus leaving the citizens to make up for the tax shortfall. I would vote against any tax incentives that don’t benefit directly benefit the citizens. 2) Public transportation: I would propose the city immediately start seeking contracts from transportation services such as DART, and I would start a ballot initiative to put the vote directly to the people if the council refuses to approve implementing public transportation. 3) Taxes and bonds: I would vote against issuing any more bond debt to pay for city expenses. Tax incentives for special interests would be eliminated as much as possible to relive the tax burden of city residents.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

My top priority is cutting off the corporate welfare to special interest groups and making them pay their fair share of taxes. The people should not be forced to pay higher taxes to make up for the revenue shortfall caused by special interest lobbying. Everything the city council does should be to help the citizens of the city. It should not be a tool of the lobbyist to benefit the few.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

I think that the people have been forced out of the democratic process by business and special interest groups and have lost their voice. I want to return government power to the citizens of Arlington where it belongs. No lobbyist or special interest group will ever persuade me to vote for something detrimental to the people.

63344 - Copy
Dakota Loupe, Arlington City Council District 5 candidate Handout

Dakota Loupe

Age: 22

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Campaign website: www.facebook.com/loupeforcitycouncil/

Education background, including all degrees: Graduated from Friendswood High School south of Houston; plan to graduate this summer from UTA with a batchelor’s degree in political science and a minor in business.

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I have been heavily involved in the community by volunteering at numerous organizations like Mission Arlington, Boys and Girls club and Mid City Care Corps.

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

I think the three biggest things I would like to tackle, if elected into office, would have to be working with small businesses to make Arlington an ideal place to open and maintain a business, increase transparency within the city council, and integrating the University of Texas at Arlington more into the community. Actually talking to businesses to find out individual concerns and not making it so challenging to open a business is the first step.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

The three biggest topics that I plan on tackling are my biggest priorities if elected to office. Businesses are the backbone of Arlington, and they are extremely valuable to the community. Therefore, we shouldn’t make it impossible to start a business here. Also, informing the public about decisions and the daily actions of the council provides for a more transparent government.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

When someone is in a position for so long, things tend to become stagnant. I provide a fresh new perspective to better represent the community. Even further, I have the ambition, time, and energy to make sure the people of Arlington have someone they can go to with all of their problems and concerns.

Mike Glaspie headshot 08a 001-3(1)
Michael Glaspie, Arlington City Council District 8 incumbent Handout

District 8

Michael Glaspie

Age: 70

Occupation: Retired minister

Campaign website: glaspieforcouncil.com

Education background, including all degrees: BA in math, UT Austin; MBA, UT Austin; BA in Biblical Studies, Southern Bible Institute; MA Religion, BH Carroll Theological Institute

Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Arlington City Council; Council Municipal Policy Committee; Council Economic Development Committee; Council Community & Neighborhood Development Committee; Arlington Tomorrow Foundation; Arlington Chamber of Commerce Board; Texas Health Resources Arlington Memorial Hospital Board; North Central Texas Council of Government; Tarrant Appraisal District Board; Arlington ISD Board

Offices you have sought and/or held before: Arlington ISD Board of Trustees and City Council

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

(1). Continuing to assure the safety and security of our citizens is always a top priority. We must provide resources to have the best tools and implement best practices to enhance public safety. (2). We must ensure the ongoing development and expansion of our economic base to create and maintain great paying jobs. The City should put plan in place to establish an Economic Development Corporation to focus on supporting economic development. (3). We must maintain great neighborhoods by providing appropriate resources and assistance to enhance the quality of life in Arlington to encourage our citizens to live out their dreams. This entails ensuring Arlington is the best place to live, learn, work and play.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

My top priority is making Arlington the safest and best place for each citizen to live out their dreams.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

My experience and engagement with Arlington’s diverse and dynamic community provide valuable insight into the city’s unique challenges and potential. I want to use the experience and connection to the community to make Arlington an even better place to live.

  Comments