There is only one contested council race in Bedford, but the candidates have strong opinions about the city’s future.
Political newcomer Dan Cogan, a fifth-grade teacher in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district, is challenging Dave Gebhart, a software developer who is running for his second term in Place 2. Council terms are three years.
Early voting begins April 23 for the May 5 election.
Cogan, 30, said as a millennial, he will bring fresh ideas to Bedford, which is almost built out.
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“When I moved in to Bedford, I started paying more attention to what is going on. I saw Glade Parks in Euless and thought why can’t that be Bedford,” Cogan said.
Glade Parks is a booming retail and restaurant development along Texas 121 in Euless, on Bedford’s northern border.
Surrounding cities are seeing economic progress, Cogan said. “Bedford is just stagnant.”
Cogan said he bought his home a year ago and does not think the city needs more apartments, suggesting that Bedford put in tougher regulations for the existing apartment complexes.
Cogan also is concerned about “for lease” signs, especially along Harwood Road.
Gebhart, 51, said he wants to continue projects such as the makeover of the Boys Ranch Park.
“Voters just approved a very large ($70 million) bond to totally rework our central park at the Boys Ranch. Voters decided that so the council has a tremendous responsibility that the project is done with transparency,” he said.
Like Cogan, Gebhart said he wants to see less vacancies in the shopping centers.
He praised the work of Central Arts Bedford that turned empty spaces into art galleries.
“Now, spaces have been rented out. We need that out-of-the-box thinking,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cogan said he wants to see more transparency in city government such as broadcasting the council meetings on Facebook Live so that people can express their opinions in real time.