What made me decide to run for city council?
I have volunteered with various Richardson community programs from childhood to now, and most recently was the foreman of the 2018 Collin County Grand Jury with is a 6-month commitment for those who serve. In my experience most people see jury duty as a burden; however, I have always looked at it as an essential part of being an American. Upon selection, I was honored to be chosen as foreman. As foreman I oversaw over 1500 felony cases, monitoring the debates and questions of the police, witnesses, victims, and prosecutors. At the end of each day, I worked with 11 other jurors to decide the fate of all of the accused. It was an honor to be a part of that process. During this experience, I had a massive sense of pride serving my community and wanted to continue doing so after my commitment was complete.
Why are you the BEST qualified candidate for council in your Place?
Why are you the BEST qualified candidate for council in your Place? I have lived in place 4 for the better of 40 years and Place 1 before that. I own a business in Place 4 that serves residents from all over Richardson and surrounding areas. I am not a politician but am a proud citizen that wants to help. I feel that I am a good citizen, a good father and husband, and an excellent servant to my fellow man. I could have opened a business or lived anywhere but Richardson, Texas is the home for my family and my business. I have been through city processes to start a business, and with that knowledge, I can help others do the same. I have 25 years of hospitality leadership experience. That has taught me how to handle conflict with grace, how to work as a team, and how to deal with all types of people, which is crucial because we will have seven unique opinions and views on everything that comes before the council. I am beholden to God, my family, the people I serve, and no one else. Bottom line I care about Richardson and want what’s best for our city.
As a city council member, how would you propose enhancing the quality of life in Richardson?
I think Richardson is on the right path. We need to continue developing our city in a kind and thoughtful manner, ensuring that all new commercial developments include green space and have convenient walkability. I also believe we need to ensure that when we spend our taxpayers' money, it is for the benefit of as many citizens as possible. I understand that we will never be able to please everyone, so my goal is to listen to Richardson residents in efforts to do what’s best for the majority. I feel the main priorities for quality of life is to have walkable pathways, drivable and rideable streets, and a safe place to live. My goal is for the citizens to feel like their voice matters and they feel they are part of Richardson’s future enhancements.
Our Texas governor is supporting new legislation that would cap local property tax revenue growth at 2.5%. If enacted how could this impact Richardson today and in the future? Do you support this legislation?
In theory, capping taxes sounds excellent. I am a proponent of lower taxes. However, I am not a fan of the Texas congress dictating Richardson’s business. (They do not like Washington telling them what to do either.) A cap could potentially slow development and infrastructure expenditures. It ties the hands of city councils across Texas. Richardson should be in control of its finances, not Austin. As a taxpayer and citizen of Texas, I do not support this cap. The fact of the matter is that the city portion is a small percentage of our overall property taxes. For Richardson residents in Dallas county, city taxes are 22% of their overall property taxes, and for Collin County residents it is 26%.
What do you think are the key economic development goals for our city? What plans or actions would you propose to achieve these goals?
Richardson is a landlocked city. We have very little open space left. We have to be more creative than the wide-open cities North of us to continue to compete globally. The current and past council members have done an excellent job at making Richardson attractive to business of medium to substantial in nature. We need to continue to attract businesses and developments that keep the majority of tax burdens off the residents of our city. Right now, citizens property taxes account for 34% of the total revenue for the city. Attracting more businesses to Richardson will help us maintain or lower that burden. My biggest economic development goal is to look at the projects practically and with common sense. I am also not a fan of approving developments and then applying variances down the road so that they are far off from the original vision. We need more Cityline projects and less Palisades. We need to be thoughtful to our surrounding neighbors when deciding on future developments.
In regards to Palisades, once the trial is over in Sherman, we need to start the healing process and move on. I want to make Palisades a project that I focus my attention. I was not a fan of the original development, but I certainly want it to be completed instead of sitting 1/3 done.
What do you consider the three top issues facing Richardson, and how would you address them as a City Council member. If your ideas have a cost how would you propose to pay for the solutions?
1- Aging infrastructure is and will continue to be a significant issue in Richardson. The city is on the right track with increasing the budget for street repairs and is completing these projects in a timely matter. It is something that will always remain a top priority for Richardson and should continue to be allocated the resources it needs.
2- Mobility and transportation remain a concern. We need to work with TXDOT on 75. The fact that the HOV lanes have only one entrance going north and one going South with no exits within Richardson is ridiculous. Plano has essentially abandoned their HOV portion, yet we have it running straight through our city making unusable for Richardson residence. I would like to see a flexible lane strategy that consists of HOV during rush hour and usable for everyone else during off hours or at a minimum remove the barriers to make it accessible to all of Richardson while keeping it an HOV Lane. Sometimes things need just to be looked at with common sense. While we can't directly control what happens on 75, we can make sure our voice is heard. I am encouraged by the addition of a second rail for the Cotton Belt Railway. This project will forever transform the North West Quadrant of Richardson and will be a benefit to all the citizens of our great city.
3- Due to recent events, I feel that trust in our council is another critical issue we face today. When I become a councilperson, I commit to being extremely accessible and open to hearing directly from my constituents.
I am a frank and fair individual and will welcome anyone’s thoughts to help craft my decisions. Being a new small business owner, I was grateful to the City of Richardson for listening to my needs and wants during the development phase and want to help give a voice to other current and future small businesses as well.
Describe how and where you have served or volunteered within the Richardson Community; and how your role prepared you for service on the city council.
I come from a family of volunteers. My grandfather was the Potentate of the Shriners, my mother was very active in the Richardson Junior League, and my father has served on multiple charity boards including MS Society. As a youth, I started my volunteering at the age of 10 where was responsible for the landscaping at Miss Belle’s House at Owens Farm (A project of RJL). Additionally, every summer through high school I worked with disabled children through a Richardson outreach program. I volunteered for the Plano YMCA throughout the years. In High School, I was Vice President of Key Club (Kiwanis Youth Organization) and continued with Circle K during college.
Additionally, I was the Philanthropy Chair in my Fraternity at Colorado State. As an adult I have mainly helped my wife with the various charities she is involved in (Richardson Junior League for several years and Scottish Rite currently) along with being a leader in both my Children’s PTAs. As a small business owner in Richardson, I have hosted multiple charity and fundraising events at our shop, and most recently I was part of the planning committee for the Beaujolais Bash, a fundraising event for Richardson Symphony Orchestra.