Kennedale Knowledge

Home  ============ September 9, 2019 ============ September 2, 2019 =========== August 26, 2019 ============ August 19, 2019 ============ VIA - by the numbers ============ Arlington City CouncilGrades ============= Jeff Williams, =====Mayor===== Helen Moise, ===District1=== Sheri Capehart, ===District2=== Marvin Sutton, ===District3=== Andrew Piel, ===District4=== Ignacio Nunez, ===District5=== Robert Shepard, ===District6=== Victoria Farrar-Myers, ===District7==== Barbara Odom-Wesley, ===District8=== Kennedale Knowledge ============

Kennedale City Council Grades              
Item Potential Pts Mayor Place1 Place2 Place3 Place4 Place5
Name   Brian Johnson Josh Altom Chris Pugh Sandra Lee Linda Rhodes Chad Wandel
Next Election   2020 2021 2020 2021 2020 2021
*integrity/intelligence/communications 10 1 9 0 6 7 7
08/19 Modifications to Multi-family 10   0   0 0 0
08/19 1170 E Kennedale Pkwy zoning 10   0 0 0 0 0
08/19 1083 Bowman Springs again 10   0 0 0 0 0
08/19 more “not voted upon” debt 5   0 0 0 0 0
07/19 1083 Bowman Springs zoning 10 10   0 10 10 0
07/19 Urban Village apartments 50 0   0 0 50 0
06/19 corporate welfare deal 10 0 0 0 0 0 0
02/19 Resolution of Support OM Housing 20 0   0 0 20  
Total 135 11 9 0 16 87 7
Percent 100.00 11.00 16.36 0.00 11.85 64.44 6.09
Grade   F F F-- F D F-
*integrity/intelligence/communications -              
a totally subjective value given by our staff              


Questions for Candidates for the May 4, 2019 Election

Candidate responses are listed in ballot order. Place 1 (P1), Place 3 (P3), and Place 5 (P5) are on the ballot this year.

Village at Hammack Creek – please respond by March 19, 2019

During December, January, and February the council had on its agenda four times to decide whether or not to give a resolution of support for the Hammack Creek low-income apartments. How would/did you vote and why?

P1 - Jeff Nevarez - The purposed 50 million dollar project to bring Retail, Restaurant, Living Space and Office space to our Downtown area is exciting news.  I was dismayed at the Council’s insistence in playing politics, with this matter.  We have been trying to clean up Kennedale’s image for over a decade and a half, to bring developments into our town.  Now that we are in a great place in our process, that is now enticing new development, we are shutting the door in developer’s faces.  As a small business owner in Kennedale, we need to court developers.  Even if we decide it isn’t the best fit for our town.  We can, at any time, say no to this development.  To do this, at this point in their process, is suicide for future developments.  If we waste developer’s time and investments, other developers will not even attempt, to grow, our community.  Get the bureaucracy out of the way,  let our process work (committees), and then decide.

P1 - Josh Altom - I believe that ALL developments that are presented to the city should receive equal opportunities. We can all agree that land development is essential for our community’s success. Development will assist in lowering tax rates lessening the burden we’ve suffered for so long. While development can sometimes be frowned upon, as it changes the face of the landscape, creates more traffic, changes ecosystems and habitats, it is imperative for the prosperity of our community. It can generate more jobs, bring desired curb appeal, unite community members, and maintain or increase home values. Whether the development is residential or commercial, construction brings economic stability. Finding a balance between growth and maintaining the character of Kennedale is key to the planning of development. Every planned community, development project or business will go through multiple steps and boards prior to its final approval. It’s only fair that we allowed this particular development the same opportunity we would give any other. Although this may look great on paper and could possibly benefit the growth and stability of our stagnate town, down the line it could be kicked out due to not fitting the overall vision of Kennedale.

I did vote in support for the Hammack creek project to move forward on its application to receive state funds, however I have not voted on approving the project as a whole at this point to move forward. Folks have to realize that at last city councils meeting this was only an application to the state for funding. Not an approved application to build here. This decision has not arose yet and when it does it will be considered much more carefully.

P3 - Cesar Guerra - Did not respond.

P3 - Sandra Lee - Did not respond.

P5 - Chad Wandel - Did not respond.

P5 - Idin Deljavan - When it comes to the vision of where we see Kennedale heading in the future I see many opportunities. The current expansion of well built and beautiful single family homes is the part of Kennedale's future that is happing right now. These homes are bringing in new families that want to be a part of our small community. It's my hope for Kennedale that we continue this vision. I feel that the Village at Hammond Creek is not a part of that vision currently.


Urban Village Zoning – please respond by March 26, 2019

Currently on the books (Unified Development Code) there is an Urban Village Zoning. What are your feelings about this zoning? Why?

P1 - Jeff Nevarez - Twice, the city has reached out to the community to get our opinions. Each time, I have stated that I am not a fan of multi-use development. However, a point that was presented to me, by Melissa (from the city), that I cannot ignore, or counter argue. Her point is that it might not be our personal choice but it is the choice of a lot of people moving to the area, millennials, and elderly. I cannot dispute this point. The next generation of home/business buyers is eating these types of developments up. With the correct zoning, we can keep the balance of what the market wants and the small town we all desire.

P1 - Josh Altom - In 2012 the city requested citizens to give input when structuring the UDC for future implementation. A city wide survey also went out. Citizens were asked to come to the Kennedale library to look at plats, designs and give feedback. I was the only citizen that showed up. Due to this, they scheduled a second meeting and invited the high school students. When I arrived this time it was standing room only. The room was vibrant with excited youth drawing on plats, writing down sketches and brainstorming ideas for the future of Kennedale. Our youth had a major role in sculpting the comprehensive plan and with that I feel we should honor our youth and continue the dream they so desired.

The UDC codes and zoning also are very important in strategically planning an area as well as keeping up with that vision. I believe Kennedale’s vision is spot on in regards to making our city stand out. Staying true to this vision will bring more residents to a desired work play and live area in the future.

P3 - Cesar Guerra - Did not respond

P3 - Sandra Lee - Did not respond

P5 - Chad Wandel -The Urban Village zoning is not unlike zoning in place in cities large and small all across the country. The type of zoning does allow so very distinct advantages to traditional zoning styles that were the dominate zoning standards in the 70’s and 80’s. For instance, Urban Villages are designed to reduce the reliance on cars by encouraging walkable communities through a combination of allowing multiple uses in a single tract of land and requiring design standards that promote a community center and pedestrian focused public spaces. The zoning standards for Urban Villages are fairly restrictive (containing layouts, street grids, density zones, community plans etc....) allowing less intensive retail uses, smaller and mid-size business oriented shops and much more green space or public space than the traditional zoning counterparts. Consolidating uses and allowing more community interaction helps alleviate traffic congestion and crime. With that said, I have not been completely thrilled with the designs of the Urban Village cases that have come before the Planning and Zoning Commission. While the developments are mixed uses they have been less integrated as pertaining to the vision I see for developments of this nature. I have visited many projects around the United States that fall into the category of Urban Villages and the promotion of community, small business and civic pride are always at the core of these developments. As a City councilperson, my main focus will always be Community first. I will promote projects that put community as the focus of the development, that are designed to be integrated to our community and contribute to the positive growth and future of our great city.

P5 - Idin Deljavan - I don’t know why Kennedale needs an Urban Village Zoning. My suggestion would be to use planned development zoning to keep the plans in line with the city direction.


Land Use Study – please respond by April 2, 2019

Last summer, city staff did a land use study on numerous dates. What are your opinions about this study? Why?

P1 - Jeff Nevarez - I was happy to hear that the city wanted to gather the input from the public.  This is the second time in 10 years that this was done.  Not, much has changed.  The people wanted better roads, more amenities, more restaurants.  The People want growth.

P1 - Josh Altom - I believe it’s very important for Kennedale to continue to be involved in the vision of its future. Land use might not seem like the most exciting topic, but it's very important to study. First, it tells us a great deal about the cities decisions for land use and the priorities they hold. Also, the better we understand the way the world has been adapted to human needs, and in what patterns, the more we can predict future trends. And, the better we can predict the future of land use, the more we can prepare for negative impacts. Some land types include recreational, transportation, agricultural, residential, and commercial.

Zoning is related to land use but is how our city regulates and controls it. Zoning is what you do when you create a particular area in a city, you give permission for people to build houses and businesses. Cities take control of this kind of thing to make their cities more pleasant to live in, to control pollution, protect the environment, and create  efficient transport thoroughfares. Land use is also related to the study of human trends and movements. The trend of urbanization, the idea that people who once lived in the country (or rural areas) are moving increasingly to cities (or urban areas), has a big impact on land use. Homes are becoming arranged in denser patterns, and our human population centers are changing shape all the time. Gathering all this data helps shape the comprehensive plan of Kennedale.

P3 - Cesar Guerra - Did not respond.

P3 - Sandra Lee - Did not respond.

P5 - Chad Wandel - I don’t believe the actions/activities the City did over the summer constitute a “Land Use Survey”.  While the discussion is a starting point to begin a true Land Use Survey/Comprehensive Plan, the community meetings were not this action.  I worked as a City Planner in Grand Prairie and participated in developing the Comprehensive Plan of 2005. The process of creating this document is far more intensive and inclusive that a few meetings over a couple of weeks.  Creating a comprehensive plan requires many public community meetings, public hearing meetings and adoption of the plan by council.  We definitely need to redo our plan from the ground up, creating a well-defined identity for Kennedale as well as a vision of what Kennedale should be in 10 years.  I am glad the City began discussing our regulations and started getting feedback from citizen but we need to have many more meetings that are far more focused on defining Kennedale’s identity, citizenship, strengths, weaknesses, future and our plans for competing in our region (especially since we have some heavy hitting neighbors siphoning our sales tax resources away from us).

P5 - Idin Deljavan - Did not respond.


Communications – please respond by April 9, 2019

If a constituent e-mails you a question or comment on an issue where you disagree and asks you for a response, will you respond to the constituent? Why or why not?

P1 - Jeff Nevarez - I am a firm believer in the ideals of Justice. I have a background in law, and one of the things that is presented is that: “Men in good conscious will have conflict, and both sides must be represented in good faith.”  This is how progress works.  I am willing to talk to anyone, 24/7. My personal cell is 8177916698.  I will always listen to anyone’s ideas.  Bring your points, your argument, and be ready for a rebuttal.

P1 - Josh Altom - This is probably one of the most easy questions to answer. I absolutely will respond. Even if I can’t answer the question for you, I will respond letting you know what I found out. Communication and transparency are key in running a good trusted government.  As a council member you are selected by the people and work for the people. I know this all to well as I work for the tax payer now in my professional career. Although you may not agree, it’s your duty to explain not only why but why you think it would work that way. I encourage anyone and all to discuss their opinion and views. Those views, may create a positive debate that will help shape or change that persons decision. I will always keep in mind this is not my city, but our city. People make a community and a great community make a prosperous city.

P3 - Cesar Guerra - Did not respond.

P3 - Sandra Lee - Did not respond.

P5 - Chad Wandel - Open communications are key to good government.  We are a representative of our community.  Being responsive is a necessity.  I have stated on my website numerous times that I am committed to being profoundly inclusive.  It is OUR city, Our Future! Having contrasting ideas and opinions is how great ideas are born and developed.  People that are afraid to have their ideas scrutinized or who refuse to be open and honest about ideas know that their ideas lack substance or lack thoughtful planning.  Its ok to not agree on ideas for our city, the dialog that comes from thoughtful constructive debate builds trust, promotes civic engagement and strengthens ideas/plans. Having said that, what is not ok is attacking a person and not an idea, calling people derogatory names and making threats.  These activities, which I’ve witnessed and been subject too, do nothing but create divide, prevent collaboration and destroy faith in our governmental processes.

P5 - Idin Deljavan - Did not repsond.


Issue – please respond by by April 16, 2019

What is the most important issue the city council is facing? Why?

P1 - Jeff Nevarez - Currently, our most important issue is our impending red line on the budget.  Our city finance director is predicting that we will be in the red by 2021 if something doesn’t give.  We want better roads, better parks, better paid Fireman, more Policeman but we have no sustainability.  We reduce revenue and taxes and then vote to increase budgets.  We say we need retail space and then vote against new businesses and developments.  Something needs to give.  My goal is to get bureaucracy out of the way and let the free market do its job.   For the next two years, we need to increase revenue to soften the blow that is coming.  If we want our cake and eat it too, we must consider, that the City must have revenue to create and fulfill the desires of the people.  Currently, our Youth Baseball League cannot practice on our own fields and has gone to Arlington.  For the simple reason of lack of budget for our parks.  Our Police Department has two officers on most nights.  There must be at least three to be effective.  Our Fireman and our city staff are underpaid, we need to increase their pay to balance their cost of living and increases in their Health Insurance cost.  We must address the budget for the future and not for the short term. 

P1 - Josh Altom - 1.    We need to find a way to encourage and except growth that will not only benefit kennedale financially but create an atmosphere that is welcoming to outsiders and the citizens within. We can be very smart with the opportunities we have right now and keep that small town feel. We need to be very unique in what we except so patrons outside our small town will talk about kennedale and want to come here. Kennedale needs to be more active in the fact of promoting its city and the school. Examples include allowing employees to take their vehicles home so our city logo is seen outside the city. Placing the wildcat logo on the water towers. More community events like parades. Why did we not have a parade when our wildcat football team went to state? This is Texas and football is a huge thing. A parade would not only show our support but bring the community together.
2.    Our youth need our help. We need to invite more business and activities to help challenge our youth today. A recreation center, a youth league, after school programs or a sports complex. We have one of the best school districts around for a city our size. Many parents move here so their children can attend KISD. With all these wonderful children here, we need to utilize that. Become more involved with the schools. One example would be to have an honorary youth council member at each city council meeting. The youth advisory council is a wonderful start. Recently Kennedale police departments school resource officer Starling started an explorer program. Very great ideas and a major step in the right direction.
3.    Kennedale is facing infrastructure challenges. Sections of the city have outdated systems and are in need of upgrades and repair. We must find solutions for stabilizing and upgrading the water system, roadways and other utilities. Signing with Arlington will help aid in the area of water, but this should have been done long long ago. I believe it’s crucial we should have upgraded most of these outdated systems prior to bringing in new growth adding additional stress to the already stressed areas. Laying down the groundwork and having a good backbone before accepting new development is a key component to a prosperous city as well as developers wanting to come here. 

P3 - Cesar Guerra - Did not respond.

P3 - Sandra Lee - Did not respond.

P5 - Chad Wandel - Did not respond

P5 - Idin Deljavan - It is important to use our energy (or synergy) to unify and bringing businesses and developers in. Working with the school district in areas that affect both city & children. This would offset the reliance on property tax and allow for lower property tax.
Or adjusting the master plan and best uses of land for businesses, residential areas and parks.  With the same why as the last.