Pearland residents have a lot to choose from this May election cycle when they hit the polls to elect their new city council representatives.

Three council seats are on the chopping block with a total of 10 candidates vying for those positions. The most hotly contested seat is position No. 7, which is a newly created council position. Six candidates are running to be the first person to fill the role. Last year, Trent Perez was elected as the first council member to fill the newly created position No. 6.

Mayor Pro Tem Gary Moore is the sole incumbent running for council; he is running for a second term to serve on position No. 3. He was first elected in 2014 after beating incumbent Sherry Sherrouse.

Moore's challenger is J. Darnell Jones, an attorney and retired naval officer who served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years.

The final council seat on the ballot is position No. 5. Although the position is currently held by Greg Hill, he announced his resignation in January to focus on his bid for County Court at Law No. 1.

Two candidates are running to fill Hill's seat, which has two years remaining. J. David Little is a probate attorney and longtime Pearland resident. Jude T.A. Smith is a litigation attorney.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and online at for live coverage on election day, May 6.

*An asterisk marks the incumbent candidate.

Position No. 3

Gary Moore*

Professional experience: Senior environmental technologist, Dow Chemical Corp.
Years lived in Pearland: 13
Current civic positions held: Pearland City Council, 2014-present; member, Pearland Lions Club
Campaign website:

Top priorities:

Gary Moore pearland Pearland City Council member Gary Moore is running for re-election. He sits on council position No. 3.[/caption]

  • Mobility and traffic

  • Economy and economic development

  • Water management

How are you addressing the Blue Ridge Landfill issue? How will you advocate for residents?

When the problem was exacerbated with the landfill, we pushed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to get involved and monitor where this smell was coming from. In my opinion, it seemed like it took a long time to find the root of the problem. Now that they have, they are continuing to find violations. Council as a whole, every council member has pushed TCEQ to do something sooner rather than later. We're really pushing to try and get this done fast, but with TCEQ continuing to find violations, it's hard to put a timeline on it. It's not right that residents have to deal with that smell when the landfill is in violation of their permit. What I asked TCEQ to do is as soon as they find all the violations, they get the compliance plan and become compliant with their permit, I want TCEQ to do an investigation after they've said we've fixed everything. And then I want them on a two-year cycle going forward until they can prove they can stay compliant.

What do you hope to continue to push forward if re-elected?

The next two big things we need to focus on is infrastructure, i.e. roads and sidewalks. A lot of people from the Citizen Survey sy they want more trails to be able to walk, so we continue to work on that. It's always a struggle to get funding fro that. We just had a fire study done for the fire department. There were some things that came out of that study that were surprising, so I think we need to focus on that. We have to build at least two more fire stations, so that's going to be an issue to try and figure out how to do that.

Why should Pearland vote for you on May 6?

I enjoy giving back to my community. I love serving on council. This truly is like a hometown that I never had. My father was military, so I moved all over the world. This is the longest place I've ever lived in my life. My wife and two kids have entrenched ourselves here. I love serving and giving back to the people. I love this city and doing the best job I can do.

J. Darnell Jones

Professional experience: Owner, Professional Services Ltd.; attorney; retired naval officer
Years lived in Pearland: 2
Campaign website:

web J Darnell Jones Pearland J. Darnell Jones is running for Pearland City Council position No. 3.[/caption]

Top priorities:

  • Public safety—police, fire and EMS

  • Infrastructure

  • Commerce and economic development

What would you propose to attract businesses and improve economic development?

The city is doing a good job, but sometimes I think they're doing a good job as far as what they know to do, that's why there's a need for progressive thinking and for someone who comes to Pearland who has been to other places. If you were in Washington D.C. in the mid-90s and you go there now, you wouldn't recognize the place. I know what alternative means of transportation can do for a city. I know that when you have people moving into the city from those places what their expectations are. Those expectations aren't being met. When we talk about infrastructure and traffic on FM 518—and traffic on FM 518 is horrendous, but it doesn't have to be. There are so many shopping centers that are not interconnected, and that's where the problem is. Forget about aesthetics for a moment. We've got think about safety, function and commerce. Businesses don't want to go some place if their access is going to be horrible.

How will you address the Blue Ridge Landfill issue? How will you advocate for residents?

The Blue Ridge Landfill issue is a huge issue for me. I don't live in Shadow Creek, but I do know people who live in Shadow Creek. I have smelled the odors from my house, which is over 3 miles from the landfill on a clear evening. I have also had friends who call me on a night when the odors are strong, and I drive over to Shadow Creek and sit in the car with them for 15 minutes and get a headache. Nonetheless, the citation from TCEQ to Blue Ridge Landfill, those minor offenses what they called them, will not deter them. For six quarters, they had been doing their monitoring wrong; TCEQ said they were out of compliance. The finding was they were not maintaining the properly monitoring. I feel the city should have been more aggressive. If they were not in compliance, that warrants having their permit suspended until we can figure something out. It's not fair. It's not right, and it's definitely not something I will stand for. If I'm elected I will not back down. I will make sure we do everything within our power to make sure our citizens are taken care of.

Why should Pearland vote for you on May 6?

I am tried and proven to take care of the people whom I am entrusted to take care of. For 24 years as a leader in our U.S. military, I have ensured anyone who went on a deployment with me—not a cruise—on a Navy ship was taken care of and taken home safely. That's the one thing I feel very proud about and good about. When it comes to being a military leader, the ability to critically think under pressure is definitely necessary, and I do have that ability.

Position No. 5

J. David Little

Pearland City Coucil - J David Little J. David Little is running for Pearland City Council position No. 5.[/caption]

Professional experience: Certified Public Accountant and probate attorney, Law Offices of J. David Little P.C.
Years lived in Pearland: 19
Current civic positions held: member, Pearland Lions Club
Campaign website: [email protected]

Top priorities:

  • Public safety

  • Traffic congestion

  • Keeping taxes reasonable


Jude T.A. Smith

web Jude TA Smith Jude T.A. Smith is running for Pearland City Council position No. 5.[/caption]

Professional experience: Geico Insurance staff attorney, Levin & Clinebell
Years lived in Pearland: 2

Top priorities:

  • Representation of Pearland's diverse voices: I would like to interact with Pearland residents regularly at community meetings/events, HOA meetings, using social media etc and make sure that City Councils actions reflect our priorities as a community.

  • Business/finances: I would like to attract clean businesses that provide a better financial base for the city making it less reliant on taxation of residents. We can continue to grow as one of the best places to live but there shouldn't be a tax penalty to live here.

  • Environment: As Pearland has grown, we are also facing environmental issues specifically related to businesses in and around Pearland. As an attorney I would like the city to explore all legal options to make sure the residents' are protected.

  • Support of first responders: As we balance the budget each year, I will ensure our first responders are adequately funded and equipped. I also want City Council to work closely with the Fire and Police departents to make sure we are taking advantage of opportunities to improve including collaboration with hospitals and universities in Pearland and Houston.

Position No. 7

web Bud Tollefsen Bud Tollefsen is running for Pearland City Council position No. 7.[/caption]

Bud Tollefsen

Professional experience: student, University of Houston; recreation attendant, city of Pearland
Years lived in Pearland: 21

Top priorities:

  • Ensure everyone in the city of Pearland is given a voice


Dalia Kasseb

web Dalia Kasseb Dalia Kasseb is running for Pearland City Council position No. 7.[/caption]

Professional experience: Pharmacist and co-owner, Pyramids Pharmacy
Years lived in Pearland: 4
Campaign website:

Top priorities:

  • Re-evaluate transportation planning: A new city council needs to examine land use to ensure infrastructure matches current & future needs of residents and businesses. Our current city debt rate needs to be addressed to meet our most urgent obligations so we can meet these needs. Future models must include more public transportation options to address our city's long traffic times and road congestion.

  • Advocate for local parks with a focus on healthier communities. We need more fitness options, hike/bike trails and green space in the City of Pearland. This planning will ensure Pearland remains an attractive community to invest in for years to come. Maintaining such spaces means striking a balance between residents' needs and long-term water management. A higher quality of life in Pearland means more green space with conservation in mind.

  • Be a voice for all in City Hall. Pearland is a unique community and home to many different kinds of families. Our current city council doesn't include anyone from the incoming millennial generation, no representative of our thousands of healthcare professionals, or even one woman. As a pharmacist, business owner and home owner, I aim to bring all of this experience and diversity to Pos. 7. A more inclusive city hall will make for better input from and for all of our citizens.

web GC Sonny Atkins Grover Cleveland "Sonny" Atkins is running for Pearland City Council position No. 7.[/caption]

G.C. Sonny Atkins

Professional experience: Police chief, City of Brookside Village; retired Pearland police officer
Years lived in Pearland: 44

Top priorities:

  • Emergency services—police, fire, EMS

  • Mobility—east/west roadways


Sherry Stockwell

Sherry Stockwell Headshot Sherry Stockwell is running for Pearland City Council position No. 7.[/caption]

Professional experience: Realtor, broker and partner, Kibbe Stockwell Properties; owner, Pearland Med Spa; owner, Reflection Bay Event Center
Years lived in Pearland: 23
Current civic positions held: board member, Pearland Alliance for Arts and Culture; founder and president, One World Foundation
Campaign website:

Top priorities:

  • Mobility and livability

  • Community engagement

  • Fiscally responsible, grow property values and keep taxes low

  • Plan for future infrastructure

  • Quality of life


Terry Gray

web Pearland City Council - Terry Gray Former council member Terry Gray is running for Pearland City Council position No. 7. Gray served on council from 1976-1978 and from 1980-1986.[/caption]

Professional experience: retiree; self-employed real estate investor
Years lived in Pearland: 60
Campaign website:

Top priorities:

  • Traffic: improve lights with better traffic signal timing, additional streets without curbs, gutters and having to maintain the grass and less side walks.  We have 547 miles of side walks now

  • Future capital improvements and capital outlay pay-as-we-go as opposed to debt issuance

  • Accelerate fleet upgrade, we have a lot a old vehicles

  • Maintain our high level of safety—police, fire and EMS


Woody Owens

web Pearland City Council - Woodrow Owens Woody Owens is running for Pearland City Council position No. 7. Owens is a former city council member who served from 2001-13.[/caption]

Professional experience: Associate vice president and Texas office principal, Aztec Engineering Group Inc.; co-founder, Greater 288 Regional Partnership
Current civic positions held: board member, Greater 288 Regional Partnership
Years lived in Pearland: 25
Campaign website:

Top priorities:

  • Increase the homestead exemption for Pearland residents

  • As Pearland continues to grow, public safety for Pearland residents is a major concern

  • Areas of safety will include police, traffic and residential street lighting in older neighborhoods

  • Detailed review of the budget process and the use of tax dollars

Pearland polling locations

Registered voters in Brazoria County can cast their ballot at any polling location within the county during early voting and on election day. More information can be found online at the elections division of the Brazoria County Clerk’s Office.

Drainage District No. 4 Building
4805 W. Broadway St.

Pearland Recreation Center
4141 Bailey Road

Pearland Westside Library
2803 Business Center Drive, Ste. 101

Public Safety Building
2555 Cullen Boulevard

Shadycrest Baptist Church
3017 Yost Boulevard

Silverlake Recreation Center
2715 Southwyck Parkway

Tom Reid Library
3522 Liberty Drive