Shauna Newman has filed for Southlake City Council.[/caption]

Shauna Newman, an administrative assistant for Priority One, is running for the Southlake City Council Place 6 seat in the Sept. 9 special election.

The vacancy was left by Gary Fawks, who announced his resignation May 16 due to a job promotion.

Community Impact Newspaper sent Newman a series of questions. Her written responses, edited for publication style, are below.

1. Why are you running for Council?

In the 13 years that my family and I have lived in Southlake, I have spent many hours working at the grass roots level to help our school district and community maintain and improve its quality of life. The people of Southlake have inspired me with their dedication to making this community an incredible place to live and work. Continuing to work with the wonderful people of this city and applying the skills and knowledge I have developed and absorbed, toward the continued betterment of Southlake would be a great privilege.

2. If elected, what would you strive to accomplish?

I hope to use my strengths and skills to maintain the high standards that the residents of Southlake have come to expect from their elected officials when confronting issues that cities like ours face every day. Specifically, I would like to address:

  • Smart solutions for the increase in traffic that will stem from the ultimate commercial development of the [SH] 114 corridor. I will work to ensure that our local roads, residential neighborhoods and local school areas do not bear the burden of this growth.

  • I want to put a high level of emphasis on the conservation of Southlake’s trees, tree canopies, and greenspaces. It is essential to our economic and environmental future that our current ordinances are respected and that new initiatives and commercial negotiations are conducted with these community identified goals in mind, and are subsequently enforced.

  • Recent legislation under consideration at the state level may impact how Southlake maintains its tree ordinances, permitting regulations and property tax collection, among other items. Our City Council should advocate in Austin for its right to make decisions based on the priorities set forth by its residents.

  • I would work to develop a plan and timeline to achieve 100 percent environmental sustainability in Southlake. Staying on the leading edge to commit to this in our schools, our commercial buildings and in our best practice policies is a goal I share with many Southlake residents.

3. What makes you qualified for this position?

I have spent the last 13 years rolling up my sleeves to help our school district and community maintain and improve its quality of daily life.

  • PTO president, Eubanks Intermediate School, 2007-09

  • Volunteer religious school director and board of trustee, Congregation Beth Israel, 2005-11

  • Carroll Leadership Academy for Supporting Success participant and District Advisory Committee member for Carroll ISD, 2006-09

  • President and coach, Southlake Carroll Odyssey of the Mind, 2006-14

  • Project Graduation, 2010-17

  • Volunteer at Rockenbaugh Elementary School, EIS, Durham Intermediate School, Carroll High School and Carroll Senior High School; 2004-17

The path to my candidacy is nontraditional, perhaps unconventional. Working in the trenches for so many Southlake organizations with other community members has given me the unique opportunity to listen to, and learn about, their concerns, perspectives, and visions for Southlake.

4. What is your stance on apartments in Southlake?

Southlake has held true to a thoughtful, deliberate and visionary plan advanced over the past 25 years or so. The areas of future residential development in our city are limited, however, proposals for mixed-use development have and will arise with this last segment of Southlake’s planning. I believe that discussions about alternatives to single-family residences must begin and end with a comprehensive plan to strictly enforce owner occupied policies.

5. What would you do to alleviate traffic concerns in highly congested areas?

Growth in, and migration to, the North Texas area will have a great impact on traffic for Southlake and surrounding areas for many years to come. Texas road construction in the metroplex is virtually nonstop. It will be critical to maintain a strong working relationship with the Texas Department of Transportation before identifying, designing or implementing any future development of commercial space. Acknowledgement that a certain segment of increased traffic is not in our local control, is critical to consideration of future projects. Thoughtful consideration and planning must include:

  • Protection of our local roads, residential neighborhoods and school properties as our primary goal against the inevitable increased traffic produced by a surge in the daytime population to our city, as well as rising numbers of people coming to Southlake as an entertainment destination.

  • Adequate parking space.

If proposed plans do not address these priorities adequately, then the plans should be modified and/or revised until the residents’ satisfaction is achieved. While the tax revenue is important, it is not more important than the quality of life in our community.

6. How do you feel about public transportation in Southlake?

I understand that there is a discussion about trolley transportation to provide access between various public spaces. I have not seen specific information regarding this proposal’s details, or studies regarding the costs, benefits or environmental consequences with implementing such a system. Absent this information I cannot offer an informed opinion.

7. Where do you see Southlake in 10 years? And how will you help the city get there if elected?

In 2027, I see Southlake as a highly valued and welcoming residential community with a strong hometown identity, an excellent independent school district, respected as a leader in environmental sustainability, a prime location for commerce and an entertainment destination within North Texas. If elected I would work to make sure that decisions are made thoughtfully, deliberately, and with vision through an open dialogue between Southlake residents and their city government.

8. What do you see as Southlake’s biggest challenge?

Southlake has thus far executed its far-reaching vision with care and thoughtfulness. While progress and expansion as a destination city within North Texas is one of our goals, I believe the heart of Southlake—what makes it such a special and ideal place to live, raise a family, grow, thrive and prosper—is its strong family-friendly community feel. The Dragon pride, the standard of excellence for which we strive, our excellent schools, the sense that this is our home town, is what attracted my family to Southlake 13 years ago. As people move to North Texas I think it should be our goal to maintain that hometown feel as we welcome, with open arms, newcomers to our city. I look forward to assuring we step up to this challenge in all aspects of our future planning.

9. How will you work with Carroll ISD to further develop a partnership between Council and trustees?

Southlake and the Carroll ISD successes have always gone hand in hand. It is to everyone’s benefit that Carroll ISD maintains its excellent reputation and high standards as it educates our future leaders. CISD will always be a critical component for families choosing Southlake as its home, especially during this time of migration to North Texas and its continued success supports our property values and tax receipts. The partnership between Council and CISD board of trustees should always remain strong with an open dialogue and a shared vision of excellence.

Christopher Archer and Stephen Luhrs have also filed for Place 6.

Election day is Sept. 9 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., and early voting will begin Aug. 23 and end Sept. 5.