Chris Archer has filed to run for the Place 6 seat on Southlake City Council.[/caption]
Christopher Archer, president of Associated Time & Parking Controls, 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 Archer a series of questions. His written responses, edited for publication style, are below.
1. Why are you running for the City Council?
What inspired me to run for City Council was my desire and commitment to continue to give back to a community that has been so good to me and my family. I saw the opportunity to serve on City Council as a way to broaden the scope of my involvement beyond that of just Carroll ISD, however, [it] also gives me the ability to continue to work with CISD and continue the strong relationship between the city and the school district. I have been a resident of Southlake since 1998 and have seen the many changes that have occurred. I want to be part of our future as we continue be ranked as a top city and school district.
2. If elected, what would you strive to accomplish?
Some of my top priorities will be to work together with the current City Council and mayor, who have made our city such a desired destination for both families and businesses. I also will make it a priority to be the liaison between the city and CISD and see how we can continue to work together for the betterment of both. Also, work towards preserving Southlake’s plan for open space. I will work with city staff, current Council and mayor to ensure we work toward the 2030 Plan and beyond for the future of Southlake and all citizens while maintaining fiscally conservative core values. Finally, with this being a special election, I will be prepared to jump right into the 2018 budget process, having already met with all of the key members of city staff.
3. What makes you qualified for this position?
I am the best candidate because of my proven leadership and experience. I am the only candidate who has truly been involved in all aspects of our city and community. The experience and leadership I have shown as president of the Carroll ISD school board will be invaluable as I take the next step to serve on City Council. I possess a deep understanding of CISD budgeting, which will be a huge advantage as Southlake deals with the state Legislature on reforming "Robin Hood," the biggest portion of our citizen’s tax bill.
In addition, my current role on the Bob Jones Nature Center board of directors provides me with the experience necessary to understand and actively promote our parks and open spaces within Southlake. I have been honored to have been nominated this Year as Citizen of the Year by the Southlake Chamber of Commerce and also having been awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award last year with my wife, Stacey. We have enjoyed giving back to our community by serving as co-chairs for the GRACE Gala and also the Bob Jones Nature Annual Fundraiser, Naturally Sweet, over the past few years.
4. What is your stance on apartments in Southlake?
I do not believe that apartments fit in the city of Southlake, nor do I believe that they are part of the city’s future or vision.
5. What would you do to help alleviate traffic concerns in highly congested areas?
Obviously, traffic and mobility is a major concern for Southlake as we, as well as our surrounding cities, grow and expand. It is an area which requires ongoing evaluation and, unfortunately, I do not believe has an easy answer. I do know that during my discussions and meetings with city staff, it is on the top of the priority list for the city manager and mayor.
6. How do you feel about public transportation in Southlake?
I believe as we look to provide a sound solution, that we consider all options available to the city to help alleviate the mobility issues. I believe that some type of public transportation could be a solution to get people around the city more efficiently. I have been in discussions with both the mayor and the city manager where they have looked at possibilities of some type of trolley to help with some of the current traffic issues.
7. Where do you see Southlake in 10 years? And how will you help the city get there, if elected?
I see the next 10 years being an important period of time for Southlake. We are currently 85 percent or so, built out with approximately 28,000 residents. The current 2030 Plan allows for 34,000 residents, however, the 2035 Plan revises that to 30,000. It will be important how we implement and improve upon the 2035 Plan so that there is a clear path to how our city will look and function in not only 10 years, but well into the future. If elected, I hope to bring new and fresh ideas from my role on the school board, as well as involvement in the chamber of commerce to help ensure that we remain the vibrant, close-knit community with the excellence in our schools that we are today and the reason that most of us moved to Southlake.
8. How are you involved in the community?
I am and have been involved in the community in many different ways. Some of my involvement includes:
• President Carroll ISD board of trustees
• Carroll Education Foundation advisory board member
• Bob Jones Nature Center board member
• GRACE Gala co-chair[man] with my wife, Stacey
• Naturally Sweet (BJNC Annual Fundraiser) co-chair[man] with my wife, Stacey
• Southlake Chamber of Commerce Volunteers of the Year (2016) with my wife, Stacey
• Southlake Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year–2017 nominee
• Southlake Executive Forum member
• Southlake Chamber of Commerce member
• Member of White Chapel United Methodist Church
• Past board member, Southlake Girls Softball Association
• Carroll Leadership Academy for Supporting Success graduate as well as Strategic Planning Committee for CISD
• Art In The Square sponsor
9. What do you see as Southlake's biggest challenge?
The biggest challenges for Southlake, in my opinion, will be mobility and property taxes. It will be vital for us to continue the work already begun to address traffic and transportation issues. I believe that with my background and having previously served as president of the Texas Parking & Transportation Association, I will bring new and fresh ideas as we move forward. Also, I will support the increase of the Southlake homestead exemption to 20 percent, which is the highest allowed in the state, so that we can continue to target city property tax savings to our homeowners while continuing to fight to do more.
10. How will you work with Carroll ISD to further develop a partnership between Council and trustees?
Obviously, this is and will be my strength on City Council. Currently serving as president on the board of trustees, I bring a greater understanding of the district and our issues and challenges and how the city and district can work together to resolve those issues. One example was the cooperation to form the SRO Program, which allows CISD to have an officer in every school, while the city helps fund that program. Without the city and CISD working together, the district alone would not have been able to pay for this program. It will also be my goal to be the liaison between the city and CISD, which will only strengthen the already cohesive relationship. I will bring an understanding of the upcoming bond projects that CISD will be working on and if and how the city can help in getting these projects done in the most efficient and timely manner. I believe that my leadership is proven as I am proud to acknowledge that I have the support and endorsement of the other current six trustees currently serving with me.
Stephen Luhrs and Shauna Newman have also filed for Place 6.
Election day is Sept. 9 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and early voting will begin Aug. 23 and end Sept. 5.