Leon Leal is running for the Grapevine City Council Place 3 seat, facing opposing candidate Lemoine Wright in the upcoming May 4 general election. Incumbent Mike Lease is not seeking re-election.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Leal a series of questions about his candidacy. This article is part of ongoing May 4 election coverage and does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate. His written responses, edited for publication style, are below.
Why did you decide to run for this office?
I love the city of Grapevine! I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful community. For the past 26 years while living in Grapevine I have served on many boards and committees. In addition, I have always volunteered and helped when and where I can. I am very passionate about the idea of working with the mayor, [City] Council, city employees and our citizens to ensure the continued success of Grapevine.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
I have been a successful business owner in Grapevine since 2001, [working]in employment and business consulting. I was on the Grapevine-Colleyville school board for nine years (2008-17). During [my]last two years as president, our district succeeded in balancing the budget. I always asked questions and did my best to be a great steward of our community’s money. The year after I left our school board, our board and colleagues were recognized as the top school board in the state of Texas. I am very proud of some of the programs I helped implement. I was not just on the school board; I contributed to numerous programs for our students and administration. I was always available to our parents, teachers and administrators. I spent nine years on the Baylor Regional Medical Center of Grapevine board from 2004-12. While on the Baylor hospital board, I served on the finance, quality and hospital expansion team. I spent five years on the State Board [for] Educator Texas Certification, an appointment by the governor of Texas. I was nominated and voted as an officer while serving. We support our teachers, school administrators and school districts throughout the state of Texas. In addition, I have been on numerous city boards and committees in Grapevine. I believe I have a sincere understanding of our community and am prepared to serve our city.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Grapevine, and how do you plan to address it on City Council?
Grapevine is an incredible city to live in and a wonderful place to raise our families. I do believe we can always find ways to support our [residents]and help improve our quality of life. Some of the areas I hope to support:
- Better roads leading around our neighborhoods and addressing roads that flood frequently.
- I have many great friends with the police and fire department; I am committed to supporting them.
- Be open to our citizens’ ideas and listen and address any concerns.
- Support some of the city departments to help better serve our citizens and merchants.
- With continued growth and expansion of the new TexRail, I believe we must focus on maintaining our small-town culture and sense of community. I hope to preserve our beloved Main Street and our historic district.
- Grapevine Lake and our parks continue to be very popular. We must take care of them and support programs like Keep Grapevine Beautiful, [the]Living Legacy program and [the]Go Grapevine program.
- We need to continue supporting programs for our seniors because they are a vital part of our history.
- I am a strong advocate of our schools. I understand how our schools affect our children, the safety of our city and our property values. I hope to utilize my in-depth understanding of our education system to bridge a stronger relationship [between]our city and our school district.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
I am a man of faith and a family man. I am a very proud husband of 30 years and father of three incredible young men. I have been honored to be involved in our community over the past 26 years. I believe in servanthood and stewardship. I am so grateful to be part of our wonderful community.