The Colleyville Executive Organization held a combined forum March 21 for candidates running in the upcoming May 4 election for seats on Colleyville City Council and the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD school board.
Among the topics discussed were economic development and school funding.
City Council candidates
Incumbent City Council Member Bobby Lindamood was also absent for work reasons, but Council Member George Dodson presented an introductory statement on Lindamood’s behalf.
City Council candidates were first asked about the most pressing issue facing Colleyville.
Mayor Richard Newton, running against Mark Skinner, said the biggest issue happening in the city is construction of SH 26, which has affected many businesses. The project is slated for completion later in 2019.
Because of its efforts to promote businesses affected by construction work, the city saw increases in sales tax revenue and a high rate of commercial occupancy, Newton said. To attract new commercial opportunities in the future, city leaders can create an environment that appeals to quality businesses, he said.
Skinner said he would focus on future growth because the city has not had any economic growth, even with inflation.
“It’s my plan and my vision to implement a process that sits down the existing businesses in Colleyville and we develop a business-oriented plan that promotes people coming to Colleyville businesses,” he said.
Incumbent City Council candidate Tammy Nakamura said the city is pro-growth and pro-business. Colleyville has a plan for economic development, and the goal is to ensure new businesses fit cohesively into the city, she said.
Running against Nakamura is Jon Bullock.
Bullock said he is running to introduce to council a new viewpoint to City Council, which contains members of the same mindset. The city should redirect attention from cutting costs to addressing quality of life issues, such as maintaining parks and improving roads, he said.
Vanessa Steinkamp, running against Lindamood, said because the area is experiencing rapid growth, the city should focus on ways to increase revenue and adding to the quality of life for residents.
“There are going to be a lot of opportunities with this explosive growth all around us, and we need to have a forward, long-term strategy plan to capitalize on those opportunities,” Steinkamp said.
School board candidates
GCISD school board candidates Mike McCoy and Tommy Snyder were absent from the forum. McCoy is vying for the Place 4 seat against incumbent Lisa Pardo, and Snyder is running against incumbent Louie Sullins for the Place 3 seat.
Sullins and Pardo were asked about issues within the school district. Both stated that school funding and recapture payments to the state present the biggest challenge to GCISD.
Property-wealthy school districts in Texas make these payments to the state, which then distributes the funds to poorer districts, according to the Texas Education Agency.
Sullins said it is important for school district representatives to advocate on behalf of students and teachers at the Capitol to increase school funding, but GCISD is limited because of the current school finance system.
“We need true legislation that does two things: lower our property tax values and also take care of lowering our recapture payment,” Pardo said.
What’s on the ballot
Citizens will get to decide the following races on the May 4 ballot. April 4 is the last day to register to vote in the election.
Richard Newton (incumbent)
Colleyville City Council, Place 1
Tammy Nakamura (incumbent)
Colleyville City Council, Place 2
Bobby Lindamood (incumbent)
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board of trustees, Place 3
Louie Sullins (incumbent)
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board of trustees, Place 4
Lisa Pardo (incumbent)