MaryGrace Thoennes is running for the Southlake City Council Place 4 seat, facing opposing candidate Ronell Smith in the upcoming May 4 general election. Incumbent Randy Williamson has reached his term limit.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Thoennes a series of questions about her candidacy. This article is part of ongoing May 4 election coverage and does not constitute an endorsement of the candidate. Her written responses, edited for publication style, are below.
Why did you decide to run for this office?
I love living in Southlake. Community service has always been my passion. For 20 years, I have been actively involved in Southlake civic and political issues with the goal of creating effective change. My family and I feel that the time is now for me to serve and represent the residents of Southlake.
What experience—professional or political—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
As a new Southlake landowner in 1999, I felt blessed to create a home in a community that was safe, secure and financially stable. I joined the Southlake Program for the Involvement of Neighborhoods and Neighborhood Southlake.
Over the next 20 years, I expanded my volunteer efforts and serve as a board member for the following organizations: the Crime Control Prevention District, the Southlake Executive Forum and ProPlayers Foundation. I am or have been a committee member for a number of local nonprofit organizations: Kids Matter International, Greater Southlake Women’s Society, Southlake Newcomers, Southlake Rotary, and Southlake Business Buddies.
I am a graduate of the Southlake Citizen Academy where I completed an extensive course covering Southlake police and fire procedures.
Professionally, I support my family as the National Commercial Construction Sales Director for a research firm specializing in two data areas: conducting feasibility studies to evaluate land use development and monitoring the flow of commercial construction projects.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Southlake and how do you plan to address it on City Council?
Southlake must consider how new developments will affect the future. These projects need to be evaluated with a mindful focus on quality, durability and impact. I will bring my expertise to that process. In addition, I will advocate for increased economic development resources to recruit top-flight corporate headquarters.
Nothing is more integral to the progress of a community than the safety of its schools and students. As a board member of the Crime Control and Prevention District, I voted to fund $550,000 to support the implementation of school safety and security. On the City Council, I will find additional means to protect our schools and students.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
When I see a need, I take action. I am an enthusiastic participant, collaborating with other volunteers and residents, to develop and implement a plan. I do the work.
With my background as a licensed financial advisor, I can evaluate options and potential outcomes based on their economic impact.
As a member of the Band Boosters, I actively support my daughter’s membership in the Carroll Senior High School Color Guard by providing assistance on the field for the Friday night football half-time performances. Throughout the year, I assist with fundraising and chaperoning for Winter Guard.
My continuing vision is to provide a safe, secure and financially stable place to live. Residents have my commitment to make each decision positively impact Southlake.
I will take this stewardship very seriously so that our Southlake residents will enjoy the blessings of this community.