Ronell Smith is running for the Southlake City Council Place 4 seat, facing opposing candidate MaryGrace Thoennes in the upcoming May 4 general election. Incumbent Randy Williamson has reached his term limit.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Smith 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 made a commitment to run because I love this city, which is a special place. Working to retain the essence of Southlake while smartly stewarding it into the future is an effort I want to be a part of. We have great City Hall leadership in place in Southlake. I’m hoping to be another passionate teammate committed to doing what’s best for the city and its residents.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
My family moved here in the summer of 2014. Immediately thereafter, I began volunteering as a way to learn about the city and to fulfill a spirit of service that God had placed on my heart. I’ve served on the zoning board [of]adjustments, most recently as vice chair; completed the Southlake Department of Public Service’s Citizen’s Academy program; finished Carroll ISD’s CLASS program; [volunteered]as a Business Buddy for the Community Enhancement Development Corp.; [served]as a citizen on patrol for Southlake DPS; and was recently appointed to the CISD District Diversity Committee.
I’ve made it my business to get to know the people of the community and to understand what matters most to them. In a word, it’s community. They want to keep Southlake special.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Southlake, and how do you plan to address it on City Council?
We’re fortunate to reside in a city that had bright, forward-thinking leadership from its inception. Men and women with vision and conviction were the architects of what we all enjoy today. That Southlake is constantly recognized as one of the best places to live in the U.S. is no accident.
Being such a desired city means smart business and residential growth are priorities.
The opportunity we have is to nurture the best of our past while walking into a bright, innovative future. We’re focused on smart growth that’s in line with our core values and that adds to the character of the city. The health and vitality of our existing businesses are also important, so we’re redoubling our efforts to help them thrive in a retail marketplace that’s largely moving online. Additionally, the entire community is focused on making sure that students coming into our excellent schools from all around the world encounter the safest, most welcoming and most inclusive learning environment imaginable.
We’re at a pivotal point in our city’s rich history. We know from whence we came just a short while ago. Now we’re deciding who we want to be as a grown-up.
The answer? A family-first, community-centered, special place.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
In addition to being blessed with two amazing daughters, who are both proud Dragons, I’m married to a lovely Southerner named Rachel.