Franklin Byrd is seeking election to the Richardson City Council Place 3 seat that will be vacated by current Council Member Scott Dunn. If successful, this will be the first time Byrd has held elective office.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Byrd a set of questions about his candidacy. His answers have been edited for publication style.
Why did you decide to run for this office?
I want to give back to the community that I grew up in, raised my family in and that I love dearly. I do not have a specific agenda, but I believe I do have several valuable skills and qualities that can be leveraged to assist the city as we all work together and continue thoughtful development, infrastructure remediation and community partnerships.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
Professionally I am an experienced finance and accounting executive with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. In my job I am counted on to provide answers to critical decisions, which typically require in-depth analysis and due diligence. I believe my financial mind and business acumen can help the city in analyzing economic and other important evaluations and decisions.
What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Richardson today, and how do you plan to address it if elected to City Council?
Aging streets and infrastructure are one of the city’s biggest issues. The city recognizes this, and for the past three years the city has increased its commitment and spending on remediation of our streets and infrastructure. However, this commitment and spending needs to continue, and the city needs to retain local control over property taxes to ensure the success of these programs. I will be supporting local control over property taxes and a continued focus on infrastructure remediation without raising tax rates.
The city in the past has used economic incentives and tax grants to attract companies. What means, if any, would you support the city using to attract companies in the future?
I am a big supporter of thoughtful development efforts where long-term impacts and infrastructure considerations are a significant part of the evaluation process. The addition of new businesses will increase our tax base, which will help us pay for our needed infrastructure-remediation efforts. For these reasons, I would support the use of tax abatements to attract new businesses to Richardson, and I would support the use of tax increment finance (TIF) districts to incent developers to develop in certain Richardson districts where development is needed.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
Like many of our loyal and proud Richardson residents, I simply want to do my part to make our community a great place to live, work and play in. I am a very dedicated and detail-oriented person who will work hard and put in the due-diligence efforts to ensure that I am fully versed on the critical issues facing our city. I feel that I can be a valuable addition to the council and help continue the great work that the city has been doing. I hope that I can count on your vote. Please vote for me for Richardson City Council Place 3.