Q&A: Dan Barrios seeks election to Richardson City Council

The Brentwood City Commission election is May 7.

The Brentwood City Commission election is May 7.

Dan Barrios Dan Barrios is seeking election to the Richardson City Council Place 3 seat, which will be vacated by current Council Member Scott Dunn. If successful, this will be the first time Barrios has held elected office.

Community Impact Newspaper sent Barrios a set of questions about his candidacy. His answers have been edited for publication style.

Why did you decide to run for this office?


There are a variety of reasons why I decided to run for Richardson City Council Place 3. Most importantly, I’m running to serve our community. Last mayoral election, about 5 percent of our city showed up to vote. I don’t believe it’s because people don’t care; it’s because voters don’t feel like they have options. The decisions made by our City Council affect us every single day, yet it's [City Council elections garner] one of the smallest levels of participation at the voting booth. As a lifelong community servant, I hope to offer a fresh perspective—one without an agenda or financial ties to developers or the real estate market. I will be a truly independent voice ready to serve our city.

What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?


Professionally my background is in business development within the food industry. My career has taught me to listen, negotiate fairly and build businesses through tough economic times. The most important lesson I’ve learned is how to strategically build lasting relationships with every stakeholder.


I have served a diverse set and a large number of community organizations and nonprofits. Locally I'm extremely active with the Arapaho Classical Magnet PTA [Parent-Teacher Association], and have coached at and served on the YMCA board. I am a longtime volunteer with the American Red Cross, where I’ve helped lead international projects. I am a proud graduate of Richardson CARES [Citizens Academy & Resource Education Series] and a member of InsideRISD. As a church volunteer I’ve also helped run programs to serve the homeless and have made dozens of trips to help build medical clinics in Mexico, an area where being bilingual is a major asset.


From managing a shelter after the 2015 Rowlett tornado to helping with school carnivals, these experiences have taught me that the best way to help strengthen our community is by serving it.



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?


One issue I keep hearing about from residents is our aging infrastructure, like potholes and broken water lines. Our city has made it a priority, and I know city staff is working incredibly hard to keep things working properly. I’d like to see our city continue to increase the prioritization of our infrastructure, without increasing the homeowners’ tax burden. Another issue I’m hearing about from Richardson residents is their desire for a diversified retail and restaurant environment. People are concerned about empty buildings. People are concerned about Sears closing, and what will be done to revitalize the often-overlooked southeast Richardson. People are concerned about the plans for the widening of Belt Line [Road], and what’s going to happen to the historic buildings that help define Richardson as a city.

For me this isn't a single issue that we face but an overarching theme: How will we plan and revitalize a city that reflects our citizens and provides the standard of living we desire while creating an economically strong city?

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?


Cities commonly use tax incentives as a tool to attract new businesses, and I completely support their strategic use. Like anything, it’s about balance. Too little and other cities beat us and win companies over. Too much and the tax burden transfers to homeowners. We must use these tax incentives strategically and intelligently to bolster our economic growth.

I think it’s worth reevaluating what we are doing to attract local businesses. We have restaurant and retail owners who live in our city and have chosen to open their businesses in other cities. It’s not because they don’t want to open in Richardson; it’s because it doesn’t make financial sense. Let’s find a way to keep those revenue dollars right here in Richardson. I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers, but know that together we can bring city staff, residents and business owners together to find the best plan for everyone.

What else do you want voters to know about you?


I will always walk into City Hall humble. I will always listen and consider all aspects of a decision with an open mind. For me public service means truly serving the public. It means serving you.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Gracie Gym Richardson
Brazilian jiujitsu academy Gracie Gym moves to new Richardson location

The training center teaches self defense and offers after-school care.

Shawarma
Beirut Shawarma City to bring authentic Lebanese cuisine to Richardson

The restaurant will serve homemade Lebanese shawarma and more.

Sanitas Medical Center Richardson
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to help residents select health care plans at Dec. 7 event in Richardson

The event will also include free wellness checks, healthy food giveaways and community resources, according to the release.

Richardson Fire Department annual toy and food drive
Richardson Fire Department kicks off holiday season with annual toy and food drive

The annual event benefits clients of the Network of Community Ministries.

Liberty Junior High School in Richardson ISD
Talk of moving sixth-graders to junior high campuses underway in Richardson ISD

The move would have far-reaching impacts for the district, officials say.

American flags
New initiatives to enhance the lives of veterans in Richardson

Staff is proposing several new efforts to promote resources and services for members of the armed forces.

Sew Let's Quilt It custom quilt
Sew Let's Quilt It to celebrate 10th anniversary with storewide sale Dec. 7

The design studio provides quality, custom, machine quilting as well as custom memory and T-shirt quilts.

Lockwood vodka being held out by an arm
Lockwood Distilling Co. now serving small-batch spirits and comfort food in Richardson

The distillery and restaurant is the latest new business to join the strip center on Lockwood.

Richardson tornado
Tornado victims invited to free storm recovery classes at Richland College on Nov. 9, 16

Richland is offering the tuition free classes to help residents get back on their feet.

Jason's Deli sandwich and iced tea
Jason's Deli to open in Richardson Square

This will be the sandwich chain's second Richardson location.

Back to top