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.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


Chicken-fried steak and eggs ($11.99) are served with hash browns and Texas toast. (Courtesy The Cottage)
The Cottage eatery opens in Roanoke and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.

SPENGA North Dallas Richardson is currently open and plans to hold a grand opening event Feb. 1. (Courtesy SPENGA North Dallas Richardson)
SPENGA North Dallas Richardson opens local fitness studio

SPENGA offers one-hour group training workouts that include 20 minutes of spin, 20 minutes of strength training and 20 minutes of yoga.

Volunteers prepare care packages for those found unsheltered and facing homelessness on the night of the point-in-time count in 2019. (Courtesy Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance)
Annual homelessness count adapted to answer questions brought on by pandemic in Collin, Dallas counties

The point-in-time count in Collin and Dallas counties will not look like it has in recent years, when upward of 1,000 volunteers would canvas the streets to get an accurate count of the number of unsheltered residents facing homelessness.

COVID-19 vaccines
DATA: Texas has vaccinated about 9% of estimated Phase 1 recipients

Over 1.1 million individuals from the Phase 1 population, which is estimated to include 13.5 million individuals total, have received at least one dose.

Bob Popinski, policy director of Raise Your Hand Texas, shared the organization's top education priorities for the ongoing legislative session. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘What does virtual learning and remote learning look like moving forward?': Raise Your Hand Texas policy director talks legislative priorities

Bob Popinski is the director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas, an Austin-based organization committed to improving public education. He spoke with Community Impact Newspaper in late December about the 87th legislative session, which began Jan. 12.

iDanz Performing Arts Studio offers dance lessons in various styles, such as hip-hop, jazz, tap, ballet, Afro-fusion and more. (Courtesy iDanz Performing Arts Studio)
iDanz Performing Arts Studio to hold open house for new Richardson location

The studio’s instructors specialize in dance, choreography, show production and artistic development.

A Layne's Chicken Fingers restaurant will open in Roanoke in 2021 at the site of the former Dairy Queen on US 377. (Courtesy Layne's Chicken Fingers)
Layne's Chicken Fingers to open in Roanoke; meat, seafood market set for Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The British Emporium offers a wide selection of imported goods and groceries. (Courtesy The British Emporium)
British Emporium to continue operating at Fish & Fizz in Richardson

The business offers traditional British foods, such as brandy butter, mince pies, crackers and more.

The new 945 area code will be deployed Jan. 15 for the region that presently uses area codes 214, 469 and 972. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Frisco gets new area code; Popeyes to open in McKinney and more top DFW news

Read the top news from the past week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Burnt BBQ & Tacos' menu offers several different barbecue and taco options. (Courtesy Burnt BBQ & Tacos)
Burnt BBQ & Tacos opens in Plano and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The candidate filing period for the May 1 Richardson City Council election will remain open until Feb. 12. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Six candidates file to run for Richardson City Council in May

Three incumbents and three newcomers had submitted applications to run in the May 1 election on first day of the filing period.