Kyle Kepner is seeking election to the Richardson City Council Place 4 seat that will be vacated by current Council Member Mabel Simpson. If successful, this will be the first time Kepner has held elective office.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Kepner a set of questions about his candidacy. His answers have been edited for publication style.
Why did you decide to run for
I have volunteered with various Richardson community programs from childhood to now and most recently was the foreman of the 2018 Collin County Grand Jury. During the jury duty process, I had a huge sense of pride serving my community and wanted to continue doing so after my commitment was complete.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
I have worked in hospitality in some form or fashion my whole career and now own my own small business within our community. The hospitality industry has taught me to respect and how to relate to all members of the community and has also allowed me to become a strong leader in the process. I want to continue to encourage and grow the small-business mentality in Richardson. While opening my business, I worked directly with various city offices to develop a concept new to Richardson. It was a fairly painless process due to the great people at City Hall, and I want to be a part of other small-business owners having that same experience.
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?
Infrastructure, property taxes and safety are all major concerns; however, after talking to many residents recently, I feel trust in our City Council is currently the largest hurdle we face. I commit to be[ing]an accessible council person. My business is open to the public, so I will therefore be available to listen and hear concerns and questions from my Richardson neighbors. I encourage those with concerns to reach out to me so that I may hear their voice.
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 believe that each project must be looked at on its individual merit. If incentives and grants work to increase business density and the math works, we should pursue that avenue. If the math does not work, we should pass on those projects. We must stay competitive with the surrounding cities. Richardson is a landlocked community, so we need to be more creative in attracting businesses than the surrounding cities.
What else do you want voters to know about you?
I am a lifelong resident of Richardson. I have been married for 13 years, and we have two children attending Plano [ISD] schools since I live in the Collin County portion of Richardson. I look forward to serving my neighbors, community and Richardson as a whole and am ready to give whatever time is necessary to be a successful council person.