PHOTO GALLERY: Richardson City Council celebrates changing of the guard at May 13 meeting

Former Richardson City Council members gathered for their final meeting together May 13.

Former Richardson City Council members gathered for their final meeting together May 13.

Image description
Bob Dubey Richardson council
Image description
Mark Solomon
Image description
Steve Mitchell
Image description
Kyle Kepner
Image description
Kenneth Hutchenrider
Image description
Dan Barrios and Janet DePuy
Image description
Ken Hutchenrider and Kyle Kepner
Image description
New Richardson council
There was an audible swell of bittersweet emotion May 13 as a crowded chamber watched city secretary Aimee Nemer affix new nameplates to the Richardson council dais.

Outgoing members Mabel Simpson and Marta Gomez Frey have served on council since 2015. Both announced plans to retire earlier this year.

During closing remarks, Simpson thanked her colleagues and city staff for allowing her the grace and time to ask questions. Simpson—a practicing attorney— was known by fellow council members as the "legal mind" of the group.

"When those tough questions were asked and discussed openly, I was never denied time for deeper dives," she said.

Bob Dubey, who ran a successful re-election campaign for Place 1, joked that Simpson's expansive vocabulary often left him searching for a dictionary by night's end.

"Mabel, I appreciate you raising my SAT standards with all the words and wisdom that you provide and the in-depth questions you've asked," he said. "I usually go home after every council meeting and look those words up, so I appreciate it."

In her tearful goodbye, Frey talked about the lifelong dedication to community service that was instilled in her as a child. As director of the Collin Small Business Development Council, Frey spent her council tenure advocating for the city's small business community. She is relinquishing her council seat but will continue to contribute to the city in other ways, she said.

"Richardson already has a strong foundation to build a successful, prosperous and vibrant future—this new council only strengthen that," Frey said of incoming members.

Oaths of office were then administered to all returning and new council members, including Kyle Kepner and Kenneth Hutchenrider, who were elected to replace Simpson and Frey, respectively.

Once they had taken their seats on the dais, all council members made introductory remarks, in which they thanked their families, fellow candidates and council members for support over the course of the campaign.

One additional new council member is yet to be named. The seat vacated by Council Member Scott Dunn will be filled by either Janet DePuy or Dan Barrios, the top two votegetters in the Place 3 race. A runoff election is scheduled for June 8.

Canvassing of the runoff results as well as the naming of the mayor pro tem will take place June 15.
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.


MOST RECENT

Dutch Bros Coffee expects to open later this year in Richardson. (Courtesy Dutch Bros Coffee)
Dutch Bros Coffee coming to Richardson; Plano parks earn high marks and more DFW-area news

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

Dutch Bros Coffee expects to open this summer in Plano. (Courtesy Dutch Bros Coffee)
Dutch Bros Coffee coming to Plano; The Pop Parlour opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

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

Two coffee drinks.
Dutch Bros Coffee to continue North Texas expansion with Richardson location

A special permit to allow the coffee shop near the southwest corner of West Arapaho Road and West Shore Drive was approved by Richardson City Council in March.

Pizza.
Forno Pizzeria and Grill now open in Richardson for pickup or delivery

In addition to a variety of specialty pizzas, the eatery's menu includes salads, sandwiches, pasta and more.

Student in front of a computer.
Richardson ISD exploring options for virtual academy despite lack of state funding

Richardson ISD staff are exploring the financial possibility of moving forward with a virtual academy option without full state funding for students who enroll.

Child in front of a computer screen.
Plano ISD suspends plan for permanent online learning option due to lack of state funding

Students who have already completed the preliminary registration process for the planned virtual academy will now resume enrollment at their home campuses.

Gov. Greg Abbott, center signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 into law June 8 in response to the devastating winter storm last February. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Abbott signs bills to reform ERCOT and weatherize Texas power grid

The bills will go into effect Sept. 1 and aim to reform ERCOT leadership and increase accountability and communication among power agencies.

Building.
Storage 365 to open Richardson facility later this year

The facility is expected to have three to five retail spots that can be leased out for separate businesses underneath the self-storage units.

Grocery store chain H-E-B announced June 8 the company's plans to open a store in McKinney. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
H-E-B coming to McKinney; Fat Shack restaurant to open this week in Plano and more DFW-area news

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

train station
Richardson begins planning redevelopment around Arapaho Center Station

Richardson City Council voted unanimously during a June 7 work session meeting to start drafting a master plan to eventually renovate the area around the Arapaho Center bus and rail line station.

Building.
Richardson ISD board approves JJ Pearce High construction plan

The Richardson ISD board of trustees approved a guaranteed maximum price of just over $6 million for the first phase of a planned expansion and renovation project at JJ Pearce High School during its June 7 meeting.