The Lewisville Texan Journal sent a list of questions to Lewisville City Council candidates to familiarize voters with each potential member. Each candidate had almost two weeks to return their answers. Answers from candidates who participated are published as received, unedited.
Early voting for the May election begins April 24 and continues until May 2. Election day is May 6. In addition to the city council, voters will decide on a Lewisville ISD bond proposition and the LISD Board of Trustees.
Here are the responses sent to us from Gale Wilson, who is running for Place 1.
Have you ever run for or served in an elected office before? If so, please list campaigns and offices held.
I have never run for a political elected office, but I have run for office at my church. I was elected to sit on the advisory board as a member.
Have you been convicted of any crimes other than traffic tickets, lost any civil lawsuits or declared bankruptcy in the past 10 years?
How much of your time on average per week are you committed to giving voters for this position?
I can commit to giving on average 20 hours a week to voters.
In the past year, how many public meetings or workshops for the City of Lewisville have you attended?
What Lewisville organizations, boards, committees or other volunteer positions have you served and which are you currently serving?
I currently volunteer at Christian Community Action once a week. I also mentor an Early College High School student through Brookhaven College as part of the American Association for University Women.
What do you want to do as a council member that you could not do as a resident?
Final Vote on recommending the best decision for Lewisville.
What one thing would you tell voters sets you most clearly apart from your opponents?
The one thing I would tell voters that sets me apart from my opponents is that I am like most voters a working American concerned about improving our community’s quality of life.
What is the most pressing issue facing Lewisville, and what do you think the city council should do about it?
The most pressing issue facing Lewisville is development and redevelopment of areas. the city is doing a lot to correct this issue by investing in areas for redevelopment and offering workshops to aid residents. The revitalization and development of Old Town is a great example.
Are there any issues that you feel are important, but that the city council is not addressing?
The issues I feel important about, that the city is not addressing is that our population growth, homelessness, and an equitable partnership with Lewisville Independent School District Board. Below are my suggestions and ways of accomplishing the proposed improvements:
• According to the 2010 Census noted that Lewisville was one of the 25 fastest growing cities. Of course, not all of these issues are negative, but with the growth of our city, we will need to provide more resources and services in place to accommodate these areas. Especially now that Castle Hills is now a part of Lewisville. The city will mostly likely need at least a fire station, and annex police station for the incorporation of Castle Hills. Possible community resources and services will also need to be provided. This would require actual development and some redevelopment of both residential and commercials areas around in the city to accommodate the population growth.
• Confronting the homeless issues although unnoticed is some areas, Lewisville has had an increase in homelessness. Homelessness is not just relegated to women and children, but more men and men and children are also becoming homeless. The reasons may vary for why someone is homeless, but main culprit of homelessness is not having a job, or having a job that is insufficient in pay. A more solvable solution for homelessness is to provide homes instead of temporary shelters. As a suggestion, we (the city, residents and community agencies) could work together in renovating condemned buildings/spaces into affordable homes. Having a safe environment to live not only builds community relationships, but aids in strengthening the community as well as improving the life of the individual(s). While it is not the brunt of the city to resolve, we need to assist in providing more resources by working with community agencies to assist those that are homeless.
• LISD and city council should work in conjunction together regarding meeting education goals. My observation is that both groups have different agenda and different goals. I would like to see a stronger bond that is not just financial based. If you are not current on what’s going on in the LISD, both Hedrick Middle and Hedrick Elementary are set to be torn down. There is a proposal bond that is likely to put to a vote to redevelop Hedrick Middle without Hedrick Elementary. It is suggested that these elementary students be bused to other schools throughout the district. This would be a problem because the parents of these students are majority Chin families. Busing these kids would present a big problem for parents that lack transportation to collect their children or to visit with teachers for conferences. Not to mention busing these kids away from the only environment they are familiar with would potentially be traumatic for some students. As an educator, I am a firm believer in providing educational information at every opportunity. The city council members should take time to visit with high school students and communicate to the students the importance of voting as well as on the functions of the city government.
How do you plan to interface with the public and receive input if you are elected?
I would interface with the public and receive input by visiting with residents in varying public city forums, meeting with groups, and going into the community. The city has a wonderful resource in the MARTY, I believe this would be an excellent way of meeting residents and engaging in discourse about the city and community of Lewisville.
Do you think the city is doing enough to be transparent and accountable to the public? What would you change, if anything?
I do think the city is doing enough to be transparent and accountable to the public. Nothing to change, I would ask that the council continue with transparency.
What do you think of current residential and commercial zoning and land development policies? Are there any policies you would change? If so, why?
The current residential and commercial zoning and land development policies are protective of both parties. Not at this time.
Do you support term limits for city council? If so, would you pledge to voluntarily abide by whatever you are proposing?
Yes, I think term limits should be enacted for city council. Three terms should be the limit. Yes, I would pledge to voluntarily abide by three term limits.
Should the city be involved in encouraging desirable businesses and employers to locate here to increase our tax base? If so, do you think the city is doing it right? What would you change or emphasize?
Yes, I do think the city should be involved in encouraging desirable business and employers to increase our tax base. Yes, I do think the city is doing it right. I would propose the same changes at the city is currently upholding.
Do you think the city is doing a good job with regards to its budget and taxation? What if anything would you change about the process, tax rates, or allocation of money to different departments and functions?
Yes, I do think the city is doing a good job in regard to the budget and taxation. I would make sure the allocation of money to departments and functions were being utilized for those areas and not moved into other areas unless necessary.
What is your position on regulation of plastic bag use within the city?
The city does not need to regulate plastic bag use within the city. If anything, more and more residents are being conscientious about utilizing reusable bags.
What is your position on banning vaping and smoking in public areas, such as parks and trails?
I would be hesitant to support banning vaping and smoking in public areas such as park and trails, but I would support secluding vaping and smoking to designated parts at parks and trails.
Correction: The original version of this questionnaire included part of TJ Gilmore’s response on one of the questions. The response has since been updated to include only the responses from Gale Wilson.