The Lewisville Texan Journal is interviewing each candidate who files or announces their candidacy for Lewisville City Council for the May 2017 election. These articles will allow each candidate to tell the voters about their background, experience and ideas. This article is the fourth in the series. Click here to read the other profiles from the series.
This change brings the run for Place 3 back to a two-way race and makes the run for Place 1 a three-way race again.
City Secretary Julie Heinze said in order for candidates to be able to change places, they would have to withdraw from the race first before re-filing.
There are now three candidates running for Lewisville City Council Place 3 as of this week.
Penny Mallet joined the race against Elena Claros and sitting Council member TJ Gilmore Tuesday, Feb.7, making the bid for the seat a three-way race. In order to win the seat, the leading candidate must have more than 50 percent of the vote. Otherwise the two leading candidates will compete in a runoff for the position.
Mallet, 56, has been a resident of Lewisville for more than 22 years, according to her application.
“I’m running for office because I want to give back to my community in a big way,” she said. “I want to impact the lives of citizens in Lewisville, you know, not only through my foundation but as a civil servant to the residents.”
Mallet owns the Crissa Kukua Mallet Foundation, an LLC that is a business venture as well as a charity foundation. It is named after Mallet’s deceased granddaughter and provides meals and clothes to disadvantaged young women through Girls Inc. as its charitable venture.
“There’s no happiness in life without a life of service,” she said.
The foundation also has a consignment fashion truck, which drives to locations around DFW to sell clothes. Clothing and accessory consignors receive 50 percent of what items of theirs sell and the remaining funds go back into the foundation, Mallet said.
Mallet said the city issues that matters most to her are tourism and budget.
“Keeping our taxes low, keeping our taxes clean, you know, just making our city a livable place that others to want to come here and enjoy,” she said.
She wants to see more events and parks in the community to provide gathering opportunities, she said.
“I would just like for us to see and have our community leaders out in the community where we’re actually spending more one-on-one time with our residents,” she said. “I would love to see us grow more and have the surrounding communities come to us for the events and festivals.”
Mallet said she is a member of several groups including the Lewisville Chamber of Commerce, Fashion Group International Inc., the National Association of Professional Women in Business, FemCity Dallas and Dallas Women Entrepreneurs. Her foundation is a sponsor of Keep Lewisville Beautiful.
Before working with the foundation full-time, Mallet said she was part of the International Institute of Business Analysis, or IIBA, and she served as president on the board of the Dallas chapter.
“I’ve never run for a city council seat or a city government seat, but I have worked with inner city government for 15 plus years with the Convention and Visitors Bureau in San Antonio doing PR work, so I understand the inner workings of inner city government,” Mallet said of her career before IIBA.
Mallet is married to Rawlin Mallet and has one son, Mark Mallet.
Gilmore said, in regards to the three-way race, he is more than happy to have people involved in the community, so the more the merrier.
Gilmore also spoke about the amount of experience the council currently has — about 20 plus years for Mayor Rudy Durham, six years with himself, five and a half years with Councilman Neil Ferguson, nearly two years with Councilman Brent Daniels and almost a full year with Councilman Brandon Jones.
“New folks bring new ideas, and folks who have experience bring experience,” he said. “They also bring new ideas, so I think we have a good broad mix of new ideas and expertise that makes our council very effective.”
Gilmore recalled a time he didn’t have experience on the council, but was able to eventually get that experience.
“That’s how it works and you learn about your city and you hopefully build a stronger community,” he said. “I think that’s something we’ve done very well in Lewisville.”
The official filing period to apply for city council continues until Feb. 17. The 2017 election will take place Saturday, May 6. Visit cityoflewisville.com for more council election information.