Kathleen Thompson is part of a three person race for Grapevine City Council Place 6.  She is running against incumbent Roy Stewart as well as Deverick Jordan.  Voting takes place on May 14th.  Please remember to vote.

Ms. Thompson was kind enough to answer our web interview questions in order to help the citizens of Grapevine get to know her.  Here are our questions and her responses:

Why did you decide to run for Grapevine City Council?

Thompson:  My family helped found Grapevine more than 100 years ago, and I grew
up in the community. But as the mother of two young boys, I’m running
because I know Grapevine can do better! I will fight for more open and
inclusive government and be a strong voice for fiscally responsible
spending that uses your tax dollars more wisely and puts Grapevine
neighborhoods and families first.

As the mother of a child in GCISD, I also will work to grow City
partnerships with the school district — something especially vital in
this dire economic climate, when programs, classes and teachers are
being cut.

What are your top priorities for the city?

Thompson:  1. Spending – The City Council is entrusted with residents’ tax
dollars but our council has not been a good steward of public funds. I
pledge to rescind the lavish taxpayer-subsidized health care that City
Council members have given themselves. I also promise to fight to end
the practice of paying City Council Members $8000 a year for
“reimbursements” without requiring that members submit receipts or
show that they spent money benefiting the city. These are our tax
dollars, and we are entitled to accountability

2. Accessible government – Residents must be and feel heard. I will
submit a resolution, until it passes, that open Council meetings be
video recorded, as they are in neighboring cities, so that residents
may participate more fully. I will be a Councilwoman who is accessible
and listens.

3. Quality of life – With D/FW Airport, Lake Grapevine, historic
downtown area, and the DFW Connector, Grapevine is uniquely qualified
to attract tourist sales tax dollars. I will put those dollars to use
to benefit Grapevine families with longer library hours, updates to
parks and trails and expanded services at the recreation and senior
centers. Our city government currently spends too much on the wrong
things.

What separates you from the other two candidates currently running
for this position?

Thompson:  Fifteen-year incumbent, Roy Stewart, approves of lavish
taxpayer-subsidized health benefits for himself and other Council
Members, accepts thousands of dollars in “reimbursement checks”
without documenting he has actually incurred an expense benefitting
the city, and voted to pay an out-of-town consultant nearly $10,000 to
tell the City Council what Grapevine voters think. The City Council is
a volunteer position and Council Members should serve for the greater
good and take far fewer our hard-earned tax dollars for themselves. As
your Councilwoman, I pledge that you’ll always get a straight answer
from me about any money I get from the city. I’ll also push to require
mandatory disclosure of all reimbursements and benefits received by
Council Members and the posting of all City policies with respect to
those benefits.

My other opponent, Deverick Jordan, is a newcomer to Grapevine who has
lived in our city only a short while and has never before voted in a
Grapevine election.

I applaud his new interest in City government, but his lack of
experience in City and Council matters makes him unqualified to serve.
Mr. Jordan also has tried to bring state and national partisan
politics into this race for a non-partisan city position. The citizens
of Grapevine don’t need someone on the council who will devote most of
his time to talking about state or national politics. As your
Councilwoman, you have my pledge that Grapevine will be first and last
for me. I am running because I love our city with a passion. I know
our City because my family has been a part of Grapevine for more than
100 years and I better understand Council dealings because I have
participated in City government for years.

Name something you would do differently than what the current City
Council does now?

Thompson:  I will be a strong voice for cautious spending that will benefit the
majority of Grapevine families – eliminating lavish health care
benefits for council members, requiring proof of expenditures for
reimbursements, and allowing for more citizen input into Council
dealings.

What is the most important issue facing the city currently?

Thompson:  Traffic – The ultimate construction of the DFW Connector, the 8.4
miles of reconstruction and expansion of State Highways 114 and 121,
will help attract new businesses (large and small) to Grapevine. Until
then, the City must work to ease the impact on nearby businesses and
commuters and should do everything possible to more quickly bring
commuter rail to Grapevine, in addition to adding bike lanes for those
currently commuting to work on our city streets to ease intense
congestion.

One of our biggest complaints with the city government is that they
are not transparent enough. Is there anything you would do to help
alleviate that problem?

Thompson:  Grapevine is behind the times.

There is no reason that our open City Council meetings should not be
videotaped. I have asked for some time that open meetings be
videotaped as they are in our neighboring cities. The City Council
should make open and transparent government a priority.

Council “reimbursements” also should be documented for each expense
incurred and all reimbursement requests and supporting documentation
should be posted online.

Citizen comments for each agenda item of a Council meeting should be
allowed online.

Documents regarding all Council policies should be available publicly.

What is your favorite thing about living in Grapevine?

Thompson:  As the descendent of Grapevine pioneers, I travel daily in the same
areas that my great-grandparents and grandparents did. My family
members helped found The Grapevine Sun and lay cornerstones on Main
Street. I feel a deep connection to this area and want to do more to
improve this great city, by giving the Council a new voice, new energy
and new ideas.

Why should the citizens of Grapevine vote for you?

Thompson:  I was one of the youngest news producers at BELO and have been an
active community leader for almost as long as I can remember. Through
all this, I learned that solutions come, not from talk, but from
rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. My commitment to the
people of Grapevine is that you’ll have a councilwoman who is
accessible and listens.

In both the corporate and non-profit sectors, I have managed
personnel, volunteers and money efficiently and to the betterment of
the organization and pocketbooks of those involved.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about your background?

Thompson:  I am deeply and passionately committed to a better Grapevine. From
more environmentally friendly and sustainable development to better
waste contracts, I have worked closely with the Grapevine City Council — attending
meeting after meeting, publicly advocating for improvements and
meeting individually with Council members to build consensus and find
solutions. I do not stop or take ‘no’ for an answer.

I’m the only candidate on the ballot pledging to target wasteful
spending, make government accessible and protect our quality of life.
I would appreciate your vote on Election Day.

Follow the campaign and upcoming events on my Website:
KathleenforCouncil.com
I’m on Facebook too: www.facebook.com/KathleenforCouncil
And Twitter: http://twitter.com/KathleenCouncil#

Grapevine Texas Online would like to thank Kathleen Thompson for her time in answering our questions. We know time is precious as the election gets closer. We wish her the best of luck in her candidacy.