Update from the Grapevine City Council Candidate Forum

Candidates for the Grapevine City Council Place 6 answered questions for about an hour on Tuesday night at Stacy Furniture in Grapevine.  Roughly 100 people attended the event to hear Roy Stewart, Kathleen Thompson, and Deverick Jordan speak.

There were a few jabs between the candidates, but for the most part everyone handled themselves professionally.  The event was very well  run by the League of Women Voters.

If you haven’t attended one of these, the way it works is audience members submit questions on notecards.  The questions are then read by a moderator.  Then each candidate is given an opportunity to answer in an allotted period of time.  The questions are not filtered apparently.  The questions included such topics as a possible Senior Activity Center, DFW Connector, transparency in city government, and the Crime Control Prevention District fund.

The highlight of the evening was when the moderator read the following question:

“If the City Council is responsible for recruiting businesses to Grapevine, why are there so many t###y bars?”  Note, this is a PG site so we can not report the actual question.  After much laughter, the three candidates had similar answers that there should be less of these types of establishments in Grapevine.  For clarity, the question was in reference to the numerous Hooters type establishments in the city.

The candidates did differ in their answers to several of the questions.  We plan on posting a more in depth article on the issues the candidates differ on.  One of the biggest topics they differ on is transparency in city government.  If you have been following along, that is a key issue we at Grapevine Texas Online care about.  More on that issue and others to come soon.

We would like to thank the League of Women Voters for running such a high quality and informative event.  As always, please remember to vote.  Early voting starts May 2nd and the final day of voting is May 14th.

Grapevine, Texas

92 Comments

  1. Vote si! Roy Stewart!

    • I have worked for years to get women and minorities elected locally, regionally, statewide and nationally including Latinos Jorge Rodriguez for school board and Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate. I’ve also spent countless unpaid volunteer hours over the years registering voters right here in Grapevine as a deputy voter registrar through the Tarrant County Elections Department, for the betterment of the community and as a public service.

      • On the topic of economic development, as I stated last night and throughout the campaign, we must continue to bring the same mix of small independent businesses to large national Fortune 500 companies (of which my husband is an employee) in Grapevine, which offer varied services and goods and contribute to Grapevine’s large tax base.

        The issues of this campaign matter to families across Grapevine, regardless of ethnicity, age or gender. Transparency in government and putting families first are my priorities. It’s shocking that Grapevine City Council members have given themselves such lavish pay and benefits, disregarding the city charter. Accountability, cautious spending and open government are issues that matter to families just starting out and to those established and living the American dream.

    • Viva the Grapevine Mafia! Long live all incumbents! Cronyism and old-boys networks are how this town was built! I’ll be if Grapevine ever gets someone who is not specifically hand picked by the retiring incumbent!

      God forbid someone who wants to make a better city for all – gets demonized by a scared few.

      Why the fear? What are YOU hiding?

  2. I would like to point out that Deverick Jordan is a strong supporter of the Latino community. I have known Deverick for a long time and I know that he does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, gender or anything else. Deverick — Great job tonight.

    • Agreed — Deverick did well. So did Roy. Kathleen was well spoken but misguided on several issues.

      • Deverick’s qualifications speak for themselves: Went to college, works for his dad, and has lived in Grapevine for two years. VOTE DEVERICK! Time for a change!

  3. Vote si! Go Roy Stewart!

    • Kathleen’s qualifications speak for themselves: Went to college, worked 3 years for an online news blog, was a delegate at the Democrat National Convention and nominated Obama, has deep roots in far-left liberal political groups, and has lived in Grapevine 8 years. Oh, and she has managed to alienate the entire city council, the mayor and every city department head faster than any candidate in Grapevine’s history. VOTE KATHLEEN! Time for chaos!

      • I bet your comment will be removed.

      • Let’s hope not. I’m just pointing out the truth. It’s no different that the post by Rod (which wasn’t removed).

      • I can’t reply to your reply. I hope not, too. I’ve just noticed quite a few anti-Kathleen comments being removed- not just from this article, but others on here.

        I just keep thinking that if she’s causing this much controversy now, what will happen if she gets elected? Hopefully we won’t have to find out!

      • I think you guys are letting your sense of persecution get the better of you. Every comment i’ve seen in my inbox is still here.

      • This was just deleted:
        Author: KAC

        EDITOR’S NOTE:

        Yes, this comment was deleted. Please do not repost.

        Thank you.

    • “A local judge ruled in favor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram who claimed that the Grapevine City Council violated the Texas Open Meeting Act at a council meeting earlier this year.”

      At the cost of $60,000+ Grapevine taxpayer dollars – thanks Roy!

  4. Vote Si! Go Roy!

  5. The transparency everyone seems to be talking about only works if you actually look. Most GV citizens don’t look.

    As for the “pay/expense” issue. No one runs for the money or the insurance. Most of us know how much we make in an hour and when you look at the 10 – 20 hours per week that is required – our council is working at minimum wage.

    Let’s quit with the sound bites and look for honesty.

    • I work 10-20 hours per week for the school district on a number of Boards. Not only do I not get paid, I usually donate money for things the district can’t afford. Council is supposed to be a voluntary job with the very special perk that they get $250 (I think) stipend – in accordance with the city charter. That’s awesome! I would love a stipend. However, they are also getting $666 additional as “reimbursement” for things they don’t need to justify needing reimbursements for. And they are saving BIG money on health insurance. This is all great, if they call it compensation. But they don’t. This is me “looking for honesty.”

  6. For the record, any comments posted that this website considers a personal attack on any of the candidates will be removed.

    All of the candidates deserve the same level respect for choosing to enter into service for the City of Grapevine.

    Thank you.

    Joe

    • Joe — I have heard from several folks who are concerned that this website is deeming many comments to be “personal attacks” and thus deleting them when they are just facts about a candidate. These facts are important for voters to know, and I think this website is a good place for voters to come for information about the candidates (as long as the website is fair and neutral and not heavy handed in deleting comments that are true and relevant but unflattering to a particular candidate). I’m not suggesting that you are trying to help any candidate cover anything up, but just wanted to ask that you please remember to be fair and neutral and delete only those comments which are truly personal attacks and not just unflattering facts.

      • Hi Sam,

        There is definitely a gray area, but we try to do our best. Deciding which ones to delete is not easy.

        We try to remove personal attacks only and keep those comments that are on issues raised in this campaign.

        Like I mentioned before, all of the candidates deserve our respect for entering into this election process.

        Joe

  7. The City Council’s lavish pay and health benefits are not even close to equaling minimum wage, $7.25 hour. That is a false claim. But that isn’t the real issue, which is these benefits have not been approved by Grapevine voters and are outside the letter and spirit of the city charter’s allowance of pay “for attendance at its meetings”.

    And JP, I appreciate your attendance, but I am not misguided on the facts of the race concerning transparency in government and wasteful spending.

    Our lack of transparency in City Council meetings made regional news last spring and summer when the city lost an Open Meetings Act lawsuit (Star-Telegram May and June 2010). I don’t want Grapevine making headlines for violation of the law.

    $184,000 in undocumented City Council reimbursements in the last three years when the priority should be sidewalks, longer library hours and more programing for Parks and Recreation (Star-Telegram November 2010 and Grapevine Courier April 2011).

    I love living in Grapevine, but we can do better. I am running to put families first.

    • Not exactlly sure how your calculator comes up with those figures, but my TI has them well under minimum wage given the amount of time our dedicated council members spend.

      And who might have leaked those misguided and exaggerated stories to the Star_Telegram last year with an impending campaign for GV city council. . .I simply cannot imagine.

  8. Thank you to all that attended last night’s forum.

    I’d like to clarify that I am the only candidate that said we are over saturated with “breastaurants” and it’s embarrassing to me as a woman to have the number that we do in Grapevine. We don’t need to approve every business that comes looking to Grapevine, we need quality businesses that fit our city.

    • The city council has to uphold the city’s zoning laws – zoning laws cannot discriminate against Thai & Mexican themed restaurants (that you mentioned at the forum), as well as breat themed establishments.

    • So, you were the only candidate to use the word “breastaurant” or the only one to be embarrassed as a woman?

  9. Many years ago, the vast majority of city councils were comprised exclusively of independently wealthy people (usually business owners and usually white males) who were unconcerned with health insurance benefits or reimbursements or stipends because they were wealthy and could afford to purchase expensive private health insurance and eat the out-of-pocket costs associated with serving on the city council. However, in recent years many cities have moved toward providing “benefits” to city council members to encourage participation by ALL citizens (as opposed to only an elite few who could afford to participate). Granted, the reimbursement amounts in Grapevine don’t cover anywhere close to all the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by a city council member in connection with his or her service as a city council member, but it does defray some of that expense. But more importantly, the Grapevine city council’s policy regarding reimbursements and health benefits is efficient from an accounting perspective, it saves tax payer money in the long run, and it encourages people in ALL income brackets to be involved in local politics. If these “lavish” benefits (as some have described them) are eliminated, the effect will be that many lower income and moderate income people will not be able to afford to serve their government. Creating a roadblock that only adversely affects lower and middle class people (but has no effect on the wealthy) is against public policy and bad for Grapevine. Grapevine is an inclusive city and I would like to see it stay that way.

    • John- As I understand it your comment here, though a good point– paying council members encourages the participation of people who otherwise couldn’t afford it– misses Kathleen’s point. She’s not saying don’t pay Council Members. What she’s saying is, if we’re going to pay them more, pay them more– it’s misleading to tack on an extra stipend and deliberately mislabel it as a reimbursement while never, ever treating it as though it were actually reimbursing anything. Want to pay them $10K a year? Then raise the stipend.

  10. Mr. Roy Stewart has been a consistent supporter of the Latino community throughout his 15 years on the city council. And Ms. Kathleen Thompson has offended the group of Latinos who attended last night’s event wearing the “Grapevine Latinos for Roy” shirts. I think Kathleen knows how she did that. And I know for a fact that most of the Latinos who were there last night (obviously kids excluded) are registered to vote and will be voting for Roy Stewart. Vote si! Roy Stewart!

    • Kathleen has actually worked to get Latinos elected in the DFW area. When was the last time Roy did that? Have you seen the make-up of our city council?

  11. I can only speak for myself and my family and we are all registered voters! Mr. Stewart definitely has this Latino families VOTE!

    • I believe Roy Stewart is the most experienced and qualified candidate in this election. It would be a sad day if we were not to elect him to a term where he can admirably finish the exceptional initiatives he has begun that have made Grapevine the extraordinary city we in which we live. I vote si!

  12. Lara-I am highly offended by your statement. I am one those Latinos that was there last night, along with my children, and I am a registrated voter and have been voting for many years. I would like to know what you are implying by your statement?

    • Clearly I meant *Registered*

  13. I found all of the candidates response to the “breastaurant” question, especially Mrs. Thompson’s, disappointing.

    I don’t believe it is the role of government, federal, state or local, to impose their moral judgments (disingenuous or not) on others, or to prevent free individuals from engaging in free commerce, under the law. City Council members should be representative of their constituents, and their wishes, and I don’t believe that the majority of the residents of Grapevine would like to arbitrarily close, force out, or prevent new businesses from coming in, based on the length of the employee’s skirt or pants.

    While I can appreciate that some of our candidates and council members may not agree with the business model of those establishments, I vehemently disagree with the “witch hunt” sort of posturing I heard last night. The great thing about living in a free country, and a great state like Texas, is that you are absolutely free to patron whichever establishment suits your particular taste. If you don’t like Hooters, then the solution is simple: don’t go there.

    As I mentioned, I was particularly disappointed in Mrs. Thompson’s strident response to that question. To claim that she was “embarrassed as a woman” by our dining establishments in Grapevine is especially ludicrous considering some of Mrs. Thompson’s activities.

    As an intellectual exercise, let’s hypothesize that Grapevine’s residents would support such a statute. What would it look like? Will you enter into city code the minimum skirt length for female employees? Will you legislate how low a shirt can be cut at the neck? Will you have city inspectors visiting businesses with tape measures to enforce your new ordinance? I suppose we’d have to send them to the high schools as well, because I don’t think the cheerleaders’ uniforms would comply with this envisioned code.

    All of the candidates failed this question last night, and it is disappointing and a little scary to me how easy it was for all of the candidates to take a position against free citizens engaging in free commerce, legally.

    • Hi Clayton,

      Thank you for attending last night. I stand by my statement that I am embarrassed by the over saturation of “breastaurants” in Grapevine. We certainly don’t need anymore.

      But I don’t want to engage in hypotheticals. Just as I said last night, we don’t need a Thai restaurant next to a Thai restaurant and we don’t need essentially the same business duplicated repeatedly.

      I have yet to meet an elected official in which I agreed with every one of their positions, but I bet we can agree on many universal basics important from one part of Grapevine to the other, among them transparency in government, accountability in tax dollars spent and much more.

      • Thank you for your response Kathleen, I admire your conviction and consistency, though I disagree with your premise.

        I do not believe it is the role of government to decide for the citizens what we “need”. I believe that is the role of the free market.

        If a Thai restaurant wants to open next to an existing Thai restaurant – then great! The customers will decide which one is best, and that one will succeed – or perhaps they both will, perhaps there are enough people who enjoy Thai food that both will prosper. Either way, we (as customers) win.

        Thanks again for your response, and I hope that you will consider this basic tenet: the less government interferes with the free market, the more free we are to succeed.

    • Thank you Clayton, as you’re the webmaster of Roy Stewart’s website – I’m glad you can distance yourself from his campaign with this honest comment. If Roy can’t win over his own webmaster, who can he win over?

      • Thanks for the response.

        Yes, I created Roy’s website, I hope you like it – I put a lot of effort into it.

        I also did this as volunteer work because I support Roy.

        I know Roy, I know many of his friends, and I agree with many things Roy does.

        Aside from knowing Roy personally, I think the main reason that I support Roy for another term in City Council has to do with his experience with construction and dealing with contractors. This is knowledge and experience that is sorely needed right now with the huge amount of construction going on in Grapevine. This is a sentiment that I have been told is shared by several other council members.

        On the specific issue of Hooters type establishments, I was disappointed in all of the candidates response to that question, as I mentioned. Being disappointed in a single response, to a single question, shouldn’t in any way be interpreted as “distancing” myself, or be taken to mean that I somehow don’t support Roy.

  14. Actually, Kathleen, you said, “Mexican restaurant next to a Mexican restaurant” then realizing the Latinos in the crowd struggeled to say “or Thai next to a Thai restaurant. If you are going to put stuff out, please be honest in your statement.
    DL

    • Good grief, Kathleen Thompson said we don’t need a Mexican restaurant next to a Mexican restaurant or a Thai restaurant next to a Thai restaurant. Do you think Hispanics don’t like people to talk about Mexican restaurants? What nonsense. I didn’t hear her struggle to say a thing last night. She was the most articulate and spot-on candidate there.

  15. R Gomez, you said Kathleen has worked to get Lations elected in DFW. Great! Who? Roy worked with Leon Leal, Jorge Rodriguez and Jesse Rodriguez, all on the GCISD Trustee board to help secure their victory, and to Lara, there are hundreds of Latio voters in Grapevine.

  16. Clayton, there was recently discussion at City Hall about whether there are too many bakeries along Main Street. Yes, the free market can sort out who makes the best cupcakes, but do we really want “going out of business” signs on Main Street? City governments are tasked with protecting their citizens’ quality of life, and the types (and numbers) of businesses in the city certainly affect that. I think it’s very appropriate that more family-friendly businesses be welcomed to Grapevine, as we thrive as a tourist destination.

    If the only thing that matters is any kind of business having free rein, where would you like to invite “gentlemen’s clubs” to start building in Grapevine? I’m sure they’d bring in a lot of tax dollars.

    • Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for the thoughtful response, perhaps I can help clarify my personal views for you.

      City planning and zoning are an important part of urban development, effective zoning has a dramatic impact on the quality of life of the residents of any city. This is a legitimate function of a local government, as long as the process is open and done with the input and sanction of a majority of the population.

      This is roughly analogous to a chess game: the government (as a proxy for the citizens) provides the chess board, and enforces the rules of the game. It is imperative, however, that the government not choose sides in the game itself. Would you elect to play a game of chess if the board itself was skewed against you? How about if, in the middle of the game, the rules changed so that you are no longer allowed to use all your pieces? Would you play this game?

      The market, both locally and globally, is the same. For an individual to choose to take the massive risk of starting a business, that person needs to have reasonable confidence that the rules won’t suddenly change, and that the government won’t arbitrarily decide, on a whim, that “we already have enough of those businesses”.

      As long as a business is complying with zoning rules and city code, it is not up to the city council to decide what business should or shouldn’t exist – legally or morally.

      No government can prevent “Going Out Of Business” signs, nor should they. This is a natural part of innovation, progress and business. We compete, we succeed, we fail, we try again. The last typewriter factory just closed. Should we prevent that? Should we give citizen’s tax dollars to them to subsidize their existence? What about the buggy whip?

      Your question about “Gentlemen’s Clubs”, while deliberately provocative, is legitimate, so I’ll address it. The answer is very simple: do the majority of residents support nude establishment? No: therefore there are rules against it. Similarly, we don’t have zoning rules that allow prostitution, gambling, bull fighting, etc…

      These are my personal views, as well as the views of the U. S. Constitution, Texas State Constitution and Grapevine City Code of Ordinances.

      One of the reasons that I am not able to support Mrs. Thompson is because, based on her statements, her personal and political views do not agree with this.

  17. I’m still trying to figure out why Kathleen was talking about the proximity of Mexican restaurants to other Mexican restaurants in her answer to a question about the number of topless bars in Grapevine.

    Of course, there are actually ZERO topless bars in Grapevine, which would have been an appropriate answer to that question. However, Kathleen decided to talk about Mexican restaurants being too close to one another. Not exactly what I would call a spot on answer.

  18. Kathleen’s answer to the topless bar question demonstrated her goal of suffocating businesses (as opposed to allowing the free market to continue to allow Grapevine to lead other cities even in this down economy). Kathleen’s stated desire to control the restaurant industry (and presumably all other industries) to such a significant degree as to dictate what type of cuisine a restaurant can serve in a particular location is exactly the type of mentality that stifles business development and growth. And if businesses can’t thrive in Grapevine, tax payers will pay more to keep up the parks, neighborhoods and other city services. And with what goal in mind? All so that Grapevine residents don’t have to suffer the grave consequences inherent in seeing two Mexican restaurants next to each other?

    I’m concerned that Kathleen’s ability to spot real issues is way off the mark.

    • I think you are right on. Kathleen’s short-sighted issues on restaurants and business show her lack of experience. In addition, Kathlleen’s emphasis on city improvements, (sidewalks, parks, etc,) while outwardly positive, only prove she has no understanding of how bringing quality businesses into Grapevine contributes to the amenities we enjoy. As the sales tax from these businesses provide a steady flow to the city, things like sidewalks and parks are provided for. She is putting the cart before the horse and making evident the fact that she does not understand how city business, i.e improvements, get done.

      • Sidewalks are provided for except that they’re not. Library hours are provided for except that they’re not. I think you should be asking if we have all our priorities properly aligned. We’re not talking about mutiny, but a much-needed, healthy course correction. It will be useful on an entire counsel to have someone who thinks of these as a valid goal and not an accidental side effect.

      • Jason,

        There was no reply button for your comment below, but I was complelled to let you know that beautiful sidewalks were just put in on Worth St west of Dooley and, as a Grapevine library patron, the hours are more than sufficient and the staff is always competent and helpful.

        These amenities have always been provided for and will continue to provided for.

      • b hussein o-

        You and I are on the same side as to library staff. They are outstanding.

        -Jay

      • b hussein o – you’re really Roy Stewart, aren’t you? Good try.

  19. Barbara, A “gentlemen’s club” is a euphemism for a strip club. Look it up on Wikipedia. Grapevine has no strip clubs. Why would anyone try to say that Hooters is basically the same thing as Babydolls gentlemen’s club? Many Grapevine families eat dinner at Hooters, including my family. And I don’t believe any of those same families would have dinner at Babydolls. I think it is very offensive to suggest that my family dines at a strip club, as we would never do so.

    • This is ridiculous. At no time did I confuse Hooters with Babydolls. The questioner at the Forum referred to “t***y bars” and all three candidates, and I believe everyone else except for Sarah, knew that it meant Hooters, Bone Daddy’s, etc. NO ONE thought it meant strip clubs. I do not equate Hooters to strip clubs, either. Actually, I really like the wings at Hooters, but it’s not a place I feel comfortable taking my teenage son and his friends.

      My question to Clayton about “gentlemen’s clubs” – and thank you, I know what that means without having to look in Wikipedia – was in reference to his insistence that, in essence, free enterprise shouldn’t be restricted by government. It was not about Hooters. If you read my post again, you might notice that I asked about where he would like them to START building in Grapevine – like in the future.

      • I was offended that the term “t*@#y bar” was used in a public forum. We all know what it means and there remains no such establishment in Grapevine. I was inches away from bringing my daughter to the forum Tuesday night so she could see how local politics are done and, gladly, I did not. I think it is more offensive to use such misguded language in a public forum than to actually enjoy an appetizer or meal at one of these establishments.

      • I think many people – representative of supporters of all three candidates – were offended by the term used in the question. Since the asker did not ID themselves, there is no way of knowing who it was. But we know none of the candidates wrote the question, so I think the terminology is irrelevant to the campaign conversation.

  20. I eat lunch at Hooters frequently. Is Ms. Kathleen Thompson saying that is the same as going to a strip club?

  21. Vote si! Go Roy!

  22. As a Latina mother and member of the GCISD Diversity Advisory Council, I want as much diversity on the City Council as possible. Currently, the members of the city council are all white and (I believe) over 40. Most have grown kids, if any. If we can’t get some racial or ethnic diversity on the council, at least we can get some age and gender diversity!

    I will vote for Kathleen (and I am registered) because she represents young families and women and has worked tirelessly to get minorities and women elected to a number of offices. She wants to see Grapevine dollars spent on families and residents. She believes volunteers should not be paid like employees unless the city charter is changed to say they should.

    I also want to point out that just because a large number of people haven’t come to meetings does not mean they shouldn’t be transparent! This is a country where the majority may rule; but the minority has rights. Someone who is unable to attend meetings because of illness or needing to watch small kids should still be able to watch a meeting online if they want to, as they can in so many other cities.

  23. I am a Latina and I am a server at Bone Daddy’s. I’m not a stripper or topless dancer as Barbara and other Kathleen Thompson supporters apparently believe. I am a registered voter though and while I didn’t attend the meeting yesterday, I’ve read enough to know that I’m not voting for Kathleen Thompson.

    • Selena, no one implied that you are a stripper or topless dancer. No one implied that Bone Daddy’s or Hooters or any other place in Grapevine is a strip club, or that people who work anywhere in Grapevine do that kind of work. People are running with smears here, because they can post without having to face anyone.

      I’m glad that you are a registered voter. I hope that by the time the polls open, you will look at the candidates’ websites, newspaper interviews, and the LWV materials so that you don’t only base your decision on the misunderstandings, insinuations, etc. that can take over threads like this. Basing your vote on what somebody said somebody else said and what they meant when they said it, and by the way, here’s something someone else said they heard… really, it’s best to go to the source and figure it out for yourself.

      • Wrong Barbara, the implication was as clear as day. Maybe it was just a bad choice of words, although they seemed chosen for an expressed purpose, but many were offended.

        I hope Selena, and all voters, will do diligent research, as it will provide the true background and intentions of the candidates. It will not take much to find Kathleen’s affiliations with liberal organizations, and Roy has already been forthright with his past so he has nothing to hide.

      • Ms. Hussein –
        What is the “past” Roy Stewart has been forthright about? I haven’t seen anything on his campaign material that does not put his best foot forward, nor anything that is irrelevant to a campaign for City Council. Same for Kathleen. Her political affiliation is simply NOT RELEVANT to a City Council election. It’s nothing she’s “trying to hide.” Further, if she is a Democrat, are you saying Democrats should not be allowed on the Council?

      • b hussein o-

        Wow, that’s big, brave talk about honesty coming from somebody trying to influence an election while hiding behind a fake name.

        -Jay

      • I believe “hussein” must be a member of, or close friend of, the Stewart family, based on their comments. Otherwise, they would have identified themselves I think.

  24. I just noticed that Kathleen took down ALL her photos on her public flckr account today that show her support of the “Trailer Trash Gay Bingo” event. Coincindence? Does Kathleen still support that event even though she has taken great effort to remove any evidence of her support for that event from the internet.

  25. Good grief, Kathleen Thompson only posed (as a joke) as “trailer trash” for a fund raiser for a very worthy cause. Folks, this is obviously a joke and not to be taken personally or seriously. And the good done by this fund raiser far outweighs any negative aspects.

  26. Are Barbara and Kathleen the same person? Seems like it.

    • No, we are two different and unrelated people. I don’t agree with every one of her positions, but I do think that she’s the strongest candidate in this race. Roy is obviously very accomplished, but with his money and connections, he will still have significant influence even if he isn’t on the council. Deverick is a nice guy but doesn’t bring much of anything new to the table.

      Business interests are very well represented in Grapevine, and there’s no question that they should continue to be well taken care of. Kathleen’s focus on families and neighborhoods doesn’t mean that she doesn’t care about businesses but that she thinks (as do I) that business interests shouldn’t always take precedence over the residents of Grapevine.

      The senior community is also very well represented, as it should be, but other demographics should be as well. Just because I have parents and grandparents and children and grandchildren doesn’t mean I really understand what their day-to-day lives are like, or that I can understand the impact of an idea or policy on all of them. My point is that there needs to be balance. Everybody matters, and we should appreciate different people’s perspectives.

      I don’t understand why there’s such an undercurrent of viciousness in this race. Disagreeing with someone’s ideas is valid, but slandering and demonizing them is so out of character for the kind of place I thought Grapevine was.

      • Negative campaigning was Kathleen”s approach from the beginning. She is obviously more concerned about occupying a spot on city council than interested in our community. Roy and Deverick have run honorable campaigns and been gentlemen.

        The truths about Kathleen, her past affiliations and questionable connections, need to be revealed. She should have been honest from the get go.

      • “Negative campaigning” is impugning someone’s character, as you and some others have done to Kathleen. She is campaigning on issues and has documented her positions,and her supporters appreciate that. I guess, though, that if people are afraid or unequipped to discuss ideas for improvement, they resort to name-calling and fear-mongering. Sad.

  27. Additionally, I’ve known Kathleen and her family for more than 15 years and I can assure you that Kathleen is a very upstanding Grapevine resident and has always supported all civil rights (including those regarding race, gender, homosexuality, transgender and transexual).

  28. What’s bizarre to me is that there is one– *one* — candidate– Thompson– actually trying to raise the level of discourse as to truth and transparency in government, and a large part of the audience finds that value– of *truth,* of *honesty,* family values we should fight for– laughable. It’s sad when we don’t honor our values and don’t even pretend to– sad and embarrassing.

  29. Have a lot of Democrat friends, do ya?

    “And if elected is she willing to hear from any citizen in grapevine, democrat or not?”

    First, in Texas, this would be fun to find out about. But second, my guess is yes, and at *least* as well as the Republicans listen to Democrats.

    • Wanting to cut government waste, holding politicians accountable, getting more people involved with Grapevine city issues, cutting through years of cronyism – sounds like things I don’t want for Grapevine! This scares me!

      • This was actually pretty funny.

  30. Newgranny and KC, what pictures? Everyone should be able to see them and make their own decisions. Can you get them back up on a web-site somewhere?
    DL

  31. Here’s the problem with saying it doesn’t matter whether Kathleen is a liberal or not: She is saying conservative things and distancing herself from her deep roots in the “progressive” movement in order to get elected, but if you pay attention to what she says you can tell that her liberal principles are lying just under the surface and are ready to come out in full force AFTER the election. It’s a typical “bait and switch” tactic that virtual every liberal running for office in a conservative city uses.

    Here’s but one of many examples. Kathleen says she wants to target wasteful spending (which sounds conservative). However, all of her proposed plans to “fix” the many things she perceives that the city is doing wrong will cost excessive amounts of money. And she has already announced her plans to hinder our main sources of funding (i.e., businesses, as so eloquently articulated by Clayton G.), which means the only remaining source to pay for her proposed plans is…you guessed it, you and me!

    In addition to raising our taxes (which will be inevitable after Kathleen hinders businesses), Kathleen wants to spend tax payer money on things that don’t make any sense at all. Take, for example, the “library hours” issue that Kathleen is so passionate about.

    The current library hours are 10 am to 9 pm Mon – Thurs., 10 am to 6 pm on Fridays, 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and 2 pm to 6 pm on Sundays. Fifty-five hours per week is more than most other public libraries are open.

    Admittedly, the library hours used to be different. For example, the library used to open earlier on Sundays and stay open later on Friday nights.

    But the head of the library department is a very smart woman and she noticed (after studying the issue extensively) that very few people visited the library before 2 pm on Sundays or after 5 pm on Friday nights, largely because people are in church on Sunday mornings and have social plans like going to dinner/movie/etc. on Friday nights. The head of the library department determined that it is hard to justify the electricity costs and staff costs associated with having the library open during a time when there is virtually no one visiting it. Accordingly, the head of the library department adjusted the hours to reflect the times that most people are there in an effort to save money and stop wasting electricity. That makes sense and the head of the library should be commended for her smart observation and efficient implementation of a very intelligent plan.

    Perhaps Kathleen was one of the approximately 12 residents who visited the library prior to 2 pm on Sundays, so she decided to run for city council to fix what she perceives as a denial in her right to have the library open when she wants it open.

    If elected Kathleen has said she’ll reverse the plan that the head of the library so brilliantly implemented. That makes no sense – as it will waste money and electricity. It is very typical for a liberal to say “SPEND, SPEND, SPEND” and people know that and would reject that if she admitted her political affiliation. That is why she hides her significant involvement in the progressive movement and says things that sound (at least at first) to be conservative principles. If she’s elected, we’ll see her liberal agenda in Grapevine and we will have to pay for it.

    • “And she has already announced her plans to hinder our main sources of funding (i.e., businesses, as so eloquently articulated by Clayton G.”

      Except that Clayton doesn’t quite understand that the Council can be selective in order to create a better and more profitable mix of businesses, and that that does not equate with being being anti-business or creating less revenue. In fact, the opposite is the case. That’s what government does– they set ordnances and help reflect the people’s vision of the city. We don’t get our vision from businesses. The people have the vision, and the government, made up of the people, reflects it.

      • Hi Jason, I appreciate your sentiment, and I think we can both agree that in the end, what we really want is for our beautiful town to be successful.

        I would like to help you understand a little bit about how our government works, at the local, state and federal level.

        In fact, the City Council absolutely can not be selective, or decide which businesses are allowed to operate within city limits, as long as those businesses are complying with local code and zoning provisions. This is as it should be.

        See Jason, in the U.S. Constitution (14th Amendment, Section 1), as well as the Texas State Constitution (Article 1 Sec. 3 and 3a), there is what is known as the “Equal Protection” clause. This means that all people are provided equal protection under the law, that no individual can be singled out by the government – regardless of race, age, gender, etc…

        This means that when any part of government, whether it be local, state or federal, enacts any statute, it must be equally applied to all people, regardless of the personal tastes of the elected officials.

        If you are curious, I would be happy to provide you with a list of U.S. Supreme Court cases that deal with this exact subject, you see, you and Mrs. Thompson are not the first people who have believed that the City Council has these powers, and the specific things you’re proposing have been tried before. They have failed. The U. S. Supreme Court has been very consistent in its application of the Equal Protection clause.

        Jason, this is a good thing. This is what protects us from dictatorial government and the arbitrary whims of the current elected officials. The city council can not just arbitrarily decide “This person can start a business, but this person can not.” That is both morally unconscionable as well as unconstitutional.

        Without these protections, you’re correct, Mrs. Thompson would be able to decide that she doesn’t like having too many Thai or Mexican restaurants, and eliminate them or prevent them from opening their doors in the first place. Alternately, she could decide, as she apparently has, that Hooters “embarrasses [her] as a woman” and force them to close their doors. This type of thing is fairly common in some other countries, such as China, but thankfully is not permitted in the United States.

        The city has the power to enact and enforce local code and zoning, but as long as a business complies with these, it does not have the power to pick and choose who can start a business, and what type of business it is – nor should it. This is part of what makes us a free society.

        See Jason, we have protections from well meaning people like yourself and Mrs. Thompson who would limit our freedom for the sake of “putting the families first.”

      • Giving you the benefit of a doubt since you appreciate my sentiment, I think we might be talking at cross-currents, because you’ve created a straw man here. I’m not talking about willy-nilly shutting down businesses– the singling out to which you refer. In the end, the idea of not having too many of any one kind of restaurant is an opinion, a vision. A Council should be able to have a vision they’d like to see reflected in reality. Zoning matters. And it’s not a way of picking on businesses, but a way of acting as a referee between all the players on the field. The Council has influence over zoning. I don’t mind bringing some vision to that that might differ from your vision. In fact, it seems to me some variety might be good for the system.
        Also, I might add that it’s uncool to suggest you need a constitution to protect you from me. You don’t know me, but I’m one of those people whose likely to be your last best friend if the only thing between you and those in power is your constitutional rights. So I’m just gonna let that go.

  32. The operator of this site, Joe has decided (quite reasonably) to close comments for this discussion.

    Joe has graciously allowed me to post one additional comment.

    Joe has done an amazing job creating this site, it is a valuable resource for Grapevine. The purpose of this site is not political debate, however.

    I do think that open and frank discussion is an important part of the political process, so I’ve created a place where this discussion can be continued, if we desire. This site is called the Grapevine Texas Open Forum, and is located at http://gvtexas.com.

    If the readers and commenters here are interested in continuing this thought provoking discussion, that site is probably a more appropriate place to do it. For reference, I’ve recreated some of my posts over there, though I have not recreated other people’s posts (since I don’t have their permission).

    Thanks to you all for the interesting discussion, and thanks to Joe for allowing me to post this last comment.