City Council Place Five candidates give their views

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The time has arrived for the first votes to be cast in a contentious local election for the Kennedale City Council. Election day is May 6 but early voting in person starts today. {{more: READ MORE … }}

Find out more about election dates and time at City of Kennedale Election Information

There are three places open on the Kennedale Council and each one is contested this year. In Place 5, incumbent Frank Fernandez, Small Business Owner, is being challenged by Jan Joplin, Retired from 30 years in the travel industry, the past 10 years as the account manager/acting travel manager at Alcon Labs.

The following are part of statements submitted to the Star Telegram by the candidates for Place 3. Read the full statements at Star Telegram

Kennedale City Council Place 5

What are the three most critical problems facing the city and your solutions?

Fernandez: Problems facing the city: increased cost of maintenance in older neighborhoods. Our reliance on residential property tax is too high. We need to broaden our commercial tax base. Too much land is occupied by blighted business. Solutions: increase the new homes and businesses in Kennedale to help defray the cost of maintaining streets and sewer lines in older residential areas. Continue to create incentives for businesses to move into Kennedale, similar to those that replaced the sexually oriented businesses at our north entrance. This area is now occupied by great businesses like, McDonalds, Burger King, Popeye and QT. These businesses generate more sales tax revenue than all six sexually oriented businesses.
Joplin: 1. The 149%-272% water/sewer rate increase is a major issue. I want to reduce the rates and have a complete financial audit, then adjust slowly. 2. We need a City capital improvement plan with a financial analysis on every major project and before proceeding. Growth is good with wise financial planning and citizens? awareness. 3. The city misled us about why the water rates increased. The city said $700,000-$800,000 was spent on a sewer replacement that drained the reserve causing the rate increase. I found it actually cost $285,913. I want the citizens to have accurate, honest, open, transparent information.

What is your top priority if elected to office?

Fernandez: Develop quiet and beautiful nighborhoods like our latest residential development, The Vineyards. Help to recruit new businesses that will blend well with our residential city characteristics. Promote city projects that maintain and increase property value. Continue to lay the foundation for new businesses and great residential homes that will increase our city?s revenue.

Joplin: Water/Sewer rates & existing infrastructure. Reduce water & sewer rates by managing future development planning and other non-water related fees from the water fund. Existing water/sewer infrastructure needs immediate attention due to being ignored while spending over $1,000,000, from water, street and roadway impact funds on future planning for housing developments that may or may not ever happen.A financial cost to benefit analysis with contracts and agreements in place before spending and developing projects is critical to financial success.

Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?

Fernandez: I consider it an honor to serve the citizens of Kennedale. I owned and managed our family business for 20+ years. I am an innovator and willing to ?look outside the box? for unique solutions to a problem. I am fiscally conservative and my voting record proves it.

Joplin: I believe all citizens and businesses should be respected, treated fairly, openly and honestly. It is the city’s responsibility to make every effort to communicate all city projects and plans along with the funding required, available to the citizens. My background in travel management has given me 25 years of working with service issues, multi-level project management, multi-million dollar budgets, negotiating multi-million dollar contracts, international and domestic meeting planning, executive level strategies including emergencies, communication, expectations, personnel and vendor performance evaluations, promoting companies and people. My favorite part is helping people with their goals and seeing them succeed.

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