In case you’re voting, here’s a cheat sheet for the May 6 Dallas City Council election

Challenger Candy Evans is hoping to oust incumbent Lee Kleinman in the race for the District 11 seat on Dallas City Council.

In an election with historically low voter turnout, every ballot matters. Only 4.7 percent of registered voters in the district went to the polls when Kleinman and Ori Raphael went head-to-head in 2015.

We reached out to Evans and Kleinman for a brief overview of their priorities and goals before you go to the polls Saturday, May 6.

Challenger: Candy Evans

Evans, a real estate blogger and founder of CandysDirt.com, also has served as the president USA Film Festival Dallas and the co-chair of the Texas Medical Association annual gala, in addition her involvement with Dallas County Medical Society Alliance and other organizations.

What made you decide to run for Dallas City Council ?

I am running for this office because our city is at a crossroads. Dallas is riding a rising tide all around us, but sorely lacking economic development. I cover residential real estate on a hyper-local, daily basis, and I see where the growth is occurring: North Texas growth is NOT in the city limits of Dallas. Most transplants and even Dallas families are moving to Collin, Denton and Tarrant counties. I want to bring a “Dallas-first” perspective to City Hall. I believe we owe that to the taxpayers. And I am not engaged in a war with the Dallas police and first responders, as my opponent is…

If elected, what are your main priorities moving forward?

My main priorities are fixing the police and fire pension, getting our streets and infrastructure fixed, getting Midtown on track, and assessing the many problems we face in our district and city, and then researching and solving them.

What are the issues impacting citizens the most? 

From walking, what I am hearing is concerns over the police and fire pension and our infrastructure, such as streets. My opponent also has neglected the alleys. I think we need to take stock of the apartments in District 11 and assess the situation, decide if we are going to limit how many apartments are built here and their effects on our single-family property values.

What do you feel are your largest accomplishments thus far?

First of all, my husband, Walter F. Evans II, MD, our family of two children, daughter-in-law, and three precious grandchildren. When it comes to business, aside from my award-winning stories, I created an award-winning journalist who moved from broadcast news and print to online with the successful creation of my blogs: www.CandysDirt.com and sister blogs www.SecondShelters.com  and www.Midlandirt.com. I employ five to seven people, and the blogs are fully monetized.

Photo courtesy of Lee Kleinman

Incumbent: Lee Kleinman

Kleinman invests in business, real estate and public security. He is a member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments Executive Committee and co-chairman of Regional Transportation Council Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition’s Dallas Employees, in addition to his involvement with several other local organizations.

What made you decide to run for re-election to Dallas City Council?

I have enjoyed serving the community in my years on the park board and on the city council. … My family has been in Texas for five generations, and North Dallas has the best quality of life and some of the lowest crime in the city. I want to make sure that continues for the future. We have had many successes in my first four years, but there are many things that still need attention. Building our neighborhoods through Neighborhood Associations, Crime Watch programs and “Friends of: ” groups continuously improves Dallas through resident outreach and communication. I intend to keep pushing for effective delivery of services without increasing taxes.

If re-elected, what are your main priorities moving forward?

On the neighborhood level, there are several priorities including the expansion of the Hike and Bike Trail system.  We will add 7 miles to the Northaven Trail in the next few years.  I am also focused on the redevelopment of Midtown and its 20-acre park.  This will be an economic engine for all of Dallas, creating a second downtown just north of LBJ.  I will encourage redevelopment of the aging apartment stock to new, higher value residences via smart planning processes that include neighborhood input as we did at Preston Hollow Village. I will also continue to bring new and exciting retail and restaurants to District 11 such as I did with Costco, two Trader Joes, Mesaro, Eatzis and Shake Shack.

On the city level, pension reform is our highest priority.  We must provide a sustainable retirement system for our employees without taxing our residents out of their homes.  Also, some major transportation projects are on the horizon, such as LBJ-East, which will extend the LBJ Express project and the Cotton Belt commuter line which will finally bring transit to North Dallas for easy access to DFW Airport.

What are the issues impacting citizens the most? 

I am hearing about roads, alleys and taxes.  There is a big fear of a taxpayer bailout for the pension system. We delayed our last road bond program due to uncertainty about the pension.  Fortunately, our new city manager has convened a Bond Program Citizens Task Force to evaluate our needs and make recommendations to the council.  I am proud to say we have five District 11 residents on the Task Force so our needs are well-represented.  I am concerned about the mounting debt the city has accumulated … We must move away from paying for deferred maintenance with bond money.  Maintenance money should come from our general fund.  We will get our streets and alleys improved. That is a high council priority (after public safety).

What do you feel are your largest accomplishments thus far?

Certainly, the Northaven Trail is one of the most visible.  That project was envisioned by previous council member Lois Finkelman, funded by Linda Koop and implemented by me.  I am really excited to be part of it.  Also, getting all the zoning and economic structure in place for Midtown was a major accomplishment.  When you are working with over 50 owners and 460 acres, it takes lots of time and patience to get everyone rowing the same direction.  A hotel and an apartment complex are almost completed.  The demolition of the mall is underway.  The first park land acquisition agreement has is in the works.  I have also deployed over $32 million in street and alley improvements over the past four years.

Interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.


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