What are some of the things you would like to accomplish if elected?
1) Implement a sustainable plan to gradually increase pay and benefits for first responders
2) Initiate citywide anti-litter campaign
3) Pass ordinance designating the Ladd Property a protected greenspace, and initiate plan for protecting and connecting greenspaces citywide
4) Amend and update various city codes and policies that impact safety and attractiveness of neighborhoods
5) Reduce unnecessary spending, identify new revenue sources, with the ultimate goal of reducing the property tax rate
6) Begin efforts to revitalize Main Street Corridor and Downtown Duncanville
What made you want to run for this office?
I am not sure if I wanted to “run for office.” Running for office seems to be a means to an end. I saw an opportunity to serve the community and to be involved in making various positive changes in the city, and running for office was a necessary step.
What are some of the most important qualities that a city council member should have?
The ability to listen. The ability to compromise. Patience. A “thick skin” for when personal attacks come from citizens and fellow councilmembers. The ability to process large amounts of information and discern what is essential for decision making from that which is not.
What are some of the ways you are involved in the community?
As a minister I am engaged in various personal and private efforts to help individuals grow spiritually. I play piano at the Senior Center from time to time. Last year we started a children’s book club in a partnership with the library, and I have also been a reading tutor. I also give free piano lessons to kids. I am the organizer of the Duncanville Litter Patrol, a group of volunteers who do litter cleanups around the city. I work with the Duncanville Nature Conservancy to protect greenspaces and promote conservation and restoration projects in Duncanville. My wife and I are also involved with the Friends of the Duncanville Library, of which she is president.
Discuss your top three priorities.
How long have you lived in the City and what experience do you bring to the role that you feel sets you apart from your opponent?
We have lived here about 5 years. I believe my role as a minister serves me well in working and connecting with citizens. I also served on the Parks Board prior to being first elected to the Council, and now have two years of experience serving on the Council.
When making decisions, how do you determine what is in the best interest of the city?
The “city” is comprised of the citizens who live here. In order to determine what is in the best interest of the city, you have to talk to citizens.
Please describe how you would react to a situation in which the Council voted 4-3 to approve a very contestable issue and you were on the dissenting side.
No matter the outcome, I always support the collective will of the Council, and when speaking about approved motions against which I voted, I always refer to the fact that the Council made a decision and that I am a member of that Council; WE made a decision, doesn’t matter if I supported it or not.
If you could change one thing in our zoning code, what would it be and why?
I would make the SUP process more stringent. We approve a lot of SUPs, many for indefinite terms, and essentially are changing the zoning of the city with baby steps away from what is established in the Comprehensive Plan.
How do you plan to involve residents in the decision-making process in our town?
I have a growing email list of District 3 residents through which I send regular notifications about meetings, agendas, and what is going on in the city. I would also like to conduct a survey in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods and learn more about how they would like to be engaged and issues that are important to them.
What would you do to improve communication between city officials and the public?
We recently appointed a Community Engagement Advisory Board. I believe this group of individuals will be very effective in making recommendations to Council on how best to improve communications with our constituents.
Have you ever changed your mind on an issue after hearing the arguments of the opposing side? If so, what was the issue and why did you change your stance?
There have been multiple instances where I have changed my mind after hearing a case presented by another Councilmember. I can’t remember any in particular off the top of my head, and they will probably come to me after I submit my answers. I would not call it hearing arguments from an opponent; I believe we as a Council, as we work together, discuss the issues and what is on the agenda, listen to one another, receive information and reports from City staff, then make the best decisions with our own knowledge and after hearing everyone else’s position.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I want to thank the Focus Daily News for giving me an opportunity to publicize some of my views and thoughts. More information can be found about me and my positions at www.jeremykoontz.com.
Early voting will be conducted Monday, April 24, 2023, through Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at the Duncanville Library Conference Rooms at 201 James Collins Blvd., Duncanville, TX 75116.
April 24-28, Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
April 29, Saturday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
April 30, Sunday, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
May 1, 2, Monday, Tuesday, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Election Day Voting is May 6, 2023, 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM