Public Meets Candidates at Duncanville United Forum

DUNCANVILLE, TX –This March, Duncanville United, a local political action group (PAC), hosted their annual ‘Meet the Candidates’ forum. Candidates for the city council races were invited and given the opportunity to address the community. Each candidate was given five minutes to speak, and no questions were entertained from the audience. Candidates in attendance were District 1 incumbent Dennis Schwartz and opponent Matthew Jones, unopposed District 3 incumbent Leslie Thomas, Frances Rizo from District 5 and At-Large candidates Patrick LeBlanc and Todd Durant. Johnette Jameson, incumbent for District 5, could not attend and sent her regrets.
Councilman Dennis Schwartz, a 44-year resident of Duncanville, presented his extensive municipal background. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech, US Army Veteran Officer, 39 years municipal engineering, 26 years as Duncanville Director of Public, Commissioner of the Duncanville the Planning and Zoning Commission, current city Audit Committee and member of Duncanville Trinity Church of the Nazarene since 1964. Councilman Schwartz highlighted his contribution of the following City Council’s accomplishments: Completed a pavement management system analysis of all our streets and alleys; prioritizing street overlays and rehabilitations; added sidewalks and barrier free ramps throughout the city; rehabilitated leaking sanitary sewer lines to prevent ground water infiltration, added improvements to the water system, upgraded our signalized intersections, and added better and brighter signage; constructed several major erosion control projects in the creek system; upgraded ball fields and playground equipment, added a canopy to the amphitheater, and started the hike and bike trail system; replaced both gym floors at the Duncanville Fieldhouse; widening of US 67 which will add an additional main lane in each direction and improve the frontage roads and ramps; construction of frontage roads on Interstate 20 from Main Street to Cockrell Hill Road, enhancing economic development by providing better access and mobility to our retail and commercial properties; and initiating the city’s first Comprehensive Master Plan and its second Park Master Plan.
Challenger Matthew Jones is from Coppell but has lived in Duncanville for 6 ½ years. He credits his interest in politics to his family who are in leadership of the Cherokee Nation. Mr. Jones, if elected, would focus on innovations such as renewable energy, free internet, charging stations for electric cars in the parks, and pursuing national grants for solar and wind production.
Councilwoman Leslie Thomas thanked Councilman Schwartz for his comprehensive list of accomplishments of the present Council and echoed her support. She emphasized the importance of the Comprehensive Plan, using it to set priorities for unified action by the city and leveraging our assets to attract young families and professionals.
Challenger Frances Rizo is a longtime resident of Duncanville. Having raised her 3 sons and daughter in Duncanville and living in the home her parents built in Duncanville, she is committed to enhancing family life in Duncanville. She also has experience in the Duncanville PTA and is currently serving as the President of the Dallas Chapter of Parliamentarians. She is an advocate of town hall meetings, even have hosted a neighborhood one in her home. She believes that Duncanville’s best days are ahead. She envisions Duncanville to be a destination location.
Todd Durant has lived in Duncanville for 12 years. He works for Fidelity Investments. He has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission as a Commissioner and as the Chairman. He has also served with the Urban League. His philosophy is to be prepared, to communicate with all interested parties, and solve problems fairly. He plans to listen, research issues thoroughly, and communicate effectively. In a word: “Find out the bad and do less and the good do more.”
Patrick LeBlanc arrived in Texas in 1986, has 6 children, a BA from DBU, and a Masters from Southwestern Baptist Seminary. He was the Chaplin for the Duncanville H.S. Football team in 2008. He has been volunteered extensively with the Duncanville Schools. One example was his All Pro Days and encouraging the dads to get involved. He is very interested in the economic development of the city.