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Home  ============ Citizens Defending Freedom vs. AISD Lawsuit ============== Taxpayers' Funds at Risk ============ April 15, 2024 Newsletter ============= Arlington City CouncilGrades ============= AISD Board Grades ============ April 8, 2024 Newsletter =========== April 1, 2024 Newsletter ============ March 25, 2024 Newsletter ============ March 18, 2024 Newsletter ============ ================D1  Jacob Franklin, Candidate for ===District1=== Tim Goss, Candidate for ===District1=== Mauricio Galante, Candidate for ===District1=== ================D2  Raul Gonzalez, District2 ============= ================D6  Long Pham, District6 ============= ================D7  Bowie Hogg, District7 ============== Chris "Dobi" Dobson, Candidate for ===District7=== ================  Jim Ross, Mayor ============= Helen Moise, District1 ============= Nikkie Hunter, District3 ============= Andrew Piel, District4 ============= Rebecca Boxall, District5 =============  Barbara Odom-Wesley, District8 ============= ================P1  Sarah McMurrough, AISDPlace1 ============= ================P2  Kendall Orr, Candidate for ==AISDPlace2== Melody Fowler, AISDPlace2 ============= ================P3  Larry Mike, Candidate for ==AISDPlace3== Kathi Arocha, Candidate for ==AISDPlace3== April Williams Moore, Candidate for ==AISDPlace3== ================  Aaron Reich, AISDPlace3 ============= David Wilbanks, AISDPlace4 ============= Justin Chapa, AISDPlace5 ============= Brooklyn Richardson, AISDPlace6 ============= Leanne Haynes, AISDPlace7 ============= Fact Sheet - November 8, 2022 Election ============ ++++++++++++  ============= Kennedale Observer Homepage =========== Kennedale City CouncilGrades ========== Kennedale Observer - Latest Newsletter ============ Prior to That Newsletter ============== ================M  Jan Joplin, Kennedale Mayor ============ Brad Horton, Candidate for Kennedale Mayor ============= ===============P2  Matthew Dyer, Candidate for Kennedale Place 2 =========== Ebony Berry, Candidate for Place 2 =========== Thelma Kobeck, Candidate for Place 2 =========== ===============P4  Bryant Griffith, Kennedale Place 4 ============= Chris Gary, Candidate for Place 4 =========== =================  David Glover, Kennedale Place 1 ============== Ken Michels, Kennedale Place 3 ============== Jeff Nevarez, Kennedale Place 5 ============== Kennedale City Council Compare ========== 1083 Bowman Springs Road Kennedale ============ What to Know About the Texas Raceway Project ================ Kennedale Financial Reports ============== Kennedale P&Z agenda ============== Kennedale City Council Agenda ============== Kennedale EDC agenda ==============


April 14, 2024–Volume 7 Number 15


* City council to hold budget workshop on Monday, regular meeting on Tuesday.

* 40-50 people attend LWV Candidate Forum.

* Our election recommendations.



Monday, April 15: City Council Budget Workshop, 9:00 a.m.

Tuesday, April 16: City Council monthly meeting, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 20: Farmers Market, TownCenter, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Monday, April 22: Early voting for municipal elections begins, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 23: EDC Board meeting, 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 25: P&Z meeting, 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 30: Early voting for municipal elections ends, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 4: Municipal Elections, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.


Kennedale Observer website:


Latest Kennedale Observer newsletter:


Kennedale Observer city council grades:


City Council Comparison (May2021-May2023 vs. May2019-May2021):




Your City Council

The city council did not meet last week. The League of Women Voters Candidate Forum was Tuesday evening. Including candidates, there were 40-50 people there.

This week they have scheduled a budget workshop for Monday, April 15, at 9:00 a.m. Their regular monthly city council meeting is on Tuesday, April 16, at 5:30 p.m. A modified copy of the agendas for both meetings can be found at: . The workshop meeting is on the bottom portion of the page.

For the budget workshop the directors will be presenting new programs they desire. There is also a possible executive session with four general categories listed.

The agenda for Tuesday's regular monthly meeting includes the citizen forum, work session, regular session, and an executive session.

The work session portion of the agenda includes eight work session reports:

1. Re-Accreditation Award for Kennedale Police Department – HURRAY!!!

2. Little School Road Extension (Freese & Nichols)

3. Safe route to school (Shield Engineering)

4. Street study

5.Receive the independent auditor's Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the fiscal year 2023 ending September 30, 2023. Forvis LLP

6. Board & Commissions Training

7. Capital Project Plan for water & sewer

8. Resolution for Citizens on Patrol

[The Little School Road Extension, the Street Study, and the Capital Project Plan for water & sewer had no detailed information in the packet.]

[Regarding Safe Route to School, “staff recommends that the Kennedale’s City Council authorize the approval of a construction
contract with The Fain Group, at the bid sum of One Million Four Hundred Thirteen Thousand Five Hundred Fifty-Seven Dollars, $1, 413,557.00.
” There is an Advanced Funding Agreement in the packet. Is this really an item for individual consideration tucked into the work session?]

[Regarding the resolution for Citizens on Patrol, this appears to be a regular session item with a vote, tucked in with the work session items. This would make Kennedale eligible for some grant money for the program, including the purchase of a vehicle. What percentage would be covered by the city and what percentage would be covered by a grant??? No percentages are mentioned in the documentation.]


The regular session includes reports and announcements, the consent agenda, and three items for individual consideration. The three items for individual consideration are:

Stripe-A-Zone Quote N. Little School Road contract for $108,031.

Valley Lane and Averett Road bridge improvements contract for $480,250.

Judge Appointments for two years starting May 21, 2024.

[Regarding the striping contract, the staff report comments on four roadways, while the bid shows only three (Little Road, Bowman Springs Road, and Kennedale Sublett Road [the fourth being a small portion of Dick Price Road]).]


The executive session lists four specific topics:

400 N. Little School Road Repair Estimate

TownCenter Development District

Tru Hotel Agreement

Board appointments [Our understanding is P&Z has had a couple of resignations, one forced.]


What is surprisingly missing from the agenda is the MMA contract regarding the Veterans Memorial where the council and EDC board have been promised items by the committee chair that would appear to be amendments/change orders to the original contract. The EDC board approved it at its March meeting. The contract information can be found on the bottom portion of the page at: .


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On the May 4 ballot Kennedale voters will choose a Mayor, Place 2 representative, and Place 4 representative. All three have contested races. Voters will also have charter modifications to consider; these have been broken into two propositions.


Kennedale Observer city council grades:


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Attached to each Kennedale's candidate name is a link to a page with all their responses to the questions [not on the Facebook version].


Your ballot will start with three new citizen positions on the TAD board.

TAD Board Place 1 – Sayeda Bilqees Syed, Trae Fowler, Eric Morris.

TAD Board Place 2 – Callie Rigney, Eric B. Crile.

TAD Board Place 3 – Chuck Kelley, Lee Henderson, Matt Bryant.


Your Kennedale ballot includes:

For Mayor the choices are:

Jan Joplin

Brad Horton


For Place 2 the choices are:

Matthew Dyer

Ebony Berry

Thelma Kobeck


For Place 4 the choices are:

Bryant Griffith

Chris Gary -


Proposition A Choices are Yes or No.

Shall the Kennedale Home Rule Charter be amended by revising Section 3.03 to provide that in the event of a vacancy in the office of Mayor, the Mayor Pro Tem shall, on the effective date of the vacancy, assume the office of Mayor, to serve until the next local election date that offers sufficient time to comply with the requirements of the election code. The council seat vacated by the new Mayor shall be filled according to Section 3.06 of this charter. A new Mayor Pro Tem shall be selected according to this Section 3.03.


Proposition B Choices are Yes or No.

Shall the Kennedale Home Rule Charter be amended by revising Section 3.06 to provide that in the event of a vacancy on the City Council in a seat other than the Mayor, the City Council may call a special election or by a majority vote of all remaining Council Members appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy, to serve until the next local election date that offers sufficient time to comply with the requirements of the election code.


Kennedale Observer Opinion/Analysis

The Past Decisions question pretty much shows if the candidate has the brains/common sense to do what is best versus what staff wants. The two zoning cases were easily predictable disasters. Rubber-stampers will defend the council's actions. Advantage: Kobeck, Gary.

The Taxes question is rather self explanatory. What happened this past year is typical for a rubber-stamping council. The city manager got everything he wanted at the cost of taxpayers. Property valuations were up by 15+% and the budget used it all for increased spending, without the slightest of a token cut to the tax rate [as 31 of the 41 Tarrant County cities did]. The council knew there would be large water/sewer rates coming [though they did not offically know how high at the time they passed the budget] yet took all of the 15+% for increased spending rather than giving any sympathy to the taxpayer. During a political discussion between the two mayoral candidates, both felt there was “stuff” somewhere in the budget that could have been cut. Candidates boasting of the “20 year low” are just pushing staff's justification to tax more. Most of the 41 cities are at a “20 year low”. Property values have never been higher. Any candidate trying to say it is the appraised value's fault that tax bills went up is clueless and should not be in office. Advantage: Horton, Kobeck, Gary.

The December meeting scandal. We reported in the February 25, 2024, issue, Q9: “I have received some text released by the city. The text messages themselves are NOT a direct, blatant threat. I have had conversations with unnamed people. In my opinion Mr. Griffith did threaten Mr. Horton with an action calling for his resignation if Mr. Horton did not make a statement.” When I spoke to Mr. Griffith, he said if Mr. Horton did not attend the meeting, as was Mr. Horton's original plans for that December meeting, he intended to ask for the subject to be on the agenda again, and if he did not attend, ask again for it to be on the agenda. [If a council member misses three meetings in a row, he can be removed.] When I spoke to Ms. Joplin, she said she [and the city manager] called Mr. Horton so he would not be blindsided by “Griff” not wanting to let this go. However, I can see where Mr. Horton could feel he was being ganged up against. Not all threats raise to the level that warrants investigation/prosecution by a district attorney. A more appropriate question would probably have to do with bullying. Advantage: Horton, Disadvantage: Griffith.


Mayoral Race

Both candidates, Joplin and Horton, were part of the pre-May 2023 council when things were improving. I am saddened that the two are not working together now on the city council. In my opinion, this race comes down to my last category not making the Biggest Mistake.

Other - Networking. Ms. Joplin has established good networking that has helped Kennedale. Advantage: Joplin.

Other – Transparency. The recent happenings regarding the Veterans Memorial have not impressed me. Advantage: Horton.

Other – non Full-time Job. I understand why people have full-time jobs, and it is fantastic that Mr. Horton is very good at his [and has helped the city], but in this case, I believe there is some advantage to having more free time regarding city issues. Advantage: Joplin.

Other – not Quitting. Some people say they cannot vote for Mr. Horton because he quit. However, when Ms. Joplin was elected in 2017, she had many goals and quit on those by not running for re-election in 2019. [*** retracted ***]. Yes, there is a difference between quitting mid-term and not running for re-election. Advantage: Joplin.

Other – not making the Biggest Mistake. In our opinion, Mr. Horton's biggest mistake was quitting mid-term. In our opinion Ms. Joplin's biggest mistake was breaking a 2-2 tie, thereby appointing Griffith to the council, where he joined rubber-stamper Nevarez and tag-a-long K[.Michels] to match the rubber-stamping ability of the 2019 city council. So many people have worked so hard to establish a situation where the citizens have a voice, only to have it wiped out in this move. Advantage: Horton.


Advantage: Joplin: Networking, non-Full-time job, not Quitting.

Advantage: Horton: Taxes, December meeting scandal, Transparency, not making the Biggest Mistake.


Place 2 Race

There are three candidates in this race. A majority is required, so if one candidate does not obtain greater than 50% there will be a runoff election in June.

Other – Knowledge. Ms. Kobeck appears to have a lot of knowledge of city council's happenings/history. Advantage: Kobeck.


Advantage Berry: none.

Advantage Dyer: none.

Advantage Kobeck: Past Decisions, Taxes, Knowledge.


Place 4 Race

In my opinion, Mr. Griffith is a bully, see December meeting scandal on page 3. This is the first part of his Facebook response to the March 10, 2024 newsletter (his full response can be seen of Facebook):

*Clarification on the Tax Rate*

Unfortunately there is a great deal of misinformation being touted when it comes to taxes, specifically the “tax rate” and the relationship it has to “property valuations”.

Tarrant County Appraisal District is solely responsible for “Property valuations”. Every year they review the property values across the county and everyone has the opportunity to fight the appraised value of their property through TAD. The overall tax increases came from the valuations NOT the Kennedale “property tax rate”.

What you’re being told is that Kennedale is responsible for the property tax increase which is intentionally misleading.

He has taken one factual statement, Tarrant County Appraisal District is solely responsible for “Property valuations” and added many nonfactual statements to claim as truth. His last statement that I have included is 100% false. The percent change in property valuations is a part of the budget document. The setting of the tax rate determines if and how much your tax bill goes up. [In my opinion, Mr. Griffith is not only a bully, but an aggressive bully.]


Disadvantage: Griffith: December meeting scandal.

Advantage: Gary: Past Decisions, Taxes.


Proposition A & Proposition B

I might add that if any of the changes are approved, the charter cannot be changed again for over two years.

The city council changed/overrode what the charter committee recommended. The committee's proposition A had, “Shall the Kennedale Home Rule Charter be amended by revising Section 3.03 to provide that in the event of a vacancy in the office of Mayor, the Mayor Pro Tem shall assume the office of Mayor to serve the remainder of the unexpired term, and the Council seat vacated by the Mayor Pro Tem be filled as provided by the Charter?

The city council changed/overrode what the charter committee recommended. The committee's proposition B had, “Shall the Kennedale Home Rule Charter be amended by revising Section 3.06 to provide that in the event of a vacancy in the office of a Council Member other than the Mayor, the Council may either call a special election or appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy until the next available uniform election date, at which time an election will be held to fill the unexpired term, and to provide that a Council Member is ineligible to vote to fill a vacancy after resigning from the Council?

We are especially upset over the change in Proposition B. The council’s change/override of the committee's language allows a council’s appointee to retain that seat until the following year's May (local) election (or June's runoff election), thus eliminating the possibility of a November election (next available uniform election date, as the committee’s language provided). The February 8 special meeting may be viewed at: . At 26:58 they start the discussion of 3.06 (proposition B). The “poor politician” who gets appointed might have to run in November, then run in the following May, gets discussed [a possibility with the original committee's language]. Not discussed is how a bad appointee could possibly be in office for over a year before the citizens can finally get to vote that person out [a possibility that the council overrode]. At 2:33:55 the council votes to protect the “poor politician” and allows the possibility of a [bad] appointee, depending on timing, being in office for over one year, before the citizens are finally able to vote that appointee out.




We RECOMMEND that Kennedale voters vote Brad Horton for Mayor.


Place 2

We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that Kennedale voters vote Thelma Kobeck for Place 2


Place 4

We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that Kennedale voters vote Chris Gary for Place 4


Proposition A/Proposition B

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND that Kennedale voters vote NO on both propositions.



Last Week

The Keep Kennedale Beautiful committee and the Parks Board met last week.


This Week

The city council meets on Monday morning for a budget workshop and Tuesday evening for their regular monthly meeting.


Public Hearings

On Thursday, April 25 P&Z will hold a public hearing for PZ24-08 to consider a proposed conditional use permit for battery energy storage systems (a new use) for 501 and 509 S. New Hope Road. This will go to the city council on Tuesday, May 21.



The next P&Z meeting should be on April 25.


Other News....


TAD Rates

Tarrant Appraisal District has published the new tax rates (October 2023) for the county. Kennedale is now the third highest municipality. [ ].


Top ten of 41 (everyone else is < 0.60)

1. Everman 1.03608

2. Forest Hill 0.724094

3. Kennedale 0.70619

4. Sansom Park 0.687888

5. White Settlement 0.687233

6. Blue Mound 0.681745

7. River Oaks 0.68021

8. Fort Worth 0.6725

9. Mansfield 0.659293

10. DWG 0.611854



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Mayor – Jan Joplin

Place-1 David Glover

Place-2 vacant

Place-3 Kenneth Michels

Place-4 Bryant Griffith

Place-5 Jeff Nevarez


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