Prior to that Newsletter

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 7, 2024–Volume 7 Number 14


* LWV Candidate Forum on Tuesday.

* Solar Eclipse on Monday.

* Comprehensive Plan Committee met with the council this past Monday. No recording is available.



Monday, April 8: Solar eclipse.

Tuesday, April 9: LWV Candidate Forum, Kennedale High School Media Center, 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 9: Keep Kennedale Beautiful meeting, 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 9: Parks Board meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 13: Great American Clean Up, Sonora Park, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

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, 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.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.


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 met with the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee on Monday. No recording is available. The regular monthly city council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 5:30 p.m. They have also scheduled a budget workshop the day before, Monday, April 15, at 9:00 a.m.

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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:

This week's question we asked the candidates: What is the most important issue the city council is currently facing? Why? What are your suggestions for addressing this issue?

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Attached to each candidate's name is a link to a page with all their responses to the questions.

For Mayor the choices are:

Jan Joplin – The most important issue the council is facing is funding the years of neglected infrastructure & systems needs while simultaneously keeping the tax rate down. Having good relationships with Tarrant County, State officials, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Mayors Council puts us in a position for outside funding and using synergies.

We can’t do everything but we are making progress as you can see (streets being paved, new park equipment, new sewer lines and water tanks) and heard from the State of the City. If you missed it, check it out. 2023.11.30 Town Hall - State of the City


Brad Horton – The most significant issue (and we have numerous issues) facing the city council is the rampant, Orwellian and tyrannical environment, in which elected officials, employees, and board members are being run off when they disagree with the regime’s narrative.

The First Amendment right to disagree is not respected by the regime that controls this city.

The solution is to elect citizens to office that understand that their job is to serve the people they represent, and not serve themselves.

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For Place 2 the choices are:

Matthew Dyer - I think the most critical issue to be addressed has to do with improvements to our city’s infrastructure; this includes transit, water supply, sewage systems, and electrical grids. The aging infrastructure poses potential risks to public health, safety, and the environment. It’s imperative that we address this issue promptly to prevent failures and disruptions.

To approach this issue effectively, I would suggest the following:

Comprehensive Infrastructure Assessment: Conduct a thorough assessment of our infrastructure to identify vulnerable areas and prioritize critical upgrades.

Investment in Infrastructure Upgrades: Allocate sufficient funds for infrastructure upgrades and maintenance, including seeking state or federal grants to supplement local budgets.

Public Awareness and Engagement: Educate the public about the importance of infrastructure maintenance and gain community support for necessary upgrades through town hall meetings and outreach campaigns.

Collaboration with Experts: Collaborate with engineering firms and infrastructure experts to develop long-term plans for sustainable and resilient systems.

Addressing our infrastructure challenges requires a proactive and collaborative approach. By investing in upgrades and leveraging innovative technologies, we can ensure reliable and safe transit and utility systems for our community’s future.


Ebony Berry - The most important issues the city council is currently facing are taxes and infrastructure.

I believe that it has been difficult to determine what type of facilities are needed to help reduce the tax rate for residents without taking away the small town feel for the citizens but also providing growth in our community.

It is hard to provide solid suggestions for addressing the issue without seeing where the current strategies sit and how they were considered and without hearing the voices/suggestions of the citizens. However, small ways could include bring back the Kennedale small business website. This was a positive way to build our community from within. In addition, small business grants for residents might also be helpful, and if it already exist, making it more public.

Where there is a will and PRAYER, there is a way!!


Thelma Kobeck – The Kennedale City Council is facing many important issues—infrastructure problems, an out-of-control budget that has resulted in residents being outrageously taxed, etc. However, perhaps the most important issue that the city council is currently facing is that they have disconnected from the residents and have resorted to making decisions “in the best interests of the city” rather than listening to the people who should really be holding the reins of power: the residents of Kennedale. Compounding that issue is a pervasive viewpoint by some people in decision-making and leadership positions within the city that “there are just some things that the residents don’t need to know.” These are dangerous positions for city leaders to hold as it indicates that they have moved away from being responsible representatives of the residents and have moved toward a self-image of being in power.

As for my suggestions for addressing this issue, I have two things to present.

First, if you agree with my perspective, then vote to change things. The right and responsibility to vote is the best way to effect change in your community. If you as a resident are seeing these and other troubling issues, then exercise your vote to make a difference.

Second, I cannot change other people, but if elected, I can make sure that I remind myself every day that I represent the residents and that I have a responsibility to make decisions that the residents want made. The city, the city council, and the city government would not exist if it wasn’t for the residents. If elected, I will ensure that I maintain that sacred trust that the residents place in me and that I make decisions based on what the residents want, even if I personally hold a different view.

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For Place 4 the choices are:

Bryant Griffith – One of our most pressing issues is the lack of committed leadership. While we come together in meetings to discuss important matters and make decisions for the betterment of our community, there has been a noticeable absence of genuine dedication among some past members and the current candidates they support. One significant impact of this challenge is working on projects collectively. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and actively participating in the work, some council members only show up for meetings and to make appearances. This lack of commitment hampers our progress and diminishes the effectiveness of our efforts. A prime example of this was displayed during the last budget season. We repeatedly conducted working sessions with the intent to discover where exactly we could make cuts that would allow us to roll back the tax rate. Not once did the members who were outspoken about lowering the rate ever offer any kind of guidance or suggestions on how exactly we could move forward with that decision. Its easy to have an opinion and to politic to position yourself in the favor of the people. It is hard to lead the people through challenging situations and to offer strategy for achieving what they want while providing them with what they need.

Moreover, this lack of commitment also leads to challenges in communication and problem-solving. When individuals prioritize their own agendas over the needs of our community, it becomes increasingly challenging to reach a consensus and provide the best options for our constituents. This issue erodes trust and confidence in the council's ability to serve and lead the city effectively. When the public observes council members who are more focused on personal interests rather than the collective good, it undermines their faith in the integrity of our institution. Most prominently, this has been evident in how often we face appointments due to resignations with having 3 in just this past year alone. Elections have consequences indeed, and some of our options this time will inevitably lead us down a road wrought with more of the same. For example, when we dealt with the conflicts of interest regarding TGAA and the member who brought the interlocal agreement to the council, it resulted in a resignation. Again, when we dealt with an issue regarding charter law and attendance it resulted in a resignation. In both these cases, the members chose to resign rather than have a hard conversation and work towards solving the problem. Our differences can be our strength when we work together for the common good. Being at odds with one another simply because we don’t agree and refusing to work together is negligent and destructive. Unlike those individuals and the candidates they support, I have chosen to work through challenges and our differences rather than fleeing from them. I have taken every opportunity to demonstrate transparency and accountability to foster trust in the community and restore confidence in the council. How I faced the back-to-school bash is a perfect example of how I will continue to serve this community, answering the people I serve.

To address these challenges, we must foster a culture of accountability and dedication among council members. I have been and will continue to be committed to transparency and accountability, not only with myself but also with my fellow council members. We must emphasize the importance of active participation and collaborative decision-making, ensuring that everyone is fully invested in the work we do for our community. By prioritizing the common good over individual interests, we can rebuild trust and confidence in our ability to serve and lead effectively. When things get hard, good leaders press in and press on; we don’t hide, and we don’t quit. That’s what Kennedale needs, leaders committed to weathering the challenges that lie ahead as we press on towards our cast vision for the future. That’s what I’m committed to.


Chris Gary - There are many issues facing the city council such as increasing taxes, infrastructure repairs, outdated streets, lack of business growth, transparency and lack of fiscal responsibility. However, I feel the most important issue facing the council is the lack of honesty and openness with its tax-paying residents who hold the power to elect people who have the best interests of ALL Kennedale residents at heart.

With two of the four current council seats appointed (not elected by the people) by the two other council members at the direction of the mayor and city manager, they have created an authoritarian government for our city that will have long-lasting effects for all of us.

My opponent, current council and city officials continue to tell the people what is best for them in meeting after meeting and do not truly ask the residents what we feel is best for our city. We should be tired of hearing “tough decisions have to be made and not everyone will be happy, we just have to deal with it and trust them”. Recent actions, such as confrontational comments in the Steering Committee meeting, townhome development final approval done in executive rather than open session, the changing from a GO to CO for the Little Road expansion project and threatening to remove the last two council members who left the council if they did not fall in line with the council’s and city manager’s narrative of their personal agenda are prime examples of how the current city leadership demeans and refuses to value or consider the residents.

These issues will not be addressed properly until we make a major change in the direction the council is taking us. Therefore, I ask anyone that believes this to be a problem to vote for Brad, Thelma and myself to help keep Kennedale a safe city where all of its residents can thrive and to ensure that Kennedale can succeed as a community.

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The changing of the charter is divided into two propositions, one for Section 3.03 and the other for Section 3.06. Choices are Yes or No.

Proposition A

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

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.

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 as 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.




To be discussed next week.


Place 2

To be discussed next week.


Place 4

To be discussed next week.


Proposition A/Proposition B

Since an update of the charter cannot occur until at least two years after it was last updated, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND that Kennedale voters vote NO on both propositions.


Last Week

The city council and the steering committee for revising the comprehensive plan met on Monday. The city did not record the meeting online.


This Week

The Keep Kennedale Beautiful committee (6:00 p.m.) and the Parks Board (6:30 p.m.) are scheduled to meet.

The Parks Board is expected to make a recommendation regarding a list of playground equipment for TownCenter and Rogers Farms Parks. Their work session reports include:

Budget for Parks $250,000 priorities


Pickleball courts

Shade covers for Sonora Park

Railroad Park

Equipment repair and maintenance

Multi-purpose field

Basketball court at Rogers Farm Park

Discuss possible zip line at Sonora Park.


Public Hearings

None known.



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


Other News....

TAD/Ransomware latest

The latest onTarrant Appraisal District (TAD) ransomware attack. The Fort Worth Report story: .


Kennedale Police Officer Arrested

The story: Kennedale Police Officer Arrested for Alleged Child Injury ( .


Tarrant County to use prenumbered ballots

The Tarrant County Elections will be using prenumbered ballots for mail-in voters in the November election. The story: .


Kennedale Observer Commentary

So, what do you look for when choosing between candidates. You look for someone who thinks similarly to how you think. You look for someone who will stand up for you when an issue comes close to you and your home.

I have often made reference to the 2019 council of rubber-stampers. If you are not going to get representatives to stand up FOR you, do you really believe you and your neighborhood are safe?

The 2019 council approved the Hammock Creek Apartments despite large citizen opposition. They followed that with changes to the rules/standards for different multi-family zoning types, rubber-stamping whatever George Campbell and Melissa Dailey wanted. They followed that with the Alta Apartments towering over their Steeplechase neighbors. [If they are willing to do that to the Steeplechase residents, do you really believe you and your neighborhood are safe?]

In August 2020 that council continued its rubber-stamping ways, approving new townhome rules/standards without limits on density. September 2020, after P&Z voted to deny, the rubber-stampers approved tiny lots on Mansfield Cardinal Road. During the public hearing it was suggested to table the item until a meeting with the HOA of the Brookstone Estates could be held. The developer, wanting no part of that, declined. Rubber-stamping councils don't care who they affect.

What about fees and taxes? Yes, you might gain insight on how candidates feel about how much pain residents should suffer, but to some degree, this also falls in the rubber-stamping category. Have you ever seen a city manager that did not love spending money? There may be a few around, but I don't believe we have seen one in Kennedale in recent times. If you select rubber-stampers, you can expect to feel the pain in the wallet.

When your council has too many rubber-stampers you have lost an extremely important item in the checks and balances of the way city government is supposed to work. On page 8 of the current adopted budget is an organizational chart where it lists the residents of the city on top. If you have too many rubber-stampers, you no longer have that power, and residents are no longer in charge.

The current council has rubber-stampers in Place 4 and Place 5, both of which have Kennedale Observer grades of “F”. [ ] Currently Place 3 has a “B” grade overall, but if you take just his votes since May 2023, he would have a grade of “F”. Unless voters take charge, Kennedale will again be heading in the wrong direction.

The current council in February approved the Crestview Townhomes despite the citizens' opposition and the increased danger of putting approximately ten times the number of vehicles on that less-than-optimal stretch of Crestview Drive. Is your neighborhood next?


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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Kennedale Observer website:


Latest Kennedale Observer newsletter:


City Council Grades:


Old Texas Raceway property project:


City Council Comparison (May 2021-May 2023 vs. May 2019-May 2021):


The City of Kennedale website:


Mayor and City Council Emails:

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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