Election Day is May 6 and the Fort Worth Report is committed to keeping you informed through our Election Central. 

To help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box, we asked every candidate to respond to a candidate questionnaire intended to touch on the most pressing issues candidates may face while serving in elected office. 

The candidate’s responses may be edited for grammar. 

District 9 includes Fort Worth’s downtown and the south central core of the city. To find out what district you live in, input your address here

Municipal elections are coming up. Here are some key dates:

April 24: Early voting begins 
May 2: Early voting ends 
May 6: Election Day    

Candidate survey 

Chris Reed, candidate for District 9 (Courtesy: Chris Reed campaign)

Name: Chris Reed

Age: 36

Occupation: Co-owner of a small digital development company

What are your qualifications to serve on Fort Worth’s City Council?

For the past year and change, I have followed our council’s agendas. My perspective is informed by observing matters at our council, other councils around North Texas and the country. Unlike many of our other candidates as well as the incumbents, I have been fortunate enough to live in, observe, and identify with cities beyond the metroplex, both in Texas and afar. And my appreciation for all that Fort Worth promises, extends from that.

My background is a ramble but I was born in Houston. I have moved around with my better half as her career evolved and we landed here in July 5th, 2020. Fortunately, I am a co-owner of a software development and consulting company where I have built my name on doing good work well with all manner of folks and developing software for more than a hundred clients big and small. I have mentored first generation students in Philadelphia, taught seminars on experience design in New York, oriented and acclimated Syrian refugees in Connecticut, assisted in neighborhood plumbing repairs in Fairmount during Uri, and experienced significant urban growth firsthand in Houston, Berlin, Austin, and Brooklyn.

While organizing with neighbors and community leaders near and far to improve swimming access around Forest Park Pool, I came to recognize the opportunities we have to improve our quality of life here as well as some of the challenges familiar to many of us – as a proud husband, an active father, and your engaged neighbor.

What are your top two priorities if elected to City Council? Describe briefly how you would approach these priorities.

Data driven development. We need more and better structured information – think breakevens and benchmarks – so that we can have more productive civic engagement and satisfaction as our city grows into what should be a top 5 city over the next few decades.

Accountable amenities. Our civic conversation is dominated by paradoxical promises of lower costs and more services. But we can’t just throw money at problems whether it’s our individual property taxes or our meandering police budget. We must set our sights on a future forward vision for our core district and that means building in feedback from the outset.

How would you characterize the performance of city management over the past five years?

We all deserve kudos for persevering through an undeniably rollicking time statewide, nationally, and globally. Our region has undergone tremendous growth and there’s much more to come in this new era of higher rates and next generation infrastructure. But let’s be real – city management is an opaque topic for most residents. How many residents know that their mayor makes what is it $29,000 a year and actually does not hold the executive power that David Cooke our city manager does? I see a city that is eager to step into its next phase of growth but is struggling to define its shared future. I’d like to see city management bring that vision into focus.

What is the single biggest issue your particular district faces?

How do we balance regional growth with central character? How we answer this question informs the answers to so many others. Should small businesses and low income folks be pushed to the periphery as commercial corridors and neighborhoods rise in value? What’s the appropriate infrastructure and land use? Our civic conversation needs to evolve from its donor-driven, command-and-control politicking to a more informed neighbor-led, data-driven discussion if we want to be able to address these challenges effectively and equitably.

How will you balance the concerns of your district vs. the city as a whole?

On the recommendation of a few newly met neighbors while I was working on the pool effort, I went to Lake Como Park where you can still see bricks in the ground with the names of the folks who once had given out of their own pocket to build the pool that had been there only to have the city literally pave over their efforts.

Whatever I do, I will not discount the efforts of other neighbors to make this city better, whatever they may be.

How can city leadership work to ensure all Fort Worth residents have equal access to city services regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and income?

Translations of more content would go a long way. Likewise, increased formal support for neighborhood associations would help us bring more and more effective voices to the table. Better and more info, and positive feedback loops.

Fort Worth’s annual general budget is currently around $915 million; do you feel this budget is appropriate, too large, or too small? If too large or too small, briefly describe how you would propose amending the budget.

We could always use more – but are we making effective use of what we have? When I looked at the pool operations, I saw pennywise management that effectively increased the city’s subsidy per pool visit. Sure it shrunk spending, but quality of service was the collateral damage. And it’s hot today – April 3rd. Anyways, public safety is our biggest spend and meanwhile every time there’s hail 20 miles away I have to go out to look to see if there’s a tornado nearby or I’ll end up half my spring in an indoor closet. Let’s get some 360 degree cameras up on the TexDOT towers and use that so we can better advise what’s happening where in realtime. I want to see more break-evens, benchmarks, and open accounting.

In 2023 the city will levy a tax rate of $0.7125 per $100 of assessed evaluation. If you would advocate for decreasing/increasing the tax rate what would you cut/add?

Some folks have approached me about pegging spending to growth. I am curious to look at it further but the majority of our property tax bill goes to entities other than the city, including schools, the water district, and county health. With bipartisan support for $16.5 billion in property tax relief just passed in the Texas Senate, much of this is out of City Council’s hands and they are trying to tie our hands further. Even so, by helping those other entities improve their own efficiency and reduce their tax rates, we could theoretically reduce our property tax burden without touching our rate.

As Fort Worth grows, how can the city ensure it keeps up with the pace of development?

We need to incentivize the feedback of shared prosperity. We have to balance growth with infrastructure and quality of life. Right now we have one public pool for one million people in this city and it’s not even open because even though it’s 90 degrees out today, it’s almost two months until that pool opens. How can people cool off here? How can we avoid unnecessarily spending all day in rage-inducing traffic or our trash day moving on short notice? Better communication is critical and it’s critical now. I don’t want to even talk about the pile up on 35 coming south into downtown at the forefront of Uri.

In the last year, the city council has limited opportunities for public comment and changed meeting schedules. How would you approach community engagement as a council member?

The reality is that public comment happens outside of the scheduled times as well. Public comment happens when I talk to you about an issue as a neighbor, not when city leadership brings down the tablets from on high. I am doing my best now to post my responses to all my questionnaire like this on my website in part because it’s the best, most direct way to communicate with folks, especially since I am trying to do this without passing my hat around.

What role does the City Council have in policing? Please describe how city council members should work to ensure the safety of their constituents.

Look at the map of Fort Worth and tell me any organization is supposed to have reasonable response times across all of that, whatever we do the CCPD half cent of sales tax that most anywhere else would go to transit. Look at the county’s idea of due process on the Dean trial and eagerness to move ARPA money into a bragging right for a FOP careerist. The reality is our city is safer than many by many measures but there are disparate experiences and impacts. But I am hoping my neighborhood police officer will follow up in response to my unanswered voicemail describing an abuse dispute I saw spill into the street last week.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If so, when.

No – but ask me if I have to quit my day job.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime, in Texas or another state? If so, what crime and when.


You can find other candidates’ responses by reading our voter guide here. The candidate’s responses may be edited for grammar.

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