DISTRICT 8 CANDIDATES

Candidate List in Ballot Order

Question 1: What environmental goals would you actively pursue as a member of the Arlington City Council?

BARBARA ODOM-WESLEY

Having served on the NCTCOG Regional Transportation Council, I have become acutely aware of the need to reduce carbon emissions into our environment.  The air quality in North Texas has been downgraded to serious.  We need to reduce the number of cars on the road and transition to electric vehicles.  Happily, we have started to move the city in that direction.  Our newest VIA vehicles are hybrid and we are transitioning our city fleet as vehicles need replacement.  I would continue these efforts and work to increase consumer education about the benefits of electric vehicles.

CHRIS "DOBI" DOBSON

Despite HB 40, I will continue to push for the end of urban gas wells. I will also be urging for the creation of both apiaries and bat colonies, as well as changing city code to allow for vegetable gardens in front yards rather than grass. I would also like to see protections for our local water sources and recharge zones.

Question 2: The DFW Region has been reclassified from moderate to serious nonattainment for ozone (ground-level smog). Please discuss your platform regarding improving Arlington’s and the region’s air quality and list specific policies and actions that you would work to implement.

BARBARA ODOM-WESLEY

I discussed the need to improve air quality in question 1. Additionally, I would work to enhance regional mobility and connectivity.  This could take many forms but the goal is to reduce the number of gasoline-powered cars on our roads.  Initiatives must include expansion of the availability of charging stations throughout the city.

CHRIS "DOBI" DOBSON

The DFW lack of attainment of particulate reductions needs to be a broad based effort to force the improvement of emissions of any new industries as well as end the grandfathering of the cement kilns in Waxahachie. I believe we can also look to reduce traffic congestion by limiting diesel truck traffic during rush hours.

Question 3: Do you believe climate change is occurring and is exacerbated by human activities? If so, what should Arlington be doing to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to lower our contributions to the pollution that can lead to climate change. Please elaborate.

BARBARA ODOM-WESLEY

Yes.  I believe climate change is occurring and is exacerbated by our activities.  I think we need to increase the health literacy of our residents.  This need was also highlighted in the Unity Council report.  We need a movement to get people out of their cars and into more healthful activities.  This means we need to provide safe parks and walking trails and bicycle lanes and promote physical activity.

CHRIS "DOBI" DOBSON

I do believe in climate change as it is a dynamic system.  Human activities do affect these systems although I am far more concerned about pollution than carbon dioxide emissions.

Question 4: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and 150 other U.S. cities have developed and are implementing environmental sustainability climate action plans. The primary goal of these plans is to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050, or before. Do you think that the City of Arlington should develop a comprehensive climate action plan?

BARBARA ODOM-WESLEY

Yes.  We need a climate action plan for environmental sustainability.  This plan needs to be comprehensive and consist of short, mid-term and long term goals.  It should include components such as resilience strategies, clean energy targets, and economic & social goals.  Our recent freeze, power outage and water shortage highlight the need to plan to mitigate the effects of climate change.

CHRIS "DOBI" DOBSON

Yes

Question 5: Many peer-reviewed studies document public health and safety risks from living close  to gas drilling. Arlington residents have become increasingly concerned about health impacts because of drilling and fracking-related pollution. How would you address this public health issue?  Please elaborate.

BARBARA ODOM-WESLEY

 I agree, drilling and fracking pose a health and safety threat to nearby residents, especially.  Municipalities are restricted in our ability to limit drilling by HB40.  However, we can enforce setback requirements and recently recommended measuring from property lines instead of primary structure for day care centers.  We must work to protect health and safety within the legal restrictions.

CHRIS "DOBI" DOBSON

As I’ve said I have been asking for a moratorium on urban drilling for a decade now and I believe the best method to reduce overall drilling is through vigorous enforcement through the use of FLIR cameras either on drones, through light aircraft, or ground based cameras. In addressing any concern of the public we must reach out to ensure that we have an accurate view of the problem from the perspective of our residents.

Question 6: Single-use plastic bags and extruded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) litter our city and are especially prevalent in and near our waterways, including the Trinity River. Do you support the reduction of single-use disposable plastic bags and extruded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam)?  Please elaborate.

BARBARA ODOM-WESLEY

Yes, I do support these restrictions.  To date, guidelines are voluntary.  More public education is needed and more stringent requirements need to be phased in.

CHRIS "DOBI" DOBSON

Yes. I believe we can encourage people to engage in less conspicuous consumerism.

Question 7: Would you support an ordinance for a City-wide tree planting campaign to increase Arlington’s tree canopy? Trees would be planted on City and residential properties to mitigate the urban heat island effect.

BARBARA ODOM-WESLEY

Yes.  I do support city-wide tree planting.  Arlington recently strengthened the tree ordinance to preserve more trees by new developments.  I think your idea to plant 400,000 trees is excellent.

CHRIS "DOBI" DOBSON

Yes, this is particularly interesting to me as I know that tree canopies very much reflect the racial and socioeconomic divide prevalent in our city.