Mark Smits (Place 6)
What inspired you to run for Place 6 on the Coppell City Council?
I have been a resident of Coppell for almost 30 years. After watching the political events of 2020, I was inspired to run for an elected office. The citizens of Coppell deserve outstanding representation at the city level. I believe my experiences as an Army veteran, a Corporate 200 executive, a small business owner and the father of four Coppell HS graduates provides me with the qualifications to do a great job for the city over the next 3 years.
What experiences prepared you for the role of Place 6 on the Coppell City Council?
I have excelled at every role that I have been asked to perform. As an officer in the US Army, I led my platoon to achieve the highest level of military readiness. I worked my way through the ranks at Abbott Laboratories to reach the Vice President level. I started a small business (Descarado Winery) in 2016 that continues to gain momentum after starting from nothing. All of these experiences have helped to hone my leadership, communication and analytical skills. I have experience managing budgets larger than the city budget. I believe if given the opportunity, my experiences will add value to the city.
What are the biggest issues currently facing Coppell?
Coppell faces serious tax issues in the next 3 years. State Rule 3.334’s direction to change sales tax distribution from Point of Origin to Point of Destination creates a large income shortfall for the city. I plan to take a COMMON SENSE practical approach to this issue. I want to protect the citizen’s hard earned tax dollars. I want to fully explore ALL spending and all sources of city revenue. Where practical, I propose we limit spending and where practical, I want to provide relief to the taxpayers. Only after careful analysis will the city council be able to make a sensible recommendation of the amount of spending cuts are practical or the amount of tax reduction is practical. The ultimate goal is to maintain the high standards of services that make Coppell special while protecting (and potentially reducing) the taxpayer burden.
What are your plans to address these concerns?
The city has already reduced spending by 10.5% in an effort to anticipate the loss of revenue expected from the changes to sales force distribution. I propose that each of these reductions be carefully vetted so that the citizens can be assured that nothing compromises the safety or the amenities that we enjoy as residents of Coppell. In addition to the reductions already in place, I propose further examination to see if there are other opportunities to reduce spending without compromising what makes Coppell a great place to live. Coppell also has to invest in new small businesses in order to increase revenue from sales tax. The key measure of success is to maintain the Coppell we all enjoy today without tax increases.
How would you describe Coppell to a stranger?
I would tell a stranger that Coppell is the ONLY city in Dallas County that maintains a “small town” sense of community in the middle of a large metropolitan area. By “small town”, I mean that the citizens of Coppell care about the city and each other. Neighbors help neighbors. The city is safe and secure. The schools are among the best in the state. Coppell has more parks per resident than any other city in Dallas County. Citizens share the same core values of community, family and education. Simply, Coppell is a great place to live!