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The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

Business Spectacle: Lilys Hair Studio (video)
Business Spectacle: Lily's Hair Studio (video)
October 26, 2023

    Freddie Guerra

    Photo courtesy Freddie Guerra
    Coppell resident Freddie Guerra is a candidate running for Place 5 on the Coppell City Council. Election Day is May 4.

    What inspired you to run for office?

    In 1985, I had the opportunity to attend Texas Boys State.  It inspired and taught me the inner workings of the political system, how to be a servant leader, a patriot and a good citizen. Most of all, Texas Boys State taught me that even though we have many differences we can still unite under certain fundamental values. After spending a week with 800 boys from across Texas, I believed there is more that binds us than divides us, and there is no U.S.without democracy, no democracy without politics and no politics without people willing to become politicians.  I was fortunate enough to be elected Mayor of  “Turner City” which has been a cornerstone for my career that focuses on the betterment of communities and the foundation of my values to be spiritual, to be me, empower, trust, talk straight, have fun and dare to be different.

    What experiences prepared you for this role? 

    Career Focused on the Betterment of Communities.  I currently serve as the Digital Water Solutions Leader for North America for GHD Inc. where I bring clarity to the dynamic and complex world of municipal government and utilities to build, communicate and provide strategies, tools and solutions that help these organizations transform in the post-digital age. Work with commissions, councils, city management, stakeholders and citizens to gain consensus and resolve complex business issues in water, environment, energy and transportation as well as to optimize CAPEX and OPEX, streamline workflows and processes, enhance the customer experience, increase operational excellence and empower employees to unleash the power of digital tools and innovation.

    Currently Serving on the Coppell’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission and Coppell ISD’s Bond Oversight Committee.  I have served on Coppell’s Planning and Zoning Commission since 2017 and Coppell ISD’s Bond Oversight Committee. I have also previously served on CISD’s Bond Steering Committee. Prior to moving to Coppell, I served on the Town of Flower Mound’s P&Z and Environmental Conservation Commission.

    Volunteering to Bring Pride Back to Neighborhoods in Surrounding Communities. I have volunteered my service on nonprofit boards like Keep Dallas Beautiful (KDB), Keep Arlington Beautiful (KAB) and Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas. While the Vice President of KDB, I planned and implemented the “Pride in Your Neighborhood” program empowering citizens to enhance their communities through beautification projects. As the President of KAB, I helped establish an “Adopt-a-Spot” pilot program to encourage citizens to participate in local beautification and litter clean-ups.

    What do you think are the biggest issues currently facing Coppell?

    Coppell’s future rests on the safety, sustainability and resilience of our neighborhoods and infrastructure. With populations aging, budgets shrinking, citizen expectations rising, demographics changing, aging housing stocks and stresses and shocks becoming more frequent, new approaches are needed along with our capacity to harness innovation to ensure the city is future-ready. 

    The comforts, infrastructure and neighborhoods of Coppell today were born from inspiration and vision of past leaders and citizens. We must find ways to continue to honor our past that is represented today as our values, character, beauty and sense of community, yet ensure we get the future right. Coppell must re-focus some investments, efforts and programs to the neighborhood level. 

    In addition, we are facing social, economic and climate disruptions as well as competition from municipalities in North Texas that are radically altering the expectations and behaviors of our citizens. These expectations run the gamut:

    • Re-think new ways to generate revenue streams to offset potential/further losses in taxes
    • Balance efforts and investments in all commercial areas
    • Right tools and resources for City staff to maximize investments and optimize existing assets
    • More sustainable, connected and safer infrastructure, mobility and living conditions
    • Easy, convenient access within 20-minutes to many of the places and services we use daily 
    • Age-friendly programs and initiatives
    • Greater inclusiveness
    • Affordable as well as diverse housing options including considerations for vertical density

    This means morphing into a sustainable, inclusive, prosperous and resilient City to meet the threats and opportunities on the horizon while honoring our past. 

    What are your plans to address these concerns?  

    Addressing declining tax revenue which will affect our ability to provide services, maintain infrastructure and meet the needs of our residents.  I would collaborate with other council members to explore alternative revenue sources, implement cost-saving measures, prioritize spending via a data-driven process, integrate generative design for infrastructure projects, evaluate alternative delivery methods for delivering capital projects, promote public-private partnerships and adopt dynamic/adaptive master planning process for agility to respond to opportunities and threats on the horizon. In addition, focus on a registration program for vacant storefronts and low occupancy buildings to add revenue. 

    To improve availability of housing for all income levels, we should consider zoning changes to allow for higher density developments, requirements for developers to include a percentage of affordable housing units in new developments, or relaxing policies related to accessory dwelling units.  Leverage the DART Silver Line Station to explore opportunities for further transit oriented development near Beltline Road and Denton Tap Road along with petitioning for a soundwall for our residents south of the DART line. 

    Substandard properties and neighborhood profoundly affect our health, education and safety. Coppell needs to implement strategic code enforcement programs to serve as our first line of defense for addressing property challenges and neighborhood decline. A priority must be made to ensure sufficient funding and staffing for code enforcement. 

    How would you describe Coppell to a stranger? 

    Coppell offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life while still providing convenient access to urban amenities. With its well-maintained parks, scenic trails and abundant green spaces, it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. The community fosters a strong sense of camaraderie, with neighborly bonds often forming at local events, farmers’ markets and community gatherings. Our city is known for its excellent schools, safe neighborhoods and a laid-back atmosphere that makes it feel like home to its residents.

    Yet, our city is at a crossroads and we must continue to adapt and innovate in response to our aging population, declining sales revenue and millennials.  We must adapt our infrastructure, services and housing to accommodate the needs of older residents.  We need to think about new ways to generate revenue due to declining sales revenue related to various factors such as shifts in consumer behaviors, technological advancement, economic changes and Rule 3.334. And we must plan to meet the needs of millennials and their preferences for urban living, sustainability and access to amenities as well as affordable housing to ensure the future of our city and schools.

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    About the Contributor
    Sahasra Chakilam
    Sahasra Chakilam, News Editor

    Sahasra is a junior and the news editor of The Sidekick with an unwavering passion for reporting and writing. She’s a hardworking student at Coppell High School by day and an active media enthusiast by night. She loves to be outside, walking along scenic trails teeming with a multitude of wildlife. Otherwise, she’s biking through the roads of her neighborhood, enjoying the bountiful winds in Texas with her fellow friends. 

    If not outdoors, she pursues her love of all media, ranging from TV shows to movies to music. She enjoys unwinding with her favorite humorous sitcoms like New Girl or Community or some of her favorite iconic movies, like Mamma Mia and La La Land. At other times, she prefers to broaden her horizons by exploring new movies and sharing her thoughts on them through reviews. You can also often find her at many indie and pop concerts, fully immersing herself in the atmosphere. She has a broad and diverse range of music she loves to listen to, ranging from Lana Del Rey to Tyler the Creator, but she is a big Swiftie at heart.

    You can contact her at [email protected] or follow her on 'X' (@sahasrachak24).

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