City Council Candidate Response - Cheryl Ballard Place 2

About the Candidate
I am Cheryl Ballard and I am running for City Council Place 2 in the upcoming City’s Elections.
My husband Larry and I moved to Forney in 2006 into the Trails of Chestnut Meadows where we still make our home. We have 4 beautiful children and 9 grandchildren.
With over 20 years as a retail store owner, upon our arrival to Forney, I began to look at the amazing potential of this city and this region. After a couple years of searching for a good location and viable overhead we launched our retail market “doxa” in the seed barn of the Old Cotton Gin. I was thrilled to be located in one of the many historical buildings in the downtown district of Forney. 
In the early launch of our business, I began to look at various opportunities to invest my time into the city and in so I joined the Forney Downtown Business Association. I desired to find a place for my voice to be heard as a small business owner who chose to invest in the city and its retail market.
I have 30 years experience in varied aspects of small business and the skills that entails from building, to book work, management, compliance and much more. Along with this I have a lifetime of engagement in the arts and I look forward to lending that insight to the emerging marketplace of Forney. Along with founding, structuring and under girding our business I also have served in the state, the nation, and internationally as a keynote speaker in multiple denominations and Churches for over 20 years; ordained under Henderson Metro Ministries in 1994 and the Federation of Churches and Ministers International in 2004. I received additional certifications in Crisis Stress Management, Trauma, Disaster Relief, Confidentiality, Ethics and Law and others which promoted my abilities to community service to another level enabling me to serve all faiths without prejudice as an ordained Senior Chaplain under the International Federation of Chaplains in 2015. In functioning alongside many leadership entities I am recognized as understanding protocol and government with positive conflict resolution skills and a strong work ethic.
How many City Council meetings have you attended from Jan. 1, 2017 until the time you filed your paperwork to run in the municipal election? This number of meetings attended represents those attended before you filed your paperwork.
From Jan 1, 2017 to the day I filed for Place 2, I was unable to attend council meetings due to my calendar.
During the time you have been a resident of the City of Forney, how many City Council elections have you voted in?
I have voted both local and national elections.  I am uncertain the exact number of times since moving to Forney in 2006.
Do you own a business? If so, do you currently do work for the city of Forney or any real estate developers or home owners’ associations located Inside or outside the Forney city limits? If you are elected or re-elected, do you plan to continue to do work for the City of Forney or any real estate developers or home owners’ associations inside or outside the Forney city limits while in office?
Yes, I own “doxa gallery of gifts” located on 210 East Broad Street, Forney, Texas. I opened it without any assistance or incentives from the local boards or committees or local sponsorship.
I do not work for the city of Forney or any real estate developers or HOA’s either inside or outside of the city limits.
How do you propose to work with other members of the City Council and the Mayor as a team for the betterment of the City of Forney and its citizens?
 As a candidate for Place 2 of the Forney City Council, I have been meeting with various officials, board members, business owners and citizens for an expanded understanding of inter-relational connectivity or where it could be strengthened.  I am coming as a citizen, to the citizens, to be a voice in that progress.  It is my sense that we must move forward within the government chosen by the voters of Forney and facilitate its success while addressing the concerns of the community with the challenges that our rapid growth produces. We must find solutions to current issues and create an attainable vision for all of Forney with a synergistic incremental build out plan that will create better tomorrows and produce legacy for our children and grandchildren.  “Where there is unity and relationship, there is victory!”
In your opinion, what action or actions, if any, should the City of Forney take concerning the Markout Water Corporation situation?
The city of Forney should take actions in regard to the Markout Water Corporation in the best interest of all parties concerned as they are each individually impacted. The complete review of accurate information in regards to the cities overall growth and those impacted must be studied objectively and with the future in view. Forney is going to grow and the infrastructure to maintain that growth must be on line and prepared to answer to the safety needs of our citizens and address those needs proactively.  The decision includes the financial impact of all parties, the City, Markout’s situation at this time, the citizens, and the fiscal responsibilities in regard to each of these entities. These issues must be reviewed in light of the greater good and growth and in so the City of Forney must make a decision on the facts for the future interest, safety and growth of our city. 
In your opinion, what are the three most serious challenges or issues the city of Forney will face during your two-year term if you are elected or re-elected?
1. Providing and implementing a thoroughfare and mobility plan with an incremental build out that will address current issues and proactively prepare for continued growth while working  in tandem with Tx.Dot to implement projects in the most time expedient manner.  We must have an infrastructure in place that provides optimal response times for the Forney Police Department, Forney Fire Dept., EMT and Ambulance services, Public utility and service workers, as well as our citizens, to provide us the safety and ease of mobility that our home town value system demands.
2. Working collaboratively with all boards to address the challenges at hand and to increase their effectiveness to meet the needs of the community.  Working with Parks and Recreation for our families and the EDC, for increase in  our tax base and to develop a retail environment that will drive business to Downtown Forney and the city while creating new job markets and the residents that will follow.
3. Working on bringing unity to narrow some of the division within the city for the benefit of the Forney’s citizens, its legacy and its future
How do you propose to strengthen the relationship between the City of Forney and Forney ISD?
I reached out to the President of the School Board, Keith Bell to find out the state of the relationship of Forney ISD and the current city government.  I was informed that “the communication and the collaboration between the city and the Forney ISD has been better than in the last 19 years”.  In answer to the question and in light of this statement I will work alongside this progress to unify and continue the positive momentum.

Forney Messenger

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 936, Forney, TX 75126
Physical Address: 201 W. Broad St., Forney, TX 75126
Phone: 972-564-3121
Fax: 972-552-3599