Hollywood Park Homeowners Association Invites Run-Off Candidates to Forum

Filed under: City |

The Hollywood Park Homeowners Association has invited the candidates involved in the run-off elections to a political discussion forum.

The candidates are involved in the races for Duncanville Mayor and the representing Councilmember for District 4.

Current Mayor David Green and former Councilmember Deborah Hodge are in the Mayoral run-off, and incumbent District 4 Councilmember Grady Smithey and Mark Cooks are in the District 4 run-off.

The political discussion forum will be held on Monday, June 18, at 7:00PM at the Duncanville Fieldhouse located at 1700 S. Main Street, at the Highway 67 intersection.

The forum is presented by the Hollywood Park Homeowners Association, Inc.

Included below is the biographical and political backgrounds of each candidate that was published on April 29, 2012 on MyDuncanville.com.


David Green

Occupation/main source of income:

  • Retired President and CEO of Dallas Commercial Warehouses (1961 to 2001)
  • Mayor of Duncanville, Texas

Current civic involvement/highlights:

  • Duncanville ISD Education Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Duncanville Chamber of Commerce, Governmental Affairs Committee
  • Duncanville Rotary Club, Keep Duncanville Beautiful Board – Recycle Man
  • Southwest Dallas County Regional Transportation Committee (Past Chairman)
  • Metroplex Mayors Association (President 2006-2007), North Texas Commission, Board Member
  • Best Southwest (Chairman of the Board of Directors 2009)
  • National League of Cities, Transportation and Infrastructure Steering Committee Member

Previous civic involvement/accomplishments:

  • Duncanville Planning and Zoning Commission (1998-2001)
  • Planning and Zoning Committee, Vice-Chairman (1999-2001)
  • Duncanville Police Department Volunteer, 500+ hours
  • Duncanville Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Past President
  • Partners for A Safe Duncanville, Member and one of the organizing founders
  • Duncanville Citizens on Patrol, Member, Duncanville Citizens Fire Academy, Graduate
  • 2007 Duncanville Man of the Year, Duncanville Chamber of Commerce
  • Duncanville Representative on the Policy Work Group of the Southern Gateway Project and the Southwest
  • Dallas County Regional Transportation Committee
  • Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition, Past Executive Committee Member
  • Tex-21 (Transportation Excellence for the 21st Century), Past Member & Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • River of Trade Corridor Coalition, Founding Member
  • United States Conference of Mayors, Former Member of the Transportation and Communications Policy Committee
  • Joe Pool Lake Planning Council, Member
  • Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Past Member of the Board of Directors
  • Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, Past Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Guaranty Bank – Oak Cliff, Bank Director and Chairman of the Loan and Discount Committee
  • Distinguished Service Award, Oak Cliff Jaycees
  • Dallas Independent School District, Past Chairman of the ESAA Advisory Committee
  • Dallas Motion Picture Classification Board, Past Vice-Chairman
  • Cliff Temple Baptist Church, Past Chairman of Deacons


  • Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, Bachelor of Business Administration (1961)
  • W.H. Adamson High School, Dallas, Texas (1957)

Previous public offices sought/held:

  • Mayor of Duncanville, Texas (2004 – present)
  • Duncanville City Councilman, District 1 (2001 – 2004), Duncanville Mayor Pro-Tem (2002)

Question 1: What is the biggest issue you see facing the City of Duncanville and what would you do to address it?

  1. My number one goal is to continue to reduce the General Fund Debt. When I was elected to office in 2001, Duncanville’s General Fund Debt was $28,942,456. Today this has been reduced to $5,714,375. This is a reduction in General Fund Debt of $23,228,081. With the voters help, I will continue this reduction and in 2015 our General Fund Debt will be $0. The reduction since 2001 has been made possible by sound fiscal management of our budget and solid economic growth. During the 2003 to 2011 period, the appraised commercial real estate value on our tax rolls has been increased by $105,000,000 even with the decrease of property values on commercial property in the last three or four years. We don’t need new taxes. We need to tightly manage our budget and bring in new business. A few of the projects we have brought to Duncanville during this period include Pappadeaux’s, Main Station, Hilton Garden Inn & Conference Center, Champions Cove, Costco, Bella Ruscello Apartment Homes, Shops atWaterview Park, Best Western Inn & Suites, Aldi Grocery, W&B Refrigeration, and many more. Duncanville has a strong economic base which has allowed our City to maintain excellent Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s financial ratings.
  2. Expand the Main Street Project and work with developers and landlords to upgrade the existing shopping centers and buildings to fill the vacant spaces. It is important to continue redeveloping the downtown Duncanville area to encourage businesses and create a greater quality of life for residents. Duncanville is a “first tier” city to Dallas and must redevelop to prevent decline. This will require utilizing various revenue sources such as grants from NTCCOG (North Texas Central Council of Governments), Dallas County, the Duncanville Community Economic Development Board, the City of Duncanville, landlords, and possibly TIF funds.
  3. Continue the work already begun in developing the Duncanville Field House into the premier field house south of the Trinity River. This will be accomplished by securing naming rights, attracting additional basketball and volleyball tournaments, increasing league play, upgrading food service and attracting the players from our area to use our field house instead of traveling north to centers in Plano and Frisco. All of these items will need the support of the council and city staff.

Question 2: How would you lead the City of Duncanville differently from your opponents?

My background in operating a corporation for 40 years and serving as a Bank Director, as well as my varied city and community leadership positions, has given me a wide background of experience that I will continue to use to benefit the City of Duncanville. I have participated in many hours of continuing education as a Councilmember and Mayor. This has prepared me to understand the operations of municipal government from planning and zoning, economic development, finance, and the responsibilities and limitations of a City Manager-Mayor/Council form of government.

I am the best choice for Mayor of Duncanville because I have the experience and desire to continue effectively leading the city in the 21st Century. My experience on the Duncanville Planning and Zoning Commission, as a District 1 Councilman, and for the past 8 years as Mayor, demonstrates my commitment to working for the betterment of the citizens and City of Duncanville. I believe that experience is important and that is the major factor separating me from my opponents. I have city, regional, state, and national experience in municipal issues. I believe that candidates for elected offices should show a commitment to their community and have the experiences to support that commitment before they run for office.

Since the May 2011 elections, Duncanville has had a divided City Council which has resulted in continuous and embarrassing displays of behavior by council members at City Council meetings. Since that election, the City Manager and City Secretary have resigned, the Economic Development Director’s contract was not renewed, the Duncanville Community Economic Development Board was replaced with the new council members’ selections, and the City Attorney was fired and replaced with a candidate of the new council’s choosing. These actions come after $110,000,000 worth of new business was brought to Duncanville in the past ten years and the General Fund Debt was reduced by $23,228,081 and will be totally paid off in August 2015. There is a great deal of turmoil among city workers because of these actions. The uncomfortable truth is that relatively few people vote in municipal elections and voter turnout in Duncanville averages about 8%. Duncanville residents are allowing a relative handful of others to make the decisions about who governs their everyday lives.

Deborah Hodge

Deborah Hodge was born Deborah Wallace in Davenport, Iowa in 1950. Her father, Warren, was a farmer who supplemented his family’s income by working the second shift at ALCOA. He also built and established Wallace’s Garden Center and Greenhouse, a successful business, that is still in operation today. Her Mother, Esther, lost her battle with breast cancer when Deborah was six years old. Deborah spent many hours working in the fields and family business, learning the value of hard work and good business management. It was during these early years of her life that Deborah made a lifetime commitment to wholeheartedly follow God.

Deborah met Lyle Hodge through the youth ministry at Grandview Baptist Church soon after he returned home from his tour of duty in Vietnam. They were married in 1970 and had five children before moving their family to Texas in 1985. After settling here, Dr. Hodge concentrated on establishing Hodge Chiropractic Clinic while Deborah devoted herself to nurturing their family. All five of their children have since graduated from Duncanville High School. Deborah and Lyle’s home is a busy place with frequent visits by their children and grandchildren. Currently, Deborah works as the Manager of Business Affairs for Hodge Chiropractic Clinic on Cedar Ridge Road in Duncanville.

In 2003, motivated by an eminent domain lawsuit filed by the City to take their family’s home away from them, Deborah entered the world of Duncanville politics. In 2006, after saving their home from eminent domain, Deborah was elected to be the Councilmember from District 4 and served until 2008. Deborah also served on the Duncanville Community and Economic Development Corporation until she resigned in February to run for Mayor.

Deborah is a 2005 graduate of the Duncanville Citizens Fire Academy and served as the Treasurer of its Alumni Association in 2006. She is also a 2010 graduate of the Duncanville Citizen’s Police Academy and is an active member of the Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association. Deborah was a mentor at Duncanville High School in a program sponsored by the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church to help students achieve their goals. Deborah is also a volunteer with Sound Options Pregnancy Services in Duncanville. Deborah has been a member of the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce since 1985.

In addition to her church, family, business, and civic activities, Deborah has served as a volunteer with the Dallas County Medical Reserve Corp. and is a trained Disaster Reserve Volunteer through the Dallas Area Chapter of the American Red Cross to assist with any Emergency Disaster Relief Shelter at Faith Bible Church. Deborah’s hobbies include gardening, reading, and league bowling at Red Bird Lanes in Duncanville.

Question 1: What is the biggest issue you see facing the City of Duncanville and what would you do to address it?

Duncanville is facing several big issues. Which issue you consider the biggest will depend on your personal experiences within Duncanville. If you are the victim of a purse snatching or home invasion, then you might consider crime to be the biggest issue facing Duncanville.

Since we all can see the empty storefronts, and we all know that taxes are high and revenues are down, you may be inclined to feel that economic development or being more business friendly is the biggest issue.

Or maybe you have felt ashamed or just disgusted while watching a City Council meeting that has been controlled through disrespect and intolerance. Then our need for quality leaders could be the biggest issue for you.

You own experiences in Duncanville will determine what you believe to be the biggest issue and I am interested in working with you to make Duncanville a better home for all of us.

Question 2: How would you lead the City of Duncanville differently from your opponents?

One major difference is that I will treat all Councilmembers respectfully and equally without favoritism. I am a leader that will listen to all citizens and encourage them to be involved in reaching practicable solutions for their concerns.

Another significant difference is that I am detailed oriented when reading current contracts and budgets. I expect to find budgets being followed and contracts being honored. I also expect our City Charter to be adhered to in all matters.

I will only sign contracts that have been approved by a vote of the full Council. My signature on a document will mean that I am aware of what I am signing, and I will take full responsibility for all of my actions and decisions. I will only approve expenditures and reimbursements from City funds when lawfully allowed to do so.

For Member of Council, District 4

Grady W. Smithey

For 22 years, Grady W. Smithey Jr. has served as a Duncanville City Councilman. Grady has served seven terms as Mayor Pro Tem of Duncanville, was a member of the Regional Transportation Committee (RTC) of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) for 13 years and is secretary of the Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition (DRMC). In his 22 years of elective office, he had extensive experience in transportation and other issues facing local governments and became known in transportation circles as the “Road Warrior.” In 2007 Grady was honored by the Texas Transportation Commission who conferred their prestigious volunteer “Road Hand” award.

One of the original founding members of the Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition, Grady has been secretary of DRMC since the group’s inception in 1990. With the adoption of

“Transportation 2000” in 1985, the lack of representation for southwest Dallas County cities on the Regional Transportation Council came to his attention. To ensure representation on the RTC, in 1989 Grady devised and presented to Dallas County Judge Lee Jackson a plan whereby smaller cities would be given a voice. In the fall of 1989, Grady and Henry Wilson became RTC’s first two “Cluster City” representatives. Grady was the choice of the city councils of Duncanville, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Glenn Heights and Lancaster to represent them for 13 years.

Grady is retired from 33 years service with the U.S. Agriculture Department. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration from North Texas State University. Grady taught State and Local Government at Dallas Baptist University as an adjunct professor. In 1998, Duncanville Chamber of Commerce selected Grady as “Man of the Year”.

Grady was selected by the American Political Science Association as a Fellow in Congressional Operations in Washington, D.C. While working for U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), Grady authored several pieces of legislation, including two sections of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974. U.S. Congressman W.R. ‘Bob’ Poage (D-TX) selected Grady to serve as Legislative Assistant on the U.S. House Committee of Agriculture.

Grady has been a member of the First Baptist Church of Duncanville for 60 years. He and his wife Judy have been married for 47 years and have one son, Grady Smithey III, a certified software engineer at Research In Motion (RIM) Corp. in Las Colinas and one daughter, Dr. Shannon Smithey, a political science professor at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. Grady and Judy are proud grandparents of three granddaughters, Kate, Claire and Lucy.

Question 1: What is the biggest issue you see facing the City of Duncanville and what would you do to address it?

I want to assure that we maintain and enhance the quality of life available to current and future Duncanville citizens. I believe three issues are paramount in accomplishing this goal.

First, we must continue to reduce our city’s bonded indebtedness by effectively managing our budget while holding down taxes and maintaining quality city services.

Second, I want to continue the economic development which we have successfully undertaken since my return to Council service in 1998. We have brought in over $130 million in new development in this time.

Third, I want to continue to improve our transportation system. We are close to completing our major thoroughfare system. Mass transit is one of the keys in the City’s New Urbanism plan which is anchored by the redevelopment of Main Street. I will continue to work to find an affordable way for my community to fund mass transit.

Question 2: How would you lead the City of Duncanville differently from your opponents?

My educational background and my years of experience at national, state, regional and local governmental levels enable me to be uniquely qualified to provide leadership on our city council. My mother was a Duncanville Public School teacher and my father was a Dallas Firefighter. They developed in me an obligation to be of public service.

Duncanville has been and always will be my home. I am thankful and appreciative of my opportunities to serve its citizens. I have no personal agenda other than to be of service.

Mark D. Cooks

Mark D. Cooks is a senior vice president and community banking district manager for Wells Fargo Bank in Dallas. He is responsible for managing business units with multiple store locations that provide retail and business products. He guides his team through strategic leadership in achieving the Wells Fargo vision – meeting all our customers’ financial needs and helping them succeed financially.

Cooks has over three decades of financial services experience. He joined Wells Fargo in 1994 after gaining management and operations experience with Cullen Frost Bank and Nations Bank. He has won several awards for service excellence.

With such a strong commitment to his community, he currently serves on the boards of the Dallas Black Chamber, Gateway Charter School, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Community Service Board for Urban League Dallas. He is also an elder at Concord Church of Dallas.

Previous community service includes board memberships with the Oak Cliff Chamber of

Commerce, Dallas Southwest Medical Center Hospital, City of Cedar Hill Park Board and the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center High School Advisory Board. He was Finance Chairman for the Circle Ten Boy Scouts of America and a coach for the Desoto Youth Basketball League.

Cooks attended Dallas Baptist University, the American Institute of Banking and completed copious leadership and financial courses throughout his banking career. He enjoys supporting others professionally and spiritually, matching vocational interest with personal talent.

He and his wife, Cynthia, have five children and five grandchildren. Outside of his family time, Cooks enjoys traveling to scenic golf courses and the study of real estate developments.

Question 1: What is the biggest issue you see facing the City of Duncanville and what would you do to address it?

The biggest issue that I see the City of Duncanville facing is more businesses are leaving our city rather than moving into Duncanville. This has had a negative affect on our housing community. To address these issues, as the next councilman, I would enhance our appeal to new businesses to expedite the expansion of our city’s tax base. A strong and well supported business community is indicative of our residential strength and interests. We have several empty homes and vacant buildings. With these two highly important issues affecting each other, they rank at the top of my priority list. I will work to build stronger partnerships with financial institutions, particularly in developing products and services that result in increased valuation of our residential communities, including services that help convert renters to homeowners. To attract new businesses, I strongly believe that we can tackle these issues of empty homes and vacant buildings by making improvements to our overall housing stock to drive the expansion of our business community. My goal for new businesses that move to Duncanville is to connect business owners with persons of interest with the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce and encourage participation in workshops and programs that will enhance their businesses and assist with marketing their businesses to our residents. Ultimately, the most important aspect of attracting new businesses to Duncanville is that our residents have interest in their products and services and are committed to patron those businesses.

Question 2: How would you lead the City of Duncanville differently from your opponents?

I would like to focus on my leadership skills and what I will do for the City of Duncanville rather than critique the leadership of Grady Smithy and my other opponent, James Hubener. The experience that I have gained from service on various boards and commissions has fueled my desire to represent the City of Duncanville District 4. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my fresh ideas and build a working coalition with surrounding cities to improve the City of Duncanville, not as a career politician, but as a passionate neighbor and resident that will be here for many years. Over the past year, I have observed the limited number of voices being heard at City Council meetings. I am a leader that listens! I want to hear from the residents of Duncanville and encourage them to attend City Council meetings, join boards and commissions and actively participate in events hosted by the city. Duncanville has a great opportunity to get more residents involved and more voices heard. Part of my responsibility as the district’s representative is to ensure that the recommendations that given, are fully investigated and researched to see if they are effective and feasible solutions for our city. The quality of life that Duncanville is known to provide to our citizens to make our city “The Perfect Blend of Family, Community and Business” should be shared and created by those that live here.