Friday, August 19, 2022

2021 Candidate Forums to be Held Virtually

The Community Engagement Committee (CEC) is hosting the virtual SPIN Town Hall Candidate Forums for the public to hear from candidates for Southlake mayor, City Council and the Carroll ISD Board of Trustees.  

SPIN is a non-political program dedicated to facilitating citizen engagement and communication between residents and the City. The CEC is a group of citizen volunteers who oversee and facilitate SPIN events. This hosted session is intended to provide an opportunity to familiarize residents with each of the City Council candidates and their platforms. 

The virtual SPIN Town Hall Forum for mayor and City Council candidates takes place on Wednesday, April 7, from 6 – 8 p.m. The virtual forum for Carroll ISD Board of Trustees candidates takes place on Monday, April 12, from 6 – 8 p.m.   

Forums will be broadcast on the City’s cable channel (Frontier channel 34 and Spectrum digital channel 190) and online via Video on Demand. A recording of the forums will be made available within 48 hours of the end of the program.  

 The candidate forums are a public opportunity to familiarize residents with each of the candidates:  

Mayoral and City Council Candidates  


  • John Huffman  
  • Debra Edmondson  

Place 2  

  • Sabreena Hakemy  
  • Randy Robbins  

Place 5  

  • Elisha Rurka  
  • Amy Torres-Lepp  


Carroll ISD Board of Trustees Candidates  

Place 4  

  • Lynda Warner  
  • Cameron “Cam” Bryan  

Place 5  

  • Hannah Smith  
  • Ed Hernandez  



Both forums will use a virtual format. Questions for the candidates should be submitted using the links below:  

Submit a question for City Council candidates.  

Submit a question for Carroll ISD School Board candidates.  

All questions must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. March 26  no questions will be accepted after this date or during the forum. Similar questions may be consolidated or edited for clarity by the CEC.  

Make sure you’re ready for either early voting, starting April 19 or election day, May 1. For more information about the election, visit 

Let’s Make Southlake Count! – 2020 US Census Count Winding Down

As the door to door field operations get underway in Southlake and in other Tarrant County cities, the push is on to wrap up the 2020 US Census.

The Bureau announced in early August that they would wrap up field operations on September 30, one month early. Self-response options will also close on that date so the Bureau can submit the information by their mandated deadline of December 31.

Right now, Southlake’s current response rate is at 80.7%, which is just below the 2010 response rate of 81.8%.

“Every response counts,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “Even if you’ve responded, ask your friends and neighbors if they’ve submitted their information.  I’ll bet you’d be surprised at the number of people who haven’t had a chance to participate. If you haven’t yet, just go online, it only takes about five minutes.”

Southlake’s Community Engagement Committee is also getting involved by using social media and reaching out one-on-one.

“Southlake has changed a great deal since 2010,” said Sherry Berman, Community Engagement Committee Chairman. “A complete count will help make sure our City neighborhoods and businesses get the support they need for the next ten years. The CEC team is excited to be involved.”

Community Engagement Members include Ms. Berman, Vandana Tanneru, Vikram Jangam, Ben Siebach, Jessica Coffee, and Rashmi Singh.

For more information about the 2020 Census, visit the website. To learn more about Southlake’s efforts in support of the Census, click here:

The Community Engagement Committee Provided Valuable Feedback to the City

The Community Engagement Committee recently provided feedback and discussed their goals for the future.

Committee Chairwoman, Sherry Berman shared the committee’s annual report outlining their 2018 accomplishments, recommendations for advancement and the annual review of the SPIN Neighborhood Maps.

According to the CEC’s annual report in the last year, the committee has served as a focus group for Champions Club, Emergency Management and the Eye on Water App. The committee also provided comments for the Youth Master Plan, a plan that identifies opportunities to engage with parents as well as business partners, educators and administrators, civic leaders and volunteers in the community on topics related to youth.

The CEC suggested a modification to the communication for SPIN call notifications, so they do not reference SPIN Neighborhoods, but reference cross streets and landmarks instead. “We found that not everyone knows their SPIN neighborhood, so making this change allow residents to better understand the location of the new developments,” said Chairwoman Berman at the Feb. 19 City Council meeting.

In conjunction with their other responsibilities, the CEC evaluated the 2017 Engagement Survey Results and learned more about the City’s current use of technology and social media for engagement purposes.

“The committee has been dedicated to creating a sustainable engagement program that gives tools to the community to help residents communicate and explore topics that would be beneficial to the City and citizens,” said CEC City Liaison Lauren LaNeave. They gather information by working with City departments as a focus group and serve as a citizen voice to provide feedback on a variety of services. It also builds a culture of neighborhood involvement.

The CEC developed in late 2013 after City Council decided to evolve the SPIN program into two key roles: one focused on communication and one on engagement. The purpose of both roles was to provide a more comprehensive focus for community involvement.

The committee consists of seven Southlake residents appointed by City Council. Their core functions can be broken into three main key components: to push information, gather information and technology and research & improvement. In pushing information, the CEC supports City communication by acting as social media ambassadors by sharing communication. The committee is also charged with researching and exploring technology that would improve Citizen Engagement.

City Manager Shana Yelverton thanked Chairwoman Berman for the committee’s assistance. “On behalf of the staff, I want to thank you Sherry and also the committee,” said Yelverton. “We’ve worked very closely with them to test certain technologies.”  Yelverton goes on to say that the CEC is one of the reasons why Champions Club will have outstanding customer service.

“They have been a big part of why we’re going to be able to have exceptional customer service whenever we open Champions Club, so all of the things that you’ve mentioned have been very helpful,” she continues,”To be able to go to them and say can you be a test group for us while we’re trying to roll out this new technology or were looking at this process has really been invaluable.”

To learn more about the Community Engagement Committee please visit us online.

Southlake City Council Adopts Youth Master Plan Ordinance

Southlake City Council adopted the 2035 Youth Master Plan at the September 4 Council meeting. This new master plan element recognizes the importance of investing in the younger generations and their role in the City’s future.

The purpose of the Youth Master Plan is to establish clear goals and priorities for the next several years related to building up and encouraging youth in the community.

“The Youth Master Plan is a brand new element in the Southlake 2035 Comprehensive Plan that was developed by the community’s youth and provides recommendations to strengthen a number of existing youth-related programs as well as provides many recommendations related to leadership, community engagement, health & wellness, and volunteerism” said Senior Planning and Development Services Director Ken Baker.

In total, there are twenty-one (21) recommendations in the Youth Master Plan. Grouped by the categories listed above, these recommendations speak to involving the community’s youth in the policy and decision-making process, expanding library programming, promoting safety and security, as well as health and wellness programs, and even working to expand volunteer opportunities for the youth. A major takeaway from this plan is that the City should actively seek the youth perspective when developing certain master plan elements, expanding youth programming, and ensuring the City does what it can to foster an environment where youth have opportunities to build leadership and job skills, and remain or become engaged stakeholders in their community.

The plan underscores that to successfully implement the developed recommendations it is critically important to maintain a strong partnership with our citizens and continuously identify opportunities to engage our corporate citizens and various community groups.

To ensure adequate representation and feedback from the community’s youth, City Council appointed the Southlake Youth Action Commission (SYAC) to develop this plan. City staff also held meetings with the Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership (SKIL) and the Community Engagement Committee (CEC) between October 2017 and March 2018. All three committees participated in surveys, tabletop exercises and discussions that provided invaluable insight in the development of this plan, particularly in regard to furthering youth engagement in Southlake.

If you have any questions regarding the Youth Master Plan please contact the Planning and Development Services Department at (817) 748-8621 or visit our city website.

Call for Volunteers – Be a Part of Southlake’s Boards and Commissions

Do you want to be part of the City of Southlake team? The City Council is seeking residents who want to be engaged in their community and help support the City Council in their mission.

On October 16, 2018, the Mayor and City Council will make appointments to the Community Engagement Committee, Community Enhancement and Development Corporation,  Crime Control and Prevention District, Library Board, Senior Advisory Commission, and Arts Council.

Citizens interested in helping their local government in the areas of community engagement and outreach programs, promoting economic development and new business enterprises, safety and security, library planning and programming, senior-related programs, and public art are encouraged to complete an application for a board or commission. Applications may be obtained from the City’s website.

Each appointment is for a term of two years, unless appointed to fulfill an existing vacancy for an unexpired term. It takes a team to run a City, and City Council wants you to be a part of their team. If you have the desire and the commitment to devote to our community, please complete an application and e-mail it to or fax it to (817) 748-8270 in the City Secretary’s Office.

You can also mail or hand-deliver your application to the City Secretary’s Office, 1400 Main Street, Suite 270, Southlake, Texas 76092. Applications must be received no later than September 4.

CISD Place 4 Board of Trustee Candidate Forum April 24

The Community Engagement Committee (CEC), in partnership with the Carroll Education Foundation (CEF), will host a SPIN (Southlake Program for the Involvement of Neighborhoods) Town Hall Candidate Forum for Carroll Independent School District Board of Trustees Place 4 Candidates on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at The Marq Southlake, located at 285 Shady Oaks Drive.

The CEC is a City of Southlake Committee and a nonpartisan body dedicated to facilitating communication between residents and local government, typically through SPIN Town Hall Forums. The candidate forum is intended to provide an opportunity to familiarize residents with each of the Carroll ISD Board of Trustee Place 4 candidates and their platforms.

Candidates List


The program will start with a meet and greet open house beginning at 6:00 p.m. During this time, attendees will have the opportunity to visit with candidates. Following the open house at 6:30 p.m., the forum will begin with each candidate providing an opening statement. Next, all candidates will be given the opportunity to respond to questions from the audience; the question and answer portion of the program will be moderated by a member of the CEC. Finally, all candidates will be asked to provide a closing statement

Important Dates

  • Monday, April 23, 2018, to Tuesday, May 1, 2018 – Early voting by personal appearance at Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main Street.
  • Saturday, May 5, 2018 – Election Day – Voting for board elections will be held at Carroll Senior High School, 1501 W. Southlake Blvd.

Additional election information can be found on the Carroll Independent School District website at For additional information about SPIN, please visit

Participate in Southlake Candidates’ Open House: Aug. 30, 2017

The Community Engagement Committee (CEC) will host a SPIN (Southlake Program for the Involvement of Neighborhoods) Candidates’ Open House for City Council Candidates on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Legends Hall at The Marq, 285 Shady Oaks Drive.

The session will begin with a fifteen minute open house style meet and greet, then candidates will be given an opportunity to introduce themselves and speak about their platform. Next, all candidates will be given the opportunity to respond to questions from the moderator. Finally, all candidates will be asked to provide a closing statement. The question and answer portion of this event will be recorded and posted to with 48 hours.

The moderator, a member of the CEC, will select questions submitted by candidates and residents. Residents have the opportunity to submit questions to be considered by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29.

In order to vote in the September 9, 2017 Special Election, a citizen must have registered to vote no later than August 10, 2017. Voters are required to present an approved form of photo identification in order to vote in all Texas elections. Click here for acceptable forms of identification.

Important Voting Deadlines
August 23, 2017, First day of early voting
August 29, 2017, Application for Ballot by Mail Form Due for both Tarrant and Denton Counties
September 5, 2017, Last day of early voting
September 9, 2017, Election Day (Saturday)

Additional election information can be found on the City’s website If you have questions about the election processes please call the City Secretary’s office at (817) 748-8016.

City Hosts Understanding Development Town Hall Forum

On September 29, 2015, The City’s Community Engagement Committee (CEC) hosted the Understanding Development Town Hall Forum.

The evening started with an open house which then lead into a panel discussion featuring Frank Bliss with Cooper and Stebbins,  Paul Spain with Terra Land Management, Ken Baker, Planning and Development Services Senior Director with the City of Southlake and Shannon Hamons, the City’s Economic Development Director.

The panel, moderated by CEC Chairman Craig Rothmeier, touched on a variety of development items including commercial and residential development and what it takes to build in Southlake. They then took questions from the audience.

If you missed the forum it is available below or on the City’s Video on Demand page.  If you have questions regarding development within the City please click here:

Community Engagement Committee Hosts 2015 SPIN Candidates Forum

2015 CandidatesThe Community Engagement Committee will host a SPIN (Southlake Program for the Involvement of Neighborhoods) Candidates’ Forum for City Council Candidates on Monday, March 30, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at Town Hall, 1400 Main Street.

This session is intended to provide an opportunity for residents to become familiar with each of the candidates and their platforms.

Forum candidates will provide a brief introduction and overview of their platform. Next, all candidates will be given the opportunity to respond to all questions asked from the audience, while the moderator will manage the order in which the candidates respond.  Finally, all candidates will be asked to provide a closing statement.

An information session concerning The Marq Southlake Phase 2 Special Sales Tax Election will also take place that same evening.  This session will immediately follow the Candidates Forum.

The City of Southlake is situated in two counties–Denton and Tarrant. Please click on appropriate link to determine if you are registered to vote. In order to vote in the May 9, 2015 General Election, a citizen must be registered to vote no later than April 9, 2015. Voters are required to present an approved form of photo identification in order to vote in all Texas elections. Click here for acceptable forms of identification.

Important Voting Deadlines

  • April 9, 2015, Last day to register to vote in the May 9, 2015 General Election
  • April 27, 2015, First day of early voting
  • May 5, 2015, Last day of early voting
  • May 9, 2015, Election Day (Saturday)

Additional election information can be found on the City’s website If you have questions about the election processes please call the City Secretary’s office at (817) 748-8016.