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Neighborhood Association hosts Meet and Greet for Candidates (04/02/10)

(State  Repsentative Carol Kent - in center - presents a certificate of appreciation and recognition to OHNA Co-Chairs Betty on the left and Scott on the right)



Neighborhood Association hosts Meet and Greet for Candidates

By Linda Jaresh

April 2, 2010



Orchard Hills Neighborhood Association monthly meeting gave members the opportunity to meet D5 Council candidates, as well as candidates for State Rep. District 102.


John Willis and David McNeely had five minutes to introduce themselves and to give a brief outline of why they want to represent district 5. Willis spoke briefly about what he has accomplished during his first term in office. While he did credit others with bringing forward evidence that lead to the demolition of Miller Garden Apartments, he included that as something that was accomplished after he became a councilman for district 5. Willis said that he is proud of the pro active stance that the Code Departments and Building Inspection have taken. He acknowledges that the learning curve when he first became a councilman was a big one; however, if elected he would not have that to go through again.


McNeely gave a brief synopsis of why he has decided to throw his hat in the political arena. According to McNeely, he is disappointed that the Garland he grew up in, no longer exists. After a three year stint in the Navy, McNeely said he came home to a changed city. He wants to be on the council in order to help revitalize south Garland, to make it a city more conducive to businesses and to help bring it back to a city that all citizens can be proud of. McNeely stated that he has put his community first by volunteering in his church, St. Michaels, as a case worker providing help to families in need of assistance. He has also enjoyed the countless hours he has spent volunteering at Southgate Elementary tutoring children in grades 3-5 in math, science, reading and social studies.


Carl Kent, the incumbent and Stephani Carter (her challenger) are vying for the Congressional seat for district 102 in the state house. Kent gave a brief power point presentation of the accomplishments of the last session of the state house. In this she stated that she was proud of having co-authored 25 bills and authored 5 bills that made it all the way to the Governors office and were signed into law. Kent grew up on Randolph in Garland, went to Caldwell Elem, Memorial Middles School and graduated from South Garland High School.


Stephani Carter is a local girl and was born at Medical City Dallas. She is from a family of 8 children, and her Mother was an Elementary School Teacher. Carter graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism, and received her law degree from Harvard Law School. Carter said it was somewhat challenging being a conservative while attending Harvard, but she made it because of the values that were instilled in her at an early age. Carter is a former prosecutor, was employed by the Heritage Foundation and has been endorsed by The Dallas Police Association. She is very interested in providing a good education for all children. Carter addressed the issue of Illegal Immigration and stated that she thinks a law should be passed making it mandatory that all employers must verify the legal status of all employees.


NPO J. S. Summers, of the Garland Police Department, patrols the area the Association is located in. After introducing himself, Officer Summers gave an update about what’s been going on in the area. Most of his report dealt with the loitering issues that occur on the Southwest corner of Kingsley and Saturn and the loitering issues that occur at the Shell station that is located on the southeast corner of Saturn and Miller Road. According to Councilman Willis and Officer Summers the recently passed Convenience Store Security Ordinance, has shown to be a deterrent to vandalism and thefts in convenience stores. NPO Summers also noted that “No Loitering” signs have been posted at the Shell station and are monitored regularly throughout the day, by Officers on Patrol and by he and other NPO’s.


Members of the Orchard Hills Neighborhood Association are serious about keeping their little slice of Garland safe and looking good. They applied for and received a $50 thousand dollar grant to improve their neighborhood. A majority of the grant money will be used to construct and maintain “Entry-ways” that will designate the area as the Orchard Hills Neighborhood. The well designed entry ways will include signs letting people know they are entering the Orchard Hills Neighborhood and with plantings of flowers and low shrubs.  The grant money may also be used as street sign “toppers” that will designate the Orchard Hills Neighborhood.


Orchard Hills Neighborhood Association monthly meetings are held at The Saturn Road Church of Christ on the 2nd Monday of each month.


For more information about the Organization contact either of the Co-Chair:

Scott Beidelman – (


Betty Roberts - (





 (NPO J.S. Summers gives the members an update on the safety and well being of their neighborhoodJ)

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