Wood for Dallas City Council District 14
Philip Kingston’s divisive and oppositional style diminishes District 14’s council clout and robs residents of an effective leader.
Count this editorial board with voters who thought back in 2013 that they were getting a much-needed City Hall watchdog in Kingston; too often, though, we’ve witnessed a nasty attack dog.
True leaders must be motivated not by selfpromotion but by what’s in the best interest of their constituents and their city.
Longtime East Dallas resident Matt Wood, 52, is that kind of leader.
As a contracts lawyer, he is in the business of negotiations and outcomes. His volunteer work in Dallas schools and on neighborhood issues, including helping the Junius Heights Historic District secure preservation status, reflects a collaborative servant-leader style.
In addition to strong grass-roots credentials, Wood has worked, as an outsider, across many City Hall departments to bring together teams that share a single goal.
The third candidate in this race, magazine publisher Kim Welch, 58, is outmatched in knowledge and experience.
Kingston has proved himself to be anything but a collaborator, alienating those around him with rhetoric that denigrates those who dare to get in his way. His treatment of others is made worse by his professed innocence about his actions.
Last week’s Public Safety Committee meeting offers one small example, as Kingston verbally slashed an assistant city attorney over answers he disagreed with. Questioned later about the exchange, Kingston tossed off his words as merely being passionate and tried to lawyer his way out of pointed questions about his conduct.
Kingston claims he doesn’t criticize people or engage in rhetorical fallacy — right on the heels of his public Facebook post about a candidate in another district: “He’s running a joke campaign … He just wants to be somebody.”
The years-long public record of archived city meetings and Kingston’s many social media tirades reflect numerous similar incidents. Even when the 44-year-old council member is right on an issue — most recently the marijuana cite-and-release ordinance — the ride is rough.
Kingston has so thoroughly chilled working relationships — whether with city staff, council colleagues or stakeholders outside City Hall — that his district and constituents stand to be the biggest losers.
The weekly drip-drip-drip of his self-serving behavior demands new leadership.
Thank goodness voters have a strong option in Matt Wood. His constructive ideas and approach would bring better days to District 14.