Providence race features six names
Providence Village residents will be deciding on six candidates to fill their three town council seats in the May election.
Juan C. Gonzales is challenging incumbent Kelly Nelson for Place 1. Stojan Bacev and Tyheshia Scott are vying for Place 2 that is being vacated by J. Eric Newton. Megan Insco is challenging appointed incumbent Jordan Woodard for Place 4.
Gonzales feels his 25 years of working as a paralegal for worker’s compensation cases would benefit the council.
Citing his fight against Jiffy Lube being approved, he said, “We need more stringent requirements when people come up to our governing body with factual information.”
He and his wife have lived in the town for 15 years.
Gonzales would like to aid in attracting a more robust retail activity to provide ongoing sales tax.
In his previous city, Mesquite, he ran for mayor, city council and the school board and was later appointed to the Mesquite Housing Board.
“I want to see what everybody has to say,” Gonzales said. “There is no dumb question. I think that vigorous debate is where good ideas come from.”
Kelly Nelson is the incumbent serving in Place 1, and she and her family have lived in the town for eight years.
She was initially appointed in Dec. 2018 and ran unopposed in the 2019 election. She is also serving as mayor pro tem.
“I have not missed a council meeting since my time on council. I take my role very seriously,” she said.
She has a bachelor’s in political science as well as a bachelor’s and a master’s in criminal justice. She is a senior specialist in the legal department of JCPenney with a focus on corporate security matters and legal documentation.
She believes her experience on the council and in the corporate world qualifies her for the position.
The town is in a crucial growth period, Nelson said, and that it needs people who will put in the time and the effort and do the research needed to support positive growth.
She plans to continue reducing the tax rate for the residents and wants to bring a balance of new businesses. She also plans to continue working with the Aubrey Police Department and build on the feedback the council has received.
“One of the main things that the council has seen from the feedback is a communication program and an update to our website, so, we’re going to roll that out in the current budget in fall of 2021,” Nelson said.
Bacev, who ran in 2020, chose to run again for the Place 2 seat Newton has held for several years.
“My kids are small so I’ll be here for at least the next 10 years, so I want to be involved in the town and make decisions and [contributions] that will influence the future of our town for the next however many years,” he said.
Bacev is a small business owner with two yogurt shops in the area, and he also works as a computer engineer specializing in defense at Raytheon. He and his family have been residents of Providence Village for 10 years.
He serves on the Board of Adjustments and on the Economic Development Corporation.
Bacev is also involved in the area schools in both Aubrey ISD and Denton ISD. He also serves as a drop off station for Lovepacs and is involved with the organization.
“I love helping out our kids, teachers and schools as much as we can,” he said
If he is elected to the council, he would like to focus on providing more activities, leagues, classes and events as a town rather than relying on the largest homeowners association to provide those. He sees a need for those outside that HOA to have access to those types of things as well.
Another aspect he would like to focus on during his time in office is establishing relationships with the businesses in the town.
Growth in the community is important to him and he wants to work hard to reduce the town’s debt and to attract the type of businesses that will provide revenue for the town and provide services and amenities for residents to enjoy for years to come.
Tyheshia Scott, a former Navy Operations Specialist who served for eight years, is also running for Place 2.
Scott and her family have been residents for four years. She is executive director of a nonprofit in Denton that serves the homeless community. It was during the COVID-19 shutdown that she realized that she wanted to run for council. She said her work with the city of Denton made her aware of different services and programs that she would like to see in Providence Village.
By serving on the council, she wants to make sure that everyone in the community feels represented. She feels like the biggest asset of the town is its sense of community. She said she is impressed with how supportive it is and that residents rally around each other when it’s needed.
“Providence is growing, the communities around us are growing; but the one thing that we need to make sure is that piece of the economic development. Whether or not we want them, the people are coming, and we want to make sure that we have different things in place and that we’re ready to receive them,” she said.
She would like to make the town a destination.
“We need to control how the narrative [of the town] is told and control what that looks like,” she said.
She started Providence United, a small nonprofit, and she worked to have Friends of the Family provide services for education about domestic violence. She also sits on the board of the Providence Village Hope Foundation.
Megan Insco, a YMCA membership director, has been a resident of the town for two years and hopes to unseat Woodard.
“I have always been dedicated to strengthening our community,” she said. “I see great things happening in Providence Village and I would like to help amplify it.”
Insco believes the growth on the U.S. 380 corridor is coming to Providence Village and wants the town to be prepared for the growth.
“I have some special expertise to help take our town to the next level by increasing small business in our area, creating a town center, strengthening infrastructure all while keeping our small-town charm and taxes low,” she said. “In addition, I would like to address diversity, equity and inclusion in our town government and town services.”
Woodard was appointed to Place 4 in July of 2020 after serving on the Board of Adjustments. He has been a resident of the town for 15 years.
He is also a librarian at the Aubrey Area Library.
“One of the many things I have focused on in my volunteer work is building connections [and] relationships within and between communities,” Woodard said. “I want to continue this in my role as a councilman, where the impact of those relationships would reach further.”
Woodard sees areas for growth in the town when it comes to partnerships with other municipalities.
“There are several small cities in direct proximity to each other in the 76227 zip code. We are all not to the point where we can afford to provide the services that our citizens want or expect on our own. I have seen how collaboration between municipalities can achieve great things for their residents to help keep the tax rate low.”
He pointed to the Northeast Police Department model as an example.
“The more we can all partner to achieve shared goals only benefits both municipalities in keeping costs down and providing services and amenities to area residents,” Woodard said.