Glenn Box says he has decided to retire as a City Councilman and become a family man.
Elected to the Council in 1989 to serve District 9, which includes a part of our neighborhood, the 39-year-old Box leaves office June 5 when the new Council (elected May 6) is inaugurated.
Box isn’t running for a fourth term because he wants to focus on his family, he says.
His wife, April, recently gave birth to the couple’s first child, a 10-pound, 11-ounce boy named William Eckley Box. The baby is named after Box’s father.
“It’s a time sacrifice and a financial sacrifice to serve at this job,” Box says about being a Councilman.
“Eventually, you have to start taking care of your family and start making some money again.”
During the past six years, Box worked full-time for the Council for a $50 a week paycheck. He is the second most senior member on the 15-member Council after Max Wells of District 12.
While serving on the Council, Box was kept afloat financially by the law firm Jackson & Walker, he says. Box was hired as an attorney at the firm when he graduated from law school in 1984 from University of Texas at Austin. The firm continued to pay Box’s salary while he was a Councilman even though Box’s Council work limited his hours with the firm.
“There’s no way you can have two 50- to 60- hour a week jobs,” Box says. “A normal nine-to-five working person can’t be a Council member.”
Despite the time commitment and lack of pay, Box says he enjoyed serving on the Council.
“Being a Council member is a rewarding experience,” Box says. “It’s made me a better person, a stronger person. It makes you look inside yourself. I think it has strengthened my convictions.”
When he was first elected in 1989, Councilmen could only serve six years. Term limits have since been expanded to eight years, but Box says many of his pet projects are coming to a close and it’s time to let someone else do the job.
One of his pet projects was dredging White Rock Lake, which will be a part of the May bond election, Box says.
Box says he also is proud of his efforts to fuel economic development. He lists bringing the World Cup to Dallas and negotiating the renovation of White Rock Marketplace at Garland at Jupiter as two of his economic successes.
Crime reduction, however, is the accomplishment of which Box is most proud, he says.
Box has served as chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee for four years. During his tenure as a Councilman, more than 500 officers were added to the Dallas Police Department, mobile storefronts were obtained, and the interactive community policing program was initiated, he says.
“Our crime rate has gone down every month for five and half years,” Box says. “It’s not just theft we’ve reduced. It’s violent crime.”
Box is not through with public office, he says. Box says he is considering running as a Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives as early as the 1996 election.
And although he isn’t publicly backing any candidate for his District 9 Council seat, he does have advice for his successor.
“You’ve got to have a real thick skin and a sense of humor,” Box says. “You have to realize that people only call when they’re mad at you. That’s the nature of the job.”
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.