Musician and Talent Buyer Glen Farris Running For Denton City Council.
In a lengthy profile last summer, we made no bones about calling Denton city councilman Kevin Roden “Denton's hipster politician.”
But, just as quickly as he earned that distinction, it seems as if Roden stands a very distinct possibility of losing it.
No, Roden's not in any danger of losing his seat anytime soon. It's just that, earlier this morning, Denton musician Glen Farris officially announced his candidacy for the Denton City Council seat being vacated by Dalton Gregory.
Farris, it should be noted, is also the mind behind We Denton Do It and the Spune Productions talent buyer that helped bring the Canned Festival to Denton last year. He's also the citizen vigilante who unearthed a forgotten time capsule from a Denton sidewalk in 2012.
In the wake of his candidacy announcement, we called Farris up to find out just how the city might benefit from adding a musician like him to its crop of elected officials.
You've been involved in Denton politics in a volunteer capacity previously, is that right?
Well, not necessarily in politics. I grew up being very service-oriented, so I've always kind of been volunteering for different boards. And, as you start to work your way up through the boards and get involved more, you're putting in more hours. Eventually, when a seat gets vacated, people start asking. It's just kind of a natural progression.
What positions were you volunteering for?
About a year ago, I started my neighborhood association. I got nominated by Kevin Roden to serve on the Public Art Committee. I got nominated to serve on the Downtown Task Force as ex officio. I'm currently the secretary for the Downtown Main Street Association, among other things. Those are the official capacity things.
So what motivated you to run for council now?
There was a need for someone to step up and get into the seat with the vacation of Dalton Gregory, who is running for an at-large seat. I've known Dalton for a while, and I've kind of known the circle of folks that move into those positions. They were looking for someone to fill the position. I've always said that, if I got asked to volunteer reading books to kids at the library, then I would. And if I ever got asked to be on the city council, then I would. The timing was right, and the seat was open.
What do you think you would bring to the position if elected?
The main thing would just be a fresh perspective on the council. I've started my own business with WeDentonDoIt. I've run Spune and I own part of that. I know a lot of the struggles of the neighborhood working with the neighborhood association. I really think my perspective is one that is much needed. And also my energy. If you look at the face of the city council ten years ago, the demographic was not what it is now with Kevin [Roden] and Joey [Hawkins] as councilmen. With me on there, it's just even more.
Have you learned anything from a guy like Kevin Roden since he's been on the council?
My first political involvement was when [Roden] asked me to be on his steering committee when he ran three years ago. That was my first political sitting engagement. Nothing before that had been in an official capacity. We had been friends and known each other through Drink & Think and a couple of other things. We've just always been friends, and then he asked me to be on his steering committee. That really opened up my eyes to the city, and really opened up a lot of relationships that I have now within the city politics.
If elected, with even more young blood on the council, how would that further change the city's politics?
It's one vote out of seven. The charge of the council is to listen to all sides. I think I'm going to be a very balanced councilman. I think one thing that I probably am bringing — that maybe even Kevin can't bring — is being an ambassador for Denton on a national level. Through We Denton Do It and things like that, I know my way around that sort of promotion a little better.
Historically speaking, there's always been a musicians-versus-the-man stereotype. How do you reconcile those two sides?
I guess we're going to see how that's going to go. I've always been who I am. I've always been an Eagle Scout. I grew up in the church. If you look at who I've played with, I've played with Doug Burr. Maybe people's attitudes towards just what a musician is or what an artist is will change. Maybe they'll say, 'Oh, you can be a normal person.' A lot of people don't realize that Doug Burr has five kids and a full-time job. He's about as suburban normal as you get. I guess we will see how that reconciles. I think it'll be more other people that have a stereotypical image of a musician in their head reconciling that.
Cover photo via the Glen Farris For Denton City Council District 2 Facebook page.