From business to blessings, Dean Crump wants to work for people, 'city I call my home'

·7 min read

With seven candidates vying for Amarillo City Council Place 1, Dean Crump, Amarillo born and raised, is seeking to stand out in a crowded field.

Crump was born and raised in Amarillo, attending both Amarillo College and West Texas A&M. He and his wife, Nicki have been married for 35 years with two daughters, Jordin and Cali. Crump has worked with Electronic Data Systems, the banking industry and with Corporate Systems, a risk management information system, where he worked in a leadership position with the company for 16 years.

Amarillo businessman Dean Crump is a candidate for Amarillo City Council Place 1.
Amarillo businessman Dean Crump is a candidate for Amarillo City Council Place 1.

In 2007, an event that would change the trajectory of his life happened when he and eight members of his family won the Mega Millions lottery with a cash payout of $73.5 million. With his share of the money, he founded Arrowhead Real Estate, a real estate investment company, and in 2014, he started Equi Bio Solutions, which specializes in regenerative animal care. He has also served on the board of Kids Inc. for over 20 years.

Among his motivations for wanting to run for city council, Crump says that he always wanted to serve the Amarillo community and has done so over the years with his time on the Kids Inc. board, in which he said that his love of children and wanting to help provide them opportunities had been a major source of joy for him. He is currently the chairman of the board for the organization.

“I have always been a kid person; I coached club volleyball for over 20 years,” Crump said.

Now at 59 years old, Crump says that he thinks a lot about his quality time left in this world and believes that as a Christian, he has been blessed with the experiences to serve the city with common sense and integrity.

“I think that my experience in managing large companies with hundreds of people working under me makes me a good candidate,” Crump said. "I am particularly good at budgeting with a strong accounting background, along with the experience of running my own business, are strengths for the city council position. I just want to work for the people of the city I call my home.”

Amarillo businessman and candidate for Amarillo City Council Place 1 and his wife Nicki.
Amarillo businessman and candidate for Amarillo City Council Place 1 and his wife Nicki.

Crump says that his experience and maturity in building and maintaining relationships are paramount to being an effective councilman. He cited his experience in the community and his 35-year marriage to his wife as examples of his commitment to building and maintaining relationships.

When asked about his number one priority if elected to the city council, Crump said restoring trust between the council and citizens must be job one.

“We have to listen and value the community’s feedback, actively working toward solutions to the city’s important issues,” Crump said. “It is critical to be transparent and honest with the citizens and make sure that they understand the decisions made in council.”

According to Crump, the council must oversee essential city services to ensure they are delivered by their actions. He said he is spending a lot of time looking at the city budget and attending as many meetings as possible to prepare himself to serve the city in an informed manner.

“We have to develop a plan to deal with our infrastructure problem and identify where we can make a difference in fixing those issues,” Crump said. “This will not be an overnight solution and will not happen in one year but will happen over time. We must fix what we have, with a plan to fix future issues.”

One example of Amarillo’s crumbling infrastructure that Crump pointed out was the city's wastewater systems, which he said are coming to the end of their capacity. He said that this is a big-ticket item that needs to be planned for and that cannot be ignored. He also said that with the excellent job the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation has done bringing business to the area, the city needs to be prepared for the growth and maintenance issues that growth brings.

With almost every candidate thus far citing restoring trust as a priority, Crump expounded on ways to restore trust within the city.

“The main thing and the way I ran my business is the people that work for you and the customers that you support have to understand everything you are trying to accomplish. They have to buy into the strategic direction and decisions you are making,” Crump said. “The only way to do that is to communicate effectively. If you do not put them at the table, listen to what they have to say and understand their concerns while looking at it only from your perspective, you will miss the boat. If you do not listen to what the citizens have to say, your strategic plan is going to fail because a successful plan requires buy in.”

He said the key is getting input from the community to develop strategic plans for the city. Crump said that while many may not want to see the city as a business in many ways, it has to be looked at as such.

“I look at everything as a business. We have a board of directors, and we have shareholders, which in a city is the citizens. They are our customers, “Crump said. “We cannot over or underspend. We have services to provide, and if we cannot provide those services, your customers will go somewhere else or make a change in leadership."

Crump applauded neighborhood organizations' efforts to improve their areas of the city, especially in areas trying to make the city cleaner. He said that working with these organizations to help give them the tools and support to make their communities better is key to making things better for all in the city. According to Crump, there should be a more significant effort from the city to help address the underserved and underdeveloped of the city.

Asked about the continuing issue of crime in Amarillo, Crump said that throwing money at a problem is not always the solution, but in the case of crime, if the city is not giving law enforcement and other first responders the manpower or retaining its best, this is something that must be looked at. He said that if we have fewer officers or less pay than cities of our size, that is something that has to be addressed.

“We have to have the right number of officers and initiatives to keep them here,” Crump said. “When it comes to quality-of-life, crime is always a great key to how people see their quality of life. I would love to sit at the table when police negotiate their salaries and would like to see the benchmarks compared to other cities. I understand they are lower here.”

Crump, when asked if he was concerned about the inexperience of the incoming council with no returning members and possibly only the new mayor having any time on the council, said that this is what he feels sets him apart from others running for his position, due to his own business experience and preparation to be on the council.

“If you do not have the experience in life of dealing with budgets, building relationships and providing solutions, then you will have a steeper learning curve,” Crump said. “It will take a while for the new council to be able to work effectively as a team. We must come into this with maturity to work together for the city.”

When asked if Amarillo should go to single-member districts so that each councilperson represents a specific area of the city, Crump said that there must be a way for every part of the community to be represented fairly and appropriately by the council.

“I am still trying to understand the ramifications of changing our system with arguments for and against it,” Crump said. “The obvious answer is that every community in the city needs representation. There has to be a way, whether it is single-member districts or at large; we have to figure out a way to represent all communities. Some things need to be dealt with that many candidates are far removed from, since they do not live in those districts.”

He said he seeks to represent all areas of the city but understands the limitations a councilmember faces, not living in certain districts and knowing all of neighborhoods' specific needs and issues.

“People are a passion for me, all people, not just my so-called people,” Crump said. “I live on the southwest side of town, and there is more need in this community than what I see everyday, and I have to open my eyes to that because it is so important to our whole community.”

This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Council candidate Dean Crump points to business background, blessings