Dalene Zender, a longtime Huntsville resident, local real estate agent and community activist, will seek the at-large position being vacated by Councilman Steed Smith in the May 13 election for Huntsville City Council.

“As a member of City Council, my priorities will be to ensure that our first responders have the resources and equipment necessary to safeguard our community, that the city government maintains a fiscally responsible budgetary process and that we promote economic and community development efforts which will improve the quality of life for all our citizens,” Zender said.

Zender has been a regular attendee of the council meetings for a decade and said her interest in being an active participant in citywide decision- making was the logical next step for her.

“I have been attending council meetings for the last 10 years, and I think I have a well-rounded background as a business person here,” she said. “One of the big things I have done is being part of the city’s parks and recreation board and serving as chairman for the past three years. That kind of evolved into wanting to run for City Council.”

Zender, a 1996 graduate of Sam Houston State University, currently serves as a member of the city of Huntsville’s Main Street Infrastructure Committee, YMCA Teen Center Finance Committee and Huntsville Junior Service League in addition to her post with the parks and recreation advisory board.

She is a real estate agent with Heart of Texas Real Estate in Huntsville and is a member of the Huntsville-Walker County Board of Realtors where she has served in a number of capacities, including president. She also is a 1998 graduate of the Huntsville Leadership Institute.

“I believe it is that experience and knowledge of what goes on at City Council that makes me a good candidate,” she said. “My experience will really help in the decison-making process, and the first thing I want for the city is to make sure we have a safe community.

“There is no doubt that Huntsville faces challenges with respect to infrastructure and long-range development planning, and I will work hard to make certain that our citizens’ tax dollars are spent as effectively and efficiently as possible on those efforts.”