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Home » 2017-05-06 election » City of Shenandoah » City Council Position 2 » Jason Camara

Jason Camara
Party Republican
Website N/A
Born N/A
Education BS-IT Software Eng, U of Phoenix
Occupation IT Coordinator
Religion Christian-based
Children 3

Jason Camara


I was born and raised in Hawaii, on the Island of Oahu.

I relocated to Bakersfield, CA in 1990 after my parents were divorced and I finished High School there. After graduating and turning eighteen I started working in the Oil Fields of California and soon after, met my wife at a picnic for a company in which both of our parents worked.

After 10 years in the Oil Fields, a work related injury forced me to find a less physically demanding career. I decided on the IT industry returned to being a full time student. Due to low availability of positions in the area and extremely fast rising costs of living, my wife and I decided to try another state. We decided on Texas, having a High School friend who lived in The Woodlands have nothing but good opinions of the area.

After coming to the area to visit, it really reminded me of where I grew up, with maybe a little more humidity but still ok with me. My wife and I moved to The woodlands in 2001 where soon after we had our first child. After getting established, we were lucky to find our home in Shenandoah in 2003 where we have been since. The City of Shenandoah has been the best community experience I have had and our family has loved being here these last 14 years.

MCTP PAC Rating of: 73 Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2017-04-18 02:36:04


  • Heart's in the right place;  "residents first" - says residents really don't have a voice.  
  • Concerned with major issues and transparency with the city. 
  • Sees safety as top priority and because of leadership failure in this area, city hasn't kept up with growth-understaffed.
  • Frustrated w/police acting as HOA-type enforcement, rather than policing.
  • Feels City Aministrator is over-compensated, compared to other communities. 
  • Concerned w/huge increase in traffic, that "could be handled better" in planning.
  • Feels meeting minutes of the council sometimes "white-washed", to give inaccurate representation of activities discussed. 
  • Concerned there's a lack of communication between employees and council, as well as the city administator and all of the council. 
  • Says all major projects should go before the community for a vote. 
  • Would vote against any city ordinance promoting same-sex...  More

Video Interview Source

Submitted by kenneth vaughn on 2017-04-02 12:53:20





Why are you running for this position?  What are the three main attributes that make you the most qualified for this position?

My family and I have been residents in Shenandoah for 14 years and I have seen a lot of changes in our great city. Some have been for the good and other not that direction. I feel there have been more decisions made in recent years that do not have the Shenandoah resident’s best interests in mind and I would like to change that.

The first attribute that makes me the most qualified is my length of residency in our city and my drive to keep the city moving in the right direction. My family and I have had the privilege to experience many great things while living here. Some of the good things from the past have gone away and many of the new things are not appealing. The second attribute is being 100% about the residents. This is what our city has been known for and should be brought back to. My third attribute is my ability to hear what our residents say. Some will listen, but not everyone will hear what is being said and understand what is important to our residents. It’s not just about putting signs in a yard, but doing a public service.

What are the 3 most pressing issues in Shenandoah and what is your preferred solution to each?

There has been a lot of growth in recent years and we should be planning for it. I believe the most pressing issue for our city is the safety of our residents. With our growth seen with home owners in the city, along with businesses and hotels, we have done minimal additions to our police force. The Shenandoah Police Department is one of our greatest assets. But they are over worked and we are seeing more of the “big city” crimes in our area. This needs to be addressed by accessing and adding officers as needed.

Another issue I believe should be addressed is our city’s vehicle traffic and roads. Our city is in a prime location on the North 45 freeway. With the increase of businesses, hotels, residents and overall commuting traffic, we need to have some forward thinking on addressing it. Too often city’s wait until the last minute to deal with growth of these type. We need a plan ahead approach in regard to traffic management, over and above current efforts. For example, the east side of I-45 is a very confined in regard to outlets for the many commuters in that area. Currently the only route North is to access I-45. Not only does this create massive congestion in normal day to day situations, but in the event of another hurricane in our area it could leave many in that area vulnerable. This also makes day to day traffic an issue for residents who want to enjoy local establishments.

Lastly and not least, I feel the decisions made by our city council should make decisions with the city residents in mind and nothing else.  There have been many decisions made in recent years that have not followed this priority. I have attended many city council meetings and unfortunately this has not always been the case. This is also not always conveyed when residents review city council meeting minutes, portraying a false sense of priority.

These are only a few that need to be addressed.    

How can the operation of your city government be made more efficient and cost effective?

Our city government could be considered efficient now in many ways. To continue improving, this could be achieved by increasing communications between the city police department and city employees with the city council. Another way would be to maintain a clear standard for ordinance requirements. There have been exceptions made in certain instances that blur lines.

Our city has the benefit of being a prime location on the 45 corridor, so revenue comes fairly easy to our city. To be more cost effective our city should focus spending on projects with maximum impact. We should also be holding businesses accountable to their financial obligations and agreed upon terms for building roads, sidewalks and replanting of trees.

What's your interpretation of the "Separation of Church and State"?

My understanding of this topic is it’s the effort to keep government based decisions away from topics relating to religion, church’s and religious schools. At its core, it believes the government should be a neutral party when it comes to religion and Americans should have the choice on taking part in or not taking part in a religion.  

What is your primary resource to help you make difficult decisions as it relates to public policy?

I believe my primary resource would my core personal values and logic. With this, also knowing when something may be more than I can handle on my own and seeking knowledge elsewhere to make the best decision possible for the city.


What is the current budget surplus and should any of it be returned to the residents, pay down debt or retained in a rainy day fund and if so, how much and why?

From my understanding of a recent interview with our city administrator, we have a reserve of around 1.4 million. We also have other reserve fund from other means, but much of that is not made public knowledge. Unfortunately, at this time we have several projects in the works and using reserves for anything else it not feasible.

When a time comes that we are clear of major projects, hopefully soon, I would hope to have our city revenue returned to our residents by reinstating city functions we once had and possibly add new ones. I would like to see our city be able to offer services to our retired, veteran and disabled citizens. This could be simple things like offering paid services for minimal yard maintenance and clearing of roof debris, to paid utilities like water/sewage, etc.

What is Shenandoah's bond rating?  What is the current debt load and is it too high? Please describe how you will determine the proper debt load.

I am not aware of what our bond rating is. The information that I get is retrieved from the Shenandoah finance website. I have not seen information regarding this and the information is rarely kept up to date.


How much does this position pay each year? Do you think this amount should be increased, decreased or even, like The Woodlands Township, receive no compensation at all?

The amount in which the city council position receives does not concern me. The welfare and improvement of our city does. If a decision is made to decrease or remove this compensation it would not deter my decision to serve our city and residents to help continue making this city a great place to live.


What is the Sales Tax Rate for the City in which you're running?  Property Tax rate?  How much of the revenue is derived from each? Do you think it would be a good idea to broaden either or both of them to increase revenues?

The city of Shenandoah has a sales tax rate of 8.25 and property tax rate of 2.1505. This is per the city website and finance section. A majority of the revenue is derived from our sales tax and hotel tax. This is what allows our city the ability to keep property taxes lower than most in our area.

Any increase in taxes that affect residents are not something I endorse. I feel the increases that are tied to projects and other needs should be put to a city wide vote and all options explored before implementing.


Do you support or oppose creation of Improvement Districts and Economic Development Districts? Why or why not?

For the purpose of our small city, I do not feel these types of approaches are needed. We are not a struggling city and I feel we do not need a small body within the city making decisions that can affect the city as a whole. At this time, we also have sufficient means and ability to maintain our business development and quality of businesses in our city.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of Economic Development Partnerships?

I can see a benefit of Economic Development Partnerships for larger cities. The Woodlands even has this in place. I feel applying this in our small city may not be as efficient.


Are you now or have you ever done business with The City of Shenandoah and/or a Shenandoah/county official and if so, the nature of that relationship?

No, I have not.

List Civic, Political or union organization or individuals to whom you have contributed time or money (past five years).

At this time, I have not taken part in any of these.

List all clients you have represented or lobbied for on behalf of any governmental entity during the past five years.


Please list your top 5 donors and what their relationship to you is?

I do not have donors.


Please describe what measures you propose to improve transparency and accountability to the public.

It is my intention to have our city minutes and financial documents updated to the city website in a timelier manner. Right now it is month behind for meeting minutes and months behind in most occasions for financial information.

Have you and/or any of your family members been employed by or working under contract to either The City of Shenandoah or Montgomery County?



How long have you been consistently voting in elections? For which parties candidates? List all the elections you have voted in for the past 3 years (2014-2016).

I have voted every chance possible, when work travel has allowed.

Would you vote in favor of spousal benefits for same-sex partners of State, County and City employees? Please explain your reasons.

While my religious beliefs do not favor same-sex relationships, I feel everyone should have access to being safe and healthy. This is not a topic in which I have a solution for and will defer to those with more experience and knowledge to create a suitable answer.