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.