The race is on

Locals vie for Pleasanton, Poteet mayor, city council, school board offices


 

 

Who will be your next mayor, city council representative or school board trustee?

The Pleasanton Express has once again put together a Voters’ Information Guide that showcases all candidates in the race for mayor, city council and school board positions in Pleasanton and Poteet.

The goal of the Voters’ Guide is to help you, the voter, learn about the qualifications, plans and positions of each candidate. This year, we did things a little differently. Rather than request candidates to simply submit a 150-word bio of themselves, we challenged each candidate to really think about their race. We sent each opposed candidate a set of questions specific to their positions: mayor, city councilmember or school board trustee. Our hope with this new and improved Voters’ Info Guide is that you will be able to truly evaluate each candidate based on their answers that are specific to the community they will represent.

All opposed candidates were asked the following questions:

 

 

Mayor

1. Do you think our main street/downtown is healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that?

2. What’s more important for our city right now: building new homes and commercial space or rehabbing/expanding/ better utilizing our existing homes and storefronts?

3. Are there any new programs or services you feel are needed in the city (i.e. Meals on Wheels, programs for kids, elderly, etc.)? If so, which programs and how do you plan to implement them?

4. If elected, what are three steps you would take to put our city on a firmer financial footing?

5. Do you plan to have an open-door policy? If so, what would that look like?

City Council

1. What is one major issue in your district you plan to address?

2. What is your vision for our community? How does it support the economy and quality of life in our city?

3. If someone came to you with a proposal to build a new piece of public infrastructure in your district (road, bridge, etc.) how would you evaluate whether that project is worth implementing?

 

 

4. What qualifies you as a council member for your district?

5. If elected, will you have an open-door policy? If so, what would that look like?

School Board

1. If elected, what are your top three priorities as a school board member?

2. What is your stand on the STAAR test?

3. What are your views on allocating education funding in your district so that the money follows the child?

4. What are your views on allocating education funding in your district so that the money follows the child?

5. If elected, will you have an open-door policy? If so, what would that look like?

6. What are your views on creating an equal pathway between trade schools and university?

Who you vote for will determine who leads YOUR city and/or school. So, keep that in mind as you look through the answers that were submitted by each candidate. If you think that your favorite candidate is popular enough to get the votes to win without yours, you’re wrong. In the last school board election, one of the most beloved and popular trustees received a mere 5 or so votes. Do NOT count on another person to vote for your candidate, even if you think the odds are in their favor. Also, and most importantly, pay attention to how each candidate presents themselves in general, not just in office or on paper. What are they like as a person? How much do they know about the current state of office they are running for?

 

 

Early Voting begins Monday, April 19 and ends April 27. Election Day is Saturday, May 1.

So, it’s time for your voices to be heard Pleasanton and Poteet. Every single vote counts.

City of Pleasanton Mayoral Candidates

Britni Van Curan

1. Our Main Street is well on the way to great success! With the upcoming renovation of the old elementary school and the addition of the Pleasanton Public Market, Main Street will offer something for everyone. This will include retail space, potential for restaurants, a rec center, a business incubator, space for food truck parking and so much more! The added bonus is that the Main Street projects will continue the Riverpark and will flow from the Civic Center to Bensdale. I realize there are immediate needs, both residential and commercial, in our downtown area. I plan to work with both of these factions to make the improvements needed. I will be available as Mayor for meetings with both the residents and business people of this community on all matters, not just Main Street. That having been said, I want Main Street to be a safe and friendly blend of residents and commerce while honoring the past and creating a vibrant future.

 

 

2. New growth is always positive whether it is the rehabilitation of existing homes and storefronts or the addition of new homes and business space. As a current leader in the city and as your Mayor, I would continue to explore and consider all possibilities to see that both old and new make our city a wonderful place to live and conduct business.

 

 

3. A Meals on Wheels type program would be such an asset to our city. The Alamo Area Council of Governments has a senior meals program and we here at the city have been in communication with them regarding feasibility. Additionally, several private citizens have expressed a desire to participate in creating a program that not only includes meals, but companion support such as central location for the senior community to gather and meet for socialization and programs that are not just limited to meals. These programs could involve some of our talented and trained citizens volunteering to lead classes that could include yoga, tai chi and low impact chair exercise programs. It would allow for a space for groups to form to play things such as bridge, dominoes, mahjong, bingo and more. Volunteers that could sometimes just listen! I would love to see additional services in our area such as a Boys and Girls Club, reaching out to the YMCA with an invitation to join our community as well as an expansion of food and personal needs programs. Our Parks and Recreation Department has already added so much to the community for all ages. Our sports programs and community events are growing yearly! I would love to see all these things continued and implemented not only by our city government but a coming together of churches, nonprofits and youth groups, as well as citizen volunteers. Together, I believe, we the citizens of Pleasanton can accomplish anything!

 

 

4. As Mayor I understand that I will be faced with the tasks of helping our city administrators watch the ever-changing balance of needs versus finances. City growth and improved infrastructure is a large financial burden and I feel that with the influx of new businesses we will have additions to our tax base as well as sales tax revenue. Additionally, we have representation by an experienced firm that works on the city’s behalf to identify and secure additional options such as grants. I have recently been involved in that process and will continue to explore more of these options so that the total financial burden does not rest on ad valorem taxes. Wise budgeting and proper planning is another area that can help us firm up our financial responsibility.

 

 

5. As Mayor I will be as accessible to the community as possible. It is my intention to continue with Mayor Hall’s open office hours each and every Monday that is possible. Those hours will remain the same from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm for anyone who would like to come and speak with me. Additionally, I plan to hold an evening session and I am researching where and when that would be possible. I feel evening meetings, to start with, should be held at least once or twice a month for citizens that cannot attend Monday sessions. Transparency and open input from the community as well as expressions of recommendations and concerns should be addressed at times convenient to the public. I will continue to work with our city staff to ensure that any messages that are delivered to them at City Hall are forwarded to me in a timely manner. Additionally, my email will be checked by myself regularly throughout each business day. It is my hope that every citizen in the community will know that I am present, visible and available.

 

 

Clinton J. Powell

1. If downtown Pleasanton was healthy, I doubt we’d have so many folks here trying to improve it. I appreciate everything the city has done to improve the appeal to the heart of our town. While it’s true that we continue to have successful businesses located downtown, I would actively seek input and advice on continually improving those efforts.

2. While repurposing older structures around town is important and certainly improves the look and feel of Pleasanton, we can’t ignore the fact that the city needs to promote smart development of new homes and commercial space every chance we get. Members of the development community have recently discussed with me the issues they’ve had with city management and the service their companies have received from City Hall. One idea would be to put together a board of both citizens and developer representatives to strengthen that relationship. We want continued growth in Pleasanton … but we want that development to be smart and to cater to what’s best for our community.

 

 

3. I don’t have any pet projects in my desire to be on the Council again. I’ve always believed in reaching out to the community to get input on what additional programs are needed to serve the citizens of Pleasanton. Once those programs are identified, I would do my best to make sure the city provides resources or manpower to make sure those programs are successful. But tying this back to the previous question, it’s important to realize that to have good programs and services for our citizens, we need a strong tax base to pay for it.

 

 

4. a.) Budgeting: The budget is the most important policy document the City of Pleasanton produces on an annual basis. Just like a family’s budget is a reflection of that family’s values and priorities, it’s the same with a city budget. The budget should reflect the priorities and values of our taxpayers. During my previous council experience, I saw that the city managers and department heads worked well with the council in developing the city budget. My goal as Mayor would be to continue a process that encourages communication and transparency by seeking input from a diverse cross-section of the community. b.) Employee compensation: Because the salaries and benefits paid to city employees were not that competitive in the past, we lost some good employees to better paying jobs. In 2011, I worked closely with the new city manager to improve the way we compensated our employees. With their input, we worked together to develop a method of overall benefits similar to what’s used in the military. Before that time, the city was often considered a “training center” where employees would learn important skills and then use those skills to find a better-paying job somewhere else. Employee turnover is one of any city’s biggest expenses. I think money spent on replacing employees would be better spent on giving those that want to stay a little more money to feed their families. c.) Monitoring Revenue and Expenses: Developing the city budget is the most important responsibility that any elected city official has. My goal every year was and will be to put together a “Better Budget for a Better Pleasanton.” When a budget is first developed, the city’s priorities should be clear. But I would also make sure that any necessary updates to the budget were made cautiously and with continuous input and communication with the taxpayers. My priority would be to continually look for ways to cut spending where it’s possible, maintain spending where it’s not, and to raise our tax base by promoting Pleasanton as a great place to do business and a beautiful and safe place to live.

 

 

 

 

5. I was available and had an open-door policy when I was Mayor previously, and that wouldn’t change. I’ve am available to folks on social media and my time would be there for anyone with a concern or a comment. In addition, I would make sure there would continue to be times available for face-to-face meetings with citizens and taxpayers at City Hall.

Pleasanton City Council District 6

Jennifer Garcia

1. Currently, the constituents of District 6 have been vocalizing that streetlights and internet providers are major concerns and impact their daily quality of life and ability to work from home. I certainly want to investigate options for them and, if within the city’s abilities, help my district obtain those services.

 

 

2. After the recent power outages in Texas, I would like to examine and study the infrastructure of our community and support whatever systems need to be upgraded in the event that such an occurrence ever happens again. My commitment to education is important, and just as important is continuing education for adults. I will support programs to help adults attain certifications, learn a second languages, update technology skills and support future entrepreneurs.

3. Every proposal from constituents is worth evaluating. Certainly, the amount of fiscal commitment, widespread effectiveness and sustainability plays a major factor in any decision. In addition, I would like to see how the city can work with the State and Federal governments on any infrastructure projects.

4. I have lived in Pleasanton and worked in the school system in Pleasanton for almost 30 years. Community outreach and parental involvement is a huge part of my everyday job which has connected me to the community and allowed me to learn the needs of Pleasanton. My husband and I raised five daughters in this community; the people in this community made Pleasanton an excellent place to raise our children and now it is my turn to give back to the community for future generations. After working for many years with vast and diverse groups of people throughout our community, I believe my constituents trust I will act in their best interest.

 

 

5. An open-door policy is key to any public service member. Since I don’t believe councilmembers have physical offices, constituents will be able to contact me through email and I will promptly address their concerns with either a return email or a phone call.

Jeanne Israel

1. The one major issue inDistrict6Iplanto focus on is identifying and expediting continued implementation of infrastructure improvements, for example drainage, street maintenance and rehabilitation, street lighting, sidewalks and upgrades to water and sewer lines.

 

 

2. My vision for our community is to work together to grow Pleasanton by balancing services, safety, infrastructure, economic development and tourism. Keeping Pleasanton attractive to new residents and where generations of families want to continue to make their home, investing in Pleasanton’s past, present and future. I want individuals who have embraced opportunities elsewhere to return to their hometown, sharing those experiences, supporting and building our community, through business, family and leadership. This vision should focus on attracting corporate interest to relocate and invest in Pleasanton supporting existing businesses, creating new businesses and jobs, actively supporting education and families and growing our community with a unified direction.

3. If someone approached me with a proposal, I would meet with them at the location, listen and ask for contacts and information concerning the project. I will evaluate all projects based on the ability for the city to complete the project and the impact on the community. Should the project initially have potential for an overall positive impact I would contact the Mayor, visit with the city manager at the site to introduce the project and determine next steps in the evaluation. These steps could include meetings with Public Works, the City Engineer and TxDOT. Should everyone agree this project has merit I would ensure the project is presented to council for discussion and action. The council would hear preliminary information considering the project and vote whether or not to move to a feasibility study if necessary. The evaluation of a project is never made alone. Teamwork.

 

 

4. What qualifies me as a council member for District 6? Ten years of representing both taxpayers and local government by working in an elected, employed and appointed capacity at the city, county and state level. I have also partnered with state representatives, state departments, local governments, our school district, appraisal districts and nonprofits to support, answer or resolve theirs and taxpayers’ questions and concerns. I owned a small business in Pleasanton for 15 years which helps me view issues from a business owner’s perspective. I have always and will continue to be a strong advocate and voice for taxpayers and our city. I have a strong understanding and working knowledge of state and local laws, and the Pleasanton City Charter along with a great sense of humor.

 

 

5. My open-door policy, you will be able to reach me by text, email and in person. I would ask if it is not an emergency to allow me to respond in person or by phone the next day.

Pleasanton ISD Trustee District 3

Paul Bernal

 

 

1. I believe I can make a difference. I have been blessed with the education and knowledge of the workforce required in the outside world. A priority for me is to provide our students with opportunities to graduate with college credits, work force certifications and/ or military readiness that will help them find employment after graduation or be college ready.

2. I understand the need for testing and accountability; however, I do not believe that that the STAAR test gives a true picture of student learning. I believe it should be used as a guide or baseline of information for parents and the school. It is my opinion that STAAR test scores and ratings do not accurately reflect everything that the school system does to meet the diverse needs of their students and community.

3. Currently districts receive some funding based on student enrollment. I believe in creating a supported learning environment with excellent opportunities that would promote student enrollment in the district.

 

 

4. I believe in doing what is right for our students, faculty and staff. Working together we can continue to foster a great school district and look for opportunities that will allow us to grow and provide the best learning environment for everyone. I want to be able to help provide win-win solutions and work on maintaining and improving family and community partnerships.

5. I am happy to be visit with all stakeholders. I have had the same phone number for over 20 years and can be reached by phone, email and through various apps.

6. Students today are competing against other students that graduate high school with an Associate Degree or certification in a workforce trade. We need to provide our students with the tools needed to find good paying jobs once leaving our system.

Ernest Gonzales

1. My top three priorities are to focus on priorities, work with other board members towards success for everyone and to set visions and goals for our school.

CITY OF PLEASANTON DISTRICT MAP Please visit www.pleasantontx.gov/government/elections.php for a complete breakdown of the City of Pleasanton Districts. CITY OF PLEASANTON

CITY OF PLEASANTON DISTRICT MAP Please visit www.pleasantontx.gov/government/elections.php for a complete breakdown of the City of Pleasanton Districts. CITY OF PLEASANTON

2. In the past, I have felt there has been too much emphasis on standardized testing in the classroom. I understand the need for testing, however, I would like to see less focus on teaching to the test and more focus on just teaching.

3. I feel I could best answer this question in a form with other board members where discussions could be heard and decisions made that would best benefit the district, students, parents and the community.

4. My vision for education in the community mirrors the vision statement of Pleasanton ISD; “Pleasanton Independent School District will be the exceptional education foundation for all students to succeed in an ever-changing society as lifelong learners.”

Being able to provide students the ability to adapt, change and to continue learning throughout their life will support the economy, life and continued growth in our community.

5. Of course I will have an open-door policy. I would welcome the opinions, comments, discussions and concerns of anyone. My door is open and my phone is on.

6. I agree that there should be an equal pathway. As a parent of two Pleasanton graduates, both of which are on separate pathways of trade school and university, I can attest to the importance of creating this and sustaining a curriculum that supports the individuality of each student and their needs.

Patrick Hurley

1. First and foremost, I will strive to be a good steward of our district resources. Being a former member of the Eagle Bandand One Act Play, I think it is important to support the arts and music programs within the district, and will work to help them continue their success. I also view future planning as a priority. We have an amazing community and school, and as we continue to grow and prosper, we should have a defined pathway forward to accommodate that growth and change.

2. I have mixed feelings on the STAAR test honestly. I think back to when I was in school, and I had classmates who were absolutely brilliant, but they did not take tests well. As students, we always received a lot of positive encouragement leading up to the test, but I could tell that the teachers were stressed, and the pressure was there. I am not sure what the solution is for this, but I feel that improvements or changes could be made. I realize that there needs to be a way of grading and monitoring the schools, but I don’t think that the current testing system does that very well.

3. It is an interesting idea, and I think that if handled properly, could be successful. I know Pleasanton is already ahead of the curve in offering training programs for our teachers with incentives for their participation, and that the school has seen a great response from the teaching staff. Giving our already great teachers even more tools will make our schools even better, and allow for student retention. Pleasanton is already leading by example, and would continue to do so under that financial format.

4. My answer here ties into your question on trade schools and universities. I think that continued support of the trade programs within the schools are vitally important for the success of the community. As I have talked with friends that work in the various fields (electricians, plumbers, A/C, etc.), there is a definite need in all aspects of those businesses, and our schools have the opportunity to help with that.

5. I am always available (schedule allowing) at my office during the workweek. I am glad to meet with anyone who has opinions or concerns.

6. I am proud to support the mikeroweWORKS Foundation and their continued efforts to push the importance of trade schools. There are so many areas that have high-paying jobs that can be accessed through trade schools. I applaud those who choose to continue their education at the college level, but it is just as important that information and access be provided for those who would rather pursue a career in other areas. Those jobs are just as important and needed by our local community and our country as a whole.

Pleasanton ISD Trustee District 6

Felipa Garza

Incumbent

1. My priorities are closely related. They are students, tools and mandates. a.) My expectation is that students graduate with a well-grounded education. b.) That students have very good tools available for them. The tools come in many forms. Examples are: study material that is appropriate for age level, time dedicated to study, computers and encouraging teachers. c.) I expect to follow school mandates required by law.

As a school board member, I will review these priorities. If necessary recomend changes, keeping in mind the laws that govern education.

2. My stand on STAAR: it is good to have tools to measure learning. It may be stressful for the kids, but they are resilient. If you expect them to do good, they most likely will.

3. This requires very careful and detailed consideration of facts. At this point, I feel there may be more chance of error for the student.

4. This past year has been difficult for parents. Parental expectations for a child is critical to their learning. Children need rules and structure to develop healthy goals as they grow. Education systems helps them to advance by improving their education and their quality of life.

5. Yes. For now, text messages. At a later date, I may decide to use email.

6. Yes, I support this option. Some trade schools are good, allowing workforce entrance at a faster pace. Also some employers will pay for further education. But first choice would be college although there is more cost for families.

Jessica Tom

1. My top three priorities are communication, ensuring students are successful after graduation and supporting the needs of each campus to the best of our ability.

2. I recognize the need for metrics. I would prefer if the tests were used as an indicator of student’s knowledge rather than a pass/fail requirement.

3. I agree it can cost more to educate some students than others. Therefore, I would agree funding should follow the student to ensure that student has as many resources available as needed. However, I also think there should be an adequate baseline of funding for all general education students and only funds needed above that threshold should follow the student.

4. I think the school should ensure every student steps out of high school prepped for success in whatever their future holds. I think we have a responsibility to send those to college that want to attend, but we should also be turning out a workforce that will fill the voids in our community. In turn, I think our community should offer internships/ apprenticeships/part-time jobs to students to help develop interests in careers after graduation. I would also like to see GED classes and night school offered to interested parents, but I recognize this is probably higher than PISD can accommodate.

5. I am open to speaking to anyone in the community about matters that pertain to my position on school board. However, I would prefer to have conversations at an appropriate, scheduled time rather than in the grocery store aisle or at my kids’ little league games.

6. I think trade schools and universities should be regarded in the same manner. I do not see one as better than the other and our students should not be made to feel any less valuable if they choose not to attend a four-year school. In my opinion, both turn out knowledgeable students that will benefit society. Our high school offers advanced courses for college prep, but we should also find ways to graduate students ready to enter the workforce in a skilled trade.

City of Poteet Mayoral Candidates

Willie Leal Jr.

Incumbent

1. The Poteet downtown area has a few businesses that are doing well. Last year, a daycare opened and a new business just opened this month in the downtown area. Our downtown area has a lot of potential to be the bustling commerce area it once was. One of my priorities is to revitalize commerce and beautify downtown. During the first month as mayor, I initiated a beautification program in collaboration with the Poteet High School art students. The students created the artwork and painted the mural on the City Hall exterior wall. As Mayor, I plan to continue to work towards enhancing the downtown area; one project is to have a monthly Downtown Market Day for local vendors.

2. The City recently annexed 183 acres for a new residential subdivision for approximately 360 new homes. This will bring new commerce to our city. Some of these new businesses will build their own buildings. I would like to see some of the new businesses utilize the storefront buildings in the downtown area. There are a lot of nice older houses in Poteet needing a little “tender loving care.” With some makeover, these houses could be turned into affordable housing, making a winwin for the property owners and the city.

3. There is already a Meals on Wheels program in Poteet. I am actively seeking to enhance the program. The program needs daily volunteers to help distribute meals in our area. I am also looking for grant funding to establish a Senior Citizen center in our community. The center would be open during the weekday with activities and lunch for the visitors. I am also looking for grant funding for an after-school program to help tutor students on school subject and provide mentorship. This would necessitate a lot of volunteer support from the community.

4. a.) I will promote a balanced and thriving city economy. Ongoing expenditures should be supported by ongoing revenues. Accordingly, onetime revenues should not be used for ongoing expenditure on a continuous basis. Budget development should be guided by a long term, or strategic budget plan. Once annual budget is adopted, it should be amended only when urgency requires, and then by identifying specific funding sources for these new priorities. b.) I will promote efficient and effective city government to improve levels of service. The General Fund Reserve should be maintained at a minimum of three percent. Discretionary General Fund revenues should not be earmarked, thereby allowing maximum flexibility in funding decisions on an annual basis. c.) I will develop and maintain the public infrastructure to improve community appearance and encourage continued development. When capital projects are considered, all associated costs should be identified in order to properly assess future financial impacts. Each enterprise fund should reflect the true cost of operation, including direct and indirect costs of services provided by the General Fund.

5. Right after I assumed the Office of the Mayor, I initiated an open-door policy at City Hall. Unless I had a conflict on my schedule, I was available on Wednesday afternoon from 1:30–3:30 p.m. for anyone who wanted to speak with me. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, I had to suspend that policy. Now that the Governor opened up everything, I intend to reinstate the policy again. I now have an office in the old police station.

Denise Sanchez

1. The main street, downtown, does need a little work.

2. Most important right now is focusing and the No. 1 priority will be the water in our city. We pay a high price and are not able to consume it. I have no problems with homes. The issue is the water. Who’s going to buy homes or move into our city when our water comes out dirty?

3. I would like to find a program for the elderly whom have no one and they can get out to a center for dancing, games, meals and such.

4. I have a plan of what I know as of right now. I’ve been kept out of the loop.

5. I’ve always had an open-door policy and will continue to have one and will be available all the time.

Nicholas Sanchez

1. While our main street in Poteet has seen a couple of businesses pop up, there are still abandoned and run-down buildings next to City Hall. While those remain dilapidated and vacant, we cannot claim success. Recently, I put a tax plan on our agenda to essentially put a tax freeze on not only those buildings but all buildings in Poteet. This way investors or homeowners can improve their properties without getting taxed on the new higher value. However, this tax plan is not supported by some of my fellow council members. I will keep pushing for changes such as these to make our town vibrant.

2. With our new pipes in place, building new homes and commercial space is something we can confidently now support. However, I believe restoring what we have takes precedence. I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never seen a thriving downtown Poteet. I want the youth to have a better experience growing up in Poteet than I did.

3. Programs that benefit the youth and our elderly is something that has been needed in Poteet for a long time. Another program I would like to see are programs that can help people that suffer from addiction or mental health issues. These afflictions have long been stigmatized and we need to be the generation that gets these people help instead of throwing them in jail and making them worse. Implementing these programs really depends on our budget, if we partner with a nonprofit, or we qualify for a grant.

4. a.) More businesses need to come into Poteet. Our people have to travel to other towns to get their material needs met. My end goal is to not have to leave Poteet for anything I need. b.) Continue strengthening our water and roads. Poteet’s issue for a long time has been businesses do not want to gamble coming into Poteet for fear of bad utility service. While we have greatly improved, we need to keep improving to earn back a good reputation. c.) Build up the businesses we already have and help them prosper. We have a good start shouting out restaurants weekly. Informing our business folks of options that are available through offered programs, not only helps them, it also helps the people around the town.

5. I’ve always had an open-door policy, people have been contacting me throughout my five years on council with their issues. Now these issues usually boil down to miscommunication from either the city side or the resident side. I have encountered issues where we at the city were in the wrong. Working with the administration we almost always fix the issues on our side and do right by the citizens. For everything else, council attention is needed, and all issues will be heard, discussed and action taken.

Robert Enriquez Zuniga

City of Poteet Mayoral Candidate No Answers Submitted

Poteet City Council Place 4

Jeremy Fernandez

1. The pipes and water system. We need to have clean water for our citizens and so that we can also get more business into our City.

2. My vision is to gain the trust of the citizens to believe in their City government. That we will be striving to make the City a good place. Our City has so much potential to grow and to be known as a good City to live in.

3. I would see how it would be beneficial for the City first and foremost. I would hear out all citizens who will come to me and will voice to me if they are for it or not and see both sides.

4. I was born in Jourdanton, lived and raised in Poteet all my life. I did not move here nor did I ever leave and come back. I love my City and feel that it has a lot of potential to be a GREAT City. I have been in a position where I worked for the fourth largest County in our State and I assisted with the budget and making decisions solely for the benefit of the departments. I feel with my 14 years experience as a public servant and know how to work with the public with the combination of budgets makes me qualified to be a Council Member.

5. I will have an opendoor policy to the public. If a citizen comes up to me with a question or concern I will do my best to answer right then and there. If I don’t have an answer I will get with the City staff and have them do research and get back with me in a timely manner so that citizen can have their answer and that will be with all citizens who approach me. The citizens are AND will be priority.

Melinda J. Orta

1. As a citizen, I have been always curious about our water. I know that we have several wells for our water supply and we did get new pipes, but why does our water bill keep going up? I know some elderly people that still pay over $100 a month and they are the only person living in their home. I know it has been said before about having digital water meters reading, and I want to be able to push that to come into effect for all the citizens and see how we can teach the community to conserve water and understand the breakdown of the water bill when a question arises.

2. As Poteet is about to get a new subdivision of over 300 homes, we need to be able to provide more services to those new homeowners, as well as with our current citizens. Our town is very limited when it comes to certain services and we do not have my choices. If we could have more choices, and allow new businesses, it would give our citizens more of a reason to stay within our town and we would be able to start seeing more revenue and good changes being done to our town. That is why I believe so much in my own saying and that is “LET’S GROW POTEET TOGETHER.”

3. First thing we would have to do is research which public infrastructure we could benefit from. There are eight main infrastructures: transportation, water, power and energy, telecommunication, political, educational, health and recreational. This is when we would have to decide and work with the infrastructures that are for the standard of living. Starting with what is mostly needed for our community and those are transportation, water and power and energy. By evaluating these three infrastructures, we would have to decide which one of those would be in the best interest for Poteet and our citizens. Once that one need is met, we could be left with open doors to work on more infrastructures, making sure we keep on that one priority list.

4. Qualifications should be the first thing on the city council application. If that were the case, there would be so many people that have been in office not able to run. Being part of city council, it takes lots of dedication, patience, open mind and to have a voice for the citizens. Being a citizen, part of the Planning and Zoning committee and a past business owner in Poteet, I know that I can speak on the behalf of our citizens. I can think for both citizens and as a business, I would make sure that I would keep an open mind to new ideas and work with each city council person as a team. I have been a type of person that is not afraid of working hard in what I believe in.

5. I believe that an open-door policy is very important, this creates a trust between the citizen and city council. The citizen would know that no matter what concerns they have, it can be investigated, and an outcome will be seen at the end. One way I would like to have that implemented is by having one person in the office, just designed to handle any issues or concerns to the city and have that person be the one to make sure that any city employee or official does follow through to the end. This would eliminate so many unanswered questions.

Poteet City Council Place 5

Jesse M. Leal

Incumbent

1. One of the major areas I plan to focus on is researching and securing grants to help fund community projects that improve the city’s infrastructure. I am committed to keeping the city and community’s best interests as a number one priority, while also creating positive social and economic outcomes.

2. My vision is to build our community to its full potential, creating better opportunities for our citizens to live, work and play. Part of that vision includes focusing on the overall infrastructure of the city, which includes streets, drainage and the sewer system. Improvements to the infrastructure would not only benefit our citizens and the city, it would undoubtedly improve the economy and strength of the city as a whole, and open opportunities for new developments in the future.

3. Any new public infrastructure development would first have to be evaluated to determine if the project is beneficial to the city and citizens as a whole. We would also have to consider the cost and future maintenance expenses of the project, and determine if there is a positive return on investment.

4. My qualifications to serve as a city council member include the knowledge and skills I obtained while working for the Department of Justice (DOJ) for 24 years. I learned to be strategic, how to set goals and how to create processes for attaining those goals. I was often tasked with implementing old and new ideas for various projects. I’m fortunate to have also gained experience and knowledge about the law while at the DOJ. I believe my leadership skills, in addition to my law enforcement and legal background, combined with the respect and genuine interest I have for the City of Poteet and its future make me an ideal candidate for the Poteet City Council.

5. I have always had an open-door policy, since first being elected to the Poteet City Council in 2019, and will continue to do so. I want our citizens to know they will always have the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns with me. They can meet, call or text me at any time of day or evening. I value and understand the importance of working with and listening to others in order to accomplish our goals and make improvements to our city. Our citizens are why we are here, and are ultimately who we are working for.

Crystal Bautista

1. The biggest issue that I would like to address is Poteet’s water system, which includes, but is not limited to the quality of our drinking water, the cost to the community to use that water and the efficiency of both of our water towers.

2. I envision our city to be a place where people want to live and can work or shop in without having to travel to other cities to maintain a living. I would like to make sure that our city is capable and qualified to bring in new businesses. If we can fix our water supply, our streets and any electrical issues then we should be able to endure new businesses and bring revenue to the city while at the same time providing jobs to the citizens of Poteet. Having this type of revenue would enable the city the potential to give back to our community by improving our school systems, parks, meeting the needs of our fire department, EMS crews and police department, sustaining a permanent physician’s service, helping our little league, etc. These changes will not happen overnight and may take some time to implement, but as long as we get the wheels turning in the right direction, we can show improvement and possibilities for the City of Poteet.

3. I would evaluate all the pros and cons for that project, and make sure it is a necessary project. Inquiring whether the city and most of our citizens benefit from it. There are many projects out there, but the council members need to ask if those projects benefit a few people or the whole community. For instance, if asked to pay to pave one dirt road that is not commonly used by most citizens I would vote no and suggest that same amount of money go to fix several roads with damage from the water pipe installations.

4. Living in Poteet all my life and now raising my family in Poteet, with no intention of moving, has given me the motivation to want to see changes in our city that we as a community can be proud of and try to rebuild our community to sustain its efficiency for every generation yet to come. I am capable of being a voice for the community as a whole and an advocate for those who may not know what lies beyond smalltown normality. I am not a “yes man,” I will ask questions and make sure I do my best to represent the community to the best of my ability.

5. Yes, I will have an open-door policy. If elected, I would like to implement an open-door policy for all council members and employees of the city. I believe there should be a system for all council members and city employees to follow. For instance, if a citizen has a question or concern and they approach any council member or city employee and that person cannot answer the question, then that council member or city employee needs to inform the citizen that they do not have an answer for them and then follow a chain of command until they have the desired answer, all within a professional and timely manner. It would make every council member and city employee accountable for their actions, or lack thereof.

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