1. What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing Stephenville?
The biggest challenge facing Stephenville is the current condition of our infrastructure.
The council commissioned and received a pavement condition index report that showed our streets are in overall poor condition. The estimation to improve the overall condition requires expenditure of over $2 million per year on street projects. Momentum has been created in the last two years by spending just under $1 million per year. The challenge is to find funding to build on the momentum and continue the improvements.
The city continues to evaluate sewer basins in voluntary compliance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requests. Results collected so far indicates breaches and infiltrations. This makes our most critical challenge to move forward with the East Side Sewer Project. This project relocates approximately one third of the city’s wastewater volume to a new pipe and rehabilitates one of the most deteriorated sections of clay pipe within the city. The project eliminates the overburden and transfer point concerns that exist in our current system.
Public health and safety is a primary responsibility of local government. Sound infrastructure is vital to the provision of those services.
2. Do you support an events center/multi-purpose facility? Why or why not?
Would it be nice to have an events center? Sure. Can the city of Stephenville afford to build one? No
way. There have been meetings taking place for 4-5 months with representatives from Erath County,
City of Stephenville, SISD, TSU, Chamber of Commerce, SEDA and STEDCO to discuss the needs in the community for a large meeting space. So far, the results of the meetings are that each group would benefit from a large space and the common desire to continue the investigation. There have been no proposals, site plans, economic impact analysis or cost estimates brought forward by this group to my knowledge.
I attended the only public meeting held by the group to explain the existing needs and support the effort to continue the visioning process. Dreaming doesn’t cost a dime. Turning a dream into reality does. If and when a proposal emerges from the core group it will be evaluated and judged on its merits. Until then I stand by my original question: can the city afford to build an event center? No way, addressing existing infrastructure deficiencies must take precedence.
3. What are your thoughts on the East Side Sewer Project?
The East Side Sewer project is the most important issue facing the city of Stephenville today. Essentially phase 1 of the project reduces the probability of sewage overflow in critical areas and protects the Bosque River, a nationally recognized impaired waterway, from possible contamination. Four system deficiencies are addressed by this project.
• A bottleneck exists where (2) 15” pipes collect in a single manhole and (1) 21” pipe carries wastewater downstream.
• The 21” pipe is a deteriorated clay pipe and phase 1 rehabilitates or replaces that pipe.
• An overburden issue at a transfer point located near the Bosque River is eliminated.
• The project creates the backbone for future development.
The city is attempting to obtain funding for this project through the Texas Water Development Board which offers a loan program at a reduced interest rate and the possibility of up to 30% loan forgiveness.
Bottomline: Phase 1 is essential to protect the city of Stephenville. Phase 2 extends toward the airport and coupled with the already approved runway extension helps prime the area for development. Phase 3 extends the interceptor north to Highway 8. Any further development to the northeast would require additional funding beyond the scope of this project.
4. How long have you lived in Stephenville and what clubs/organizations are you a part of?
I worked multiple jobs to pay my way through Texas A & M University. My undergraduate work was in Animal Science and my graduate study was Ag Economics Finance. I began my career on the 22nd floor of the Galleria Tower in Dallas as an investment banker. After a few years, I knew the daily drive and a three piece suit wasn’t for me. Twenty nine years ago, I decided Stephenville was the place I wanted to live. I had no ties to this area but I liked the city. It has proven to be the best choice I would ever make. I met my wife Robin and her sons and now, I am blessed to have six amazing grandchildren. I love my family, my job and the many cherished friends I have made here.
I am a member of Stephenville First United Methodist Church, Trade Organizations: TITA and TACCA, Erath County Aggie Club and Keep Stephenville Beautiful.
Habitat for Humanity; Sundown on the Square; BBQ, Bands & Bottle Rockets on the Bosque and July 4 Family fun Fair are a few of the organizations I have assisted as a volunteer.
5. Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent?
It has been my privilege and honor to serve on city council. I have approached this job with the same level of commitment and effort that I give in every area of my life.
My work experience has proven invaluable in understanding city challenges and issues. My day job includes construction oversite, bid preparation and review, fleet and heavy equipment purchases, facilities management and long range capital planning each requiring extensive financial analysis.
To me, a visible sign of commitment is to have skin in the game. I have funded two election campaigns out of pocket, returned all city compensation back in charitable donations and paid my way to all city related activities.
Effort means sifting through volumes of material, meeting one on one with individuals, attending demonstrations and touring facilities to more fully understand the issues that come before the council. I serve on four council standing committees and have attended more meetings in the last two years where city business was discussed than any other council member.
I come prepared and informed to assess every issue using relevant experience tempered with common sense. I appreciate the opportunity I have been given to serve our community.