1. What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing Stephenville?
There are two areas and they are related. We must update our crumbling infrastructure (sewer system and city streets) and we have to address the amount of debt the city has to repay.
Already identified problems include over $20,000,000 in needed street repairs. We’ve been told we should be spending $2,000,000 per year to maintain existing streets. We know we have several million dollars of sewer system repairs that are needed (not including the east side sewer project).
At the beginning of this budget year the city had loans of more than $18,000,000. Then early in the fiscal year we borrowed another $2,500,000 to repair and update a portion of our existing sewer system. We also owe the employee retirement plan approximately $5,000,000. The city must develop a long-range financial plan that identifies infrastructure and future growth needs. A sound financial policy can not be supported solely by borrowed money.
2. Do you support an events center/multi-purpose facility? Why or why not?
Many citizens wish for an events center/multi-purpose facility. The problem is how do we pay (1) for its construction and (2) operation it after it’s finished. I look forward to investigating the possibility of such a facility but am not willing to do so while placing the city in a position to have to raise taxes to pay the construction debt and operational costs unless the citizens vote for it through a bond election.
3. What are your thoughts on the East Side Sewer Project?
I am glad this project has been proposed in three phases. Phase 1 will bring relief to an over-taxed system on the north side of the city. Phase 2 is expansion to bring sewer services to the airport.
I am still studying the need to spend $2 million dollars on this part of the project. I’m not sure it is a priority over clay pipes that are in desperate need to be replaced. Phase 3 is to expand services to the north and east (down Hwy 8) towards US 281. Though this would permit growth through annexation, I again do not believe it is a priority over existing pipes that need to be replaced.
4. How long have you lived in Stephenville and what clubs/organizations are you a part of?
I have lived in Erath County since January 1987 and have been a resident of Stephenville since 2003.
I am a member of the Graham Street Church of Christ and am honored to serve as one of the church’s elders. I coached girls’ softball through SPARD for six years when my daughters were young. I was a member of the Stephenville Optimist Club for 25 years.
Though outside Stephenville I also serve on the Texas Medical Care Advisory Committee (MCAC) and the IDD Workgroup (Committees which are part of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Austin). Previously, I served on the State-wide Medicaid Advisory Committee and the Texas Council on Long-Term Care Facility Surveys and Informal Dispute Resolution (Austin).
I am the Immediate Past President of the Providers’ Alliance for Community Services of Texas (PACSTX is a state-wide professional trade organization which works with companies to provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities, Austin).
5. Why should voters choose you instead of your opponent?
I do not believe in spending tax dollars unless necessary. You’ve heard discussions about new projects like the “east side sewer” and a “multi-purpose” center. Both have tremendous merits, but so do the other multimillion dollar projects we need to do.
Dave Ramsey said, “In 2008 the national debt stood at $9 trillion—the total debt for the entire history of the U.S. In two years, we added $4 trillion to our debt, increasing it by almost 50%! It is no different than one of us racking up credit card debt on groceries, then getting a car loan and a mortgage on top of that. All the money you make goes to keep up your payments. Not smart.” https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/daves-thoughts-on-the-national-debt Listen to the promises. I’ve heard it’s all about “hope and change.” We heard that from Washington 8 years ago!
My opponent says we need to grow with Tarleton. Growth in areas of business and industry are where we need to grow in a way that is manageable and sustainable without burdening our taxpayers.
If you agree, I humbly ask you to cast your vote for Doug Svien in Place 3.