1. What in your background makes you qualified to serve on the Stephenville City Council?
I have lived in Stephenville for thirteen years. I work at Tarleton State University as an English professor. My wife is PJ (known to many as “Miss Paula” because of her job as a lead teacher at Tarleton’s Child Development Center and before that at Faith School). We own three houses in town, and are happy that her children and grandchildren now also live in Stephenville.
I have served on the City Board of Adjustment (Chair for the last year and a half). I have also served on City search committees and have been active in various and civic activities, especially the Rotary Club (Past President, and currently serving as its Youth Chair). I coordinate Rotary’s signature event, “The Leaders of Tomorrow” Banquet.
In town, you may have seen me ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. You may have heard my voice on the radio during my show “The Beatles and Beyond” on KTRL 90.5 FM, or at the Tarleton football halftime shows as the Voice of Tarleton’s marching band, or as the Emcee at the annual Veteran’s Day Parade. I am also proud to be a Cross Timbers Area Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Children.
2. What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it?
The obvious challenge is that our infrastructure (including street repair, airport expansion, water security, an updated independent school system, and no-kill animal shelter) is shored up and readied for the next generation. I think a more urgent need, though, is that we have a city council that is forward-thinking, diplomatic, and more gracious in our negotiations as we maintain that infrastructure.
We are on the cusp of a great surge in our business development opportunities, and we need leaders in place who will welcome that growth, not impede it. We need leaders who are going to use our resources wisely, not create new governmental agencies or offices, duplicating effort. We need people who will be consistent with their word, not “saying one thing, but doing another.”
I won’t rob Peter to pay Paul. I won’t take away from our local government workers’ pensions in the name of budget cutting. I won’t give myself a pay-raise while calling myself a fiscal conservative. I practice what I preach. If you elect me, I will be the kind of leader who is tough-minded but kind-hearted. I will be consistent, voting my values and the values of my fellow Stephenville citizens who want progress without hypocrisy.
3. Why should voters choose you over your opponent?
I am a rational, thoughtful, kind-hearted, yet tough-minded person. I am not ruled by fear. I am an Eisenhower-style politician: “conservative when it comes to money and liberal when it comes to human beings.”
I am honored to have served as the president of organizations, such as the Texas College English Association, Conference of College Teachers of English, and South Asian Literary Association (which I currently serve as that international organization’s Treasurer). I’m also the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teacher’s treasurer. I am trusted with money, am a fiscal conservative, and am proud of my endorsements from several well-known and respected conservatives in Stephenville and abroad, including Kent Perkins and his wife Ruth Buzzi.
I am the son of an immigrant from South Asia and a mother from Vernon, Texas. My whole life has prepared me to work well with people from all sides of an issue, the globe, and across the aisle. My doctoral degree has prepared me to be a great researcher and one who can analyze various viewpoints and work together to craft creative solutions. I am a servant and tireless worker.
I love Stephenville, and would very much appreciate your vote on May 5.