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Candidates for College Station City Council

Candidates for College Station City Council

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College Station City Council, Place 4

ELIZABETH CUNHA

What is your campaign platform? (150 words)

Neighborhoods grow our future generations. Affordable housing must reflect our city’s vision of peaceful and safe neighborhoods. I support College Station Neighborhood Services which teaches neighborliness and code enforcement officers who help us respectfully coexist. I prioritize first responders as key to ensuring our neighborhoods remain safe spaces.

I seek opportunities to fortify unity. Parks and community events engender a shared space of connection. Trails reduce traffic and increase resident interaction. Utilizing volunteers deepens unity while simultaneously stretching tax dollars further.

But unity is not synonymous with uniformity. Each neighborhood’s unique character and historic contributions should be intentionally preserved. Diversity in our neighborhoods must be valued and celebrated. We should focus our efforts on how to love our neighbors and not fixate on how to pick our neighbors. Government should regulate behaviors but should not regulate who I allow to sleep in my own home.

Join the conversation at cunhaforcitycouncil.com

What does College Station need to do to ensure controlled growth? (150 words)

We must prioritize funding fire, police, sanitation, electricity, water and wastewater. These primary functions must be funded to meet the needs of residents before other budget considerations. We need a seventh fire station. Multi family complexes need more recycling options to reduce waste production. We should add solar panels to city buildings to diversify electricity sources. Needs must come before wants.

We must prioritize expanding mobility and meeting options to reduce traffic congestion. Buses, bike lanes, and multi-use paths reduce traffic congestion in fiscally responsible ways. Providing Zoom options for meetings also reduces traffic congestion. Employers who offer staggered shifts reduce the rush hour traffic demands on our roadways.

We must prioritize offering civic opportunities to volunteer, intern and serve on citizen boards and commissions. Community gardens, community clean up events, and holiday celebrations are valuable venues for resident volunteerism. As residents become meaningful contributors, engagement increases and friction decreases.

How would you bridge the neighborhoods vs. business divide? (150 words)

Neighborhoods want low taxes. Businesses bring in property tax, sales tax, and hotel occupancy tax — those tax dollars fund fire stations, city staff salaries, road construction and community parks. Without businesses, our homeowner property taxes would rise dramatically.

Neighborhoods want reduced traffic. Businesses, strategically positioned, reduce traffic congestion. A local grocer means you do not have to drive across town. Five grocers, strategically positioned throughout the city, means no one has to drive across town.

Neighborhoods want economic stability. Businesses provide employment. Entry level employment for our youth and careers for our professionals combine to provide economic stability to our region.

Neighborhoods want meaningful recreation close to home. Businesses like Grand Station, Cinemark Theater, Stone Co Climbing and Escape Rooms bring options to our residents’ doorsteps.

Communication reflecting appreciation for the roles that both neighborhoods and businesses play in creating community will bridge division. Sensitive zoning facilitates a productive coexistence.

WILLIAM WRIGHT

What is your campaign platform? (150 words)

My campaign is all about the future with respect to the present and the past. I want to support our local and historic businesses while focusing on future development. What does College Station look like in 30 years? I hope to be still living here in that time. I want to be a part of the decisions made today that will have an impact that far down the road. Those decisions are about smart growth and building density where density makes the most sense. It’s about bringing in more businesses that start at a livable salary to support a middle class. We can look at the last ten years as a time of wild growth. It shouldn’t slow down over the next 30. Are we doing what we need to solve the problems of the future? I want to be part of a unified College Station to address these questions.

What does College Station need to do to ensure controlled growth? (150 words)

I welcome growth! I am in favor of adding density, or large collections of people, where density makes the most sense. Over the last decade, we have tried to shove more people into places where the infrastructure can’t support it. We need to move away from that. The proposed new comprehensive plan will help. Midtown is a great example of smart, planned, mixed-use development. We have more young professional apartment complexes than ever and more on the horizon. We are an attractive city to live in and we have graduates every year that will want to live here. We need a more diverse economy with good entry level jobs as a reason and means to make College Station their permanent home. All of that is growth, but what it comes down to is planning and sticking to our plans as much as possible. For more info on growth, visit wright4council.org.

How would you bridge the neighborhoods vs. business divide? (150 words)

This is one of our biggest problems going forward. We cannot move into the future if we are fighting battles of the past. There have been bad actors that have soured the two groups on each other. Let’s leave those in the past and work toward the future. We need strong neighborhoods to support strong businesses. It takes a leader that is open to any and all dialogue. I won’t bring with me a preconceived idea to any situation. I will listen and consider information from subject matter experts, who are well versed in complex policy. This is something I have learned being a leader in the private sector. I lead multiple teams of over thirty employees. Everyone brings their own needs to the table, but we have to work together to accomplish the common goal. Let’s make College Station the best place to work, play, and enjoy life.

College Station City Council, Place 6DAVID LEVINE

What is your campaign platform? (150 words)

There are three main issues I want to tackle for citizens: Safe Streets, Roof Rights, and Bread & Bank.

Safe Streets — deliver smart and well-funded policing strategies.

Roof Rights — ensuring College Station private property rights are restored.

Bread & Bank — create jobs through economic drivers and lower taxes, so citizens have more bread on the table.

What does College Station need to do to ensure controlled growth? (150 words)

In Texas, a City Council can stifle growth and foster growth, but it cannot control it. The City Council’s job is to plan and facilitate the growth which the market has created. A few of our City Councilmembers believe they can control how our Aggieland grows, and that is not why we elect them. They are elected to manage our tax dollars to handle core city services. That means keeping the streets safe, putting out fires, improving infrastructure, and being prudent with taxpayer dollars while doing it. We need to put intense focus on maintenance in productive neighborhoods in our community. That is how you create a strong city and adapt to its growth.

How would you bridge the neighborhoods vs. business divide? (150 words)

Businesses are the reasons neighborhoods exist, and neighborhoods are where our families experience community and belonging. Unlike a business, cities can’t just close up shop. You can dissolve unproductive divisions in a company, but you cannot dissolve a subdivision. If elected, I would be serving citizens as a community member that runs a large local business. With that responsibility, I would seek to invest more in what drives our city’s revenue versus fueling a manufactured fight amongst neighborhoods and businesses. I choose to fight for the individual taxpayer, regardless of the area they live.

DENNIS MALONEY

What is your campaign platform? (150 words)

Continue recruiting high paying jobs while on the BVEDC Board of Directors

Not raise our tax rate while serving on the CS Finance and Budget Committee

Build new parks in MidTown and Southwest CS

Support the Military Museum

Bring Entertainment to CS

Build a recreation center for all residents

What does College Station need to do to ensure controlled growth? (150 words)

Our Comprehensive Plan and Small Area Planning projects provide the blueprint for smart growth in CS. These plans are amended when changed conditions demonstrate the need, and our highly skilled staff and our Planning and Zoning Commission recommend changes, and after the Council hears the opinions of all affected parties.

How would you bridge the neighborhoods vs. business divide? (150 words)

The Milken Institute named College Station the #1 BEST PERFORMING SMALL CITY IN TEXAS FOR THE YEAR 2021.

The “divide” exists between the Real Estate Lobbyists and their cnadidates who want short-term rentals in neighborhoods where the families do not want them.

I agree with the families.

MARIE-ANNE MOUSSEAU-HOLLAND

What is your campaign platform? (150 words)

Community

Community is my passion. Creating it. Building it. Bringing people together. I want to see the city put more effort into getting people with similar struggles or interests together.

Affordable housing

I want to rethink current rules & regulations that no longer make sense for the world we live in. Or those meant to protect those in need and our environment, but do more harm.

Childcare & parent care

Childcare often becomes unaffordable for middle class families of two. Women leave the workforce. Even for those who do qualify for assistance, the wait is long.

And parental leave. We can do better.

Keeping our students after graduation

I want to work with the university on programs to get students to know our community and consider it after college.

Mental Health

Resources are deeply lacking. The conversation needs to be changed. We should welcome treatment centers and resources for our community.

What does College Station need to do to ensure controlled growth? (150 words)

Traffic

Keep a closer eye on the coordination of land and infrastructure development timing so that we don’t end up with the same traffic we see on 2818.

Housing

I would encourage and accommodate quality housing development including affordable housing for low-income households. This will take a lot of rethinking as the city is set in very conventional ways, but there is a lot more we can do if we think outside the box a little.

Focus on our target demographics

Educated TAMU students should live here after graduation. Let’s give them a reason to.

Many people come back to Aggieland to raise their families. Let’s make it even better for them.

Retirees are cool people too. Let’s find ways to use their world of knowledge to help future generations.

Green spaces, bike paths, public transportation and affordable housing would help all of these demographics.

And competitors to Suddenlink, please.

How would you bridge the neighborhoods vs. business divide? (150 words)

I’m really glad you ask because I think this divide has gone on long enough. This is simply two different groups of people trying to be heard. People who don’t want things to change, and people itching to change things. And I’m like most people, a little of both. I love our community, its traditions, its beautiful neighborhoods, and our innovative businesses.

My plan, since I don’t have an outright solution, is to really sit down with both sides and get to the root of their worries. Both sides make valid points, and it’s really about finding a solution that considers everyone’s point of view.

It feels like a washy-washy answer but it isn’t. My stance on a lot of these “divides” is “I don’t have a side” and it’s true. Both parties have merit. If I’m going to represent everyone, I need to listen to everyone. Community over competition.

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