Salado Village Voice put the following questions to the Mayoral and Aldermen candidates. Early voting begins on April 23.
QUESTION 1: Do we have adequate police protection? If not, what can be done to improve police protection? 150 words
QUESTION 2: Does Village government help or hinder economic development? Explain how you will address this if elected. 200 words
QUESTION 3: Does the Village adequately address its road infrastructure? Can this be improved? If so, how? 200 words
QUESTION 1. Yes, at this time we do have adequate police protection with the emphasis on adequate. The revitalized COPS (Citizens On Patrol Salado) consisting of volunteers is a vital part of this protection in checking area businesses security after hours.
QUESTION 2: Presently, the current village government does not have a plan for an effective economic development. Such a committee was recommended several years ago by Alderman Hans Fields and approved members from the village were in place to begin such development. However, it still waits for this board to place the needed impetus to jump start this program and begin to successfully attract more businesses to our community. Working with the city manager and board of aldermen, I will pursue implementing this program immediately.
QUESTION 3: Salado’s sorry road infrastructure pretty much speaks for itself.
Salado Plaza continues to deteriorate due to inadequate and inferior reconstruction done two-three years ago. We have depended on Bell County to do what few quality repairs that have been done to maintain a few select roads. We need competent companies that will provide quality resurfacing that will not need constant care such as fixing potholes that continuously need repair. Again, working with the city manager is a must in order to avoid a councilman making “qualified” decisions on what company to use.
QUESTION 1: Our officers have a great reputation and provide recognized support for our village and other law enforcement agencies. As your alderman, I would support our police department to continue this excellent service. Our community is seeing a slight increase in incidents that could be a result of the recent growth in our area. If elected, I would be proactive to keep our low crime rate. I have worked closely with law enforcement at Fort Hood and Fort Sam Houston and can bring that experience to our village. As our tax base funding increases we can add additional patrol hours, support our Citizens on Patrol (COPS) program and provide the necessary training and certifications to our officers. As your alderman, I would bring my experience with law enforcement to work with the police department to plan how to address growth and continue to keep our community safe and secure.
QUESTION 2: Our Village has a goal of “Ensure that economic development opportunities are pursued in order to provide the Village with a solid fiscal outlook as future growth and development occurs” as established in principle 8 of the Village of Salado Texas Comprehensive Plan dated 2004. Our Village plan correctly remarks that our economic development is inherently tied to tourism. I will work to update the comprehensive plan to re-energize our tourism. If elected your alderman, I will ensure our Village of Salado has a stronger economic development program. We are in a great position to bring in additional small businesses to fuel our tourism economy by having direct access from the interstate, great businesses and additional capacity on the sewage system. We can also work harder to better our strong partnership with the Salado Chamber of Commerce. The key to healthy economic development is a master plan that provides control in our growth and ensure our village maintains our Salado heritage. If elected, I will use my 30+ years of experience in community planning, engineering, design and construction management to update our Comprehensive Plan and enhance our economic development.
QUESTION 3: Our village has in the past few years completed road improvements such as the overlay on Salado Plaza Road (behind the Ace Hardware store). These improvements were definitely needed and more improvements will be required on our other roads. If elected, I will bring my 30+ years of engineering and construction experience to the Board of Aldermen. I managed the construction of several road projects at many locations in Texas. I designed and managed the Fort Hood Main Gate sign project seen on many news outlets (when you see this sign on the news, remember to vote for me!) I hope to use this experience to create an annual road work plan resulting in the best use of our tax dollars to improve our roads. I can use my engineering experience in road construction and cost estimating to ensure our village receives the best price and construction quality. If elected, I can also bring my traffic control experience to assist with any growth – we will need to plan traffic patterns, road widths, curbs and guttering, traffic control signage and vehicle weight control. If elected, I will prefer NOT to have traffic signal lights in the Salado city limits.
QUESTION 1: I believe, given the budget afforded to the Village, with we are providing the best possible police protection we can afford. The response times to critical calls averages less than 3 minutes and non-critical calls less than 6 minutes. I am confident in the abilities of our officers in providing better than adequate protection. As the Village budget funds increase with time, I am certain due diligence will be given to continue to provide quality police services.
QUESTION 2: I believe the Village has been giving due-diligence to assisting economic development and is poising to provide better services with by updating and improving the Village of Salado Comprehensive Plan and a better Overlay District for the development along I-35, future growth on Main Street, and the entire Historic District. The insight of the citizens and the Village government in providing the waste water system will enhance and expedite economic growth for existing and future businesses. The Village is supportive of the Salado Chamber of Commerce and operates the Salado Tourism Bureau. The Board of Alderman and the Village Administrator encourage the two agencies to interact in creating and promoting events which will bring overnight tourists to Salado. This activity will enhance commerce which will increase revenue streams in both sales tax and hotel occupancy tax.
QUESTION 3: Much like the police protection issue, the Village in constrained in the allocation of funds designated to road maintenance. Under the leadership of Alderman McDougal, the Transportation Committee has done an excellent job partnering with Bell County to leverage the maximum quantity of road surface and the quality of work the Village can provide each year. We are a little over halfway through a five-year plan that was developed by the Transportation Committee and the BOA to address the roads most in need of attention. The plan is reviewed each year and priorities are changed as needed. The relationship with Bell County in providing labor at no charge to Salado has allowed the Village to purchase more materials and address much more surface area. There are roads that need attention today, but I am sure the prioritization process will work in addressing the need.
QUESTION 1: I believe we have adequate protection, however I do not feel we have adequate and equal application of the numerous laws. I feel a number of the laws are out dated, or overreach the American protection of our right to pursue happiness. If police make a choice as to what laws they will or will not enforce at a given time, then what is the point of having the law on the books?
QUESTION 2: The Village government is currently hindering economic growth because it is unable to promote itself and promote the businesses it is supposed to protect, nor does the Village have a current comprehensive business plan. The Village website also needs a massive overhaul. The government must over inform its population and over inform those whom we would like to attract to Salado. It is hard for the government to promote commerce if it cannot promote itself, nor have a current detailed plan to follow.
QUESTION 3: The government should have a detailed plan posted on its website showing the actual approved and signed contracts, which includes benchmarks for construction. Salado’s population deserves to have an easy to navigate website showing information such as road, benchmarks, and proposed completion dates. The population deserves to know if the benchmarks are not being met, and what is causing the delays.
QUESTION 1. I feel we have adequate and successful police protection, I feel our police department goes above and beyond to help in any way possible.
The best thing we can do is inspire these officers to stay here. In the near future we will loose good employees if they are not paid well for a job well done.
QUESTION 2: As mentioned in previous answers, I think that it is important to insure the right kind of growth for our Village. I am pro development and growth for the Village but I want to make sure that we enact and enforce restrictions to take our Village in the right direction. Remember we have a valuable historical district.
We need to be sure that we can make it easier for our small local businesses to survive.
QUESTION 3: I would like to see some additional road maintenance. I’m sure we have a long term plan in place for the Village and I think we need to put some attention to it.
Without a strong plan our Village might see things deteriorate. Our roads are one of our communities major assets and it might be a good idea to have a roadway professional assess the conditions in order to help us maintain this important asset.