Focus Daily News: What elected official seat do you sit in?
Travis Bruton: Glenn Heights City Council Place 3
FDN: How long have you had this seat?
TB: Elected February 2021 and re-elected November 2021.
FDN: What is your main goal as a city council member during this term?
TB: First, I will be partnering with the council to create the vision, branding and strategic plan for the city. There needs to be one vision for the city as well as updated short and long term strategic plans to achieve the vision. I plan to get the youth advisory council started to engage the youth of our city and have more community engagement events to stay connected with the citizens. You have to stay connected with the people you represent and one way that I will continue to do that is with my newsletter Truth with Travis.
FDN: What made you decide to get into politics?
TB: One of my favorite leadership’s quotes says, “Great leaders don’t set out to be leaders, they set out to make a difference.” The reason I got involved is to make a difference in our city, communities and in the lives of the people who live in it.
Also, politics by nature is an allocating of resources. I wanted to make sure I had a seat at the table to make decisions on where our resources are best served and represent our entire city including our youth, our seniors as well as our diverse communities and neighborhoods.
FDN: What have been some of the surprises?
TB: I have been surprised by the amount of work and research that goes on behind the scenes to create initiatives, agenda items and even the budget. If all people see are the council meetings twice a month then they may think that this role is easy but there is a lot of time and effort that goes into being a good councilmember.
FDN: What have been your challenges?
TB: There are a lot of things that I would like to see developed in the city, but the city has limited resources. Glenn Heights’ revenue is super majority residential property tax whereas most surrounding cities have a mix of residential and commercial revenue. This has to change. There are some developments in the works but this poses the challenge of making sure that all the needs of the city and citizens are met while still being fiscally responsible.
Another challenge is to continue to find creative new ways to engage the citizens. Citizen engagement is so important in every city. The more the citizens are engaged, the better our city will become. I want our city to be reflective of how the citizens envision it. That’s why I have done town halls, citizen surveys as well as sent a card to every home in Glenn Heights giving out my contact information and ways to connect.
FDN: Where do you see the city going in the next few years and who will you contribute to that?
TB: The city has been growing exponentially for the last five years and I foresee the growth continuing. I’m going to take some drone footage of how the city looks now and then compare it to what it looks like three years from now. I believe there will be an immense transformation.
Just in the next year the city has the new city center that will be opening June 2022. This will create a central location for residents to take advantage of city services. It also has the Make-a-Wish Park that will be at the new city center. This is big for the city because an amazing organization such as the Make-a-Wish foundation has never partnered with a city to create such an incredible space like the all abilities park we will have.
The city is moving in a positive direction and I plan to continue to push Glenn Heights higher as we become a premier city where we can safely work, shop, play and raise family. See you in the Heights!