What are some of the things you would like to accomplish if elected?
My goals as a city councilman are to represent the entire city of Midlothian well, not just a select group of people. As our city grows, we are going to be faced with more and more challenges that will be new for our community. I am committed to facing those challenges with a creative, “out of the box” mindset.
What made you want to run for this office?
I love Midlothian and want to make a positive impact on my community by representing my neighbors well. Through my experience on city boards such as the Midlothian Community Development Corporation and nonprofits such as the Midlothian Basketball League, I believe I can serve and represent people in the community in a unique way.
What are some of the most important qualities that a city council member should have?
I believe that a city council member should have integrity, a level head, and be a good listener. These three characteristics will go far in planning and decision-making.
What are some of the ways you are involved in the community?
3 years ago, I was asked to serve on the Midlothian Community Development Corporation (https://www.midlothian.tx.us/62/Midlothian-Community-Development-Corpora) board. Also known as the Type B corporation, this board directs sales tax revenue that is allocated for use in economic and community development. Throughout my time on this board, I have had the opportunity to work on several large park and economic projects.
Alongside serving on the MCDC board, two years ago, I co-founded the Midlothian Basketball League (midlothianbasketball.com). This is a non-profit recreational basketball program that serves the youth and adults of our community. This organization has grown to over 1,000 youth participants and almost 200 adult participants in each season. It has been one of the greatest blessings of my life to be apart of this program.
More recently, I was asked to serve on The Mile Advisory Board in our community. This board supports and resources the CTE (Career & Technical Education) programs at the MISD. I am thoroughly enjoying serving our students in our community in this way.
Discuss your top three priorities.
The top 3 challenges that our community faces are outlined below along with my plans to address them.
1. Property Tax Burdens on Residents – While there are many potential solutions here, I am in favor of focusing our efforts on diversifying more of the revenue that makes up the city budget. As we focus efforts on becoming a place where small businesses can thrive, our sales tax revenue can continue to grow. As these resources grow, we can offset the burden that is currently on the shoulders of our homeowners in the city.
2. Lack of Street and Infrastructure Development – It is no secret that we are behind in many physical areas of the city. While plans have been made, there have not been adequate resources and staffing directed at solving these challenges. Although I am no expert in this area, my goal is to promote ways to put action behind our planning that is in place. I believe we must address these issues in an urgent manner.
3. Maintaining Our Community’s Unique Identity Among Rapid Growth – I believe that there is a reason that people have lived in Midlothian for their entire lives, and there is also a reason that more and more people are moving here. One of the reasons for this is what many people describe as that “Small Town Feel”. While this is truly created by the people, as a community, we can also promote this through the way our city evolves. I believe that keeping this in mind when decisions are made can help us to preserve this culture alongside healthy growth.
How long have you lived in the City and what experience do you bring to the role that you feel sets you apart from your opponent?
My family moved to Midlothian a little over 5 years ago. One of the distinguishing factors for me, as a candidate, is my involvement in a variety of areas in our community. As mentioned previously, I have experience on city boards along with sports associations, booster clubs, and committees throughout the past several years. I have also owned a small business here in Midlothian for the past 5 years.
When making decisions, how do you determine what is in the best interest of the city?
The best way to determine what is in the best interest of the city is to speak with the community directly. My goal as a councilman is to make sure that I consistently make myself available to folks in the community to solicit feedback. My job as a councilman is to be the best representation of our community that I can be. The only way to do this is to stay accessible to the folks that I’m representing.
Please describe how you would react to a situation in which the Council voted 4-3 to approve a very contestable issue and you were on the dissenting side.
I believe that as councilman and councilwoman, our job is to make decisions. Each individual on the council was elected by the citizens for a reason. Each member of the council has value and perspective that is unique to him or her. I am committed to not taking it personal when fellow council members vote in opposition of me. We are all there to do a job and vote based on our own perspective. A healthy council is one that has split votes but continues to work together toward the good of the city, despite that.
If you could change one thing in our zoning code, what would it be and why?
I would add to Article 11.02 an additional Exemption to Ad Valorem Taxes for homestead property owners. This would be used as a form of property tax relief to our homeowners.
How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process in our town?
I plan to continue serving in a variety of areas of our community to make sure I am “people-facing” throughout my time of service. Accessibility is very important to me.
What would you do to improve communication between city officials and the public?
Improving communication between city officials and the public comes down to approachability. I believe that the more approachable I can be to the people that I represent, the better. If people feel their opinion is valued, they will communicate more. Alongside that, we’ve got to find some ways to make our council meetings a little more exciting. Maybe some music or cornhole tourneys at the meetings would help. Kidding, of course.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am a Christian, first and foremost. I’m a family man. I truly desire to represent my neighbors well, if elected. I look forward to doing everything I can to support Midlothian’s bright future!