Matt Hannes has been in Huntsville since 1985, when he came to attend Sam Houston State University’s exceptional EMS Program. He received a degree in Design & Development and became a National Registry Paramedic and State of Texas Department of Health Services Paramedic in 1990.
Mr. Hannes says, “I feel like Huntsville is the “Foothills” of the Texas Piney Woods. I enjoy the landscape, the people, the history, and I can feel Christ at work here. I like the hometown feel that makes people want to invest and give their “all” to this community!”
Mr. Hannes is a rooted member of the Huntsville community. In fact, he says, “I have owned several businesses over the past 30 years.” He retired from the Huntsville-Walker County EMS and Huntsville Fire Department in 2007 after 21 and 20 years of service, respectively. Mr. Hannes recently became the Food Service Manager for Alpha Omega Academy and he works part-time for Montgomery County Hospital District as a field medic. He shares, “I have seen some of the worst things in life but also some of the most rewarding and greatest aspects of humanity.”
Mr. Hannes served as Captain of the Huntsville Fire Department and has taught numerous Fire and EMS classes. He enjoys coordinating and facilitating Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) classes. He will be starting a class in Huntsville soon. Mr. Hannes explains, “FPU is a course to help individuals, couples, & families get their finances on track and gives them a plan to free themselves of debt. I enjoy offering these classes because I know how much it helped to get my finances back on track and I’ve seen dozens of marriages saved & lives changed because of it.
Mr. Hannes describes himself as outgoing and approachable. He likes to have fun with family and friends. One of his personal attributes is integrity, he believes “integrity is core in all areas of my life.” He has a servants’ heart. That is manifested in the numerous ways he volunteers and serves on various boards. In his mind, “this council position is not about ME! It’s about helping others and giving back.
Mr. Hannes also has the ability to listen to multiple points-of-view, analyze the situation and solve a problem in a way that will benefit the majority.
I asked Mr. Hannes why he chose to run for City Council. He shares, “I want to represent others and give a voice to those who feel under-represented. There are many areas where my expertise and vast experience will be highly beneficial to our community.”
Mr. Hannes listed the responsibilities that he believes a City Council member has to the citizens of Huntsville.
They need “to ensure that the city is providing adequate services to all of its citizens in a timely and efficient fashion, be a representative of the citizens of Huntsville as a whole, make decisions that are based on the facts, history, economic stability, growth, and the greater good of Huntsville.
As a City Council Member, Mr. Hannes would like to, “keep Huntsville a community where people feel safe living, & confident investing in our community, either residentially or commercially, bring more quality, affordable housing to Huntsville, bring more light-commercial industry, ensure that ALL parts of town are receiving services, regardless of economic status, consider ways to preserve more of the beautiful landscape that makes Huntsville a great hometown, and encourage more commercial developers to put drainage detention into their parking lots instead of in detention ponds.”
I wanted to know who Mr. Hannes will be representing as a City Councilman. He responded that, “I feel like certain portions of the city are not adequately represented. I would like to see a more equalized representation in our City Council as a whole. Input from the citizens of Huntsville is what drives, or should drive, the council person’s decisions about every issue. Without the citizens’ input, the council person’s “representation” would become null and void. I welcome questions, comments, & opinions from any concerned member of our community; it’s about the greater good of the community.”
Mr. Hannes thinks that the City Council members should be asking the following questions:
- “Are we being good stewards of the resources (funding, facilities, staff, & volunteerism) that we have to work with?”
- “How can we improve the “lack of quality affordable housing, rental and permanent?”
- Which vital services have been eliminated and need to be reinstated?
- How can we make the city parks, safer and more inviting?
- He also wants to avoid creating financial hardships for future generations.
The issues Mr. Hannes is most concerned about are Equal representation and fiscal responsibility by the government, for its citizens.
I wanted to know if he supports the 3 Propositions asking citizens to allow more debt to be taken out by the City?
“None of the three issues are new; however, these are all issues that should have been addressed long ago… well before our backs are now pressed against the proverbial wall. I’m not a big fan of debt. It ends up costing the Citizens a lot more than necessary in the long run. Also, these three Propositions are poorly-defined, not showing a defined action plan or actual expenses for each Proposition, or details of the actual Bond. I will tour the facilities over the next few weeks to get a first-hand opinion of the true extent of the problems and as a City Councilman, I will work to find solutions that would work for the immediate needs as well as plan for the future needs and finances of our great community and its citizens.”
Mr. Hannes will be at the CWA meeting tonight, 9/8, 5:30 pm at Fellowship of Huntsville Church and again at the City of Huntsville’s State of the City Address on October 11th from 5:30 – 7:30pm at the Veteran’s Museum. Visit his facebook page: www.facebook.com/MattHannesForHuntsvilleCityCouncil.