Posts Tagged “city council”

City Council Candidates for Ward 3

Mader Hedspetch is running for a second time to serve on the Huntsville City Council.  City Council members are service positions that require a lot of time and effort on the Council Member’s parts.  Sitting Council Member Ronald Allen is also running to keep his spot on the Council.

Early voting begins on October 23rd and Election day is November 7th, 2017.

Mrs. Hedspetch has lived in Huntsville her entire life and she wants to serve the people of Huntsville. She wants to be an advocate for Ward 3 and speak for what the citizens need. She is truly dedicated to helping the people of Huntsville.

Ronald Allen is the current councilman for Ward 3. He has lived and worked in Ward 3 his entire life. Mr. Allen explains that he has been speaking out and wants to continue to work to maintain “the basic needs in our ward – good streets, paving, maintenance of road and utility improvements that were long overdue because of being pushed back on the projects lists, getting sidewalks, clean and safe parks, fire hydrants maintained, and ditches cleaned, and addressing drainage issues. There is a lot of competition for funds and capital projects and I would like to continue to speak up for our ward.”

Since serving on the City Council, police presence and city maintenance in Ward 3 has improved. Other items have been better maintained. Mr. Allen says, “I think Huntsville will grow and I believe the role of the city is to be prepared, not to try to force growth by throwing money at it. Where I hope the city will go is to realize we need to continue to focus on what we currently have, even as the city staff’s focus shifts to the bond issue projects. I also have a great deal of concern about the track record of some of our projects the city has taken on in the past. The bond issue project management is of great concern to me. Going into the design and construction phase of the bond issue projects demand diligence, thought, review and oversight.”

For More Information about the election and sample ballots for your precinct, go to: http://www.co.walker.tx.us/department/division.php?fDD=25-113

 

 

 

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Michelle Bright and Joe Rodriguez Running for City Council Seat Representing 4th Ward

The next election is on November 7th, 2017. Early voting begins on October 23rd. 

Michelle Bright is running for the Ward 4 Seat in the Huntsville City Council. She served our country in the National Guard for 14 years. She currently serves on the City of Huntsville Veterans Advisory Board. She has worked in Home Health Care in the past. She comes from a long line of Sam Houston State University Graduates. She currently lives in Huntsville with her family and wants to continue to serve the terrific community we live in.

Mrs. Bright said, “I love so much about Huntsville.The people, the parks, the trails, simply everything.”

As a member of the military, Michelle has, “learned leadership, teamwork and how to adapt to different situations. In my civilian profession I learned how to be caring and compassionate, to put the needs of others before myself.”  Michelle’s life experience has given her the ability to juggle many tasks at once and to know how to prioritize.  Mrs. Bright shares that she wants to serve on the City Council “to make a difference in my community and to be a voice for the residents of Ward 4.”

Joe Rodriguez is also running for the Ward 4 Seat on the Huntsville City Council. I asked him a few questions and he took the time to give me very thoughtful and informative answers. Mr. Rodriguez hopes that the citizens of Huntsville will choose to re-elect him because he has served as City Councilman for the last four years to the best of his ability.  He takes time to research every issue that comes to the council’s attention. One of his proudest accomplishments is that taxes have not been raised in Huntsville during his tenure on the council.

Mr. Rodriguez is retired and able to dedicate much of his time to preparing for City Council meetings and being well informed on the issues the city is dealing with.

Councilman Rodriguez knows that Huntsville will continue to experience more growth. He is concerned that the growth be managed properly  so that “the city will grow in an organized and deliberate way.” He said that “the city staff and the council are constantly working to find ways to manage that growth in order to maintain the aesthetic beauty of the city. The council and staff will also continue to work on attracting more industry/commercial companies to our city for better paying jobs that might keep some of our Sam Houston State University graduates here instead of moving to other cities.”

Mr. Rodriguez’ biggest concern for Ward 4 specifically is uncontrolled drainage. The new development is changing the natural drainage of the land which causes water to flow onto other properties. The city staff is working with the landowners to have efficient water flow on these properties. Another issue that concerns the citizens of Ward 4 is vehicle speeding. There are many families that live in Ward 4 with young children. Speeding through residential neighborhoods needs to be prevented.

His biggest concern for the City at this time is to help oversee the results of the bonds that were just passed by the citizens of Huntsville. He wants to be sure that everything approved by the citizens is done right the first time. He wants to help keep the staff and council accountable for fulfilling what the voters agreed to.

Mr. Rodriguez and his wife have lived in Huntsville since 2005.  He spends much of his time volunteering. Besides serving on the council, he works at the Huntsville Memorial Hospital emergency room 1 day each week. He volunteers in multiple positions at his church, writes devotionals and teaches Sunday school.  He appreciates the opportunity to serve the citizens of Huntsville as the Ward 4 City Council Member.

Be sure to vote beginning October 23rd for Early Voting or on November 7th!  For more information about the election go to: http://www.co.walker.tx.us/department/division.php?fDD=25-113

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Mayor Brauninger Speaks About his plan for Economic Development

Last night the Mayor spoke at the Walker County Republican Women’s Meeting.  He explained his desire to promote Industrial Development in Huntsville, for the purpose of creating jobs for the young people of our community. 

How does the mayor intend to promote industrial development? His ideal plan is to raise taxes to purchase land from TDCJ or, (if TDCJ was willing to gift the land to the City) the money would be used to improve the land, which includes installing utility lines, such as water, sewer and electric. 

The Mayor wants to be proactive and ready for growth.  He stated, “We don’t want to lose the good life, but we don’t want to thwart the growth either.”

Part 2 of the Mayor’s plan is to grow the city and increase the tax base.

What effect does increasing the tax base have?  That gives the City of Huntsville more money in the budget to spend.

What is needed to complete the Mayor’s plan? A fund set aside solely for growth of the City of Huntsville Economic Development.

This is where the Tax Increase comes in.  The proposed tax increase of .63% of each property’s tax bill will be the money used to fund the economic development plan. Some sales tax may also be put put into the fund.

The Goal amount of the fund is $2,400,000.  According to projections, this money would be available by 2023.

On September 5th the City Council will be holding a hearing to listen to citizen’s opinions about raising the tax. It will be held in the City Council chambers at City Hall, located at 1212 Avenue M. The public is welcome to attend. In fact, the Mayor pleaded with the audience to please come and share your views. His belief is that, as elected officials, they are elected to vote the will of the people, even if they do not agree.

September 19th is when the City Council is scheduled to vote on the Tax Increase. The meeting will be held at 6pm in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, located at 1212 Avenue M.

For more information, call the City of Huntsville at 936-291-5400.

You can contact the entire City Council and Mayor to express your opinion, by going to this link: http://www.huntsvilletx.gov/Directory.aspx?did=23

 

 

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Mader Hedspetch for City Council, At-Large Position 3

img_2597There are 7 candidates running for the 4 At-Large Positions in the November 8th Election. It is a nonpartisan race. If you vote a straight party ticket on the ballot, you will miss the nonpartisan local candidates. Please be sure to go to the local section and vote for the candidates you want on the City Council. Our daily lives are strongly affected by the decisions that City Council members make.  Please elect people that you trust to make good decisions on your behalf!

One of the new candidates running for the City Council has Huntsville’s best interests at heart. Mader Hedspetch is a candidate with strong opinions and ideals.  She wants the best for Huntsville!

 

Mader R. Hedspetch has been a resident of Huntsville her entire life. She graduated from Huntsville High School and Sam Houston State University with a Major in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Psychology.

 

She has had numerous jobs in her career from a Pre-Trial Officer to a Substitute Teacher.  At present, she is retired, ready and available to serve our unique city of Huntsville, Texas.  Many Huntsville residents know her as a volunteer at the Huntsville Public Library in the Johnnie Jo Dickerson Genealogy Room.

 

Mader Hedspetch’s goals as a Huntsville City Council Member are to:

  1. Get our citizens involved and interested in the changes and growth of our city.
  2. Let our citizens know that we, as members of their City Council, are wanting to invest in them and their lives.
  3. Improve the quality of life in Huntsville, Texas for all of us.  

 

She believes, “We are all together in this community and we can work side-by-side with each other without having ‘politics’ interfere in our progress as a city.”   

 

Mader R. Hedspetch also wants to work to lower our taxes while investing in the citizens of Huntsville. She plans to work at providing more jobs, higher wages and more single family housing in Huntsville.

 

She notes that we have wonderful parks, beautiful swimming facilities and fields for sports.  As a City Council member, she plans to propose planning for enclosed recreation facilities for our children, as well.

 

In her own words, Mader says, “I AM a servant, I AM old school.  My word is my bond! I represent the voice of the people who think they have no voice or that their voice is not effective enough to be heard. We need to hear their voices very clearly, as well.” Mader believes that each and every citizen should have a say in what goes on in the City Council. Residents should be able to have a listening, responsive ear to their concerns. She cares and is willing to work hard, learn anything new and be a voice/advocate for ALL of the citizens of Huntsville.

Early voting begins October 24th at the Walker County Annex located at 1301 Sam Houston Avenue and the Veteran’s Museum/Storm Shelter located at 463 State Highway 75 N.
Say Yes to Huntsville! “This article was written by Daiquiri Beebe, the Huntsville Realtor, as a benefit to the community of Huntsville, the place where I love to live.”

 

 

 

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Do you have Concerns, Grievances or Input for the City Council?

HuntsvilleHow to Contact Huntsville Elected Officials:

The mayor and city council members can be contacted by phone at 936-291-5403.

They can also be contacted individually at the following e-mail addresses.

Mayor Andy Brauninger e-mail: abrauninger@huntsvilletx.gov

Joe Emmett-Ward 1 e-mail: jemmett@huntsvilletx.gov

Tish Humphrey-Ward 2 e-mail: thumphrey@huntsvilletx.gov

Ronald Allen-Ward 3 e-mail: citysecretary@huntsvilletx.gov

Joe Rodriquez-Ward 4 e-mail: jrodriquez@huntsvilletx.gov

Lydia Montgomery e-mail: lmontgomery@huntsvilletx.gov

Don H. Johnson e-mail: dhjohnson@huntsvilletx.gov

Keith D. Olson e-mail: kolson@huntsvilletx.gov

The City Council does listen to the citizens of Huntsville!

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City Council Meeting April 19, 2016 Summary

What is the city council discussing now? It affects everyone in Huntsville. You should know about it. Please read on…
Mayor Brauninger started last Tuesday evening with this announcement: “This is great, when the citizens participate, it makes government better.”
The issue that had the most discussion on April 19th was about the new ordinances proposed by the Huntsville Planning Commission to Mobile Homes and Mobile Home Parks.mobile home
Several citizens came to the meeting to share their concerns about the proposed ordinances with the City Council. The ordinance proposes the following items on new mobile homes or mobile home parks that apply for permits inside the Huntsville City limits:
⦁ The mobile homes must not be older than 20 years.
⦁ Every new mobile home is required to have a shed installed on the property as well, for unsightly storage.
They are also recommending some upgrading to existing mobile homes, as follows:
⦁ Skirting around the bottom
⦁ Be sure that utilities are connected correctly, including water, sewer, gas and electrical.
⦁ For mobile home parks themselves, the planning commmission has recommended that a screened fence be placed around the entire park, as well as a screened fence around the dumpster, lighting at the entrance and roads that can be easily accessed by emergency vehicles.
The most costly of the upgrades that will affect the individuals in these mobile homes is upgrading the utilities. Upgrading and installing electrical utilities to an individual mobile home requires an electrical pole and a panel, either on the outside of the mobile home, or underground. This is work that must be done by a professional. In Huntsville, it could cost an individual homeowner $2500 to pay for this service.
The City Council members are concerned about causing undue hardship on these citizens. Randall Brooks, representing Tanglewood Mobile Home Park explained at the meeting that utilities are not something that mobile home parks are responsible for. Utilities are required to be installed and paid for by individual mobile homeowners. What about the cost of connecting the other utilities; gas, water and sewer? The city needs to research the cost to the individual homeowners. Many people in mobile homes cannot afford a $2500 expense. What will happen when the required time runs out and these people have not been able to set up their utilities? Will the City require them to move out of their home? What happens to the empty home? Is the mobile home park owner then required to move it? Will it be left abandoned, and become a useless eyesore? Will the city be required to incur the expense of demolishing the home and removing the debris? None of this was discussed at the meeting. There are consequences to the decisions that are being made. More research is required by the City of Huntsville.
Is there a Federal or State Grant that assists homeowners with utility compliance? Safety is a serious issue, but there is a reason why these people are choosing to live in a substandard way, and it is not the responsibility of the mobile home park to provide each individual mobile home with electricity. Passing this ordinance with the utility requirement and no financial assistance could displace people and force them out of their homes. Nobody in Huntsville wants that for its’ citizens.
Another issue that was discussed in depth was requiring skirting on existing mobile homes. There is already an ordinance in place that requires any newly placed mobile homes to have skirting. Requiring skirting will be an undue hardship on citizens as well. If you look online, the cost of just the skirting material itself to cover the entire underneath of a trailer is $600 plus the cost of bolts, tools or hiring someone to install it. It could cost someone $1,000 or more. This is not an expense that needs to be thrust upon the citizens of Huntsville; who have been residing in their mobile homes since before 2011 when the ordinance was passed to require any newly placed mobile homes to have skirting.
As Councilman Keith Olson suggested, the City needs to start somewhere and have standards. Having set standards on new mobile homes is not a hardship. When people purchase or plan to move their home to land in Huntsville, they will have to incur the cost of a shed for storage, but the City will inform them and they will expect to incur that cost. Most people who purchase a new home will want to have a shed anyhow.
Councilman Joe Rodriquez recommended that the city take no action on existing mobile home parks, as they exist today. He suggested that they enforce a new code on new parks and mobile homes. Except for one thing. He is concerned about requiring paved roads. The roads do not need to be paved, but they need to have easily accessible surfaces. money jar
The City of Huntsville Budget was also discussed at the meeting. The Budget for Fiscal Year 2014-15 was audited by Patillo, Brown & Hill. Chris Pruitt presented the audit. He reported that the General Fund is over $11.7 million and is “extremely healthy”. The City is currently $3 million “in the black”. That is good news. The proprietary funds have healthy equity as well. For the Pension plans, the city’s total liability is $76 million, toward pensions. The City of Huntsville, currently has $15.5 million of pensions unfunded.
The mobile home ordinance will have a second reading at the next City Council meeting on May 3rd at 6pm. They may have more discussion and they may decide to vote on whether to accept the ordinance. Huntsville citizens are able to come to the meeting and complete a form requesting to speak about an item.
The mayor and city council members can be contacted by phone at 936-291-5403. They can be contacted individually at the following e-mail addresses.
Mayor Andy Brauninger e-mail: abrauninger@huntsvilletx.gov
Council Members
Joe Emmett-Ward 1 e-mail: jemmett@huntsvilletx.gov
Tish Humphrey-Ward 2 e-mail: thumphrey@huntsvilletx.gov
Ronald Allen-Ward 3 e-mail: citysecretary@huntsvilletx.gov
Joe Rodriquez-Ward 4 e-mail: jrodriquez@huntsvilletx.gov
Lydia Montgomery e-mail: lmontgomery@huntsvilletx.gov
Don H. Johnson e-mail: dhjohnson@huntsvilletx.gov
Keith D. Olson e-mail: kolson@huntsvilletx.gov

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