Scott Hornung is a long time resident of Huntsville. Here is what he believes and how he plans to make decisions if he is elected to the City Council.
The following is in Scott Hornung’s own words:
“Personal Huntsville History
I have lived in Huntsville continuously since 1980. I was 25 years old when I moved here from Houston with my wife, Judy, and our 2-year old daughter, Erin. We were looking for a small town where we could be close to the country, enjoy community, and raise our family. Huntsville is that town we were looking for. In the intervening 36 years we had three more children James, Rachel, and Johanna, all are proud to call Huntsville home.
What I like about Huntsville
I enjoy the small town feel of Huntsville, the beautiful natural setting, and the deep history. I love the outdoors and am an avid walker. My wife and I hike the state park trails often and walk in town to do our shopping and other business. The people of Huntsville are another of the town’s attributes. We have made so many friendships. Some people have been transient, some are just beginning, and some have become very close, old and dear friends. All have touched our lives.
I have 10-years of experience in private sector business. I moved here as a branch manager for a regional wholesale electrical distributor. That company went out of business during the recession of the mid 1980’s. I learned humility from that experience and the determination to move forward. I decided to make a career change and returned to school attending SHSU for four semesters to become an accountant. Although difficult to start over in my mid-30’s it is a change I’ve never regretted.
After passing the CPA examination I began working for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in the Internal Audit Division. Internal Audit is an independent, objective activity that is designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. The Internal Audit Division was independent because it was outside the TDCJ organizational umbrella, reporting directly to the Board of Criminal Justice.
I worked for the TDCJ over 25-years and gained experiences in management, finance, and in broad range of the TDCJ’s activities, such as facilities maintenance, health services, industrial operations, agribusiness, and other programs. I retired from the TDCJ as Director of the Internal Audit Division.
My Description of myself
Auditing fit my personality. I am independent – I am not swayed by popular opinion or peer pressures. I maintain objectivity – I keep an open mind and am willing to consider all options. I am analytical – I like to organize facts to identify issues. I like to add value to operations, but I know no one is an expert in all areas – collaborating and listening to other points of view is the best way to solve problems.
I’m running for City Council because…
I believe it is a civic responsibility. I have been blessed in life and that blessing was manifested for me here in Huntsville and I believe it is my duty to give back. At this season in my life, being retired, I have more time to devote to civic activities, I have the education and experience to provide valuable input to the decision making processes, and I have learned to work with others in a positive way.
City Council’s Role
City council fills several administrative roles. Most importantly they approve the city budget. I believe a budget is a moral document – how we spend our money reflects our values. I will always work for a budget that reflects the community’s values. The city council also approves a variety of city policies to help ensure the smooth running of the city’s departments. Another important administrative city council function is hiring the city manager. The city’s chief executive is vital to the success of the city in accomplishing its objectives.
In addition, to these administrative functions the city council provides vision for the future and innovative ideas to move the city forward.
I believe it is the city’s responsibility to provide basic services at the lowest cost to help ensure the health and safety of its citizens. Therefore, my goals would be to:
• To Provide basic services (water, sewer, and garbage) at the lowest cost.
• To Protect citizens with appropriate police and fire departments. In addition, citizens’ property rights and property values must be safeguarded through intelligent zoning.
• To Promote the welfare of the citizens with parks, bike lanes, and sidewalks. Keeping taxes low and helping make housing affordable for the families of Huntsville.
Huntsville has much to offer: a beautiful environment, an historic city, and a productive, educated work force. People and businesses want to be here. I believe that by providing reliable, basic services and protecting the city’s charm more businesses will come to town. It is not necessary to bribe national chain stores with financial incentives to come here to put local entrepreneurs out of business and take profits out of town. I encourage them to come to town and compete on a level playing field with our established businesses.
I’m running At Large Position 4, as such my constituents will be all the citizens of Huntsville. In my spiritual walk those scriptures that call for social justice resonate with me. I especially want to ensure that I can be a voice at the table for those in our community who may feel marginalized. Many people in town feel unrepresented in city government due to the at-large system; currently six city councilmen live in Elkins Lake, but I would encourage people that feel that way to run for council or find a candidate to run. Also, I’ve found most council members to be responsive to my concerns irrespective of where in town they live, so I encourage people to contact council when they have an issue. If elected I will be an ear and a voice for all the people of Huntsville.
My political ambitions
I do not have any political plans beyond being the best city councilman I can be for the citizens of Huntsville. My ambition for that position is to be remembered as an involved, fair, considerate, open-minded, and gracious person.
My primary concern is Huntsville’s future: what will this town look like in 20 to 50 years? There is much talk about economic development, but no definition is attached to the phrase. What I’ve seen in the past has been the city giving tax abatements to encourage national retail corporations to open stores. These types of establishments then come in with an unfair advantage over local merchants. In addition, the jobs they offer are typically minimum wage, part-time, with no benefits. In the end a working poor is created and profits are taken out of state by the chains.
When I came to Huntsville, the square was a vibrant business center. There was a shoe store, a pharmacy, a hardware store and several others most of which are now gone. I believe city policies are making it harder and harder on local entrepreneurs to maintain viable businesses. I believe if we incentivize and underwrite any business it should be local startup businesses.
We have so much to offer as a community, we do not need to give our treasures away to outside interests. Those businesses will come here because of our workforce, our great environment, and the availability of good city services.
Rezoning the GA White Subdivision
My views on rezoning the GA White subdivision are already part of the public record. I am a resident of the neighborhood and have been active and loud in opposing the change. Consistent with what I’ve said above I believe this change would give away some of the charm of the city in return for working poor. It also undermines the citizens’ trust in the city to protect their property rights. We purchased our homes here because it was residential, we’ve invested in our properties and have worked hard to make improvements. Most of the property owners will see a decline in property values and quality of life as we’ll be looking at the backs of gas stations or fast food restaurants, while a few speculators stand to make significant profit. The rest of Huntsville should oppose this action, as it sets the precedent that no lot or neighborhood is safe from this type of action.
I have scheduled tours of the water and sewage plants, police and fire stations, and city hall and city service center next week. I am also reviewing the proposed city budget. I will have a more informed response in the coming week(s). I do have some initial concern that the proposed funding to serve the bond debt includes a revenue stream from the TDCJ for water that has not been formalized.”