by ANDY SEVILLA
Kyle council member Brad Pickett will not seek reelection this May; meanwhile council member Diane Hervol has filed to keep her seat on the city council.
“I will not be running again in May,” Pickett said in an email Tuesday. “My family and I have made this a matter of prayer. Our family has had a rough 3 years in regards to my health, and I need to take some time to take care of my health.”
Pickett said he had no regrets and always will be grateful to the people of Kyle for entrusting him with the opportunity to serve.
“We have some really incredible citizens and I know that their passion to make Kyle better is always their desire,” Pickett said.
And making Kyle better is why Hervol has decided to run for another term.
“Bottom line, I want to make a difference and continue to contribute to Kyle’s future and I will work very hard towards that goal,” Hervol said in an email Tuesday.
“I had no idea that when I was first elected how complex the system was,” Hervol said. “Now I understand it takes several years just to learn the system before you can really begin to implement your own ideas … Basically, it takes a second term to get things done, AND, I have unfinished business.”
Hervol said economic development is paramount as Kyle has been one of the fastest growing cities along the Interstate 35 corridor. She said she is committed to keeping that trend, all the while retaining “our fabulous small town charm.”
“It is critical to maintain our property values, although I would love to see those values increase. More importantly, we need to do as much as possible to increase commercial development,” Hervol said. “This will not only spread the citizens’ tax burden to more entities, but it will give our citizens more opportunities to keep our tax dollars within our borders,” while also remembering the importance of small businesses and their contributions.
Hervol said she wants to see Kyle move forward with a strong economy, attracting major employers to the city and developing new educational opportunities, as with the Austin Community College’s (ACC) building of a new campus.
In November 2010, nearly 60 percent of Kyle voters approved to be annexed into ACC’s taxing district and have a campus erected in the city. A similar measure failed in San Marcos.
ACC’s tax rate for the 2012-13 year is 9.51 cents per $100 of property valuation. Kyle voters could also see a road bond election on the ballot this May that could increase taxes by 21 cents per $100 of property valuation. That general obligation bond would engineer and reconstruct Bunton, Burleson, Goforth, and Lehman Roads, and extend Marketplace Avenue.
“I want to see improved roads for Kyle which we desperately need, especially east of the interstate,” Hervol said, who voted last week to advance the $35.3 million road bond election to a council vote after being against the measure in earlier discussions.
“If money was no object, I would love for Kyle to have a recreation center and more parks,” Hervol said. “But many of these objectives are in our Comprehensive Plan and we will get there together as a city eventually.”
Hervol is currently serving her first term on council and is the present Mayor Pro Tem. She has served two terms on the city’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission and is a graduate of the Kyle Leadership Academy. Hervol has served as Amberwood Homeowners Association president, is a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, and is the council liaison for the Depot Board and the Economic Development Committee.
“Transportation, safety, parks and recreation, all of these are important to a growing community such as ours,” Hervol said. “But without the revenue to pay for these, our only other option is to put the cost on our homeowners with property taxes. That is why I feel economic development is so critical to our success as a city.”
City Secretary Amelia Sanchez said Bill Sinor has filed his candidacy for the District 3 at-large council seat currently held by Pickett. As of Tuesday, only Hervol had filed candidacy for her expiring District 1 at-large seat.
Sinor did not return an email request for comment Monday.
Kyle began accepting applications for candidacy to both expiring seats on Jan. 30. The filing deadline is Friday, March 1. The municipal elections will be held May 11.