Election day for Kyle City Council District 5 and 6 seats is May 9. The Hays Free Press asked the six Kyle council candidates the following ten questions. Answers printed as submitted.
See the other candidates responses here:
Damon Robert Fogley, District 5
Paramedic, Austin-Travis County EMS
1. What are the most important policies Kyle needs to implement to ensure it reaches and maintains sustainability? What are the most important policies Kyle needs to implement to ensure it reaches and maintains sustainability? Kyle needs to create an economic development corporation or better fund the current economic development department. Part of this involves fighting to get our half cent in sales tax back from Hays County. Streamline the permit process for new businesses. Maintain a business friendly environment for startups and think tanks that want to call Kyle their home. Provide comprehensive assistance to new businesses from initial filing date to ribbon cutting ceremony. Enforce water conservation ordinances that are already in existence.
2. What are three achievable goals you would champion during your term? Implement a public transportation program, create a citywide committee of HOAs, create an app that allows for residents to pay bills online and become notified of city news and other city activities.
3. What do you believe is the number one issue facing Kyle? Kyle is heavily residential. The tax burden is being placed on the residents. Residents commute lengthy periods of time to go to work. The city does not have a diversified tax base. We need more commercial, medical specialty and light industrial businesses in our city to help bring in good paying jobs and increased sales tax and property tax revenue. Some residents complain that they are on the verge of being taxed out of the city.
4. What ideas do you have for branding the city as a tourist destination? “Kyle… On the move.” This motto incorporates our association with the many trains that travel through our city, IH 35, and our progress as a growing city. Unfortunately, right now, people travelling through our city do not have a compelling reason to exit interstate 35 in Kyle, but I want to help change that.
5. What is the name of your neighborhood and what is the most pressing issue for residents there? Woodlands Park. Our HOA collapsed and representatives from that HOA never provided us with any representation. There is a lot of money unaccounted for from our previous HOA dues account. I am a currently board member at large for the newly formed woodlands park community alliance.
6. Do you have any professional experience that will help you as an elected official? I have been working in the public sector for fifteen years. I hold a masters degree in public administration from Texas State University. My projects always concentrated on local issues that dealt with city and state government organizations. I consider myself very knowledgeable on a variety of public safety matters. My masters thesis explored options to better fund ESD fire departments in Travis County. I have worked as a paramedic for over ten years now. I was an Army Captain during my ten years in the military. I was also a member of Kyle’s safety and emergency services committee where we drafted ordinances that were recommended for approval by the city council. We also solved traffic safety issues around the city and funding gaps for our police department.
7. What do you see as the greatest threats and opportunities for the future of Kyle? Although Kyle is a safe city, crime is on the rise. This is especially true for property crimes. This is happening more frequently on the east side of kyle. Traffic congestion will also be an issue with population growth going from approximately 32,000 to 60,000 in the next five years. A lot of our roads do not have sidewalks. This is a safety issue for children and those who have to walk or ride their bicycle to get to where they want to go due to our lack of public transportation. There are also a lot of areas that lack lighting. Our roads will need continuous improvements. Kyle is well positioned on water. However, we must stay on top of this issue. We do not want to end up having to rely on any of the controversial water supply companies. We need to ensure that we continue to invest in infrastructure in order to make sure our city is attractive to various businesses. Kyle is in the middle of the Austin-San Antonio corridor which is and will continue to be the fastest growing part of the country. With that comes many exciting opportunities that I would like to be part of.
8. Why should voters elect you over your opponents? City council is the most powerful and influential position in the city. We absolutely need effective and proven leadership on council. I will hold all city staff representatives accountable to the highest level. My platform is clearly illustrated on my website votedamon.org There you will find my ideas for the future and how a lot of them may differ from my opponents ideas. There you will also find a link to the video of the candidates’ forum held on 4/15/2015.
9. What should our readers know about you before they head to the voting booth? I am driven, persistent and innovative. I have a fresh perspective and new ideas when it comes to city issues. I am receptive. I want to continue having “Saturday morning coffee.” This dialogue between city representatives and residents is very important. I will always take what residents have to say into consideration.
10. What is the most recent book you read? Uncharitable by Dan Pallotta