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:
Tammy Swaton, District 6
Supervisor, Fire Safety Shop University of Texas @ Austin
1. What are the most important policies Kyle needs to implement to ensure it reaches and maintains sustainability? Financial Responsibility –The City of Kyle must continue to maintain a balanced budget. During my time on City Council I have worked with other Council members to ensure proper balance between cash flow and contributions to the Emergency Fund. Along with growth more money will become available and provide an opportunity to allow more required items such as the sewer system, police force, road maintenance, infrastructure, etc. City Council and staff need to properly allocate the finances of our community to personnel and infrastructure based on requirement.
2. What are three achievable goals you would champion during your term? Strengthen Infrastructure- The City of Kyle should never grow beyond its means. To follow this policy, it will take a progressive council and staff to think beyond today and into tomorrow to prepare such items as water, sewer, business, recreation, etc. 2. Economic Stability- The City of Kyle should diversify its businesses to encourage opportunity for our workforce. We are fortunate to have strong and versatile labor pool and we should educate businesses on this available resource. Doing this not only provides work for Kyle citizens, it would be a starting point for small businesses to grow and offers an opportunity to offset personal property taxes. We must attract businesses that will keep our citizens employed locally. Ultimately with diverse businesses comes a diverse workforce; jobs for professionals and tradesmen.
3. What do you believe is the number one issue facing Kyle? Roads! To be more to point, the roads that voters approved bonds for over two years ago. When I first sat on Kyle City Council, there did not seem to be a clear or decisive direction to the engineers for designing the roads and no really big push. In the last 11 months, I have worked hard to bring these roads to life. These roads are my priority. As stated above, the majority of the design is complete. The right-a-ways are being acquired by professionals hired by the city in order to speed up the process and have them donated to the city. At this time the council has asked for and received a link on the City of Kyle website to update the citizens on where in the process the roads are.
4. What ideas do you have for branding the city as a tourist destination? Some towns naturally evolve to become a great destination for tourism with having a history of competing BBQ families, wineries, the site of significant historical events or boasting the world’s largest ball of yarn. I believe our citizens are our greatest asset to contribute to what defines our tourism draw. Any idea must be embraced and supported by our community. I have heard many great suggestions such as creating a wildflower destination, expanding the log cabin and ice house into living history museums and we are fortunate to have local hot air balloon owners and operators. We have bountiful resources to draw from and I am excited to nurture the possibilities.
5. What is the name of your neighborhood and what is the most pressing issue for residents there? I live in the Amberwood subdivision. Our number one issue in Amberwood has always been water. Our water is supplied by a company other than the city. We have been threatened with very large rate hikes as well as complaints from the neighborhood regarding the water itself; low water pressure, dirty water, etc. Although water is the number one concern, while walking and talking to people in the neighborhood, other items have been brought to my attention. Speed in which cars travel in the neighborhood, especially on Amberwood Loop was one item. There were also questions regarding the apartments being built off of Amberwood South and some HOA questions.
6. Do you have any professional experience that will help you as an elected official? I currently hold the District 6 seat and my professional experience has been a great benefit during my 11 months of service. I have been in the fire protection industry in construction area for the last thirty years. I have held positions as high as a division manager. For the last ten plus years I have worked for the University of Texas as the supervisor of the Fire Safety Shop; tasked with the inspection, testing, and maintenance of the fire protection systems on campus as well as some off-site locations. The projects I have been involved in have ranged from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. I have estimated, project managed, designed, procured equipment for, installed, inspected, tested, and maintained small to very large systems. I have worked with both private and public sectors. I understand budgets and staying within budgets. I understand negotiations as well as value engineering in order to get the product you want at the best price. My experience has helped me with the roads, re-zoning of property, understanding policies, development, etc. and will continue to help me move the city into the best possible future.
7. What do you see as the greatest threats and opportunities for the future of Kyle? I believe the City of Kyle has done a great job at diversifying our water sources avoiding a threat that many other cities around us are coming to terms with. We have secured our water to not only sustain but guarantee our future growth.
I can’t express how excited I am for the opportunities this city has in its future. We are growing and raising the quality of life here in Kyle. Our location on the I-35 corridor brings opportunities and we are capitalizing on them by being educated and prepared, all while maintaining a strong sense of community.
8. Why should voters elected you over your opponents? When I took over the District 6 City Council seat there was only 11 months left on the term. I have gained a great deal of experience and accomplished many goals since becoming a council member. Because of my construction and leadership background I have been very successful and innovative in moving the city forward. I am honored to be part of Kyle during this very exciting time. I have worked for noticeable advancement on construction of the roads, expanded the infrastructure, and improved economic stability by the opening of new businesses and look forward to continued progress representing my District. I ask for your support for re-election in order to continue to advance the City forward.
9. What should our readers know about you before they head to the voting booth? I am a proud citizen of Kyle first and foremost. I am committed in helping to direct Kyle to be the best it can be. My interests are to make Kyle a home. A place to work, live, entertain, enjoy; simply put, to raise the quality of life for our citizens. My son is in the Hays school system. I am a homeowner and pay taxes. I have a vested interest in improving the quality of our City. I have been doing that for the last eleven months and would like to continue to do so for the next three years.
10. What is the most recent book you read? For myself, it was The Shack by William P. Young which I suggest very highly. With my son, it is The 39 Clues The Maze Of Bones By Rick Riordan (still reading)