Marco Pizana will face off against Dex Ellison for the Kyle City Council District 1 seat. The Hays Free Press asked Kyle City Council candidates the following questions. Answers are printed below.
1. What is the biggest issue the city faces and how do you plan to address it?
I believe that the biggest issue facing Kyle is the amount of debt we have incurred over the years. Kyle has annexed many areas into our city. This has impacted our water and wastewater resources in which we need to expand the infrastructure for these systems to accommodate the growth. The final price tags for these expansions have not been made public nor has a plan to offset or defer the cost been made public. The likely way to handle these expenditures “may” be to incur additional debt through issuance of bonds. However, I would like to see more developers take a stake in our city and either make monetary contributions or work with city staff to create a plan to offset these huge expenditures coming up in the near future. The goal should be, to not place the financial burden on the taxpayers that are here today and made Kyle their home.
As you can imagine, debt greatly limits the city’s choices for the future when it comes to providing economic incentives for new businesses to choose Kyle as their home. We want the growth to be sustainable, and to do that, we will need a financial management plan to handle these huge expenditures. Therefore, as your city council member, I plan to actively reduce our current debt, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
2. What do you bring to the table that your opponents don’t?
I bring the ability to see and hear things with a fresh set of eyes and ears. I plan to increase transparency and let the voices of the people be heard. I can create a win-win solution to engage and educate the public. I believe great things happen when people come together to create a better community. The power of community should never be underestimated. Because I believe this, I go out and actively talk to my neighbors, local business leaders, parents and community members to see what their concerns are and offer solutions.
3. Do you think Kyle is a fiscally responsible city?
Yes, I do. I feel we have had the ability to refinance and make sound financial decisions thanks to many city staff members. However, I think more can be done to reduce the amount of debt we have incurred. In the future, the city council should to take the time to evaluate the impact of the development with a broad brush. Kyle is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas, and past councils were faced with hard choices of annexing the developing areas and incurring additional debt necessary to provide infrastructure.
4. What are your thoughts on the current state of Kyle roads?
I think they need a lot of work. The problem lies again in the debt. The debt limits us to fixing the roads we can and remain within our budget.
5. Is Kyle managing its growth responsibly?
I do not think how fast a city grows is something the council can completely manage. Often, when cities try to hard to control how fast they grow, they end up not growing at all. We can come together on some common-sense growth management, but I for one will always stand in favor of letting people move here. If people want to come to Kyle, I say welcome. Stay a while.
6. Does Kyle have a diverse housing market? If not, how can that be fixed?
Yes. Kyle has a diverse housing market. If it did not, we would not be growing.
7. What are types of industry should Kyle focus on bringing to town?
I believe that Kyle should support a well-diversified blend of business and industry. Ask any investment broker and you will hear strong advice to maintain a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. I believe the same is true for cities. Their economic base must be diversified if it is to weather hard times.
8. Does Kyle have a problem with its utility billing system?
I feel we have done a minimal job to this point. We should continue to expand our commercial tax base to offset some of the large expenditures needed to accommodate future growth and reduce the financial burden on our taxpayers. We need to preserve Kyle’s culture while we grow. Also, we need to come together on a common-sense growth management plan.