Dex Ellison will face off against Marco Pizana 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?
As a result of my block walking, I’ve discovered that every neighborhood has its various issues affecting them, but one thing remains constant… Growth! The City of Kyle is growing at a very rapid rate. It will be imperative that elected officials and community leaders understand that the growth is happening whether we want it to or not and start yesteryear on planning for it. Having the infrastructure and other capital improvement projects in place ahead of the growth will go a long way in building a smarter, stronger, and overall better quality of life for Kyle residents now and future ones. This is also a fiscally responsible move because all that mentioned above will be more expensive down the figurative road.
2. What do you bring to the table that your opponents don’t?
My resume is one hopefully showing the Rotarian philosophy of service above self. I will bring two years of experience from the Planning and Zoning commission with the second year of that term as chairman. I will bring 7 years of Kyle living and community volunteering with various organizations like the Kyle Citizens Police Academy and the Kyle Invaders Youth Football Organization. I love this city and accomplishing achievements with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met residing and/or working in this city. I hope my work over these past numbers of years shows my commitment to community and desire to strategically plan for a continued bright future for many years to come.
3. Do you think Kyle is a fiscally responsible city?
The city of Kyle has accrued debt over that past number of years. However, what I’m most concerned with is the city’s ability to pay off that debt if it was obtained to improve infrastructure and overall quality of life for Kyle residents. There has been a steady annual reduction to the principle debt balance over the past couple of years. In 2014, the city’s bond rating was upgraded from A+ to AA- with continued positivity towards another upgrade in the future. Finally, for five years in a row now, the City of Kyle received the highest form of national recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting with the Certificate of Excellence from GFOA.
4. What are your thoughts on the current state of Kyle roads?
The city’s bond package over four years ago was a great start and the roads that have been improved or created are nice additions. However, there is still work to be done when it comes to that exact part of our infrastructure. I would be very judicial with the tax dollars our hard working citizens pay. I believe residents want a higher quality of life when it comes to roads they don’t have drive down the middle like Kyle Crossing and many others throughout out city. We should address these issues soon before the population boom that will be inevitable with the projected growth Kyle will experience.
5. Is Kyle managing its growth responsibility?
There hasn’t been a bad job with management of this rapid growth, but it could definitely be better. If my two years on the Kyle Planning and Zoning Commission have taught me anything, it’s the importance of smart and comprehensive planning. Attention to water, wastewater, roads, and other infrastructure are key in responsible management and planning for the predicted growth. We must stay ahead of the projections so we do not fall behind and have development exist before key infrastructure is in place. Having consistent revisions or reviews to not just the Comprehensive plan but others like the Transportation, Parks, etc. are vital as well.
6. Does Kyle have a diverse housing market? If not, how can that be fixed?
Short answer, in my opinion, we do not. We attempted to address this issue from one aspect with the residential style guide my fellow commissioners and I on Planning & Zoning recommended and council passed earlier this year. We wanted to raise the bar with housing and neighborhood development while also giving builders more options of their housing designs to be allowed in Kyle. The second way we on P&Z addressed this was through the Comp Plan and looking for areas in the city where it would be great for other housing options like town homes and other housing types that would give people diversity in housing selections.
7. What are types of industry should Kyle focus on bringing to town?
Kyle’s economic development team and others have done a great job building our medical industry and I hope and believe that will continue to thrive. We need to continue our focus on bringing in employers in industries that require higher skill and result in higher wage employment. Too many of Kyle’s working residents commute outside of the city and thus spend their day dollars outside of Kyle as well. Technology, manufacturing, and any other industry that pays incomes to raise a family on and enjoy the fruits of that labor are what we need in Kyle. Once again, having solid infrastructure and financial stability in place are key in attracting the titans of those industries to build and employ here in the city.
8. Does Kyle have a problem with its utility billing system?
In this year’s proposed budget the city manager included the survey results of Kyle residents’ satisfaction with city services. I did not see utility billing system on this list of highly satisfied… I also in my over 2 months of blocking this campaign and over 3 months during my 2015 campaign have not heard of issues expressed by residents on our city’s utility billing system. However, if there are concerns, (and please email if so) we should look into that as we should in all areas to find ways of improvement even in our highest marks in regards to city services and beyond.
9. What was your favorite TV show growing up?
Tough call… but I believe I saw every episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air growing up… laughed a great deal but also learned just as much from that show… Uncle Phil was a great role model!