By Ursula Rogers
Investing in infrastructure, better support for the Police Department and promoting business growth were some of the top goals, as candidates for the Kyle City Council debated during a luncheon.
The Kyle Chamber of Commerce held a forum luncheon Sept. 24 where candidates for city council spoke about their plans for the city. The four candidates include Dex Ellison (incumbent) and Yvonne Cale, running for District 1, and Robert Rizo (incumbent) and Amanda Stark running for District 3.
The League of Women Voters of Hays County moderated the forum that mainly focused on city growth, economic development and potential collaborative efforts between the chamber of commerce and the city of Kyle.
Candidate Dex Ellison, a graduate of Texas State, has lived in Kyle since 2009. Ellison began as a banker, but as he became more invested in the city, he started coaching youth football and got involved with the Kyle leadership academy. He said he now considers the city of Kyle his “family.” Ellison said he feels it’s important to invest in the local economy to offset the needs of population growth.
Yvonne Cale, a resident of Kyle for 7 years, noted that she has children in the school district and values the small-town charm that she has come to appreciate for her family. Cale said she became more involved in the community through local groups like Camp Gladiator and hopes to preserve this “sense of comradery even as the city grows.” One of the ways Cale hopes to do this is by revitalizing downtown Kyle, making it a hub of the community for present and future residents.
Candidate Robert Rizo has been involved with the Kyle community for over 30 years. As a minister, a youth mentor and a member of Knights of Columbus, Rizo said he values public safety, economic growth and development of the city. Rizo believes that the city of Kyle and the chamber of commerce can work together to keep economic stability by promoting established businesses as well as encouraging out-of-town entrepreneurs to explore Kyle as a home for their next endeavor. This, in turn, will also help keep the workforce in the city, rather than having residents commute to other areas, he said.
Amanda Stark has been serving the community of Kyle for a while. Her involvement in the Kyle Citizens Police Academy, the Alumni Association and the Parks and Recreation board has given Stark the initiative to be a part of Kyle’s present and future decision-making processes, she said. Stark said she believes the city should use tax incentives to bring new businesses to town and to increase economic development. She believes that collaboration with the chamber of commerce is essential in determining what the community wants and what type of business will succeed.
Rizo said he would not only try to help with infrastructure, but he would also like to invest in city crews and equip them with proper tools to take on larger projects. However, both he and Stark want to ensure that taxpayers don’t take on too much of the burden. Although current residents may not benefit right now, Ellison suggests that keeping the alliances with groups that help manage water resources will have a positive impact for decades to come.
Election Day is Nov. 5.