QUESTIONS FOR BANGS MAYORAL CANDIDATES

1. Why do you want to serve as mayor?

2. What do you see as the single most important challenge the council will face in the coming year and how do you propose to deal with it?

3. In an era of tight budgets, what specific ideas do you have for helping the city do more with less?

4. How do you envision the role of mayor in representing the city as a whole?

5. What pertinent skills would you bring to the position and what has been your recent involvement in community and municipal activities?

C.B. ALEXANDER

1. My decision to run for mayor came because the present mayor and council spent $74,000 of taxpayers’ money on an unnecessary expenditure. They paid overtime to four police officers, three of which are no longer employed by the city of Bangs.

2. The most important challenge is getting the city’s budget back in order. We need to establish guidelines and curtail expenditures in all departments.

3. Save more, spend less! Cut down on unnecessary utility and gasoline usage. Apply for city grants.

4. As mayor, I would be sensitive to all citizens when making monetary decisions.

5. Pertinent skills I possess for the mayoral position of Bangs include 12 years of experience as mayor, serving as a councilman, and school board member. I have the ability to work cordially with all personnel and branches of city government.

CARROL WELLS

1. Having fulfilled an unexpired term of one year has not been enough time to develop and fully implement internal changes within the city. Bangs has needed a “working” Mayor for quite some time. The only way to effectively serve the office is to know what is happening and be able to address the issues that arise, daily. There are still several issues that must be addressed in order for us to get our city up to standards that citizens have expressed to me that they want.

I am, and will be, a working mayor for ALL citizens, for the betterment of our community!

2. Many challenges are in the forefront to deal with, but the single most important one to me, is water. We have extremely poor water line conditions in various parts of the city. Street conditions are what most people see and feel, but the ingestion and topical use of dirty water is something that no one in today’s society should have to deal with.

The council has already begun working on this problem. We are currently waiting on the proposal from the engineer and will move forward as soon as possible.

3. Payroll with employee benefits is one of the largest, if not the largest, portion of the budget. We must take care of our employees, but we need to do so with careful consideration of how we disburse the budgetary funding. We should look to find better insurance for fewer dollars, and perhaps give merit raises instead of across the board raises.

Making sure that whoever is in charge of keeping up with dates on contracts is a vital part of expenditures.

Developing a “Neighborhood Watch Program” is something that could make a big difference, not only with the budget, but with security of our neighborhoods.

4. The role should be one of positive leadership. Representing all citizens in the city should be a priority with no special privileges for a select few. The mayor should listen to all ideas presented by the citizens and pursue details to give to the council determine if it would help the city.

Also, being the chief executive officer of the city means the mayor should ensure all laws and ordinances to be enforced.

5. I have the ability and knowledge to work with state and national officials, as well as other local officials which brings about relationships that are essential to the future growth and development of Bangs. My skills of working with employees have proved to be beneficial during this last year. We have implemented accountability in all departments.

Serving as the representative of Region 6 of the Texas Municipal League has provided valuable insight into some programs that the city has been able to use.

I am proud to say that through networking with representatives of WCTCOG, I was able to provide the contact to enable our senior citizens to still have their meals on wheels.

QUESTIONS FOR BANGS CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

1. Why do you want to serve on the city council?

2. What do you see as the single most important challenge the council will face in the coming year and how do you propose to deal with it?

3. In an era of tight budgets, what specific ideas do you have for helping the city do more with less?

4. How do you envision the role of a city council member in representing the city as a whole?

5. What pertinent skills would you bring to the position and what has been your recent involvement in community and municipal activities?

RITA BARNES

1. I would like to help in making sure that all citizens and employees are treated fairly. The citizens’ advice, comments and problems are important to me.

2. I would like to see leadership in the areas that are important to the community as a whole. Not just great ideas from personal agendas and special groups. Some of the ideas are great, but we need to keep track of the ones that are not. I would like to see projects that are started to be completed as voted on by the council, not pushed on the back burner and forgotten.

3. The expenses of the city are very important. They should be kept in control. There are areas that are essential for the good of the community, such as clean water, sanitation, good streets and the safety of the citizens. Employees that are trustworthy and willing to do the job are also important. We could cut costs in nonessential areas such as schools and trips that are not mandatory as well as motels and fuel expenses. Each department head should have a $750 per day budget to spend if they wish to do so, without council approval. The citizens of Bangs need to know they have a strong council that will check these sort of things out.

4. I would like to find a way to get the citizens more involved in the city council meetings, to attend the meetings and participate. I don’t believe in putting things under the table for discussion. I believe in putting it on top of the table at the council meeting with the citizens present — and to make the best decisions at that time.

5. I am a small business owner. I work in Brownwood at Ragsdale Management. I have lived in Bangs for 35 years. I have served on the city council and am a past president of the American Legion in Bangs. I was secretary for the Central Texas Drag Racing Association for 11 years. I have seen Bangs grow at a nice, safe pace. I have seen one son graduate from Bangs High School and my grandson is now attending the sixth grade. I am a member of the First Baptist Church and choir. I love the people of Bangs. I also like most of them. Bangs is important to me and I would be proud to help the citizens.

WAYMOND SHEPPARD

1. It is evident by my past experience that I am a citizen interested in the government of the city. We have made progress in the past year as the city was “near bankruptcy” two years ago, due to a lot of unnecessary spending. The opportunity arose on getting to know how other cities our size operated and what “cuts” had been made. I have always been one to seek opportunities of professional development, both at work and in my personal life. My reason for seeking this position has nothing to do with politics, but working together to promote visions for our city.

2. Replacing water and sewer lines which have been in place since the 1940s are certainly a priority as we have citizens that have water in their homes too dirty to drink. Our streets are becoming in disrepair. We had funds in the past set aside for paving, but the funds were misappropriated by “unnecessary items.” It seemed the method of “rob Peter to pay Paul” went on, therefore depleting necessary funds. Currently, we are working on ways to get grants to help solve these problems without having to raise taxes.

3. Since our city was “near bankruptcy” when I was elected two years ago, we have begun working on voting in a 1 percent sales tax increase as, at present, we are still one of the few cities that are still at 7 1/4 percent. We have been working endless hours trying to fix a six-month budget so that we can get back in line with other cities. I doubt the budget has ever been balanced since the position of city manager was abolished. One major step was taken by eliminating the police chief’s position. A decision was made if he was able to take “personal leave” for 10 months, then we could eliminate the position.

4. One of my visions for the city is to see the 350-plus kids have a safe and decent place for summer activities. We have an excellent baseball association, but they can’t do it alone. Other cities our size have better facilities and we want our kids to be proud of ours. One way to help is offering to be a volunteer! Another vision is for the council and the mayor to work together for the complete betterment of the community. Grudges and lies within the community must be stopped! No, everything can not go the way you want it, but electing people you trust should have the foresight to solve problems before the need arises, not the he instant they happen.

5. I am a lifelong resident of Bangs and have been married to my wife Fern for 43 years. I graduated from Bangs High School in 1960, served in the United States Army from 1944-46, honorably discharged as a Vietnam veteran, retired from 3M after 33 years of service and am now self-employed by WW Painting in Bangs. I am a proud member of the Bangs First Baptist Church, Bangs Business Association, Bangs American Legion, Dragon Booster Club and now serving on the museum committee in Bangs. I am more than willing to devote my time to the city’s needs.

STEVE WHITTENBERG

1. As a 28-year public servant, I believe I have a lot to offer the city in the areas of public finance and personnel management. I have a desire to see improvements in many areas, particularly city appearance and infrastructure, and have many ideas for bringing about these improvements.

2. The single most important challenge the council will face is how to adequately fund the delivery of city services as well needed improvements to infrastructure. Every aspect of current operations must be examined for necessity and efficiency. New and creative means must be explored to generate more revenue without unnecessary burden on the taxpayer, while maintaining an acceptable level of city services.

3. In order to maintain an acceptable level of services, specifically, I would practice “best value” purchasing of all goods and services and review the following to ensure proper financial performance; franchise agreements, city traffic/criminal/code violation fine schedules, unpaid traffic/criminal warrants and other revenue sources. I would mandate the use of fuel-efficient city equipment and vehicles. I would work with other civic and business leaders to promote the city and broaden the tax base. I will aggressively seek grant funding whenever possible.

4. Relying on poise and direction, the council member must, above all, be an example of good government, willing to unite with other council members and the mayor in the best interest of the city, even whey they may disagree. The council member must stay abreast of city operations, ready to make informed decisions at a moment’s notice. Together with other city and area civic and business leaders, he/she must be a goodwill ambassador and promoter of the city at every opportunity.

5. A 28-year state employee and member of the National Institute of Government Purchasing, I currently serve as purchasing agent for a large state agency facility. In this capacity, I am responsible for the procurement of goods and services for approximately 400 students and staff. This includes the development and oversight of several outsourcing contracts. I believe the knowledge and experience gained in this position qualifies me to participate in the financial decisions for a small city. I am also familiar with public employment law.