Watson announces candidacy for re-election to Brownwood council

Special to the Bulletin
Eddie Watson

Eddie Watson arrived in Brownwood on Jan. 1, 1970, with his wife, Jenneane (who died on Oct. 1, 2014) and their two daughters, Shannon and Jessica. The family had been in Brownwood for about an hour  when they knew they’d found a home, Watson said in an announcement stating his candidacy for re-election to the Brownwood City Council’s Ward 2 seat.

The Watsons bought Chandler Auto Supply and operated it until July 1995. They sold to Big 3 Auto and built some storage buildings, Triple A Storage. Five years ago, Watson said, he received a call from a friend insisting that he run for an unexpired position on the Brownwood City Council, Ward 2. Watson said he was lucky enough to win it, and was unopposed the following year.

During these years, the city has not increased the tax rates or increased the utility fees (except for the pass-through fees for the Water District) and has a balanced budget without resorting to employee layoffs or services to citizens.

Watson said he is once again seeking re-election to the Ward 2 seat. “I have enjoyed serving and look forward to one more term to help complete several major projects, specifically, the street project, the soccer complex, economic improvement in the community, etc., and helping with the transition of the new city manager,” Watson said.

Watson listed several of his positions.

City manager replacement: Watson said he is confident in Emily Crawford’s ability to function as city manager. Crawford has proven herself as Brownwood Economic Development Corp. director and as assistant city manager, Watson said.

Willis Creek channelization: Watson said he supports the city’s participation in a study to determine if its is economically feasible to help the approximately 400 residents who are in the flood plain through no fault of their own. “We have asked the Corps of Engineers to review all options which includes increasing the size of some of the detention ponds (White Mines and Country Club Golf Course) along with constructing new detention ponds, which may allow for a less radical channelization of Willis Creek,” Watson said.

The new fire station: Four locations were studied before the decision was made to construct it on Congress Street, near the Train Museum. It was less costly as the city owned the land. It is located 1/2 mile from the original location and allows for direct access to Austin Avenue and Highway 377, north and south. It also has direct access to downtown. The other locations would have had to come off the tax rolls.

The water reuse facility: The city has not rushed into the construction of the reuse facility and is looking at all possibilities before making the decision. The city continues to work closely with the Brown County Water Improvement District to explore all options. The water district has hired a consultant to study the possibility of a well field in or around Brown County. The city supports all efforts in searching for an alternate source of water. Like other Texas cities, it is left to the community to find an additional source of water in order to remain an economically viable community.

The Bennie Houston Community Center: Anyone who has not seen the center should make it a priority to do so, Watson said. “Councilman Draco Miller and I were instrumental in getting it refurbished and the basketball court painted and air conditioned,” Watson said. “It is worth your time.”

Watson said he reminds voters that it is an open election. “Regardless where you live in Brownwood, you can vote,” Watson said.

He said possibly the two best events that have occurred in Brownwood have been the Traffic T and the repaving of Fisk Street. “You all know what a great thing it was to pave Fisk,” Watson said. “I like to think I had a little to do with that.”

Watson said he hopes to serve one more term “as I feel I have not finished my job.”