Q: Name, current occupation and Glen Rose tenure.
1) Johnny Martin – Retired – 72 years
2) Name: Sandra Ramsay Occupation: Semi-retired. Lived in Somervell County 18 years. Moved within City Limits 9 years.
3) My name is Julia Douglas and I have been the office manager for a custom homebuilder in Granbury, TX for almost 5 years. I am a native, fourth-generation resident of this community. I went to school here and now we are raising our children here.
4) My name is TJ Bunt. I am a firefighter/EMT for the Somervell County Fire Department and have been a resident of Glen Rose for 20 years.
5) My name is Robert John Marquez Jr. and I am an Emergency Planner for Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, I have been working at the plant since retiring from the United State Marine Corps in 2014.
Q: What qualifies you to hold a seat on the Glen Rose City Council? Discuss your previous civic, community or governmental work.
1) I served on the City Planning & Zoning for several years and also served on the Preservation Board for several years. Presently, I serve on the Somervell County Historical Commission. I served on the Council in the 70s, 90s, and 02 – 03 and came on this Council in 2010 to present. I also served as Mayor Pro-Tem for several years.
2) The experience of serving on the City of Glen Rose Council for five years has increased my passion for being involved in the working and management process that prepares and protects this great city in an ever changing world and growth process. My community involvement includes serving and in many cases holding an office in these organizations: Glen Rose Economic (4-B) Board, Christmas in Action Board, Somerville County Crime Stoppers Board, Glen Rose-Somervell Chamber of Commerce Board, Glen Rose Ambassador Group, active member in the GRHS Band Booster Club from 1998 until 2002, Somervell County Republican Club Board, Election Judge-Pct. 2 and Pct. 3. I have been active through volunteering, participating and promoting this community since moving here in 1998.
3) Working in customer service my entire adult life, I have accrued the skills necessary for our community leadership. I have professional experience in office and project management and law and educational experience in the social sciences. My ability to effectively communicate with various members of our community will be beneficial as a member of the Glen Rose City Council. I know how to read and understand both financial statements and legal documents, how to prepare and maintain budgets, and how to work effectively with local government. I currently volunteer for activities within the school district and Keep Glen Rose Beautiful.
4) As a third generation resident of Glen Rose, I have vested a lot of time and energy into this community and want only what is best for Glen Rose. I have spent numerous hours volunteering for the community from Christmas in Action to being a volunteer firefighter for 5 years before becoming a full time employee. I grew up in this town and want to see Glen Rose grow into a town longtime residents can be proud of, as well as attract new-comers to enjoy such a great community.
5) Public and community service are my passion. I joined the military at 18 to serve my country and plan on serving my community for life. Currently, I am a member of GR’s Planning and Zoning Board and am the incoming Commander for the American Legion 462. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management and will complete my Masters in Public Administration this year. My last assignment was at the Pentagon and have worked with international, federal, state and local agencies for the safety of the public and will use this experience for the city of Glen Rose.
Q: As it pertains to the current budget of the City of Glen Rose, are there areas where you feel it needs to be increased, decreased or eliminated?
1) No – I have been involved with the budget for the past six years and a lot of changes have taken place in that time.
2) The city council work diligently to be conscientious of taxpayer’s dollars during the budget process. The budget process consists of many workshops to review and analyze the budget information presented by each Department Heads. The main goals of the workshops are to avoid inflated or deflated line items while continuing to serve the City of Glen Rose with the best service and infrastructure. The council strives to maintain a positive and productive quality of life. In case of an emergency or unexpected challenge the budget may be amended. I am in favor of providing training, wages and benefits that will maintain and encourage the best customer service to our community from our employees. They are our greatest ambassadors to the citizens.
3) I believe that, from the viewpoint of a private citizen, the current budget of the City of Glen Rose accomplishes the intended goals for our community. I would, however, like to see an increase in the budget for capital improvements so that we can continue to address issues with and improve our infrastructure.
4) The tax rate has dropped over the past few years and I commend the current council because I think that is moving in the right direction. I feel we need to continue to try and lower tax rates while still operating efficiently as a city.
5) The city’s budget needs to become an informative tool that is well defined that every resident citizen can understand and read. The budget needs to be broken down by department and include staffing structure to create the transparency that citizens need and bring new life to accountability. The general fund is split to accommodate separate utilities and I believe they should be unified and given a proper line item under the general fund. Public works and administrative positions should be increased because of the projected projects coming to the city. Because of our growing town, we should take more responsibility in the current parks that our citizens use. I believe that the city should prepare to bring a Parks and Recreation, Police, Fire and EMS departments within the next 10 years.
Q: From Jayme McIlveene: “What areas of Glen Rose do you think present an opportunity for redevelopment and revitalization? What do you think would be an appropriate approach for the City?”
1) I am already involved in the expansion of the wastewater plant and the installation of a lift station on the east side of Glen Rose to accommodate growth in that direction.
2) In regard to this question, I see several areas for opportunities: i.e. the Downtown Square, business growth on Highway 67 and possible affordable residential areas east of the city towards Cleburne in our ETJ. Many law enforcement officers and firemen are living in other cities because of the lack of affordable places (including rental) to live. The City is involved in redevelopment and revitalization from several approaches. One is code enforcement, setting fee schedules, developing ordinances that will entice positive potential growth while protecting our environment. Working to develop plans that will continue to preserve our historical assets and rich history in this area. It is important to work with TXDOT on entry, exits, signage, and redirecting of large truck traffic through historical Downtown Square. This is necessary because tourism is our industry. Therefore, we need to be proactive to protect and promote this industry. The City is in the process of increasing capacity at the Waste-Water Treatment Plant to insure that it is ready for potential growth. Two lift stations are on schedule to be built that will be ready for any future development or redevelopment.
3) I believe that the largest area of Glen Rose that presents an opportunity for redevelopment and revitalization is Wolf City. The streets in that area are badly deteriorated to the point of presenting a hazard to both motorists and pedestrians. The current City Council is doing a good job on improving our roads, but I feel that some of the focus should be shifted to Wolf City to improve that area for the safety and well being of our citizens.
4) I believe that downtown would be a good opportunity for revitalization. The appropriate approach for the City would be to create an organization that would focus on promoting downtown to businesses as the perfect destination
5) Giving downtown a facelift by identifying areas that could serve as live/work environments, like the Glen Hotel for example, and other buildings in the downtown area. Fix the city Wi-Fi that is currently not being utilized, and bring new businesses like restaurants and meeting places. Revitalize Glen Rose signage across the city to attract more customers and develop a bigger area for a farmers market and/swap market. The second revitalization would be the city plan for infrastructure and buildings. Making sure citizens know when their area is next on the list for road and utility upgrades and therefore providing better accountability do this.
Q: If elected, what are three goals for the City that you think are achievable, and would advocate for, over the next two years?
1) A) Keep taxes low. B) Stay on our path of reworking one street each year. C) Stay active toward the beautification of Glen Rose.
2) My three goals that I will advocate over the next two years are: - Work together to promote a positive environment for the future by encouraging people to participate and/or volunteer for events in the community, show hospitality to others to keep tourism alive, help with the Keep Glen Rose Beautiful program and tell others about our charming and historical town. It is productive when everyone works together collectively. - Educate through various communication medias of what the City and/or the city council is able to do to help or direct its citizens, businesses and others for guidance. Bring awareness of new policies and ordinances that affect the town and businesses. Encourage people to attend the council meetings, workshops and other meetings. I, as a voter, feel it is important to keep informed of happenings around town. - Continue to be conscientious that the citizens tax dollars are used wisely. This can only happen when I research issues, analyze the effects on those involved and what is served in the best interest of the City of Glen Rose. I have and will continue to work diligently to follow this process before I make a decision.
3) If elected as a member of the City Council for the City of Glen Rose, my main goal will be to continue to strengthen our infrastructure so that we can not only support current growth, but be able to maintain that growth over the long term. Ultimately, I want Glen Rose to thrive and I believe that this is attainable with proper care, maintenance and management. I would also like to encourage and facilitate inter-agency communication and cooperation. We have many resources and a wealth of experience and knowledge combined. We should be working together for the best interest of the community as a whole, not against each other as individual parts. Further, I would like to encourage and facilitate community education and involvement. I believe that we can all work together to make Glen Rose the best that it can be.
4) Three goals I think are achievable for the City would be as I stated before a growing police force, a better focus on fixing damaged roads, and looking for new ways to create revenue for the City.
5) These goals are aimed at aiding the developmental process of a growing city by creating a path to keep the city’s image and character intact: - Create better budgeting and communications path for information flow between government and citizens. Whole community involvement for everyone to be informed, not just notified. - The creation of a Parks and Recreation Department or a path to grow into one. The people at Oakdale Park are doing a great job but we need to develop the park along with Big Rocks. And in the future, lease the existing Beck Fields and Soccer Park to make it a future destination for tournaments. - Tourism is great, but focusing on demographics is just as important. Certifying the city as a Go Texan Certified Retirement Community and the Texas Main Street Program (both Texas funded programs) would be beneficial to the city to give us out-of-state exposure.
Q: Stephenville is currently dealing with a split council when it comes to increasing the retail industry in the city, while councils in Granbury and Cleburne seem to have embraced the seemingly inevitable growth. Where do you stand? If a supporter, why? And if opposed, explain.
1) This Council has been very active in this this area of helping growth. We are presently in a 380 agreement with a business in the Industrial Park.
2) When looking at neighboring cities, Glen Rose remains unique in the management of retail, and factory industry growth as our main industry is tourism. The City is and has been involved in supporting and helping promote business growth in the Industrial Park. The City has also helped small business owners through grants from the 4-B Board funds. It is important to be proactive for the potential growth and changing world around us. The City of Glen Rose is working towards that goal.
3) From growing up here to watching my children grow up here, I have experienced Glen Rose from several different viewpoints and perspectives. For this reason, I understand both the need for growth and the need to keep the small town charm that makes Glen Rose special. I believe that the key to achieve a healthy balance between the two is through healthy growth and I believe the key to healthy growth is preparation. I believe that growth is inevitable and that we need to take the necessary steps now to not only ensure that we are adequately prepared for that growth as a city, but to make sure that our citizens are prepared for the growing pains associated with that growth. As we add industry, we will also be adding additional revenue for our City and additional employment opportunities for our citizens. So to answer your question, I am a supporter of increasing the retail industry because it would beneficial to our community.
4) You must recognize the growth and prepare for it early. The growth is inevitable and the city needs to be ready for it and use it to better Glen Rose. I think that increasing the retail industry in the city is a great idea. New businesses create jobs and make it easier to shop local.
5) 6. I go to both Stephenville and Cleburne to run errands and I noticed one major similarity, both downtowns are struggling to stay active. Developing a retail base will bring the population, but it will also pull the character and image of small town America away from the downtown area. I support growth and I believe it can be achieved but it should not only be up to the city council, mayor and other government officials, it should be up to the people of the community. To do this we need to promote all the volunteer boards that citizens can become involved with like the Planning and Zoning board, Preservation Boards, Board of Adjustments, Conventions and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board and Glen Rose Economic Development Corporation. As well as creating new boards like the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Certifying Task Forces and other special projects like a possible return of a “Dinosaur Festival” or a “Glen Rose Trade Days.” We are growing as a city but there are less people volunteering to be on these boards. I will encourage the growth of volunteering within the city. Cleburne and Stephenville are cities with over 15,000 people and both are growing faster than normal and are struggling to keep their identity. We need to start planning for the future and it starts with community involvement in working together to achieve success.
Q: Any additional information for the citizens of Glen Rose?
1) When I came on the Council in 2010, the city tax rate was .40+/100 evaluation. This Council has lowered the rate to .38+/100. I encourage everyone to get out and vote for three candidates.
2) Remember, your vote is your opportunity to volunteer in the community! It is important to vote for three out of the six candidates in this election since the three positions are at large. If you only vote for one or two candidates, it is possible that the candidate you do not want on council may win a seat. I would appreciate your support and vote for a seat on the City of Glen Rose Council.
3) I decided to run for city council to not only help the citizens have a voice, but to also help make a positive change for our community. I truly believe that together, we can make great things happen. I look forward to serving the citizens of our wonderful community.
4) If elected for City Council my personal goal is to keep an open mind about new ideas, and do what is best for the City of Glen Rose. The biggest thing is for everyone to get out and vote! I ask for your vote, and please remember every resident gets three votes.
5) We chose Glen Rose as our first home after military service and it has become our forever home. I believe that the investment in our community is a top priority and that it creates an impact for our future and our children’s future. I went to my first City Council meeting in 2014 and praised the city for having such outstanding citizens. I would be honored if I were elected to represent you as your next Councilman.