Three of the five at-large seats on the Glen Rose City Council are expiring this year, and five candidates will be on the ballot on May 5 seeking election to those posts, including one incumbent.

The candidates (listed alphabetically, by last name) — Chris Bryant, Julia Douglas, Robert Marquez, Laverne West and Cheryl Scheetz — received a questionnaire from the Glen Rose Reporter, and their responses are reproduced below, so that our readers can make informed decisions when they vote on Saturday, May 5.

The two-year terms of City Council members Robert Marquez, Doug Mitchell, Mayor Pro-Tem Sandra Ramsay are expiring. Marquez is seeking re-election, but Mitchell and Ramsay are not. The City Council places held by Linda James and Dennis Moore will expire next year.

Chris Bryant

Age: 47.

Birthplace: Fort Worth (lived in Somervell County 45 years).

Public offices held: Served 4 terms on the Glen Rose City Council; 1 Term as Chairman on the Glen Rose (BOA) Board of Adjustments; 1 Term for the Glen Rose Chamber of Commerce.

Educational background: Glen Rose High School; Extended Training and Certifications in Information Technology (IT).

Occupation: IT Facility Infrastructure Project Manager.

What motivated you to run for office?

Caring about our town and the voice of the citizens should be the goal of every candidate, those are definitely my motivations. The last term I served ended in 2016 and the City of Glen Rose seemed to be in great standing.

I believe in transparency and keeping our citizens informed of City progress and business development. Our present Council (as a whole) and City Administrator has now found ways to eliminate the voice and city knowledge from the citizens. We have a City Administrator and members of the Council that are not in place to benefit our citizens, businesses and Glen Rose as a whole. I want to help get that back.

If elected, do you have an immediate goal in mind that will be a priority?

Priority one is to re-evaluate our City Administrator. I was on the City Council when we hired the first Administrator. At the time, I was against it but Glen Rose is a growing town and we needed some knowledge and guidance. The goal was to find that process through a knowledgeable and seasoned Administrator. An admired Councilman made the comment that a good Administrator will pay for him/herself. Since the hiring of the first Administrator, that has not been the case.

The City of Glen Rose has always done very well financially. As a tourist town, we have a budget that exceeds most towns our size. Each of our 3 administrators has commented about how much easier it makes their job. Unfortunately, we have witnessed a lot of unnecessary spending, hiring friends, lack of local business support and questionable ethics but not a financial benefit for the City.

If elected, do you have a long-term goal in mind that you feel is most important?

Outside of our budget, I have three goals and all need to be recognized, addressed and changed.

One, bring the citizen voice back into our Council meetings. The Council, led by the Administrator has silenced the citizen by claiming that 1-3 hour meetings are too long. Decreasing meeting times should not be at the cost of a citizen wanting to voice concern. Council that aren’t willing to put in the time, shouldn’t run for the position.

Second, the city needs to excel in helping local contract and retail businesses. Retail, Council that walk the square and make appearances isn’t putting forth the best efforts. Contracting with out of town businesses at higher rates, isn’t good business or community support.

Third, establishing a better relationship with the County. The public needs a Council member that knows how to stand against an administrator that wants to make all the call.

Julia Douglas

Age: 35

Birthplace: Glen Rose

Public offices held: Planning and Zoning Commission, Chairperson - January 2017 - Present; Planning and Zoning Commission, Member - June 2016 - Present; Oakdale Park Committee, Member - March 2017 - Present; Somervell County Republican Club, Secretary/Treasurer - January 2018 - Present.

Educational background:

Glen Rose High School; Tarleton State University, B.S. in Psychology.

Occupation: Office Manager, Chris Thomas Custom Homes, Granbury.

What motivated you to run for office?

I decided to run for office because I saw a need. I want to help the citizens of our community to have a voice and also to make a positive change in our community. I believe that together, we can make great things happen and that knowledge is our most valuable resource.

If elected, do you have an immediate goal in mind that will be a priority?

If elected, my immediate goal is to improve not only transparency, but also the availability of information to the citizens. I believe that people should know what is going on in their community and should have easy access to that information.

If elected, do you have a long-term goal in mind that you feel is most important?

I would like to encourage and facilitate interagency 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.

Robert J. Marquez Jr.

Age: 37.

Birthplace: Houston.

Public offices held: I am currently a City Council Member at Large for the City of Glen Rose (elected in 2016 first term); President of the Glen Rose Economic Development Board and previously a board member of the Glen Rose Planning and Zoning Board; Commander of Somervell County's Oliver Windell Buzan, American Legion Post 462; board member of the Somervell County United Fund.

Educational background: I currently hold a bachelor’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management and am finishing my Master's degree in Public Administration from American Public University. I also have a Small Business and Property Management Certificate along with many certifications in Emergency Management.

Occupation: Emergency Planner for Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant.

What motivated you to run for office?

I have always been a community-oriented public servant,  being new to the area in 2014 I attended many City Council meetings and realized quickly that community volunteerism was a way to go. I felt the council at the time was in a standstill and needed to have someone who could see past the status quo. In my service to our country (as a retired Marine), I have had the opportunity to live and travel all over the world. I wanted to use my big picture mindset to revitalize the council and bring Glen Rose into modern times while respecting our small-town values.

If elected, do you have an immediate goal in mind that will be a priority?

My priorities have always been keeping a path for communications to all citizens, preserving a small community mindset, encouraging growth by involvement and community support.

More specifically, the first issue I will tackle in my next term is developing a system for the council to receive greater input from the citizens. I know the council has been criticized on this recently, and here’s my idea to help fix it. I would immediately institute quarterly town hall meet and greets, not at city hall but at one of the many awesome parks within the city. I believe face-to-face communication is the best way for me to understand the needs of my community. Come visit with me in person and I assure you, the buck stops with me and my word is my honor.

If elected, do you have a long-term goal in mind that you feel is most important?

Glen Rose and Somervell County have always shined bright in the Lone Star State and my long-term goal would be to encourage the “One City, One County, One Community” mindset. I feel like there is a disconnect between the city and county. While this may not be such a big deal in other counties, with one as small as ours, we are all on the same team. With the new commissioner’s court in 2019, I hope to rebuild some of the connection that has been silenced in the past.

Cheryl Scheetz

Age: 65.

Birthplace: Fort Worth.

Public offices held: This is my first experience at running for public office. I have held offices and conducted business while a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in Glen Rose. I have spent time supporting candidates in other capacities. I have now decided it is time for me to offer any knowledge, common sense and financial expertise I may have to assure that our town of Glen Rose remains strong and secure. 

Educational background: I returned to school as a 40 year old and received my associates degree in business management from Weatherford College May, 1994 as an honor graduate.

Occupation: My most recent occupation was 10 years with the previous owner of the Glen Rose Reporter from 1998-2008. I also worked through three phases of the 2010 census.

What motivated you to run for office?

I would like to see the continuing success of our town. I have lived in Somervell County for 33 years and in the City of Glen Rose for three years. I spent 15 years working at various businesses on the square. There have been good times and bad times in our sweet little town and I want to do what I can to make sure the good times remain.

If elected, do you have an immediate goal in mind that will be a priority?

I would like to pursue a means of keeping our beautiful square and Barnard St. from being used by the big commercial trucks. I believe it has become a very real danger, especially during the hours when our children are going to or leaving school. 

If elected, do you have a long-term goal in mind that you feel is most important?

Fiscal and financial responsibility are very important. In order to assure future progress and be progressive in the 21st century, it is absolutely necessary to bring more revenue and sales taxes to our coffer. You must be open to the idea that in order to make money you must spend money. Infrastructure spending shall always be a good venture. 

Laverne West

Age: 74.

Birthplace: Amarillo.

Public offices held: Second term Planning and Zoning Committee.

Educational background: High School and Continuing Education Accounting I and II; 28 years in accounting.

Occupation: Currently I am employed by a Non profit as a Client Benefits Specialist.

What motivated you to run for office?

I have enjoyed my time on the P&Z Board would like to get a little more involved. Although the current City Council have been dedicated to the community and have done a great job, it may be time for a change, I feel that it's time that more people in the community get involved and do their part. I really want to make a difference.

If elected, do you have an immediate goal in mind that will be a priority?

I would really like to see more of the streets in Glen Rose repaired and some re-surfaced.

If elected, do you have a long-term goal in mind that you feel is most important?

Yes I do. I would like to see more affordable rental housing, whether in apartments, houses or duplexes, I would also like to see a continuation of the work that has bee started on cleaning up and beautifying this city, It's a great place to visit but a better place to live. We need to let our pride in Glen Rose shine.