Eleven candidates are running for mayor, Glen Rose City Council and the Glen Rose ISD board of trustees this Saturday.
In the interest of helping voters make the most informed choices, the Glen Rose Reporter asked candidates in each election the same set of questions and invited them to respond in writing or verbally. Brief profiles of the candidates and their answers follow. Some had to be edited for space, but all of the words are those of the candidates.
Both city and school elections will be combined at one polling place, Town Hall. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Last year’s election drew such a light turnout and candidates are urging resident to get out and vote.
The Reporter recently profiled the two mayoral candidates, Lila Carter and Jean King. If you missed those, you can still read the profiles on the Reporter's Web site at www.theglenrosereporter.com. We're running them again this week.
Please check the Reporter’s Web site Saturday night for complete election results and reaction.
Glen Rose City Council
Chris Bryant (incumbent)
Occupation: Works in the IT Department at Texas Health Resources in Fort Worth.
How long in Glen Rose: 32 years
Marital status: Single
Why he's running again: “With me, it's all about giving back. I enjoy working with the citizens, the City Council and employees. I like to consider myself as a link between the public and the city.”
What he offers to make a difference: “Integrity is what I have to offer. Since I have been with the City Council, we have brought a lot of positive movements to Glen Rose. I stand true to my devotion and my decisions. I believe that the citizens know that if they have a care or concern, I am here for them.”
Accomplishments on the council: “The accommodations for our citizens and visitors of Glen Rose, such as development of our new River Walk, the purchase and rehabilitation of Oakdale Park, the development of a stronger police department that was improved to strengthen and help protect and serve our citizens and visitors. I have also acted in helping to place a Comprehensive Plan to help the organization and development guidelines for the city. I stay involved with the community and do a lot of volunteer work for the Chamber of Commerce and other committees in Glen Rose.”
Do you support or oppose hiring a city administrator? “Oppose. A city manager will come in time. I don't want to rush and try to provide something that Glen Rose already has.We are a strong town, both mechanically and financially. With a strong council and a mayor standing as administrator, we can research and problem-solve just as a city administrator would. The administrator is a big financial step for the city and its taxpayers.”
Major issues facing the next council: “This city is busy! We have many projects that need attention and it takes time and efforts to see these through. We have development in streets and parks, working with local committees and corporations for growth and improvements. Glen Rose is not only a great town but it's our home. Whatever projects, problems or hurdles we face, I know this City Council is in it for the good of the town.”
Occupation: Pastor of Grace Baptist Church
How long in Glen Rose: 22 years
Civic activities: Served on Planning and Zoning Board for four years
Marital status: Single
Why he’s running: “I am running because I will make a difference in the way the city government is being managed. We must be very careful and deliberate in the decisions we make concerning our citizens and make sure we use their hard-earned tax dollars wisely. I will strive to keep city government as small as possible, keep city taxes and fees as low as possible and encourage new business growth.
“We must also strive to assist and do all that is possible to help our current business owners. When the tax base increases, it is good for everybody. Sometimes the best policy is for government to get out of the way and allow free enterprise to work. Many times government is not the answer to the problem, it is the problem!”
What he offers to make a difference: “The citizens should know that we care about their needs and concerns. The concerns of our business community are vitally important and so are those of the retired grandmother living on a fixed income. I am no smarter or wiser than any of our citizens, but I do have a desire to be their voice on the council.”
Do you support or oppose hiring a city administrator? “I'm not sure yet. I want to look at the finances and budget. I liked Mr. (Bob) Stricklin's suggestion last year for getting a retired administrator to come in and stay six months to a year and see where to go from there.”
Major issues facing the next council: “Glen Rose has a lack of housing. We need affordable housing for our families. New housing will also help us attract and bring in new businesses and industry. Our economy has been in decline. We need to be a business-friendly community and stay on track with our tourism and the continued progress of Oakdale Park.”
Bob Stricklin (incumbent)
Occupation: Small-business owner of a manufacturing facility that supplies interiors to suppliers of recreational vehicles
How long in Glen Rose: Moved to Glen Rose in 1991 from Longview
Family: Wife, Carole, and four children
Why he’s running again: “I just want to see completion of the Oakdale Park project and I would like to see a skate park built for the kids. We haven't really done anything for the youth of the area and I think there's a need there.”
What he offers to make a difference: “What I bring to the job is my background in purchasing procurement and organization. I worked for Fleetwood Enterprises in Southern California and was a purchasing manager. I owned a retail business in Longview and then worked as procurement officer for the Superconducting Super Collider (the giant ring particle accelerator that was to be the world's largest and was being constructed near Waxahachie before Congress canceled the project). And I've owned a small manufacturing plant. So what I bring to the job is a business mind to the operations of the city.
What he’s accomplished on the council: “As a group of council people, the Riverwalk was an accomplishment and I believe the buying of Oakdale Park was a major thing for the city and a positive development. The credit goes to the whole council and I'm proud to be part of it. (Former) Mayor (Pam) Miller did push that.”
Do you support or oppose hiring a city administrator: “I support it wholeheartedly. I wouldn't have voted for the Comprehensive Plan if it hadn't had an administrator to manage it. The manager at Oakdale Park shows the type of quality people we can attract to help run this city.”
Major issues facing the next council: “The biggest decision is really, really watching our budget and our expenditures in this climate. We sit in a golden opportunity of being this close to the Metroplex and attracting people to come here and visit, but we have to be mindful of our commitments and make sure we have the funds properly allocated.”
Glen Rose City Council Special Election
This election is to fill the remaining year of former Councilwoman Barbara Mitchell’s term. Mitchell resigned last October. Tom Osborn was appointed to fill the position until the May election.
The Reporter submitted questions to Osborn, but did not receive his responses by press time. If we get them before election day, we will post them on the Reporter's Web site.
How long in Glen Rose: Lived in Somervell County 12 years and Glen Rose 3 ½ years
Family: Husband, Dennis, two sons.
Community involvement: Member, Glen Rose Economic Development Corp. (4B Tax Board); secretary, Somervell County Crime Stoppers Board; Somervell County Republican Club (past president); Election judge, Precinct 3; Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church; Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce (past president).
Why she’s running: I chose to run for the Special Election to be involved in the process to work together to promote and develop plans that will continue to preserve the historical environment and the generous spirit that Glen Rose has to offer.”
What she offers to make a difference: “Knowledge and experience in reading and understanding financial statements, dealing with regulatory and taxing agencies, making decisions based on facts, challenges of business owners, being conservative with resources and public relations skills.
“I will work diligently to research issues before taking action, listen to all sides of an issue, analyze the effects on those involved, make decisions in the best interest of the whole community, prepare for the inevitable growth, maintain our historic and generous spirit and ensure a thriving and positive future.”
Do you support or oppose hiring a city administrator?: “A qualified city administrator not only will see that policies and ordinances are carried out in the day-to-day operations, but also will be a source of strength for the city employees…..A city administrator is not going to make any major changes without the city council’s approval.”
Major issues facing the next council: “Change is here now with an additional 322 people shown in the 2010 Census. Change is always occurring around us. We can either be a thermometer or a thermostat. A thermometer reacts to the changes in its environment and a thermostat controls the changes in the environment by being preset to interact with the change. The city needs to develop policies and ordinances that have been researched and analyze the effects of its decisions before jumping out to make decisions on issues.”
Glen Rose ISD Board of Trustees
Marilyn Phillips (incumbent)
Occupation: Self-employed since 1985 as Realtor/Sunrise Properties of Texas and Insurance Broker/Agent, Marilyn Phillips Insurance Agency
Family: Husband, Wayne, two children, three grandsons
How long in Glen Rose: More than 42 years
Community involvement: Member of Vine Life Tabernacle, plays the organ; board member of Somervell County Child Welfare, Hood/Somervell County Child Advocacy Board and Somervell County Crime Stoppers-board member; Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, Optimist Club member, Chamber of Commerce member.
Why she's running again: “When I first ran for the board 13 years ago, I never pictured myself serving this long. I always said I would stop when I felt I had nothing more to offer. I decided to run again this time only after I was asked and encouraged to do so, and then prayerfully and carefully considered all that it meant to continue serving the district prior to filing. In light of the recent budget constraints and the frightening times facing the education system, I feel like now more than ever may be the time that I can use my experience to help.”
What the school board has accomplished during her tenure: “I am very proud to say the accomplishments way exceed the challenges. However, I want to preface this by saying I cannot take the credit. These accomplishments are due to the collaborative efforts of the administration, good leadership, the entire board of trustees working together and making informed decisions, district employees, and our students and parents.
There is no way I can go back over the past 13 years to list everything, so I will just mention a few: increased academic ratings by the Texas Education Agency in our district even though we have had some dramatic changes in student demographics; paid bond indebtedness EARLY, resulting in savings; restructured our salary schedule to become competitive with neighboring districts; adopted balanced budgets while INCREASING our fund balance in excess of $10 million over the past five years; increased tutorials, science fairs and upgraded technology; voters approved a $19,995 million dollar bond to be used for district technology upgrades, AG facility addition, converting gym to new band hall and construction of a new gymnasium; increased career and vocational programs; concurrent college courses that allow high school students to earn up to 56 college hours during their junior and senior years; maintained one of the lowest tax rates in the state; and the GRISD board was named Region 11 Outstanding Board of the Year 2010.”
Major issues facing the next board: “School finance will continue to be a major issue. We must aggressively and creatively look at ways to increase revenue, rather than just raise taxes as some would have us do.
“I believe that teacher morale is very important and can affect the classroom, either positively or negatively. Our employees need to know they are valued and appreciated and that cannot always just be done monetarily. They are the root of our district’s successes.
“The bar will likely continue to be raised with standardized testing; we will be expected to do more, do it better and do it with less. This will undoubtedly create challenges.”
Kelley Snodgrass (incumbent)
Occupation: Director of Animal Care and Natural Resource Management, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
Community involvement: Member, Happy Trails Cowboy Church; has served on school board for several terms
Family: Wife, Patty, two children
How long in Glen Rose: 25 years
Why he’s running again: “This is one of the best school districts in terms of community, students and staff in the state of Texas and to play a part in that is a good thing. One of the biggest factors that convinced me to run again is the difficulty our school finances are in. This is a really a good time to get off the school board or really good time to be on. I chose the latter.”
What the school board has accomplished during his tenure: “I think the increasing testing standards and accountability standards are a continuing challenge. I don’t believe things should stay the same. Glen Rose strives to better in all things each consecutive year. It can be looked at as a success from Glen Rose ISD’s standpoint There have been tremendous strides in all things academic and we have done some planning for the future for a possible rainy day, which has come. It takes a group to accomplish these things. I'm also proud we started a full-day Pre-K.”
Major issues facing the next board: “Financial pressures and increasing standards. Trying to impart some of our opinions in Austin is important. We can all shout to the rafters about what’s going on in Austin (in terms of cuts to public education), but we have to provide the best guidance and stay focused. It’s all about the kids—it’s trying to offer the best and the most well-rounded opportunities to our students.”
Andy Snow (incumbent)
Occupation: Works for Pinnergy Ltd. In corporate sales and serves as drilling coordinator for Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma.
How long in Glen Rose: Seven years
Family: Wife, Kristy, two children: a daughter who graduated from Glen Rose in 2010 and a son who is a junior at GRHS.
Community/church involvement: Member of Rocky Point Baptist Church.
Why he's running again: “As a board member, I find it very rewarding to play a only a small role in helping equip our employees and students with what they need to be successful. In the school business, the 'rubber meets the road' with the the day-to-day leadership on each campus. Our administrators, teachers and support staff are among the best in the business. I think we should do everything within our power to keep it that way.”
What the board has accomplished during his tenure: “Our accountability rating is trending upward with 2009-2010 TAKS scores being the highest to date. Two campuses were Exemplary while two were Recognized. We have been able to maintain a compensation package for our employees at or above average as compared to other western metroplex schools our size. Our audited fund balance has increased by almost $5 million dollars since 2008.”
Major issues facing the next board: “I believe the primary challenge ahead will be in funding. The state made some decisions in 2006 basically that led to a structural tax deficit. That in turn has resulted in the budget cuts we are hearing about out of Austin in 2011. At this point, we are uncertain how much the cuts will be, but there will be some belt tightening. (This has nothing to do with our construction projects as bond money is totally local). But, it will affect our available operating revenues. Thankfully, we have lived within our means historically and that will be a plus once the final numbers come out.”
Occupation: Nursing home administrator
Years in Glen Rose: 40. I grew up in Glen Rose.
Family: Wife, Michelle, daughters Isabella, 6, and Sienna, 3.
Community involvement: Currently chairman for the transit board, board of directors for the Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce, City Council and mayor pro tem for six years, headed he 4B Tax Advisory Board, Knights of Columbus member, part of the school business leadership committee.
Why he's running: I first got interested running for school board when Bella started going to kindergarten this year. Glen Rose, especially this school district, has done a lot for me and I feel it's my duty to give back to a community that has done so much for me.”
What he hopes to do on the school board: “I feel that my knowledge and experience with state funds can be very beneficial with some of the challenges that are coming in education. I also have extensive financial experience from running skilled nursing facilities. I also believe we have a very capable administrative team and my position would not be to interfere but provide a different perspective.”
Major issues for the next board: “We have faced many of the same (financial) challenges with long-term care that we will be facing this year in education. I have proven, while on the city council, that I also make myself available and am very objective, and will continue to do so. There is no hidden agenda with me, but I will make decisions based on what the public demands.”