City Council Place 3 Candidates give their views

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The time has arrived for the first votes to be cast in a contentious local election for the Kennedale City Council. Election day is May 6 but early voting in person starts today. {{more: READ MORE …}}
Find out more about election dates and time at City of Kennedale Election Information

There are three places open on the Kennedale Council and each one is contested this year. In Place 3, incumbent Mike Walker, Psychologist/Administrative Director, is being challenged by Sandra Lee, Mansfield school district truancy officer.

The following are part of statements submitted to the Star Telegram by the candidates for Place 3. Read the full statements at Star Telegram
Kennedale City Council Place 3

What are the three most critical problems facing the city and your solutions?

Walker: 1) Growth ? Kennedale must continue growing. More rooftops increase our property tax and bring in retail business, increasing our sales tax base. 2) Utility Costs ? We need to repair older sewer lines to reduce waste water charges and explore innovative approaches to reducing our cost of water. For example, we need to explore negotiating a purchase contract for ?lower cost? water from a neighboring city. 3) Communication ? The city must do a better job of communicating with its citizens. Recently we contracted with a consulting firm to help with this problem. We also need to task our new city manager with improving communication.

Lee: 1. Sewer and water rate- I believe we need a cap on the current rate to prevent another increase. That will give us time to evaluate the city finances and contracts. Once we know where we stand financially we can work on reducing the rates. 2. Single Member Council Districts- More localized neighborhood representation. At-large elections are not benefitting the citizens of Kennedale. 3. We need a balanced budget. We have a moral obligation not to spend more than we take in.

What is your top priority if elected to office?
Walker: Growth is the ?long-term? solution to our city?s financial problems. We need to close Kennedale Speedway and redevelop the southwest corner of Kennedale. More residential development helps (1) increase in property tax base; (2) helps defray utility repairs for existing neighborhoods and (3) pulls in more retail development, adding to our sales tax base. Growth must include accommodate adequate parks, green spaces, sidewalks, etc. that make the city more a better place to live and raise a family. I would also like the city to explore freezing the property taxes for those 65 years and older, similar to what we did with the school district.
Lee: My top priority is to end the concentrated power of our local government. Usually when you run unopposed or get appointed you forget who you really represent. Ronald Reagan once said that Concentrated Power has always been the Enemy of Liberty. The taxpayers are supposed to be in control and they deserve to be heard.
Why are you the best qualified candidate for this office?
Walker: I believe my education, business experience, years in the community and service to the community and make me the best qualified candidate for this office. I am a 32-year Kennedale resident who has owned his own business for 35 years. I have never sought higher office but chosen to serve my community for 13 years as a school board trustee, president of the school board and city councilman. My education is varied with doctoral degrees in law & psychology and a MBA.
Lee: I believe I?m the best qualified because Kennedale needs a fresh perspective. Right now some taxpayers feel they are being ignored. I run for office because we need elections and no free rides into an elected position. Candidates having to campaign is what gets the citizens involved. Any candidate that can get the citizens excited and ready to vote is a qualified candidate. It?s not always about the War sometimes it?s about the Battle. Some see my previously races as losses I see them as getting more people involved in the electoral process.
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