Upcoming election information

municipales2014

Informing the voters is among the most important duties a newspaper holds.  As an official newspaper of the City of White Settlement, we believe it is our responsibility to help local voters go into the upcoming election as informed as possible. Here at The Grizzly Detail, we’re proud to present this year’s candidate spotlight so the voters of White Settlement can learn more about the men who are running for local office.  We endeavored to ask questions that will give you a deeper understanding of the candidates, where they stand on the issues, and what they’ll do if elected to office.  Candidates are listed in the order in which they’ll appear on the ballot.

Early voting begins this Monday, Oct. 20 and runs through Oct. 31.  The early voting location for White Settlement is the White Settlement Public Library, located at 8215 White Settlement Road.  The general election will be held on Nov. 4.  The local positions up for election are the position of Mayor and the position of City Council Place One.

MAYORAL CANDIDATES

George Klecan

George Klecan Family:  My parents were the owners of La Plaza Apartments in White Settlement. My Dad was an attorney, as are two of my brothers and one sister. I grew up in a family of lawyers, but did not want to be one.

Occupation:  I was manager of La Plaza Apartments in White Settlement for 30 years.  I acquired a lot of experience in budgeting and payroll, dealing with employees, vendors, contractors, and residents. Property maintenance and legal issues also.

Education:  I have a BA in History from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Community activities/previous political experience:  I am active in my church and with groups such as the Catholic Medical Mission Board. I am a former precinct chairman in 4204 and Tarrant County Election judge. I was a candidate for White Settlement City Council in 2012, and have participated in City Council meetings as a citizen.

Why are you running for Mayor?

The city needs new leadership in City Hall.  The present situation of corruption and nepotism is intolerable and damaging to citizens and taxpayers. Too much debt is being piled on future generations.

Gas drilling remains a big issue in White Settlement and many other cities.  What is your stance on gas drilling in general and gas drilling within the City of White Settlement?

The City Council should form a Natural Resources Committee to deal with gas drilling and water rights.  This Committee should work closely with our state Representative Charlie Geren and our state Senator Jane Nelson.  They have staff with the knowledge and resources to keep us informed on the latest developments in the field, including legislation and court cases.  US Rep. Kay Granger has always shown a great interest in White Settlement, and her office can help with federal issues and regulations on gas drilling.

The City Budget fuels the operation of the city each year.  What are your thoughts on how the City currently uses its money?  What items would you consider spending more or less on if you are elected?

Hundreds of Thousands of dollars are being wasted.  Spend more on repairing our streets, upgrading our infrastructure, supporting our senior citizens, veterans, youth groups, police and firefighters.  Spend less on inflated salaries and benefits for the City Manager and her husband.  Bring in defense-related industry to support Lockheed.

Describe one issue not yet covered in this questionnaire that you will try to address during your first year in office, if you are elected.  Please include details on why this issue is important to you, and what steps you will take in an attempt to address it.

We need a new city manager.  The present city manager is married to the interim city manager and EDC Director.  This is beyond nepotism.  They cost the taxpayers over $300,000.00 per annum, and don’t even live in White Settlement.  Their car allowances are over $14,500.00 per year, and they have the use of city vehicles.  That’s why our taxes and water rates keep rising.

Without attacking your opponents, please explain why voters of White Settlement should vote for you.  What sets you apart from those who are running against you?

I have a 30-year background in the private sector.  I’m not a politician, have never held public office.  I know how to deal with people and money.  Unlike the incumbent, I have refused to accept campaign contributions, but I have some great people helping me, including city councilors and former city councilors.  I will represent the taxpayers and local citizens, not outside groups and corrupt politicians.

Jerry Burns (incumbent)

Jerry BurnsFamily:  Son Kevin and his wife Angela, grandsons Logan and Braden, Son Kyle and his wife Stephanie, grandsons Garrett and Rider, granddaughters Sadie and Riley

Occupation:  Stationary Engineer at Lockheed Martin for 37 Years

Education:  Technical Degree from TCJC in Refrigeration, High School

Community activities/previous political experience:  Member of Masonic Lodge, Lions Club, Brewer Bear supporter, coached little league for 18 years, volunteered on WSISD technology committee for four years, hunt, fish, and play golf.  I’ve been Mayor for the past six years and served on City Council for six years.

Why are you running for Mayor?

I am running for re-election because I want to focus on our continued economic growth, renewing infrastructure and boosting community pride.  I saw great opportunity for our City in 2008 and decided to help our City reach the potential our citizens and businesses deserve.  When running for office, I spoke with several residents, community leaders and businesses in our city and learned the basic needs and wants of the community.  Since being elected in 2008, we have seen our city flourish from economic distress to becoming the “go –to” City.  Goals were to bring businesses to our community, add grocery stores, and see abandoned buildings be brought back to life, clean up our community and bring back a better quality of life for our residents.  All of these goals have been met – with more to come.  We have two grocery stores; Aldi and Dollar General.  Abandoned buildings have been refurbished and occupied with established businesses such as former Sam’s and Walmart locations now housing Region XI Schools Training Facility and Cooperative Industries, former Big Lots is now home to the famous Flight Deck Trampoline Park, along with the completion of our infamous Red Iron Building expected in 2015.  Abandoned homes are being demolished and replaced while new neighborhoods are being constructed.  We have new restaurants, churches, retailers, hotels and event centers while our nursing homes and schools are award winning and state recognized; each bringing opportunities for every member of our diverse community.  With all this progress comes the ability for the city to address infrastructure concerns.  This is a vital part of our growth, and I am running for re-election to help ensure our infrastructure projects are completed while pride is instilled and our city continues to flourish – the best is yet to come.

Gas drilling remains a big issue in White Settlement and many other cities.  What is your stance on gas drilling in general and gas drilling within the City of White Settlement?  

I am in favor of gas drilling so long as safety and fairness are first priority.

The City Budget fuels the operation of the city each year.  What are your thoughts on how the City currently uses its money?  What items would you consider spending more or less on if you are elected?

City staff works diligently on the budget; presenting, removing and amending items best suitable to the needs of the City.  The City Council as a whole review, question and discuss these items with staff before approving city budgets.  I have confidence that our staff apply city funds according to the needs of the city which is shown in our budget surplus average of 1.4M each year over the past six years, zero balanced budgets, reserve amounts, awards given and transparency policy.  All budgets are online for public viewing and all budget meetings are open to the public where citizen input is encouraged.  The City is in a position where funding our infrastructure is a priority. With approximately 185 million dollars invested in our community, we need to take care of our streets, sewer and water services for our future growth.

Describe one issue not yet covered in this questionnaire that you will try to address during your first year in office if you’re elected.  Please include details on why this issue is important to you, and what steps you will take in an attempt to address it.  

Our diverse community.  Currently we have a thriving senior community who are served by our award winning Senior Center and nursing centers.  We have an increasing number of young families moving to our city as well as established families enjoying our offerings.  With open enrollment in our public schools, we are seeing an increase in non-English speaking community members.  Our community is working with and building relationships with people of all generations and needs, an important aspect of a thriving community and an issue important to me.  Welcoming everyone, appreciating each generation, building on the strengths of each generation, and recognizing differences among our community members will aid the community leaders in stimulating community growth and pride.

Without attacking your opponents, please explain why voters of White Settlement should vote for you.  What sets you apart from those who are running against you? 

I am a lifelong resident of White Settlement who has loyally served as your Mayor since 2008.  During that time, the City has accomplished many things such as; 185M dollars in investments in our city, interest from investors has never been higher; increasing the quality of life for our residents by establishing and enforcing building and health guidelines which remove dilapidated and unhealthy dwellings from our community; name recognition through Youth World Series competition held at our park facility and the construction of new businesses such as Hawaiian Falls and Flight Deck; and reestablishing pride in our community by record attendance at community festivals, parades and sporting events.  With six years of mayoral experience, and six years of past council member experience, I commit to keeping the focus of our community on our community needs; infrastructure, finance, diversity, growth and pride which ultimately results in a better quality of life for all – the best is yet to come.

Ronald A. White

Ron WhiteFamily:  Married for 46 years and 7 months to my wife Loni.  Three children, one grand daughter, one great-grand son.  We have lived at our current address for just over 46 years.  I was raised in the Christian Missionary Alliance Church as a young boy, and as a teen I was confirmed in the United Presbyterian Church.  I joined the United States Navy in 1961,was Honorably Discharged in 1963; I joined the United States Air Force in 1963, was Honorably Discharged in 1969.  I am a long time member of the American Legion, a member of AFGE Local: L2488 Union; a former member of IAM District 776, a past member of the Air Force Association and a past member of the Order Of Demolay, Superior Lodge 236.

Occupation:  I am Retired from General Dynamics in 1991 and General Services Administration in 2004.

Education:  High School, some college while serving in the USAF, and numerous supervisory and management training courses while employed with General Dynamics and The General Services Administration.  In 1996 I attended Graduate School at United States Department of Agriculture to complete my training as an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Counselor for the Federal Government.  In 1999 I completed formal training to qualify for court-appointment as a Mediator in accordance with Section 154.052, (Qualifications of Impartial Third Party) Paragraph (a), Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.  In October of 2000 I completed and was awarded a Certificate Of Training for EEO Training from JDG Associates, Incorporated.  In October 2001 I completed training and was awarded a Certificate of Training, for Managing Performance Based Contracting, from the General Services Administration.  During the period fall 2001 to fall 2004 I attended and completed various training classes for contract administration, budgeting, and supervisory/management issues.

Community activities/previous political experience:  I have served on numerous city advisory boards since 1996; the Board of Adjustment and Appeals, the Planning and Zoning Board, two terms on the Crime Control and Prevention Board, the Economic Development Corporation and currently I serve on the Board of Adjustment and Appeals.  While serving on the EDC Board as a Director I assisted in brokering an agreement with other EDC Board members which brought Co-operative Industries to White Settlement.  I also assisted with other EDC Board members in brokering an agreement which resulted in the new WEIR SPM office building and the new VFW Post staying in White Settlement.  I also served on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee, and the City Charter Committee.  I have served as an advisor to a Junior Achievement program.

Why are you running for Mayor?

My wife and friends have asked me the same question.  Why?  I have asked myself that question too.  I guess my main reason for running for the position of Mayor has to do with wanting to improve the relationship and appearance of the position with members of the community.  I have been told by my supporters that they are sick and tired of “what has been going on” in our city.  Alleged secret meetings here, and in Austin, have left our citizens with a bad impression of City Hall.  Secret HOA’s and decisions to build projects not approved by the citizens have upset a great number of citizens.  I want our citizens to be proud of THEIR city and their Mayor while knowing that they have a Mayor who is looking out for their best interests first.

Gas drilling remains a big issue in White Settlement and many other cities.  What is your stance on gas drilling in general and gas drilling within the City of White Settlement?  

First and foremost any drilling in any city must be accomplished in a manner that poses no health or safety risk to our citizens, now or in the future.  I believe we have more than enough gas wells at this time.  There are wells in locations that should be used for increased, sustainable, Economic Development, Development that would benefit all of the citizens of White Settlement.  Due to the severe drought conditions of recent years the continued use of our precious water resources becomes a more critical issue each time a well is drilled.  The threat of polluting our underground water resources remains just that; a threat.  I am just not sure the monetary rewards are worth the threat.

The City Budget fuels the operation of the city each year.  What are your thoughts on how the City currently uses it’s money?  What items would you consider spending more or less on if you’re elected?

The main issue I have with spending right now is the amount spent each year from the half cent sales tax revenue for the Economic Development Corporation.  The 4-B TAX Law (EDC), approved years ago by the citizens of this city, was and is supposed to be used for Economic Development.  For the past 4 years the EDC has received total revenues of approximately $6,171,521.00.  Total expenditures amount to approximately $7,400,146.00.  Of those expenditures approximately $7,021,814.00 are designated as salaries and operating expenses for “Parks Operational”.  That sure does not leave much for real Economic Development.  The focus needs to change.

Describe one issue not yet covered in this questionnaire that you will try to address during your first year in office if you’re elected.  Please include details on why this issue is important to you and what steps you will take in an attempt to address it.

I would like to address the citizens of White Settlement and find out what they want for our city.  Our comprehensive land use plan addressed those issues in 1999.  I think it is time to review that plan and talk to the people who live here about what they would like our city to look like.

Without attacking your opponents, please explain why voters of White Settlement should vote for you.  What sets you apart from those who are running against you? 

I will not be accepting donations from corporations, or unions, to support my campaign for Mayor of White Settlement.  I will spend between $1000.00 and $1,500.00 of my own money, running on my name, and word of mouth.  I believe that by accepting a corporate or union donation would leave me vulnerable to the influence of the donor and would, thus, create a conflict of interest for me, before I even get started.  While corporations and unions play important roles in our society, individual members of our community are my priority.  I am running for office to be a public servant.  In my interpretation of such a vocation it means to serve the constituents, not the private sector.  I want to be known as “the people’s mayor”.  My whole life has been lined with integrity; I’m real, not phony.  Nobody is going to tie strings on my back, you can count on that.

CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 1 CANDIDATES

Gunnar Rasmussen

Gunnar RasmussenFamily:  Spouse Debbie, stepsons Jason Burnett, Judd Burnett and spouse Debra.  Grandchildren Chase, Jessica Blake Burnett and Alexis (Burnett) Beauchamp, spouse Bobby and great-grandson Reid.

Occupation:  Contract specialist, BNSF Railway Co.

Education:  Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, Associate Arts degree Paralegal Program.

Community activities/previous political experience:  past service on Pride Commission; Crime Control and Prevention District; Economic Development Board (twice); previously served two terms on the City Council.  Currently serve on the WS Historical Society and Museum Board of Directors.  Also assist the WSPD and Municipal Judge as a Citizen Magistrate.

Why are you running for City Council?

I want to assist in making White Settlement the best city it can be by bringing coherent long-term planning to city affairs and to use my past experience in city government to reach out to citizens and businesses to develop and structure the future development.

Gas drilling remains a big issue in White Settlement and many other cities.  What is your stance on gas drilling in general and gas drilling within the City of White Settlement?

I was on the council that wrote the initial gas drilling ordinance years ago and since then there has been much written and researched on the possible negative effects gas drilling has on our environment.  I am cautious on gas drilling.  In a state with serious water problems and a city with restricted watering, how we can afford to allow millions of gallons of water to be used in drilling for gas seems a bit strange to me.  I would review and rewrite the ordinance to include mandatory testing of air and other safeguards for citizens.

The City Budget fuels the operation of the city each year.  What are your thoughts on how the City currently uses it’s money?  What items would you consider spending more or less on if you’re elected?

In general, I would be more proactive in the budget process.  I would challenge city departments and the council to think in terms of long-term goals and then plan for multiple budget years to obtain those goals, rather than just answering “what do we need for this year.”  I would look at budgeting for a city engineer; take a hard look at road improvement past the annual grants; investigate the cost of a new museum.

Describe one issue not yet covered in this questionnaire that you will try to address during your first year in office if you’re elected.  Please include details on why this issue is important to you and what steps you will take in an attempt to address it.    

Review and revision of city ordinances has got to be a priority.  We must have a balance that promotes and enhances the business environment in this city and at the same time affords our citizens quiet enjoyment of their property and surroundings.  For this I would ask existing businesses to participate and listen to their advice.  There should be opportunities for citizen input as well.  A new land use and development plan is needed.

Without attacking your opponents, please explain why voters of White Settlement should vote for you.  What sets you apart from those who are running against you? 

I bring experience to the table.  I will ask the necessary questions regardless of difficulty and work to insure a greater level of inclusiveness between the people who live here and their city government.  I will challenge the way the city thinks of itself.  What do we want ourselves to be in five or ten years?  With your help, I will work to get that question answered and then work to see it accomplished.

Paul Moore

Paul MooreFamily:  I’ve lived in White Settlement most of my life and married to my beautiful wife Linda for 25 years.  We both attended Brewer and have two children that currently attend Brewer High School.  After high School I went into the Air Force, Aircraft Hydraulics, and a Graduate of Lincoln Tech receiving Salutatorian.

Occupation:  I have 25 years of military service combined through United State Air Force and National Guard serving throughout Germany and England.  After leaving the Air Force I joined the Texas National Guard retiring in 2009.

Education:  While in the Guard I had the privilege of serving as armed security at DFW during 9/11 as well as helped coordinated and delivered food, water and supplies to residence who suffered during hurricane Rita in South Texas.  I truly enjoy serving others and feel this is a gift I’ve been blessed with.

Community activities/previous political experience:  Served almost 2 years as City Councilman and currently on the EDC Board.  Me and my family have been active members of Chapel Creek Fellowship going on 20 years.

Why are you running for City Council?  

I’m looking forward to serving on the City Council.  Since serving on Council and EDC Board I feel there’s so much more I can contribute towards the continual improvement of White Settlement.  I truly enjoy serving in the community and abroad and hope to have the privilege of service again.

Gas drilling remains a big issue in White Settlement and many other cities.  What is your stance on gas drilling in general and gas drilling within the City of White Settlement?  

The Council we need to make sure the citizens are getting paid all the mineral rights they are entitled.  We need to make sure all drilling and fracking are safe for the city and citizens.  We need to also check to see if using waterless fracking in some cases is feasible to preserve our water levels from running short.

The City Budget fuels the operation of the city each year.  What are your thoughts on how the City currently uses it’s money?  What items would you consider spending more or less on if you’re elected?

For the past 4 years the city has had a balanced budget.  As new businesses come in and revenue goes up we can move forward in projects that the city desperately needs like new water wells for the city and more roads improved with new sewer and water system under roads to replace some of the worn out systems we currently have.

Describe one issue not yet covered in this questionnaire that you will try to address during your first year in office if you’re elected.  Please include details on why this issue is important to you and what steps you will take in an attempt to address it.    

By working with the EDC and Retail Coach trying to find new businesses to occupy the space in our vacant strip malls around town and locating contractors to build these new strip malls on property we currently have will be a challenge.  White Settlement is in a strategic area where everything is moving west and our area is bound for growth.  All this can’t be done overnight and will take time.  I will work hard with the Mayor and Council towards making sure things continue to move forward to help vitalize our community.

Without attacking your opponents, please explain why voters of White Settlement should vote for you.  What sets you apart from those who are running against you? 

I have served on the Council two years and on the EDC Board.  While serving the city we have brought in WEIR SPM, Region 11, Farmers Branch Project, Flight Deck, Three New Hotels, Hawaiian Falls, and the Central Park renovation.  I’m looking forward to working harder for everyone in the City of White Settlement and I can promise you I will give 110% toward working for you.

 Johnny Powell

Candidate information was not received from Johnny Powell.

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