Election 2015: 2015 White Settlement Candidate Spotlight

Election

2015 White Settlement Candidate Spotlight

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/re-elected to office.  Candidates are listed in the order in which they’ll appear on the ballot.  
Early voting begins this Monday, Oct. 19 and runs through Oct. 30.  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. 3.  The local positions up for election are the position of City Council Place Four and the position of City Council Place Five.

CITY COUNCIL PLACE 4 CANDIDATES

Danny Anderson (incumbent)
anderson
Family: Candace Addington, Granddaughters, Ellie Kate, Audrey Jane, Grandson, Matthew Garrett. Sister, Katrina Gage, nephews, Trevor Gage, Kevin Gage.
Occupation: Aircraft Assembler Lockheed Martin
Education/Community activities/previous political experience: Tarrant County Junior College. Served on White Settlement Parks Board, Three terms on White Settlement City Council. Ten years volunteering with Muscular Dystrophy Association. Volunteered with March of Dimes.

Why are you running for City Council?
I’m running because I have the experience, the desire to help our city grow and prosper, and to finish what I have started. We are at a crucial period with several very large negations going on that will mean relief for taxpayers but inexperience could jeopardize them. I am responsible for getting the “Red Building” behind Well’s Fargo started again by working with them to finish the project. I pushed for Staff changes which has made this City very popular within the development and commercial property world.  This City now has such a good name, thanks to these folks, that we are being flooded with contacts. I made it my mission this term to stop the split council we have suffered with so long, and we now all work together with respect and negotiate instead of a take it or leave it attitude. I’d like to say I’m proud to serve with these gentlemen to move our City forward.

What is an issue you’re passionate about that you’ll try to address if you get re-elected?
My primary goal for my next term if elected will be to see our new five year plan instituted.  New water wells and containment tanks to get us using less of Fort Worth water so we can lower water rates. Fix the streets (which you can see all over town now is already ongoing) and update sewer and water lines. Continue promoting the city for prospective new commercial development. I am at city hall at least three days a week working with the Economic Director, Assistant City Manager, and City Manager working on bringing in a grocery store and other sales tax generating business.

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’re elected/re-elected?
Unfortunately, this year we suffered a large loss in revenue due to a drop in oil & gas revenues. I informed staff that from now on we should never base our budget necessities on such unsure sources of revenue. We have a five year plan in place for big budget items now which will take the burden off the annual budget having to pay for everything at once.

Why should the citizens of White Settlement vote for you? What sets you apart from your opponent?
Since I’ve been at this so long I have the experience and knowledge to do the job from day one. Anyone that knows me knows how serious I take the job and how much I love this city. It’s where I grew up, went to school, and have lived since 1968. I either went to school with you or your kids. I don’t play dirty politics, I’ll leave that to others, but I will dedicate myself to serve this city with everything I have. The biggest difference between my opponent and myself is “Experience.”  I have no idea what he believes the city needs or if he actually has any plans since I haven’t heard any. So it is up to you to decide the difference between us. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

David Mann
mann
Family: My beautiful wife Quinda, together we have five children and a grand baby on the way.
Occupation: Texas Peace Master Officer.  I have over thirty years of service as a Texas Peace Officer.
Education/Community activities/previous political experience:  Graduated Paschal High School, 1982
Fort Worth Police Academy 1982
Tarrant County Sheriffs Academy 1987
Approximately thirty two hours of college.

I hold two Master certificates as a Peace Officer and Jail Officer, Certificates as an Academy Instructor, Police Fire Arms Instructor, Mental Health Officer.  I have Approximately Twenty Seven hundred (2,700) training hours of peace officer training. Specialty in Auto Theft and Narcotics.

In the early 1990s I designed and operated one of the largest law enforcement community relations centers in America at Ridgmar Mall. I designed Operation Safe Citizen during Christmas at several Tarrant County malls during the early 1990s. Operation Safe Citizen had peace officers who were dedicated to curb crime at local malls during Christmas volunteer their time walking citizens to their vehicles to ensure their safety. This Operation drastically cut the crime rate around Ridgmar Mall the first year to only one incident.

I have thousands of hours in community service over the last thirty-three years of my career.

I hold no political experience.

Why are you running for City Council?
I love White Settlement! Our citizens deserve restaurants, grocery stores, hardware stores, movie theaters and other retail businesses we can take our families to and build our city! I promise to work hard to help bring back what we’ve lost.

What is an issue you’re passionate about that you’ll try to address if you get elected?
More open, transparent, and fair government is what’s needed and what our citizens deserve along with lower taxes.

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’re elected?
From what I’ve seen, our city needs to stream line what’s important! Public safety needs to be priority to keep our citizens safe! We have lots of narcotics in our city that needs to be addressed to keep out of the hands of our children. Addressing this issue will drop our criminal activity in our city and make it easier for the city to attract business and commerce.

Our fire department is in need of better equipment! We have great fire department personnel! These guys work hard and continue to have to work around broken or outdated equipment!

Why should the citizens of White Settlement vote for you? What sets you apart from your opponent?
Bottom line, I care about White Settlement! Mr. Anderson continues to conduct himself and city business in an unprofessional and secretive manner.  He has led this council to abolish our crime board, drastically reduce library services, cut law enforcement services and raised our taxes.  I can guarantee you if I’m elected, the Texas Rangers will not be contacting me like they did Mr. Anderson ordering me to knock off the shenanigans or they’ll open up an investigation on me.

CITY COUNCIL PLACE 5 CANDIDATES

George Klecan
Klecan
Family:  I have lived in White Settlement for 32 years, but my family is from New Mexico…
Occupation:  Retired after 30 years as manager of La Plaza Apartments in White Settlement.
Education/Community activities/previous political experience: BA in History from the Catholic University of America in Wash., DC.  Have worked with the VA on homeless veteran project…. Supported Archdiocese for the Military, which provides chaplains for our military personnel around the world.  Former precinct chairman, 4204..Former Tarrant County election judge… Former candidate for office in White Settlement

Why are you running for City Council?
I want to encourage more citizen involvement and more young people getting involved.
I want to see more debate on the issues, not just a rubber-stamp for the city manager.
The city manager should not be participating in city council meetings. He is not an elected official, and he is not a member of the city council.
Balance the budget.
Stop loading more and more debt on future generations.
Pay off some of the debt to free up funds now spent on debt service and interest.
Stop wasting taxpayer funds.
Stop the secret meetings and backroom deals.
When positions become vacant, publish and open them to all qualified applicants, not just relatives and cronies.

1) Televise council meetings, like we did in the past.
2) Publish a calendar on the city website, listing meetings of all boards and commissions for the month, along with other information.
3) Mail our official newspapers to all citizens who want them, at city expense.
4) Establish an office to assist White Settlement veterans.
5) Improve our senior services.
6) Open our great library on Fridays.
7) Work to bring in new businesses, such as a grocery store, pharmacy, and EM Hospital.
8) More recreation and educational programs for our youngsters.

What is an issue you’re passionate about that you’ll try to address if you get elected/re-elected?
White Settlement needs a new city manager. My opponent attended meetings in the city manager’s office, with two councilors, but two other councilors were not invited. There was no notice of the meetings. No record was kept. He then led a city council meeting as Mayor Pro Tem after the former Mayor was defeated, but before the new mayor could be sworn in.  At this meeting, he announced that the City Manager was retiring, and her husband was taking over her job, with a 5-year contract, written by himself, worth over $1 Million in salary and benefits. This was not on the agenda. It violated both the Texas Open Meetings Act and the city’s anti-nepotism ordinance. Two councilors voted against that.
There was no prior notice that the City Manager was retiring. No one was allowed to apply. This is the most important position in the city, the chief executive of the city. It should not have been decided behind closed doors. It should have been open for applications, You would have seen a great number of very highly qualified persons apply, some with advanced degrees and experience in municipal management. The position should be open to all qualified applicants, regardless of sex, race, or religion.

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 citizens have no idea what is in the budget.  There are public hearings, but the proposed budget is not on the website,so citizens are in the dark.  I was opposed to the drastic cuts to the library budget, which were over-turned by public protest.  The city spends way too much money on the city manager (over $350,000.00 in the fiscal year which just ended on Sept. 30, 2015).  The city just borrowed $10.1 Million with no public hearings. 4% interest is $ 4 Million in interest alone over the next ten years. The city already had too much debt. We are spending too much on debt service because of all this borrowing. This takes money away from needed projects and personnel. Property taxes were raised, but the budget was not balanced.

Why should the citizens of White Settlement vote for you? What sets you apart from your opponent?
My opponent has voted to increase property taxes on our senior citizens. I support Proposition 1 to protect our seniors.
My opponent has voted for budget deficits. I support a balanced budget.
My opponent voted for drastic cuts to the library.
My opponent voted to add tens of millions more debt on our future generations. I circulated petitions against that.
My opponent sponsored a very unwise and harmful contract to give a 5-year, $1 Million contract to the husband of the city manager. I wrote and spoke out against that.
My opponent led an effort to remove an elected city councilor from office. But this failed and the man is still in office because the public supported him.
For two years, my opponent violated his campaign promises and formed a group of three city councilors who followed the orders of the former Mayor and City Manager, while over-ruling the two councilors who did not agree with him. This prevented our city from making progress during those years.

Our city will have a great future once we get away from the old-school corrupt politics of the past.

Steve Ott (incumbent)
Steve Ott new
Family: Sally, Daughter and husband: Rachel and Beau, Granddaughter: Harper (who is the light of our lives).
Occupation: Combat Veteran of Desert Shield/Desert Storm who retired from the US Army. Presently an Automotive Technician with the USPS (18 yrs)
Education/Community activities/previous political experience: AAS in Automotive Technology/formerly rated a Master Automotive Technician. Member of First Assembly of God, member of Woodturners of North Texas, Southwest Area Turners, American Association of Woodturners. Served my Country for 20 years and presently serving my City as member of City Council Place 5.

Why are you running for City Council?
I am running for re-election so I can continue to make a difference within our City. There are numerous issues that are ongoing that I would like the chance to complete.

What is an issue you’re passionate about that you’ll try to address if you get elected/re-elected?
To continue to grow this City – to bring in new residents and businesses. One of the underlying issues that I hear all the time is that citizens want a family style sit down restaurant. And believe me when I say the City is working diligently on that issue. We are in discussions with different entities constantly about this issue. Drive around the City and you will see new homes being built throughout our City; you will see homes being remodeled; and you will see new businesses building and moving within our City. We had one developer tell us he would start building tomorrow if he could have the ball field area of Veterans Park. And we had to tell him no – that was not possible as that is park land. Everyone we talk to wants that area of the City, the major developers do not want to go anywhere else.

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 re-elected?
Despite what you have been reading in the paper from my opponent, the City is using its money wisely. The Finance Department is audited every year on the budget and receives awards every year on budget reporting and implementation. There are numerous State laws the City must follow on every step of using taxpayers’ money for anything – and we are always in compliance. We recently undertook a 10 million dollar bond to improve our infrastructure over the next five years. This 10 million is not nearly enough to do everything that needs to be done – but it is a start. Any improvements are an ongoing process, something that has to be continued and improved every year. Maintenance on all systems has to be done on a consistent basis.

Why should the citizens of White Settlement vote for you? What sets you apart from your opponent?
As I have demonstrated constantly during my term on the City Council, I am honest and am not afraid to tell the truth, even when that is not what you want to hear. This is the polar opposite of my opponent who is constantly placing ads which contain only a smidgen of the truth. Even the Mayor confronted him, and addressed this during a Council meeting. My opponent never says anything positive about our City, whereas I believe in our City and believe in the future of our City.

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