FBN: Q&A For MC Mayoral Election Candidates
Early voting for the May 10 election began today, and in Missouri City current mayor Allen Owen is running for a second time against challenger Greyling Poats. FortBendNow.com submitted questions to each candidate, and their answers are as follows.
What do you think are the top three priorities for Missouri City in the next five years?
My top 3 prior (sic) ties over the next 3 years is to make sure our citizens have a safe place to call home, protect our environment and natural resources, and continue to attract new sales tax revenue so we can begin to replace property taxes with the only other source we have left-sales taxes. We are doing that with all of the new projects mentioned above that are already on the drawing boards and are working as we go to press.
1. Business on Texas Parkway, Cartwright Road and FM 1092 should be the primary concern. The improvement of those areas and the subdivisions attaching these thoroughfares should be a major focal point of the City Manager, Economic Development Coordinator and Council. Federal, State and Local monies along with private developers should come into play not only for curb appeal but for the enhancement of the quality of life for all of Missouri City. The challenge of government is not only to maintain the quality of life for all of its citizens but to improve that quality of life.
2. A well planned economic development plan is also a major concern for the City of Missouri City. While the current administration marvels over Ben E. Keith, Trammel Crowe and Global technical, they haven’t detailed the entire story. Based off a survey completed by a development company, one can deduce that Missouri City has a highly educated, employed and diverse population. The residents are not looking for jobs, but rather an enhancement of current career opportunities. The social economics of the city in general are poor. The lack of interaction and opportunities generally provided by business is virtually non-existent for young people in most areas of the city. Children, not adults in Missouri City, need jobs to learn employment skills and establish discipline which can lead them to careers which will allow them to become productive members of society. The current administration fails in working with citizens and current businesses; and, they have not given any projection on tax revenues for new businesses after the tax exemptions which have been given to new corporate citizens. A focused economic development plan would assist in attracting the types of businesses which would benefit the citizens of Missouri City.
3. Serving all neighborhoods within the corporate city limits is a key issue that council currently does not respond to. Council is oblivious to crime in the certain areas of the City. Council has failed to address the need to provide sidewalks for children walking to school and stoplights for critical intersections where residents have concerns. Council fails the children who walk along bridges which provide no protection. The council neglects the safety of our children on areas where there is a high concentration of pedophiles. Council fails in addressing the vacant commercial property and dilapidated structures on Texas Parkway, Cartwright Road and Fm 1092. Missouri City also does not have a hospital or doctor’s clinic. I firmly believe that the current mayor and council’s lack of leadership and direction is the reason for the decline of Missouri City. Many of these concerns could be addressed by being attentive to the residents of the city. A primary focus on those areas within the City limits would allow the city to address many of these issues. Additionally, there is a need to focus on attracting certain kinds of businesses to Missouri City while at the same time working with those businesses currently located within the city limits to assure that they remain. We continue to loose critical businesses while building structures which are not inhabited. This is not a reflection of a well planned city. It is imperative that we make this a practice so that we can maintain an excellent quality of life for our citizens.
What steps would you like to see the city take regarding those three priorities?
I think we have proven in the past 3-4 years that we are working diligently to do all of the above incentives.
1. After determining where our City funds are, an action plan can be put into place. The current administration is looking at a tax increase of more than thirty dollars per household for the acquisition and improvement of the Quail Valley Country Club. If there is to be a tax increase, those funds would better serve Texas Parkway, Cartwright road and FM 1091. The City in readjusting its budget could do the same thing without a tax increase. This is often necessary when cities have to maintain an aging infrastructure.
2. I would direct the City Planning Department to develop a plan for the enhancement of our entire city in general but being very specific for the timely improvements along Texas Parkway, Cartwright Road and FM 1092. This plan could give tax abatements to those businesses needed in critical areas. It would provide fast track privileges for development needed in critical areas. For those businesses coming to Missouri City, we would provide assistance similar to or greater than our very large neighbor to assure that those businesses find Missouri City an attractive place.
3. Our collaboration with County, State and Federal government entities would push mobility issues regarding Texas Parkway, Cartwright Road and FM 1092. We would change the rural character of certain roads by seeking to add sewers and removing ditches. We would propose that we work with subdivisions regarding the Lexington corridor while making that venture a reality. Having our police department reach out to provide greater service as well as protection to all citizens while eliminating the intimidation that is apparent to law abiding-tax paying citizens would greatly enhance the safety in our community. I would advocate for providing true diversity to City government through our deeds and actions. And finally, focusing on and attaining what the city needs: Hospitals, doctor’s clinics, book stores, arts venues, movie theatres, etc. while providing for the enhancement of a superior quality of life for all Missouri City residents. . .
2009 FBISD Tax Hearing (On YouTube)
CLICK HERE FOR THE 2009 FBISD CONTROVERSIAL TAX HEARING (YES THEY ARE RAISING THEM AGAIN--see petition of over 500 district taxpayers asking for board accountability) --In case anyone missed it they raised the property tax rate again (4th time) in 2010 and more than likely will do so again in 2011 facing another projected 15-20 million dollar budget deficit, according to some media reports. ***NEW*** ..Petition TO STOP THE GSTC (Global Science Museum being planned at the district central office--near $30 million dollar project that superintendent Jenney is pushing): http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopthegcst/ (see update below on this apparently ending this project after 2 years)