Weatherford Democrat

May 7, 2013

Q&A: Annetta City Council — Place 5 race


Weatherford Democrat

— Name: Kent Stasey

Age: 51

Occupation: senior pricing analyst of natural gas commodity for industrial retail customers.

Family: Married to Mary Beth; father of Tanner, a graduate of Aledo High School, currently a junior at UTA; and our daughter, Samantha who is in the fourth grade at Stuard Elementary School.

How long resided in city: 

My family and I have lived in our home here for the past 11 years.

 

What are the three most important issues the city is facing? How do you plan to address those? 

1. Our citizens and customers want and need safe, well-maintained roads. We don’t have that now. We can work together to address the roads in a reasonable, cost effective way. As I’ve spoken with our residents, road conditions are often mentioned. We may not have a lot to spend on repairs, but we must spend our money wisely and meet the community’s needs. We need to budget for road repairs and maintenance and monitor the budget to maximize our resources. We need to work with the county to be sure we are using those resources wisely as well.  

2. Our water system is our greatest asset, and it must be improved and maintained to protect this asset for our citizens and water customers. It must be operated in a financially sound way so that maximum income from the system is available to pay existing debt and provide income for repairs and maintenance in the future and ultimately lower rates. Hudson Oaks is managing the system well for us and we need to take full advantage of their expertise until we have the infrastructure and historical advantage to operate the system ourselves in a financially sound way.

3. Our citizens want representation on the council that respects city ordinances, works cooperatively with the mayor, has the experience necessary to tackle the tough issues, and listens to ALL of those who are served by the city – current residents and water customers. Council members must consider the impact their decisions have on the entire community. I’ve spoken to the residents of Annetta, and heard from many others who want to be in Annetta. They aren’t happy with the attitude at council meetings in the past year. I’ll be sure that residents and customers will feel welcome at meetings and have a place they can get their questions answered and their needs met.  

 

Are you for or against annexation of area residents served by the city’s water system? Why? 

I am in favor of the annexation. I believe that our neighbors who have asked to be annexed into the town of Annetta should be welcomed into our city and that the addition of these homes will generate much-needed revenue from utility franchise fees (collected through regulated rates of utility companies) for our roads and other city needs. My family and I have been a customer of the water system for 11 years. It has had three owners during that time. Approximately 75 percent of homes on the system are outside the Annetta city limits. Those families will be responsible for repayment of the debt associated with the purchase, repairs and maintenance of the system. A legally drafted petition was presented to the current council members but the motion to proceed died for lack of a second.  

These families have no vote in any matter before the council, including matters that specifically impact their water, which impacts the value of their homes. Several years ago, we fought for the purchase of the system from Willow Park because we had NO vote and NO representation in Willow Park. Current councilmen Machak, Wood, Patterson and Moore (whose homes are not on the water system) apparently believe restricted representation should continue and vote that way as a group. This behavior leaves the majority of the Annetta water system customers without any voice in preserving their property values, yet again, but still paying the majority of the debt. Not only is that not fair, it is not good business. We have an opportunity to bring these homes into the city of Annetta, collect the fees available from utility companies, increase city revenue and bring our neighborhoods back together while building goodwill and community, which has been severely damaged in recent months. 

 

Why do you believe you are the best candidate for the position? What separates you from your opponent?

My family is dependent on the water system owned by Annetta and I am directly impacted by the decisions made by the Annetta City Council. I’m neither a developer nor an investor nor do I have any plans to be one. I simply want to do the right thing for my family and the families who live in my community. I have not run for other political offices and I do not have plans to run for other positions.  I am focused on Annetta!  I support the annexation of other families who want to have some say in how decisions are made that impact their life and their property. 

I have lived here for 11 years and I’ve shown that I believe in this community and I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and get involved.  I know that my business experience will serve the community well when faced with important decisions that impact the lives of our citizens.  I have a degree in business, utility business experience, I understand finances and I know what it takes to get a job done.  

Most of all, I was raised in a family where I learned that integrity was the most important value a person can bring to the table, and I work hard to prove myself trustworthy and ethical in my personal and professional dealings with people.  I believe that we should respect city employees, residents and customers, and build an atmosphere of goodwill and the willingness to DO THE RIGHT THING.

I have spent extensive time educating myself regarding the annexation issue and would NOT recommend annexation unless I felt it was financially in the best interest of Annetta citizens today and for the future.  My opponents’ “wait” behavior simply aligns with the council members that refuse to second the motion by Councilman Sheridan to have formal hearings and initiate analysis and public input through the process allowed by state law. The motion died for lack of a second, twice. The mayor initially called a special meeting in January 2013 because the data indicated a positive effect for the town. 

I am not a politician and I am willing to take a stand on an issue that is critically important to current and potential citizens of our town. My stance is based on sound data that is already available to the mayor and the town or anyone willing to put in the work. It’s the Right Thing to Do.

 

 

Name: Mike Brasovan

    Age: 43

Occupation: energy/utility consultant

Family: Married to Karen Brasovan for 19 years. Two kids, ages 16 and 17.

How long resided in city: 1.5 years in Annetta, eight years in Annetta North.

 

What are the three most important issues the city is facing? How do you plan to address those? 

1. Annexation request: Bringing 590 houses into the city would roughly double Annetta’s population. I was one of the few citizens that spoke during the December meeting about this, and was generally supportive of the request. However, I also encouraged the council to take its time to make sure it was done right and would be a good thing for the city. The city, as of late March, still didn’t have the data necessary to determine if the annexation would be good or bad financially for Annetta. We need that information before a decision can be made.

2. Water system improvements: Upgrades need to be made to the system and the city has borrowed the money to accomplish this, but well sites haven’t been identified for both ends of the system and tank locations are needed on the north end. I recently located an old contract between the water system and Split Rail developers that should have put the north side improvements in place at no cost to the water system. This same agreement gives free water to the golf course. It is my hope that an amicable solution can be put in place between the contract’s parties, saving the water system at least some of the $200,000 to $300,000 needed for north side improvements and hopefully move the projects forward quickly.

3. Unifying Annetta: We need someone able to work with the council, even members they disagree with, to make sensible, timely decisions. I have a demonstrated track record of doing that and doing it well. I am not aligned with any candidate or council member, and am not beholden to any group with an agenda. I am independent, able to listen to both sides, and will vote based on what’s best for the city as a whole.

 

Are you for or against annexation of area residents served by the city’s water system? Why? 

I am for whatever is best for the City of Annetta. As I stated earlier, we don’t have all the facts to determine the costs and benefits of the annexation. I believe it’s irresponsible to blindly support an annexation that could create unsustainable expenses for the city. 

Once the facts are gathered, and if the facts indicate that the annexation would be a probable monetary benefit to the city, then the petitioners should request annexation again. Under those circumstances I think the petition should be discussed and the citizens of Annetta would have an opportunity for public comment. I would make my decision regarding whether to vote for the annexation based on the feedback of the citizens and a thoughtful analysis of the costs and benefits to the city.

 

Why do you believe you are the best candidate for the position? What separates you from your opponent?

I have a wide range of experience that will help me serve Annetta and sets me apart from my opponent. For 20 years I’ve been in the business of working with various utility customers across the nation – negotiating contracts and helping them lower their rates and receive better service from utility companies. Through this I have also worked with regulatory agencies, written rules and regulations, and proposed legislation. This has given me experience and relationships that could help me better serve our city. 

This customer focus should address any unfounded concerns that, because I’m not on the water system, I wouldn’t support the system’s customers.

My independence in this race also differentiates me. Unlike my opponent, I’m not running as part of a slate of candidates. I have no agenda other than serving the citizens to the best of my ability. This frees me to listen to all sides of issues, build consensus on the council and concentrate on making the best decisions for Annetta. In short, I believe I will be better positioned to help bring unity to the council.

Finally, my opponent and I have a different approach toward the Deer Creek annexation request. My opponent’s web site states that he supports the annexation as “the right thing to do.” I strongly believe the decision to annex more than 500 homes cannot be made without having solid data, as well as giving Annetta’s residents an opportunity to be heard. It may end up being the right thing, but we don’t know that yet.