Weatherford Democrat

April 26, 2013

Q&A: Race for Annetta mayor


Weatherford Democrat

Here is a look at the candidates, incumbent Bruce Pinckard and challenger Rick Machak, seeking the seat of mayor on the Annetta City Council. Early voting begins Monday, and Election Day is May 11. We asked the candidates three questions, limiting each response to 300 words.

Name: Rick Machak

Age: 61

Occupation: president, Woodmont Company

Family: wife, Kathryn; two children, Julie and Jason; and eight grandchildren

How long resided in city: 15 years

Community involvement: worked on Planning and Zoning Committee, currently a city councilman for Annetta

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

I plan to keep the water bills low. I plan to fix the current tank which has a leak in it and immediately get the new water system facilities installed on the north end of the city. This should have been done in the last 2-1/2 years. As a leader your first obligation is to get water to the people of the city you are a leader in. This is of utmost importance to me to take care of this issue. Our current Mayor Pinckard has been mayor for 2-1/2 years and has not handled this properly. I have the experience with these types of issues and can get it done within the first six months of being mayor.

I plan to implement a comprehensive use plan. Bruce Pinckard has had 2-1/2 years to do this and has not done this. All the citizens of Annetta should be asking Bruce Pinckard why he has not gotten this done? When you are a leader of a city it is important to make sure you know which parts of your city is residential and which is commercial. I plan to get this completed immediately. It is important to know exactly where all the boundaries are in the city you are serving. This is a very important issue. I intend to keep a 2-acre minimum and would like to keep Annetta small and rural.

I will settle this annexation issue. Right now there are 450 homes in the ETJ (Parker County area and not in the city.) They have 1,200 citizens in them. That would double the size of Annetta and possibly raise Annetta’s taxes. I would put an annexation plan in place. I would do a case study and study the all the facts if this would be good for Annetta.

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

First of all, I do not believe all the citizens of Annetta know that Bruce Pinckard has been trying to push through the annexation without letting the actual citizens of Annetta know. They deserve to know and have a say if they would like to see the town of Annetta double it’s size overnight from 1,200 to 2,400. I am for the annexation if we put an annexation plan in place and do a case study to make sure this annexation is good for the City of Annetta and know the citizens of Annetta would like this as well.

If the citizens of Annetta do not want this and, after studies have been done, this plan is not good for Annetta then no I do not want this annexation. This annexation has a due process to go through. Anyone who wants to rush this through is not working for the citizens of Annetta. I work for and serve the citizens of Annetta. I am responsible to them first.

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

I am the best candidate for mayor of Annetta. I have a strong business background, and in managing a company and people and employers. I know how to get projects done. I have immense experience in taking a project from beginning to end. I am completer and a finisher. I know what is good for a city.

I know how to get along with all the city councilmen and work with them to help the City of Annetta and take it in the direction it needs. I know how to negotiate issues effectively. I have a strong will in keeping the level of justice for the citizens of the community and act in their best interest. I work for the people and keeping the direction of Annetta in their hands.

I have a strong desire to get all the issues of Annetta resolved and approved by the city council in an expedient manner. I want to see all the Citizens of Annetta happy and the City of Annetta thriving and prosperous.

What separates me from my opponent is I am a man of integrity and am honest and loyal. I am a doer and will get things done! I intend to work for the citizens of Annetta and get the city out of the confusion and flux it’s been in under the current mayor.

Please review my platform agenda on my website, www.rickmachak.com. I look forward to serving the citizens of Annetta and meeting their needs. I want to thank everyone for the opportunity to earn their trust and their vote.

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Name: Bruce Pinckard

Age: 46

Occupation: management

Family: married to Denneen, 18 years; three children in the Aledo ISD.

How long resided in city: 14 years, 10 months.

Community involvement: active member of First Baptist Church Aledo, Annetta City Council since 2005.

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

Fair and honest representation of all the citizens of Annetta and fair treatment of the customers Annetta serves through the water and sewer system. I work to inform and involve more citizens every chance I get. I believe in personal responsibility and leadership that comes from listening to the citizens that we are elected to serve, understanding their concerns and making an effort to find ways that will enable all of us to walk away from each and every problem with pride knowing that we did the right thing for the town as a whole.

Get those necessary improvements to the water system done! Once completed we can rest assured the system will continue to pay its own way by the usage of the very customers it serves. Additional supplies of water can only improve property values and quality of life issues. When we have good, clean reliable water, everyone is happy. This is the plan we started with and the one that should continue. The excuses from those that were afraid to buy the system in the first place have been proven to be inaccurate.

Comprehensive planning. This is really not that complicated but fear has driven some to say “if we plan it they will come.” Well, they’re coming whether you plan for it or not. There has been reluctance by some to recognize that the increased amount of people living all around us has a definite affect on our lives. Why do we sit back and let future developments shape our community when we have a right, as provided by law, to plan for our own future instead of just reacting to it? Where will roads be placed?

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

I am absolutely for accepting the petition and having those public hearings! First, it is an issue of basic liberty. Water and sewer customers have no alternative to the utilities provided by the City of Annetta. They simply cannot go elsewhere for these needs. This particular annexation is only being requested by the current customers of our water system that have felt their concerns over management changes or expenditures that could affect their service and rates were routinely ignored since the last election. I know of no other case in which such a large number of people in such a short period of time have come to a city to request to be “brought in.”

From the point of the Town of Annetta, a customer base that is divided between residents of the city and those “out” of the city cannot be managed properly or fairly through the limited means that a municipality has to regulate growth, fair usage and implementation of conservation policies. The city laws don’t apply to the ETJ. Any city manager will tell you that it is a foregone conclusion that a city-owned utility should have all their customers be residents of the city that owns and operates that utility.

Franchise fees are not being collected from the customer base that could be used to fund needed improvements to city owned streets. These streets are being used every day by those same customers. It is also the customers of the water system that use the time and resources of the city at a greater rate than those not on the system. Why should the residents of Annetta subsidize non-residents through the use of streets and staffing?

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

I have over eight years of experience in city government and a proven track record of listening to the residents. As a councilman and mayor, I have worked hard to encourage citizen involvement in committees, through workshops and in our comprehensive planning process. Since becoming mayor I have implemented the town’s Facebook page, Blackboard Connect callout and e-mail alerts and I have also had the town’s website updated and improved. We have a citizen feedback forum and e-mail where people can contact me or any council person and ask direct questions or express concerns. This has allowed me to communicate directly with citizens and customers of the water system, answering questions and concerns that streamline city government.

This town belongs to the residents, not someone with a personal agenda. I have extensive management experience in owning my own company for 17 years and now for a privately owned company in Fort Worth where I work with accounting, auditing and policy implementation and adaption every day. I constantly review processes and adjust policies with an eye on the future so not to limit the possibilities of tomorrow.

I embrace new opportunities where others only see problems and I find ways to get the information needed for important decisions while others wait for it to be given to them. As mayor I have proven that I can work with other cities in East Parker County to see regional issues and face those challenges early on so that we are not put in a defensive position with limited choices.