Weatherford Democrat

May 8, 2013

Q&A: Springtown City Council mayoral race


Weatherford Democrat

Here is the last in our series introducing candidates in locally contested city council and school board races ahead of Saturday’s elections. This final Q&A involves the candidates for Springtown mayor – incumbent Doug Hughes and his challenger, Tom Clayton. Each candidate was asked to provide some personal information then asked several questions.

Name: Tom W. Clayton, M.P.A.

Age: 51

Occupation: public administration /managing cities

Family: Yes

How long resided in city:14 years

Community involvement:14 years; Mayor’s Sign Committee, Springtown Impact Fee Advisory Board, Springtown Farmers’ Market Board, three years on the Springtown Planning and Zoning Commission, Springtown City Councilman for six years and mayor pro tem 2007-08.

Why are you running for office?

I am running for mayor because many citizens have expressed to the city while I served as a councilman we needed and expected new commercial development and more retail shopping choices to generate new revenue for the city and school district to protect and enhance our property values, providing new jobs for locals and new family entertainment in Springtown. After three terms in office, Mayor Hughes still has not led the city to deliver on any of these improvements to the citizens, leaving the city’s economic future unsecured and unsure. It is the

mayor’s job, his duty and obligation to the citizens to be the city’s top advocate and salesman. He must be proactive and a visionary and must attend many meetings and functions outside of Springtown, always promoting Springtown and Springtown ISD everywhere he goes.

Mayor Hughes cannot, and does not want to travel out of Springtown to promote our community and participate in all the important functions and meetings beneficial to the city that occur all year long where mayors network with other cities and government officials to discuss issues and exchange ideas and meet potential investors and commercial business owners that could be recruited back to Springtown. This is a very important part of every mayor’s job. In three terms, he has not seen this as any part of his mayoral responsibility and obligation to the citizens, as I do and I hope you do, too. We are a small city but we are growing and need a full-time mayor; I have the time to attend all meetings and functions to promote Springtown as your full-time mayor. I did this for six years as your councilman. I have worked and been involved in government since 1994 as a student, a volunteer, a board member, mayoral appointee, and elected official from the city to the federal level and my plan of business recruitment for Springtown is how every successful city operates to secure their economic futures and pay their bills. If you need proof what I say is true, just look around at Azle, Lake Worth, Weatherford, booming cities all around us with proactive mayors selling the benefits of their cities and securing their economic futures.

What do you plan to accomplish if elected?

If elected I have several. First, completing projects already in the works, redesigning and replacing the intersection of State Highway 199 and FM 51 North to Fifth Street, with a widening of FM 51 with an added center turn lane where necessary and underground storm drains on the west side of FM 51 from Fifth south to Walnut Creek with a new bridge replacement for today’s traffic. The current bridge was built in 1939 for 1939 traffic.

PART B: recruiting new commercial business and development to Springtown, as the current mayor has had six years as mayor to do this and has not brought even one business to Springtown; fixing our damaged reputation from being anti-business and anti-developer to pro-business and builder friendly changing the current culture to be a more customer-service, customer-friendly city staff and council; making Springtown a tourist destination similar to Granbury, only in Springtown we have a beautiful square also we are working on, bringing family entertainment to our city for everyone.

Twenty miles is a long way to go to see a movie at a theater or buy a pair of jeans or shoes for the kids don’t you think so?

I am the business candidate.

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Name: Mayor Doug Hughes

Age: 54

Occupation: building contractor

Family: married for 15 years to my wife Laura and I have an 11-year-old daughter, Halle.

Length of residence: resident of Springtown for about 45 years.

Why are you running for office?

I am running for the mayor because many people have expressed to me that our city still needs strong, reasonable leadership to move our city forward. As the mayor, I work to resolve issues, not to create division. This office has never been about me, but the citizens of Springtown.

My experience as a home building contractor gives me the unique insight on how to prepare for our city’s growth. I believe you shouldn’t build a house without having infrastructure like water or good streets to get you there. Under my leadership, these last few years the city has built over 12 miles of new roads. A new water plant with over 9,000 feet of new water lines, along with a newly renovated wastewater plant brings both systems up to state standards.

The facts now show over the last two years the city has been working with the Texas Department of  Transportation to secure funding for a new Walnut Creek bridge at State Highway 51, along with a new intersection at Highway 51 and SH 199 to improve traffic flow in a safe manner. At the same time, the city has been working with Parker County officials to secure half of the funding to mitigate Walnut Creek flooding in the same area, along with water features in the creek and expansion of our city park.

All these improvements, along with our town square improvements, enhance the quality of life for all our citizens and are building blocks for real economic development.

I am running to keep progress going for our city. I know if re-elected, with the help of all citizens and the blessing of God, Springtown has a bright future.