League of Women Voters Questionnaire
How should the dispute regarding the Bayside development be resolved? What is your vision for this area? Please be specific.
Bayside is undoubtedly our City’s most high profile development project so far. It is meant to be a game changer for our community, so it is extremely unfortunate that the original landowners and developer did not deliver on their promises to build a world class facility. We need to cut our losses and move forward with a new developer. I have always been a supporter of the original vision, including the Crystal Lagoon, show fountain, trolley, new marina, and lakefront trails, as well as the 1.75 M square feet of commercial space which will include a 500 room resort and new conference center. Let's get it right.
As home prices escalate, pressure increases for affordable housing options for families and city workers. Do you support additional apartment construction in the city?
What solutions would you support?
As a candidate for Rowlett City Council I support a diverse selection of housing in our community. This includes a broad range of housing choices for our residents ranging from affordable housing for working class families, to luxury homes in specific neighborhoods. Of greater concern is the development of apartments in neighborhoods where this type of development is not the best or highest use. For example, the construction of apartments at Bayside seems like a wasted opportunity for mixed use or Transit Oriented Development which could have generated significant additional tax revenues for the city.
What priority would you give to upgrading the city's infrastructure and how would you propose paying for needed upgrades?
Traditionally Rowlett has used its bonding capacity to fund the reconstruction and improvements to our existing roadway network. However, I would like to see our future bond programs target specific roadway projects which will improve our communities ability to attract new businesses, and improve mobility for the traveling public as a whole. These projects would include the planning of new frontage roads along the PGBT, or improve thoroughfares in the Northshore area, thereby catalyzing new commercial developments which our city badly needs. New tax revenues from these properties would offset this investment.
How would you rate the city's performance in the area of public safety? Would you recommend changes? If so, how would you pay for them? How would you prioritize these upgrades compared to other city needs?
Rowlett's Police, Fire and EMT's have provided excellent services to our community. This was evidenced when the tornado hit our city several years ago, and the aftermath of that event. I continue to support investing in our community's ability to provide superior public safety, and feel that we can continue to fund needed training, equipment and facilities within budgets, primarily due to the increased revenues from city taxes, fees and community donations. These expenses will be balanced along with other departments during the City's budgeting efforts for coming year.
What do you view as Rowlett’s biggest opportunity and/or challenge during the next council term?
The most significant issue is making sure that the remaining open land in Rowlett is developed responsibly, and to the highest and best uses available. These new developments will provide local jobs, increase tax revenues to the city, and improve our city's image. Our city will need to prepare Capital Improvement Plans to support these strategic improvements to benefit all residents of the city. We have to make sure that we get this right as the city's undeveloped land is now less than 25% of the available land within city limits. We also need to make the most of our lakefront as this is a unique asset for Rowlett.