From Jimmy Lucas, Candidate for Sulphur Springs City Council-Place 2:
I’ve lived in Sulphur Springs since 1966. Then, our infrastructure was solid, we had less tax base, and in my opinion, the city was able to provide more for its residents. In recent years, our streets, sewer, water and relationships with our fire protection personnel have eroded. Some of our parks have seen neglect, especially Lake Sulphur Springs and Imagination Mountain.
We can recover from the neglect and add value to our home by re-focusing our efforts on the entire city. I love and frequent downtown often. Many of my friends have businesses there, which I patronize often; however, I am against expanding downtown until we fill and sustain a comfortable level of occupancy in the vacant buildings we currently have. I’m a believer in “let’s not remodel the kitchen when the toilet is backing up.”
The power of tax abatements could be a very effective tool in luring new business to Sulphur Springs, but these plans need a checks and balances system in place to ensure we get what we’re paying for. Other facets of a community which businesses consider when relocating is the success of the school system, cost of living, hospitals, emergency services, entertainment and if needs are met for retiring age employees. All in all, they want their employees be happy here. Are we confident we’re providing that?
Our community leaders have lost touch and are not as accessible as they should be. Can you name all of the city council members, mayor and city manager?
I believe it’s time we take a look at how our city council is elected. Presently, we have an at-large system where each seat is elected by a popular vote. I recommend a split system. Divide the city into four districts and then four of the council seats would be voted on based by the district they reside in and its residents. Two of the remaining council seats would be chosen at-large, and a Mayor would be elected at-large for a three year term. This system would eliminate a “clique” and provides each area of town at least one representative from their neighborhood.
I want to ensure the city’s employees’ work/life balance is property maintained, and that they have fair, equal wages compared to similar sized municipalities.
Equipment needs for our emergency personnel needs to be a top priority. I believe it’s evident we need our Fire Chief back immediately. I mean no disrespect to the department’s current leader. He is doing a great job in spite of the challenges; however, if that was a ‘cost saving decision,’ why not combine other city departments?
Code enforcement needs city leadership support and the support of citizens. There are so many lots in town in need of clean up. I believe the officer is getting to them, but the warnings and citations are being presented without follow up from leadership If we’re going to fund this department, the city needs to set expectations and support the actions of the officer.
Our city needs to work together to maintain downtown, but not ‘hold its hand.’ Let’s bring in new ideas from residents about how to better move our city forward. Let’s hold each city council member and city leadership staff accountable for the progression of our town.
I promise to be a transparent leader, when law and need to know issues are presented to me. If asked, my customers would tell you I work hard and strive to bring quick and effective solutions to problems. I’m very accessible. I encourage anyone who has questions or concerns to reach out to me at 903-348-0577.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to serve you.