Election 2020

Meet the candidates

The Fredericksburg Tea Party sent 16 questions to our local candidates for Mayor and City Council and their answers are published below.

There are two ways to read the candidates responses; by question or by candidate.

RESPONSE BY QUESTION.

(response by candidate below)

 

Planning and Growth:

 

  1. What is your position on city growth, expansion of the Fredericksburg City Limits, and annexation of property?
  • Kiehne: Growth is inevitable. For a town to survive growth is needed but we must consider the citizens of the city and county. Annexation should taken very seriously and ensure that it is truly necessary when it occurs.
  • Pearson: I am NOT in favor of involuntary annexation. The only condition for annexation that I favor is when an individual, commercial development or neighborhood requests to be annexed into the city limits.
  • Riley: As long as we are aggressively finding a way to house our Teachers, Police Officers, Nurses, Hospitality workers and all of those that our City, County and community should be prioritizing, then we are growing in a way I believe helps make us leaders in our Region, all the way to the Capital.
    • Once the most recent annexations are finalized, then there will be no more annexation according to the law. Our growth comes from sustainable choices within our existing city limits.  Now is the time for our citizens to take true ownership of our city.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: When feasible, I am in favor of annexation.  It is in the community’s best interest for the city to control entrance corridors, plan and provide water, sewer, parks and recreation, etc.  The city provides limited services within the ETJ, which is a small zone just outside the city limits, but those receiving those services are not paying taxes to maintain them or plan for future expansion; these services include police and EMS.  As the community grows, the city must respond to the need, and plan for expected needs, allowing time to create a budget to meet those needs.  However, the State of Texas has created legislation that severely curtails a community’s ability to do future planning via annexation, which means the current city residents have to continue to pay for the ETJ services and the additional years of expense required to annex developments that would benefit from being under city management.
  • Poole: What is your position on city growth, expansion of the Fredericksburg City Limits, and annexation of property? I think the City should maintain what they have, before taking on additional property that will require more infrastructure and services. Tax revenues to maintain water, streets and other utilities have doubled, yet our infrastructure is falling apart. Our taxes should be used more efficiently, and we should adhere to the State Law that has repealed involuntary annexation. Our City officials have violated a cease and desist order in an effort to circumvent the new state law, and have involved our City in an expensive lawsuit.
  1. Are you in favor of a truck relief route (including the By-Pass option)? Why or Why Not?                                                     
  • Kiehne: I am not in favor of a truck relief route or the bypass. I believe the bypass option is too expensive and would require the use of eminent domain powers.  We have existing streets and city street expansion plans that could be utilized to alleviate Main Street traffic if needed.
  • Pearson: The proposed TXDoT relief route is a non-starter.  There is no way the tax-payers of Gillespie County can afford it.  I am open-minded about the proposal to extend Tivydale and Kerr Road north to Highway 290 and possibly Highway 87.  This is an option that needs to be explored with citizen groups and neighborhoods before any decision to move forward is made.
  • Riley: Our City has not employed any alternative resources and options to help hedge unwanted traffic on Main.  (Mainly trucks that have explosive chemicals or pose an imminent threat to our community’s safety.)   We can work with our law enforcement and also use resources educating and informing traffic and large trucks of alternate routes.  (FOR EXAMPLE, DIGITAL APPLICATIONS ARE ALREADY PRESENT IN EVERY TRUCK). The current By-Pass plan will not create less overall traffic on main street and doesn’t provide prudent solutions.
    • Also, no solution has solved State Highway 16 intersections, another example of a solution not fully solved. We need to maintain as much control over our roadways and community access, in order to preserve the Hill Country and the heritage that truly makes this City special.  Meaning, we can provide a better solution than those that are currently offered.  Digital platforms, education, community outreach, advanced road signs, lane markings and heightened traffic enforcement will all go a long way for the next few years, until a worthwhile solution presents itself.  We all know this isn’t happening anytime soon, so what are we doing now, today and not waiting for tomorrow.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: I am in favor of developing relief routes to ease congestion downtown, make our Main Street more pedestrian friendly and reduce traffic accidents, as well as provide convenient options for our residents to move about their community. The TxDot Proposal, however, I do not support.  It is too large and destructive of our scenic area.  The current 290 corridor is four lanes wide and would not be changed, yet the loop they are proposing would be four lanes, plus wide median, plus access roads, which is more than twice the width of the highway it would be intended to connect to.  It is overkill.  The city does have plans for inner-city loops to help residents get around town more easily, allow some truck traffic to by-pass Main Street, and will be working on these projects as budgets allow.  I will encourage the city to continue negotiating with TxDot to develop a route they will approve and provide at least some funding for.
  • Poole: I am not in favor of the current “truck relief route” as it is a misnomer and does not require trucks to use it. At a cost to taxpayers of over $$$$$$$$ Fifty million dollars. The Cronies of Kent Myers put out a study that was rigged from the start. No By Pass was not an alternative Friendship Lane is a better and more efficient use of our taxes, at a lower cost 1/10 $ for completion versus a BY Pass and it will not destroy our countryside. Even though Tom Musselman has voiced opposition against using Friendship Lane, because he resides on it, it is the logical solution. Jerry has been talking about a bypass since the 90’s.
  1. If you are in favor of providing a new convention venue for Fredericksburg, how should it be funded?

      - If not, what other options would you pursue for meeting needs for tourism in this area?

  • Kiehne: The city is there to participate with the planning and development of a venue but it should be funded privately. The city has the ability to adjust Hotel Occupancy Tax to make a venue more financially attractive to private investors should it be needed.
  • Pearson: I am NOT in favor of the City of Fredericksburg owning, operating, or maintaining any type of convention venue.  As your Mayor, I am willing to work with any individual or company that proposes to build a privately owned and operated facility, just as City Hall already does with any business that considers locating here.
  • Riley: ‘Convention venue’ is a very broad term that I imagine many would define differently.  The most recent proposed venue, proved not to be a viable investment.  We have to grow at a rate we can support.  The manner in which the system is set up now, we are asking for an estimated 200 people to commute to Fredericksburg to run and maintain the venue, without the infrastructure to support this traffic and housing influx.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: The city would benefit from a convention center to draw business to town during the week, not just weekends.  Also, the city is looking for ways to develop and support the west end of Main Street.  While I was serving on council previously, we put out a request for proposals for a convention center, which would require sufficient private financing, and the city would offer some incentives to bring their project to Fredericksburg.  Incentives include some rate reductions in water, sewer, maybe taxes, negotiated to last for a period of time.  This is calculated based on what the project is expected to return to the city in increased business.  The project would also be required to be built within city limits and serve the west end of town.
  • Poole: The ideal convention venue would be a freestanding structure that supports all the existing hotels and B&B’s, and businesses. It would be large enough to have the capability of attracting midweek business. A plan should offer a good parking solution, and would keep event and convention traffic off Main Street. Funding could be used from the Hotel Occupancy Tax from the City which is currently misspent on projects that do not provide the “heads in beds” a requirement dictated by State Law. The City has spent hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars in an effort to “Good Ole Boy” the location & operator.

 

  1. What are your plans to handle future city water needs, both quantity and quality?
  • Kiehne: Fredericksburg has installed three new water storage tanks and is in the process of placing a new water line. We will continue to use water restrictions to promote conservation as required. We need to make sure that Fredericksburg’s water is being used to the benefit of Fredericksburg’s City citizens.
  • Pearson: There is already a capital improvement project in place to construct a water pipeline and storage tank facility that parallels the existing pipeline from the well field into the city.  This will provide redundancy, accommodate equipment maintenance and repair.
    • Fredericksburg benefits from excellent quality aquifer water so there is no need for additional processing to improve water quality. The City’s water quality consistently exceeds the requirements of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
  • Riley: We should have the cleanest water.  At least we should try.  We all get a letter every year that says, our water is clean according to state standards.  However, the letter still suggests: “The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate the water poses a health risk.”  Does that make you feel confident in our current standards?  In many areas we excel in our averages.  I was able to tour the wastewater facilities and a majority of our wells and pumps and witnessed a strong infrastructure, but we are still told that it would be wise to filter our water.  And filtration is expensive.  So, those citizens who can’t afford to ‘play it safe’ and filter their water, I guess that’s their problem.
    • Water and waste management is priority one. We have used the bond money to continue to build a robust well and pump system, continually improving pipes and leaks.  Now we need to focus on how we pollute our own well water and alternatively, how we can guarantee the cleanest and healthiest water in the state to our community.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: The city has invested in the infrastructure to maintain a Superior Water rating, and set up systems to save millions of gallons of water, while protecting our waterways.  The city owns several wells, including one at Boot Ranch.  There are plans in the works for another 1000 gal. well, which will give the city the capacity to handle current growth for another 50 years.
  • Poole: We have good wells, but we cannot squander our resources. I don’t want to fine or restrict water usage by our citizens as long as we sell water to Boot Ranch. Citizens don’t vote on Revenue Bonds, which were passed by City Council in 2019, in the amount of $18million. A significant part of the bond will be used to service Boot Ranch. Boot Ranch should pay for all maintenance needed to provide services to their community.
  1. What long term considerations do you believe are important for our sanitary landfill and recycling?
  • Kiehne: Current projections show another 18 to 20 years of life from our current landfill. Fredericksburg will need to start exploring options now to either purchase or contracting with private providers. Recycling is market driven, as it changes, we will adjust what our center accepts.
  • Pearson: The city’s landfill will run out of capacity within the next 25 to 30 years.  At that time, government regulations will probably limit our city’s authority to dispose of waste unless we install an environmentally friendly incinerator.  Recycling can only be justified if recycled materials are not being transported to somebody else’s landfill.
  • Riley: No more landfill.  This is 2020.  No matter what our city officials tell you about “shipping glass to Ohio” or “It all goes in another dump anyway,” these are phrases that mislead from real facts.  If our city prioritized and modeled eliminating our landfill use, implemented curbside recycling, partnered with our grocers, local businesses and county to properly dispose and recycle packaging at the source, then we could be seen as leaders and not only improve our own financial bottom line drastically, but also have a lasting effect on those that both visit and those that spend their entire lives here in Fredericksburg, TX.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: I would like to see the city work with other smaller cities to develop a consistent recycling stream for glass, paper, and plastics. I don’t feel that recycling must pay for itself 100% since it is part of our waste management system supported by our utility bill payments.  It should be able to recover a large amount of the cost however and contribute to improvements in waste management infrastructure.
  • Poole: I think recycling is a smart activity, and it reduces the load on our landfill. We should reevaluate the gutting that took place with our current recycling center. The cost of an additional landfill will be very expensive. If such a site was required, its location next to current property owners would not be well received.

 

 

  1. What should be the city’s responsibility to support our elderly, disabled and low-income citizens with transportation, housing, assisted living, medical or other services?
  • Kiehne: Fredericksburg’s emergency services do a wonderful job of keeping our citizens safe. I don’t feel the city has the tax base to support subsidized housing. I am not clear on what the full question is truly asking.
  • Pearson: Our city is blessed with many philanthropic and charitable organizations that historically have done exemplary work assisting these citizen groups.  As your mayor, I pledge to continue working with all such organizations that strive to address these important quality of life issues.  However, I don’t believe it’s a taxpayer’s responsibility to finance or subsidize these services as they will impact the City’s tax rate.
  • Riley: Our City needs to begin investing in itself, by creating alternative revenue streams, utilizing real estate, local businesses, the BnB industry, agriculture and more to create the funds necessary to support a city that can provide simple and efficient transportation for our elderly and those that need aid in their day to day life.  Which is everyone.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: Our community has set up a vibrant system of non-profits to provide services for the elderly and the needy:  Golden Hub, Meals on Wheels, Good Samaritan Health Center, Community Needs Council, Food Bank, and others.  The city does not have the funding, nor is it in the City Charter to provide these services, but the city will help wherever possible.  The city has provided incentives for low income housing development, some specifically for the elderly.  There is a process for organizations to submit requests for funding or in-kind assistance, and of course the city staff participates and sponsors fund raisers.
  • Poole: Living costs for all sectors of our community have sky rocketed and all have suffered from financial strangulation by regulation. Hill Country Memorial provides free medical services to those in need. Lip service has been the solution to affordable housing and will never be a reality under the current administration. Assisted living and other services can only be attracted with a City that operates on a fair and level playing field. Business investors and builders smell a snake from a mile away and have chosen to build outside city limits.
  1. As tourism and traffic increases, how would you provide better traffic flow and pedestrian safety?
  • Kiehne: Enforcement of traffic and jaywalking laws. Remarking Main Street and continue sidewalk construction.
  • Pearson: In February of this year, Kimley-Horn presented the City with a traffic impact study that proposes several low-cost roadway changes in town that improve both traffic flow and pedestrian safety.  The City is currently negotiating with TXDoT to implement these changes.
    • The City is considering two road construction projects besides the Tivydale/Kerr Road extension. The big problem is their expense and impact on property taxes.  All kinds of improvements to traffic flow can be proposed but we always need to consider benefits versus cost.
  • Riley: More signs, more paint on the roads, more walkways, more bikeways, more education and community outreach promoting a city that models the behaviors desired including volunteer networks to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow. We need to be willing to be the City we see ourselves being, now, not tomorrow.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: Please refer to answer #2 as well as #1.
  • Poole: A more sophisticated synchronized traffic light system may improve traffic flow. Building a Bypass Freeway with high speed limits and limited access is not the answer. In fact, speed limits should be reduced to provide a safer environment for pedestrians and traffic alike. This would also create an incentive for trucks to re-route.

 

Small Town Uniqueness:

 

  1. How do you envision maintaining the small-town quaintness of Fredericksburg while managing its growth and preserving private and personal property rights?
  • Kiehne: I am not able to accurately and completely answer the question within the word limit. I am in favor of our historic district regulations.
  • Pearson:The best way to accomplish this is to involve the community in decisions that affect “quaintness” and growth.  I am a strong proponent of property rights.
  • Riley: We want people to move here and stay, to become a part of the community, the schools, the churches, city council meetings and to vote on issues that continue to make our City unique. If these are the people we attract then the true character of Fredericksburg always remains, even if your neighbor doesn’t have the same taste in exterior home color.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: I support the city’s Historic Preservation efforts within appropriate zones, would like to see some work done on ordinances to prevent/reduce the building of “McMansions” in our historic neighborhoods, and possibly designate other neighborhood restrictions.  We don’t want our town to become a big Country Club; those can and are being built in the surrounding area, so there are options for big country homes.  Private property rights in a community need to be balanced against the rights of your neighbors.  We need to do what we can to maintain the ability of working families to live here, and for people to retire here, within the strict limitations of city government, and rules imposed by the State.  The city also participates and sponsors events highlighting our interesting history and how our charming community came to be.
  • Poole: The small-town quaintness is in jeopardy of being lost in light of annexation expansion, continual enlargement of the Historical District that selects its members on based on age and not character. Architectural elements that are unique, combined with a request from the property owner should be required within the Historical District. A designation based on age has no merit, and violates, private and personal property rights. Personal property rights need to be preserved at all costs. The City is on a power trip and knows what is best for your property without your input. I will be your voice if elected. Sixth Street in Austin is not my vision for Fredericksburg. “The By Pass” is a back-door way the City is using to take control of main street.
  1. What is your long-term vision for B-n-Bs in the city limits?
  • Kiehne: Continue to enforce current zoning and STR regulations.
  • Pearson: The city council has very little authority over the number or location of B-n-Bs.  However, I agree with the current regulations regarding B-n-Bs in R1 residential neighborhoods.
  • Riley: I homestead and operate a short-term rental on my property.  I provide quality accommodations to those who visit our town and send them to all the local hot-spots.  I am a community figure and offer a one-of-a-kind stay, and am the most reviewed host on AirBnB.  Our City can begin to invest in the properties that are being bought by investors who don’t homestead and/or contribute to our community, beyond tax dollars.  We need to change the culture of our BnB community and find ways to create revenues to pay for city services, preserving the small-town feel, while also being able to leverage that real estate to house our work-force, teachers, police and our community at large.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: B & B lodging has become one the unique and charming aspects of Fredericksburg, but as a private enterprise it has also threatened to consume our town.  While I was last on council we were urged to pass ordinances to set some strict requirements for owners responsibilities to their guests and neighbors; to operate under the similar requirements as hotels and motels.  These ordinances were intended to improve safety and create a fairer regulatory climate, and we hope it cools the runaway B&B business, preserving some housing for our full-time residents to live in.  There are limits to what the city can do to control, while also supporting the industry.
  • Poole: Sunday Houses were a German practice that made Fredericksburg unique. The City has now demonized these cottage industry establishments that remain an important element of our future. (approximately 900 beds) The Third Court of Appeals has struck down the same ordinances we currently have, as violations of the Bill of Rights and unconstitutional. Again, this is a property rights issue, and the City should conform to State and Federal Laws that trump municipal ordinances, enacted in the name of control and enforcement. Current Administration puts us in danger, waiting for a massive lawsuit due to our current illegal ordinances being forced on our citizens.

 

 

  1. Do you believe enforcing the noise ordinance to be an issue in preserving our small-town atmosphere?
  • Kiehne: Yes, city ordinances should be enforced.
  • Pearson: Yes I do.  I will streamline the process for handling noise complaints in residential neighborhoods.
  • Riley:   I like that our town closes down early.  I like that we have music venues that value our live music culture and I like that these establishments respect our community, while also maintaining a pioneer spirit as loud as our community collectively deems appropriate.  Educate our citizens, bring neighbors to the table, communicate our needs and turn up the music.  Drink responsibly, get home safely and embrace the small-town atmosphere that does include great music and great venues for people all over Texas and the world.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: Yes, it is important, and it is a difficult balancing act.  The city needs to continue to work with businesses and neighborhoods to achieve reasonable results for both.
  • Poole: We should enforce sound and behavioral laws that are already on the books. Noise should be controlled outside after certain evening hours, and excessive noise or music should be contained within enclosed venues within the City limits. The City should not try to mimic the atmosphere of Sixth Street in Austin.

 

 

Budgets:

 

  1. What near-term options are available to offset the decrease in sales-tax because of COVIDd? Do you plan to increase revenue and how?
  • Kiehne: 2020 sales tax revenue for budget calendar year beginning August 2019 and ending September 2020 has increased $26,000 over the prior budget year. Fredericksburg’s tax is already at the maximum allowed by the state.
  • Pearson: Fredericksburg’s economy has shown considerable resilience during the last 6 months.  Both May and June saw strong sales taxes and I predict that, by the end of the year, the impact of COVID-19 will be minimal.  I don’t see any need to increase General Fund revenues from sources other than sales tax.
  • Riley: Visit the homepage of our city’s website, FBGTX.org. (I asked that a document link be put there.) The link is for a document entitled “Path to the Future.”  In this document there are detailed ideas and resources that inform the city to follow through with concepts our citizens approve and or want to be further discussed and planned.  Page 23 lists ideas such as a Commercial Real Estate Investment Fund.  We can both regulate different kinds of growth while creating significant revenues for our City, helping guarantee stable property taxes and beyond.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: Recent growth has allowed the city to maintain or lower tax rates.  This current downturn will have an impact and the city will have to review which planned projects to put on hold and what services can be cut back.  Raising rates would be a last resort, especially as businesses are struggling to hang on.  The State has imposed some very difficult limits on all cities, preventing them from raising taxes even when important services are threatened without additional funds, so the city probably shouldn’t consider any additional tax cuts to assist in the short term as we would be prohibited from regaining the needed revenue later.
  • Poole: COVID has had a significant impact on revenue coming into town, and the taxes that are normally generated. A$$$$$ 3-5 million dollar shortfall. We must decrease spending. Department Heads must come up with internal plans, and normal attrition of personnel. Equipment life must be extended, projects may need to be re-thought, and business development must be a priority.
  1. What are the 3 largest budget issues that you foresee in the next 5 years?
  • Kiehne:
    • Intercity street connections.
    • Having adequate city personnel to maintain and expand city services to keep up with population growth.
    • Continue park maintenance and enhancements.
  • Pearson: To be bluntly honest, I don’t have a clue.  I’m willing to bet that nobody else has a clue either!
  • Riley:
    • Workforce Housing/New Revenue Streams
    • Well Water/Waste Management Investment
    • Streets/Transportation Infrastructure Investment

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: The biggest budget issue will be street improvement projects (see #2); we also need to plan a new city hall as we are outgrowing the current one; similarly, we need to work on our police station to expand capacity.
  • Poole:
    • Utilities (water, sewer, streets & electric)
    • External Auditors of all facets of the City operations “Follow the Money”
    • Exercising Fiscal Responsibility (don’t spend more dollars than you bring in) Balanced Budget

 

Operations:

 

  1. In light of the recent stand-down orders during riots and defunding actions for law enforcement in other cities, how would you show support for law enforcement and first responders in Fredericksburg?
  • Kiehne: By ensuring that our first responders have the equipment needed to perform their jobs while maintaining community standards.
  • Pearson: During my 7 years as a member of Fredericksburg’s City Council, both Chief Wetz and Chief Bizzell will agree I always advocated a well-equipped police force, fire service, and ambulance service.  I am the only elected official who regularly attends the volunteer firefighters’ monthly meetings and I’m one of their ardent supporters.  The Police, Fire, and EMS departments are the most important beneficiaries of property taxes and I will continue to support them.
  • Riley: I would provide the highest pay, in the state, for our police and first responders and guarantee a timely retirement and pension.  Currently our officers have to stay in the field longer than our Chief would like, and hiring of new officers is difficult if you can’t find a way for them to live in our community and guarantee a timely retirement and pension for their sacrifice and service.  I will fix this in my first term.  Superior wages for our first responders, fire, city employees and ultimately our teachers, as the city leads by example, we can affect change across the board.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: Law Enforcement & First Responders need the best equipment available, including call centers, so they are there when needed.  Training and allocation of funds is the issue “defunding the police” is referring to, which is a slogan I don’t agree with.  I do think they have some points.  An officer with limited training, a badge and a gun cannot handle effectively any and every situation out there.  We need to invest in social services and carve out police department resources for a unit that would handle mental health issues, family violence, etc. which can have physical hazards so specialized training would need to be done to ensure safety of responders and the subject.  Even a small town like ours could benefit from more of this type of specialized training, and organization.  I think the officers would appreciate knowing who to call for backup and services to get the best results as well.
  • Poole: Defunding our law enforcement is not a viable option. Rather, we should engage the public to embrace our first responders, and show our appreciation for our officers.
  1. Under what conditions should any entity outside the city limits receive the direct benefits that belong rightfully to those within the city limits? Please specifically address the issue of Boot Ranch access to city water.
  • Kiehne: Boot Ranch pays a higher rate for water. I believe they should also be held to the same water restrictions, smart meters, and water reclamation fees that the citizens are subject to.  If future development wants city services the developer can request annexation.
  • Pearson: This question must be answered on a case-by-case basis.  The case for providing Boot Ranch with city water can not be comprehensively answered in such a brief questionnaire.
  • Riley: Our community has benefited from the infrastructure improvements the deal with Boot Ranch afforded.  The northern part of the city experienced improvements with overall water service as a result of the upgrades.  Partnering with Boot Ranch, made us better and has helped make them successful.  Now we should talk about a timeline that asks Boot Ranch to build their own well and water system, making both systems more robust.  The City can then focus on providing the best water in the State to our citizens.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: The city owns and operates a water well at Boot Ranch, and as part of the agreement, they receive some of our treated wastewater for golf course and landscape maintenance (@250,000 gallons, about the same amount is used on city properties), which they do pay the city $15,000 per year for.  It is beneficial to the city and taxpayers because we need to either use our grey water in this manner, or we have to dump it into Baron’s Creek, which is environmentally irresponsible and would also exceed our legal discharge limits and opens the city up for lawsuits from communities downstream.  Also, we have access to a good well to add to city water supplies.  This arrangement has been misrepresented by many; it is actually a win-win for the community.
  • Poole: The original contract for water and waste removal and processing was discarded by our City Manager, and replaced with an agreement that removed limits on water that puts us at risk. Boot Ranch should be fiscally responsible for the entire cost of maintenance in supplying water, effluent water and sewage. They should be held accountable to the same enforcement measures as our citizens. Citizens should not have fines or restrictions while we sell an unlimited supply to an outside entity.

 

 

  1. What would you do to improve our current waste, landfill, and recycling options?
  • Kiehne: See question #5
  • Pearson:   The city provides an excellent garbage collection service at a cost way less than if you live outside the city limits.  I’ll repeat part of my answer to question 5.  Recycling can only be justified if recycled materials are not being transported to somebody else’s landfill.
  • Riley: I am the Vice President of a Not-for-Profit called:  Fredericksburg Shines.  Our organization in 2014, presented multiple avenues to help eliminate the use of the landfill, providing curbside recycling and helping establish these concepts as a priority of our city and citizens.  Despite what you are told by our current officials, these solutions are still available and in some cases have improved.  In my first term, I would work to have our community vote on these immediate improvements, both to our health and quality of life, but also our financial bottom line.

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  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: Please refer to #5
  • Poole: The current recycling center should be restored to its original function. The cost of doing so would be far less than the acquisition of an additional site, and would protect the integrity of property values of those citizens who would be negatively impacted by such an additional site. The City and County should work together, in concert with the many wineries, for the purpose of reuse of the many thousands of bottles that they provide. Waste water issues would be reduced without the necessity of processing that element for Boot Ranch. They should pay for any additional facilities or land required to serve their community’s needs.

 

 

Other:

 

  1. This is the opportunity for you to both define an issue important to you that has not been covered so far to expand on your opinion and plan to deal with it.
  • Kiehne: None
  • Pearson: None
  • Riley: The average age in America is 38 years old. Not one of our city leadership is under the age of 55.  Until very recently, the youngest was 65 years of age.  I am one vote, that will bring a lot of ideas to the table, but we know the history of voting of our current Council and Mayor.  Having true representation of our community only helps our community.  Do you want our City to rebound from the Pandemic and come back stronger than ever? For the majority of home buyers, visitors, Americans, that come to Fredericksburg, I am the Mayor that reflects them, and will be the best guarantee to a ‘Path to the Future’ we are proud of.
  • These are ideas and concepts I present as jumping off points for discussion to find the best solutions for our community as a whole. I will always work as hard as I can to accomplish our community’s needs as a whole and hope that those needs also include mine as much as possible.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Musselman: "Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 
  • Luckenbach: As our community has become more diverse, and more people move here from other cities, states, and even other countries, our city finds itself on the defensive more and more.  Our city employees and government officials live here, work here, and pay taxes here like everyone else.  They are our friends and neighbors, which is the beauty of this still being a small town.  Our city staff is always looking for options and the best deals for solving problems and enhancing benefits for our community and taxpayers.  I feel it is important to respect their professionalism, remember that they have local regulations to follow, as well as State regulations imposed on the cities that they may be limited by.  We need to trust them to do their jobs, and work with them from that perspective.
  • Poole: Integrity is the very cornerstone that all government is built upon. Without the principals of integrity practiced by our City Council, and the City officials with whom they work, our City government cannot function properly in representing the needs of our citizens. Tom Musselman and Jerry Luchenbach have over ten years of experience in participating within our City government, and they are responsible, in part, for the lack of transparency, and the questionable financial decisions that are a matter of public record.  They share in the accountability of our runaway spending and higher taxes. Integrity and a hard work ethic have been the key ingredients that have provided me the opportunity to manage tens of millions of dollars in business. They are personal qualities, based upon honesty, high moral standards, and results, which investors demand.  I am ready to add the elements of integrity and hard work to the future planning and management at City Hall.

RESPONSE BY CANDIDATE 

 

Charlie Kiehne – Candidate for Mayor

 

Planning and Growth:

  1. What is your position on city growth, expansion of the Fredericksburg City Limits, and annexation of property?
  • Growth is inevitable. For a town to survive growth is needed but we must consider the citizens of the city and county. Annexation should taken very seriously and ensure that it is truly necessary when it occurs.

 

  1. Are you in favor of a truck relief route (including the By-Pass option)? Why or Why Not?
  • I am not in favor of a truck relief route or the bypass. I believe the bypass option is too expensive and would require the use of eminent domain powers. We have existing streets and city street expansion plans that could be utilized to alleviate Main Street traffic if needed.

 

  1. If you are in favor of providing a new convention venue for Fredericksburg, how should it be funded?

- If not, what other options would you pursue for meeting needs for tourism in this area?

  • The city is there to participate with the planning and development of a venue but it should be funded privately. The city has the ability to adjust Hotel Occupancy Tax to make a venue more financially attractive to private investors should it be needed.

 

  1. What are your plans to handle future city water needs, both quantity and quality?
  • Fredericksburg has installed three new water storage tanks and is in the process of placing a new water line. We will continue to use water restrictions to promote conservation as required. We need to make sure that Fredericksburg’s water is being used to the benefit of Fredericksburg’s City citizens.

 

  1. What long term considerations do you believe are important for our sanitary landfill and recycling?
  • Current projections show another 18 to 20 years of life from our current landfill. Fredericksburg will need to start exploring options now to either purchase or contracting with private providers. Recycling is market driven, as it changes, we will adjust what our center accepts.

 

  1. What should be the city’s responsibility to support our elderly, disabled and low income citizens with transportation, housing, assisted living, medical or other services?
  • Fredericksburg’s emergency services do a wonderful job of keeping our citizens safe. I don’t feel the city has the tax base to support subsidized housing. I am not clear on what the full question is truly asking.

 

  1. As tourism and traffic increases, how would you provide better traffic flow and pedestrian safety?
  • Enforcement of traffic and jaywalking laws. Remarking Main Street and continue sidewalk construction.

 

 

Small Town Uniqueness:

  1. How do you envision maintaining the small-town quaintness of Fredericksburg while managing its growth and preserving private and personal property rights?
  • I am not able to accurately and completely answer the question within the word limit. I am in favor of our historic district regulations.

 

  1. What is your long-term vision for B-n-Bs in the city limits?
  • Continue to enforce current zoning and STR regulations.

 

  1. Do you believe enforcing the noise ordinance to be an issue in preserving our small-town atmosphere?
  • Yes, city ordinances should be enforced.

 

Budgets:

  1. What near-term options are available to offset the decrease in sales-tax because of COVIDd? Do you plan to increase revenue and how?
  • 2020 sales tax revenue for budget calendar year beginning August 2019 and ending September 2020 has increased $26,000 over the prior budget year. Fredericksburg’s tax is already at the maximum allowed by the state.

 

  1. What are the 3 largest budget issues that you foresee in the next 5 years?
  • Intercity street connections.
  • Having adequate city personnel to maintain and expand city services to keep up with population growth.
  • Continue park maintenance and enhancements.

 

Operations:

  1. In light of the recent stand-down orders during riots and defunding actions for law enforcement in other cities, how would you show support for law enforcement and first responders in Fredericksburg?
  • By ensuring that our first responders have the equipment needed to perform their jobs while maintaining community standards.

 

  1. Under what conditions should any entity outside the city limits receive the direct benefits that belong rightfully to those within the city limits? Please specifically address the issue of Boot Ranch access to city water.
  • Boot Ranch pays a higher rate for water. I believe they should also be held to the same water restrictions, smart meters, and water reclamation fees that the citizens are subject to. If future development wants city services the developer can request annexation.

 

  1. What would you do to improve our current waste, landfill, and recycling options?
  • See question #5

Other:

  1. This is the opportunity for you to both define an issue important to you that has not been covered so far to expand on your opinion and plan to deal with it.

 

Graham Pearson – Candidate for Mayor

Planning and Growth:

  1. What is your position on city growth, expansion of the Fredericksburg City Limits, and annexation of property?
  • I am NOT in favor of involuntary annexation. The only condition for annexation that I favor is when an individual, commercial development or neighborhood requests to be annexed into the city limits.

 

  1. Are you in favor of a truck relief route (including the By-Pass option)? Why or Why Not?
  • The proposed TXDoT relief route is a non-starter. There is no way the tax-payers of Gillespie County can afford it.  I am open-minded about the proposal to extend Tivydale and Kerr Road north to Highway 290 and possibly Highway 87.  This is an option that needs to be explored with citizen groups and neighborhoods before any decision to move forward is made.

 

  1. If you are in favor of providing a new convention venue for Fredericksburg, how should it be funded?

- If not, what other options would you pursue for meeting needs for tourism in this area?

  • I am NOT in favor of the City of Fredericksburg owning, operating, or maintaining any type of convention venue. As your Mayor, I am willing to work with any individual or company that proposes to build a privately owned and operated facility, just as City Hall already does with any business that considers locating here.

 

  1. What are your plans to handle future city water needs, both quantity and quality?
  • There is already a capital improvement project in place to construct a water pipeline and storage tank facility that parallels the existing pipeline from the well field into the city. This will provide redundancy, accommodate equipment maintenance and repair.
  • Fredericksburg benefits from excellent quality aquifer water so there is no need for additional processing to improve water quality. The City’s water quality consistently exceeds the requirements of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
  1. What long term considerations do you believe are important for our sanitary landfill and recycling?
  • The city’s landfill will run out of capacity within the next 25 to 30 years. At that time, government regulations will probably limit our city’s authority to dispose of waste unless we install an environmentally friendly incinerator.  Recycling can only be justified if recycled materials are not being transported to somebody else’s landfill.

 

  1. What should be the city’s responsibility to support our elderly, disabled and low-income citizens with transportation, housing, assisted living, medical or other services?
  • Our city is blessed with many philanthropic and charitable organizations that historically have done exemplary work assisting these citizen groups. As your mayor, I pledge to continue working with all such organizations that strive to address these important quality of life issues.  However, I don’t believe it’s a taxpayer’s responsibility to finance or subsidize these services as they will impact the City’s tax rate.

 

  1. As tourism and traffic increases, how would you provide better traffic flow and pedestrian safety?
  • In February of this year, Kimley-Horn presented the City with a traffic impact study that proposes several low-cost roadway changes in town that improve both traffic flow and pedestrian safety. The City is currently negotiating with TXDoT to implement these changes.
  • The City is considering two road construction projects besides the Tivydale/Kerr Road extension. The big problem is their expense and impact on property taxes.  All kinds of improvements to traffic flow can be proposed but we always need to consider benefits versus cost.

Small Town Uniqueness:

  1. How do you envision maintaining the small-town quaintness of Fredericksburg while managing its growth and preserving private and personal property rights?
  • The best way to accomplish this is to involve the community in decisions that affect “quaintness” and growth. I am a strong proponent of property rights.

 

  1. What is your long-term vision for B-n-Bs in the city limits?
  • The city council has very little authority over the number or location of B-n-Bs. However, I agree with the current regulations regarding B-n-Bs in R1 residential neighborhoods.

 

  1. Do you believe enforcing the noise ordinance to be an issue in preserving our small-town atmosphere?
  • Yes I do. I will streamline the process for handling noise complaints in residential neighborhoods.

 

Budgets:

  1. What near-term options are available to offset the decrease in sales-tax because of COVID? Do you plan to increase revenue and how?
  • Fredericksburg’s economy has shown considerable resilience during the last 6 months. Both May and June saw strong sales taxes and I predict that, by the end of the year, the impact of COVID-19 will be minimal.  I don’t see any need to increase General Fund revenues from sources other than sales tax.

 

  1. What are the 3 largest budget issues that you foresee in the next 5 years?
  • To be bluntly honest, I don’t have a clue. I’m willing to bet that nobody else has a clue either!

Operations:

  1. In light of the recent stand-down orders during riots and defunding actions for law enforcement in other cities, how would you show support for law enforcement and first responders in Fredericksburg?
  • During my 7 years as a member of Fredericksburg’s City Council, both Chief Wetz and Chief Bizzell will agree I always advocated a well-equipped police force, fire service, and ambulance service. I am the only elected official who regularly attends the volunteer firefighters’ monthly meetings and I’m one of their ardent supporters.  The Police, Fire, and EMS departments are the most important beneficiaries of property taxes and I will continue to support them.

 

  1. Under what conditions should any entity outside the city limits receive the direct benefits that belong rightfully to those within the city limits?  Please specifically address the issue of Boot Ranch access to city water.
  • This question must be answered on a case-by-case basis. The case for providing Boot Ranch with city water can not be comprehensively answered in such a brief questionnaire.

 

  1. What would you do to improve our current waste, landfill, and recycling options?
  • The city provides an excellent garbage collection service at a cost way less than if you live outside the city limits.  I’ll repeat part of my answer to question 5.  Recycling can only be justified if recycled materials are not being transported to somebody else’s landfill.

Other:

  1. This is the opportunity for you to both define an issue important to you that has not been covered so far to expand on your opinion and plan to deal with it.

 

Timothy E. Riley – Candidate for Mayor

Planning and Growth:

  1. What is your position on city growth, expansion of the Fredericksburg City Limits, and annexation of property?
  • As long as we are aggressively finding a way to house our Teachers, Police Officers, Nurses, Hospitality workers and all of those that our City, County and community should be prioritizing, then we are growing in a way I believe helps make us leaders in our Region, all the way to the Capital.
  • Once the most recent annexations are finalized, then there will be no more annexation according to the law. Our growth comes from sustainable choices within our existing city limits.  Now is the time for our citizens to take true ownership of our city.
  1. Are you in favor of a truck relief route (including the By-Pass option)? Why or Why Not?
  • Our City has not employed any alternative resources and options to help hedge unwanted traffic on Main. (Mainly trucks that have explosive chemicals or pose an imminent threat to our community’s safety.)   We can work with our law enforcement and also use resources educating and informing traffic and large trucks of alternate routes.  (FOR EXAMPLE, DIGITAL APPLICATIONS ARE ALREADY PRESENT IN EVERY TRUCK). The current By-Pass plan will not create less overall traffic on main street and doesn’t provide prudent solutions.
  • Also, no solution has solved State Highway 16 intersections, another example of a solution not fully solved. We need to maintain as much control over our roadways and community access, in order to preserve the Hill Country and the heritage that truly makes this City special.  Meaning, we can provide a better solution than those that are currently offered.  Digital platforms, education, community outreach, advanced road signs, lane markings and heightened traffic enforcement will all go a long way for the next few years, until a worthwhile solution presents itself.  We all know this isn’t happening anytime soon, so what are we doing now, today and not waiting for tomorrow.

 

  1. If you are in favor of providing a new convention venue for Fredericksburg, how should it be funded?

- If not, what other options would you pursue for meeting needs for tourism in this area?

  • ‘Convention venue’ is a very broad term that I imagine many would define differently. The most recent proposed venue, proved not to be a viable investment.  We have to grow at a rate we can support.  The manner in which the system is set up now, we are asking for an estimated 200 people to commute to Fredericksburg to run and maintain the venue, without the infrastructure to support this traffic and housing influx.
  1. What are your plans to handle future city water needs, both quantity and quality?
  • We should have the cleanest water. At least we should try.  We all get a letter every year that says, our water is clean according to state standards.  However, the letter still suggests: “The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate the water poses a health risk.”  Does that make you feel confident in our current standards?  In many areas we excel in our averages.  I was able to tour the wastewater facilities and a majority of our wells and pumps and witnessed a strong infrastructure, but we are still told that it would be wise to filter our water.  And filtration is expensive.  So, those citizens who can’t afford to ‘play it safe’ and filter their water, I guess that’s their problem.
  • Water and waste management is priority one. We have used the bond money to continue to build a robust well and pump system, continually improving pipes and leaks.  Now we need to focus on how we pollute our own well water and alternatively, how we can guarantee the cleanest and healthiest water in the state to our community.

 

  1. What long term considerations do you believe are important for our sanitary landfill and recycling?
  • No more landfill. This is 2020.  No matter what our city officials tell you about “shipping glass to Ohio” or

“It all goes in another dump anyway,” these are phrases that mislead from real facts.  If our city prioritized and modeled eliminating our landfill use, implemented curbside recycling, partnered with our grocers, local businesses and county to properly dispose and recycle packaging at the source, then we could be seen as leaders and not only improve our own financial bottom line drastically, but also have a lasting effect on those that both visit and those that spend their entire lives here in Fredericksburg, TX.

 

  1. What should be the city’s responsibility to support our elderly, disabled and low-income citizens with transportation, housing, assisted living, medical or other services?
  • Our City needs to begin investing in itself, by creating alternative revenue streams, utilizing real estate, local businesses, the BnB industry, agriculture and more to create the funds necessary to support a city that can provide simple and efficient transportation for our elderly and those that need aid in their day to day life. Which is everyone.

 

  1. As tourism and traffic increases, how would you provide better traffic flow and pedestrian safety?
  • More signs, more paint on the roads, more walkways, more bikeways, more education and community outreach promoting a city that models the behaviors desired including volunteer networks to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow. We need to be willing to be the City we see ourselves being, now, not tomorrow.

Small Town Uniqueness:

  1. How do you envision maintaining the small-town quaintness of Fredericksburg while managing its growth and preserving private and personal property rights?
  • We want people to move here and stay, to become a part of the community, the schools, the churches, city council meetings and to vote on issues that continue to make our City unique. If these are the people we attract then the true character of Fredericksburg always remains, even if your neighbor doesn’t have the same taste in exterior home color.

 

  1. What is your long-term vision for B-n-Bs in the city limits?
  • I homestead and operate a short-term rental on my property. I provide quality accommodations to those who visit our town and send them to all the local hot-spots.  I am a community figure and offer a one-of-a-kind stay, and am the most reviewed host on AirBnB.  Our City can begin to invest in the properties that are being bought by investors who don’t homestead and/or contribute to our community, beyond tax dollars.  We need to change the culture of our BnB community and find ways to create revenues to pay for city services, preserving the small-town feel, while also being able to leverage that real estate to house our work-force, teachers, police and our community at large.

 

  1. Do you believe enforcing the noise ordinance to be an issue in preserving our small-town atmosphere?
  • I like that our town closes down early.  I like that we have music venues that value our live music culture and I like that these establishments respect our community, while also maintaining a pioneer spirit as loud as our community collectively deems appropriate.  Educate our citizens, bring neighbors to the table, communicate our needs and turn up the music.  Drink responsibly, get home safely and embrace the small-town atmosphere that does include great music and great venues for people all over Texas and the world.

Budgets:

  1. What near-term options are available to offset the decrease in sales-tax because of COVID? Do you plan to increase revenue and how?
  • Visit the homepage of our city’s website, FBGTX.org. (I asked that a document link be put there.) The link is for a document entitled “Path to the Future.” In this document there are detailed ideas and resources that inform the city to follow through with concepts our citizens approve and or want to be further discussed and planned.  Page 23 lists ideas such as a Commercial Real Estate Investment Fund.  We can both regulate different kinds of growth while creating significant revenues for our City, helping guarantee stable property taxes and beyond.
  1. What are the 3 largest budget issues that you foresee in the next 5 years?
  • Workforce Housing/New Revenue Streams
  • Well Water/Waste Management Investment
  • Streets/Transportation Infrastructure Investment

Operations:

  1. In light of the recent stand-down orders during riots and defunding actions for law enforcement in other cities, how would you show support for law enforcement and first responders in Fredericksburg?
  • I would provide the highest pay, in the state, for our police and first responders and guarantee a timely retirement and pension. Currently our officers have to stay in the field longer than our Chief would like, and hiring of new officers is difficult if you can’t find a way for them to live in our community and guarantee a timely retirement and pension for their sacrifice and service.  I will fix this in my first term.  Superior wages for our first responders, fire, city employees and ultimately our teachers, as the city leads by example, we can affect change across the board.

 

  1. Under what conditions should any entity outside the city limits receive the direct benefits that belong rightfully to those within the city limits? Please specifically address the issue of Boot Ranch access to city water.
  • Our community has benefited from the infrastructure improvements the deal with Boot Ranch afforded. The northern part of the city experienced improvements with overall water service as a result of the upgrades.  Partnering with Boot Ranch, made us better and has helped make them successful.  Now we should talk about a timeline that asks Boot Ranch to build their own well and water system, making both systems more robust.  The City can then focus on providing the best water in the State to our citizens.

 

  1. What would you do to improve our current waste, landfill, and recycling options?
  • I am the Vice President of a Not-for-Profit called: Fredericksburg Shines.  Our organization in 2014, presented multiple avenues to help eliminate the use of the landfill, providing curbside recycling and helping establish these concepts as a priority of our city and citizens.  Despite what you are told by our current officials, these solutions are still available and in some cases have improved.  In my first term, I would work to have our community vote on these immediate improvements, both to our health and quality of life, but also our financial bottom line.

Other:

  1. This is the opportunity for you to both define an issue important to you that has not been covered so far to expand on your opinion and plan to deal with it.
  • The average age in America is 38 years old. Not one of our city leadership is under the age of 55.  Until very recently, the youngest was 65 years of age.  I am one vote, that will bring a lot of ideas to the table, but we know the history of voting of our current Council and Mayor.  Having true representation of our community only helps our community.  Do you want our City to rebound from the Pandemic and come back stronger than ever? For the majority of home buyers, visitors, Americans, that come to Fredericksburg, I am the Mayor that reflects them, and will be the best guarantee to a ‘Path to the Future’ we are proud of.
  • These are ideas and concepts I present as jumping off points for discussion to find the best solutions for our community as a whole. I will always work as hard as I can to accomplish our community’s needs as a whole and hope that those needs also include mine as much as possible.

 

Tom Musselman – Candidate for City Council

"Tom Musselman responded with an open invitation for interested persons to call him, leaving a message if necessary, at (830) 997-5398." 

 

Jerry Luckenbach – Candidate for City Council

Planning and Growth:

  1. What is your position on city growth, expansion of the Fredericksburg City Limits, and annexation of property?
  • When feasible, I am in favor of annexation. It is in the community’s best interest for the city to control entrance corridors, plan and provide water, sewer, parks and recreation, etc.  The city provides limited services within the ETJ, which is a small zone just outside the city limits, but those receiving those services are not paying taxes to maintain them or plan for future expansion; these services include police and EMS.  As the community grows, the city must respond to the need, and plan for expected needs, allowing time to create a budget to meet those needs.  However, the State of Texas has created legislation that severely curtails a community’s ability to do future planning via annexation, which means the current city residents have to continue to pay for the ETJ services and the additional years of expense required to annex developments that would benefit from being under city management.

 

  1. Are you in favor of a truck relief route (including the By-Pass option)? Why or Why Not?
  • I am in favor of developing relief routes to ease congestion downtown, make our Main Street more pedestrian friendly and reduce traffic accidents, as well as provide convenient options for our residents to move about their community. The TxDot Proposal, however, I do not support.  It is too large and destructive of our scenic area.  The current 290 corridor is four lanes wide and would not be changed, yet the loop they are proposing would be four lanes, plus wide median, plus access roads, which is more than twice the width of the highway it would be intended to connect to.  It is overkill.  The city does have plans for inner-city loops to help residents get around town more easily, allow some truck traffic to by-pass Main Street, and will be working on these projects as budgets allow.  I will encourage the city to continue negotiating with TxDot to develop a route they will approve and provide at least some funding for.

 

  1. If you are in favor of providing a new convention venue for Fredericksburg, how should it be funded?

- If not, what other options would you pursue for meeting needs for tourism in this area?

  • The city would benefit from a convention center to draw business to town during the week, not just weekends. Also, the city is looking for ways to develop and support the west end of Main Street.  While I was serving on council previously, we put out a request for proposals for a convention center, which would require sufficient private financing, and the city would offer some incentives to bring their project to Fredericksburg.  Incentives include some rate reductions in water, sewer, maybe taxes, negotiated to last for a period of time.  This is calculated based on what the project is expected to return to the city in increased business.  The project would also be required to be built within city limits and serve the west end of town.

 

  1. What are your plans to handle future city water needs, both quantity and quality?
  • The city has invested in the infrastructure to maintain a Superior Water rating, and set up systems to save millions of gallons of water, while protecting our waterways. The city owns several wells, including one at Boot Ranch.  There are plans in the works for another 1000 gal. well, which will give the city the capacity to handle current growth for another 50 years.

 

  1. What long term considerations do you believe are important for our sanitary landfill and recycling?
  • I would like to see the city work with other smaller cities to develop a consistent recycling stream for glass, paper, and plastics. I don’t feel that recycling must pay for itself 100% since it is part of our waste management system supported by our utility bill payments.  It should be able to recover a large amount of the cost however and contribute to improvements in waste management infrastructure.

 

  1. What should be the city’s responsibility to support our elderly, disabled and low-income citizens with transportation, housing, assisted living, medical or other services?
  • Our community has set up a vibrant system of non-profits to provide services for the elderly and the needy: Golden Hub, Meals on Wheels, Good Samaritan Health Center, Community Needs Council, Food Bank, and others.  The city does not have the funding, nor is it in the City Charter to provide these services, but the city will help wherever possible.  The city has provided incentives for low income housing development, some specifically for the elderly.  There is a process for organizations to submit requests for funding or in-kind assistance, and of course the city staff participates and sponsors fund raisers.

 

  1. As tourism and traffic increases, how would you provide better traffic flow and pedestrian safety?
  • Please refer to answer #2 as well as #1.

 

Small Town Uniqueness

  1. How do you envision maintaining the small-town quaintness of Fredericksburg while managing its growth and preserving private and personal property rights?
  • I support the city’s Historic Preservation efforts within appropriate zones, would like to see some work done on ordinances to prevent/reduce the building of “McMansions” in our historic neighborhoods, and possibly designate other neighborhood restrictions. We don’t want our town to become a big Country Club; those can and are being built in the surrounding area, so there are options for big country homes.  Private property rights in a community need to be balanced against the rights of your neighbors.  We need to do what we can to maintain the ability of working families to live here, and for people to retire here, within the strict limitations of city government, and rules imposed by the State.  The city also participates and sponsors events highlighting our interesting history and how our charming community came to be.

 

  1. What is your long-term vision for B-n-Bs in the city limits?
  • B & B lodging has become one the unique and charming aspects of Fredericksburg, but as a private enterprise it has also threatened to consume our town. While I was last on council we were urged to pass ordinances to set some strict requirements for owners responsibilities to their guests and neighbors; to operate under the similar requirements as hotels and motels.  These ordinances were intended to improve safety and create a fairer regulatory climate, and we hope it cools the runaway B&B business, preserving some housing for our full-time residents to live in.  There are limits to what the city can do to control, while also supporting the industry.

 

  1. Do you believe enforcing the noise ordinance to be an issue in preserving our small-town atmosphere?
  • Yes, it is important, and it is a difficult balancing act. The city needs to continue to work with businesses and neighborhoods to achieve reasonable results for both.

Budgets

  1. What near-term options are available to offset the decrease in sales-tax because of COVID? Do you plan to increase revenue and how?
  • Recent growth has allowed the city to maintain or lower tax rates. This current downturn will have an impact and the city will have to review which planned projects to put on hold and what services can be cut back.  Raising rates would be a last resort, especially as businesses are struggling to hang on.  The State has imposed some very difficult limits on all cities, preventing them from raising taxes even when important services are threatened without additional funds, so the city probably shouldn’t consider any additional tax cuts to assist in the short term as we would be prohibited from regaining the needed revenue later.

 

  1. What are the 3 largest budget issues that you foresee in the next 5 years?
  • The biggest budget issue will be street improvement projects (see #2); we also need to plan a new city hall as we are outgrowing the current one; similarly, we need to work on our police station to expand capacity.

Operations

  1. In light of the recent stand-down orders during riots and defunding actions for law enforcement in other cities, how would you show support for law enforcement and first responders in Fredericksburg?
  • Law Enforcement & First Responders need the best equipment available, including call centers, so they are there when needed. Training and allocation of funds is the issue “defunding the police” is referring to, which is a slogan I don’t agree with.  I do think they have some points.  An officer with limited training, a badge and a gun cannot handle effectively any and every situation out there.  We need to invest in social services and carve out police department resources for a unit that would handle mental health issues, family violence, etc. which can have physical hazards so specialized training would need to be done to ensure safety of responders and the subject.  Even a small town like ours could benefit from more of this type of specialized training, and organization.  I think the officers would appreciate knowing who to call for backup and services to get the best results as well.

 

  1. Under what conditions should any entity outside the city limits receive the direct benefits that belong rightfully to those within the city limits? Please specifically address the issue of Boot Ranch access to city water.
  • The city owns and operates a water well at Boot Ranch, and as part of the agreement, they receive some of our treated wastewater for golf course and landscape maintenance (@250,000 gallons, about the same amount is used on city properties), which they do pay the city $15,000 per year for. It is beneficial to the city and taxpayers because we need to either use our grey water in this manner, or we have to dump it into Baron’s Creek, which is environmentally irresponsible and would also exceed our legal discharge limits and opens the city up for lawsuits from communities downstream.  Also, we have access to a good well to add to city water supplies.  This arrangement has been misrepresented by many; it is actually a win-win for the community.

 

  1. What would you do to improve our current waste, landfill, and recycling options?
  • Please refer to #5

Other

  1. This is the opportunity for you to both define an issue important to you that has not been covered so far to expand on your opinion and plan to deal with it.
  • As our community has become more diverse, and more people move here from other cities, states, and even other countries, our city finds itself on the defensive more and more. Our city employees and government officials live here, work here, and pay taxes here like everyone else.  They are our friends and neighbors, which is the beauty of this still being a small town.  Our city staff is always looking for options and the best deals for solving problems and enhancing benefits for our community and taxpayers.  I feel it is important to respect their professionalism, remember that they have local regulations to follow, as well as State regulations imposed on the cities that they may be limited by.  We need to trust them to do their jobs, and work with them from that perspective.

 

 

Mickey Poole – Candidate for City Council

Planning and Growth:

  1. What is your position on city growth, expansion of the Fredericksburg City Limits, and annexation of property?
  • What is your position on city growth, expansion of the Fredericksburg City Limits, and annexation of property? I think the City should maintain what they have, before taking on additional property that will require more infrastructure and services. Tax revenues to maintain water, streets and other utilities have doubled, yet our infrastructure is falling apart. Our taxes should be used more efficiently, and we should adhere to the State Law that has repealed involuntary annexation. Our City officials have violated a cease and desist order in an effort to circumvent the new state law, and have involved our City in an expensive lawsuit.

 

  1. Are you in favor of a truck relief route (including the By-Pass option)? Why or Why Not?
  • I am not in favor of the current “truck relief route” as it is a misnomer and does not require trucks to use it. At a cost to taxpayers of over $$$$$$$$ Fifty million dollars. The Cronies of Kent Myers put out a study that was rigged from the start. No By Pass was not an alternative Friendship Lane is a better and more efficient use of our taxes, at a lower cost 1/10 $ for completion versus a BY Pass and it will not destroy our countryside. Even though Tom Musselman has voiced opposition against using Friendship Lane, because he resides on it, it is the logical solution. Jerry has been talking about a bypass since the 90’s.

 

  1. If you are in favor of providing a new convention venue for Fredericksburg, how should it be funded?

- If not, what other options would you pursue for meeting needs for tourism in this area?

  • The ideal convention venue would be a freestanding structure that supports all the existing hotels and B&B’s, and businesses. It would be large enough to have the capability of attracting midweek business. A plan should offer a good parking solution, and would keep event and convention traffic off Main Street. Funding could be used from the Hotel Occupancy Tax from the City which is currently misspent on projects that do not provide the “heads in beds” a requirement dictated by State Law. The City has spent hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars in an effort to “Good Ole Boy” the location & operator.

 

  1. What are your plans to handle future city water needs, both quantity and quality?
  • We have good wells, but we cannot squander our resources. I don’t want to fine or restrict water usage by our citizens as long as we sell water to Boot Ranch. Citizens don’t vote on Revenue Bonds, which were passed by City Council in 2019, in the amount of $18million. A significant part of the bond will be used to service Boot Ranch. Boot Ranch should pay for all maintenance needed to provide services to their community.

 

  1. What long term considerations do you believe are important for our sanitary landfill and recycling?
  • I think recycling is a smart activity, and it reduces the load on our landfill. We should reevaluate the gutting that took place with our current recycling center. The cost of an additional landfill will be very expensive. If such a site was required, its location next to current property owners would not be well received.

 

  1. What should be the city’s responsibility to support our elderly, disabled and low-income citizens with transportation, housing, assisted living, medical or other services?
  • Living costs for all sectors of our community have sky rocketed and all have suffered from financial strangulation by regulation. Hill Country Memorial provides free medical services to those in need. Lip service has been the solution to affordable housing and will never be a reality under the current administration. Assisted living and other services can only be attracted with a City that operates on a fair and level playing field. Business investors and builders smell a snake from a mile away and have chosen to build outside city limits.

 

  1. As tourism and traffic increases, how would you provide better traffic flow and pedestrian safety?
  • A more sophisticated synchronized traffic light system may improve traffic flow. Building a Bypass Freeway with high speed limits and limited access is not the answer. In fact, speed limits should be reduced to provide a safer environment for pedestrians and traffic alike. This would also create an incentive for trucks to re-route.

Small Town Uniqueness:

  1. How do you envision maintaining the small-town quaintness of Fredericksburg while managing its growth and preserving private and personal property rights?
  • The small-town quaintness is in jeopardy of being lost in light of annexation expansion, continual enlargement of the Historical District that selects its members on based on age and not character. Architectural elements that are unique, combined with a request from the property owner should be required within the Historical District. A designation based on age has no merit, and violates, private and personal property rights. Personal property rights need to be preserved at all costs. The City is on a power trip and knows what is best for your property without your input. I will be your voice if elected. Sixth Street in Austin is not my vision for Fredericksburg. “The By Pass” is a back-door way the City is using to take control of main street.

 

  1. What is your long-term vision for B-n-Bs in the city limits?
  • Sunday Houses were a German practice that made Fredericksburg unique. The City has now demonized these cottage industry establishments that remain an important element of our future. (approximately 900 beds) The Third Court of Appeals has struck down the same ordinances we currently have, as violations of the Bill of Rights and unconstitutional. Again, this is a property rights issue, and the City should conform to State and Federal Laws that trump municipal ordinances, enacted in the name of control and enforcement. Current Administration puts us in danger, waiting for a massive lawsuit due to our current illegal ordinances being forced on our citizens.

 

  1. Do you believe enforcing the noise ordinance to be an issue in preserving our small-town atmosphere?
  • We should enforce sound and behavioral laws that are already on the books. Noise should be controlled outside after certain evening hours, and excessive noise or music should be contained within enclosed venues within the City limits. The City should not try to mimic the atmosphere of Sixth Street in Austin.

 

Budgets:

  1. What near-term options are available to offset the decrease in sales-tax because of COVID? Do you plan to

increase revenue and how?

  • COVID has had a significant impact on revenue coming into town, and the taxes that are normally generated. A$$$$$ 3-5 million dollar shortfall. We must decrease spending. Department Heads must come up with internal plans, and normal attrition of personnel. Equipment life must be extended, projects may need to be re-thought, and business development must be a priority.

 

  1. What are the 3 largest budget issues that you foresee in the next 5 years?
  • Utilities (water, sewer, streets & electric)
  • External Auditors of all facets of the City operations “Follow the Money”
  • Exercising Fiscal Responsibility (don’t spend more dollars than you bring in) Balanced Budget

 

Operations:

  1. In light of the recent stand-down orders during riots and defunding actions for law enforcement in other cities, how would you show support for law enforcement and first responders in Fredericksburg?
  • Defunding our law enforcement is not a viable option. Rather, we should engage the public to embrace our first responders, and show our appreciation for our officers.

 

  1. Under what conditions should any entity outside the city limits receive the direct benefits that belong rightfully to those within the city limits? Please specifically address the issue of Boot Ranch access to city water.
  • The original contract for water and waste removal and processing was discarded by our City Manager, and replaced with an agreement that removed limits on water that puts us at risk. Boot Ranch should be fiscally responsible for the entire cost of maintenance in supplying water, effluent water and sewage. They should be held accountable to the same enforcement measures as our citizens. Citizens should not have fines or restrictions while we sell an unlimited supply to an outside entity.

 

  1. What would you do to improve our current waste, landfill, and recycling options?
  • The current recycling center should be restored to its original function. The cost of doing so would be far less than the acquisition of an additional site, and would protect the integrity of property values of those citizens who would be negatively impacted by such an additional site. The City and County should work together, in concert with the many wineries, for the purpose of reuse of the many thousands of bottles that they provide. Waste water issues would be reduced without the necessity of processing that element for Boot Ranch. They should pay for any additional facilities or land required to serve their community’s needs.

Other:

  1. This is the opportunity for you to both define an issue important to you that has not been covered so far to expand on your opinion and plan to deal with it.
  • Integrity is the very cornerstone that all government is built upon. Without the principals of integrity practiced by our City Council, and the City officials with whom they work, our City government cannot function properly in representing the needs of our citizens. Tom Musselman and Jerry Luchenbach have over ten years of experience in participating within our City government, and they are responsible, in part, for the lack of transparency, and the questionable financial decisions that are a matter of public record.  They share in the accountability of our runaway spending and higher taxes. Integrity and a hard work ethic have been the key ingredients that have provided me the opportunity to manage tens of millions of dollars in business. They are personal qualities, based upon honesty, high moral standards, and results, which investors demand.  I am ready to add the elements of integrity and hard work to the future planning and management at City Hall.

YARD SIGNS

trump
Chip Yard Sign
Back the Blue
Lanni Popp

Available at: 

  • Gillespie Republican Headquarters, 1202 W. Austin, Suite 100, Fredericksburg, TX - Tues 10-2, Thurs 4-6, Sat 10-4
  • Kerr County Republican HQ, 1226 Bandera Hwy, Mon. – Sat. 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Back the Blue yard signs. Free. Will deliver in FBG area. Call Matt 830-992-9010 after 4:30 pm

GET OUT THE VOTE

We have two NEW weekly phone banks in the Hill Country. Bandera GOP Headquarters (1207 Pecan St.) every Tuesday (starting on the 22nd) from 4-7 pm and every Thursday at the Gillespie GOP Headquarters from 2-4 pm.

The Kerrville GOP Headquarters phone bank will remain every Thursday from 4-6 pm

Please bring a laptop or iPad for phone bank events. We’d love for y’all to make calls from home too! Tell your friends how easy it is! I’m happy to train them.

This is the regular Saturday schedule, please bring a friend!
9:15 am-Noon (Kerrville block walk at headquarters 1226 Bandera Hwy, Kerrville)
9:30 am-11:30 am (FBG block walk at headquarters 1202 W. Austin, FBG)
Noon-2 pm (FBG phone bank, same place as above)
2 pm-4 pm (Kerrville phone bank at headquarters 1226 Bandera Hwy, Kerrville)
5 pm-7 pm (Kerrville block walk, same place as above)

Jaclyn Hall
Hill Country Volunteer Coordinator
Chip Roy for Congress, TX-21
210-326-3414

Monthly Meetings

Thursday,January 14, 2021. 6:30 PM

St. Joseph Halle

212 W. San Antonio Street, Fbg, Tx

Plenty of Parking on San Antonio St. and In Adjacent Parking Lots

Doors open 6:00 for light diner.
Please join us.  Open to Public.
$10.00 donation suggested if you eat.

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