Candidate Christopher Payne, a 33-year-old correctional officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, did return his answers.
Florette “Libby” Spires, a 47-year-old certified public accountant, did not return her answers to the questions.
Payne’s answers are listed below:
1. What do you believe is the most important issue facing the City Council at present?
Payne: The water bond issue is by far the most important issue facing the City Council at present. For the tax payers to spend $15.3 million on a water bond that may not be the best option for this city is a very important issue.
2. Are you in favor of the $15.3 million city water bond issue proposal? Why?
Payne: I oppose the water bond. I do not feel that a $15.3 million water bond is the way to fix the problem. A property tax increase is not the way to fix Beeville’s water problems. I feel that a water rate increase would be a fair way to ensure that those using the water would be the ones paying for the needed updates to the water system. I also am unsure that the drilling of the proposed wells are the best way to correct the problem. I know that some are saying that within two years Beeville will be without water if the bond fails but I think the city should take time and do a study and look at all the options available and then allow the voters to decide.
3. Do you think using hotel and motel occupancy tax funds to help the Texas Mile pay for $50 million liability insurance coverage is a wise use of that money? Should the city work more closely with the Chamber of Commerce in using HOT funds to promote upcoming events?
Payne: No, I do not think that the hotel and motel occupancy tax fund should go to the Texas Mile to pay for $50 million liability insurance coverage. I don’t think tax payers’ money should be given to a private company to pay for their insurance. If they can’t afford the insurance, then they should not be doing business.
Yes the city should work closely with the Chamber of Commerce in using HOT funds to promote upcoming events and to draw new business and events to the city of Beeville.
4. Do you support the use of hotel and motel occupancy tax funds to pay debt service on water projects for the city?
Payne: Yes, I support the use of hotel and motel occupancy tax funds to pay debt service on water projects for the city of Beeville.
5. What are your strengths and why do you think voters should select you over your opponent in the upcoming election?
Payne: My strengths are I will spend the taxpayer’s money like it was my money, because it is my money. I will invest in long term solutions and not short term fixes. I will promote business growth. I believe I can add balance and value to city government. I have both enthusiasm and perspective. I will give each issue the critical thought and attention it requires and work hard to be the most responsive member of your city government. A vote for Payne is a vote for growth in business diversity, lower taxes, long term solutions to problems.