I have been publicly critical of a few decisions that our existing city council has made in the recent past. To be honest, I haven't been entirely fair and objective in giving them credit for the great job they have done to make Mansfield a great place to live. When I saw things I didn't like, I got involved and volunteered and served to bring change. I spoke publicly and privately for change. But I also criticized more than I praised. That has been a mistake on my part over the past few years. Like you probably do too, I have some concerns about our growth and some projects happening around town. But it'd be wrong of me to not give credit where credit is due.
The 7 members of our existing council have been together for the most part over a decade. They have made great contributions to Mansfield and done a lot of heavy lifting to put Mansfield in a position to have great success. Our city executive leadership has done a great job leading and getting us to this point.
Taking a look around at all of the development, the new restaurants, the new commercial, the housing boom, the AAA credit rating - all of it - I definitely have to give them credit. My opponent has done some great things in Mansfield.
If they've done so great, why am I trying to replace one of them?
I believe it's time that after a decade of leadership, Mansfield needs new voices and new ideas to take us into the next decade. Over the next 3-5 years our entire city management team and city council will likely no longer be in leadership due to retirement and new opportunities. I believe that new ideas will energize our city and see it grow to be even more successful. I have a young family with a long future in Mansfield. Our city needs a leadership voice with that perspective that it doesn't currently have.
There are several challenges coming over the next decade that I haven't seen or heard anyone on our current council address. We need conversations about autonomous vehicles and the impact they will have on our city. We need to have conversations about the future of development and housing and how that is moving to smaller live/work/play communities. We need to address our housing shortage and lack of "downsize" homes for retirees and first time buyers. We need to address the very real concerns of growing so fast the city can't keep up with necessary infrastructure. We need to address property tax relief in a real way. We need to look into technology that will serve our city well in the future. We need to discuss the type of city we want to be moving forward - Who is Mansfield - type of questions.
I want us to hold on to that small town feel and embrace the city conveniences that are coming with our growth. I want average homeowners to not be priced out of the town they love. I want to still grow - but with a more controlled and strategic plan. I want to make sure our city remembers that its essential responsibilities are infrastructure, police, and fire service and that everything else is to enhance our quality of life.
Like many of you, I do have some concerns. I am incredibly proud to call Mansfield home and I'm excited about being a new voice with fresh ideas for our future.