City Council Candidate Response - Shaun Myers Place 2
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 3:44pm
About the Candidate
I’m 37 years old, have a wife, Jennifer, of 11 years, and have three young children, Benjamin, Harrison, and Emberlyn. I grew up primarily in Mesquite and Irving and moved to Forney in 2003. We lived in Windmill Farms until the summer 2012 and then moved to Fox Hollow where we live now. I became interested in Forney city government approximately five years ago and began attending council meetings. As my interest grew I started getting more involved and over the past three years have attended all but a handful of our city council meetings. I also created The State of Forney Facebook page and podcast to help inform our citizens about anything going on in Forney, including issues within our city government.
How many City Council meetings have you attended from Jan. 1, 2017 until the time you filed your paperwork to run in the municipal election? This number of meetings attended represents those attended before you filed your paperwork.
Between January 1st and the first day of the filing period (January 18th) which is the day I filed for candidacy, there were two city council meetings held, including one on my birthday. I attended both meetings. I have attended every city council meeting this year as well as the two-day city council retreat in March.
During the time you have been a resident of the City of Forney, how many City Council elections have you voted in?
I’ve voted in all but one city council election since we moved into the city limits.
Do you own a business? If so, do you currently do work for the city of Forney or any real estate developers or home owners’ associations located Inside or outside the Forney city limits? If you are elected or re-elected, do you plan to continue to do work for the City of Forney or any real estate developers or home owners’ associations inside or outside the Forney city limits while in office?
I’ve owned my own BAS graphics business for twelve years. We provide smart automation solutions to improve air quality and energy efficiency for hospitals, schools, office buildings, and other commercial buildings locally, throughout Texas, and various states within the southern region. We do not do work for any real estate developers or home owners’ associations inside or outside of Forney city limits.
How do you propose to work with other members of the City Council and the Mayor as a team for the betterment of the City of Forney and its citizens?
There has been much conflict within our city government over the past two years. I feel the focus of our city leaders has shifted from what’s most important, serving our citizens, to a political struggle at city hall. I look forward to not only helping bring the focus back on the citizens and the future of our great city, but also making sure we never lose that focus over the next two years and beyond. Our city is growing rapidly. We must properly plan our future. We must focus on family-friendly growth, enhancing and expanding our current park system, working with our EDC on continuing the revitalization of our downtown, and rebranding our city as one who welcomes new businesses and supports our existing ones.
In your opinion, what action or actions, if any, should the City of Forney take concerning the Markout Water Corporation situation?
I believe all citizens should be able to pay the same, low water fees. However, I don’t believe absorbing Markout at this time is the proper plan. The city needs to develop a plan to ensure all city residents pay the same water rate. The price of water for Markout customers is marked up 63%. Residents of Grayhawk have been led to believe if the city takes over Markout Water Supply their water bills will be significantly lower. If Forney absorbs Markout, ONLY THE WATER PORTION of their bill will decrease. However, the sewer and trash rate will stay the same. Also, if the city pays the proposed $6,000,000 to $10,000,000 to purchase Markout, that money comes from issuing debt. Those debts will be paid through the water/sewer fund. The water/sewer fund receives its revenue from water rates. The city will need to raise water rates of all city customers, residents and businesses, to raise the funds to purchase Markout. I believe we should conduct a feasibility study, assess the results of that study, and consider all options before moving forward.
In your opinion, what are the three most serious challenges or issues the city of Forney will face during your two-year term if you are elected or re-elected?
We are experiencing unprecedented growth in Forney and Kaufman County. Managing that growth properly is key to our future. We are already struggling with traffic on our roads and many needs for road repairs and upgrades. With 4,000+ homes already approved for Forney, ongoing construction on 80, and proposed construction on 80 from 460 to I30, our biggest struggle will be traffic management. Next will be the need to repair our reputation of being difficult to deal with for potential businesses. Incoming businesses willing to invest in our city, bringing jobs for our citizens shouldn’t constantly be met with road blocks. Lastly, and this goes hand-in-hand with becoming known as a business-friendly city, is assisting our ISD in becoming a profitable, thriving entity. Attracting businesses to Forney will provide tax dollars necessary to ensure our ISD shows the same healthy growth our city is experiencing.
How do you propose to strengthen the relationship between the City of Forney and Forney ISD?
My oldest son is a kindergartner at Rhea Elementary, my other two children will be starting school very soon. My wife and I have a vested interest in helping FISD succeed. One way the city can directly impact the success of FISD is through retail and commercial development. Retail and commercial development have much higher tax evaluations than housing developments and DO NOT increase student enrollment.