Name: Bob Braeking
Occupation: Businessman (Facilities Manager Seafood Processing Plant)
Campaign website or social media site: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elected offices held (with years of service): Not yet.
Q: Are you a legal resident of the district you are seeking to represent?
Yes ___X__ No _____
ADDRESS: 3313 North Elm, Santa Fe, TX 77517
Q: Have you ever been charged or convicted of a felony crime? If you answer yes please explain.
Yes _____ No ___x___
Q: Have you ever sued a public entity or been sued by one? If you answer yes, please explain.
Yes _____ No ___x___
Q: Do you have any other debts (including unpaid taxes) to a public entity? If yes please explain.
Yes _____ No ___x___
EXPLAIN: I am personally debt-free. I believe that the city of Santa Fe should be debt-free as well.
Q: Will you have your home phone number listed in the phone book or your mobile number listed for the public to contact you directly?
Yes___x___ No_______ I’m in the book. 409-925-4854
Q: Why should voters choose you?
A: Annamarie and I chose to live in Santa Fe because it offered a relaxed lifestyle and a small government that exercised little power. In the past 20 years that little town government has grown to seize an ever-increasing grip on our freedom and liberty. The book of codes and ordinances has grown to the point that one would hesitate to sneeze lest he violate some city ordinance. While this rule making was going on, we were busy earning a living and raising our children. For much of that time my work involved traveling, which left little time to get involved in opposing such nonsense. Now, as I approach retirement,
Q: What are your specific qualifications for the position?
A: I hold a BBA with a major in Business Management and a minor in Accounting from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor. I am an independent thinker who can formulate ideas and bring them to fruition. I enjoy hard physical work and that keeps me humble and practical. I am frugal with my own personal finances, which will carry over into my service on council.
I am not addicted to OPM (other people’s money). I am not interested in micro-managing other people’s behavior. I do not go along just to get along.
I agree with Thomas Jefferson who wrote, “…most bad government results from too much government”.
Q: What are the issues in this campaign?
A: The size and scope of city government.
Budget and Finance.
Q: What is your platform on those issues?
A: The town of Santa Fe was formed so that cities such as Hitchcock, Dickinson and League City could not annex us and do to us what the Santa Fe Council has done to us over the years. I will make strides in reducing the size and scope of the town government.
I believe that we need a new police station. Financing is another issue entirely. I do not agree with the plan to float a bond especially the one that is on this ballot. It was hastily written on the deadline for getting it on the ballot and gives council carte blanche in how the money is spent.
Q: Do you support the proposed police station bond issue? Why or why not?
A: These are two issues. Police station yes. Bond issue no. Any authority given to council to borrow money should be very specific and tightly limited. This bond as written is neither.
Q: If you support the bond referendum, what assurances can you offer the money will be spend the way it's intended? If you do not support it, what is your specific plan to address the needs of the police station and courts?
A: I do not support the bond as written because it is too broad and vague. Regardless, if it passes I will be one member on council who will insist that any excess funds be used ONLY to pay off the bond.
We collect over $1,000,000 a year in sales tax revenue, which is given to the Community Development Corporation. That is an un-elected body that uses the money to upgrade select privately owned properties with infrastructure improvements. I believe that money would be more wisely utilized as a fund for needed capital improvements and repairs. Properly restructured it could continue to fund infrastructure improvements but City Council, accountable to the people, should be directing the use of these funds.
Q: How would you rate the performance of the Santa Fe Police Department?
A: Our Constitutional rights limit the function of Police to collecting evidence and detaining suspects after a crime is committed. We are well protected in this regard in spite of our obsolete facility. Chief Campbell is doing a good job of managing the department.
Q: How would you rate the leadership of the city manager?
A: I do not think that we actually need a city manager. We have 4 departments: Police, Streets, City Hall, and Courts. The mayor, accountable to the voters, of a town our size should be able to oversee these departments without the help of a titled manager.
Q: What is your opinion of the city's annexation process and plans for future annexation?
A: Annexation of rural residential property is more costly in street repairs, police protection, and other services than the revenue generated. If it were an advantage to be a part of the city people would be asking to be annexed rather than having to be forced involuntarily. I believe that in order to annex property 2/3 of the affected property owners should agree to the annexation.
Q: What area of city spending would you want to see reduced and why? What area of city spending would you support increasing and why?
A: Accounting teaches us when reducing a budget primary emphasis should be on the biggest budget items first. The frequency that we replace police vehicles and the fact that we finance them should be one of those budget priorities.
The Community Development Corporation consumes 1/4 of the city budget with little accountability. By re-structuring this revenue stream we could reduce the cost of operations and capital expenditures. Our elected council should be the decision makers on all infrastructure improvements.
We need to take care of what we have. Property, parks, and vehicles would last longer and cost less if they were properly maintained and repaired before minor things become major problems.