The Daily News asked readers what questions they’d ask candidates for Galveston City Council. Some of those questions will be asked at a forum Wednesday at Ball High School. Others will be included in a questionnaire.

1. What will your priorities be if elected?

2. What are the biggest problems facing the city and the council, and what will you do about them?

3. What is your position regarding continued historic preservation vs. demolition?

4. How important are the repairs of the city’s infrastructure, and what specifically will you do to make street repairs and improve sewers to prevent neighborhood flooding?

5. What is your position on economic development vs. maintaining scenic beach views, in particular (exemptions for) building heights along the seawall and construction on the beach? (i.e. Do you think that Miami Beach is a model for Galveston?)

6. What direction should economic development be heading in general, and what will you do to support it?

7. What are the needs of the downtown area, and how will you support them?

8. What is your position on port expansion, and how will you support it?

Bruce and Debbie Lewis

Galveston

(2) comments

Raymond Lewis

Good questions. Hopefully, each candidate will take it upon themselves and respond to each of these whether asked or not.

npappous
Norman Pappous

1. What will your priorities be if elected?
1. Finishing hurricane Ike recovery
2. Attracting middle-income families to the island to live
3. Port expansion

2. What are the biggest problems facing the city and the council, and what will you do about them?
Focusing on our main purpose - policy creation. Council tends to want to get involved in operational aspects too often. That leads to problems with staff and between council members. The new council needs to get together early and decide what policy needs are and follow that path rather than hunt for operational issues that they deem need attention. We need to allow the city manager to manage!

3. What is your position regarding continued historic preservation vs. demolition?
Difficult issue with no real good answer. Blight is a major issue but we have to realize that preservation is also important. In the end, it should be decided on a case-by-case basis when outside of the historical areas - based on financial realities. Inside historical areas I am willing to follow the judgment of the people who live there.

4. How important are the repairs of the city’s infrastructure, and what specifically will you do to make street repairs and improve sewers to prevent neighborhood flooding?
We are behind because the GLO twice illegally suspended our recovery funding. I tried to get council to sue and open access to the funds but was unsuccessful. Now that a new GLO commissioner will be seated in November, I see no construction delays other than what city hall can responsibly oversee.

5. What is your position on economic development vs. maintaining scenic beach views, in particular (exemptions for) building heights along the seawall and construction on the beach? (i.e. Do you think that Miami Beach is a model for Galveston?)
Height and Density was decided by the community years ago. I intend to follow what became of that effort and the comprehensive plan. As Galveston grows changes will be made but they should be made at the policy level and not by giving special exemptions to individual plots of land that only benefit a single land owner.

6. What direction should economic development be heading in general, and what will you do to support it?
We are constantly told that we have more jobs per capita than most any other city in America. Economic development is not helping the fact that almost 75% of GISD children are free/reduced school lunch. No economic development will work if the majority of the new job holders live over the causeway. My idea of economic development is to place our citizens needs first! No one will move here if they don't see us properly treating the people who already live here.

7. What are the needs of the downtown area, and how will you support them?
I will not dictate to businesses. They need to tell us what they need and we will support them the best we can. However if taxpayer funds are used - I intend to demand that the taxpayer receive the same return on their tax dollars that the businesses receive on their investment.

8. What is your position on port expansion, and how will you support it?
It is one of my top three priorities! The Wharves Board has a lot of talent on it and they are moving forward on a plan. I encourage you to ask them for more information....

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