The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Some international students at Texas A&M have been struggling to pick up groceries because of limited transportation options from campus to H-E-B and Walmart on Texas Avenue.
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Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024

College Station city council candidate guide

Craig+Hall
Photo by Via Facebook
Craig Hall

This candidate guide was a collaborative effort between The Battalion and the Texas A&M Student Government Association’s nonpartisan initiative, Gig the Vote. Each candidate was asked three questions via email. For more information on SGA’s initiative, visit gigthevote.com.

 

Elizabeth R. Cunha — Place 6

What qualifications make you a strong candidate for College Station City Council?

I offer diversity and a broader perspective to those currently on the city council. Qualifications and experiences that set me apart from my opponents:

  • I meet 40% of my transportation needs by bicycle which is an important consideration in the struggle with traffic congestion and personalizes my understanding of local infrastructure needs.

  • My son is a junior mechanical engineering major at A&M, so I have a deep, current and personal connection to the student population.

  • My employment with CSISD at A&M Consolidated High School for the last 14 years fuels my drive to attract employers to the Brazos Valley who are committed to offering livable wages to the young adults we serve.

  • My previous positions as Chair of the Parks and Recreation Board and former Homeowner’s Association President has honed my knowledge and skill set of city governance and procedures.

Briefly explain your vision for College Station if elected to the City Council.

Climate change must begin with attitude change. It’s time for College Station to adopt principles and programs that will reflect a higher standard of stewardship over our part of the planet. I would like a city on the leading edge of innovation designed to reduce our footprint. I support alternative transportation and would encourage city policies that do likewise. I’d like to see solar panels installed on the new city hall building and xeriscape green spaces to set an example that residents can see and internalize. I’d like recycle programs expanded to include apartment complexes. My vision is a city where ALL residents’ concerns are heard, where the needs of the students are weighed and harmonized with needs of permanent residents.

What does your platform provide specifically for Texas A&M and its students?
I am the only candidate that is against the push for prohibiting no more than two unrelated people to share a home. It is crafted to keep students out of neighborhoods. I am against any measure that tries to exclude an entire demographic from a neighborhood. I am concerned about how such a measure would be enforced. Government telling me who can and cannot live in my home is too much oversight.  I support code enforcement policies about trash, or noise, or parking, but government tallies of who sleeps where smells like an invasion of privacy. Government prescribing behaviors, ok. Government poking around bedrooms, not ok. I believe that diverse neighborhoods of people from all stages of life who learn to coexist peacefully are stronger than neighborhoods of machinated homogeneity. I am for collaborative efforts between A&M and the city to better serve our citizens. I support the coordinated approach offering Uber and Lyft specific pick-up points. I plan to monitor Ofo’s long-term impact.  I do not want to hastily regulate innovation out of existence.

Craig Hall — Place 6

Craig Hall did not respond to our interview request in time for publication. The following answers are portions taken from information from voteforcraighall.com.

What qualifications make you a strong candidate for College Station City Council?
For more than 30 years, I ran a successful, multi-million dollar small business with over 80 employees. I was committed to the values of respect, dignity, and courtesy to my customers and staff. I wanted everyone to feel appreciated in various ways for their support of the business.

The City has over 800 employees who are committed to providing a safe, inviting, positive community for the citizens and guests of College Station. Working through the various levels in the city, I want to apply their knowledge in making our city as efficient as possible. I want to bring a business perspective in fiscal management and prioritization of projects.
Briefly explain your vision for College Station if elected to the City Council.
College Station is a great community to live and work, and it shows no signs of slowing. I want to look at areas where we can get ahead of growth and attempt to minimize the impact on the infrastructure and city services. We need to ensure that zoning for residential, commercial, and industrial is cohesive in its approach. Transportation, connectivity, and maximizing our location within the Central Texas region will be important in the future.
What does your platform provide specifically for Texas A&M and its students?
I want input from citizens on current issues and concerns about the future. I want to find common ground on issues and come together to find a resolution with a positive attitude. The future is brighter when we work together.
Dennis Maloney — Place 6

What qualifications make you a strong candidate for College Station City Council?

  • Council member: 1999-2005, when we had two year terms and 2008-2011 when we switched to 3 year terms.

  • I’ve been: Mayor Pro Tem, Chairman of Brazos County Board of Health and Planning and Zoning Commissioner.

  • Served on: the College Station Historic Preservation Committee, College Station Transportation Committee, Wolf Pen Creek Oversite Committee, Sister City Committee, College Station and C.I.S.D. Joint Legislative Committee, Ciudad Real, Spain/City of College Station Fraternal Partnership, Brazos County Economic Development Council and Research Valley Partnership Economic Development Council.

  • Endorsed by: College Station Former Mayors Group, College Station Association of Neighborhoods and The Eagle newspaper.

And now I’m asking for your endorsement.

Please go tomaloneyforcollegestation.com to learn more about me and my positions on issues.
Briefly explain your vision for College Station if elected to the City Council.

Do whatever it takes to preserve the college town environment in Aggieland.
What does your platform provide specifically for Texas A&M and its students?

Safer neighborhoods, and earn back the Bicycle Friendly designation that we had when I was on the council earlier. We were one of only two cities in the state to have that distinction, but we have since lost it. We must go back and make our city safer for bicycles which will help alleviate traffic and pollution. Additionally, we haven’t added any new parks in over 20 years. We need to address this deficit.
Elianor Vessali — Place 4

What qualifications make you a strong candidate for College Station City Council?

Our diverse and growingpopulation is best served by Council Members who can tackle the myriad of issues that we face based on their array of varied experiences. Professionally, I have knowledge and experience not only with the corporate and business world, but also with government employment. Personally, community service has always been an important facet of my life. My service on various Boards and my participation in our community programs have given me an insider’s look to every aspect of our community. We need Council members that represent our City as a whole, seeking to serve all of our citizens’ needs, and that can work with our regional partners in advancing the priorities of our City. Please do not hesitate to visit my website VoteVessali.com for specific details on my professional experience and my community service experience.
Briefly explain your vision for College Station if elected to the City Council.

My mission as a Council Member for the City of College Station would be to:

  • Enact economically sound budgeting and expenditures to sustain a high quality of life at the lowest cost to the citizens.

  • Ensure that we are maintaining and improving our transportation infrastructure to meet our growing needs.

  • Preserve the character and purpose of our many neighborhoods and districts, and protect resident private property rights.

  • Ensure that Police and Fire are fully staffed and have the necessary resources to oversee the safety of our community.

  • Foster a planning process that works towards responsible economic growth and job creation.

What does your platform provide specifically for Texas A&M and its students?

College Station would not be the City that it is without Texas A&M University and its students. They are a vital part of our community and continue to drive a large part of our economy. My platform points do not specifically identify Texas A&M and its students because I believe that they are inherently part of our community and therefore, in my mind, are automatically taken into consideration when working toward the stated goals. For example, planning for transportation, infrastructure and growth cannot be addressed without consideration of our community partners — Brazos County, Bryan and Texas A&M. Safety services, economic growth, and neighborhood character affect all of our residents, including our students. My responsibility as a Council Member would be to serve as a representative for all of our citizens, and that, without a doubt, includes the thousands of students who contribute to our community on a daily basis.

Joe Guerra Jr. — Place 4

What qualifications make you a strong candidate for College Station City Council?

I feel I am extremely qualified to serve on Council for the City of College Station. I am a transportation planner by trade, with over 29 years of transportation planning, engineering and design experience, ten of those years with the TxDOT and five years with the City of College Station. I am also a city planner certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. In addition I am a professional transportation planner certified through the Institute of Transportation Engineers. While on staff with the City’s Planning and Development Services Dept., I was part of the development of the 2009 Comprehensive Plan/Thoroughfare Plan and I was also part of the development of the Southside, Eastgate, Central College Station, and Southknoll Neighborhood Plans, as well as the Wellborn and Medical District Plan. In addition I contributed to staff reports and recommendations to the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council as well as presented staff recommendations on comprehensive plan amendments and zoning changes. Both my Bachelors and Masters degrees are from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.
Briefly explain your vision for College Station if elected to the City Council.

My vision for College Station is to keep the quality of life we currently enjoy. This would involve the management of our growth so that the City’s infrastructure does not get overwhelmed. Specifically the City’s transportation network, water and waste water services, police and fire services. This vision would also include providing these services without increasing property taxes and instead utilize other funding sources such as tax increment finance districts, tax reinvestments zones and other fees. Finally I want College Station’s neighborhoods to be safe and tranquil so that our families can thrive.
What does your platform provide specifically for Texas A and M and its students?

The quality of life we currently enjoy in College Station is enjoyed by every citizen including students. We do not have the traffic problems that the cities of Austin and Houston currently experience. However, we need to make sure we grow smart so that our infrastructure keeps pace and we need to make sure we do not overly tax our citizens. We also need to make sure we as a City provide services our citizens expect and that goes along with the services students expect because students are also citizens of this city.

 

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