I support our new growth while still taking care of our existing roads, city facilities, and parks. I bring a conservative, commonsense approach to city government. The bottom line: we will work and operate within our budget.
My leadership style is based upon honest and straightforward communication. It is important that all stakeholders get to be heard and have a seat at the table. I promise to be accessible and accountable to citizens. Further, our decisions must benefit the greater good, not special interests.
We have to have a nimble and accountable City Hall. We must be responsive to the needs of citizens. Phone calls and emails must be returned promptly. We must use technology to improve the services that are delivered. The culture at City Hall needs to be one of service.
This means we have to take care of our existing roads, city facilities, parks, and police and fire departments. In simple words, that means working and operating within our budget.
We can't issue debt for basic maintenance like resurfacing and seal-coating streets. We also lease many city vehicles when it would be more prudent to pay cash. In many ways taking on this debt is akin to swiping the "city credit card." This is a serious problem. Taking on extra debt is most often not the answer for our churches and small businesses. Likewise, more debt is not the answer at City Hall. We must manage our resources, implement good ideas, and live within our budget.
Some of these financial decisions will not be easy. It will take hard work and good ideas. Courageous leadership will be required. Sometimes "NO" will be the answer. But a brighter future is always worth it.
Too many of our "best and brightest" leave Lubbock looking for jobs that don't exist in our community and region. Our great city has a role in job creation. Markets thrive when government implements good policy (not too much of it), removes barriers, and gets out of the way of our free enterprise system.
The city of Lubbock has a role in partnering with Texas Tech, Lubbock Christian University, Wayland, South Plains College, K-12 education and the private sector to create the environment where businesses can grow. This will allow us to retain more of the talented young men and women who thrive in our schools. We cannot afford for this intellectual capital to leave. We must stop this brain drain. These talented young people are our future. Many of them want to stay in Lubbock to work and raise families.
We need to work to create great jobs and the quality of life that will retain this talent. We are at a tipping point...there are great days in our future but we must get to work.
Previous councils and the Electric Utility Board have made progress on both. Our efforts to bring water from Lake Alan Henry while at the same time acquiring ground water in Roberts and Bailey Counties have helped to create diverse, long-term water solutions. There is more work to be done in this area. We must explore ways to reuse treated water. This water source is cheaper and more sustainable.
The Electric Utility Board and city council recently have announced plans to join the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. While this is a sound decision, citizens need to understand why and be updated on our progress.
LP&L remains a good value for our citizens. We pay about 5 percent less than the average Texas consumer. I’ve dedicated focused efforts to make sure that we have reliable sources for electricity at affordable rates for homeowners and businesses.
Downtown should be a great place to work, live, and enjoy life. Downtown redevelopment efforts in Lubbock are making steady progress.
A good example of this in Lubbock is Buddy Holly Hall. Lubbock Entertainment Performing Arts Association has raised more than $90 million dollars from individuals, businesses, and foundations to make this world-class performing arts center a near certain reality.
More than 20 years ago, my wife and I decided to come to Lubbock to chase our dreams - to start a business and raise our family. Lubbock was attractive to us for many reasons - safe neighborhoods, great schools, access to world-class medical care, Texas Tech, a low cost of living, and a business-friendly attitude. We also like the fierce, independent spirit of our forefathers that still burns brightly in our citizens. For us, Lubbock was full of hope and promise.
Twenty years later, I can tell you that Lubbock is a place where dreams do come true. The American Dream is alive and well here. I am inviting each of you and your families, friends, and neighbors to join our team as we work together to move Lubbock forward. It is a great time to live and work in Lubbock. I love serving this great city every day as mayor. It’s the best job I’ve ever had and I’m thankful to you for allowing me the opportunity.