Chad Hardy is running for Ballinger City Council, Single Member District 2.
The questionnaires are completed by the candidate and emailed to the newspaper without any editing other than spelling corrections.
The questionnaires were printed as they were received, without anyone specifically selecting which issue of the newspaper in.
They were printed in the order in which they were received.
The deadline to get questionnaires in was October 28th.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing your community/school board?
The biggest challenge right now is making improvements to the city and the services the city provides, while working on a limited budget. I am already active in town and do what I can to stay on top of what is going on with Ballinger. I attend city council meetings on a regular basis and I go to city hall and request additional information when needed. Ballinger has a ton of potential and I would love to see her become a beautiful small town once again. One of my biggest issues is properties that are not well maintained and are visual nuisances. There are several out of town property owners that don’t maintain their properties at all.
How do you propose to address the challenge?
I want to work toward beautification projects as well as target things we can do to improve city services like water. Water is always a big issue here in town. Not just where the water is coming from, but the quality of water that that citizens are receiving. Water mains are very expensive to replace and so the city has been slowly replacing them as the budget allows. In some cases we have to depend on grants in order to fund the replacements. Many of the mains around town have been updated, but there are areas that still need this done. I would like to work to help seek out additional grants and try to move forward on replacing more of the water mains.
I also believe making the city look well maintained and beautiful should be a focus of the city council. I pushed to bring back the city clean up days that we started again this last year after the city discontinued them many years ago. These city clean up events allowed citizens to bring in bulk trash to the city dump without paying extra fees. Due to this we were able to get a large amount of bulk items removed from yards and alleyways. I would like to work to see what else we can do to improve how Ballinger looks. I feel one area that needs more attention is properties that are neglected. This includes tall weeds and other things that are against city codes. We need to work to get these items addressed through code compliance and other means so that the eyesores are removed.
Budget is very important. Ballinger works on a very limited budget which can make it difficult to fund items like improvements to city services. Ballinger’s budget comes from many things, but in part is funded by water sales, property taxes and sales taxes. Water sales fluctuate which can make budgeting difficult. Property taxes are an area that is very hard to navigate because home owners and business owners don’t want to pay more even when the cost of operating city services is increasing.
In addition to this the state has just passed legislation that seriously limits increases in property taxes. This is great news for homeowners, but bad news for communities like Ballinger that are working on a very limited budget. One way to increase property tax income is to bring in new commerce. I feel there should be a push toward this in Ballinger. There needs to be a hard working industrial board working to bring in new business to Ballinger. I don’t want Ballinger to grow so much it loses the small town charm it has, but if a small town isn’t growing, it is dying. Costs for Ballinger will continue to increase so without an influx on new industry we will continue to have to work with a very constrained budget. This will greatly limit the ability to make improvements to roads, water service, and other things that citizens want.
One other item I will mention here is that I believe that elected officials need to answer to and represent the citizens within their city. Voting people in and out of office is how we as citizens do this. The more often we get to vote the more power the citizens have. This is why I believe that Proposition E on the ballot for the current election should be voted against. This proposition would change the length of the term of office for mayor and for city council members from two years to four years. My strong position is that if you are doing your job as a member of council or mayor you should be easily re-elected. Changing these to 4 years seriously limits the power of the citizens in their government. I hope people will understand this and vote no on prop E.
What do you want people to know about you and your candidacy?
I only moved to Ballinger in 2015, but I have strong family ties here and have spent many summers here with my Grandma and other family. In the time I spent here in my youth I developed wonderful, enduring feelings towards Ballinger a town that I love. I would like to bring Ballinger back to be more like the town I remember. I feel that I am fair and have Ballinger citizens’ best interest at heart. I want to work toward any and all improvements and I also plan to be easily accessible for citizens to reach me. I am already active in city government as I regularly attend Ballinger City Council meetings and work hard to make forward progress in town. I was the one that spearheaded the feral spay/neuter program here to help control the cat population and I was the one that pushed for the citywide clean up days that we now have. I hope people see that I want to make Ballinger a better place.
Also I would like to let people know that due to an issue with the city posting the deadline for election registration incorrectly I will not show up in the normal spot on the ballot when people are voting. Under Single Member District 2, voters will need to select the Write-in option box on the ballot and then use the electronic controls to spell out my name. There will be special information about this taped to the instructions on the voting machine in the booth. It will include my name so that voters can use it as reference while voting.
On top of all the local legislation, there are also many important state legislation propositions to vote on this year so please make sure to get out and vote!