The Gonzales Inquirer sent out questionnaires to the candidates in contested races for Gonzales City Council Districts 3 and 4, and for Gonzales County Sheriff. The candidates’ responses appear below as each was received and none were edited by The Inquirer. Photos were provided by the respective candidates.
Here are the responses from Dan Blakemore and Rob Brown Gonzales City Council District 4:
• Age: 70
• City of Residence: Gonzales, Texas
• How many years have you lived in Gonzales?: 8
• What is your current profession?: Retired
• Do you have experience as an elected official (please list)?: Gonzales TX District 4 City Councilman 2017 to present
• Please list any college degrees, certifications, specialized training, etc.: Attended University Tennessee Martin from 1968 to 1973. TML Elected Officials Orientation, TML Sales Tax Training,
• Why are you running for this office?: I love Gonzales. I have chosen to make a positive difference for our city in the areas of financial stability, infrastructure rehabilitation, and economic development. I want to see this through and create a brighter future for Gonzales.
• In your opinion, what is the most important function of a city councilman?: A city councilman must remain focused on what's best for his constituents and city as a whole. A councilman must exhibit leadership and make tough decisions based on facts and not base decisions on popularity or rely on "that's the way we've always done it."
• In your opinion, what is the most important issue in this race and why?: Since elected to city council, I have discovered many issues, ie: lack of recommended financial reserves, infrastructure deterioration, lack of economic development, etc. I'd be hard pressed to pick just one. I have worked with the council team, city manager and our volunteer board representatives to explore varied avenues of correction. We're making progress and have great momentum. It's important to keep this momentum moving for a more promising and secure future.
• What are your plans for the City of Gonzales?: I plan to continue working with the city council team, our employees, and members of the GEDC, Main Street, Airport, Tourism, and Golf boards to empower them to make their ideas and dreams for Gonzales come to fruition. A goal will be to help diversify our tax base with new industry and businesses to ease homeowners from so much of the tax burden and to continue strengthening the city’s financial position with more efficient business practices. I want to provide more training for our employees so they will be prepared for the future and feel more secure in their employment with our city. Finally, it’s imperative for me to ensurethat I leave the city in better condition than it was before I was elected.
• Why are you the candidate best suited for this office?: I am the best candidate for this office because I have proven that I'm not afraid to make tough decisions. I take responsibility for my actions and stand behind my decisions. I am transparent about the direction I believe that is best for my constituents and our city but open to different points of view. I totally cherish our rich historical legacy and its preservation and I will continue to focus on a future that will make Gonzales a great place for generations to come.
Robert R. Brown, Jr.
• Age: 59
• City of Residence: Gonzales, Texas
• How many years have you lived in Gonzales?: 31 Years
• What is your current profession?: Co-Owner, Texas Land and Right of Way, LLC
• Do you have experience as an elected official (please list)?: Not elected. However, I have been appointed to several boards in Gonzales County (former Gonzales County Presiding Election Judge, Gonzales Community Health Center, Gonzales County ESD 1, etc.)
• Please list any college degrees, certifications, specialized training, etc.: College courses, various continuing education courses in manufacturing, management and manufacturing efficiency, Texas Municipal League seminars through my former career in the equipment manufacturing for the waste industry for over 20 years.
• Why are you running for this office?: I want to represent the citizens of this great community, without personal agenda, bias or prejudice.
• In your opinion, what is the most important function of a city councilman?: Every elected official is elected to that particular position to facilitate a voice for the citizens.
• In your opinion, what is the most important issue in this race and why?: Considering there are many issues and limited space to expound on this, It is in the best interest of the council to address each of the pressing issues with the mindset of fairly representing the citizens concerns. This being balanced with economic limitations and or resources to improve upon our infrastructure to facilitate continued growth and prosperity, pay close attention to the way we pay for these improvements, improve relationships with our business community and bring back transparency and accountability of our elected officials.
• What are your plans for the City of Gonzales?: To foster continued economic growth and prosperity through increased industry, retail shopping and tourism opportunities. Increase collaboration with our community Youth Leaders and Senior Advocates to improve upon our current facilities and services to assist them in creating a positive environment for all. To perform my duties as an elected official in the spirit of the Charter, of which I will take my oath.
• Why are you the candidate best suited for this office?: I foster a TEAM based effort to accomplish goals. I have no personal agenda!