Steenbergen: The Voice of the People
Saturday May 7th, Election
Michael Steenbergen for Granite Shoals City Council, Place Six
Candidate’s Statement: April 29, 2016 (Newspaper release date)
I want to provide a counterpoint, a fresh look at the issues, a new perspective. With decisions like increasing taxes, selling Lakeview park and closing the airport possible, it is critical to have a variety of opinions represented on the Granite Shoals City Council. With $10.5 million in long term debt, before we take on $5 million more debt for road improvements we need to look at the entire financial situation that has developed over 10 years. We need to retire the large debt from purchasing and remodeling City Hall. While a source of pride, the community has sacrificed significantly for this luxury. We must balance the sensibilities and reality of maintaining a “country club” image when the majority of residents are regular, working citizens that struggle to pay bills each month and do not need a “Taj Mahal City Hall”. There are suggestions to sell Lakeview Park and close the airport that I strongly oppose. On the ballot is a confusing set of tax propositions 1 and 2 that are a tax increase that I oppose in it’s current form. Bring common sense back to Granite Shoals, and get the emphasis off owning the fanciest City Hall in the Hill Country and back on the lake, parks and roads where it should be and should have been for the past decade. I need your vote, Saturday, May 7th!
Election for Place 6, Granite Shoals City Council, May 7, 2016
Monday, April 18, 2016
Statement from Michael Steenbergen
After filing to run for Granite Shoals City Council last year, I was approached by business owners that felt the city was opposing business development. This year, again after filing to run for office, I was approached by more business owners with the same story of problems with opening locations or starting up. I remain committed to expanding the economic base of our city by creating a welcoming atmosphere and outreach program to attract new development. We need to be inviting new businesses to locate in the area, not discouraging them.
Taxing authority and city asset management such as buying and selling property are being controlled by a group of 7 council members, counting the Mayor, that were voted into office by only around 200 citizens out of a population of 5000 for Granite Shoals, Texas. We need to have more of the registered voters (around 2300) to participate so that decisions like spending millions on an elaborate city complex, increasing sales taxes, selling city property including parks, and eliminating the airport are decided by a substantial proportion of our community, and not just a small group of developers or citizens. We also need to engage more citizens to encourage voter registration and committee participation so that city government truly reflects the community and population.
I oppose the convoluted tax propositions, both Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 because they are an ambiguous method of increasing the city sales tax without stating that is the result. The propositions make no sense when combined, or passed separately and are extremely hard for the ordinary citizen to understand. The council is also asking to repeal a tax increase that they just put into effect to relieve property taxes. Vote no on new tax propositions until the city council provides for a clearly stated tax structure for our city. I am in favor of increasing the sales tax but want to do it where the citizens and voter’s understand what is happening.
Streets, parks and new infrastructure need to remain the focus of a new city council that is more representative of the voters in Granite Shoals. I have a background in working with the public and task oriented groups. I am more than qualified as a local property owner to sit on the city council and provide the “Voice of the People!” I ask for your vote in the May 7th election.
The Steenbergen campaign unveiled a new voter interaction website designed for the public to interact with the candidate and the campaign. Michael Steenbergen, a Microsoft Certified internet developer himself, commented that the same web interface he has used in the past for U.S. Congressional candidates easily suits itself to our local election. "It is nice to use my skills for my own campaign after years of working on other candidate's campaigns". Steenbergen worked on web development for the Congressional campaigns of Candace Duval, Jim Riley and Dr. Marco Montoya .