Candidate’s Statement from Michael Steenbergen - Granite Shoals Texas

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.