Watauga voter guide for May 4 election: City Council candidates

Council Member, Place 1

Pat Shelbourne

Did not respond

Yanghui ‘Tira’ Meyers

Did not respond

Council Member, Place 2

Tom Snyder

Did not respond

Cris Blackburn

Age: 51

Campaign website: NA

Occupation: Relationship Banker

Education: College/Associates business/undergraduate

Have you run for elected office before? (Please list previous offices sought): Yes, City council of Watauga

Please list the highlights of your civic involvement/activism: Active community volunteer.

Service Meals on Wheels Delivery since 2009, serve planning and Zoning Commissioner for the city of Watauga since 2009, charter review commissioner, Ambassador keller isd

Volunteer animal rescue and active foster. PTA and band boosters board member.

Who are your top three campaign contributors?: Myself. I chose to run for office. It is my responsibility to pay for those endeavors. I do not take contributions. I ask you to give you funds to a worthy 501c3 to make a difference where it is needed.

Why do you want serve on the Watauga City Council?: So many reasons. First main result is current member does not show to important meetings and misses budgets work shops, consequently votes yes to Agendas they are not informed on.

I am very involved in the community and anyone who serves as city council needs to be 100% versed on Agendas before blinding voting yes.

I believe if you volunteer to run for an unpaid elected position, you should assume all responsibility encompasses in said position. Not just a seat warmer with a yes vote. Be present. Be involved. That’s who I am

What are the biggest challenges and/or opportunities for Watauga?: Volunteer programs with animal control and budget review. Watauga is small compared to surrounding areas, but our budget is struggling. Staffing turn over a serious concern. The city pay is low compared to others, so the city becomes a training ground. A revolving door so to speak because the city lacks required fund to meet employee’s living wages.

We can afford to train but not retain so to speak. Our shelter is a small kill facility. No volunteer program. I waited years for this to get off the ground and nothing happened. I plan one creating a program to head up active volunteer and foster program to partner with animal control officers. It is a big win when there are more hands on saving lives. I want the city to partner with a 501c3 animal rescue. Right now, there is no help for animal control officers who are constantly under staffed and experienced again a very high turn over. Pay is low...so they go. Again, back to budget.

How would you tackle the challenges/opportunities from the previous question?: First, action plan with animal control and coordinate with city council during budget workshops to help fix the budget to increase pay to get employees to stay. Next, I think we have opportunities with the tax burden on our citizens negativity impacting families.

This should be addressed. We a collaborative effort to help our citizens and not tax them into economic hardship.

How should Watauga take advantage of growth in the Metroplex?: Watauga is very small. The more people means more growth for local businesses.

I worked with creating the comprehensive land use plan. One Watauga.

We created this to help see Watauga 50-100 years from now. Created mix used land areas to help with possibilities. I would like to promote enhanced public transit, walkability, and more safe bike lanes. I would love to head up a dog park project for our residents to add much needed green space. This would attract more opportunities from surrounding areas.

Why should voters choose you over your opponents?: I am here to serve. I have been actively involved since 2009 in our community.

I will not just be a seat warmer yes vote.

I believe in fostering an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels accepted and I am very approachable. You want transparency, I am your candidate. I am committed, motivated, and I have the necessary experience to stongly hold this position.

Council Member, Place 6

Veronica Gomez

Did not respond

Mark Taylor

Did not respond