Q&A: Meet the candidates running for Roanoke mayor

Get to know the candidates in the race for Roanoke mayor. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Get to know the candidates in the race for Roanoke mayor. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Get to know the candidates in the race for Roanoke mayor. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)



DFW



Roanoke mayor


*Incumbent








Carl E. Gierisch Jr. "Scooter"*



Occupation: General Manager and Partner at Roanoke Auto Supply, Ltd.


Experience: I have served the City of Roanoke in different capacities since 1987. In 1987, Mayor John “Toots” Tidwell asked me to serve on the Zoning Board of Adjustments. I served from 87-95 when I decided to run for city council. I was immediately elected by the council to serve as mayor pro-tem. I ran a campaign for mayor in 2005. I am currently serving my 7th term as mayor.






Why are you re-running for office?



SG: My desire to offer strong leadership and be available to the citizens in our city is vital as we continue to grow. I have always worked hard to stay in communication with our citizens, business and staff. I want to continue to serve my hometown that I have given 32 years, and I look forward to continuing my work as mayor.



If elected, what would be your top three priorities?



SG: My top priority is to stay on top of the continued positive growth and development. Our future is bright and we have a lot of commercial development coming our way. [My priority] is to continue to offer our citizens great amenities and low taxes. Roanoke has maintained one of the lowest tax rates in the area for over 23 years. Since I was elected mayor, we’ve added so many great amenities for our citizens; Roanoke Visitors Center and Museum; Roanoke Fire Department; Roanoke City Hall; Roanoke Skate Park; Roanoke trail systems, Roanoke splash parks; and the Roanoke Library and Community Center expansion. [My priority] is to continue to maintain a great quality of life for our residents and to continue to attract new businesses that help keep our economy and jobs growing in our city.



What do you see as the city’s role with the Coronavirus?



SG: The Coronavirus has negatively affected so many of our business community. It has also affected the health and welfare of over 600 of our residents. Under my leadership, we have created stimulus packages that have had a great benefit to our business community, but we also created a program that would help our residents by giving out vouchers to residents to be able to spend at our local businesses. We were able to assist 63 Roanoke businesses in Phase one. In Phase two, the residents of Roanoke could download a $50 voucher to [support] local Roanoke businesses. We distributed 400 vouchers that were used in restaurants, retail and other purchases. There were efforts supported by our Roanoke Economic Development [Corp.] and the Roanoke City Council funded with sales tax dollars.









Moueed Rajabi



Occupation: U.S government contractor


Experience: For the past 20 years, I have served as a contractor for the U.S Government in different capacities. I have worked in some of the most difficult and limited places in the world to include Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. I have constantly worked with construction teams to improve the infrastructure in the above-mentioned countries to improve government stability.






Why are you running for office?



MR: I’ve watched from the sidelines for a while, and, over the last five years, I’ve become very concerned about the direction the city is going in. I’m unhappy with City Hall’s approach to the traffic problems, slow increase in crime rate [and] declining school ratings. I intend to improve the quality of life for all our residents. As a foreign-born that immigrated to the United States of America, I would like to be a symbol of unity and democracy.



If elected, what would be your top three priorities?


MR: I have several items that I'll work to prioritize if elected, but my top three priorities remain in the following order: improvement of security for our residents by increasing police funds and personnel, since in recent times we have had a slight increase in our crime rate to include crimes, such as robbery and rape; improving our education system because the decline in our school ratings is somewhat concerning; and supporting our small businesses and attracting potential investors into our area that would not cause any difficulties for our small business or local economy.



What do you see as the city’s role with the coronavirus?


MR: Coronavirus has been a global challenge. It has brought with it evolving challenges globally and locally. I will work relentlessly with Denton County and the great state of Texas to get all of our residents vaccinated, as the vaccines are becoming more available. The city can support and establish vaccination sites, and coordination plans could be developed between the local law enforcement and the department of health. Tackling the pandemic should be the city’s top priority.


By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.


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