Al Valente, managing partner at Plano-based Bell & Valente financial advisor, is running for Plano City Council Place 2, which is currently held by Ben Harris. City Council elections for Places 2, 4, 6 and 8 will be held May 6. Candidates cannot file for office until Jan. 18.
Before the election, find out why Valente is running for City Council, Place 2:
Al Valente announced he will be running for City Council Place 2 in May.[/caption]
Why are you running for City Council?
I stumbled onto Plano when I met my wife, and boy was I lucky. I married into a family who has a history of deep involvement in and commitment to this city which, combined with my own experience, has afforded me the opportunity to learn about multiple aspects of the town. Over the past 10 years, I have been fortunate to be actively involved in numerous nonprofit [organizations], chair the Community Relations Commission and chair the Plano Chamber of Commerce. My kids attend Plano schools and, in 2008, I started a financial advisory practice in Granite Park. The Valentes live, work and play in Plano and we love it. I am running for City Council because I want to represent Plano residents. As a fiscal conservative, I want to ensure tax dollars are being spent on things that matter to the citizens. I will listen and talk with the people to educate us both so that informed decisions might be made. Our country's founding fathers envisioned a democracy [in Lincoln's words], "of the people, by the people, for the people," and that's what I believe in.
Why are you qualified for this position?
During my 10 years as a Plano resident, I have been actively involved in many nonprofit and civic organizations. At Parkway Hills Baptist Church, I served as a deacon, Sunday school director, finance committee chairman, board member and leader in the Opening Doors capital campaign. I have been actively involved in efforts that support the Plano Education Foundation and the Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County, where I am a current board member. I have chaired the Community Relations Commission and the Plano Chamber of Commerce. I have been a Plano ISD Bond Committee member and a graduate of Leadership Plano. As a small business owner in the community and as a financial advisor, I understand what it takes to plan for the future and that money is a finite resource. Decisions made today affect tomorrow, both positively and negatively. Those who have worked with me in the past can attest to the fact that I ask tough questions. While I don't feel that I am unreasonable, I am not quick nor easily swayed in making my decisions. I give careful thought and effort to understanding the many facets of an issue before coming to a judgment. I think this is a character trait that will serve Plano well.
What are your platforms?
Plano is an amazing city. I feel so blessed to be a part of this excellent community and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. The success of this community has been the result of the wisdom of past generations. The vision that it took to plan the city when it was just corn fields and the pro-business environment that has kept our tax rates the lowest of the major cities in Collin County is nothing but enviable to others. Both Plano and North Texas are experiencing growth that is getting international recognition but with this growth come challenges. Public safety, population density, transportation and water are essential to our quality of life. While Plano is long past the days of being a farming town, the mature state of the city and the final opportunities for growth must be carefully measured. Citizens must be educated on the issues and given a chance to fully express their thoughts and opinions. Plano needs to continue to attract quality employers while being careful when considering high-density housing. We need to move toward to the future while preserving our past.
For more information, visit www.alforplano.com.