Community Impact Newspaper sent Q&As to each candidate running in the Nov. 7 Kyle City Council elections.

Currently on Kyle's Planning and Zoning Commission board, Kyle City Council Place 1 candidate Dex Ellison said he wants to promote “smart growth” planning and implementation, working to bring higher skilled, higher wage jobs to Kyle, and keeping taxes and fees as low as possible for current residents while having future development pay for itself while leading Kyle.

Answers have been edited for clarity.

Q: How do you think Kyle should adapt to keep current residents and attract new residents and visitors to stay and explore what Kyle has to offer?
A: Investing and promoting an attractive and safe city. From talking with residents that both live here and recently moved here, if we continue to upgrade our roads, water/wastewater, public parks, policies for a higher standard for residential neighborhoods, and so forth we will encourage those that have already built their lives here to want to stay here and raise future generations. With the population growth projections, we are obviously an attractive county, and if we focus on a higher standard regarding “quality of life” here in Kyle people will naturally be attracted to what we have planned and will build here. Planning and developing a municipality that promotes quality living, employment, and recreation within will naturally keep and attract residents.

Q: With a rapidly increasing housing market, how do you think housing affordability should be addressed in the upcoming years?
A: Diversity in housing options is one way. Kyle basically has single-family residential houses and apartments. We need to look at locations in the city and plan accordingly through our comprehensive plan for areas and ways to offer different home options for current and future residents. Building plenty of housing and different options of housing can lead to affordability in ways that rent control strategies and inclusionary zoning can’t achieve on their own.

Q: With Kyle going through immense growing pains, which infrastructure issues do you believe need to be addressed first?
A: Infrastructure will be key to stay ahead of over the next few years in anticipation of the rapid growth. Properly constructed roads and repair of existing ones that aren’t will be essential to both quality of life and mobility now and into the future of Kyle. It will be imperative that if bonds are voted on as well by the electorate to make these upgrades or new construction that those items be addressed immediately, and not put off where they will be more costly down the line. Water and wastewater also need to be addressed and monitored for both residents benefit and helping attract job creators, however this coming budget does have [Capital Improvement Projects] to begin to address that.

Q: What solutions do you have for the city to lessen the effects of flooding in the future?
A: Strategic planning and innovative designs can help lessen the effects of flooding in the future. In the planning process we can ensure developers demonstrate that water exceedance is designed for and managed in planning applications and we can incorporate that into local flooding risk management strategies. Swale design and green infrastructure practices are just a couple of examples of what we can study and potentially utilize. It’s all about innovative and strategic planning along with collaboration amongst governmental jurisdictions with data and strategies to help reduce these risks.

Q: There has been vocal output from residents about a lack of government transparency and accountability in Kyle. Do you see this as a problem that needs to be addressed? Please explain your answer?
A: There’s always room for improvement, and in government that is especially the case. I would work with my fellow council members to make sure we have the highest level of transparency and accountability for our decisions and actions as elected officials along with that standard from our hired staff. The city has improved over the last year or so with innovative ways for residents to view council and [planning and zoning commission] meetings as well as fiscal transparency. In areas of traditional finances, contracts and procurements, economic development, public pensions, and debt obligations, through the Transparency Stars Program (which recognizes local governments for their transparency efforts), the state comptroller has awarded the city of Kyle the Leadership Circle award at the highest level over the past four years.

Q: What is the biggest issue you think Kyle has faced this year, and how would you address this issue? 
A: Working to stay ahead of the rapid growth this city is taking on is and will continue to be one of the biggest issues Kyle has faced this year and will continue to into the future. There are many issues that are a result of this growth and we must address those early in the process. Investing in quality infrastructure, economic development through employment within the city that people can support their families on, and new development that mostly pays for itself and not burdening existing homeowners and taxpayers are just a few things we need to be cognizant of going forward. Forecasting impact fees can help with that last one.