League City City Council Position 7: Newcomer Ange Mertens faces incumbent Nick Long

Learn about the candidates running for Position 7 on the League City City Council.

Community Impact Newspaper sent candidates a series of questions on their candidacies. Their written responses, edited for publication style, are below.

Nick Long

Nick Long is a consultant who prioritizes fiscal responsibility, infrastructure investment and public safety.

Ange Mertens

Ange Mertens is a flight attendant and journalist who wants to concentrate on development, infrastructure, traffic, flooding and taxes.

The city has conducted studies of several neighborhoods that flooded severely during Hurricane Harvey. What else can be done in League City to prevent flooding?

LONG: League City’s flooding issues can be put into two buckets. The first is neighborhood-specific issues, and the second set is regional watershed issues. Now that the city has an idea of what needs to be done, we must act. We must immediately address some of the neighborhood-specific issues identified in the studies and become the regional leader in flood mitigation. We must push our fellow entities in the Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou watersheds to be proactive, to hound federal and state politicians and to not let the size of the problem force us into inaction.

MERTENS: Along with following the best solutions that the study has shown us, the city needs to diligently follow through with drainage solutions that involve working with our neighboring cities to make sure the entire waterway systems are cleared out and maintained. We need to make sure that future growth and development don’t add to the flooding problem but are built with drainage to help surrounding areas.

What challenges does League City face as its population continues to grow, and how would you address them?

LONG: We need to continue to update our building codes and master plans to make sure we get the kind of growth the city wants and can accommodate. Limit multifamily housing, build concentrated commercial corridors in the right spot, and encourage the addition of green space and amenities. We need to address drainage, traffic, water and amenity concerns before residents come. As League City continues to grow it will be imperative to find ways to integrate the city and keep our small-town feel. This will be challenging. League City will have to develop new amenities and programming to enhance civic pride and maintain connection.

MERTENS: Traffic is a daily concern for everyone. League City was a small town when the main thoroughfares were built and not meant for 105,000 people. Our growing pains are obvious, especially at high traffic times, so when new developments are built, the roads need to be built with well-thought-out traffic patterns that keep the traffic moving. The planned purchase of water from Pasadena is a smart move to care for the future water needs of new developments, and the planned infrastructure for delivering that water needs to be planned for the needs of growth for future generations.

What can be done to attract more businesses to League City?

LONG: Economic incentives and tax breaks are not how to attract economic development. The best way for the city to attract quality economic development is to address our infrastructure needs; maintain a predictable, easy-to-work-with city government; and highlight all the positives going on in the community.

MERTENS: I think we should attract businesses that add value, jobs and income for the city. We should romance oil, gas and space companies that could bring their headquarters here. We already have a great school district, so we need to tout their accomplishments. We need to make sure that future developments are built with inviting attractions, such as beautiful parks and water amenities.

What makes you the best person for this position?

LONG: When I ran four years ago I promised to help the city maintain fiscal discipline, build infrastructure for the future and prioritize public safety. Since that time the tax rate has been reduced over 5 percent; we’ve reduced city debt; we’ve increased spending on drainage and infrastructure; we’ve built new parks; we’ve enhanced our fire, police and EMS services; and more. I have accomplished what I promised four years ago, but the work is not done. We must continue to practice fiscal discipline, continue to focus on developing our infrastructure and always prioritize public safety.

MERTENS: I am a community servant focused on the needs and wants of the people. I am interested in open communication, making sure the citizens are informed of what's happening in all phases of growth and listening to their concerns. I am running because I love this city and the people that live here, and I want to make sure decisions made are done intelligently and thoughtfully with consideration of how they will impact citizens and city employees. I have no hidden agenda and will come onto the City Council with an open mind and a skill for finding the facts and investigating solutions.

By Jake Magee

Editor, Bay Area & Pearland/Friendswood

Jake has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper. Today, he covers everything from aerospace to transportation to flood mitigation.