Q&A: Meet the next mayor of Jersey Village

Andrew Mitcham, who has served in Place 1 on the Jersey Village City Council since 2015, is running unopposed for Jersey Village Mayor in May 4 elections and is slated to be sworn in as mayor at the May Jersey Village City Council meeting. Community Impact Newspaper recently asked Mitcham a few questions about his experience and vision for the city moving forward.

Why did you choose to run for Jersey Village mayor?
I felt the most prepared on Council to take over the role. I've been involved in some way, shape or form with all current projects underway in the city, so I felt the responsibility to provide as much continuity as possible. Not to mention, I consider [Jersey Village] my hometown and love every aspect of it.

What are some things you accomplished as a member of the Jersey Village City Council that you are proud of?
I believe we hit a grand slam when we brought Austin Bleess on board two years ago as city manager. His efforts, along with Mayor [Justin] Ray and our Council, made so much happen in such little time. We completed our flood study, resulting in grant funding for badly needed flood mitigation infrastructure that will break ground later this year. We formed a working group to identify and pursue a collaborative developer for Jersey Crossing, now Village Center, and delivered. Personally, I'm proud of our splash pad because my daughters love it and I know many other [Jersey Village] families feel the same way.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the city over the next two years?
The biggest challenge will be our flood mitigation infrastructure projects, which will go out for bid soon. It will be a massive undertaking to rebuild aging drainage infrastructure and elevating homes around the Village. Another challenge will be balancing our budget, tax rate and exemptions to bring relief to taxpayers while preserving a high level of service our citizens expect.

What are some things you are looking to do as mayor to tackle those challenges?
Jersey Village is no stranger to large infrastructure projects. Street rebuilding and storm drainage improvement projects have been a regular feature of our city since I was a kid. I have full confidence in our staff to continue the tradition. As an [information technology] consultant, I've closely followed the city's application upgrades, use of collaboration platforms and other enhancements that have streamlined processes and timelines. As for tax relief, I will continue in the tradition of my predecessors by running collaborative, open budget workshops this summer to help Council identify where it can raise exemptions without impacting our ability to maintain and improve services.

By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


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