Friendswood City Council has two positions on the May 4 ballot: Positions 4 and 6. Incumbent Carl Gustafson faces challenger Brent Erenwert for Position 6. Incumbent Robert Griffon is running for Position 4 unchallenged.
Community Impact Newspaper interviewed Gustafson and Erenwert about why each candidate wants a spot on the council.
Occupation: Chief Executive Officer of Brothers Produce
Occupation: Engineer, project manager
Why did you choose to run for Friendswood City Council Position 6?
Brent Erenwert: I feel that an important aspect of being a leader, as well as an elected official, is being an approachable person. I am a caring person who always tries to make myself be very approachable and easy to talk to. I believe that people will feel and know they can approach me as their council person and I will always lend an ear to your concerns.
Carl Gustafson: Short answer is unfinished business. We are at a critical point with regard to flood control initiatives and I believe that I possess a unique skill set necessary to be successful in this position. I’ve also come to enjoy working with city staff, other governmental entities and citizen groups within our city to effect positive change in our community and would like to continue to do so. I have the right temperament, maturity and decision-making skills necessary to serve as your councilman.
What makes you qualified to run for the position?
Brent Erenwert: I am running for this position not because I see issues, but because I feel I bring several key qualities, attributes and a skill set that can help us continue to build on the success and direction our city leaders have guided us on. I feel that they have done a great job setting the stage for many great things to come and I can help lead us into the future.
Some of these strengths include:
– Strong, integrity-focused leadership which is proven daily as I serve as the chief executive officer of a workforce of over 350 employees.
– Financial and budget planning.
– Focus on sustainable and profitable growth.
– Attention to priorities.
Carl Gustafson: I have served on City Council for six years, which provides me with a clear advantage in experience. During this time my education—a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University, engineering capabilities and project management experience have been a tremendous asset in my role as a councilman. This skill set and experience will be of even greater importance as we tackle the engineering and infrastructure challenges involving drainage, water/sewer, streets and facility development/improvement that we face moving forward. My time on council has also made me keenly aware of what services and amenities our citizens have come to expect from their city.
If elected, what will your priorities in office be?
Brent Erenwert: As we grow, we must grow sustainably. We must continue to stay ahead of and focused on our drainage. Outside of drainage, I want to ensure we focus on our past, present and future with a big emphasis on the seniors. We need to get them a bigger facility as that segment of the population is growing.
Carl Gustafson: Drainage, streets, economic development, public safety, infrastructure and fiscal responsibility
Anything else you would like the voters to know?
Brent Erenwert: I am a proud father, husband, proven leader and a nearly 30-year Friendswood Mustang. I am a very active philanthropist who serves and volunteers with many organizations. I consider myself an innovator who thinks outside the box. I am a family man who will always make decisions that are in the best interest of continuing the family-oriented values deeply rooted in Friendswood’s heritage.
Carl Gustafson: I have been honored to serve as your City Councilman and would very much like the opportunity to continue in this role. The work ahead will require our city to work with other local governments and entities in ways we have not before. During my time as a city councilman and as chairman of the Galveston County Republican Party, I have been able to develop the strong relationships that will be needed to effectively lobby for and implement the projects that ensure the safety and well-being of our families, our homes and our community.