Election Q&A: Candidates running for Bellaire city council Position No. 1 share priorities, challenges

There are seven candidates running for a shot at one of three positions on the Bellaire city council. See who is running on the ballot for Bellaire City Council Position No. 1. The current council member in that seat, Neil Verma, will not be rerunning for office. Early voting is Oct. 18-29. Election day is Nov. 2.

Check out links to answers from other Bellaire City Council candidates:

Position 3

Position 5

Winfred Frazier

Occupation: Attorney, retired vice president, Walt Disney/ABC-TV, Inc.

Experience: past chairman of Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission, past president of Patrons for Bellaire Parks Campaign website :

Contact: [email protected]zierforbellaire.com

How does your experience make you the best candidate?

WF: Winfred Frazier has had a lifelong dedication to serving our community, including:Past Chairman, Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission Served on the City of Bellaire Sunset Review Committee Past Chairman, City of Bellaire Police Training Advisory Board Past President, Patrons for Bellaire Parks Member, Bellaire Citizens Academy Class #3 Member, City of Bellaire Flood Mitigation Task Force Member, Bellaire/Southwest Houston Rotary Club Member, Bellaire Business Association I decided to run for City Council Position 1 because I felt I had prepared myself to represent the citizens of Bellaire. I am guided by living as a man of honesty and integrity. I have lived my entire life with those two words as my foundation. Each citizen of this great city deserves to be represented by officials who vow to uphold these principles, and I vow to be that leader. A city such as ours deserves a candidate who has always “shown up,” and not just during an election season. Through many years of service on Bellaire City Boards, local schools, and in community organizations, I have worked to gain as much understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, and workings of our city so that I may offer you the dedicated representation so needed as we move forward together.

What are your highest priority agenda items?

WF: There are many challenges and issues facing our great city. My highest priority items include: 1. Improved drainage and flood mitigation efforts The City of Bellaire has suffered costly damage from flooding. I support the three primary flood mitigation goals a. Continue to enforce and establish policies, procedures, and activities for the safety and assurance of citizens of Bellaire. b. Develop, fund, design, and construct infrastructure improvements to mitigate the effects of flooding. c. Evaluate and establish Bellaire’s position in floodplain regulation in terms of policies and management. d. Support projects that will address the replacement of streets and drainage systems in order to reduce the occurrence of flooding and improve street conditions. 2. Responsible development Bellaire is unique for offering small-town charm yet being located close to the Houston metroplex. I shall look for a balance of development that does not detract from small-town appeal of our city yet offers the amenities that our residents desire in their daily lives. I served on Bellaire’s Planning and Zoning Commission from 2010 through 2017, including being Chair. These years of experience allow me unique insights into how to best make planning and zoning decisions that will honor both our reputation as “The City of Homes” and the Bellaire community’s desire to continue to progress with new and updated retail venues. Additionally, such progress will bring in more tax revenues, which will lessen the burden of our residential taxes. 3. Parks and overall quality of life for Bellaire families to enjoy the lifestyle our wonderful parks offer us. This is a major part of our quality of life. As past President of Patrons for Bellaire Parks, I have had the great opportunity to contribute in a big way toward the advancement of our parks and greenspace. This will continue to be a priority for me.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing Bellaire right now and how would you address them?

WF: The biggest challenge facing Bellaire today is to maintain the quality of life our residents enjoy; ensure the safety of our residents; continue to maintain a staff of qualified people who perform well in their jobs, and do it all at the lowest tax rate possible. I will work to deliver the high-value services our citizens expect and build the infrastructure necessary to our city. We are a prosperous city, but we must continue to be smart in how we allocate limited resources, asking tough questions, and making hard choices when necessary. As a vice president working for a Fortune 500 Company, my fiscal background has helped in making correct decisions. My legal experience will also help me in the critical thinking process. I shall work for increased citizen collaboration and engagement, transparent and accountable Bellaire government, and sound fiscal policies and budget oversight.

What qualities would you look for in a future Bellaire City Manager?

WF: I would hire a city manager that is trustworthy and has the utmost integrity. I would hire a person who can communicate well with the city council, staff, and citizens. The Bellaire city manager would have the ability to make tough decisions. I would look for a city manager who can explain policies and proposals to all people and listen to opinions and suggestions given by others. I believe experience matters and I would look for a city manager that has experience in city government. I would look for a City Manager who is willing to do it well. The ideal person would have a deep understanding of municipal finance and infrastructure.

Kevin Newman

Occupation: Owner of Bellaire Web Design

Experience: former city council candidate, automotive business owner/manager

Campaign Website: http://bkev.com

How does your experience make you the best candidate?

KN: Since my first campaign in 2015, I have championed reducing taxes and better spending of those tax dollars. We have needed an “Under New Management” banner for some time now, and thankfully we finally have it. After owning several businesses in the automotive sector, I have acquired the skills needed to understand why and how our tax dollars are being wasted. If Bellaire was a business, we would be in serious trouble. I plan to bring my skills of cost-cutting and managerial expertise to the city. I see life through the “why are we wasting so much money” glasses. I want to extract every penny from our tax dollars.

What are your highest priority agenda items?

KN: My highest priority items would be reducing the mounting debt and wasteful spending. I would advocate for a structured savings plan from all incoming funds to be saved for debt repayment and future capital improvements. Unifying the City Council is also my priority. There is no room to elect anyone who is just going to ruin the momentum currently established. I am not saying every council member needs to think identically, but rather we all share the same major goals of reducing spending and debt repayment.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing Bellaire right now and how would you address them?

KN: The biggest challenges facing Bellaire are overcoming Covid and the effect that it has had on our residents, the economy, and the wellbeing of our local businesses. Bellaire is the city of homes where we foster a hometown feel inside of a big city. Restoring the hometown feel and supporting our residents are my main concerns. I want our police officers to focus on protecting our homes and monitoring the traffic on our streets. Why don’t we restore the “Do not speed through Bellaire” sentiment?

What qualities would you look for in a future Bellaire city manager?

KN: We need to look at the past city managers and learn from the good and bad. We can clearly see how important it is to have a city manager that knows how to manage not only a city but his staff. The role of the city council is to guide the city manager to the needs and desires of the residents. The new city manager needs to be flexible, adaptable, and able to listen to the direction of the Council.

By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


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