Election Q&A: Humble City Council Place 4

Three candidates are running for Humble City Council Place 4. There is no incumbent running. (Community Impact staff)
Three candidates are running for Humble City Council Place 4. There is no incumbent running. (Community Impact staff)

Three candidates are running for Humble City Council Place 4. There is no incumbent running. (Community Impact staff)



HOUSTON



Humble City Council Place 4






Responses have been edited for length and clarity.






Arliss Bentley





Occupation: retired teacher


Experience: Humble resident of 45 years, with 13 years attending council and community meetings and reviewing council reports to keep apprised of council progress and local topics






What would be your top priorities if elected to City Council?




AB: Continue and enhance the services that are provided for our citizens as well as [make] infrastructure improvements throughout the entire city. Propose the establishment of ordinances that will require new construction to have at least 20% or more green space of their project that preserves and enhances natural vegetation for future generations.




What do you think is the biggest challenge Humble faces, and how would you begin to address it?




AB: I believe one challenge Humble faces is overcoming the lack of pride the residents have in our city. Humble has the charm and character of an old town with a historic legacy that all residents should be proud of. I want to be a part of an initiative to encourage residents, from youth to senior citizens, to be proud of our community through their involvement.




How would you help the city recover from the coronavirus pandemic?




AB: Within the guidelines of safe practices, I would propose ... reopening Charles Bender Performing Arts Center and Humble Civic Center to the community; resuming services for the senior citizens to avoid isolation and depression; organizing a job fair ... to allow local businesses to showcase employment opportunities; and planning an expo for local businesses and entrepreneurs to share new products and services that have developed as a result of COVID-19.




The city of Humble has started exploring strategies to revitalize the downtown area. How do you feel about the city’s initiative to bring business and economic growth to the downtown area?




AB: Since summer 2007, when I attended my first Humble City Council meeting, it has been my passion to beautify Humble and promote the economic [prosperity] of downtown Humble for future generations. I am encouraged to finally see discussion on this topic. Now, action is needed.












Bruce Davidson





Occupation: certified public accountant


Experience: extensive working knowledge of governmental and financial accounting, auditing, cashflow and the budgeting process




What would be your top priorities if elected to City Council?




BD: Even though I attend most City Council meetings, my first priority would be to work with the mayor and council on the current issues for the city. I would also need to work closely with the city manager and department heads to make sure that I have a thorough understanding of the issues and structure of the city.




What do you think is the biggest challenge Humble faces, and how would you begin to address it?




BD: The two biggest challenges are maintaining its revenue stream from sales taxes and ... traffic. On the revenue issue, I would continue looking at how to revitalize the downtown area to bring in retail customers and encouraging business growth to increase property tax revenue. ... The best ways to look at what might be a viable option [to address traffic] would be to check on any similar cities to Humble and what they may have done.




How would you help the city recover from the coronavirus pandemic?




BD: I believe the best way to help the city of Humble recover from the pandemic is by supporting our local businesses. By purchasing locally, [we can help] provide jobs to local citizens so they can support their families. Also, local businesses support the local tax base through sales and property taxes that are crucial to the city’s financial health. This helps the city provide the needed services to the citizens of Humble.




The city of Humble has started exploring strategies to revitalize the downtown area. How do you feel about the city’s initiative to bring business and economic growth to the downtown area?




BD: In my opinion, the revitalization of the downtown area is a very sound concept. With the current retail business shift away from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping, the city needs to develop retail sales that generate sales tax for the city, and the downtown revitalization would help that tax base.












Paula Settle





Occupation: general manager of Humble Machine Works


Experience: ran a successful business for the last 22 years of the 55 years it has been in business




What would be your top priorities if elected to City Council?




PS: Top priorities if elected to City Council are trying to get more businesses in the downtown area, police and fire protection, and beautifying Humble. Also, the drainage—parts of Humble have issues even with small amounts of rainfall.




What do you think is the biggest challenge Humble faces, and how would you begin to address it?




PS: The biggest problem Humble faces is its growth. Our city is growing by leaps and bounds. It is very imperative that we have adequate police and fire protection for the safety of the citizens of Humble.




How would you help the city recover from the coronavirus pandemic?




PS: [To] help our city to recover, we need to make sure that our city takes advantage of all grants and assistance from the state and federal levels. [We need to] encourage our community to support our local businesses as much and as safely as possible. Our seniors need our support. They miss the socialization, and we need to get our senior activities back up and going.




The city of Humble has started exploring strategies to revitalize the downtown area. How do you feel about the city’s initiative to bring business and economic growth to the downtown area?




PS: I feel it is very important to revitalize the downtown area. Other small towns have revitalized their downtown areas and have been very successful. I feel that the citizens of Humble would support new businesses in the downtown area.






By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.