Q&A: Hear from Lynn Clouser, James Mable, Chris Preston—candidates for Missouri City Council At-Large Position 2

Early voting for the November election, when voters will choose candidates for national, statewide and local positions, begins Oct. 13. Election Day is Nov. 3. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)
Early voting for the November election, when voters will choose candidates for national, statewide and local positions, begins Oct. 13. Election Day is Nov. 3. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)

Early voting for the November election, when voters will choose candidates for national, statewide and local positions, begins Oct. 13. Election Day is Nov. 3. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)



HOUSTON



Missouri City City Council At-Large Position 2






* indicates incumbent





Lynn Clouser





Occupation: Development director, Hope for Three Autism Advocates


Experience: Class of 2020-21 Fort Bend Chamber/George Foundation Excellence for Nonprofit Leadership; The Fort Bend Church Spectrum Ministry volunteer; Vicksburg community food drive for Second Mile Mission co-organizer; Palmer Elementary PTO former president and VP of Ways & Means; Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels volunteer; Fort Bend CAN member; Edison Arts Foundation board member; Autism Rescue Angels advisory board; Missouri City and Vicinity branch NAACP member; Autism Caregivers Around the Bend co-founder; The Women’s Voice director; Mu Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. member; Missouri City Farmers Market Partners advisory board; Fort Bend Women’s Center volunteer and instructor; Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce member; Missouri City COVID-19 PPE and food distribution volunteer; Central Fort Bend Chamber member; Missouri City Sugar Land Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. member; Hurricane Harvey Fort Bend shelters set-up team and volunteer






Why are you running for Missouri City City Council At-Large Position 2?




LC: Now more than ever, we need true representation. I am running to reroute the direction of our city. Many residents and I are witnessing decisions being made by our current representation that lack transparency and honesty and do not consider the voice and will of the people. A city council member should be active, visible and responsive to the citizens. We must hold our elected officials accountable. If an elected official is not fulfilling the duties they were elected to do, then someone else should serve in that capacity. We are not seeing this with our current leadership. I promise to be present, active and responsive by attending HOA meetings, community events, holding regular Town Hall meetings and follow up with resident’s questions and concerns. I want to work with and for the residents of Missouri City. I have built my life around serving the public, specifically Missouri City and Fort Bend County, through various organizations and community initiatives. I am doing that now and will continue.




What is the biggest challenge facing Missouri City, and how would you address it?




LC: Lack of transparency, accountability, and ignoring the voice of the residents of the city when important decisions are being made. Recent decisions have caused residents to distrust our current leadership and doubt their dedication to act in the best interest of our local government and fiduciary responsibility. Good government is actively listening to your constituents, making yourself knowledgeable on the issue(s) at hand and making sound decisions on behalf of what the Missouri City residents want, within budgetary and ethical reason, regardless of their party affiliation, neighborhood of residence, age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, and ability.




How should Missouri City think about economic development and growth?




LC: Missouri City has experienced tremendous growth in the time I have lived in this community for 40 years. My desire is to see the city grow by remaining attractive to businesses and developers. Every part of Missouri City matters. Developing good relationships with developers, realtors, and small and large businesses is key and I will do that. We must promote initiatives that support our small businesses to help them sustain and grow. I frequently support our Missouri City businesses and as a council member, I will make sure I am visible and accessible to our local businesses to hear their needs and concerns.




What is your vision for the future of Missouri City?




LC: My vision for the future of Missouri City is to see us continue to be one of the most diverse and safest cities in America that attracts families that want to live, work and play here. I want my children and my children’s children to want to be a part of our community. I envision a community where residents have elected officials, they feel are trustworthy to make sound and informed decisions on behalf of their families and the properties in which they have invested. One of my mottos is “Unity in the Community” and I want to be a change agent that helps us reach our goals as a unified city. How can we be unified if our local government does not align their voting with the desire of the people they serve? The citizens of Missouri City deserve better and I want to be the change the community desires and deserves to see.












James Mable





Occupation: Educator


Experience: As a longtime resident of Missouri City and educator for the past 10+ years, James Mable has experiences in life that align with those of many residents in Missouri City, including his service in the U.S. Marines after high school as well as his time working in the service industry throughout his 20s primarily as a waiter and taking nighttime security jobs to make ends meet. James decided to change the direction of his life and enrolled in college at the age of 27 and completed both his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Education at Sam Houston State University by the age of 32. Building community partnerships leading to career opportunities for college students and alumni has been James’ career for many years.






Why are you running for Missouri City City Council At-Large Position 2?




JM: I am running for City Council because I would love to see each of Missouri City’s neighborhoods flourish as well as the local business economy for years to come. I care about people and solving the collective issues we face in our community. Missouri City is in need of fresh perspectives as our city has focused successfully on master-planned communities and residential development and now needs to direct that success towards the economy. Our residents deserve a mature economy that caters to their daily household necessities as well as offers diverse career and job opportunities in major industries.




What is the biggest challenge facing Missouri City, and how would you address it?




JM: Taking the Missouri City economy to the next level is the biggest challenge. The current economy does not effectively incentivize residents to work or spend locally, thus the city is losing both talented workers and sales tax revenue to neighboring cities. This can be addressed by engaging local and regional business owners to assist the city with crafting a citywide economic strategic plan that also involves stakeholders that have specific experience partnering with identified model municipalities to plan economic activity zones and districts that complement the demographic and economic makeup of Missouri City’s residents.




How should Missouri City think about economic development and growth?




JM: Our city leaders should ensure that our business community is catering to residents by offering jobs, services, and products that they need and want. I am a proponent of not reinventing the wheel by taking a comprehensive approach: identify cities with mature economies as models for strategic planning/consulting; directly invest in the economy by purchasing land in high residential and trafficked locations to create models for high economic activity zones; ensure that any contracts or proposals for new business align with specific objectives and goals identified in an economic strategic plan; and revisit zoning laws to ensure they support increased business activity.




What is your vision for the future of Missouri City?




JM: That it remains one of the safest cities in the United States. A low residential tax burden and diversified business economy are just a few strategies that will ensure lasting economic success for our city. I see Missouri City making its presence known as a premiere destination with various local attractions that cause neighboring city residents to frequent throughout the year. Managing economic growth via a model that caters to residents will ensure prolonged positive sales tax revenue for our city, thus leading to reinvestment in our infrastructure and economy. A collective win for residents and the business community.












Chris Preston*





Occupation: Small business owner


Experience: At-Large Position 2 council member; mayor pro-tem; Economic Development Committee chair; Finances and Services Committee; Community Development Advisory Committee; Texas Municipal League Leadership Academy; FBI Citizens Academy; DEA Citizens Academy; Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse, Inc. (Fort Bend County Coalition government representative); Genesys Works (Fort Bend County Community Advisory Committee)






Why are you running for Missouri City City Council At-Large Position 2?




CP: I am a proud product of Missouri City and driven to give back to the community that has given so much to me. From an early age, service was instilled in me by both of my parents. My father is a veteran and my mother is a retired nurse. Both showed me the importance and sacrifice of being a public servant. I want to bring those values to City Hall. I want to fight for our first responders, bring jobs back to Missouri City, protect our neighborhoods and rebuild our great city. My first few years on council were not without challenges. I battled cancer, and had to make some tough decisions that not everyone agreed with. However, through this adversity, I learned more about myself as a leader, the needs of my constituents and how we all can move Missouri City forward.




What is the biggest challenge facing Missouri City, and how would you address it?




CP: Similar to any other city, Missouri City must be prepared for any ramifications that may come as a result of COVID-19. We must be mindful and ready to assist our residents during these trying times. This effort will require a thorough assessment of our city financials as a whole to ensure we are well-positioned for an uncertain, yet bright future.




How should Missouri City think about economic development and growth?




CP: Results matter. I want us to think about our economic development in terms that are tangible and measurable. It will require a mutually beneficial partnership with our business leaders to meet the needs and demands of our diverse city. We need to bring more jobs back to Missouri City. We need to support the small businesses that are the backbone of our community.




What is your vision for the future of Missouri City?




CP: Unity. It’s time we collectively come together and build a unified and thriving community that remains one of the safest places to live with flourishing local and neighborly corporate businesses. A place that affords an exceptional quality of life with low property taxes for newly minted families like my wife and I, empty nesters, our senior citizens, or a single professional. I envision a scenic Missouri City with adequate green space, landscaped medians and master-planned walking and biking trails. Additionally, sound infrastructure, such as sidewalks and streets. Lastly, first-class customer service from our dedicated city employees and service providers such as our municipal utility districts and sanitation service providers.












By Claire Shoop
Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.


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