Shenandoah City Council candidates weigh in on election questions

City Council candidates Andrea Konzem and Ted Fletcher speak during an election forum.

City Council candidates Andrea Konzem and Ted Fletcher speak during an election forum.

With early voting beginning April 22, here are the answers Shenandoah City Council candidates Ted Fletcher and Andrea Konzem provided during their April 18 open forum.

Q: How do you think the city’s remaining open space should be utilized, and how would it benefit the residents?


Konzem: I think a poll should be taken from the residents to see what they want. This is for the residents, and I think residents need to be made first. I feel residents are not being put first. … We need to see what their interests are.

Fletcher: Currently, there’s only a little bit of land left that Shenandoah owns. It comes back to benefiting the residents through green space development. We have a 5-acre parcel on the east side [of I-45] that will be developed into a retention pond with beautiful paths and parkways around it. We have a survey out … and we have been pulling information from residents on what they would prefer to have.

Q: What area of the city budget needs reducing?


Konzem: I feel we could do away with council pay and health care benefits. That’s close to $100,000 the taxpayers are paying, and I feel there is no other city around … that offers health care benefits. I feel it’s something we need to address that would reduce the budget quite a bit.

Fletcher: We’ve worked hard over the past several years to reduce the budget overall.
One of the areas we focused was general governing. … We eliminated car allowances, in addition to eliminating a lot of frivolous spending. I do believe people should be compensated for their contribution overall with City Council, although I have stood with Byron Bevers who took [council pay] under consideration.

Q: What specific changes do you feel need to be made to the Integrated Development Code?


Fletcher: Our IDC is in dire need of being rewritten. This is one of the problems we have within the city. … If you look from Wellman Road to the west side of the freeway, we have a lot of properties that become more and more dilapidated. If a property owner wants to make improvements … it doesn’t meet the zoning requirements of the IDC, which was written back in 2010. We need to bring our residents in that are next to or behind those properties for ideas.

Konzem: I do think the code needs to be brought current because we do have a lot of properties that are becoming dilapidated. It’s an eyesore for people that want to come to Shenandoah. We need to be able to maintain our property values. … I do feel it needs to be addressed.

The forum can be viewed in its entirety here.


MOST RECENT

Outdoor venues in all Texas counties will be permitted to operate at up to 25% capacity starting May 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spectators to be welcomed back to Texas outdoor sporting events May 31 at 25% of venue capacity

Venue owners must operate under guidelines that facilitate appropriate social distancing.

In terms of county health in 2020, Montgomery County ranked among the top 15 on length of life and quality of life.
Health Care Snapshot 2020: Montgomery County ranks in top 10 in Texas for health outcomes

In 2020 county health rankings, Montgomery County ranked among the top 15 counties in Texas in the length of life and quality of life categories.

Volunteers pack boxes of food at the Montgomery County Food Bank. (Courtesy Montgomery County Food Bank)
Montgomery County nonprofits receive $235,000 through Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund

The funding was part of an $8.2 million distribution to dozens of nonprofits in the region announced May 28.

Students enrolled in the University of Houston College of Nursing can take classes at the Sugar Land campus. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: UH College of Nursing dean reflects on how coronavirus has affected education, profession

Kathryn Tart, dean of the University of Houston’s College of Nursing, spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about how the novel coronavirus is changing the way the university is educating nursing students.

The Shenandoah City Council met in regular session May 27 and approved an ordinance regarding a water plant. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Shenandoah City Council approves sanitary-control ordinance

Shenandoah City Council approved an ordinance to protect a water plant from potential pollutants May 27.

Houston Methodist researchers conducted a 25-patient trial in March and April to examine the safety of convalescent plasma transfusions as a possible treatment for COVID-19. (Courtesy Houston Methodist)
Greater Houston-area health systems examine plasma transfusion as possible COVID-19 treatment

The experimental therapy involves the transfer of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to those who are currently symptomatic.

Each eligible child will receive $285 in benefits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Some Texas students eligible for one-time federal benefit to aid with food purchases

Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits.

Montgomery County commissioners criticized the lawsuit between Conroe Mayor Toby Powell and two tax officials of the county. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Montgomery County commissioners criticize Conroe Mayor Powell's lawsuit against tax officials

Montgomery County Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador called the lawsuit a “political posturing move.”

The Woodlands Pride has canceled its festival for Sept. 26. (Courtesy The Woodlands Pride)
The Woodlands Pride cancels annual festival due to coronavirus concerns

The nonprofit said it plans to celebrate Pride in the fall either through virtual events or small events.

Oak Ridge North City Council met for a specially called session May 27. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Oak Ridge North approves first sales tax preservation agreement; Robinson Road work remains on track

The city approved a 100-month agreement to bring The Woodlands-based Preva Health to a property on the city's I-45 frontage road.

According to METRO, the two employees were a bus controller and a bus repairman, neither of whom had contact with the public. The bus controller has not worked for METRO since May 17. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Two more METRO employees test positive

According to METRO, the two employees were a bus controller and a bus repairman, neither of whom had contact with the public. The bus controller has not worked for METRO since May 17.