Mayor of Shenandoah • Candidates Q & A

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Mayor of Shenandoah • candidates Q & A

Garry Watts

Garry Watts, Incumbant

Occupation: Realtor at Keller Williams The Woodlands; Mayor of Shenandoah
gwatts@shenandoahtx.us
www.shenandoahtx.us

What is your platform for this election?

I’m already deeply familiar with city operations, strengths and needs. My focus will be to continue planning for change, such as growth in housing, retail and health care, while adding enhancement for our citizens. These enhancements will include continuing our sidewalk system, green belts, parks, infrastructure upgrades, and keeping water rates and property taxes at the lowest level in the area.

Why do you think you are the best candidate to be the mayor of Shenandoah?

I feel I’m the strongest candidate because of my active involvement locally, countywide and regionally. I have extensive knowledge of social, political and economic issues that may affect the wellbeing of our city, including huge issues with mobility and water.

What do you think is the most important issue facing Shenandoah, and how would you solve it?

I see the most important issue facing Shenandoah as planning for the future. Growth is regularly knocking at our front door. I understand that decisions today have consequences in our future. We address these issues by staying engaged with staff, the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the Economic Development Partnership, the chamber [of commerce], county commissioners, TxDOT and other ad hoc mobility committees. Unintended consequences from numerous political organizations could have adverse effects on our city.

What are some long term and short term plans you will have for Shenandoah as mayor?

Long-term plans include continuing to protect our most valued asset—our citizens and their homes—from commercial or retail encroachment. This is mostly accomplished through zoning and building codes, but in the short term, we need to stay involved. Growth handled properly will generate revenue. We don’t want growth and income to deface what we’ve already built, which is a traditional small town with 21st century amenities.

What are some things you think Shenandoah does really well as a city, and what are some things you think could be improved?

I believe we do a lot of things really well and have a proven track record of quality projects and financial responsibility. This is demonstrated by how we finance projects while still lowering property taxes over the last four years. Our City Council is diverse and informed on the issues facing us as we grow. Council and staff put in a lot of extra hours addressing issues and solving problems.


Mayor of Shenandoah • candidates Q & A

M. Ritchey Wheeler

M. Ritchey Wheeler

Occupation: Regional Sales Manager for American Financial and Automotive services; Shenandoah Planning and Zoning Commission Member
ritchwheeler@live.com
www.shenandoahtx.us

What is your platform for this election?

Responsible economic development is something I am passionate about when it comes to our city.  Shenandoah is growing, but we are running out of space. We need to take advantage of the growth in the area, but we need to understand that we will be living with these new developments for decades to come.

Why do you think you are the best candidate to be the mayor of Shenandoah?

I work with—and network among—multimillion-dollar business owners on a daily basis. My job is to get in front of them and recruit them. I plan on using my background in the business world to help Shenandoah.

What do you think is the most important issue facing Shenandoah, and how would you solve it?

One of my goals as mayor is to be proactive on who is looking at developing in our area, or should be looking in our area but isn’t, and help them understand why Shenandoah is the best place for them. I want to make sure that we get the best of the best because we deserve it. We have the ability to attract business that we can be proud of, will provide worthwhile services to our residents and be a good source of tax revenue.

What are some long term and short term plans you will have for Shenandoah as mayor?

Aside from economic development, I would like to see the city provide more benefits to our residents. More green space is an example of that. With economic growth comes funding for city projects.

What are some things you think Shenandoah does really well as a city, and what are some things you think could be improved?

Our city is unique in that we have all the amenities of a major metro area, and yet we have a warm hometown personality. I am just as passionate about keeping Shenandoah a community as I am about economic growth. Another one of my goals for this election is to get more of our residents involved in our city. As a city, we need to help our residents by providing ways for them to stay connected.

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Beth Marshall

Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. She was hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016. Beth writes about education, health care and other news topics, as well as local artists and musicians each month.

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