Three candidates vie for open Jersey Village City Council seat

Three candidates are running for the open Position 5 on Jersey Village City Council this May—Joyce Berube, Tom Eustace and Christie Crawford. The seat was previously held by Jill Klein, who is stepping down due to term limits.

Incumbents Justin Ray and Sheri Sheppard were unchallenged for their respective seats at Positions 1 and 4. Greg Holden, who was appointed by council to fill the vacated Position 2 in January, is also running unopposed in a special election. Holden replaced Sandra Joachim, who stepped down from council in November.

Community Impact Newspaper talked with each of the candidates running for Position 5 to find out more about why they are running and what they believe the top issues are for Jersey Village moving forward. Early voting for the May election runs April 28–May 6. Election Day is May 10.

Joyce Berube

Q: Why are you running for Jersey Village City Council?

For the last 34 years, I have resided in Jersey Village and have appreciated all the fine amenities this community offers. I have had the privilege of being a part of the City Council, which has given me the opportunities to administer, oversee, direct and supervise numerous decisions regarding the prosperity and well-being of our citizens. This new year brings the city new issues, especially the widening of Hwy. 290 by the Texas Department of Transportation. With my knowledge, experience and vast business expertise, I am able to support and serve the citizens during this troublesome time. I have been extremely active in city business for many years through my 16 years on council and official committees. I have been a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission for the past two years. After seeing the effects of new issues concerning the future of our citizens, I decide to run again because we need experienced council members to handle the economic development surrounding the years of massive construction by TxDOT.

Q: What are the important issues facing Jersey Village and how will you deal with them?

I will join the team with the mayor, council members, city manager and staff to continue a working relationship with TxDOT regarding the expansion of Hwy. 290. We will deal with construction and traffic control issues and the displaced merchants and loss of sales and property taxes. In addition, we need to continue monitoring Harris County Flood Control for assurance that all flood deterrent issues will be completed satisfyingly. Our city is aging so we must continue replacing and/or repairing our infrastructure. Another item is to look and plan for future economic development in order to offset those displaced merchants and businesses due to the highway construction. As a professional broker associate, I am concerned with the latest information regarding flood insurance from FEMA. The rates are drastically going up, which will cause terrible expenditures for homeowners. The city is working on possible solutions with FEMA and, if I am elected, I will be involved with the dialogues.

Q: What makes you the best candidate to serve on council?

I am in good health and very active in several community activities including the Business Board of Lone Star College, Cy-Fair school district VIP, Houston Cy-Fair Chamber of Commerce and the American Business Women Association. I work full-time as a broker associate for Keller Williams Realty-GNW. I have been an elected official for 16 years with various settlements, solutions, promotions and issues connected to running the City of Jersey Village. I am qualified and have the requisites to meet the demands of the office. As a broker associate, I am working on a deal for bringing a famous builder to Jersey Village for the

construction of 85 new homes, bringing revenues to our tax base.

Tom Eustace

Q: Why are you running for Jersey Village City Council?

I have always felt it a responsibility to be active in the community, partially to stay abreast of what's going on and be available to handle or assist in accomplishing the needs of the community. With the impending expansion of Hwy. 290 and Jones Road, I am very excited about the future of Jersey Village and want to be a part of that new horizon.

Q: What makes you the best candidate to serve on council?

I have been a resident of Jersey Village for over 35 years. My education began with graduation from Lockhart High School and continued with a BA and a Masters Degrees in economics and further study toward a doctoral degree in economics at University of Houston. My professional career spanned over 40 years in the oil and gas industry, primarily in marketing and operations, advancing through scheduling, trading and managing departments involving various energy commodities.

During those 35 years in Jersey Village, my wife and I raised three daughters and have been active participants of city activities, functions, committees, administration and community involvement. I am a past chairman and current member of the Planning and Zoning Commission for the city. I am a former board of director for the Jersey Village Civic Organization and former member of Police Advisory Committee and Neighborhood Watch, as well as the past president of the Northwest Village Optimist Club and co-founder and coach of the Junior Olympics Track Club—Northwest Flyers.

As P&Z chairman and commissioner, I was afforded the opportunity to be part of vast developments in Jersey Village, including the golf course re-zoning, developments such as Prologis and Lakes of Jersey Village, code and ordinance revisions, ETJ planning, overlay districts, recreational vehicle discussions and many others.

Christie Crawford

Q: Why are you running for Jersey Village City Council?

My decision to run for Jersey Village City Council is a way for me to give back to the community in which I was raised and where we raised our family. We were so active in the community-wide events over the years that becoming part of the community at a different level is a way for me to help keep the spirit of Jersey Village alive for today's young families as well as a way to support the topics that mold our city for the future growth.

Q: What are the important issues facing Jersey Village and how will you deal with them?

Currently, in my opinion, one of the most important topics facing our city is the need to continue to invest in revitalization. We must also continue to ensure that public safety is a No. 1 priority. The first responders in Jersey Village were one of the key factors when my parents moved here and why my family decided to call Jersey Village home. I also think we need to ensure the streets are continually improved, and street lighting should be finished throughout the city for safety as well as adding to the charming oak-lined streets in our community. We need to keep the entrances to the city well maintained to continue to be attractive to future residents. We should also ensure our parks and recreation areas remain safe and fun for all ages to enjoy family outings or play dates. Another priority is keeping our local businesses promoting viable, sellable products for our community to enjoy. Lastly, we need to keep the homes and yards within the city beautiful and blooming, ensuring construction or reconstruction to our homes follow proper code to ensure community safety and balance.

Q: What makes you the best candidate to serve on council?

While I have never held a public office before, I have been a member of senior management for L'Oreal with over 20 years of experience leading and managing a team of more than 20 individuals. Just as every viewpoint within the city is not that of one, there is a huge opportunity facing our city to offer fresh new ideas, a different perspective on how to incorporate budgets, safety, political viewpoints and promote community involvement in a way that can be a positive change for the city of Jersey Village. I have helped with numerous community eventsHoliday in the Park, Spring Fling, Founder's Day Parade, 4th of July events. I was fortunate enough to be able to manage my faith, family, career and community. Today, our daughters are in college, and I am looking forward to serving the community I love and hope to be part of for many years to come.

By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.